Given their claims that the road and bridge repair fund has run dry thus tolls are needed, a recent spelunking adventure by the Rhode Island governor and his Department of Transportation was oddly timed.
Gov. Chafee and DOT officials toured the long-abandoned Providence railroad tunnel to check its condition and imagine future uses.
They liked what they saw and said it might be great to fix it up and use it for buses, parking — all sorts of things (costs unknown).
They could be right but other things would be great too:
Like the ability of people in these towns to drive to the towns or state next door without getting soaked by tolls.
Like welcoming visitors and their money, not erecting toll barriers and sending them to friendlier places.
Like devising a fair way to fund a broke road and bridge repair system.
Like providing even one bus a day to Tiverton and Little Compton
Like building real bike paths for Tiverton and Aquidneck Island (and maintaining the East Bay Path which develops more cracks by the month).
If the state of the road and bridge fund is as grim as DOT keeps saying, it surely doesn’t need to seek out expensive jobs that nobody knew needed doing.
First lets figure out a way to keep bridges open without burdening a few with tolls.
Maybe then will be a good time to go tunneling in Providence.