Deval going to eliminate the Mass Pike? Well, not the
road itself, but the agency. Don’t worry, the hacks
will find a safe place to land.
From today’s Herald:
Gov. Deval Patrick is eyeing a series of dramatic reforms that would abolish the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and centralize power in a single agency in charge of all transportation services, including those operated by the MBTA, the Herald has learned.
Patrick administration officials confirmed details of the sweeping re-organization effort after the Herald obtained an e-mail outlining aspects of the proposals. The changes would fundamentally alter the way the state manages transportation and cut costs by untold millions of dollars.
Administration officials cautioned that options are still being reviewed, but they said the principle reforms could include the elimination of the 55-year-old Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, the dismantling of its board of directors and the creation of a super transportation agency to oversee bridges, roads and MBTA services.
>>A special legislative commission charged with recommending solutions to the deficit has called for an 11.5-cent increase in the gas tax a new 5-cent-per-mile toll system on all 10 interstates.
“Traffic’s backed up at the Burlington tolls on I-95
(aka Rt 128)...”
“...and on I-91 in Springfield...”
“...and on 93 in Woburn...”
HOWIE CARR COLUMN PING—he may be off air but he’s still in the Herald.
Name change wont take a toll on these hacks
New name, same hack heaven
by Howie Carr
Boston Herald 10/2/07
Id prefer that they get rid of the tolls, but since thats not going to happen, well settle for the abolition of the Mass. Turnpike Authority.
Granted, itll still be there, not even open under new management, just under a new name. Which means that no matter how you slice it, its still baloney.
But Ill settle for the symbolism. Maybe we can finally lose the Pikes silly Pilgrim hat logo - it always bugged me even before they removed the Indian, excuse me, American Indian arrow that was shot through it, on the grounds of insufficient Political Correctness.
And since we know the hack toll collectors are going nowhere, if the Pike is officially folded into a larger hackerama, can we at least stop all these legislators dim-bulb kinsmen from wearing official MASSPIKE polo shirts, as if theyre members of a paramilitary organization, which they are, if the Budweiser division counts.
Who will take over the Pikes toll collector school, where the unemployable reps even more unemployable relatives spend weeks memorizing how many ones you have to return when someone hands you a five, or God forbid, a sawbuck.
Sometimes an agency becomes just too big an embarrassment, even in Massachusetts - think the BPDs old Tactical Patrol Force, or the late, unlamented Legislative Research Bureau. Remember the old MDC police, or hell, the MDC itself.
Now it has some new initials, but its still the same old MDC, and Im sure this new super DOT will be just the local version of Homeland Security.
Still, when youre raising taxes, big time, some sops must be thrown to the marks.
Whatever, you gotta love the thought of merging the Pike and Mass Highway, and all the rest of em. A broad reorganization, they call it, including the MBTA and the Steamship Authority. How many members of the Bulger family will be directly affected by this?
Devals crew is even talking about stripping the Tobin Bridge from Massport, as if they dont already skim most of the take from those very reasonable tolls that have gone up, what, 300 percent in the last 10 years?
Its a long way to the official end of the Mass Turnpike Authority, but Im already thinking we need a museum of sorts at 10 Park. A historical diorama, like they have at Adventureland at Disney World. Only instead of Mike Fink and the river pirates, we can have the toll booth pirates - lifelike figures with beer breath chanting, One quarter for the MassPike, one quarter for me.
I hope the Pike Museum will include a statue of Alan McKinnon, the ex-state senator who was Mike Dukakis choice to run the Pike. McKinnon immediately fulfilled a lifelong dream by flying to Oklahoma and going to lunch at Hooters.
We wont need a statue for McKinnons predecessor, ex-state treasurer John Driscoll. Hes already got that building named after him just west of the 128 tolls. You know the place - it sleeps at least 100.
And well need a replica of Fat Matt Amorellos North End office, the one he never got to use.
What a squalid history - from Foster Furcolos father to Fat Matt. There was Jim Aloisi, who was Edgar Bergen to McKinnons Charlie McCarthy. Sen. Petrucellis electrician father with the $288,000 paycheck. John Vitagliano, who combined a hack job at Massport with a board seat at the Pike, or was it the other way around? Either way, you got the picture - not to mention toll increase after toll increase after toll increase.
Andrew Natsios, who spent every Friday working out of his home in D.C. Boo Hoo Kerasiotes, he of the on-budget-and-ontime Big Dig. Jack the Barber, and Jordan Levy, who came to the board from the hock shop known as the Governors Council.
The saddest thing of all, though, if the Pike does follow the MDC into hack heaven - that Fat Matt never got to build the monorail to Albany.