Question #3 Responses – January Survey “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

use money that is being collected by the state on tourism in including meals & beverages as well has hotel rooms. Newport recieves very little of those taxes back from the state currently.
They SHOULD put a toll on the new bridge. However for those who think they shouldn’t have to pay, the other bridge should be left in place with free passage. No maintenance should be done on the old bridge, because the users don’t believe they should pay for anything. Eventually the old bridge will collapse. Anyone using the bridge when it collapses will be barred from suing the state, because they knowingly took the risk. They could have paid a couple of bucks and enjoyed a safe, well maintained bridge. Also, once the old bridge collapses, the anti-toll idiots will be encouraged to set up a private ferry, which, based on their foolish logic, will also somehow be free.
There has to be enough in the general fund to cover lots of other things, since bridge maintenance is easy to put off when the budget is tight. That’s what happened to the previous bridge. Sales and income taxes would have to go up to reach that goal, specially with federal funding decreasing.
Realistically, good maintenance can only happen with tolls on the Sakonnet River bridge, going into the TBA fund. That fund should continue to be used for the three Aquidneck Island bridges, with no siphoning into the general fund or any other fund.
All R. I. residents should contribute to maintaining all R.I. bridges.
Tax other bridges in Rhode Island
Although I may be biased because I am in the hospitality business, I know through personal experience that increasing tolls, and particularly putting tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge will curtail tourism, a major source of tax revenue for Newport & the state of Rhode Island, and a major source of employment for many Newporters. What will be gained in toll revenue will be more than lost in revenue from tourism, as there are many lovely tourist spots in Rhode Island & adjacent states which can be reached without any tolls. Perhaps eliminating the current R.I. bridge authority & giving responsibility for R.I. bridges to other existing administration offices would reduce state government & costs. Better maintenance on bridges would eliminate the need to construct new ones – the Brooklyn Bridge is over 100 years old & in good shape, with much more traffic than any R.I. bridge.
Take from RI General Fund; that is, monies from state’s general taxes and fees.
Toll the Jamestown, Newport, Mount Hope, and Sakonnet River bridges. The tolls should be only one way coming onto the island with no tolls leaving the island. The cost of maintenance of all these bridges should determine the leveled toll that is the same regardless of which bridge you cross. It’s pretty simple, but no one likes simple answers.

The bridges were built and now they must be maintained. The users of the bridges must pay the cost. I live on the island and it’s my responsibility, as a user of all these bridges, to maintain them.

I’m not sure there is an “other.” Bridge users pay the toll. That’s fair and reasonable, as well as the custom in other states and on other bridges. New Englanders as a group, I’ve observed, tend to balk at almost anything new. Eventually, they seem to get used to it, just like everybody else.

NB. (not for publication) My quiz response is in two parts because I hit the wrong button and closed out before completing it. Part One = 1. and 2. Part Two = 3. Sorry about that 🙁

Toll major roads coming into RI and lower the sales tax to 4%.
I think a 5 cent tax on the sale of all alcohol and alcoholic beverages would be dandy. Any negative impact on consumption could only be an added bonus.
The Newport Bridge & the Mt. Hope will still be funded through the RITBA as they are now..The Jamestown has had some major structural repairs done within the last few years because the State DOT never seems to have the money it would take to do the “less expensive” ongoing maintainence. We need to dedicate resources to maintain these larger structures before they reach the point of possible failure..That is what RITBA has always done with their very limited staff and budget..I would hope we keep them involved as part of the solution..
Rhode Island taxes are some of the highest, and we have a densely populated state. If some of the taxes we pay are not already tagged for the maintenance of crucial infrastructure, something has gone askew.
Neither!!! The bridge needs to have a toll — no free rides! Make it fair for residents within 20 miles, but SOME toll should be expected!
Construct two new parking towers and allocate that revanue to deferr the cost of maintaining these bridges.Cut down all adminastrative state ODot jobs,hire more low encome workers to do some of the more repetious duties?
simple – same way all other roads, bridges and other infrastructure are paid for –

let’s look at the details of that spending – total state and other (fed Funds..) spending on all roads and bridges… and then just Newport, Jamestown, Tiverton, Bristol bridges…

look at as a % of income from towns sales tax, payroll, income, etc vs costs of the state payment from those roads and bridges, and come up with other economic metrics..

