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Sakonnet Bridge Tolls, Can They be Defeated?

Request for state-wide support in fight to stop Sakonnet Bridge Tolls.

Was anyone besides Dan Reilly listening at the Portsmouth Business Association sponsored meeting with Assembly Members on Saturday, September 22nd?

The message was tolls are not acceptable... period! 

The DOT has mismanaged their funds and this will NOT be passed on to the citizens of the East Bay!

We are calling on the people of the state of Rhode Island to rally with us and tell their legislators that this toll (on a commuter bridge) is not acceptable.  When we all stand together, as we did on National Popular Vote, and on the East Bay Energy Consortium Act that was going to potentially return some funds to nine towns in the east bay, but on the backs of the other 30 towns by raising utility rates... we were successful!

This is NOT just an East Bay issue!  We need statewide support on this.

Please stand with us and tell the DOT to go back to the drawing board.  They can certainly find a solution if their backs are up against the wall!

Legislators that voted FOR the tolls are Ajello, Baldelli-Hunt, Bennet, Blazejewski, Brien, Carnevale, Cimini, Coderre, Corvese, DeSimone, Diaz, Fellela, Ferri, Fox, Handy, Hull, Jacquard, Johnston, Keable, Lally, Marcello, Martin, Mattiello, McCauley, McNamara, Medina, Melo, Messier, Naughton, Nunes, O'Grady, O'Neill, Petrarca, Phillips, San Bento, Serpa, Silva, Slater, Tanzi, Tarro, Tomasso, Ucci, Valencia, Walsh, Williams, and Winfield.  (some of these legislators have already lost in their primary challenge, but I wanted the count to be accurate.)

Tell them that the voters of Rhode Island will NOT play the "divide and conquer" game that has always worked so well for them in the past!  We must all stand together!

