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Author Topic: Boston airport - toll free route?  (Read 19288 times)

Truvelo

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Boston airport - toll free route?
« on: June 20, 2009, 03:24:15 PM »

I'll be flying into Boston in a few months and having looked at maps there doesn't appear to be any way of getting inland without paying tolls except by using some back streets. Is this right? I'll be going to Hartford so I-90 is the obvious route. How extortionate are the tolls? I've used I-90 outside Boston before but never the section east of I-495.
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Chris

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 03:31:14 PM »

Check out:
http://www.masspike.com/user-cgi/tollcalc.cgi

Between the airport and Sturbridge (I-84 to Hartford) $ 7.65 westbound and $ 4.15 eastbound. Dunno about the west/eastbound differences by the way.

mightyace

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2009, 05:34:49 PM »

Between the airport and Sturbridge (I-84 to Hartford) $ 7.65 westbound and $ 4.15 eastbound. Dunno about the west/eastbound differences by the way.

I think the Ted Williams tunnel is only tolled Westbound.  This seems to be the norm these days for bridges/tunnels to toll them in one direction only.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2009, 01:11:27 AM »

I'll be flying into Boston in a few months and having looked at maps there doesn't appear to be any way of getting inland without paying tolls except by using some back streets. Is this right? I'll be going to Hartford so I-90 is the obvious route. How extortionate are the tolls? I've used I-90 outside Boston before but never the section east of I-495.

You can afford a plane ticket (and I'm assuming, a rental car) and you're going to quibble over the cost of a toll road?

Sykotyk
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Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2009, 05:03:32 AM »

You can afford a plane ticket (and I'm assuming, a rental car) and you're going to quibble over the cost of a toll road?

True, but after paying for the flight, car and hotel bills the last thing I need is to pay a fortune in tolls. I've Googled Ted Williams Tunnel and I've found the toll is $3.50 westbound only. It doesn't seem worth the effort spending extra time using back roads to avoid a meagre $3.50.
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Alps

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2009, 10:44:33 PM »

I've used the back streets in question.  You get a very scenic tour of East Boston as you head out Prescott St. to one of the cross streets and over to Meridian.  I've gone Williams-Beacham and it is a popular route by locals, but pretty torn up.  2nd St. may be better for the newcomer not used to Northeastern roads.  Once you're across on 99, not to hard to get onto 93 and rejoin the freeway network.  So you probably lose 10-15 minutes all told to get around the toll, assuming no rush hour traffic.  (If there's rush hour traffic, 99 is stopped.)

So, when will you be there, how long, and any chance you'll be free on a weekend?  I could come up and show you around.

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 09:40:06 PM »

You can afford a plane ticket (and I'm assuming, a rental car) and you're going to quibble over the cost of a toll road?

True, but after paying for the flight, car and hotel bills the last thing I need is to pay a fortune in tolls. I've Googled Ted Williams Tunnel and I've found the toll is $3.50 westbound only. It doesn't seem worth the effort spending extra time using back roads to avoid a meagre $3.50.

After you've paid for the flight, car and hotel bills, $3.50 is pocket change.  You can take a horrendously circuitous route north out of the airport (MA-1A to US-1 to I-95/MA-128 to I-90) and not pay any tolls until you get onto I-90 westbound from I-95/MA-128 in Weston, but you'd burn up the same amount of gas avoiding the TWT (and the $1.25 Allston-Brighton barrier toll) that you'd pay for the tolls anyhow.
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Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 08:02:01 AM »

I'm going to bite the bullet and take the most direct route. As others have said, trying to avoid $3.50 when I've already spent nearly $1000 is stupid, not to mention the time wasted crawling along city streets.

Something else I'd like to do if I have time is drive along I-93 in the tunnel. Is this free?
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SSOWorld

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 09:02:30 AM »

I'm going to bite the bullet and take the most direct route. As others have said, trying to avoid $3.50 when I've already spent nearly $1000 is stupid, not to mention the time wasted crawling along city streets.

