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Thanksgiving time is here

Slow commute on I-93

Shortly before 7 p.m., one of the signboards by the side of I-93 north of the city showed it would take 81 minutes to go just five miles, Caitlin DiMartino reports.

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Finding the best route via local roads might save some time here ... or yield a place to go to dinner. Have to be careful of paths, though.

Sheesh - I'm a slowish walker and I could cover five miles faster than that!

So glad that UMass lets out for a full week!

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Good speed for someone who just took up running.

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Massachusetts: 1st in education, 2nd in healthcare, 45th in infrastructure:

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2017/02/28/massachusetts-was-rank...

Even among many of the so-called Progressives in this state, the mere hint of raising the gas tax (it's been over 20 years!!) is met with widespread backlash. Hey, roads are crumbling; bridges are crumbling; the T is a litany of breakdowns and signal problems--you get what you get!

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There are people who voted against raising the gas tax who frequently complain about the state of our roads. These people are not smart and they have no one to blame for their misery but themselves.

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Time for those in Hingham and Deluxbury to dig deep and pay their share. I think they might be able to afford it.

Also, time to tax the New Hampshire-ites who use our roads every day to commute to MA (because of the lack of jobs in the 'tax free' paradise that is the Granite State).

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Are you suggesting these people sit in their houses with something from qdoba and facetime with mom and dad for thanksgiving?

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Actually that sounds like a good idea.

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Also, time to tax the New Hampshire-ites who use our roads every day to commute to MA (because of the lack of jobs in the 'tax free' paradise that is the Granite State).

You do realize that people who commute from NH for MA jobs pay MA income tax? And as many have pointed out here over the past few years gas taxes alone don't cover infrastructure maintenance.

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Flat tax vs usage. MA Income tax is low and flat, meanwhile the 100-150 miles round trip daily is quite a haul.

NH has tolls on all of its major interstates sans 91, and has million of miles less roads to keep up.

The biggest issue would be the Feds, as they tend to take back fed funds if you try to tell an interstate. But, I'm sure our politicians can work out a reduction in funds for a waiver where we come out ahead like Virginia did.

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NH has tolls on all of its major interstates sans 91

Trust me: New Hampshire would love to collect tolls on I-91... if any part of it were in New Hampshire.

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I think they mean Interstate 89. Its one of the few that do not have a tolls... but then again I-89 runs thru mostly rural areas (and into Vermont), but it is the major connecting highway that connects Boston to Montreal.

(other non toll'd highways are I-293, I-393, & NH 101)

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The state cannot put tolls on a federal interstate highway. Where tolls exist on them are generally from toll roads that were state highways later incorporated into the Eisenhower system.

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There are people who voted against raising the gas tax who ...

Nope, sorry, try again.

As a corollary to "the plural of anecdote is NOT data", I will remind you (again) that incorrect statements do not become true if you repeat them enough.

I (and a lot of other people) didn't vote against "raising the gas tax". We voted against "linking" or "indexing" or whatever damn term they used to describe enacting a policy where the tax would change (up or down) in the future because of whichever economic indicators so legislative & executive branch could try to insulate themselves from ballot-box feedback by throwing up their hands and say "Darn, I'd like a different level of funding, but indexing don't you know, can't do anything about it..." instead of actually doing their damn jobs and monitor needs, determine priorities, & set a budget!!!

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That's a remarkably political definition of indexing. I think I better one might be: The size of the revenue stream grows at roughly the same pace as the cost of the things it needs to purchase. As the history of the gas tax in MA (and the country) shows pretty clearly: The public views ordinary cost-of-goods increases in the gas tax with suspicion, and all of the various libertarian interest groups will take the opportunity every single time to try to convince everyone that we don't need to buy that infrastructure in the first place. The net result: Every year infrastructure continues to get more expensive (in fixed dollar terms) and every year the gas tax gets weaker. So congratulations: This one tax gets extra super scrutinized every year, and as a result, our roads, bridges, and trains are crumbling beneath our feet.

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Why was the gas tax ever defined to be a fixed amount per gallon, rather than a percentage of the price like the sales tax?

Was it because it was too difficult to calculate in the days before computers, when gas prices could change every day?

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I wonder if these groups would ever support a similar measure to forbid the transfer of funds from the general fund to the highway fund. I suspect not.

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The real problem here is not the condition of the roads.

The real problem is the lack of alternatives to driving for so many people.

This is a shear "too many people in space-wasting vehicles" problem.

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A lot of the people who voted against the gas tax funding literally don't understand how any of it works. They use the word "reward," as in "why should I reward the poor performance of our infrastructure by giving them more money?" Umm - the reason it's falling apart is because they don't have enough money. This isn't an 8-year old's allowance, withholding until things improve will not be a successful strategy.

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Maybe the people who voted against it literally did understand what the gas tax was. Maybe they were literally annoyed that Mass. spends more per mile to maintain their roads of any state besides New Jersey. Maybe they were literally angry that Mass spends the third most in admin costs per mile ($78k vs. a $10k national average), and they didn't want to keep feeding the beast? Just a thought.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/wellesley/study-mass-spends-too-much-roa...

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Mass. spends more per mile to maintain their roads outside of New Jersey.

I should certainly hope that Mass. is maintaining its roads outside of New Jersey. Maintaining them inside New Jersey, which would include shipping the roads to New Jersey, working on them there, and then shipping them back to Massachusetts, would be prohibitively expensive.

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1) Everything in MA costs more, private sector businesses included
2) Snow removal
3) Our highways are among the most urban in the country. Urban highways are, mile for mile, much more expensive to maintain mostly because they get used more.

When you do this comparison on the basis of vehicle miles traveled and you compare us to states with a similar cost of living, we're basically the middle of the road.

TL;DR: This story was originally published in response to numbers put out by a libertarian think tank with a history of anti-government rhetoric with predictable results.

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Before that it had been more than 20 years.

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in the country for bad traffic in one of the latest surveys.

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However, had they done some homework, they might have realized that using the name Metcalfe in a story about airports and airlines may have not been the best idea.

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Maybe in your mind, but google isn't very helpful here.

Is there a particular incident that you have in mind?

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It took me several attempts at googling this until I finally figured out what you were on about.

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Pretty hellacious, at times.

The online Boston globe site has a schedule of times to avoid traveling during Thanksgiving week, generally, when traffic will be at its worst.

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