Tollbooths are becoming much more common sites along American roadways, and as more states look for ways to fund transportation infrastructure investment, toll plazas will ...
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, Robert Poole, head of the libertarian Reason Foundation, argues that we should get rid of tollbooths altogether -- but his argument isn't what you might think.
Americans are going to be driving on toll roads a lot more in the years ahead. One of the least pleasant experiences of this form of travel is the toll booth. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can, if we want, get rid of every toll booth and toll plaza in the country.
Technology is leading the way. First came windshield-mounted transponders, like the Northeast's E-ZPass, Florida's SunPass and California's FasTrak. Transponders were first introduced merely to speed up passage through toll booths. Then engineers figured out they worked fine at highway speeds, and that plazas could be eliminated for "open-road" tolling of vehicles with transponders. Only cash-payers, off to the side, would have to queue up. This transformation has been completed on the Illinois Tollway system and is under way on Florida's Turnpike and a number of others....
Why do away with toll booths? No more delays, accidents and pollution caused by long lines of waiting cars. No more need for large swathes of land for toll plazas, making it possible to fit toll roads into tight corridors where congestion relief is needed. Lower payroll costs, no buildings and no cash "shrinkage" (i.e., theft) by collectors.
It's an interesting argument. Tollbooths eat up land, increase air pollution by slowing down traffic, and cause inefficient bottlenecks.
Plus, if we did away with tollbooths -- no more fumbling around for enough change to make $1.75!
Image via Flickr, from jvx2
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Why It's Hard to See Progress in State Governments' Environmental Efforts5 hours ago
Budget Stalemate Cripples Illinois Government5 hours ago
Billions in Property Tax Giveaways Strain Las Vegas Jails7 hours ago
Supreme Court Will Hear California Anti-Union Case7 hours ago
Jerry Brown Signs Strict New Vaccination Law8 hours ago
Gay Marriage Decision Prompts South Dakota County Clerk to Say She'll Marry Her Dog8 hours ago