I have followed the Chris Christie “Bridge-gate Scandal” with amusement. I am fascinated by the pictures of the toll plaza on the western end of the bridge.
Why is the toll plaza so huge with traffic backed up (aside from the lane closures at the heart of the scandal)? Here in Texas, the main lanes of any tolled freeway or bridge has an archway that reads RFID tags attached to cars. You can zip right through at 80+ miles per hour as you pay your toll. In Austin, none of the toll roads even take cash or change. If you don’t have a toll tag, the system takes a picture of your license plate and sends you a bill. (The bill is a bit higher than the tag rate, but it isn’t high like a penalty fine.) This is advertised as “Pay By Mail”, though you actually can pay via a website.
So, why isn’t this technology deployed on the George Washington Bridge and other similar bottlenecks? Since there are many states and provinces in fairly close proximity to the GWB, the “Pay By Mail” system may be too complicated to work efficiently, but couldn’t people who use the bridge regularly simply get a tag and speed on by the plaza?
Also, why are the fine people of Fort Lee restricted to only three paltry lanes at the toll plaza in the first place? Even without shenanigans from the Governor’s Office, doesn’t that create a bottleneck on the best of days?