Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Moderator: The Merrimack Volunteer Moderators

Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Tim Tenhave » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:40 am

From the Town webpage:

http://www.merrimacknh.gov/sites/merrim ... eeting.pdf

Take a look, participate, speak up.

Tim
Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby joe179 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:19 am

Reading the notice leaves me a bit puzzled.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation announces that Public Information meetings have been scheduled to discuss F.E.
Everett Turnpike Tolling Options and Widening Feasibility.


Is this a trial balloon -- or is there a specific plan to widen the turnpike and install toll booths?
User avatar
joe179
 
Posts: 1316
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 9:17 am
Location: Merrimack

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Tim Tenhave » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:54 pm

Don't know the details, but this is what I do know...

1.) 10 year plan has a project to widen the turnpike to 3 lanes from Merrimack through to Manchester. The new Merrill's Marauders Bridge is designed and buit for 3 lanes.

2.) There was a plan floated by a Nashua Legislator last year to move the Bedford tolls south to capture all the new airport access road traffic. That died in the last session but I am sure it is being considered (maybe our new legislature will kill it). Note I was told it also was going to remove a Merrimack toll but we have heard that before ;-)

3.) The 10 year plan also has open road tolling as a new option for the Bedford toll booth. This would be similar to Hampton where if you have an ez pass, you can drive straight through at highway speed.

References:
- For 1 & 2, see the plan at http://www.snhpc.org/pdf/082710publiccommentdraft.pdf
- http://www.nashuarpc.org/publications/t ... ithApp.pdf (appendix E pp.5-6)
- http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/projectdevelo ... -28-10.pdf

4.) DOT turnpike bureau shows open road tolling at Bedford at: http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/operations/tu ... rogram.pdf

Maybe someone who goes to the early sessions can add more detail...

Tim
Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Tim Tenhave » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:25 pm

Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Tim Tenhave » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:55 pm

Are you ready?

Below is the link to the executive study that is being used as the basis of the public hearing:

http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/operations/tu ... 920101.pdf

It is quite the read. I encourage you all to read it.

Please show up on the 22nd. Tell them to just remove the tolls, save on the employee costs (payroll, benefits, retirement), maintenance costs, capital costs, user gas costs, environmental impact, etc etc etc. And oh yah, TIME.

Table ES-12 shows the State has a net revenue of ~$16.8 million today before the new airport access road goes in. It goes on to show a loss ~$4.5 million after the new access road opens. This same table shows moving the toll booth to Nashua and closing the tolls in Merrimack and Bedford will keep the net revenue about $16.2/16.5 million.

After reading it you will see why Nashua is so pro-active at their alderman level. See their resolution here:

http://www.nashuanh.gov/addons/legislat ... -10-73.pdf

How about less government for a change :)

Tim
Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby JMac1000 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:56 pm

Tim,

Its hard to get too excited as we have learned over the years to be very skeptical about any possibility of removing the tolls. However, for discussion sake, I think its great to possibly get these ramp tolls out of Merrimack. However, I have to be honest. Putting one in Nashua is not something I would be thrilled to see either! Many of us travel through Nashua on a daily basis.

One scenario was the remove the tolls at exit 11, and 12 and keep the tolls at exit 10. That would be a huge mistake, and potentially make the the exit 11 area far more congested than it is today. I would presume the desire there is to capture the mall revenue. I think the two best scenarios included tolls in Nashua. At the end of the day, Nashua has a huge delegation in Concord, and in my opinion, will put a stop to this. I predict the DOT will just end up increasing the costs of the existing tolls.

Sorry to sound so negative here. I personally do not believe in the idea of tolls, and think they should all be removed. A gas tax is fine. Raise the gas tax, and get rid of the tolls. Tolls make little sense to me, because of the overhead costs.
JMac1000
 
Posts: 2030
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:21 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby lynn » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:41 am

Article in todays telegraph gave us this concise list of options from the Wilbur Smith study

> Maintain Bedford toll plaza north of Exit 12, tolls at Exits 10, 11, 12 in Merrimack.

> Install new electronic tolls near new Manchester Airport Access Road, keep Bedford toll plaza, Merrimack booths.

> Remove Bedford tolls, some Merrimack booths; construct new toll plaza in Merrimack.

> Remove Bedford tolls, add new toll plaza in Nashua.
lynn
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:00 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Nat Fairbanks » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:29 pm

lynn wrote:Article in todays telegraph gave us this concise list of options from the Wilbur Smith study

> Maintain Bedford toll plaza north of Exit 12, tolls at Exits 10, 11, 12 in Merrimack.

> Install new electronic tolls near new Manchester Airport Access Road, keep Bedford toll plaza, Merrimack booths.

> Remove Bedford tolls, some Merrimack booths; construct new toll plaza in Merrimack.

> Remove Bedford tolls, add new toll plaza in Nashua.


It's worthwhile to read the report, especially page ES-16. It's got a good summary of the most likely options, they considered even more but ruled them out in other sections of the report. In short the study predicts

If the Airport bridge opens and nothing else changes they predict ~12.4M in annual "profit" (and compare it to ~16.6M if the bridge didn't exist).

