Ruling could come any day; decision will impact several Revere residents

August 14, 2009
By

By Seth Daniel

seth@reverejournal.com

At one time, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was a simple toll-collecting agency, but now it has attracted the ire of many tollpayers and has prompted a lawsuit that many in Revere and the surrounding areas are joining.

Beverly Attorney Jan Schlichtmann filed a class action lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court (in Woburn) against the Pike last May, and this month, there have been several court dates. A decision is believed to be imminent. The case has signed on 2,300 plaintiffs who all agree that they are being unfairly singled out to pay for Big Dig debt.

In Revere, Nick and Elena Carangelo of Fowler Avenue are two of those who have signed on, and said that they feel abused by the Pike and its practices.

“I think it’s an outrage, and I hope that all the residents of Revere, East Boston and Winthrop, especially senior citizens join in,” said Elena Carangelo. “I and my husband are senior citizens. It has taken its toll on us. It really has.”

Schlictmann said the goal of the lawsuit is to stop the Pike from continuing its inequitable practices and to reward tollpayers for the alleged abuses of the past.

“This is caused by a Big Dig mentality which lives in the Turnpike Authority and, unfortunately, the executive branch is not doing anything to end this Big Dig culture,” he said. “It’s a way of treating people…with such disdain that you can do whatever you want, take whatever you want, and that is okay. The tollpayers have had enough.”

Schlictmann said the movement that created the lawsuit sprang from a grass roots organization that became coordinated by the Internet, where tollpayers continue to sign on to the suit even now.

He explained he took the case because he began doing his research and found that the numbers didn’t add up.

As part of tollpayer relief, the state government gave the Pike $100 million on July 1. Combined with other non-toll revenue, the Pike had $157 million in its budget outside of tolls.

They said they needed $268 million to run the Authority.

Meanwhile, Schlictmann said, the Authority also planned on collecting every penny they could from the tollpayers, some $172 million, instead of giving them a break.

“They’ll have more than $40 million extra,” he said. “Why do they need $40 million more than they said they needed? …The numbers don’t add up, and it shows they don’t care about the tollpayers and they don’t care about fairness. They should be talking about reducing tolls in 2010, but instead, they’re talking about increasing them.

“They’re saying they will take all the taxpayer money and all the toll money too,” he said.

Another problem that Schlictmann identified is the inequity tollpayers faced, especially those in Revere and north of Boston. Of those that use the Metropolitan Highway System (including the Turnpike Authority, the Sumner Callahan tunnels, the Williams Tunnel and Interstate 93), he said only a few of them pay tolls.

By his numbers, some 632,000 people use those roads each weekday, and only 288,000 pass through a toll facility. That means 344,000 aren’t paying for the system.

“That means that 288,000 people are paying a fee for their use and they’re using all toll money to finance Big Dig debt,” he said. “Our North Shore contingent is one of our most valuable assets. They feel it intensely and are really singled out for abusive conduct.”

If the suit works out the way that he and tollpayers hope, he said there would be a settlement, and anyone signed onto the lawsuit who is a tollpayer would be able to recover some money. The ruling would also move things forward in a more equitable way, especially when the Turnpike is phased out on November 1.

He said in no way do they wish to make things more difficult for other commuters who aren’t paying a toll right now.

“There are all sorts of ways to make the past right,” he said. “We intend to sit down and figure out what can be done about the past.”

To sign onto the lawsuit, one can visit www.tollequity.com or write to Toll Equity Trust, P.O. Box 40, Southborough, MA 01772.

  • Rose Ramirez

    Do you know that KEEPING THE TOLLS WOULD BE THE MOST INTELLIGENT WAY TO GO? Let me explain maybe you can use this information.

    1.

  • Rose Ramirez

    Do you know that KEEPING THE TOLLS WOULD BE THE MOST INTELLIGENT WAY TO GO? Let me explain maybe you can use this information.

    1.

  • Rose Ramirez

    Do you know that KEEPING THE TOLLS WOULD BE THE MOST INTELLIGENT WAY TO GO? Let me explain maybe you can use this information.

    1.From New York INTO MA…NO-ONE PAYS PENNY…do you further know that then Gov. Weld DID AWAY WITH TOLLS IN WESTERN MA ? Further did you know that for example Western MA toll payers pay ONLY .25…some .35…and some .45 cents to use the tolls?

    If the Pike only put back the tolls in Western MA and split the cost then THE ENTIRE PIKE WOULD STILL BE MAINTAINED NOT EFFECT THE TAX PAYERS AND NOT EFFECT AN ECONOMY ALREADY IN RUIN.

