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Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

A small stretch of Interstate I-95 runs through New Hampshire, along the seacoast. It's a toll road, and it gets jammed nearly every weekend. No, make that JAMMED. Fridays it starts filling up around noonish on the northbound side, and at the end of the weekend it's just the same heading south. And it's even worse on holiday weekends like this one. Traffic has been known to back up for literally hours from the toll booths.

Last summer New Hampshire's governor found himself stuck in one such jam. After taking nearly four hours to travel to travel just a few miles, Governor Craig Benson (co-founder of Cabletron, now called Enterasys, the networking company) decided something had to be done. And since he is the governor, after all, something WOULD be done.

The state tried a rather novel experiment. For the rest of the summer they shifted two-thirds of the lanes to northbound only, leaving the southbound traffic only four lanes. Then they doubled the tolls on the northbound side (to $2.00) and eliminated them on the southbound side entirely. Overall revenues did take a bit of a hit, as some travelers just started bypassing the toll stretch of the highway, but overall the traffic situation improved a bit. Benson decided to try it again this summer.

Last Friday, around noonish, I got to try out the new system. It took a while to get through the tolls going north, but not as bad as it had been in the past. And on my way back, as I blasted through the toll gates at over 50 MPH (past the "SPEED LIMIT 20 MPH") sign), I couldn't help but think to myself:

"If Sonny Corleone had lived in New Hampshire, he'd quite possibly be still alive today."

J.


Comments (9)

I once proposed a commercia... (Below threshold)

I once proposed a commercial to the EZ Pass folks with the same idea... Sonny Corleone approaching the tollboth, switching to the EZ Pass lane, and driving right through with the transponder tallying up the fare.

Lair, for as long as I've b... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Lair, for as long as I've been reading you (and that's quite a while), I've known you for being one of the most sick, twisted, evil, disgusting, and disturbed individuals I've ever encountered.

You have absolutely no idea how much it troubles me that you and I shared a similar idea. No idea whatsoever.

(shudder)

J.

(But if James Caan needs the money...)

unrelated alert from the AP... (Below threshold)
tony:

unrelated alert from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry, was taken to a hospital in Iowa
for tests Saturday evening and released, the Kerry campaign said.


for anyone that cares to notice...

Tony,Did they ment... (Below threshold)

Tony,

Did they mention any booing Republicans?

I am sure these hospital vi... (Below threshold)
Neo:

I am sure these hospital visits are nothing more than an attempt by the Democrats to distract us after the RNC bounce Bush got. First Clinton and now Tootsie Heinz-Kerry

That's all it is. I expect to see Daily Show commercials making fun of *this* situation as well. Of course, I won't be holding my breath waiting to see one.

I'm not going to make a rem... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I'm not going to make a remark regarding "Tootsie" or "Sonny Corleone" because I'm laughing too hard!!! I hate the damn tolls, they drive me nuts. If someone has never been here before I have them come up through Hampton, to Dover and Route 4 west, then 125 north. I'll get a call 3-5 hours later: "I'm still stuck at the tolls or on Dover Bridge." Everybody wants to come up here Friday nights, leave Sunday nights, all seasons, and it really gets inconvenient for those of us who live here. I never have any idea till I get there how many tokens if any I will need. But thanks for making me laugh.
~C

By now I'm sure you've all ... (Below threshold)
tony:

By now I'm sure you've all seen the video or heard more about the story, but she did look pretty rough. Puffy faced and a bit sweaty. Not to make light of a mystery illness, but the look and symptoms (she went to the hospital with an upset stomach) point to possible food poisoning.

Wouldn't that be too bad if they weren't boiling the lobsters well enough? I had Wendy's for dinner, and I feel fine. *grin*

Re: T-H-K...perhaps it was... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Re: T-H-K...perhaps it was her stinky cheese sandwich with onions.

I keep suggesting that we s... (Below threshold)
Rollerball:

I keep suggesting that we split it up to make it more fair: on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings, toll just the northbound side. On saturday evenings, Sundays and Mondays, toll just the southbound side. And on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, toll both ways. Now isn't that fair? :)




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