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Author Topic: Rhode Island News  (Read 103567 times)

jwolfer

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2016, 10:02:54 AM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.
I think NJ may be the same
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dcbjms

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2016, 01:33:30 PM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

Sounds right to me.  Also, the lottery here was supposed to fund education - never happened.
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Rothman

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2016, 08:25:48 AM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

Sounds right to me.  Also, the lottery here was supposed to fund education - never happened.

I'm actually surprised by this.  What does the money go towards to, then?  I know in other states that the claim that it goes towards schools is exaggerated, but at least some sort of decent percentage still goes towards education.
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spooky

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2016, 08:53:11 AM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

I heard once from a RIDOT official at a technical seminar that RI is the only state that relies solely on gas tax revenue to fund highway and bridge projects.
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dcbjms

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2016, 12:02:38 PM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

Sounds right to me.  Also, the lottery here was supposed to fund education - never happened.

I'm actually surprised by this.  What does the money go towards to, then?

The general fund, naturally.  :rolleyes:

I know in other states that the claim that it goes towards schools is exaggerated, but at least some sort of decent percentage still goes towards education.
One of these days, I hope someone on Smith Hill sees the light of day on this.  Then again, I'm not hopeful, considering what we have.

But we do have some progress on that bridge project I mentioned last month, I think.  They managed to get a lot of progress done, so by the time spring comes it just needs some minor fixes here and there before it's complete.
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vdeane

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2016, 11:12:26 PM »

In many places the lottery does go to education; then they redirect the money that would have otherwise went to education to the general fund.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2016, 10:31:12 AM »


In many places the lottery does go to education; then they redirect the money that would have otherwise went to education to the general fund.

It's a tricky problem: if they directed too much money to education, people would become too smart to play the lottery.
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doogie1303

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2016, 08:50:08 AM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

You nailed the problem, all the money that is collected for "road and bridge repair" goes into the General Fund, where the lawmakers find other uses for it. This is Deja Vu all over again, we went through this before in 2013, see this thread about the Sakonet River Bridge tolls:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=7479.25

In the end, they took the gantries down (after only charging 10 cents per car) and increased the gas tax by 1% and increased emissions and registration fees to cover "bridge and road repairs" for the state, guess where that money ended up ... in the General Fund. So everyone's asking, what happened to the money that was supposed to be for "bridge and road repairs"?
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southshore720

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2016, 11:38:11 AM »

I was on RI 99 the other day and I noticed that there was a sign replacement project in progress.  There is new signage for the Sayles Hill Rd exit (even though Sayles Hill Rd is only acknowledged in a secondary BGS).  They've removed the "To RI 126" shield and just stuck to "Lincoln/N. Smithfield."  There's also a blank Exit "__" tab on the top of the sign.  There's also new signage for the RI 122 terminus.  Gone is the awful mixed-case "RI 122/Mendon Rd." sign and replaced with one with proper case.  I hope Route 146 is next, which is in dire need of new signage.

Speaking of RI 146, heading southbound, RIDOT continues to shun Rte. 116 N/Rte. 246 S with proper BGS signage.  Installed are two trailblazers...one is an advance trailblazer that correctly states 116 N/246 S.  The trailblazer at the exit INCORRECTLY states Rte. 116 SOUTH and Rte. 246 SOUTH as a multiplex. :banghead:  This error is on top of the error with the mileage markers on 146 S that go in ascending order instead of descending order.  Rte 146 is RIDOT's red-headed stepchild!
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dcbjms

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2016, 05:26:17 PM »

Speaking of RI 146, heading southbound, RIDOT continues to shun Rte. 116 N/Rte. 246 S with proper BGS signage.  Installed are two trailblazers...one is an advance trailblazer that correctly states 116 N/246 S.  The trailblazer at the exit INCORRECTLY states Rte. 116 SOUTH and Rte. 246 SOUTH as a multiplex. :banghead:  This error is on top of the error with the mileage markers on 146 S that go in ascending order instead of descending order.  Rte 146 is RIDOT's red-headed stepchild!

