Mama Tolled Us Not to Come

Saturday, April 14, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

On the History Highway, Day 31

NEWARK, Delaware— Coming from Georgia, a state with one single seven-mile toll road costing 50 cents, we always experience a bit of annoyance when the toll trolls begin sticking their hands in our pockets as we travel in other states.  Though we drove only 55 miles today, we paid a total of $13 in highway charges.


We may as well adjust to the idea now, however, as we'll be seeing plenty of these collection plazas as we move through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  At least we don't need to worry about keeping a collection of quarters ready.  The trolls want the folding money.

Out of curiosity, we checked out which states are reaching deepest into our pockets for road fees.  We found this nice chart from the Council of State Governments (csg.org).


Since these states are charging more tolls for highway funding, would it follow that they collect lower rates of gasoline taxes, then?  Though it seems logical, this is not the case.  Four states made the top ten in both forms of taxation:  New York, Florida, Illinois and Indiana. 


Giving credit where it's due, however, both New Jersey and Oklahoma balance high toll charges with some of the lowest motor fuel taxes.  And of those with the highest taxes at the pump, four have no toll roads within their borders:  Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, and Washington.

Driving from Baltimore into Delaware today, we became a bit bogged down looking for a mystery letterbox, which we finally figured out is located on an uninhabited island in the middle of a river.  An island which is accessible only by boat.  And we didn't bring our boat with us.  Truthfully, we don't even own a boat.  None of my arguments were convincing enough to persuade Ken to swim to the island.  And since I can't swim, it seems that we solved the mystery of where the box is located but don't have the means to reach it.  Ah, well, another of life's little disappointments.  We wrote the story on a piece of paper, sealed it in a bottle and tossed it into the river toward the island.  Maybe a heron or an osprey will find it and locate the letterbox.

As we were exploring the area near the river, we came across a "Reserved for Handicapped" sign that left us scratching our heads.  Maybe you understand what is intended.  We certainly didn't.


DAILY STATS:
Started in Baltimore, MD; ended in Newark, DE
Miles:  118
Letterboxes:  F 0, P 1
Highway tolls:  Too dang much