Something else I'd like to do if I have time is drive along I-93 in the tunnel. Is this free?
don't worry - it is - remember, don't worry about pocket change when you already spent thousands ;-)
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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 01:24:55 PM »

I'm going to bite the bullet and take the most direct route. As others have said, trying to avoid $3.50 when I've already spent nearly $1000 is stupid, not to mention the time wasted crawling along city streets.

Something else I'd like to do if I have time is drive along I-93 in the tunnel. Is this free?

Yes it is free, there are no tolled sections of Interstate 93 in Massachusetts.

Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 04:52:00 PM »

A slight change of plan.

I'm flying into JFK instead as the flights there are much cheaper than to Boston. I'll be flying into Boston next summer as the venue is much closer to Boston than NY.

In the meantime can anyone advise me of likely congestion between JFK and Merritt Parkway? From what I can gather there are no tolls so at least that's a bonus :colorful:
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Chris

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 05:17:47 PM »

How do you plan to get to the Merrit without tolls from JFK airport? Driving through Manhattan and Bronx?

The most logical routes require tolls, for I-295 (Throgs Neck Bridge), I-695 (Bronx-Whitestone Bridge) or I-278 (Triborough Bridge)

Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 06:58:08 PM »

Oops, forgot about the bridge. At least the whole stretch isn't tolled like I-90 is from Boston.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2009, 11:44:07 PM »

Are you taking the Merritt to I-84 to I-90?

I'm curious, did flying into NYC save you that much to drive a rental car that much further?

I'm a little amazed by that, actually.

Sykotyk
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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2009, 08:10:02 AM »

A slight change of plan.

I'm flying into JFK instead as the flights there are much cheaper than to Boston. I'll be flying into Boston next summer as the venue is much closer to Boston than NY.

In the meantime can anyone advise me of likely congestion between JFK and Merritt Parkway? From what I can gather there are no tolls so at least that's a bonus :colorful:

Congestion from JKF up to the merrit will be the worst on long island.  Take I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) north to the whitestone bridge...this will be the most congested part of your trip.  The road is in good condition where the AirTrain is above the expressway, the rest of 678 is under construction to the bridge.  I think the whitestone bridge is only tolled south bound, but it's a hefty $9 I think, so have some cash on your way back or rent a car with EZPASS (electronic tolling).  You don't want to use the Throgs Neck Bridge because there was a nasty accident there a week a ago and there are only 2 lanes open north bound.

I-678 becomes the hutchinson river parkway, which turns into the merrit parkway.  These parkways are some of the most beautiful roads in the northeast..some parts are unchanged from the 1920's.  The parkways are very curvey and somewhat dangerous, but there are no trucks and they pass through some of the most expensive real esate in the northeast.  The merrit can get crowded simply beacuse of volume and only 2 lanes plus its dangerouse curves, but I-95 is a parking lot so don't bother going that way.  Also, on the merrit, be prepared to drive 75-85 MPH in tight spaces with agressive drivers.The Merrit becomes the wilber cross parkway then it merges with I-91.  I-91 is a straight shot into Hartford.  No tolls except for the bridges to/from long island.
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Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2009, 09:39:32 AM »

Are you taking the Merritt to I-84 to I-90?

I'm curious, did flying into NYC save you that much to drive a rental car that much further?

I'm a little amazed by that, actually.

Sykotyk
I'm going to Hartford so New York is around the same distance as Boston.

Earlier this year I did the same journey but starting from Newark and the congestion between NJ and NY meant I wasn't prepared to drive from Newark again. I've never been to JFK before so I like to try somewhere new.

Last time I ended up on I-95 instead of Merritt due to inadequate signing and got stuck in stationary traffic near Stamford so I know not to go this way again.
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Lyle

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2009, 12:26:13 AM »

I think the whitestone bridge is only tolled south bound, but it's a hefty $9 I think, so have some cash on your way back or rent a car with EZPASS (electronic tolling).  You don't want to use the Throgs Neck Bridge because there was a nasty accident there a week a ago and there are only 2 lanes open north bound.

