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(Taunton Gazette)   Massachusetts politicians want toll booths on every major road into the state   (tauntongazette.com) divider line 117
    More: PSA, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Turnpike, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, toll roads, highways  
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5437 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jul 2013 at 1:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-07 02:37:18 PM  

Dust: Satanic_Hamster: Dust: They gotta pay for the roads somehow.  It's currently gas taxes in most places that feed money into the maintenance projects, but with the advent of electric cars, they're going to need a new way to support our aging infrastructure.

Right, I'm sure there's just SO MANY electric cars being used in Massachusetts that gas purchases have gone to near zero.

"going to need"

As in, trending in that direction. Or should we just let roads fall apart proportionately to the advance of hybrids and electric cars just because?


Surely you aren't saying toll booths are the best alternative to a gas tax?
 
2013-07-07 02:38:37 PM  

gunsmack: I'm sure that all tolls will be spent responsibly on aging infrastructure and not just blown on poorly thought out projects.

/ how's that "big dig" working out?


^This

Orlando for example is comprised entirely of toll roads, some with a toll booth every three miles. The money doesn't go to the roads, all the roads are in horrible condition, it goes to whack projects that always fail in Orlando. I lived there for 15 years.
 
2013-07-07 02:41:56 PM  
Right now a lot of Central and Western Mass drivers are dealing with city traffic on country roads. It'll take a lot of money to change that. Whether that money will be spent properly or not is another subject for debate.
 
Rat
2013-07-07 02:44:07 PM  
Liberal problems.  Down here in the great state of Texas, we do in fact build toll roads, but the interstates are kept free.  If you're unhappy with the free interstate, there are a few places that have toll only lanes on the interstates that run a little faster.  Why is it we have this figured out?  Oh yeah, we're fiscally conservative.  We also like to drive 85 on our toll roads.

i235.photobucket.com

© flame on
 
2013-07-07 02:47:15 PM  

Dust: They gotta pay for the roads somehow.  It's currently gas taxes in most places that feed money into the maintenance projects, but with the advent of electric cars, they're going to need a new way to support our aging infrastructure.


I have a good idea. Why don't we have a tax on political speeches and proposed legislation? The tax would be automatically extracted from legislators' bank accounts at the end of each legislative day. We could charge a per-word fee, with an extra fine for speech that is untruthful, misleading, or irrelevant. It would raise money to have up-kept infrastructure, as well as make political speech more honest, direct, and efficient. Win Win.

Why not?
 
2013-07-07 02:48:46 PM  

TyrantII: Good?

Massachusetts infrastructure is in dire need of repairs after a decade of neglect (IE tax cuts that amounted to an average of $125/person/yr).  Now it's going to be even more expensive to fix.  Luckily interest rates are low, but to secure bonds they're going to show better revenue projections.

I know plenty of people living in Providence and NH and commute to Boston every day.  Time to move closer, or pay for all that use.

There's always public transportation.


Or, you could have "taxation without representation" like I do by working in another state and having to pay income tax in that state PLUS income tax in my state.  Once again, this will hurt the working stiff.  Screw those Massholes
 
2013-07-07 02:49:55 PM  

Dust: They gotta pay for the roads somehow.  It's currently gas taxes in most places that feed money into the maintenance projects, but with the advent of electric cars, they're going to need a new way to support our aging infrastructure.


Given the choice between toll roads or GPSing all our cars and taxing us on miles driven I favor toll roads-less invasive form a privacy standpoint.


Of course it would help if highways funds were used for highways and not bike paths or "enhancements" like museums.  Impose a tax on bikes and bike helmets to pay for bike paths.   Also require adults to pay a yearly registration fee on their bicycles.

www.cityofmadison.com
 
2013-07-07 02:53:18 PM  

Thisbymaster: I would rather them open casinos in and around Boston to pay for the roads.


A sucker tax. . .  :D
 
2013-07-07 03:00:36 PM  

Bigdogdaddy: Or, you could have "taxation without representation" like I do by working in another state and having to pay income tax in that state PLUS income tax in my state.  Once again, this will hurt the working stiff.  Screw those Massholes


Well, you can always work in the state you live in.  Choice is nice like that.  You also do representation, and you can always pettition your reprsenation to make an income tax exception for people who live in state and work in other states.  Good luck with that.  Otherwise move here and petition for change.

If you work in and use Massachusetts services, you have to pay like everyone else.  Seems like a pretty libertarian bootstrappy idea to me.  There's nothing unfair about the situation.
 
2013-07-07 03:00:40 PM  
Yeah...yeah, We've heard this routine plenty in Illinois. Just bend over and except the inevitable.

Tollway Authority: "We'll build this toll road, and make it free after 10 years when it's paid for"

[10 years later]

TA: "We need infrastructure repair, so lets keep the tolls around for a few years more, mkay? We'll keep the price the same for you as a thanks!"

[5 years later]

"Those repairs aren't going so well. Wee need to keep the tolls around for a few more years, and we're adding a few more tollbooths / on ramp booths. Not to worry though, NO PRICE INCREASE!"

[5 years later]

TA: "We lost 30 Million this year. We're going to have to double every toll. Suck it."

[5 years later]

Municipalities: " All the people avoiding your tolls are screwing up our roads. We're going to start taxing them too..."
 
2013-07-07 03:01:12 PM  

TDBoedy: fine then stay out of Connecticut you giant pile of mass-holes!  *state troopers now to arrest all Massachusetts drivers in CT**also New Jersey just because*


I drive an extra hour or so to circumvent CT.  You're welcome.
 
2013-07-07 03:02:51 PM  
Why not just raise gas taxes? This is a whole lot of infrastructure to collect a bit more money. The infrastructure to collect gas taxes is already there.

Electric cars are such a tiny % of the market, that the revenue loss from missing them would be insignificant, and if more people decide to go electric, or just buy more fuel efficient cars, we all win because air will be cleaner.
 
2013-07-07 03:05:24 PM  

Bigdogdaddy: TyrantII: Good?

Massachusetts infrastructure is in dire need of repairs after a decade of neglect (IE tax cuts that amounted to an average of $125/person/yr).  Now it's going to be even more expensive to fix.  Luckily interest rates are low, but to secure bonds they're going to show better revenue projections.

I know plenty of people living in Providence and NH and commute to Boston every day.  Time to move closer, or pay for all that use.

There's always public transportation.

Or, you could have "taxation without representation" like I do by working in another state and having to pay income tax in that state PLUS income tax in my state.  Once again, this will hurt the working stiff.  Screw those Massholes



My previous job had me commuting similar. $1500 a year in tolls, or loose an extra 1-2 hours a day taking back roads. Then they doubled the tolls. Actually ended up leaving that job because of it.
 
2013-07-07 03:06:00 PM  
 No immigration from Massachusetts to the rest of country.
 It should be declared a terrorist state and blockade.
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

// Which one had the higher body count ?
 
2013-07-07 03:09:04 PM  

Rat: Liberal problems.  Down here in the great state of Texas, we do in fact build toll roads, but the interstates are kept free.  If you're unhappy with the free interstate, there are a few places that have toll only lanes on the interstates that run a little faster.  Why is it we have this figured out?  Oh yeah, we're fiscally conservative.  We also like to drive 85 on our toll roads.

[i235.photobucket.com image 400x306]

© flame on


Given Texans habit of going 15 over, does that mean you can go 100?
 
2013-07-07 03:15:06 PM  

italie: Bigdogdaddy: TyrantII: Good?

Massachusetts infrastructure is in dire need of repairs after a decade of neglect (IE tax cuts that amounted to an average of $125/person/yr).  Now it's going to be even more expensive to fix.  Luckily interest rates are low, but to secure bonds they're going to show better revenue projections.

I know plenty of people living in Providence and NH and commute to Boston every day.  Time to move closer, or pay for all that use.

There's always public transportation.

Or, you could have "taxation without representation" like I do by working in another state and having to pay income tax in that state PLUS income tax in my state.  Once again, this will hurt the working stiff.  Screw those Massholes


My previous job had me commuting similar. $1500 a year in tolls, or loose an extra 1-2 hours a day taking back roads. Then they doubled the tolls. Actually ended up leaving that job because of it.


Yeah, and I buy most of my gasoline, groceries on the way home and whatever else I guy in the state I work in.  If I had to pay 1500 a year, I'd be changing jobs too.
 
2013-07-07 03:17:32 PM  

italie: Yeah...yeah, We've heard this routine plenty in Illinois. Just bend over and except the inevitable.

