Tag Archives: toll

You are not Luke Skywalker

You are not trying to destroy the death star. You should not be driving through the toll booth at 60 MPH. I hope this happens so I can laugh at you. I’m so glad you’re approaching from behind and swerved around me to the next open lane so you’re not gonna ruin my morning commute.

Flying over the toll booth

Flying over the toll booth

As you can see below, the traffic lanes become narrower at the toll plaza with large beefy guardrails in place. The toll plaza was designed to slow down and stop traffic because they were designed to accept exact change, but TxDOT converted all cash toll plazas to TxTag lanes without removing the guardrails. A standard traffic lane is 12 feet wide. The narrowed lanes are probably 9 or 10 feet wide. A standard sedan is about 6 feet wide. Yeah, it’s close. Good going guys.

Tollbooth

Tollbooth

As long as I’m complaining about the toll booths, this isn’t fkn Wal-Mart! Open up ALL the lanes instead of that one lane. It’s not like an attendant is needed anymore since you aren’t accepting cash. Put some tag and plate readers and roll in the dough y’all!

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Toll Roads

I support toll roads. They are a good idea under one condition: there is a free alternative to get to the same place. Whenever I take the toll road in Austin or in Dallas, it is never packed. Traffic flows smoothly and is very sparse. I will gladly pay $0.75 to travel on the road less traveled. The free alternative must exist because otherwise it’s extortion. We all have options and most people will deal with traffic on the free alternative (for example, IH-35). As much as I am a cheap-ass, I feel $0.75 is a fair price to pay to not deal with the mobile parking lot (like IH-35).

What is not a fair price to pay is $5. Crossing some of the bridges in the San Francisco and surrounding bay area costs $5. There are no free alternatives; you just suck it up and pay the toll. Ok, so there must be a toll, but $5 is just too much. But then again, that’s California for you charging exorbitant prices for everything. It’s very funny that the people I’ve talked to in Austin complain about a $0.75 toll (which you wouldn’t even have to pay by driving on the frontage road) and are absolutely floored when I say I had to pay $5 to cross a bridge.

What’s pretty awesome now is that some of the tollways in Texas are all electronic which means no tollbooths to stop at. They take a picture of your car and license plate and mail you a bill. You don’t need a transponder, but you get a hefty discount on the toll rate if you open an account and get a transponder. No more needing to stop, dig for change, and throw it into a basket (although it was kind of sporting to do so). The tollbooth is on the way to be on the endangered species list with payphones and video rental stores, but toll roads are here to stay.