WTOL Editorial: Listen up, turnpike folks

WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon
WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon

The Ohio Turnpike toll system works pretty well, unless you have bicycles mounted on the roof of your vehicle. If you drive across the state with bikes on the roof, as many cyclists do, you will pay $25 in toll fees instead of the usual $15.

As dumb as this sounds, it's true. The Ohio Turnpike Commission says the higher fees are based on the height of the vehicle. Taller vehicles are usually heavier vehicles. Heavier vehicles do more damage to the surface of the road. So heavy vehicles pay more to drive on the turnpike.

This height is measured by an electronic scanner at the toll gate. The bikes on the roof, which add only a few pounds to the actual weight of the vehicle, are read by the electronic eye as indicating a taller and therefore, heavier vehicle.

Hence the extra $10 bucks in toll fees.

This is unnecessary, ridiculous and easy to fix. The person sitting in the toll booth should override the fee and charge an appropriate amount.

Let's not discourage bike riders from exercising. When you deal with the government, sometimes common sense is a hard thing to find.