    BUY JUST RAISING TOLLS APPROX. .75 BCENTS MAKING SOME EXIT 1.00 AND ENTRY INTO MASS FROM NYC HIGHER THEY WOULD BANK MILLIONS AND HAVE MILLIONS IN RESEARVE…ENOUGH TO PAY TO MAINTAIN ROAD AND NOT RAISE TAXES TO LOCAL TOWNS TO DO SO? REMOVING TOLLS IS WHAT THEY WANT SO THEN THE PROPERTY TAXES GET BROUGHT UP BECAUSE ” OF ROAD ISSUES” TO NAME ONE.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN THE CASINO COMES (SOON) INTO PALMER MA…THAT AREA OF WESTERN MA ALONE COULD RAIDE TAXES TO 3.00 AND LOCALS COULD REMAIN AT 1.00 ? DO YOU KNOW THAT DEPENDING HOW HOW ENTER NYC, WE MASSACHUSETTS IDIOTS AS WE ARE KNOWN BY THEM (NYC) HAVE TO PAY TO PASS THE TOLLS BETWEEN 5.50 AND 7.50 ? WHY DO THEY GET TO ENTER HERE FREE?

    DO YOU FURTHER KNOW THAT BY ADDING TOLLS IN THE PIKE NEW YORKERS CAN NO LONGER ENTER FREE ? THAT BY VOLUME OF TRAFFICE WITH NYC PLATES WOULD BRING IN MILLIONS AS WELL ?

    WHY IS IT..FRIENDS OF THE GOV. (PATRIC) GET HIRED FOR (CREATED) JOBS PAYING IN EXCESS OF 175,000.00 A YEAR WHEN WE ARE IN SUCH A “HARD PLACE”?

    DO NOT GO UNARMED DO NO BE FOOLED…TAKING THE TOLLS AWAY WILL KILL US ALL FINANCIALLY…INSTEAD LET NY PAY TO COME HERE LET N. JERSEY PAY…WE HAVE TO PAY THEM ? ARE THEY SPECIAL ? THEY GIVE US NO BREAKS !

    REINSTATE THE TOLLS IN WESTERN MASS…GO FROM CENTS TO DOLLARS…WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER…DONT RAISE TOLLS IN THE EAST BOSTON AREAS… PUT THEM BACK WHERE THEY WERE REMOVED FROM…MILLIONS…HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS…MILLIONSSS…DAILY…AND THEY SIT BACK AND SAY NO BOSTON CAN PAY ?

    WHY DO THEY FAVOR WESTERN MASS LET THE WESTERN MASS TOLLS BE REINSTATED….YOU’LL SEE GREEN LEFT RIGHT BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF YOU….TAKE CENTS OF BOSTON AND ADD THE TOLLS TO WESTERN MASS…MAKE NYC , JERSEY ECT. PAY AND YOULL SEE ALL SMOOTH OUT AND WORK WELL.

    TRUST ME ITS A SET UP…A GAME AND EVERYONE IS FALLING FOR IT…REMOVE THE TOLLS…YEAH RIGHT..WE ARENT ALL STUPID…ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT WORK IN THE CITY OFFICES AND KNOW AND SEE THE FIGURES AND PLANS…REMOVE THE TOLLS 15 MONTHS LATER MORE HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES HIGHER TAXES ON CARS ALREADY WE HAVE A 6.25 FROM A 5% STATE TAX….

    B E W A R E

    DEMAND THE TOLLS REMAIN BUT THAT THE WESTERN SIDE IS REINSTATED AND NEW TOLLS PLACES ON 495…WHY GIVE NEW HAMPSHIRE A FREE RIDE? THEY DONT GIVE US ONE…

    COME ON THINK THINK…YOURE BEING MADE FOOLS OF……

    WERE IT NOT FOR THE SAKE OF LIVELY HOOD AND FAMILIES BELIEVE ME YOU MORE PEOPLE WHO SEE THE REAL FACTS DAILY WOULD INFORM YOU….

    FOR NOW I HAVE …TAKE THE BALL AND RUN…

  • Rose Ramirez

    Do you know that KEEPING THE TOLLS WOULD BE THE MOST INTELLIGENT WAY TO GO? Let me explain maybe you can use this information.

    1.From New York INTO MA…NO-ONE PAYS PENNY…do you further know that then Gov. Weld DID AWAY WITH TOLLS IN WESTERN MA ? Further did you know that for example Western MA toll payers pay ONLY .25…some .35…and some .45 cents to use the tolls?

