Trouble in transit

Turnpike tumult

April 16, 2009
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ACCORDING TO your April 14 Metro article "Pike budget pinch is felt at tollbooths, where drivers fume," Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chief Alan LeBovidge deliberately understaffed the tollbooths on Easter weekend in order to save money. By doing so, he caused miles-long backups and subjected thousands of Massachusetts residents to up to an hour wait at the exits.

I imagine LeBovidge did not spend any time in the traffic jam he caused. If he had, he would have realized that these situations can be quite dangerous, with drivers swerving in and out of lanes and everyone on the verge of road rage.

I think I speak for many of my fellow taxpayers when I say that whatever money he saved by short-staffing tollbooths wasn't worth it. If ever again he decides to place only one collector at the Route 128 tollbooths on a holiday weekend, he should empower the collector to wave people through as soon as the traffic starts backing up onto the highway.

Deborah Drexler

ON EASTER, both of my sisters from Western Massachusetts drove with their families to join my family for the holiday. Both have Fast Lane transponders, and they and thousands of others had an extra hour or more added to the drive by the arrogant actions of Alan LeBovidge, executive director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. If he does not know how to better manage Easter Sunday traffic, then he should be replaced. Why should thousands of citizens be told to "grin and bear it" so that he can make a point about fiscal difficulties? Why would the Turnpike Authority board allow this to happen? They should be replaced by people who don't feel the need to punish those who drive on the turnpike.

Margaret Murphy

"GRIN AND bear it"? I hope Alan LeBovidge's doctor, lawyer, dentist, barber, mechanic, etc. take note - the turnpike chief does not mind being kept waiting. To ruin so many people's Easter was cynical, arrogant, and unnecessary. He does not seem to take a lot of pride in his position, but I guess the same can be said about the many "sick" toll collectors.

Jim English

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