Good question!!!
not exactly sure but I am against the two mentioned.
A realistic budget for bridge maintenance that comes out of funds that are allocated for road maintenance and is non-negotiatable, non-forfeitable. Yes, I agree RIBTA has done a lot better job maintaining the Pell brdige than the DOT did the Sakonnet bridge, so moving the bridge to that agency is a good idea. And yes, RIBTA is right not to accept responsiblity for that bridge without guaranteed funds to maintain it. But, a toll on that bridge will severely impact Aquidneck County financially. It is already a burden that non-RIers must pay $4 each time they cross the Pell bridge but if you put a toll on the Sakonnet bridge they will have no reasonable way to get on the island without paying $8 (Metacom Ave is so slow.) This ia a big deal, it means a state budget that is truly paying for road and bridge maintenance, instead of pet projects like traffic calming in Elmwood in Providence, etc etc. Don’t start any new projects until you can pay for maintaining the current infrastructure – isn’t that what we have to do in our own budgets for our own homes? I make that decision all the time – no redoing the front look of the house, instead replace the windows for heat conservation.
Place less expensive tolls on all three bridges: $2.50 each for starters.
I support a toll
Bridges should be tolled to pay for their maintenance. If there were no bridges, we would take ferries and we would not expect the ferries to be free.
Utilize existing gas tax but specifically alot percentages to bridge maintenance and/or debt repayment.
Don’t know. Believe should be toll on bridge.
Raise Car reg fees and other fees.
Get better financial management at RIDOT and State Gov.
Have checks to make sure funds are nbeing used as required for transportation.
a toll on the bridge is my favorite option, albeit, not the best.
The Pell bridge should not have to support other bridges
Set up a fund for the up keep. This could be a % of state revenue.
don’t vote against this raise
Cut the ridiculous amount of money going to entitlement programs!
Start by taking away the illegals benefits and put the money there!
Take all the other money we pay in taxes. Average american loses already 40% of their income to taxes. Stop making us so dependable on government.
Increase the car tax and earmark this tax and the gas tax for maintenance of the roads and bridges. Eliminate the Pell Bridge toll since this would be the only toll in the state. If it is not fair to toll the Sakonnet Bridge then it is not fair to toll the Pell Bridge.
Neither option
I approve of the toll on the Sakonnet bridge
place EZ Pass on the Sakonnet Bridge – c’mon – the Pell bridge is already too expensive for commuters.
Not sure, but increasing the toll on one of 3 bridges will ensure that visitors / commuters avoid the one toll bridge and overuse the other two bridges resulting in less funds for bridge maintenance and repair for all three bridges.
Users of the Pell Bridge should not finance the other bridges in the area. I object to Pell Bridge users supporting the Mt.Hope Bridge. If the Sakonnet bridge is not handed over to the Bridge authority, the state should maintain the bridge as they had the first one, with hopefully the proper attention to maintaining it this time. In other words, the bridge is tolled if handed over to the Authority, or, maintained by DOT if not.
There should be a road tax for passenger cars/pickups based on in state mileage. The % should be quite small but at least those who put “wear and tear” on roads and bridges should pay more.
Put a toll up state. Washington Bridge to name one.
The Pell Bridge toll should NOT be paying for ALL? Everyone needs to pay their fair share. I agree the newport And Jamestown bridges are significantly longer than the other So they need their own toll. But in general I think the gas tax should pay for our roads and our bridges, period.
Tax the legislature
Focus on low maintenance construction. This is Rhode Island-The Turnpike and Bridge Authority is just another agency for added expenditures. The State needs to get the qualified employees that they hire get serious and proud to do their job. What would it have taken for the State DOT to sweep the Sakonnet Bridge of the corrosive salts that they put there at the end of each winter??? The prisoners could have been assigned this task. It breaks my heart to travel the roads of Europe and see how clean and maintained everything is. Wake up America-stop ripping off everyone and lets get some pride back. It isn’t only RI- The Governor Of MA and MA DOT should have to set up their offices beneath the Braga Bridge. That area is an absolute frightening disgrace.
I forget how all of the bridges are managed. I think I read that some are funded through DOT and others are not. In any case, it would seem fair to place all the bridges in RI under the auspices of one state agency, pool all the monies, and use all the tolls and other federal funding to maintain all of the bridges, with annual maintenance checks. My worry is, all of the people protesting the toll on the Sakonnet Bridge don’t say where maintenance funds for that bridge are supposed to come from.
The idea of a toll on I-95 was shelved, but I don’t recall why. Was it a national decision?
Start a demolition fund so that the state will have the requisite monies needed when it comes time to demolish the 2012 Sakonnet River Bridge. On a serious note: the state has demonstrated an inability to properly fund the maintenance cost of its bridge and road infrastructure. It is essential that it develop a scheme that guarantees that that responsibility is met in the future. Tolling the access points at the Sakonnet, Mount Hope and Verrazano (not Pell) bridges so that all residents and visitors to Aquidneck and Conanicut islands share in the maintenance of the bridges they use and on which they rely seems to be a reasonable approach. But it has to be done in a manner that ensures that state and federal transportation funds that would normally accrue to the communities on those islands are not diverted to other places. Any tolling scheme used should give special consideration to those who use the bridges at rates greater than the average resident, e.g., businesses and residents, as well as non-resident commuters who work on the islands. It might be reasonable to required that no one pay more two tolls a day (on/off). The governance of the tolling agency should include representation from all island communities, as well as Tiverton, Bristol and North Kingston.
Put the tolls back on the Mt. Hope bridge
PUT Tolls on Sakonnett Not fair to people traveling from Ct, NJ, NY, and for people living in Newport that work in Providence. All the sale tax dollars are leaving for Mass and the Malls in Dartmouth and Fall River.
Put toll on Mount Hope Bridge
Stop wasteful spending throughout the state.
More oversight of the funds collected from the Pell Bridge, this bridge was supposed to be self–supporting decades ago.
A 50 cent charge for using both the Washington and Tiverton Bridge would help defray costs for all travelers but not be extravagant.
Raising the gas tax would mean that everyone in the state would HAVE to pay for OUR bridges whether they ever use them or not. Makes a lot of sense, no?
There is no reason not to have tolls on all bridges. To have tolls on only one is unfair. The steady rise of the tolls on the Pell bridge could have been avoided if there had been a minimal toll on all bridges. For the residents of the northern part of the island to complain is disingenuous. One again, Newport is asked to be the cash cow for the state.
Reduce the size of the state government
car tax as seperate property tax
lottery

