Can you imagine the 401 slowed to a crawl, not because of traffic, but because some firefighters are standing out on the median with their boots held out to cars passing by, collecting loose change for muscular dystrophy? Or driving along Queen Street through Parkdale, only to be stopped and asked to donate a few bucks to the Lion’s Club?
Torontonians would be in an uproar!
Yet such occurrances are quite common out here on Prince Edward Island.
Voluntary toll roads are to Islanders what “run, walk and cycle for…” are to Torontonians. Need to raise some funds for cancer? If you live in Toronto, you close down the Gardiner, throw on a pink t-shirt, and hop on your bike alongside thousands of other urban dwellers, pledge sheets in hand. If you live on PEI, on the other hand, you get your buddies together, grab a couple of pylons, and shut down the road for a few hours, hitting up passing motorists for a few bucks.
In truth, Torontonians may find themselves more physically fit from their mass fundraising, but I'd be willing to bet that Islanders are more emotionally and spiritually healthy as they chat up their neighbours and co-workers passing through their voluntary tolls, and get caught up on the latest gossip, er, that is, “news”, all while collecting for those in need.
Either way, it’s for a good cause. So, if you find yourself slowed to a hault this summer in the midst of one of PEI’s many voluntary tolls that seem to spring up across the island, dig deep, and give generously!