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Old 05-27-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
Merrymeeting
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Default Silly EZ Pass policies

Because of a family obligation, we left the lake earlier than usual yesterday. As I feared, we hit the holiday traffic at the Hampton toll booth, with the backup before the booths stretching for miles.

I expected this given the holiday. I didn't expect the cause.

When we finally arrived at the toll booth, there was 1 (one, uno, un, eins) EZ Pass line open! All the signs leading up said to stay in the middle laneS for EZ Pass. Then you get there and it is one lane! Guess which lane had the longest line?

Yes, they had lanes on either side that were "Cash or EZ Pass". But I don't get this logic at all. The cash paying customers stop so those with EZ Pass must too. I've seen so many close accidents because of the uncertainty as to whether the car in front is going through or not. As I understand it, all lanes are "Cash or EZ Pass", so why the need for special ones designated as such? There must have been 12-15 cash lanes.

Then add in the confusion/congestion caused by those who realize they are in the wrong lane, and it becomes comical.

The use of EZ Pass helps everyone by getting more cars through in a shorter time, making the backups shorter for all. Whether you use EZ Pass or not, wouldn't it make more sense to have a few more lanes open, especially on a holiday weekend?

Last edited by Merrymeeting; 05-27-2008 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:59 PM   #2
Winni P
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Default EZ Pass/Cash Lanes

I have never understood the logic behind combining these two options into one lane - defeats the purpose doesn't it? IMO it is an accident waiting to happen. I think they should open up more EZ Pass ONLY lanes.
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:13 PM   #3
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Default The problem

Merrymeeting quote "wouldn't it make more sense" If politicians and government workers in general used common sense, we would not have most of the problems now in existence.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:34 PM   #4
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Default Exactly!

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Originally Posted by islandAl View Post
Merrymeeting quote "wouldn't it make more sense" If politicians and government workers in general used common sense, we would not have most of the problems now in existence.
Great comment!
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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Default The real scoop

Are you ready for this? Get a pencil. The way it was supposed to work was the right lanes (depending on toll booth size) was for CASH only, hence the personel to make change. The center was for E Z Pass only and the left lanes were for EZ Pass and exact change (remember the coin baskets?) Then when the tolls were raised to a dollar people couldn't stuff bills into the basket. So what did the State do?! Tore out the change baskets and HIRED MORE PEOPLE TO MAN THE EXACT CHANGE LANES!!! And yet they left them EZ Pass combo lanes. This is your highway dollars at work. My God!! Larry, Moe and Curley are running the DOT!
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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Default

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Originally Posted by Aquadeziac View Post
My God!! Larry, Moe and Curley are running the DOT!
Aquadeziac,

I agree with your overall assessment, but I also think that from what I am hearing the three stooges would do a much better job!

On a serious note, this is complete governmental inefficiency, wasteful government at its worst. I hope that, in the interest of tax and toll payers, they can find a way to make things much more efficient. This is completely nuts!

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Old 05-27-2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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Default

If this were a private business it would be Easy pass for lanes 1 2 and 3 so we could stay away from the lane shifters and avoid the traffic dependent reconfiguration.

The next group of 1-2 lanes would be for non exact change. This would be managed to always have a line to encourage use of ezpass or quarters.

The next 1-2 would be for 4 quarters in the basket depending on traffic.

The goal would be to reduce the number of humans to 1.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:44 AM   #8
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Default this isn't new..

The three lanes being changed to one lane situation at Hampton is not new. It is always done both north and south when there is an expected large volume of traffic such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.
Unfortunately, the majority of people don't have the EZ Pass transponders so in order to move the most traffic possible they have to change 2 of them to both cash and EZ Pass. I've always thought that the placement of the EZ Pass lanes at Hampton was ridiculous. It should be either far left or far right. It never ceases to amaze me how people just don't pay attention to the purple "EZ Pass ONLY No Cash" signs and don't even realize it until they are sitting in the toll booth looking for an attendant!!

