Clay Jones on tolls
Editor’s note: We’re adding Fredericksburg political cartoonist Clay Jones’ work to Fredericksburg Today. I’ve worked with Clay in the past, and he’s a talented, opinionated guy. I’m running his cartoons as opinion pieces, and I’m also planning to run the column that Clay writes along with the toons. You might not agree with Clay, and he might even tick you off sometimes. Or you might totally agree with him and share each toon with your friends. Either way, I’m glad to have Clay’s work on the site–it warms the First Amendment part of my heart. – Chris Muldrow, publisher, Fredericksburg Today.
By Clay Jones
This is a cartoon that may only be published by one of my clients. While I did a lot on the Virginia elections, those cartoons were still covering a national subject. I plan to draw another cartoon tonight, so this is like another bonus. Hey, it is a bonus. But, even if nobody ran it I still wanted to do it. I was grousing about this with the person I talk politics the most, and she wanted me to hit it too.
The tolls in Northern Virginia are insane, just like the traffic. At one point last week, they hit a price of $40 for the 10-mile route between the Beltway and the District. You people in New Jersey may wanna stop whining. Wait, Jersey people never stop whining.
If you use EZPass then you are exempt from the tolls. Transportation officials this week said the tolls are meant to encourage solo drivers to carpool or use slug lines (where you let strangers ride with you in the early morning) or public transportation. Some drivers have reacted to the new pricing on social media with the hashtag #highwayrobbery.
The tolls took effect on Monday and required all drivers who use I-66 inside the Beltway between the 5:30 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. to have an E-ZPass. Single drivers pay a “dynamic toll” which changes depending on how many cars are using the lanes. Vehicles with two or more occupants ride free with an E-ZPass Flex.
While drivers are upset, some lawmakers in the General Assembly (that’s our legislature. We’re different) are calling to end these adjusting toll rates.
Fortunately for me, I have never had to commute to D.C., though I have fought the traffic plenty of times. My ex-wife had a knack for scheduling my son’s flights to land to time with commuter traffic. That just created another reason for why it sucks to drive to Baltimore.
But, when I do drive to or through Washington, I always use I-95 and these crazy tolls are on I-66, so they still wouldn’t affect me. But, it’s really gotta suck for those who have to deal with it.
As I said, this is a bonus cartoon. I’ll be going back to work in an hour or so. Good night, normal people.