I've been driving through everyone's favourite ... er, okay, never mind. I've been driving through Staten Island a lot recently, paying through the nose every time, and I've evolved my own little theory about the island.

Disclaimer: If you've got real answers, I'd like to know them. For now, I thought this was an amusing solution to something that's been plaguing me.

All of the toll booths on every bridge providing access to Staten Island require payment upon entry INTO the Island. You never have to pay to leave. The MTA used to collect tolls both ways on the Verrazano, but stopped; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is certainly equipped to collect both ways, even if they don't.

There's got to be a reason, right?

The reason I propose is that they have to get you goin' in, because people would refuse to pay $6-$7 for the "privilege" of leaving the Island. The cause is twofold: the traffic, which is horrible even at 3 am, and the stench, which permeates ONLY from Arthur Kill Road to Victory Boulevard on a good day. They get you going in because you never know just how bad it's going to be. Who would want to pay after 2 hours of traffic for a 7-mile trip while swimming in l'odeur du landfill?

Not me!