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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Road trip: Norristown, Pennsylvania

My next stop was in Pennsylvania, with my brother Skip. He lives in Norristown, near Valley Forge. The drive from the DC area is fairly short, but the highway tolls are amazingly high. One toll was $8, and the others were $2 or $3. I spent about $20 in tolls on a four hour trip. Only the northeast has these tolls. I drove from Florida to Spokane without paying a single toll. And of course the lack of tolls corresponds to better roads. Paying seems to guarantee patched junk.

Several years ago the governor of New Jersey was interviewed about the huge traffic jams at the tollbooths on roads like the Garden State Freeway. New Jersey doesn't have a ticket system. Traffic comes to a dead stop all across the highway, then starts up again. The design is stupid, to say the least. At the time, tolls for commercial traffic were being lowered in the night hours as an incentive to truck drivers to shift their schedules to low-traffic hours. Several other schemes were discussed, but the sensible solution was never mentioned. Tear down the booths. and let traffic flow freely.

Copyright 2006

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