Because those who use Rte. 146 on a more or less consistent basis know where they're going.  Personally, though, what 146 needs more is not new signage but a new repaving job.
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Beeper1

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2016, 11:52:42 AM »

And the SB side of that 146/116 interchange needs to be reconstructed badly.  It is the oldest highway interchange in the state and while the NB side was reconfigured a couple years ago, the SB side as two very tight merges with no merge zone and no shoulder (think Merritt Parkway setup only if it had more traffic and trucks).  That overpass needs to be replaced with something with shoulders and that continues the SB C/D road through the end if the interchange.
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southshore720

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2016, 12:06:11 PM »

I'm glad you mentioned that, Beeper.  Both my Mother and my friend have been rearended at the Rte 116 N on-ramp onto Rte 146 S.  It continues to be in the State's Top 10 most dangerous intersections.  They did work a couple of years ago to "lengthen" the merge lane, but the lengthening was mere inches.  Not enough to remedy the problem whatsoever.
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dcbjms

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2016, 12:34:22 PM »

And the SB side of that 146/116 interchange needs to be reconstructed badly.  It is the oldest highway interchange in the state and while the NB side was reconfigured a couple years ago, the SB side as two very tight merges with no merge zone and no shoulder (think Merritt Parkway setup only if it had more traffic and trucks).  That overpass needs to be replaced with something with shoulders and that continues the SB C/D road through the end if the interchange.

Only if you also fix the interchanges with 295 and 99, which are all in the same area.
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Beeper1

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2016, 09:34:40 PM »

The biggest problem with the 99/295 part of this is also on the SB side.  Any traffic going from 146 SB to 295 SB must cross three lanes of traffic coming from RI-99.  At rush hour when all the traffic from the CVS industrial park is heading out, this can be extremely dangerous.

That being said, reconstruction at the 146/116 junction is far enough from 295 that they could be separate projects.  Extend the SB C/D road to some point before the Wilbur Ave overpass.  Widen/replace the overpass over 116 and completely change the way the connections to/from 116 NB and 246 are laid out.   If the 246 connections is done right, you could also get rid of the sub-standard RIRO for it that exists a bit further south.
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abqtraveler

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2016, 01:51:34 PM »

I have never been to RI but I have seen comments on the poor state of RI roads.

I would think RI would have some of best roads in the country since it is so small, has a large city and presumably a good amount of gas taxes.

Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure if such is still the case (it was during the 80s and earlier) but the revenue collected from RI's gas taxes goes to a general fund rather than a highway or even a transportation fund.  IMHO, there's a chunk of the problem right there.

I heard once from a RIDOT official at a technical seminar that RI is the only state that relies solely on gas tax revenue to fund highway and bridge projects.


If that's the case, then RIDOT would be hurting for money, since as small as Rhode Island is, most travelers can make it through the state without having to stop and fill up.  Delaware has a similar problem with motorists using I-95, which is only 12 miles long through the state, but carries most of the state's vehicle traffic.  That's a big reason why I-95 through Delaware is a toll road.  It would make sense to do the same in Rhode Island.
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 37, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

KEVIN_224

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2016, 04:25:26 PM »

Is that also why I-95 is partially tolled in New Hampshire, as that's only 16 miles long? OK...the toll plaza is at Exit 2 in Hampton. One driving up from Massachusetts can get off of Exit 1 in Seabrook or ride between Exit 3 in Greenland up to Exit 7 in York, ME without paying a toll.
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Duke87

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2016, 06:02:42 PM »

New Hampshire and Delaware both built the tolled sections of road in question prior to the creation of the interstate system and used the tolls to repay the construction bonds. The tolls remain despite the bonds being paid off for the same reason most tolls don't get removed - they found other uses for the revenue and continue to rely on it.

I-95 in Rhode Island is not tolled because it was built with federal interstate money and thus by law cannot be.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2016, 06:26:41 PM »

New Hampshire and Delaware both built the tolled sections of road in question prior to the creation of the interstate system and used the tolls to repay the construction bonds. The tolls remain despite the bonds being paid off for the same reason most tolls don't get removed - they found other uses for the revenue and continue to rely on it.
Actually the Delaware Turnpike portion of I-95 opened in 1963; 7 years after the Interstate Highway Act was signed into law by President Eisenhower.  Construction began in 1957.

Wiki Account of I-95 in Delaware & Delaware Turnpike
Quote from: Wiki Account of Delaware Turnpike portion of I-95
The corridor following FAI-1 and FAI-2 would become designated as part of I-95, an Interstate Highway running along the East Coast of the United States.  FAI-1 was originally planned as a free Interstate Highway using federal funds; however, the road would not have been completed until 1967 under this plan. As a result, the state of Delaware financed the road with bond issues and would build it as a toll road called the Delaware Turnpike.
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SectorZ

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2016, 06:36:29 PM »

I-95 in Rhode Island is not tolled because it was built with federal interstate money and thus by law cannot be.