Tollway Authority: "We'll build this toll road, and make it free after 10 years when it's paid for"

[10 years later]

TA: "We need infrastructure repair, so lets keep the tolls around for a few years more, mkay? We'll keep the price the same for you as a thanks!"

[5 years later]

"Those repairs aren't going so well. Wee need to keep the tolls around for a few more years, and we're adding a few more tollbooths / on ramp booths. Not to worry though, NO PRICE INCREASE!"

[5 years later]

TA: "We lost 30 Million this year. We're going to have to double every toll. Suck it."

[5 years later]

Municipalities: " All the people avoiding your tolls are screwing up our roads. We're going to start taxing them too..."


That is not exclusive to Illinois.
 
2013-07-07 03:20:44 PM  

CokeBear: Why not just raise gas taxes? This is a whole lot of infrastructure to collect a bit more money. The infrastructure to collect gas taxes is already there.

Electric cars are such a tiny % of the market, that the revenue loss from missing them would be insignificant, and if more people decide to go electric, or just buy more fuel efficient cars, we all win because air will be cleaner.


Shup with your pesky "logical thinking"!

/fuel taxes need to go up, period
 
2013-07-07 03:23:06 PM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: I remember hearing the RI had to get rid of some of it's toll booths because all the possible routes were being tolled which isn't legal


Yes & no, and it's a long story, but I'll try to cut it down.

They replaced the Sakonnet Bridge, a 60 year old bridge that is one of three going to Aquidneck Island (the only one that's a full-fledged highway) and wanted to put tolls on it.  Most everyone on the island (which includes Newport, the state's cash cow) and on the east & north side of the island freaked out, east because they didn't want to pay to go over, and north because they realize once they put it in, EVERYONE would just take the Mount Hope Bridge (which is also the narrowest bridge and the only one that ties directly into town roads).  All of this on top of there being some legal precedent to say they could never put tolls on it anyway.  So they said they'd think about it.

But in the meantime, they already had put up the EZ Pass canopy, and the people who installed it freaked because they didn't want it installed for nothing.  So they're putting a ten cent toll on it starting in August until they figure out what the hell they're doing.  Either way, there will be no actual toll booths, and the state will mail people the bill (based on license plate pics) if they don't happen to have an EZ Pass transponder.

To say the whole situation is a clusterfark would be polite.  And to say Mass doing the same thing would touch off riots would also be an understatement.  They've spent years trying to decentralize Boston to the point that people live in RI and NH, and now they want to completely fark themselves over, all because they're over budget because half the state's cities are on farking welfare and the other half of the budget goes to lining certain pockets.
 
2013-07-07 03:25:24 PM  

WorldCitizen: Well, of course with Republicans having successfully rigged, er, gerrymandered so many of the state/House elections in their favor in so many states, of they want to be able to do the same to the Senate. Gerrymander the state for Republican state house wins. Get the laws changed back for that state house to appoint Senators. Modern Republican reactionaries able to drag the US back into the 1800s. Win!


WorldCitizen: Well, crap. Wrong thread. Fark really needs a post-edit function to cover my stupidity!


Ah... yeah. Of all the states to suspect Republicans to Gerrymander (despite the origin of the word), Blue MA isn't one.

/there are two parties: Democratic, and Blue-Dog Democratic
//the Republicans are just for show, like the Washington Generals
 
2013-07-07 03:26:11 PM  
Can't do that - it limits interstate commerce and amounts to a tariff on interstate trade. Feds won't let that sort of thing happen.
 
Rat
2013-07-07 03:31:23 PM  

MindStalker: Rat: Liberal problems.  Down here in the great state of Texas, we do in fact build toll roads, but the interstates are kept free.  If you're unhappy with the free interstate, there are a few places that have toll only lanes on the interstates that run a little faster.  Why is it we have this figured out?  Oh yeah, we're fiscally conservative.  We also like to drive 85 on our toll roads.

[i235.photobucket.com image 400x306]

© flame on

Given Texans habit of going 15 over, does that mean you can go 100?


Its not a habit so much as it is a time honored tradition.  We have those down here, and we watch some of them in paid for 60 million dollar high school football stadiums.

