Lawmakers Propose Changes to Ease Traffic in East Boston's Sumner Tunnel - NECN
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Lawmakers Propose Changes to Ease Traffic in East Boston

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    New Proposals to Ease Sumner Tunnel Traffic

    Traffic doesn't seem to be good anywhere around Boston, but people who drive in East Boston say the problem is getting out of hand.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019)

    Between airport traffic, ride-share services and GPS cut-throughs, drivers in East Boston say the Sumner Tunnel is quickly turning into the most frustrating logjam in the city. Now, a few lawmakers are trying to solve the congestion with legislation.

    State Rep. Adrian Madaro is one of the politicians proposing a series of bills in an effort to tackle the Sumner standstill.

    "Ultimately, the goal is to reduce congestion in East Boston," Madaro said. "Their quality of life has eroded because of the congestion problem."

    He helped file a package of bills with Sen. Joseph Boncore. One would reduce the tolls in the tunnel at certain travel times to try to incentivize more drivers to use it during off-peak hours.

    Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    [NATL] Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    A would-be robber armed with a knife had a surprise in store when an Alabama store clerk pulled out a machete in defense. The two's brief knife fight was caught on camera before the clerk runs out to damage the robber's car.

    According to police, suspect Seth Holcomb walked up to the counter to make a purchase. He leaves the store and then comes back in as if to make a second purchase. Then, he pulled out a knife at the counter. What he didn't expect was that the clerk would pull out a machete of his own.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)

    Many of the other bills involve increasing fees on ride-share companies, what many drivers say is a large contributor to the traffic.

    One bill would increase the ride-share tax from a 20-cent flat fee to a cost that would scale with your ride. Another would charge ride-share drivers a $3 fee for any trip to and from the airport where they do not have a passenger, something Madaro said happens often.

    "There were 12 million trips to and from the airport last year and 5 million were what we call deadhead trips, meaning they had no passenger," Madaro said.

    Both Uber and Lyft released similar statements calling the plan an "unfair burden" and calling on lawmakers to go after personal and commercial vehicles.

    Those who live in East Boston said they are in favor of a fix, but with new construction adding to the congestion, they question what will make a difference.

    "They have to do something because they have to make it better," resident Sal Giarratani said. "It's just horrendous."

    YouTube Mom Accused of Abusing Foster Kids for Clicks

    [NATL] YouTube Mom Accused of Abusing Foster Kids for Clicks

    Machelle Hackney of Maricopa, Arizona, is accused of forcing her adopted children to participate in her YouTube channel and abusing them if they did not recall their lines or perform as directed. Hackney's channel had accrued hundreds of millions of views since she joined in 2012.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)

    The lawmakers proposing the legislation hope to use the money raised from ride-share fees to invest in public transportation. They also want an in-depth traffic study of the area.

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