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Author Topic: Connecticut News  (Read 565652 times)

SectorZ

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3100 on: November 18, 2018, 08:29:22 AM »

People have to realize that tolls on tractor-trailers only will eventually be subsidized by the people of CT (and even beyond) in the form of higher market prices for goods.  The trucking industry is not just going to absorb the increase in transportation costs to get goods to market.  So it's a Catch-22 for the taxpayers: either pay the tolls on the roads, or pay them in retail establishments, or both X-(. Basically like asking whether you'd prefer a sharp stick in the eye, or under your fingernails.

Taxpayers are very good with taking the "out of sight, out of mind" route to paying taxes in this country.
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Duke87

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3101 on: November 18, 2018, 10:09:03 AM »

It spreads the cost around though - plenty of trucks pass through CT on the way to other states. So it'll be reflected in the price of goods throughout New England, not just in CT.  Some large trucking companies might even spread the cost around the entire country.

In theory it could also motivate some goods to move by rail instead (which would ease congestion on the roads), although the amount of the toll would likely be too small to really move the needle on that.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3102 on: November 19, 2018, 08:59:11 AM »

I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet (and yes I am aware of the incidents in 1983).
FTFY, let's not forget about the Mianus River Bridge collapse that occurred in the same year.  That (the receiving of federal funds to replace that bridge) was the real reason why tolls were removed from the CT Turnpike prior to such occurring on other CT highways & river crossings.  Such also dismissed the notion that tolled facilities always equal better (maintained) facilities.

Anyway, on the discussion about CT roads having the tolls added after the fact, (1) Wasn't the Connecticut Turnpike tolled until the 1980s?  Same for the Merritt?
Yes, but the two fore-mentioned incidents from 1983 triggered the abolishment of all tolls in CT back then.

(2) The upgraded Scudder Falls Bridge (I-295 between PA/NJ) is going to have a toll added.
Apples & oranges comparison, one's at least getting a larger, wider bridge as a result.  What's CT actually getting with all these new proposed tolls?

Truck tolls could be a fiasco as RI is being sued so why would CT do it then? Then I can see CT being sued over it, then they saying oh sorry to make it legal we have to roll everyone.
While RI is currently being sued for such; has the outcome of the suit been yet known?  Those defending the truck tolls can point to the Spring Valley toll plaza along the NY Thruway as an existing example of such tolling.  However, the counterargument there would be that particular toll plaza (which originally collected tolls for all vehicles) existed since the Thruway was built & is only one plaza, not the entire tollway.

One small problem with the truck only tolls:  they can't use Route 15.  This proposal has them on there.   So if this is the plan, it's for all vehicles.
I'm hoping that the listing of truck-only tolls for CT 15 was an ignorant oversight; but I'm not necessarily holding my breath on that one.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 10:18:50 AM by PHLBOS »
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seicer

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3103 on: November 19, 2018, 09:06:47 AM »

On "what is the state getting out of the tolls," that's a good question and something that I hope the followup study concludes. I kind of like the transparency Kentucky provided with its mass bridge repair/replacement program that's now ongoing - all eligible projects being spent with taxpayer money is being listed in a database, with geocodes and maps, so that the public has the information they need to know that the state isn't hoodwinking them. If the state is going to toll I-95 (as an example), then for transparency, why not provide a list of projects that the tolls will benefit for I-95 travelers?
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3104 on: November 19, 2018, 10:25:45 AM »

Sadly, CT hasn't always been as transparent.  That fact that a ballot referendum (which thankfully passed two weeks ago) which places a proverbial lock-box on gas tax revenue (i.e. no more general fund blackhole that is subject to raiding) came about tells the story right there regarding lack of trust & transparency regarding how CT spends taxpayer money.  Mind you, CT isn't alone on this.  There are probably other states that do similar.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3105 on: November 19, 2018, 12:07:24 PM »

On "what is the state getting out of the tolls," that's a good question and something that I hope the followup study concludes.

Actually, there are some fairly self-evident goals..although opinions vary as to which one(s) drive(s) the issue:

- A nontrivial portion of the wear-and-tear on the freeways comes from traffic that doesn't pay the fuel taxes that allegedly go to maintaining the highways

- The state has long-term issues with an imbalance between expenditures and revenues, and reducing expenditures is politically unpopular

- The state has some very expensive highway projects on the horizon that will need to be funded...somehow

- Traffic congestion, CO2 emissions. etc. create a desire to shift transportation demand from highways to mass-transit

- The state's tax structure is hostile/uncompetitive as regards the state's largest taxpayers, creating an incentive to find alternative revenue sources in lieu of taxes

- Changes in fuel efficiency / the rise of hybrid or electric vehicles raise questions of the sustainability of fuel taxes as a proxy for user fees to support highway maintenance
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3106 on: November 19, 2018, 01:47:39 PM »

Mike, the mere fact that CT's gas tax revenue was going into a general (non-transportation) fund is a classic indicator as towards why there's a natural distrust towards any initiative where increasing gas taxes and/or reinstating tolls becomes a recommendation.  I.e., such became a robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. 