©
 
2013-07-07 03:33:34 PM  

Billy Bathsalt: TDBoedy: fine then stay out of Connecticut you giant pile of mass-holes!  *state troopers now to arrest all Massachusetts drivers in CT**also New Jersey just because*

I drive an extra hour or so to circumvent CT.  You're welcome.


good.
 
2013-07-07 03:33:35 PM  
Toll booths to fund highways? Not news.

You can go to http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/07/05/taxpayer-group-moves-r e in-software-tax/cqHzSqU0fpVWIAHimXtdJK/story.html and read about:

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation wants state legislators to revise a proposed broad new tax on computer design and software services that Governor Deval Patrick would use to pay for transportation improvements.

I'd say they're getting desperate. Why didn't they use the bazillions of our tax dollars to fix up the rest of the state instead of digging a tunnel under Boston?
 
2013-07-07 03:36:19 PM  

Mister Peejay: CokeBear: Why not just raise gas taxes? This is a whole lot of infrastructure to collect a bit more money. The infrastructure to collect gas taxes is already there.

Electric cars are such a tiny % of the market, that the revenue loss from missing them would be insignificant, and if more people decide to go electric, or just buy more fuel efficient cars, we all win because air will be cleaner.

Shup with your pesky "logical thinking"!

/fuel taxes need to go up, period


^^^^^THIS^^^^^

Every time this topic comes up I go mental because it causes a huge debate and discussion but EVERYONE misses the point.

Here's the real issue.  TOLLBOOTHS SUCK.  They make the roads inefficient and are a very costly way to collect money.  More than anything though, because toll booths are expensive (in cost, space, and people), you wind up with way fewer exits than make sense.  Mass Pike is a great example.... West of 128 there are 120 miles and only 15 exits.  Major roads and towns get passed right over, places where an exit would automatically go on a free road.  That's serious economic harm that NOBODY ever pays attention to.

Raise the gas tax, fire the tollbooth hacks, and let's end the silliness and get on with fixing the roads.

/Why yes, I do live in west-central MA
//And yes I realize that my kids' kids will be paying tolls on that farking road
 
2013-07-07 03:39:07 PM  

TyrantII: SDRR: soze: gunsmack: I'm sure that all tolls will be spent responsibly on aging infrastructure and not just blown on poorly thought out projects.

/ how's that "big dig" working out?

The Big Dig absolutely transformed the city in a positive way.  The outcome is something for any large public works project to aspire to.  How they financed it (and controlled it) blows.

Yea, don't forget to not skimp on the bolts though.

Would have never happened if the contractor used self-sealing stem bolts...


They traded them for some dirt
 
2013-07-07 03:48:43 PM  
farm9.staticflickr.com
 
2013-07-07 04:04:06 PM  
Tolls on the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges!

/comes up every few years
//Off-Cape traffic is backed up 25 miles @ 5mph right now
///Enjoy Your Stay!
 
2013-07-07 04:04:16 PM  
SDRR:

That is not exclusive to Illinois.


Never claimed it to be. Just saying we've heard it.
 
2013-07-07 04:07:11 PM  

Ambivalence: Dust: They gotta pay for the roads somehow.  It's currently gas taxes in most places that feed money into the maintenance projects, but with the advent of electric cars, they're going to need a new way to support our aging infrastructure.

Do roads get built without being paid for? The roads are already paid for but the government figures they can recoup losses by LEASING toll rights to a private company in exchange for a cut of the loot.

In essence, we the taxpayers are paying twice and some privately owned company (usually) is making a profit off it.


Federal law prohibits states from tolling existing interstates. There are a couple of pilot programs that allow states to charge tolls on interstates that are widened or rehabilitated, but it's a very limited program and so far as I know only Virginia has applied for one of the programs (and I think they later backed out). Now TFA did say the state bill says this tolling would take place only if future Federal rules concerning interstates changes, but I just don't see that happening any time soon.

And yes you are correct, tolling an existing interstate is similar to billing you twice for it, since the initial construction was paid for with gasoline tax money.  It's why there's little push to allow tolls on existing roads from anyone. Also, new technology eliminates the manned toll booths; cameras take snapshots of your license and they send you a bill for the use of the road, or sensors read a transponder in your car and deduct the cost out of a credit or debit card account.
 
2013-07-07 04:09:14 PM  
The toll has already been paid. Thanks Ted.
 Fark Massatwoshiats.

www.martinfrost.ws
 
2013-07-07 04:20:01 PM  
Not everyone wants to move to New Hampshire just to avoid paying sales tax.