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Old 05-28-2008, 07:13 AM   #9
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Default Behind the Times

As Usual New Englanders are behind the times. I marvel at how easy it is to pay tolls using the transponder systems when I travel south. In NY, NJ, DE, MD and even VA, the roads have been redesigned around the booths to allow for high speed transponder lanes. You don't even slow down.
Special lanes keep you moving and they really nail the toll avoiders as well. I have seen many marked patrols with cars on the side of the road before the merge back to the travel lanes.
The high speed system is definitely needed at Hampton and Hookset, as well as up in Maine. Massachusetts, not so much outside of the 128 belt as the exits are isolated from the traffic lanes.
If you have to pay tolls, you should not be inconvenienced if you are using the transponder.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default

Count me among those that fail to understand the genius in the current EZPass implementation. Oh, how I don't miss seeing cars perpendicular to the flow of traffic trying to negotiate their entry into the EZPass Only lanes from a "combo" lane. (So glad I gave up that commute...).

EZPass is still relatively new. High Speed EZPass -- who knows if that will ever see the light of day. But the real crime is the lack of incentive to get people to adopt electronic toll collection.

I believe the stats are something like 9 cents on the dollar to collect a toll electronically vs. manually. But then you add the State and Unions into the mix and you get a legislative body trying to keep manual jobs around, charging for transponders and creating a barrier to adoption of the very technology, that if adopted, would be paying for itself over and over again. The result: We still have the backups, congestion, accidents and pollution associated with the long delays in Hampton.

But at least EZPass costs more than tokens did.
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #11
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Why are there signs for "EZ Pass - middle lane" on a 2-lane highway? (Spaulding Tpk) There IS no middle lane! The signs are an invitation for EZ Pass drivers to approach the toll plaza straddling the line.

The solution is to have EZ Pass accepted at ALL lanes, as I've seen on the Maine Tpk in South Portland. That would eliminate all the last-second lane changing by EZ Pass drivers trying to find an open lane.
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #12
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Thumbs down ugh,,,

Driving home saturday thru hampton tolls we saw a nissan pathfinder trying to back out of the easy pass lane..... Now I agree with the placement of those lanes being ridiculous in the middle of the whole mess but that doesnt thats no excuse for being an idiot and not reading the signs!
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:33 PM   #13
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All of Hooksett's lane are EZ-pass lanes also.Aren't there more than 2 lanes at the Spaulding toll plaza?If so that would account for the "middle" lane signs.
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:39 PM   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justenuff View Post
As Usual New Englanders are behind the times. I marvel at how easy it is to pay tolls using the transponder systems when I travel south. In NY, NJ, DE, MD and even VA, the roads have been redesigned around the booths to allow for high speed transponder lanes. You don't even slow down.
Special lanes keep you moving and they really nail the toll avoiders as well. I have seen many marked patrols with cars on the side of the road before the merge back to the travel lanes.
The high speed system is definitely needed at Hampton and Hookset, as well as up in Maine. Massachusetts, not so much outside of the 128 belt as the exits are isolated from the traffic lanes.
If you have to pay tolls, you should not be inconvenienced if you are using the transponder.
I agree to a point:

The Mass Turnpike actually is not behind the times as you say. They have two lanes in Brighton with no booth just an overhead sign. These lanes are the furthest over to the right. I would love to see NH adopt that policy. I'm shocked to see MA do something right and NH do it wrong.
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIKSUKR View Post
All of Hooksett's lane are EZ-pass lanes also.Aren't there more than 2 lanes at the Spaulding toll plaza?If so that would account for the "middle" lane signs.
It's a little hard to describe the setup. The Spaulding is only 2 lanes at the point where the "Middle Lane EZ Pass only" signs are placed. It remains 2 lanes right up until maybe 150 yards before the toll booths. Then it opens out to as many as 4 open toll "booths" - the number of open booths changes depending on traffic. Those last 150 yards are a free-for-all.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:02 AM   #16
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Default Maine Turnike EZ-Pass

Went up to Wells Maine last Saturday and as Merrymeeting noted the Hampton EZ-Pass is ridiculous. Maine Turnpike had the EZ-PAss only on the two outside lanes. This was a piece of cake, no trouble at all, no cars cutting across. You either stay on the inside or outside lane going in. I would put two outside lanes though. Probably having 10 or so lanes each way makes it a lot easier. Still NH should take notice.

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