The fore-mentioned 1983 bridge collapse while tolls were still in place, at the very least & in the eyes of the general public; gave the impression (be it justly or unjustly) that toll revenue collected wasn't being wisely spent. 

This newly-passed referendum regarding the gas tax lock-box, as long as it's not molested, is intended to allow for all the collected gas tax revenue to be allocated towards transportation/roadway projects not just a percentage.

Will such solve CT's transportation revenue shortfalls completely?  Such remains to be seen; but as I mentioned many posts back, this level of revenue accountability (i.e. good-faith effort) needs to come first before there's any additional talk of raising gas taxes and/or placing tolls along highways.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3107 on: November 22, 2018, 06:01:38 PM »

Why would you add tools to highways that weren't built as toll-road highways?  Toll highways have fewer exits and are meant to feed through traffic to major cities.  Our highways are more like intra-state connectors acting as bypasses of secondary roads.  What sense does it make to put tolls on highways that handle both intra-state and interstate (and truck) traffic? Fewer people in the state will drive meaning more will use public transportation and overcrowd those systems. If there's to be any tolls at all they should be on point-to-point highways like CT 8 or CT 2, roads that link two destinations and don't really serve as a bypass route.
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abqtraveler

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3108 on: November 23, 2018, 08:57:44 PM »

Why would you add tools to highways that weren't built as toll-road highways?  Toll highways have fewer exits and are meant to feed through traffic to major cities.  Our highways are more like intra-state connectors acting as bypasses of secondary roads.  What sense does it make to put tolls on highways that handle both intra-state and interstate (and truck) traffic? Fewer people in the state will drive meaning more will use public transportation and overcrowd those systems. If there's to be any tolls at all they should be on point-to-point highways like CT 8 or CT 2, roads that link two destinations and don't really serve as a bypass route.

You touch upon a good point in that toll roads work in most other states because they were designed as long-haul routes, and operated under quasi-government agencies where toll revenues were legally limited to use on said toll facilities to repay construction bonds, and perform routine maintenance and capital investment to those roads. Tolls didn't work in Connecticut because 1) the Connecticut Turnpike was not disigned as a long-haul route, having closely spaced exits and mainline barrier tolls set up in a way that folks familiar with the Turnpike could easily exit before each toll and get back on after the toll, effectively getting a free ride; and 2) that toll revenues were placed into the state's General Fund so they were used to pay for non-highway expenditures. The latter item was a byproduct of the State of Connecticut having to provide a predetermined number of access points to each of the towns the Connecticut Turnpike goes through in order to get each town to support construction of the Turnpike. Since towns in Connecticut wield a great deal of power under the state's constitution, opposition from any one town along the route would have effectively derailed the Turnpike from being built.

Now getting back to the idea of tolling Connecticut's highways: it would work if a set of express lanes with fewer interchanges and a higher speed limit for long-haul travel were constructed along key segments of I-84, I-91 and I-95. In reality, such a concept would probably never come to fruition because there are a lot of people opposed to the idea of such a major highway expansion--people with deep enough pockets to hire a dream team of lawyers to tie something like this up in the courts for generations.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3109 on: November 26, 2018, 09:37:00 AM »

Both of you need to keep in mind that NJ's Garden Sate Parkway has & still collects its tolls at mainline barriers.  The reasons for why CT's older toll roads failed while the GPS' succeeded were likely due to that CT's toll barriers were much more frequent than those along the GSP & (you touched on this abqtraveler) CT's toll revenue may not have stayed within the system and/or dispersed properly.
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3110 on: November 28, 2018, 03:29:51 PM »

Sad to report with the new Exit 23 signage westbound on I-84 in Waterbury this is no longer up.  I'm guessing this was installed around 1978 the time Exit 23 was last reconfigured based on the old bridge dates. 1978(?)-2018. The last non-reflective button copy sign on the I-84 mainline.

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jon daly

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3111 on: November 28, 2018, 04:08:52 PM »

That's a pretty good looking sign. I don't know how old that pic is, but a lot of the button copy signs that I see are showing their age.
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3112 on: November 28, 2018, 04:11:23 PM »

That's a pretty good looking sign. I don't know how old that pic is, but a lot of the button copy signs that I see are showing their age.
I took it in 2016 I think.  The button copy still reflected at night, the shield wasn't as bright but you could make it out.
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3113 on: November 28, 2018, 04:18:39 PM »

I have seen a couple of these boxes lately in Berlin, CT. They all say CONNDOT with a handwritten phone number on it. I don't think it's for traffic counting, since that would have two thin tubes attached and laid across the road.  :hmmm:



This one was under the Amtrak/CT Rail bridge on Farmington Avenue (CT Route 372).
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Alps

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3114 on: November 28, 2018, 09:54:35 PM »

I have seen a couple of these boxes lately in Berlin, CT. They all say CONNDOT with a handwritten phone number on it. I don't think it's for traffic counting, since that would have two thin tubes attached and laid across the road.  :hmmm:



This one was under the Amtrak/CT Rail bridge on Farmington Avenue (CT Route 372).
Did you look up? They could be counting via image or radar.

jp the roadgeek

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3115 on: November 29, 2018, 04:22:34 AM »

I have seen a couple of these boxes lately in Berlin, CT. They all say CONNDOT with a handwritten phone number on it. I don't think it's for traffic counting, since that would have two thin tubes attached and laid across the road.  :hmmm:



This one was under the Amtrak/CT Rail bridge on Farmington Avenue (CT Route 372).
Did you look up? They could be counting via image or radar.
Iím going to guess itís one of those devices that scans license plates and checks for unpaid tickets or expired/suspended registrations. 
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3116 on: November 29, 2018, 07:03:00 AM »

Iím going to guess itís one of those devices that scans license plates and checks for unpaid tickets or expired/suspended registrations. 

Is it a sealed case, or is there some aperture?

(From the picture, it looks like a Pelican Case that's been attached to a sign post.  Discovering whether there are any openings or cables would give some sort of a clue to its function.)
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3117 on: November 29, 2018, 02:21:20 PM »

@ALPS: No, there was nothing else next to or above that box. There were two other ones I went by: south end of New Britain Road (CT Route 71) and Deming Road, just west of the Berlin Turnpike (US 5/CT 15). It definitely said CONNDOT on it. None of them were there before Thanksgiving.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 03:15:48 PM by KEVIN_224 »
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shadyjay

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3118 on: November 29, 2018, 02:22:14 PM »

I-95 web cams in Groton confirm the new signage is in place on the Gold Star Bridge, or at least the easternmost signs/gantry.  I'm assuming the others on the bridge were replaced SB.  This simplifies the Exit 83 signage to just "1 / Frontage Rds" and breaks down Exit 84S-N-E into "32 Norwich / New London / Hodges Sq".  I'll try to get some photos in the next week or so.  NB signs on the bridge won't be replaced until that span is reconstructed in a much more lengthy project than the SB span took.

Also, the I-84 web cams in the New Britain/Plainville area are STILL showing the old gantries for Exit 36/Slater Rd still up, either in front of or behind the new gantries.  Not sure what's the hold-up there.

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3119 on: November 29, 2018, 03:56:05 PM »

I have seen a couple of these boxes lately in Berlin, CT. They all say CONNDOT with a handwritten phone number on it. I don't think it's for traffic counting, since that would have two thin tubes attached and laid across the road.  :hmmm:



This one was under the Amtrak/CT Rail bridge on Farmington Avenue (CT Route 372).
Did you look up? They could be counting via image or radar.
Iím going to guess itís one of those devices that scans license plates and checks for unpaid tickets or expired/suspended registrations. 

Not sure ConnDOT would maintain equipment for the purpose of scanning plates for expired reg/ticket purposes etc. Itís really not the dotís jurisdiction or concern. More of a dmv or state/local police usage. More likely traffic count/ speed assessment for data gathering planning/engineering purposes.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 03:59:18 PM by wytout »
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3120 on: December 01, 2018, 05:36:49 PM »

As promised, the new signs on the Gold Star Bridge:

DSC01608 by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

DSC01611 by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

The overheads were the only signs along the SB span that were replaced.  Secondary signage including I-95 reassurance shields, speed limits, and the New London City Line sign were not replaced, the latter still being button copy.


And on I-95 NB in Groton, some progress on the sign replacement:

DSC01599 by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

DSC01600 by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

No other new signs up for Exits 87 or 88, NB.  SB, no new signs observed for Exits 87 or 86. 

Here, at Exit 88, the former signs mounted to the I-95 overpass are gone, replaced with these ... including a 3DI-wide I-95 sign:
DSC01601 by Jay Hogan, on Flickr
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3121 on: December 01, 2018, 07:13:53 PM »

Interesting choice of destination for CT-349, considering that it used to be just "Clarence B Sharp Highway."  Also interesting since Groton is the only non-consolidated city in Connecticut (for those who don't know, every other city in Connecticut is coexistent with its town, e.g. look at this "town line" sign for Hartford).
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3122 on: December 01, 2018, 07:28:20 PM »

Interesting choice of destination for CT-349, considering that it used to be just "Clarence B Sharp Highway."  Also interesting since Groton is the only non-consolidated city in Connecticut (for those who don't know, every other city in Connecticut is coexistent with its town, e.g. look at this "town line" sign for Hartford).

I think that there are at least five police stations in Groton. One for Groton Town, one for Groton City, one for Groton Long Point, one for the shore patrol on the sub base, and one for Amtrak. UConn-Avery Point might have one, too.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3123 on: December 01, 2018, 07:51:59 PM »

Yeah, I see the utter confusion of motorists setting in... especially when Exit 85's signs get replaced, they're probably going to say "1 North/Groton Waterfront/Downtown Groton", given a new auxillary sign for Exit 87 SB, which states the same "towns", in addition to what the BGSs will say (Groton City).
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #3124 on: December 02, 2018, 02:59:38 PM »

Stonington as a control city? I probably would've used Warwick and Providence together.
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