    If the Pike only put back the tolls in Western MA and split the cost then THE ENTIRE PIKE WOULD STILL BE MAINTAINED NOT EFFECT THE TAX PAYERS AND NOT EFFECT AN ECONOMY ALREADY IN RUIN.

    BUY JUST RAISING TOLLS APPROX. .75 BCENTS MAKING SOME EXIT 1.00 AND ENTRY INTO MASS FROM NYC HIGHER THEY WOULD BANK MILLIONS AND HAVE MILLIONS IN RESEARVE…ENOUGH TO PAY TO MAINTAIN ROAD AND NOT RAISE TAXES TO LOCAL TOWNS TO DO SO? REMOVING TOLLS IS WHAT THEY WANT SO THEN THE PROPERTY TAXES GET BROUGHT UP BECAUSE ” OF ROAD ISSUES” TO NAME ONE.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN THE CASINO COMES (SOON) INTO PALMER MA…THAT AREA OF WESTERN MA ALONE COULD RAIDE TAXES TO 3.00 AND LOCALS COULD REMAIN AT 1.00 ? DO YOU KNOW THAT DEPENDING HOW HOW ENTER NYC, WE MASSACHUSETTS IDIOTS AS WE ARE KNOWN BY THEM (NYC) HAVE TO PAY TO PASS THE TOLLS BETWEEN 5.50 AND 7.50 ? WHY DO THEY GET TO ENTER HERE FREE?

    DO YOU FURTHER KNOW THAT BY ADDING TOLLS IN THE PIKE NEW YORKERS CAN NO LONGER ENTER FREE ? THAT BY VOLUME OF TRAFFICE WITH NYC PLATES WOULD BRING IN MILLIONS AS WELL ?

    WHY IS IT..FRIENDS OF THE GOV. (PATRIC) GET HIRED FOR (CREATED) JOBS PAYING IN EXCESS OF 175,000.00 A YEAR WHEN WE ARE IN SUCH A “HARD PLACE”?

    DO NOT GO UNARMED DO NO BE FOOLED…TAKING THE TOLLS AWAY WILL KILL US ALL FINANCIALLY…INSTEAD LET NY PAY TO COME HERE LET N. JERSEY PAY…WE HAVE TO PAY THEM ? ARE THEY SPECIAL ? THEY GIVE US NO BREAKS !

    REINSTATE THE TOLLS IN WESTERN MASS…GO FROM CENTS TO DOLLARS…WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER…DONT RAISE TOLLS IN THE EAST BOSTON AREAS… PUT THEM BACK WHERE THEY WERE REMOVED FROM…MILLIONS…HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS…MILLIONSSS…DAILY…AND THEY SIT BACK AND SAY NO BOSTON CAN PAY ?

    WHY DO THEY FAVOR WESTERN MASS LET THE WESTERN MASS TOLLS BE REINSTATED….YOU’LL SEE GREEN LEFT RIGHT BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF YOU….TAKE CENTS OF BOSTON AND ADD THE TOLLS TO WESTERN MASS…MAKE NYC , JERSEY ECT. PAY AND YOULL SEE ALL SMOOTH OUT AND WORK WELL.

    TRUST ME ITS A SET UP…A GAME AND EVERYONE IS FALLING FOR IT…REMOVE THE TOLLS…YEAH RIGHT..WE ARENT ALL STUPID…ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT WORK IN THE CITY OFFICES AND KNOW AND SEE THE FIGURES AND PLANS…REMOVE THE TOLLS 15 MONTHS LATER MORE HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES HIGHER TAXES ON CARS ALREADY WE HAVE A 6.25 FROM A 5% STATE TAX….

    B E W A R E

    DEMAND THE TOLLS REMAIN BUT THAT THE WESTERN SIDE IS REINSTATED AND NEW TOLLS PLACES ON 495…WHY GIVE NEW HAMPSHIRE A FREE RIDE? THEY DONT GIVE US ONE…

    COME ON THINK THINK…YOURE BEING MADE FOOLS OF……

    WERE IT NOT FOR THE SAKE OF LIVELY HOOD AND FAMILIES BELIEVE ME YOU MORE PEOPLE WHO SEE THE REAL FACTS DAILY WOULD INFORM YOU….

    FOR NOW I HAVE …TAKE THE BALL AND RUN…

  • Rose Ramirez

    EXCUSE THE TYPO’S KEY BOARD IS NOT WORKING WELL

  • Rose Ramirez

    EXCUSE THE TYPO’S KEY BOARD IS NOT WORKING WELL

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