City Paper is not for tourists
The toll-booth plan floated by Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry et al. is pretty much a farce on its face, so I almost hate to give it any further credibility by talking about it here. But the idea that you’d only put booths on major commuter routes is the reason that guarantees this plan will fail—commuters would end up cutting through residential neighborhoods full of prickly old folks who love calling their councilmembers to complain.
So, to do it right, you’d have to erect booths on every strip of pavement connecting to the city’s road network. How many is that? I went to Google Maps and started counting—-there’s about 170 border-crossing throughfares that commuters could use. I was going to write them all down but I got to about 40 before I gave up. (So that my work isn’t wasted, see the first 40, moving counterclockwise from Blue Plains, after the jump)
Assuming you actually need at least one human being at each of these booths, and assuming you’ll only staff them during commuter rush hours (7-10 a.m., 4-7 p.m.) and pay these bozos the $7 D.C. minimum wage, you’re looking at $1.9 million a year right there. And I don’t know how much it takes to build a toll booth.
Interstate 295 South Capitol Street 6th Street SE Galveston Street SE Barnaby Road SE Bonini Road SE Chesapeake Street SE HR Drive SE 9th Street SE Wheeler Road SE 12th Street SE 13th Street SE Greater Southeast Mississippi Avenue SE 22nd Street SE 23rd Street SE 24th Street SE 25th Street SE Suitland Pkwy 30th Street SE Naylor Road SE Branch Avenue SE Erie Street SE 34th Street SE 36th Street SE 36th Place SE Suitland Road Pennsylvania Avenue SE Fort Dupont Street SE 41st Place SE 41st Street SE 42nd Street SE Massachusetts Avenue SE Beck Street SE Stanley Street SE Burns Street SE Ridge Road SE Bowen Road SE 46th Street SE Reed Terrace SE Easy Place SE