Please see earlier companion blog at

http://tiverton.patch.com/articles/tiverton-residents-rally-to-stop-tolls

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ray Berberick September 29, 2012 at 01:26 AM
http://tiverton.patch.com/articles/tiverton-stop-lanch-meeting-unites-town
marina peterson September 29, 2012 at 02:26 AM
The trash comments on this blog are taking away from the urgency of the effort, and our attempt to create one location where all groups supporting the stop-the-tolls movement can gather and express their arguments and thoughts. There are so many other blogs for you to heap your venom on, why not leave this one alone. Isn't running for election enough of a project for you?
Robert E September 29, 2012 at 04:43 AM
If they follow the toll fees of the Newport bridge off-islanders without a transponder pay $10.00 not $4.00 the lower fee is only for people with transponders.
Ellen September 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Any commuters here? Yeah, the costs are rediculous! But what about the traffic back-ups these toll booths will cause! Yikes! It'll take forever for anyone to move on or off the island! NO tolls!
BD September 29, 2012 at 01:19 PM
TEABAGGER (n.) A whining fool shouting loudly for liberty but not willing to pay the bill. I love the hypocrites who don't want to pay for governmental services such as education because they say they don't use it ...yet don't want to pay the bridge tolls....because they use it. Which is it you fools? Someone has to pay the bill. If you don't like the government's bridge, build your own private sector bridge. Let me know how that turns out.
Ellen September 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Hey BD! Do you commute over this bridge daily? No, didn't think so! Oh, I'd rather be a "whining fool" than a Sheep any day! This toll is NOT fair to those of us living on the island, nor is it efficient for everyone coming on and off the island especially on a daily basis.
Herb Weiss September 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
BD What makes the Sakonnet River Bridge any different from the hundreds of other bridges in Rhode Island??? Who's Bridge is it State or Federal Government??? Federal money was used build the new bridge... What did the state do with federal highway dollars, gas taxes, income taxes and sales tax car registration taxes Since 1957 that's 55 Years with NO Maintenance on the Sakonnet River Bridge... We get a refund??? A toll tax would DOUBLE TAXATION on the peoples bridge.
Stanley Martin September 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM
They can't get the tolls started fast enough for the CHEAPSKATES..... Pay up!!!! I do everyday...
Stanley Martin September 29, 2012 at 04:26 PM
All I hear is "What about Raytheon wah, what about small business wah, what about MA commuters wah". Keep crying. Why dont you have the stones to say you dont want to pay. The STOP bafoons are the cheapest people out there. Just admit you can't afford .83 cents...
Jim L September 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Well i guess that makes all the former arm services, members whining fools on here by your standards right,Bd all the vets at Raythoen And else where, even active duty Folks who Don't make much, and now the GA wants $30.00 month from some enlisted man family, great payback for his whining sacrifice right, Sad, SAD <SAD, OH NO TOLLS
marina peterson September 29, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Folks, I think the point here is that we have ALREADY paid for these services through our taxes and our 33.5cents on every gallon of gas that we buy. The funds were not managed properly and now they want more.
John Smith September 29, 2012 at 08:26 PM
We wont be getting any support from Newport and Jamestown thats for sure. They are bitter about paying there own Tolls. Ya see the comments everywhere, "Ugh. Well Why Does Newport Have to Take the Bill for the rest ah yas?!?!"
Herb Weiss September 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM
BD, What makes the Sakonnet River Bridge any different from the other hundreds of bridges across Rhode Island??? Who's Bridge is it State or Federal Government? Federal dollars were used to build new bridge...What did the State of RI do with federal highway money,,state income taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes and car registration taxes since 1957??? Thats 55 years "NO MAINTENANCE" ON THE SAKONNET RIVER BRIDGE. Should we get a refund because the State failed to equally fund highway maintenance on the Sakonnet River Bridge??? Any toll tax on the Sakonnet River Bridge would be DOUBLE TAXATION on the people of Aquidneck Island and Newport County.
Herb Weiss September 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
This is a failure of government and not the people of Aquidneck Island Newport County.
marina peterson September 30, 2012 at 05:05 PM
The point here is that we have ALREADY paid for the maintenance on this bridge, through our taxes and our gasoline tax. 33.5 cents goes to road and infrastructure maintenance. Because the DOT mismanaged the funds should not mean that they can just come back and tax the people again to make up the difference.
cheeeze September 30, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Maybe I'll start a petition to take the Newport bridge toll down. I use the Newport and Jamestown bridges on a almost daily basis. I almost never use the Mt. Hope bridge, yet I have to pay for maintenance on that bridge as well. Then there will be a weight limit on those bridges in 5-10 years because the state can't handle the infrastructure they have now. Not to mention once the state is involved, they'll take any "road tax" money to pay for brunches, company cars, toilet seats, etc. Get over yourselves people...use the bridge, pay the price. I don't see why any of you should be different from the rest of us.
marina peterson October 01, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Here is the link to the State of the State show on Sakonnet Bridge Tolls: https://vimeo.com/channels/365354/50471223
Herb Weiss October 01, 2012 at 11:42 AM
BD, What makes the Sakonnet River Bridge any different from the other hundreds of bridges across Rhode Island? Who's bridge is it State or Federal Government? Federal dollars were used to build new bridge... What did the State of RI do with federal highway money ,state income taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes and car registration taxes since 1957??? Thats 55 years "NO MAINTENANCE" ON THE SAKONNET RIVER BRIDGE. Should we get a refund because the State failed to equally fund highway maintenance on the Sakonnet River Bridge??? Any toll tax on this Sakonnet River Bridge would be DOUBLE TAXATION On the People of Aquidneck Island and Newport County. This is a failure of Government, not the People of Aquidneck Island Newport County.
Jim L October 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM
The silience from upstate on this is getting deafening, New commitee's formed to atract bussiness, panel being formed to study what's wrong, not one word about TOLLS , Tolls that will suck money right out of every person and Business in Newport County, Even Gordon Fox gets on a panel, What ?he doesn't see or care about this issue It is up the us the people to change this, When We got our first little blip of pubplic attention (Thanks Buddy and Clements Market) the qyestion was asked, ? Show us another way! We have been there and done that, Watching the folks who got us here I see no help from them, That leave just Us, American citizens armed with the right to vote and petition our goverment for redress, if the long elected to upstate folks chose to just ignore us, Then We are the bigger fools for keepng them there, 36 days from now we go to the voting booths, SIGN THE PETITION ! WRITE A LETTER!CALL THE RADIO! Join STOP, Contact and help donttoll, This is not a game (at least not to us) 35 thousand by voting day or more would be good, it's in sight, and thousands more by Jan 15, NO TOLLS
Herb Weiss October 01, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Pell Bridge Toll tax is enough... Governor Chafee is raising the car Registration fees along with the License fees which are taxes as you all know to pay for Bridge and Road Maintenance. I already have to pay for the Pell Bridge and will not pay for the Sakonnet River Bridge Toll Tax TOO. If Governor Chafee and Rhode Island need more revenue, Put the Toll TAX ELSEWHERE PLENTY OF BRIDGES IN THIS STATE. NO BLOCKADE OF AQUIDNECK ISLAND... *** NO TOLL***
Herb Weiss October 01, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Pell Bridge Toll tax is enough... Governor Chafee is raising the car Registration fees along with the License fees which are taxes as you all know to pay for Bridge and Road Maintenance. I already have to pay for the Pell Bridge and will not pay for the Sakonnet River Bridge Toll Tax TOO. If Governor Chafee and Rhode Island need more revenue, Put the Toll TAX ELSEWHERE PLENTY OF BRIDGES IN THIS STATE. NO BLOCKADE OF AQUIDNECK ISLAND... *** NO TOLL***
Herb Weiss October 01, 2012 at 07:49 PM
We should End the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority that would save the State of Rhode Island $$$$ MILLIONS OF DOLLARS YEARLY. Please keep in mind that taxes only go up any other toll tax will HURT NEWPORT BUSINESS BADLY... NEWPORT GRAND TOO... revenue loss from sales taxes and casino will inpact both the state and local economy.
Herb Weiss October 01, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Staney, I do too... NO MORE TOLLS PERIOD!!! You obviously MUST work for The RHODE ISLAND TURNPIKE AND BRIDGE AUTHORITY.
Jim L October 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
1420 new signatures on Aquidneck island yesterday, ! that and 3 new bussiness, just amazes me, How can so many people see the effect tolls on the sakonett river bridge will have and and elected officals only see the money coming in?When this started the buzz word was "it's a done deal" because we have no other way to fund bridge maintance, Well Stop and donttoll hve presented more than 3 or 4 ways to solve this, By Nov, 6th I/we you/us. hope to have over 30,0000.00 thousand signatures and be well into our letter campaige, from then it is the goal to collect signatures from everyone anywhere in RI who agrees that it's insane to #1 Make Newport county the ATM of Rhode Island,# 2 hand millions of tazpayer dollars over to a private company that has no state oversight, put our gas tax and car registration money towards what it is for, we have to stop that money from being a cookie jars for leaders to had out rewards , just patting taxpayers on the head and giving them present paid for with their own money, NO TOLLS, This has to stop
Jim L October 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I find more and more Newport addresses on petitions in Middletowntown now, thats fine by me, The toll issue in Newport is almost like the civil war, one guy pay's tolls for the Pell bridge, next guy doesn't, I haven't got an answer for that, well maybe Stop or donttoll do, but I'm just the petition guy, The more folks that sign the the bigger my smile.The thing is tho this isn't about the fairness of Pell bridge tolls, it's about the entire economic engine that runs Newport county and the fuel that runs it being removed from it, Here's a thought, Bars hire bands , WHY? to attract customers right? when the bands that play Newport start paying $10.00 a member just to get to a gig in town do any bar owners think the band will just eat that? Do you think folks coming to see said band wiil pay the stateline cover charge of $10.00 and another cover at your door? just a thought, but i think a thought someone better be thinking about Thats money some bar with never see, tips your bartenders and waitress's never touch, food tax not paid for stuff your cook never makes, Why this is my problem I really don't know, it seems like it's all of our problem, isn't it??? NO TOLLS
Jim L October 04, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Brendan Doherty will be at the new bridge opening tomorrow on the Tiverton side of the old bridge, come and lend support to the only guy who seems to be willing to help us all, or just show up to support no tolls, either PLEASE come. it will be off great help to our cause
Jim L October 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM
TOLLS? NEVER!! So here I am again thinking about how bad tolls will be, but then another question comes into my mind. Now it is said that ALL the toll money will be used for the 4 major bridges and roads in Newport county RIGHT?I would assume that would include paving? road repairs, cleaning and fixing catch basins, sand removal? snow plowing? where will the bridge guys get the equipment needed to do this? Will the toll money go to them and then THEY with hire the DOT to do these jobs after they siphon their cut off the top? I mean i see no other way for this to work, do you?
Herb Weiss October 12, 2012 at 02:03 PM
We all need to be clear on this Toll tax matter. Chafee wants to use our sales taxes, gas taxes,Income Taxes, Registration and license taxes along with our share of federal highway monies from our federal gas tax and federal income taxes we pay. Chafee then uses our tax dollars to pay for the rest of the state bridges and roadways. Then Chafee wants us to pay with the Pell toll tax and the Sakonnet River Toll tax to pay for our own bridges and roadways I call it DOUBLE TAXATION THE AQUIDNECK ISLAND DOUBLE STANDARD.
Leslie Stern October 22, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I am a commuter. I live in Portsmouth and work in E. Providence so I either will have to pay the insane toll or leave the house 30 minutes earlier and lose time with my family to go over the Mt. Hope Bridge and down through Warren, Barrington, Etc.... It would be CRAZY!!! I emailed Gov Chaffee and shared my thoughts with NO RESPONSE except the blanket email that I probably wouldn't get a response. So disappointing.
Jeff Keeney October 22, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I have to laugh at all the "83 cents" comments. Do you know that if your vehicle is in excess of 7500 pounds gross vehicle weight, (any typical van or 3/4-ton pick-up) you still pay full toll price, even with a Speedpass? And you have to pay $25 for the transponder. My only source of transportation is my work-van. I cannot afford to own two vehicles in this economy. Sometimes my work requires several trips per day over the Sakonnet Bridge. Tolls would be VERY financially hurtful to my struggling company. I feel that I pay enough in fuel taxes, and registration, which is also based on vehicle gross weight, and more taxes should not be forced on small businesses right now. Thanks for listening to me "whine".

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