By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More Mass Pike shenanigans

A government official confronted and forced to spin on the fly. A shadowy source, speaking through a voice-changer. Prat Thakker of New England Cable News has a terrific story on the Massachusetts Turnpike’s decision to short-staff the toll booths on Easter Sunday. Alan LeBovidge’s reaction: Hummina hummina hummina. Great stuff.

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  1. O-FISH-L

    At this point it seems that either Gov. Patrick is totally incompetent, or he believes the voters are.The drapes, the Cadillac and the hiring of a high-priced aide for Diane were political missteps for sure, but the backlash was of the worthy opposition variety and would have passed in time. The recent shutting off of the Zakim Bridge lights, especially at a time of peak tourism with the Marathon in town and Celtics and Bruins playoffs about to take place beside the bridge, is more insulting than the rookie transgressions. Worst of all, the staged turnpike holiday gridlock rises to the level of open warfare, Patrick against the People. Who is advising this guy? Really? Patrick has done the impossible by making Dukakis appear humble.

  2. NewsHound

    O-FISH – everything you wrote, sadly, is so true.This problem can also be blamed on the many prior years of mismanagement including the culmination of over compensating employees. When the tide goes out as far as it has this time those who have outgrown their bathing suits are exposed and become offensive. Gov Patrick apparently was best prepared to be governor during a time when the job would be easy, the economy would be great, most everyone would be doing well and only a few otherwise irrelevant “radicals” would be complaining.

  3. mikestucka

    I thought the idea of having a guy with private industry ties was that he understood how business worked. But all I hear is one side of the equation — expenses, expenses, expenses.He’s well on his way, I’d wager, to slashing revenues. I now avoid the Pike where I can, and it’s paying off marvelously.On Easter, for example, two family vehicles left Stoneham for Newton. I got there five minutes later after taking the (free) Storrow Drive — complete with windows rolled down. The other difference? *I dropped someone off at Logan Airport first*.When toll roads are only somewhat faster but incur a charge, they’ve got a chance to make some money. When toll roads are *slower* and expensive, no one will use them.

  4. Brian Flaherty

    Bye bye Alan

  5. NewsHound

    The Mass Pike was constructed a half century ago to help the motorist, not hinder. Twice that far back people traveled by horse and wagon on dirt roads.Maybe now that the tide has gone so far out we can see that Gov. Patrick might have succeeded more because of the rising sun than any innovate and unique skill of solving problems during adversity.Expensive drapes and car selection might also reveal a certain self-concern over public interest which otherwise could be classified as being shallow.

  6. mike_b1

    Thakker sounded dumbfounded when LeBovidge acknowledged he was responsible. Funny.Or maybe they decided to short-staff on Easter in order to call attention to the department’s lack of cash (although it were up to me, they’d migrate all lanes to transponders and dump all the toll-takers).A FastLane isn’t a fast lane when you have to stop for it. In Illinois, for example, you drive through the tolls at typical interstate cruising speeds. As for O-Fish, she apparently thinks every misstep by an underling is somehow a direct failing by the chief. Hey O-Fish, when you were tossed from the force for billyclubbing that black kid, did you blame it on Bratton?

  7. Rick in Duxbury

    Mike, I apparently wasn’t paying as much attention as I thought I was. Care to give me a source or a link to that comment about Fish? If we are going to get personal here, it would help to have some context. Thanks.

  8. mike_b1

    Rick, go back and read Fish’s first comment in this string.

  9. io saturnalia!

    Is it my imagination, or was the anonymous source’s voice not changed at all during his first appearance?

  10. O-FISH-L

    mike_b1, I never worked for Boston PD nor have I ever claimed to have, never met Bill Bratton and never carried a club. Is this what passes for debate nowadays, malicious personal invective?

  11. O-FISH-L

    io saturnalia: I thought the same thing, the voice changer wasn’t working at first, the silhouette didn’t hide many features, including a fairly identifiable hair cut, and the wall art was one of a kind. If they can’t figure out who this guy is, they’re even less competent than I thought.

  12. LFNeilson

    After the Easter backup, could there be anything worse?Can't they see that toll booths are inefficient? Miles of backups, tons of Easter Bunny "raisins" on the Pike. Oops, I meant exhaust residue. You could probably measure the foul language in tonnage, too.If they eliminated the tollbooths, what would happen?Let's have a little homework here: $ in tolls, $ in salaries for toll collectors, $ for executives, $ for snow & ice, $ for repaving.And Mass. is talking about adding a toll booth on 95 North at the NH line?!!!zzzzzzzzzz

  13. acf

    It would seem to me that the money saved by shutting off the Zakim Bridge lights, while real, would be minuscule in comparison to the shortfall in the budget. While I don’t say that we should ignore the pennies in the search for money, there are likely serious, big money cuts that should be publicized, instead. Sadly, as Fish pointed out, darkening the Zakim at this time, with all the big public events to take place, is misguided and putting our worst foot forward. It’s a little like throwing our hands up in defeat and hiding, instead of brightly showing confidence that we can solve this problem and are still welcoming visitors to the city.

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