Berg: Framing the Question of Tolls

Letter to the editor from Peter Berg, RTM-8, Land Use Committee Chair

To the Editor,

When I first ask my neighbors if they oppose tolls on our highways, most say “Yes.”

But then, if I ask if they are willing to pay tolls to reduce Traffic Congestion that makes them late to work, late to appointments, late to the airport, late to sports events, and generally anxious and angry, they say “No, we don’t oppose tolls.”

When I ask how should the State reduce stressful highway congestion:  by costly construction projects such as adding lanes to the Merritt and I-95 or double-decking I-95 through Greenwich, or, alternatively, through congestion pricing tolls that delays or avoids such costly construction projects, then my neighbors say, “No, we don’t oppose tolls.”

When I ask if they are concerned that another bridge failure on the highway or railroad could undermine their property value, when I tell them that congestion tolls reduced childhood asthma by 50% in Stockholm, when I tell them that congestion tolls increase the predictability of deliveries and deliveries per hour for businesses, and when I explain that electronic tolls will provide discounts for highway commuters and bigger discounts for low-income commuters, my neighbors say, “No, we don’t oppose Tolls.”

When I ask if current Connecticut residents and their children should pay 100% of the cost to maintain and improve our deteriorated roads, bridges and rail lines through higher taxes and borrowing, or, alternatively, if residents of other states, who currently drive on our highways for free, should pay 40% of the cost through tolls, then my neighbors say, “No, we don’t oppose tolls.”

Finally, when I tell them a Resolution currently before the RTM opposes “any measure that would impose tolls,” they say, “Don’t vote for that.”

Peter E. Berg, RTM-8

See also:

Greenwich RTM Committees Weigh In on Anti-Toll Resolution

PHOTOS: Anti-Tolls Rally Draws Crowds, Honks outside Stamford Government Center