Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tolls and Prizes


I woke up after having dreamt about toll booths. I don’t miss toll roads. I think the only toll road in Oregon is The Bridge of the Gods in Hood River. There used to be a toll booth on the Astoria Megler Bridge when I first moved here, but something that is never done in any other state happened here. Once the bridge was paid for they removed the toll. It has been a free bridge for probably the last ten or fifteen years leaving behind only a blinking caution light.

Back east you can’t cross the Hudson River without paying a toll. There are tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, the Jersey Turnpike and the New York Thruway. Most of the big roads give you a card (it used to be an IBM punch card) when you got on the road and you had to present the card and pay when you got off the highway.

The Garden State Parkway was different. They had a booth every few miles where you had to deposit a quarter in this big basket funnel. I suppose this basket in my dream kind of reminded me of Ski Ball and my twisted imagination had me believing that if you saved your receipts you could trade them in for junk like at an arcade.

5 Comments:

Blogger Auntie said...

for many years when the toll was on the bridge and residents from either side didn't venture to the other so freely, my Mammy commuted to Astoria from Chinook for work. And paid the toll 2 times a day, there and back. I think it was somewhere between $1.50 - $3.00 each trip, can't remember. But she did that for 20 years before they removed the toll. We teased her that she paid for portion of that damn bridge single-handedly.

6:52 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

If you get a million toll booth cards you win the grand prize!

The grand prize is, of course, a million toll booth cards.

You lucky dog, you!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was 1.50 to cross "the bridge to nowhere" Prior to that the ferry was like 35 cents. I think it may have been Joan Dukes who pointed out that the bridge was paid for and got the toll removed. If I'm wrong about that I bet someone will jump in and say so.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I remember going across the bridge when I was a kid and the toll booths were still there. For some reason sitting and in the back seat and waiting to pay the toll was really exciting. I think it was only one direction though? By the time I was old enough to drive, I think the toll was no more.

10:20 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, that was about $900 a year. I'm surprised they shut down that revenue source.

Darev, except I haven't paid a toll in over 20 years. I have no idea where that dream came from.

Anon, don't ask me...If I see her I'll ask her.

Stephanie, it was almost like crossing the border except the toll takers never asked questions.

5:45 AM  

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