The three options that bring revenue closest to "no bridge" levels are keeping tolls as is and adding tolls to south ramps of the bridge, and two varieties of tolling (open road and booths vrs automatic electronic tolling w/video) in Nashua between exits 1 and 2.

Two other options move all tolls to the exit 10 area in Merrimack, either right there (ORT w/booths) or just south of there (AET w/video). They slightly increase profit (just under and over $400,000 annually) compared to the bridge with no tolls scenario. Another option (ORT w/booths @11, tolls remain at 10 as well) will reduce revenue by ~$1.2M.

Realistically speaking the relevant choices appear to be doing nothing new for tolls, adding tolls to part of the bridge or moving tolls to the NH line. The other options are nearly revenue neutral vrs doing nothing but involve considerable expense (which is taken into account in the revenue numbers). Even the least expensive of the highest revenue options will involve 16.4M in capital expense.

I say we are all better off to keep any new tolls from being built. As soon as the state starts putting tens of millions of dollars into building new toll booths it just makes it harder to remove tolls. Shifting them to Nashua won't fix the root of the problem.

-Nat
Nat Fairbanks
 
Posts: 1020
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:05 am
Location: Merrimack NH

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Wayne » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:57 pm

Nat Fairbanks wrote:It's worthwhile to read the report, especially page ES-16. It's got a good summary of the most likely options, they considered even more but ruled them out in other sections of the report. In short the study predicts...
-Nat

This report we get to comment on is just a list of ways that Merrimack citizens can/will be punished for having no representatives with any clout in Concord. There's no mention here of the option of a gas tax to pay for highways. I'd like to know how much of an increase in that tax that would it take to make all of this go away. The savings of not constructing, maintaining, and manning all these toll booths surely would limit the size of such a tax increase. I think we at least should know the cost of this option. People can say "don't raise taxes", but the $1000 I pay annually in ezpass money for travelling on a road that is free in cities north and south of us sure feels like a tax to me!
Wayne
 
Posts: 2866
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:47 am
Location: Merrimack

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:56 am

Wayne wrote:
Nat Fairbanks wrote:It's worthwhile to read the report, especially page ES-16. It's got a good summary of the most likely options, they considered even more but ruled them out in other sections of the report. In short the study predicts...
-Nat

This report we get to comment on is just a list of ways that Merrimack citizens can/will be punished for having no representatives with any clout in Concord. There's no mention here of the option of a gas tax to pay for highways. I'd like to know how much of an increase in that tax that would it take to make all of this go away. The savings of not constructing, maintaining, and manning all these toll booths surely would limit the size of such a tax increase. I think we at least should know the cost of this option. People can say "don't raise taxes", but the $1000 I pay annually in ezpass money for travelling on a road that is free in cities north and south of us sure feels like a tax to me!


The toll booth count won't be reduced no matter what happens to a gas tax or any other tax. They represent jobs and public sector union jobs at that, which means they will remain in place no matter how bad the economy. Especially with our current governor.

Further, if the toll booth count drops below a certain threshold, the cost of running the tollbooths exceeds the revenue generated. Revenue bottom line is why the old discount shema was changed when the easy pass was added.

The only real hope of change right now is moving booths around to "capture" more revenue as concord would put it. And as mentioned earlier in the thread that would represent an unlikely capital investment given the current budget problems at all levels.
Liberalism - What happens when emotional reactions are confused with and substituted for facts and reason.
TonyRichardson
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Tim Tenhave » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:39 am

Public Hearing is Monday at 6:30pm.

This is our chance to be heard! Don't let this go by! They will not ask for our input again!

See all the newspaper articles. This is a big deal.

See you there,

tim
Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Brian McCarthy » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:57 pm

Also try and view the last TC meeting as the state reps came in and gave some details that most people don't know - such as Highways vs Turnpike and gas tax vs toll revenue. Its a messed up setup period.

Brian
Brian McCarthy
 
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:12 am
Location: Merrimack, NH

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Wayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:32 am

Brian McCarthy wrote:Also try and view the last TC meeting as the state reps came in and gave some details that most people don't know - such as Highways vs Turnpike and gas tax vs toll revenue. Its a messed up setup period.

Brian,

I probably won't get to view the meeting before tomorrow. Could I trouble you to give a brief summary of the "gas tax vs toll revenue" topic? The gas tax sounds like the most fair solution - I just would like to know how much of a tax increase would be a trade off for the toll revenue. Thanks, if you have the time.
Wayne
 
Posts: 2866
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:47 am
Location: Merrimack

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby lynn » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:47 am

gas tax pays for highways - tolls pays for turnpikes
I'll have to wait for Chris to get back to get a more detailed answer
some of the highspeed roads are defined as highways and some are defined
as turnpikes. the everett thru merrimack is turnpike - obviously

the legislature did a slight of hand last term with some
of the roadways in the seacoast area by changing the definition
they were able to swap money in funds to help balance the budget
just a right pocket vs left pocket thing

If tom Mahon is on - he understands what they did and may be able to explain
lynn
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:00 pm

Re: Expansion and Tolls public hearing

Postby Wayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 am

Okay, then could a bill be submitted to rename the road to Everett Highway? :)
Wayne
 
Posts: 2866
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:47 am
Location: Merrimack

Next

Return to Cable, Library, Tolls & Water

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron