An Updated List of Toll Facilities Which Exhibit And Cause Heavy Traffic Problems
Last Modified: 03/11/2013
This list is intended to provide a consolidated reference to a series of posts, messages, and other observations as to some of the many negative effects caused by tolling and toll stations.
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Although the premise behind tolling roads, rather than permitting state funds and gas tax revenue to pay for infrastructure that benefits both motorists and non-motorists alike, tolling certain road projects has been used as a means to rapidly finance sai d project so that it may be completed in a more holistic and prompt manner than in an ad-hoc fashion as funds become available from more traditional revenue sources. Thus, the "benefit" of tolls expatiated in favor of tolls has always been the promise to quickly complete a road project paid for exclusively by said tolls and, upon the competion of said project and the subsequent retiring of its debt, the prompt and automatic removal of the tolls which financed it. Thus the short term traffic congest ion and per-motorist expense would be strictly temporary and immediately off-set by future convenience.
In practice, however, these are promises that have been broken countless times as legislators have shown themselves quick to understand and exploit this new revenue stream. Perhaps best of all, politicians can increase toll rates at virtually any time wit hout having to take the career risk of proposing tax hikes.
These tolls, ostensibly collected to maintain the road system, are frequently used elsewhere. Thus many toll roads are in poor condition and, despite exorbitant toll rates, the governing toll authority does not have the necessary funds to effectuate repai rs and maintenance as the funds collected from tolls have been dispersed to other projects.
Finally, toll plazas frequently slow traffic down to a virtual crawl, particularly during rush hour, putting the lie to the theory that toll roads somehow ease traffic. This page is intended to document occurences of such phenomena.
For a more detailed discussion as to the deleterious effects of tolls, please click here.
Please feel free to submit your experiences which are of a specific nature relevant to this list, so that we may provide a more comprehensive and complete listing of similar problems. Contact information for this list is provided at the end of this page.< p> Additionally, if you feel that an item is incorrect, please let us know the specifics of your experiences in the given station and/or with the given issue so we can verify and, if needed, update the list accordingly.
Hutchinson River Parkway, Bronx County, NYC: Heavy traffic is regularly observed on the Hutchinson River Parkway northbound immediately after crossing under I-95. The cause of this could be that motorists en route to the state of Connecticut frequentl y detour onto the Hutchinson River Parkway to avoid paying the toll on I-95. This, again, is an example of how tolls can grossly distort traffic patterns. The situation is made worse by the fact that the Cross County Parkway transition ramps onto the Hutc hinson River Parkway were never properly built. It is common for traffic to bottleneck in the exit/entrance lanes as motorists on the freeway attempt to exit while motorists from the service road attempt to merge within the same lane. If there were no tol ls on I-95, fewer people would drive on the Hutchinson River Parkway and would instead drive on I-95.
Whitestone Bridge Tolls, Bronx County, NYC: I-678 southbound approaching the Whitestone Bridge. Heavy traffic is regularly observed for over two miles north of the Whitestone Bridge Bronx toll plaza while heading south. At times, this traffic volume c an be seen backed up all the way to the Hutchinson River Parkway at the Westchester/Bronx County line. The photographs below were taken on a variety of dates, both weekend and weekday which indicate the severity of the problem and how tolls and the toll p laza itself frustrate the speedy and environmental procession of traffic.
08/17/2011: Opposite traffic backed up on I-678 south, a half mile north of the Queens-bound toll plaza.
08/20/2011: The same position as above but from a different angle and on a different date.
09/03/2011: Same position as above but two weeks later.
09/30/2011: Hutchison River Parkway at approximately 5:30pm. Traffic to the left heading southbound approximately 1.5 miles north of the Whitestone Bridge Tolls, easing out under the public school (white building which crosses over the Hutchison River Par kway in the background).
Throgg's Neck Bridge, Bronx County, NYC: I-295 southbound approaching the Throgg's Neck Bridge. Heavy traffic is regularly observed for two miles north of the Throgg's Neck Bridge toll plaza. At times, this traffic volume can be seen backed all the wa y to the Bruckner interchange.
09/28/2011: I-295 southbound, south of the Bruckner interchange with I-278 and I-295 heading toward the Throgg's Neck Bridge toll plaza. Traffic on the opposite of where the photo was taken is heading south along I-295 just south of the Bruckner inter change with I-295. This photo was taken approximately two miles north of the Throgg's Neck Bridge toll plaza, and as the three lanes of traffic pictured to the left have to merge with Long Island-bound traffic from southbound I-95 (not pictured here) alon g I-695 (a short interstate segment connecting southbound I-95 with the Throgg's Neck Bridge/I-295), motorists frequently experience an even longer delay as a result of three lanes of traffic from I-695 being forced to merge and cross over in order to pay their tolls.
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Last modified and ©: 03/11/2013