The Whitestone Bridge is tolled both ways. It just went up to $5.50 each way.

I-678 becomes the hutchinson river parkway, which turns into the merrit parkway. ...The Merrit becomes the wilber cross parkway then it merges with I-91.  I-91 is a straight shot into Hartford.  No tolls except for the bridges to/from long island.

Actually, the Wilbur Cross Parkway doesn't merge directly with I-91. You have to exit.
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Truvelo

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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2009, 11:57:38 AM »

An quick update on this.

I made the trip this weekend. Just two days makes it the shortest visit I've ever made to the US but I did take in some sights during this very brief stay.

Coming out of JFK I made a wrong turn and ended up on the Belt Parkway (route 27 I think). I decided to stay on this and follow it to the Cross Island Parkway and took the Throgs Neck Bridge. There was no congestion at all apart from the ramp at Exit 33 from the Cross Island to I-295 where construction is taking place.

Coming back was a different story. 10pm on a Saturday night and the Hutchinson was crawling all the way from Pelham to the Whitestone Bridge. The cause of all this mayhem was the toll barriers for the bridge and the fact that only a few lanes accept cash so people without EZPass's were switching to the cash lanes at the last opportunity causing traffic behind to bunch. After crossing the bridge everything moved fine to Long Island.

On Sunday I had plenty of spare time so I drove much of the Parkway system on Long Island. I must say the wide tree covered right of way gives a false impression of the area being rural although realistically the right of way should be used for something useful like extra lanes and full shoulders. Perhaps it could also be used to increase the length of on ramps. I like the way most interchanges are cloverleaves so at least the planners tried to make everything free flowing even if the radii of the inside loops is tiny. The median sited gas stations are a nice touch but the short merges to the fast lane are not, nor is the $2.99 gas price when everyone else is charging in the $2.70's and $2.80's.

The worst stretch I drove was Jackie Robinson Parkway. This is too narrow and twisty. The 45mph speed limit was ignored by everyone despite the radar enforced warnings. Traffic averaged 60 something. I had to keep up as 45mph would have resulted in my car being rear ended. Even the double white lines around the sharpest bends didn't stop people from switching lanes to pass on the right. A souped up Chrysler 300C was weaving from left to right as it passed cars on both sides and then made a last minute dash for an exit causing those behind to slam on their brakes. The general aggression is more like what you would see in London UK with people cutting you up left right and center.
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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2009, 07:28:39 PM »

Quote
Coming out of JFK I made a wrong turn and ended up on the Belt Parkway (route 27 I think). I decided to stay on this and follow it to the Cross Island Parkway and took the Throgs Neck Bridge. There was no congestion at all apart from the ramp at Exit 33 from the Cross Island to I-295 where construction is taking place.

Lucky wrong turn, actually. That's usually the better way to go.

So what'd you do after that? Get back on the Hutch by Co-Op City?

Quote
Coming back was a different story. 10pm on a Saturday night and the Hutchinson was crawling all the way from Pelham to the Whitestone Bridge. The cause of all this mayhem was the toll barriers for the bridge and the fact that only a few lanes accept cash so people without EZPass's were switching to the cash lanes at the last opportunity causing traffic behind to bunch. After crossing the bridge everything moved fine to Long Island.

Yeah, for whatever reason, that section's gotten really bad on the weekend as of late. There are plenty of creative ways to dodge around such things and get a tour of The Beautiful Bronx in the process, but they're best not attempted unless you know what you're doing.
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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2009, 03:02:27 PM »

Just out of curiosity, what brought you to America this trip?
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Re: Boston airport - toll free route?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2009, 02:22:16 PM »

Just out of curiosity, what brought you to America this trip?
An insulator show of course :pan:
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