The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 August 2006

Giving them no quarters

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has revised those mysterious "Failure to pay toll strictly enforced" signs, and presumably now they mean business.

Then again, things happen. One of them happened to Steven Roemerman:

The other day I was forced to run a toll booth on the Creek Turnpike. I did not have exact change and the exit did not have a change machine.

Not wanting to get nailed to the wall for 60 cents, I called OTA Enforcement (1-877-774-9569). I was told to complete the following steps.

  • Write a check to the OTA for the amount of the missed toll.
  • In the memo field, put the offending vehicle's tag number, the date and time of the infraction, and the toll road.
  • Mail said check to P.O. Box 960029 Oklahoma City, OK 73196.
  • Wait for the OTA to mail you citation.
  • Call the OTA with the details of the citation and the number on the aforementioned check.

This sad story, of course, gives me an opportunity to recount this tale from my sordid past:

I got on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, duly stopped at the toll-basket, reached into my pocket, and did not find thirty cents. There was a Sacajawea dollar, though, so I grat my teeth and pitched the buckette into the basket.

Nothing.

This was not one of the toll stations with an actual bill changer, so I sat there. A truck pulled up behind me. I pondered running the toll light and sitting there waiting for the gendarmes, but decided this would be even more expensive. The occupants of the truck began to fidget.

Finally I flicked a second Sacajawea, my last, into the basket, and this time was granted admission.

I concluded at the time:

Yeah, I suppose this is a good argument for a PikePass. Truth be told, I was holding out until they came up with some measure of compatibility with the East Coast E-Z Pass systems, into which I pour a lot of coin during (some of) the World Tours. On the other hand, if I'm running a regular risk of spending $2 for a thirty-cent fare, the transponder will justify itself rather quickly.

I may get one of these critters yet, especially since Gwendolyn has some strategically-placed Velcro which might accommodate it.

Posted at 5:26 AM to Soonerland


Eldest Son taught me several years ago that the turnpike system is really an honor system. He learned that if you enter on a non-pay entrance (Eastbound Kilpatrick at MacArthur) and exit on a non-pay exit (I-35) nothing happens. Nothing at all!

He traveled to Edmond for 4 years free of charge.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 6:30 AM on 24 August 2006

Same thing in Houston on Beltway 8. You can travel all around town without paying a toll if you enter and exit right.

Posted by: Diane at 6:52 AM on 24 August 2006