One of the biggest problems with Massachusetts is that there's an infinite supply of entrenched Concerned Citizens willing to spend every spare moment in church basements drinking bad coffee to make sure no new housing gets built anywhere, ever, especially not close to where there are jobs.  As a result, for many people, sucking up a 2+ hour commute from another state is the only way to get housing they can afford.  Allowing infill housing and densification would solve a lot of this problem and be environmentally friendlier besides.

I absolutely love my 2.5 mile bicycle commute to work, as well as the job I started roughly six weeks ago.  Unfortunately keeping the combination of those two means that I will never be able to afford to own property so long as I work there.
 
2013-07-07 04:20:59 PM  
Oh yeah, that will help the State's traffic problem. I thought there were previous arguments in 2009-2010 to remove the tolls since they were actually losing money on the toll both personnel but the issue was they couldn't eliminate the tolls because the workers had unionized.

So make the traffic problem worse and add additional infrastructure to collect more tolls from people??

I'll just add this to the list of reasons why I refuse to live in the state of MA ever again.
 
2013-07-07 04:24:00 PM  

TyrantII: Good?

Massachusetts infrastructure is in dire need of repairs after a decade of neglect (IE tax cuts that amounted to an average of $125/person/yr).  Now it's going to be even more expensive to fix.  Luckily interest rates are low, but to secure bonds they're going to show better revenue projections.

I know plenty of people living in Providence and NH and commute to Boston every day.  Time to move closer, or pay for all that use.

There's always public transportation.


I commuted from Newport, RI to Concord, MA for a year 4x a week. Public Transportation was NOT possible since buses did not serve anywhere near my office complex. I could have taken the train into Concord but then be stranded at the train station or walk the 12 miles from there. Not happening on the winding roads of Concord.

If you want people to live in the state, establish reasonable rent rates. $2200 a month for a 1 Bedroom apt is NOT reasonable on ANY salary.
 
2013-07-07 04:32:59 PM  

MindStalker: Rat: Liberal problems.  Down here in the great state of Texas, we do in fact build toll roads, but the interstates are kept free.  If you're unhappy with the free interstate, there are a few places that have toll only lanes on the interstates that run a little faster.  Why is it we have this figured out?  Oh yeah, we're fiscally conservative.  We also like to drive 85 on our toll roads.

[i235.photobucket.com image 400x306]

© flame on

Given Texans habit of going 15 over, does that mean you can go 100?


Yes, but you have to balance your desire for speed vs. your braking ability in case there's a feral hog on the toll road.

/the more you know
 
2013-07-07 04:36:02 PM  
Coastalgrl:
If you want people to live in the state, establish reasonable rent rates. $2200 a month for a 1 Bedroom apt is NOT reasonable on ANY salary.

Christ, in the past I've paid half that amount as a mortgage note on a 3 bedroom house.

//There's your problem...etc.
 
2013-07-07 04:36:44 PM  

mesmer242: MindStalker: Rat: Liberal problems.  Down here in the great state of Texas, we do in fact build toll roads, but the interstates are kept free.  If you're unhappy with the free interstate, there are a few places that have toll only lanes on the interstates that run a little faster.  Why is it we have this figured out?  Oh yeah, we're fiscally conservative.  We also like to drive 85 on our toll roads.

[i235.photobucket.com image 400x306]

© flame on

Given Texans habit of going 15 over, does that mean you can go 100?

Yes, but you have to balance your desire for speed vs. your braking ability in case there's a feral hog on the toll road.

/the more you know


WRONG MORNA.  I CAN DRIVE AS FAST AS I farkING WANT
 
2013-07-07 04:47:07 PM  

Coastalgrl: Oh yeah, that will help the State's traffic problem. I thought there were previous arguments in 2009-2010 to remove the tolls since they were actually losing money on the toll both personnel but the issue was they couldn't eliminate the tolls because the workers had unionized.


That may be the excuse they gave but it's not the reason.  Collecting tolls is pretty much the definition of unskilled labor.  You could fire them all if they strike and hire replacements in a day.  The real reason is that toll takers are patronage jobs in Mass and thus politically protected.  Salary tops out at almost $100,000 / year which of course is ridiculous.


So make the traffic problem worse and add additional infrastructure to collect more tolls from people??