The RI legislature is going to test how true that statement is today. Can't wait to see their toll plan get whacked by a federal court.
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Alps

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2016, 09:52:35 PM »

Is that also why I-95 is partially tolled in New Hampshire, as that's only 16 miles long? OK...the toll plaza is at Exit 2 in Hampton. One driving up from Massachusetts can get off of Exit 1 in Seabrook or ride between Exit 3 in Greenland up to Exit 7 in York, ME without paying a toll.
The longest, slowest bypass stretch is Exits 1 to 3. Be their guest.

Pete from Boston

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2016, 10:31:18 AM »


Is that also why I-95 is partially tolled in New Hampshire, as that's only 16 miles long? OK...the toll plaza is at Exit 2 in Hampton. One driving up from Massachusetts can get off of Exit 1 in Seabrook or ride between Exit 3 in Greenland up to Exit 7 in York, ME without paying a toll.
The longest, slowest bypass stretch is Exits 1 to 3. Be their guest.

Put it this way: Google calls the bypass 15 minutes longer.  The toll is $2.  Add in the extra gas and you're valuing your time at about Federal minimum wage.

In distance alone, by IRS standards, you're adding $1.16 to the cost of your trip so that you can save $2, which is actually therefore 84˘ saved.  There's more than that in my couch.
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SidS1045

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2016, 03:56:29 PM »

I-95 in Rhode Island is not tolled because it was built with federal interstate money and thus by law cannot be.

The RI legislature is going to test how true that statement is today. Can't wait to see their toll plan get whacked by a federal court.

Gov. Raimondo signed the bill into law yesterday (2/11).

http://tollroadsnews.com/news/daily-news-briefs-february-12-2016#1
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PHLBOS

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2016, 05:08:40 PM »

I-95 in Rhode Island is not tolled because it was built with federal interstate money and thus by law cannot be.

The RI legislature is going to test how true that statement is today. Can't wait to see their toll plan get whacked by a federal court.

Gov. Raimondo signed the bill into law yesterday (2/11).

http://tollroadsnews.com/news/daily-news-briefs-february-12-2016#1
However, the FHWA hasn't yet given RI its blessing on this proposal.

Feds Haven't Signed Off on Truck Tolls

Quote from: Warwick OnLine
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has not signed off on Gov. Gina Raimondo’s legislation to toll Class 8 trucks as a means of financing repairs to the state deteriorating bridges.

In fact, according to FHWA spokeswoman Nancy Singer, the state has not answered questions raised by the department last May when Raimondo first proposed financing a $600-million plan by tolling larger trucks. That plan, which passed the Senate but didn’t come up for a House vote before the session adjourned, has been revised as a result of an increase in federal funding.
...
But questions persist, including whether the plan to erect toll gantries on interstate highways will gain the blessing of the FHWA.

Singer couldn’t answer that question yesterday.

In short, it's not a done deal yet.
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2016, 10:26:19 AM »

That'd be a hell of a Rhode Island bypass: I-95 North to I-395 North to I-90 East...which only really works if one's business is in greater Worcester.
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doogie1303

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Re: Rhode Island News
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2016, 08:39:13 PM »

Quote
The RI legislature is going to test how true that statement is today. Can't wait to see their toll plan get whacked by a federal court.

I had started a topic on the General Highway Forum regarding tolling "free interstates" to try to gain more light on the subject:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=17430.msg2125712#msg2125712

It was suggested to look at the FHWA website and from what I've read, the MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) Act of 2012 removed the requirement that States had to enter a tolling agreement with FHWA prior to imposing tolls. Also under 23 U.S.C. 129, it now states an existing toll-free bridge or tunnel on a toll free highway can be converted into a toll facility if it is reconstructed or replaced (That's the reason why the 14 Gantry locations are on bridges or overpasses).

As I stated in the other thread, while I see where they found the statue that allows R.I to toll, my theory is they may get shot down trying to use the tolls to repair all the deficient bridges in the State. I think they will only be able to use the funds on the bridges that the gantries are erected on.

The other question that hasn't been answered is are they allowed to toll only one class of vehicle? I've heard of multi-tiered toll amounts for different class vehicles, but I never heard of a case of one class of vehicle being tolled whereas all other classes get a free pass.
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