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Newport County Chamber of Commerce opposes Bridge Tolls

SAKONNET RIVER BRIDGE TOLL

AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, THE NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAS STRONGLY OPPOSED THE BRIDGE TOLLS THAT ARE TO BE PLACED ON THE NEW SAKONNET RIVER BRIDGE. THE CHAMBER UNDERSTANDS THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL IMPLICATION THAT WILL AFFECT NOT ONLY LOCAL BUSINESSES BUT THEIR EMPLOYEES AS WELL. WITH THIS UNDERSTANDING, THE CHAMBER HAS NOT STOPPED FIGHTING FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR MEMBERS’ BUSINESSES AND HAS COMBINED OUR EFFORTS WITH LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE RAYMOND E. GALLISON. REPRESENTATIVE GALLISON HAS ASKED OUR MEMBERS TO SEND COMMENTS TO THE RIDOT UNDERLINING HOW MUCH OF A NEGATIVE IMPACT THE TOLLS WOULD BE ON YOUR BUSINESS. THE CHAMBER WOULD LIKE TO ASK ALL OF OUR MEMBERS TO SEND THEIR COMMENTS ELECTRONICALLY TO customerservice@dot.ri.gov
( and CC Jody Sullivan at jodyjude@newportchamber.com )or by first class mail to:
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
2 Capitol Hill
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Attn: Customer Service

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