I'll just add this to the list of reasons why I refuse to live in the state of MA ever again.


Yup.
 
2013-07-07 05:00:41 PM  

Coastalgrl: Oh yeah, that will help the State's traffic problem. I thought there were previous arguments in 2009-2010 to remove the tolls since they were actually losing money on the toll both personnel but the issue was they couldn't eliminate the tolls because the workers had unionized.

So make the traffic problem worse and add additional infrastructure to collect more tolls from people??

I'll just add this to the list of reasons why I refuse to live in the state of MA ever again.


Don't you mean The Commonwealth of MA?

That commute from Newport, RI to Concord, MA had to be a real pain in the ass. The highest I've paid for rent in MA is $1900 a month for a 1 BR but I was sitting right on the charles so it was definitely worth it.
 
2013-07-07 05:02:27 PM  

italie: Coastalgrl:
If you want people to live in the state, establish reasonable rent rates. $2200 a month for a 1 Bedroom apt is NOT reasonable on ANY salary.

Christ, in the past I've paid half that amount as a mortgage note on a 3 bedroom house.

//There's your problem...etc.


Eh I solved the problem by quitting my job and moving to FL. Which has other issues but my rent is now $650 and stress levels way down. Not the fanciest place Ive lived but certainly not the worst either.

What really got me were the places that were charging $1800 had the smoke alarms hanging from wires, obvious mold and rot present, your basic flea trap. The ones in the $2200 and above range were 1 bedroom relatively recent construction. Oh wait, you have a car, that will be another $50 a month. Oh, you would like to do laundry, that's a required $100 card per month etc. By the time you were said and done, expenses to the apt directly, were $2500 and up.

I worked for the military as a civilian and got transferred to MS for a year. As a civilian, I had to pay my own relocation costs. I came back to MA after my detail was up and actually looked at my old apartment. Same management company, same building etc. In 2009-2010: Rent was $1150. By the time I came back in 2011 August, Rent for the same 1 bedroom was $2300. Since I was civilian, I did not get any relocation costs but I at least can deduct it on the taxes. So I moved back to RI where I went to school because it was cheaper for me to drive the 2 hrs in and 2 hrs out than it was to live anywhere near the office. It also felt like home to me. I hope to never commute like that again but the drive kept me sane and it also kept me on a strict schedule at the office. No actually I can't hang around for you, I need to be on the road by 3:30pm. I was on the road by 4:45 am and home by 6pm or so.

Leaving and taking a 75% paycut was the best decision Ive ever made.
 
2013-07-07 05:04:45 PM  
A couple points here:

1 It's not like New Hampshire doesn't rape you with their toll on 95.  Oh there's a discount for people who live in NH so yeah it's a scumbag thing for the state to do.  (There's a discount on ez pass and a discount to NH residents to get the pass so yes there is a discount for NH residents.)

2  The Big Dig had to be done.  It replaced temporary road surfaces that ended up being used for half a century.  It also did in fact cut down on congestion for about a week before people realized how much easier and nicer it was to be able to drive in verses take the T or live in a hovel.  Even 5 million dollar mansions on the hill are rat and roach infested.  And don't get me started about having to sit next to people on public transportation who smell like pee.
 
2013-07-07 05:12:13 PM  

dasc: A couple points here:

1 It's not like New Hampshire doesn't rape you with their toll on 95.  Oh there's a discount for people who live in NH so yeah it's a scumbag thing for the state to do.  (There's a discount on ez pass and a discount to NH residents to get the pass so yes there is a discount for NH residents.)


I have heard far worse stories about New Hampshires property tax, I saw a lot of people have to move because of changes they would make to your zone, estimated property value and other things.

2  The Big Dig had to be done.  It replaced temporary road surfaces that ended up being used for half a century.  It also did in fact cut down on congestion for about a week before people realized how much easier and nicer it was to be able to drive in verses take the T or live in a hovel.  Even 5 million dollar mansions on the hill are rat and roach infested.  And don't get me started about having to sit next to people on public transportation who smell like pee.

The Big Dig did have to be done, it was your standard government project where the initial estimate is one tenth the final cost. It was a difficult project to bury I-93 while still keeping it running. It was all worth it though for the Ted Williams tunnel!
 
