Nobody denies that there is an infrastructure crisis in Connecticut: 57 percent of public roads are in poor condition; 338 bridges are rated as structurally deficient. No one wants a repeat of the Mianus Bridge collapse, but that is where we are headed if nothing is done soon.

Instead of working together to find a fair and financially sound solution, politics has once again reared its ugly head and has served to divide us. One side is trying to convince us that more bonding — which is just more borrowing with more interest to put Connecticut into more debt — is the easy answer. There is no easy answer. More debt added to Connecticut’s already unsustainable debt is not a long term solution.

What we need is a new revenue source instead of continually kicking the problem down the road. We need a new revenue source that is shared by everyone who uses our roads — including the 40% who are out of state users. Why should Connecticut residents continue to be the only ones paying for Connecticut road maintenance? Out of state drivers use our roads for free while we pay tolls to use their roads! Do you realize that Connecticut is the ONLY state on the eastern seaboard where this is the case–the only state without toll roads?

Look at the toll revenues from only one year (2016): New Jersey $1.57 Billion, Pennsylvania $1 Billion, New York $708 Million, Massachusetts $395 Million, Maine $134 Million, New Hampshire $131 Million, Rhode Island $20 Million CONNECTICUT $0.

Why should we keep missing out on revenues like this — with 40 percent coming from out of state drivers? Introducing fair, safe and flexible tolls is the best solution for the long-term safety and health of our beautiful state.

Bonita Messman lives in Westport.

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6 Comments

  1. Transit equity must be included with the toll legislation.
    “we need new tools to fund the investments that are so critical to our infrastructure. Tolling, one of the most important tools that states throughout the country use to fund transportation is missing from our toolbox. With tolling, we can raise significant funds to repair our highways and bridges, fund the rail investments that we need to speed travel times, improve our bus transit system and invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. And in the future, tolling provides us the opportunity to consider congestion pricing, which coupled with investments in train service and bus transit, will reduce vehicle miles traveled, increase transit ridership, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

    #YesTolls
    #YesToTolls
    #TransitEquity

    1. “… we can raise significant funds to … fund the rail investments that we need to speed travel times, improve our bus transit system and invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.”
      If I correctly understand the Fed’s ruling on tolling Interstate routes, the money must go to maintenance of said tolled road.

      “… tolling provides us the opportunity to consider congestion pricing, which coupled with investments in train service and bus transit, will reduce vehicle miles traveled, increase transit ridership, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
      Refer to the above AND again, if I understand things correctly, the only acceptable reason to toll Interstate roads is for congestion reduction.

      So, where do the funds come from if the toll revenue must be priced and used as the Fed’s require? From the other allegedly “dedicated to transportation” revenue that will get swept into the general fund by budget manipulation?

      What if ALL transportation pricing had to cover the cost of operation WITHOUT any state subsidies? I bet you’d scream then, even though it’ll create real “Transit Equity.”

  2. There’s nothing wrong with the old revenue source as,long as politicians stop stealing it to use toward union pensions that’s plain and simple.and talk about bonding how about the idea of Lamont pushing 9. Billion something down the road to 2048 where it balloons with interrest to 27 billion pushing it on the children of today and tomorrow.this article is just pro tolls because Ct politicians can t stop stealing taxing and spending

  3. Facts. NJ onlu tolls 2 roads. It is a P3 as well. That’s why those roads are maintained well. PA. Read some local PA websites and tell me how much they love it. Not going to find it. Almost1/2 the money goes to SEPTA so PA only uses less than 1/2 to maintain the roads. Have you been on the PA pike? Not in good shape just like our roads. And PA only tolls 1 road. The Fed’s rejected them fro. Tolling I80. The feds may do the same here with 84 and 91 since they have never been toll roads. Been to NY. Are those roads light years better than ours. No they are not. All the other states you mention in NE only toll I95 or in mass case I90. So how about we start with just tolling I95 for now Just like all the other states you mention. I’m not against tolls honestly. But what you don’t mention here is the elephant in the room. That our GA and govern er will eventually steal this new funds for other matters and it won’t stay in our new lockbox. Remember the lottery for education. Now goes to GF. Look at the passport to the parks program. Just started getting dedicated funds for 2 years and now we just read the GA wants those funds now for the GF. Its not so much the tolls as it is our gov’t always lying to us and stealing funds just to cover the state and pensions. By 2026 if tolls are up. You will see the money stolen. Just like in PA you mention.

  4. Well said. Why is it taking us so long to agree on this?? We need a revenue source, and it seems fair that the revenue should come from the people using the roads and bridges!

  5. And once again it needs to be stated that WE DO HAVE a tax source that was implemented expressly for road maintenance….
    It’s called a GAS TAX!!!

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