Friday, September 26, 2008

E-Z Pass & Newport's Pell Bridge

e Newport Daily News has an editorial that will give you the lowdown on $ for bridge crossings. What they DON'T say is that this is all a come-on. You know the deal- low costs, no interest, no fees. And in little tiny print- good for 90 days.

We'll be lucky if the prices for bridges crossings even last that long.

From Newport's Mayor Waluk: “Our economy is based on big businesses with people who do travel here (to work), so we need a discounted commuter rate,” said Waluk, who is one of the five authority members.

Well, duh. You were the one who introduced the plan as a motion to the Bridge & Transit Authority back in the summer. Did you forget to read it? The "hold-on one a minute" seems a bit disingenous, to say the least. This also makes me less inclined to believe the comments he & others made recently regarding the enormous contract pay increases awarded to the current Town Admin. in Newport. It's this kind of - gee, we can't give you enough- that rouses many ires. Then we get the comment pablum amounting to: "Because we say so." And you wonder why city workers demand more? Prime example. But I don't vote in MNewport (although, my family does pay taxes there).

So who did speak-up about the bridge pass system & demand a mulligan? Oh, yes, that was Sen. Theresa Paiva-Weed, Deb. Ruggiero & Bruce Long. I think that Ruggiero may have been more instrumental than Long, but I'm not going to debate the point because- I don't care! They're not my reps & its results that count. In others words, both the latter are candidates & others are the deciders- not me.

Why this system anyway? Evidently the token system is becoming outdated with replacement parts becoming difficult to obtain (although this is on the Authority's say-so. I found no actual facts either way). It is also hoped that this system will "entice" more users, although I think this is a "Hail Mary" pass.

It would be interesting to ask state/local candidates on where they stand on these "user fees" which is what this is. I'm agin 'em. And this is a prime example of why. Newport is R.I.'s jewel. We bring them $- lots of it! The bridge should be a state cost- bottom line.

But that's a topic for another day. My friend over at has a recent article up on this topic (roads, bridges, infrastructure & how its funded). Tom Sgouros writes statewide for a number of papers, but don't look for this column in the "Daily News." They have their handful of reporters & buy national columnists. They also already have their token liberal. No room (or $) for poor old Tom.
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