Toll Roads Make Me Nuts

There are lots of things that I find irksome about toll roads.  I was reminded of one particular thorn in my side when I found myself heading to Ashburn with my hubby to try and meet up with some friends.  Am I the only person that thinks that the Dulles Greenway is complete and total extortion?  I’ve always been annoyed with this road, and often wonder exactly how much time is saved by driving on this road instead of the usual route 7 that is laced with lights and somewhat stop and go traffic heading westbound in Northern Virginia.  For us to travel all of two exits we get socked with a $3.70 cent toll?  Seriously? My husband feels it’s worth it because it saves time, but at that price, I’d much rather go the scenic route.  I don’t understand how the folks that live in that area have not hounded their local politicians ceaselessly about the tolls there.  I know that there are other high tolls in the area, like the $5.00 hit near Baltimore on I-95, but at least I can understand that it’s probably due to maintenance and upkeep of the underwater tunnel in that area.  This little old country superhighway called the Greenway, baffles me every time I use it, as I can’t for the life of me understand exactly why the high price is justified.

Although the greenway is “near and dear” to my heart, it is not the only one of these things that makes me crazy.  Because Tom and I both have family in Philly, we often travel the 95 corridor through Delaware.  Good God, it makes me want to shake all of the people we are driving by, who are obviously locals with Delaware plates that do not use the Easy Pass.  This causes all of the merging into the regular lanes to snarl traffic, causing back ups for miles, especially during holiday times.  It’s not been out of the ordinary to add an hour or more to our trip just to filter through the toll gate.  For God’s sakes people spring for the Easy Pass!!

I don’t currently use the Dulles toll road, but I used to when I was a working woman. Being a newcomer to the area, I knew this area was obscene for it’s traffic conditions.  A couple of months passed by with me feeling like I needed a drink going to and from work every day. Finally I griped and complained to the right person that explained that the toll road is a nice alternative route, and is usually not that bad. Oh my god, did I feel like I died and went to heaven.  I can tell you that paying that quarter to use the toll road was worth every penny as it saved me from sitting in bumper to bumper traffic forever on the congested route 7, the non-toll alternative.  Of course traffic still sucks in this area, but my commuting dramatically improved by forking over the cash for this alternative escape route. So even though I am extremely frugal by nature, saving me time and excessive aggravation was well worth what I cranked up in my toll fees.

So, do you have any particular routes that give you agida?  I’m sure that I am not alone…

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2 Responses to Toll Roads Make Me Nuts

  1. Mary says:

    I used to carpool with a woman who refused to get a smart tag. So on her day to drive we would sit in a line so she could throw in the quarters at both booths.

    I should use the Greenway to go to the barn but I refuse to pay the money. I take the scenic route and I don’t think it takes me any longer to get there. I try to avoid the Dulles Toll Road of late because it irks me at how much they are planning to raise the tolls to raise money for Metro. That being said, I don’t commute and if I had to do my drive to work every day I would use the toll road because it is so much faster. But since I don’t – I can do my mini boycott!!

    • Barb Welsh says:

      I didn’t think that the Greenway saved much time, thanks for validating. It makes me crazy. I do avoid the Dulles toll road as well, but can justify a little bit easier if I am in a hurry because it does save time depending on where you are going. Keep on with your boycott ! 🙂

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