It has come to light that, on August 11, RIDOT *corrected* requested a hearing, scheduled for today, to issue commercial truck route restrictions within the state. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity (for whom I am Communications Manager) has just issued a statement strongly condemning this. It says, in part,
“This is truck toll tyranny. It is an obvious preemptive attack against the RI Trucking Association by the State in a blatant attempt to force truckers to pay future tolls,” averred Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “The dishonesty of the State – in claiming this outrageous move is to preserve the safety of roads – is nothing more than government bullying of a political opponent. This restriction of free-commerce and the free movement of goods is something you would expect to see in soviet socialist countries, not in America.
Well said. Indeed, tolls are only the latest restrictions on an economy that state government has been inexorably trying to suffocate, Soviet-style, via regulations and taxes (tolls are hidden taxes – ooo, we weren’t supposed to notice, were we?) for many years.
In a related matter, the Director of RIDOT told WPRO’s Gene Valicenti this morning that the purpose of these new route restrictions is not to enforce truck tolls. Sorry but this is a laughable assertion.
Highly inflated truck counts, flat-out false truck diversion rates, an apparently fictional story about public safety (yoohoo – Oxford Street Bridge), now this “who-you-gonna-believe-me-or-your-lyin’-eyes?” assertion: as they have from the beginning, Governor Gina Raimondo and her RIDOT continue to release toll-related information and statements that are uniformly, remarkably free of either facts or credibility.