Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pay the Trolls, er. . . Tolls!

Things have been moving along well here in Houston. We are both well and enjoying the park here. It is a beautiful park and most of the people here are getting treatment at one of the Houston hospitals. We met a woman the other day who has had numerous types of cancer and is currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer that has returned. Her treatment had been delayed because of a massive staff infection she got from her surgery in December. She has a cute little miniature Schnauzer named Pebbles and I offered to walk the dog if she was unable to do it. Since her chemo treatments have just started, she is not feeling too many side effects just yet. We have checked on her to see how she is doing and to see if we can help, but so far she is doing well.

The other day we headed down south and decided to take the Fort Bend tollway since there is normally very little traffic on it or any of the tollways here. We entered the tollway off of 90 and the sign said, “Toll Required.” No problem because we planned for that. However, when we got to the first “gate,” it was unmanned and required $1.50 in COINS. So we fished around in the console and came up with the correct amount. As Terry was about to put the money in the machine, I noticed that the gate was already up and the digital readout on the machine said, “Lane Closed.” Huh? There was no exit and no way to leave the tollway, so we went on through. At the next gate, all the pay lanes were blocked off and the only way to proceed was through the “EZ Tag” lanes. So again we went through. We only had a short distance to go, so we continued on our way. When we arrived at our destination, we inquired about the tollway. The store employees said, “Oh that's EZ Tag ONLY!” Hmmm. Well it didn't say that. They also said, “You WILL get a ticket in the mail.” We had already figured that, but how is anyone not familiar with the area supposed to know?

This worried Terry terribly, so he researched it on the internet. The next day we drove to an “EZ Tag” store. We didn't intend to buy one because we didn't figure we would use it that much and it is not transferable to other vehicles like a transponder. The ladies there were very helpful and looked up our car tag number. Nothing showed up yet, but she gave us a phone number to call the next day and said they would allow us to pay the tolls with a credit card and there would be no fine to pay. The invoices are not generated until the third offense anyway. So the next day we called and paid our toll of $1.50. The employee was surprised when we told her there was no signage indicating “EZ Tag Only” but I have pictures to prove it. There are actually two entrances close together which have no such signage. So, be forewarned!

Till next time. . .


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