2013-07-07 05:22:32 PM  

Coastalgrl: italie: Coastalgrl:
If you want people to live in the state, establish reasonable rent rates. $2200 a month for a 1 Bedroom apt is NOT reasonable on ANY salary.

Christ, in the past I've paid half that amount as a mortgage note on a 3 bedroom house.

//There's your problem...etc.

Eh I solved the problem by quitting my job and moving to FL. Which has other issues but my rent is now $650 and stress levels way down. Not the fanciest place Ive lived but certainly not the worst either.

Leaving and taking a 75% paycut was the best decision Ive ever made.


You'll be back.  They always are.  FL is nice until you realize it's Florida.  It has it own Fark tag for a reason.  Unless you;re making Massachusetts sorts of money, FL is a real buzzkill once it sets in.

Totally agree with you and the other poster.  State needs to tell NIMBYs and rich assholes to frak off and build a ton more, denser housing.  The commonwealth is losing the next generation to cheaper states because they can't afford to raise families here, and once the Boomers die off that's going to mean huge economic and tax revenue problems.  We need to keep as many MA educated people here as possible, and the lack of housing is instead driving them away.
 
2013-07-07 05:27:05 PM  
"Interstate tolls being studied..."

LOL!
 
2013-07-07 06:05:16 PM  

TyrantII: You'll be back.  They always are.  FL is nice until you realize it's Florida.  It has it own Fark tag for a reason.  Unless you;re making Massachusetts sorts of money, FL is a real buzzkill once it sets in.

Totally agree with you and the other poster.  State needs to tell NIMBYs and rich assholes to frak off and build a ton more, denser housing.  The commonwealth is losing the next generation to cheaper states because they can't afford to raise families here, and once the Boomers die off that's going to mean huge economic and tax revenue problems.  We need to keep as many MA educated people here as possible, and the lack of housing is instead driving them away.


So what you are saying is this all goes back to the Kennedys?
 
2013-07-07 06:07:19 PM  

soze: gunsmack: soze: gunsmack: I'm sure that all tolls will be spent responsibly on aging infrastructure and not just blown on poorly thought out projects.

/ how's that "big dig" working out?

The Big Dig absolutely transformed the city in a positive way.  The outcome is something for any large public works project to aspire to.  How they financed it (and controlled it) blows.

I was referring more to the 100% cost overrun, subsequent collapse with a fatality.

From a project management perspective, it's very difficult to cost estimate projects that have never been done before so I get the reason for *some*, though not *all*, of the overrun.  The actual waste is quite irritating from a governance perspective, and it's costing us big time in the ability to expand our T lines as was originally proposed.  The Green Line expansion out to Somerville is starting this year though, so that should be really cool.

If I recall, the fatality wasn't a collapse; it was a concrete panel dropping because of an adhesive failure on its boltings.  Yes, quite bad, but not exactly a tunnel collapse.


Heh, guy I know did a night in a south shore jail, years ago, waiting on a court case.  One of his group of cellmates was in for, allegedly, swiping about $100,000 from the Big Dig.  He'd been caught, but wasn't too upset; he was getting probation, and was being forced to repay about $50,000 in fines and restitution.

No, you read those numbers right.
 
2013-07-07 06:49:59 PM  
Keep it simple.
No annoying tolls, keep using that gasoline tax, it's simple, baked-in the price per gallon and you already have the paper-pushers you need to administer it. It's way less intrusive, and all you'll lose out on the hatred of those that view government as a wasteful, lazy farks that only care about taking care of their peers, and ignore the people that actually create wealth and only pay attention at election time..
Electric cars are much lighter, and don't tear up the roads as much as even a modest gas, propane or diesel-powered vehicle. In addition, if you are using fossil fuel the generate the electricity, the pollution is much less of a hassle to deal with than 1000,000's of cars.  Or, there's relatively pollution-free, wind, tidal and nuclear and Hydro.
Governments need to reward those that don't use fossil fuels, not to soak everyone with tolls. And of course, governments should just stop being so goddamn entitled and greedy.  You boys in suits need to sacrifice too.  (like that would ever happen)
 
