Just to make sure the western suburbs pay for the Big Dig, Govenor Patrick is proposing the dismantling of Mass Turnpike Authority and placing roads east of 128 in the hands of Massport. In addition to this, all toll west of 128 would be removed with the exception of the toll plaza at Stockbridge which connects I 84 with Connecticut and I 90 with New York State. Well that seems fair doesn’t it? You can drive 50+ miles for free, but if you drive from Newton to Copley (about 5 miles) you will pass 2 toll booths. The biggest benefactors of the Big Dig are the North and South shore and yet they don’t pay any tolls on 93. Massport now runs the airport and seaport so you can see how that experience translates into assuming the role of the Turnpike Authority, which is already 2.2 billion dollars in debt. How does running Logan and the Seaport qualify you to manage the Mass Turnpike? Where is the money coming from? If Patick wants Massport to assume responsibility for the Mass Pike (and keep it as a toll road) than they should also assume responsibility of all Mass highways. A toll booth at Exit 16 will increase pollution, traffic, and have a negative impact on the City of Newton. Tolls do put the burden on the people who use the highways, however, let’s eliminate all manned booths, build “open road tolls” as they already have in other states, and require a transponder. Since transponders clearly eliminate traffic back ups they should be free. Transponders save time, eliminate unnecessary employees, and reduce pollution caused by idling cars. The towns inside 128 should not bear the burden of all the highways in Mass. Why is driving the Mass Pike different than driving 495 or 128? What added benefits are we getting? All vehicle drivers should pay their fair share, Pike drivers also pay a gas and income tax that is used to maintain all of Mass highways, so why the extra fee assessed to them by way of tolls? Why don’t other drivers contribute to the Pike, since Pike drivers contribute to other roads? Let’s have one highway authority that has control of all Mass roads and distribute the burden evenly.