Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some PA Agency is Torturing People Into Buying EasyPass

Tonight, I was stuck in hours-long traffic that did not move...right by the mid-county toll booths. To say that I was upset and unnerved by this would be a massive understatement.

This PA traffic jam photo and more findable on the link below (thanks, Doug):

Never have I seen such a nightmarish traffic situation. I felt like we were in Indonesia (you know, that place where there was recently a two-week-long traffic jam, which is hard to imagine, but not that hard for me anymore, not after tonight). 

What made it so awful was the fact that while I was stuck in a long line of cars trying to get into the cash only lane, all sorts of jerks kept flying up on our left and forcing their way in. Literally, people could not make progress because of all the pushy line-cutters.  It was pure insanity (sort of like the current American political climate).

I was getting more than a little ticked at the college girls in front of me who were (stupidly, IMO) letting every jackwagon in. 

I kept beeping at them to express my displeasure with their lack of cojones. Don't let people who can't follow the rules win in this case, ladies, I was trying to say. Don't let people scare you with their stupid big cars.

Because of those timid little girls, I think I had to endure at least 30 mins longer in line than I had to. And then a bunch of boys who knew them forced their way in, and that was truly crazy. It was like a Jersey Shore fist-pump party, right there, sitting in traffic. It was not funny, though; it was truly frightening.

When I finally had a chance to express my shock at the interminable traffic in words and not beeps, the toll booth guy said, "Hey, blame PennDOT."

And so here I am blaming PennDOT. But I also think that a significant portion of the problem could be attributed to someone--was it someone or some board on the PA Turnpike Commission?-- deciding, way back when, to shut down thousands of normal toll booth lanes and make most of them EasyPass only (which, duh, most people still don't have yet). 

I realize they are forcing us to get EasyPass, and I want to know who to get mad at for the dangerous and frustrating traffic.

The toll booth people say it's PennDOT. PennDOT says it's the PA Turnpike Commission.

I think it's both that are to blame. And, since I rarely take the interstate, I don't really see why I need EasyPass...and I resent being bullied into buying it. I am also really sick of the ongoing construction on the highways.

Sure, I can see why they are trying to convert the bulk of the lanes to EasyPass; it seems that the state wants to stop employing toll booth operators, perhaps, and make all of this electronic, but I don't think that punishing regular drivers with hours-long tie-ups, aggressive, nasty drivers cutting in line, and rampant lane closures--not to mention layoffs of the toll booth workers--is really noble or respectable or good for the people.

Just for that, I feel like telling them to stick EasyPass where the sun don't...oh, never mind. I am totally buying an EasyPass. I can't go through that sort of traffic again. I could literally die of stress.

Once we finally got through the tolls, there was a further nightmare of construction traffic...we're talking construction on the Blue Route (I-476) that has been ongoing for dang near two years.

Finish the stupid construction, people! Stop dragging it out (was it even necessary in the first place?). Stop milking the project for more government stimulus money.

Just finish it...before there is a worse crisis on the Philadelphia area highways.

I frankly consider it a miracle that we all survived that traffic jam. Not only was it intolerable, it was also pure mayhem, and just plain dangerous.

I know that there has been worse traffic (now that I think about it, trying to get home from college back in 1991 took ten hours from NYC to NJ, when it should have taken one...this in the days before cell phones. When I finally got home, ironically, my mother wanted to kill me).

Even last year, there was a 20-hr traffic tie-up in PA.

Are these marathon traffic jams becoming, sadly, more commonplace? When is it going to stop? Enough of this already. There must be a way to fix this...let's use stimulus funding for that.


  1. You are so right that the Philly area highway traffic is an absolute nightmare. We have crumbling infrastructure, too small lanes, on ramps that run right into off ramps, and of course way too many (and way too big) cars. I'd love to know who to blame, also. Once you find out, we'll all write them letters or inundate them with e-mails and phone calls.

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  3. To rearrange a literary reference, "Two Wheels Goooood, Four Wheels Baaaaad!" :)

    I love being able to go around any stopped vehicle with either my bike or my scooter.

    Sorry for commenting on a now old thread; haven't been online in a couple of weeks.