walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

i95 Coalition wish list for states

I'm a little puzzled by this. I feel like they are not asking for enough/the right things, which probably means I am underestimating just how much of an uphill battle they are fighting. I'm approaching toll interoperability from a travel planning perspective: if I actually get to start traveling a variety of places up and down the East Coast (long term goal, somewhat interrupted by the more important exercise in The Having of Children), I'm going to want to have the ability to pay tolls without slowing down (much). While EZPass gets us a lot, and SunPass gets us still more (really, that's probably all I'm gonna need, given how SunPass is starting to cover GA, NC, etc.), I cannot help but think about what it would be like _today_ to take the long road trips I used to go on when I was single and child-free. At a minimum, I'd probably be adding Good to Go! and FasTrak accounts, and maybe something else, too. So in my head, I think, hey, I bet there are a lot of people who own multiple transponders (the EZPass/Sunpass dual transponder household is _real_ common among people who winter in Florida and live elsewhere in the Northeast the rest of the year, and the desire for interoperability is very clear in online forums).


If I were writing a wish list, I'd be thinking along the lines of getting legislation _I_ wrote passed in a whole bunch of states, and that legislation would enable toll authority employees to work at the DMV (subject to all kinds of background checks and training and etc. for privacy purposes), so the toll authorities could get a prompt response out of the DMV when they were trying to identify a violator. That employee/those employees would have a right to at least observe and hopefully participate in architecture decisions made at the DMV to ensure that technology/database modifications supported what the toll authorities need to do business (both internal to that state and across state lines). And I'd have pre-calculated a couple of ranges of how much I'd be willing to pay the DMV out of toll receipts in order to _fund_ tech upgrades at the DMV and tech integration with the toll authority, if I could convince the legislature to allow that (I'm not sure that's a great idea, actually, but someone with a lot more knowledge and experience than me should be working out the best privacy/security policy and how to structure the interaction/integration between the DMV and the toll authorities).

I think that sort of approach would get me a long ways toward everything I might want now and in the future, but I don't see it on this wish list, which is a mixture of detailed license plate advice (make it more visible, reduce ambiguities, plates front and back) and law enforcement support. That latter actually gives me the heebies: I'm not sure I want some other state to be able to suspend my vehicle registration because they think they read my plate at a toll somewhere I've never been. That said, better enforcement on violators is, in general, an excellent idea.

The other thing I would want, longer term, is to replace or supplement the visible license plate with an identifying transponder. However, I think the toll authorities are thinking that they are going to _be_ that thing over the long haul, once they get something resembling national interoperability going, and they don't want to set off the nut jobs too soon. I suspect law enforcement would _love_ a transponder plate, which may mean I should not. And yet I do. *shrug*

ETA: About those front and back plates:


I know that there are people who object to plates front and back. I believe that some of them really do have an aesthetic issue (I suspect the rest are a bunch of scofflaws, but that's just me being a bourgie mom). It might be easier to mandate a front transponder (especially if it could be made aesthetically invisible through integration with the vehicle, sort of like expensive cars come with integrated garage door openers), rather than a front plate for people who care about stuff like that. If nothing else, you could divide and conquer the coalition opposed to front plates.

ETA: License plates of the past future:


2015 bar code plates! I had totally forgotten.

I want to be clear that even if we had "better" license plates (transponder or whatever), we would probably still need a separate toll tag that could be moved from vehicle to vehicle (if we don't want to get ripped off by rental car companies, for example).

Automatic plate reader tech currently in use:


700 per hour is way low vs. what transponders can support for tolling (2200/lane, IIRC) especially if there is no toll plaza (open road tolling).

Whoops -- page 1 says it can do 1800/hour but the person driving the car is on patrol so they won't pass that many.
Tags: our future economy today

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