I’m Mad As Hell, And I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore

24 Nov

The immortal words of Peter Finch from the movie “Network” served as a rallying cry during today’s march across the Grand Island Bridge to protest the presence of the tolls on both ends of the island.

While the tolls cannot be removed by legal means as the Ogden and Breckenridge tolls were, the public outcry is reaching a fever pitch with near 8,000 petition signatures and the support of the Western New York State Assembly and Senate delegations.

It was a bitterly cold day, but dozens of people showed up to march with Rus Thompson of NoGItolls.com in protest of what they feel is a system of double taxation on commuters in Niagara Falls, Grand Island, and Buffalo. Carl Paladino of Ellicott Development, who was responsible for the lawsuit which abolished the tolls in Downtown Buffalo, recently sent a letter to Governor Spitzer about the Grand Island Tolls issue:

The Grand Island Bridges and the Tappan Zee Bridge tolls are the only specific bridge tolls on the New’ York State Thruway System. The roads on both sides of the Grand island Bridges are toll free.

The Thruway Authority has hundreds of other bridges in its system, all of which are maintained out of general revenue.

Someone decided that the Grand Island Bridges should have specific toll charges ostensibly because of extraordinary upkeep costs that they thought WNY residents should pay.

The Thruway Authority receives from the Federal Highway Fund a per lane mile allocation of Federal Highway monies for maintaining non-toll interstate highways and bridges. For the upkeep and maintenance of those roads it appears that the DOT act on behalf of the Thruway Authority in applying for those funds annually from the Federal Government, receives the money, and the money is then used for the upkeep of New York State DOT roads and in some cases some monies are forwarded to the Thruway Authority. It all makes sense to someone.

There are no toll roads in Albany, except for the main line thruway, nor are there any toll bridges or interstate roads crossing the Hudson in Albany. Likewise in Utica, Schenectady, Syracuse, and Rochester, DOT bridges are non-tolled. The Skyway Bridge in Buffalo is non-tolled. Why does the State punish residents of Grand island and Niagara County than above the operating cost across its entire system. Why were the tolls on the Grand Island Bridges raised 50% instead of the 20% uniformly raised across the Thruway System?

It all kind of stinks.

Very truly yours,
Ellicott Development Company

Carl P. Paladino
Chief Executive Officer

It does stink, and someone should hold the state accountable.

2 Responses to “I’m Mad As Hell, And I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore”

  1. Buffalo Blood Donor November 25, 2007 at 7:40 am #

    Yes, someone SHOULD hold the state accountable. The VOTER.

    Oh, wait. That’s not working so well, is it?


  2. jen November 25, 2007 at 11:27 am #

    “It all kind of stinks.”


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