Middle Road resident Manny Escobar has turned his machinist talents to license plate manufacturing. He recently machined five “No Tolls” plates out of 1/8-inch aluminum for himself and a few family members and friends.
“The vanity plate is to protest a large unfair toll on a small minority of East Bay residents,” Mr. Escobar said. “The bridge length is shorter than some of the entrance and exit ramps on a typical turnpike in other parts of the country.”
He said the plates — which spell out TOLLS in black letters except for red O with diagonal line — attract much attention and positive comment. One woman did ask where bridge money will come from without tolls — “I told her ‘The gas tax —that’s the fair way, everyone pays.'” He added that he’ll be able to spread the word as he travels about the “ridiculous” way “the smallest state goes about financing its highway system.”
If people want more, Mr. Escobar said he may oblige but would need to use more sophisticated equipment.
Mr. Escobar used to teach machining at Mount Hope High School and presently works at Jade Plastics in Bristol. He is also a former member of the Goat Ropers, a Portsmouth-based country band.