Why not 'user's fees' for our highways?

As your editorial, “Close the deal on tolls, improve state ranking,” (May 16), stated tolls are a “difficult, unpopular but necessary move.” Connecticut needs to stop relying solely on taxes on residents to provide a source of funding. Let those who pass through on our highways contribute to their upkeep and other transportation needs. I can’t go anywhere on my list of destinations from Maine to Delaware without paying a toll. It is about time out-of-state drivers paid tolls in Connecticut instead of getting a free ride.

We need to learn from the successes of our neighboring state. E-Z passes are very manageable. Discounts to residents make sense. The placement of gantries matters. For instance, the Groton/New London area is not unlike the Portsmouth (New Hampshire)/Kittery (Maine) area where the bridge is used as a local route by residents. The gantries there are not at the bridge; rather they are three to eight miles away, allowing residents to travel to work or shop without the toll.

We tout New London as a transportation center. I can pay a "user’s fee” and ride the ferry to Long Island, the bus to New Haven or the train to Boston. But there is no “user’s fee” for those using I-95 and just passing through. It doesn’t make sense!

Elizabeth Beals



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