Letters to the Editor

I-70 blues

August 15, 2010


To the editor:

As I sat in backed-up traffic for about the fourth day in a row on the single-lane portion of the I-70 turnpike, I wondered, “Why am I paying toll on the portions of a toll road which have been under construction for more than two years?” Aren’t toll roads supposed to be expressways?

Perhaps KDOT should require KTA to refund fares to KTAG users who have suffered through narrow lanes, closed exits and untreated bridge joints which knock my car out of alignment. The pièce de résistance happened about a week ago when the KTAG toll-gate malfunctioned (again) and came down on my car for no reason. As it scratched my new car hood and went flying to the ground, I wondered, “Why does KTA use parking lot toll gates for an expressway?”

In Atlanta, they have overhead readers for multiple lanes and a 35 mph speed limit through the entrances and exits on their freeways. If you don’t have a pass, the reader takes a picture of your license tag and sends you a ticket. How many times have you had to stop because someone went through the KTAG line without a reader in their car or slowed to 5 mph behind a big truck.

I guess I-70 does resemble a parking lot at times. I sometimes want to pull the Jet Blue escape slide. I would, but KDOT decided that they would close the bridge on 24-40 too.


BrianR 7 years, 10 months ago

I liked the EZ Pass back east, you didn't really have to slow down. KDOT is using pretty antiquated technology.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 10 months ago

nice use of "escape slide."

your vehicle doesn't have the "reader,"

line without a reader in their car or slowed to 5 mph behind a big truck.

---you know, you could just put a gps tracker on your car, give KTA a direct feed for that data. then, nobody's stopping at all.
[only half joking].

jayhaitch 7 years, 10 months ago

I sympathize completely. I commute to KC every day, and lately I feel like a prisoner breaking out of jail just to get out of Lawrence. Not only is the turnpike down to one lane, so is 24/32! I find myself wondering if it might be easier to just drive all the way around the world and come into KC from other side.

tantrazoid 7 years, 10 months ago

I know what you mean. Why can't they just use magic to fix the road immediately rather than making us suffer through months of consruction?

Jimo 7 years, 10 months ago

Indeed, why don't they just use magic pixie-dust?

I've never seen construction on a public road!

Scott Drummond 7 years, 10 months ago

Privatized roads aren't quite so wonderful are they?

Give me some good old socialized roads.

tomatogrower 7 years, 10 months ago

This guy would be the first to sue if the bridge collapsed. Leave earlier, crank up the radio, but turn down the bass, and chill. Put in a book on tape. You're going to end up with high blood pressure. Whether you're a Christian or not the Serenity Prayer is a good one. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

You can't change road construction. It's a necessary evil.

justrestless242526 7 years, 10 months ago

God helped man create concrete. Concrete highways last 3 times as long as asphalt pavement. It costs more up front but causes less disruption of travel.

windjammer 7 years, 10 months ago

Go around Bozo and use K10. May be a few more miles but no tolls. Or I guess you could deal with it like all the rest of us.

justrestless242526 7 years, 10 months ago

I work by the airport and I live on the north side of Lawrence. Now taking K 10 wouldn't really be the green thing to do. And guess what, K 10 is under construction too.

Randy Leonard 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with most of the complaints the writer brings up. In my opinion, compared to other toll facilities around the country it is very inefficient and poorly ran. KTAG is a joke when compare to other express lane operations. The biggest positive is the bang for the buck. When you look at dollar per mile the KTA is a bargain when compared to other toll roads in the US. However, I would like to point out that KDOT does not operate the KTA. The KTA is a quasi-priviate organization with virtually no control by the State of Kansas. The Secretary of Transportation is only one of 5 members of the board of directors for the KTA and has only one vote. The Turnpike has it's own operations and engineering staff. All decisions concerning Turnpike operations are made by KTA staff independent of KDOT or any other state agency.

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