2013-07-07 07:47:37 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: Keep it simple.
No annoying tolls, keep using that gasoline tax, it's simple, baked-in the price per gallon and you already have the paper-pushers you need to administer it. It's way less intrusive, and all you'll lose out on the hatred of those that view government as a wasteful, lazy farks that only care about taking care of their peers, and ignore the people that actually create wealth and only pay attention at election time..
Electric cars are much lighter, and don't tear up the roads as much as even a modest gas, propane or diesel-powered vehicle. In addition, if you are using fossil fuel the generate the electricity, the pollution is much less of a hassle to deal with than 1000,000's of cars.  Or, there's relatively pollution-free, wind, tidal and nuclear and Hydro.
Governments need to reward those that don't use fossil fuels, not to soak everyone with tolls. And of course, governments should just stop being so goddamn entitled and greedy.  You boys in suits need to sacrifice too.  (like that would ever happen)


A gas guzzler from the 70s is also much lighter, a lot of the weight in a car comes from all the airbags, sensors, electronics. I don't see how you can pair the engine type to the amount they "tear up the roads". The weather, type of tires, driving skill are much bigger factors. If you had an electric pickup truck with chains on the tires that is going to do a lot more damage. A topic that is pretty much never discussed is the biggest waste of power which is the electricity distribution. If you have a wind farm in the middle of nowhere a lot of that power is going to be lost in the power grid getting it to the consumers.
 
2013-07-07 08:00:46 PM  

dasc: A couple points here:

1 It's not like New Hampshire doesn't rape you with their toll on 95.  Oh there's a discount for people who live in NH so yeah it's a scumbag thing for the state to do.  (There's a discount on ez pass and a discount to NH residents to get the pass so yes there is a discount for NH residents.)

2  The Big Dig had to be done.  It replaced temporary road surfaces that ended up being used for half a century.  It also did in fact cut down on congestion for about a week before people realized how much easier and nicer it was to be able to drive in verses take the T or live in a hovel.  Even 5 million dollar mansions on the hill are rat and roach infested.  And don't get me started about having to sit next to people on public transportation who smell like pee.


My addendums (addenda?) to what you said:
1. A large portion of the people coming from NH to work in Boston live in the Salem area, along I-93.  No toll there (unless you're a glutton for punishment and are coming from above Hooksett).  And the Everett (what Route 3 turns into after Nashua) has a work-around that only adds maybe thirty seconds to your commute to avoid the Bedford toll.  Not that I'm telling people what it is, but it's pretty damned easy to figure out.

2. While the Big Dig helped traffic within downtown Boston itself, there are still problems that, thanks to a lack of foresight in the 1950s, are almost impossible to solve now.  Namely, the lack of lanes (or a true HOV lane, for that matter) coming southbound into the city and the lack of a dedicated HOV lane on the Expressway.  Because the highway can't be expanded from eight to nine lanes on the Expressway, or at all on the decks through Charlestown & Somerville, the Big Dig will always be akin to Kramer's two lane highway idea.
 
2013-07-07 08:08:21 PM  

TyrantII: Coastalgrl: italie: Coastalgrl:
If you want people to live in the state, establish reasonable rent rates. $2200 a month for a 1 Bedroom apt is NOT reasonable on ANY salary.

Christ, in the past I've paid half that amount as a mortgage note on a 3 bedroom house.

//There's your problem...etc.

Eh I solved the problem by quitting my job and moving to FL. Which has other issues but my rent is now $650 and stress levels way down. Not the fanciest place Ive lived but certainly not the worst either.

Leaving and taking a 75% paycut was the best decision Ive ever made.

You'll be back.  They always are.  FL is nice until you realize it's Florida.  It has it own Fark tag for a reason.  Unless you;re making Massachusetts sorts of money, FL is a real buzzkill once it sets in.

Totally agree with you and the other poster.  State needs to tell NIMBYs and rich assholes to frak off and build a ton more, denser housing.  The commonwealth is losing the next generation to cheaper states because they can't afford to raise families here, and once the Boomers die off that's going to mean huge economic and tax revenue problems.  We need to keep as many MA educated people here as possible, and the lack of housing is instead driving them away.


Sorry for the slow response. Went to the beach for some air and sun.

For my particular set of skills, I actually have way more job opportunities and work down here in FL than in MA. In MA, I was always struggling for work to keep me busy or it was too much all at once. TPTB actually wanted me re-trained for something else which would have led me down a path that I didnt want to go. Hopefully I can stay here. I have at least another 3-4 before I finish my Doctorate. Then I'll figure things out.
 
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