N.H. town pushes penny protest


MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) – In addition to asking residents to pay their tolls one penny at a time, town officials in Merrimack are organizing a rally and a motorcade to protest their highway tolls.

Town officials have proclaimed Aug. 27 “Toll Revolt Day.” They want residents to pay tolls on the F.E. Everett Turnpike in pennies that day. They also are organizing a noon-time rally and a motorcade for their penny protest.

Merrimack residents say they pay an unfairly high percentage of tolls, and studies have shown rates as high as 42 cents a mile, compared to the average of 3 cents a mile on the turnpike overall.

Chairman Dave McCray says residents’ burden of paying tolls to get around town is being ignored by lawmakers. The protest will call attention to the situation, he said.

The motorcade route will start at Abbie Griffin Park, the site of the rally. Cars will get on the turnpike at Exit 12 southbound, exit at Exit 11 and get back on Exit 11 continuing southbound, then get off Exit 10 and get back on Exit 10 northbound and continue the loop back to Exit 12, near the park.

“We are pretending we’re running errands in our own town,” McCray said. “The purpose is to show that people can never leave town and pay $1.50 to drive around to do their errands.”