Let’s celebrate Gov. Ned Lamont’s constructive proposal that would start to solve Connecticut’s Transportation Crisis! Using short term borrowing to bridge the gap until toll revenue can come onstream makes sense. The cost of the need to fix our transportation infrastructure is almost overwhelming. We need creative solutions to address this problem now.

I have tried but I cannot find a defensible reason why Connecticut should not join the 42 states and the District of Columbia that have tolls. We need to share paying this massive price tag with the 40% of users of our roads who come from out-of-state. After all, we pay their tolls when we drive on their roads. And discounts for CT drivers can help make tolls more manageable – especially, for low income and frequent drivers. The alternative Prioritize Debt plan using 30-year bonds would saddle us, our children, and our children’s children with repaying 100% of that cost. There is no way to explain that as sensible or fair.

With 330+ structurally deficient bridges and many roads in poor repair, Connecticut has a monster Transportation Infrastructure problem. We’re playing chicken as we wait for another Mianus River Bridge event. And we’re endangering the economic viability of the state.

Now is the time for constructive solutions to solve a problem that has evolved over decades. Bond financing would just mean continuing to kick the can down the road. Gov. Lamont’s new plan would put a stop to that.

Jackie Kaiko lives in Stamford.

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Jackie Kaiko

Jacki Kaiko lives in Stamford.

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6 Comments

  1. Please show me your math that shows out of state drivers will generate 40% of toll revenue….

  2. So, we bond for work that needs to be done before the toll revenues kick in.
    We bond to provide the funds to set up and install the tolling system in CT.

    What is the total tab and what will be available after tolls kick in while we are still paying off the bonds to get there?

    If someone could show me the overall financial situation, maybe I could support tolls.
    But until that happens, my vote is NO TOLLS.

  3. Tolls are most likely to be placed where they will capture the most traffic — near the cities on I-95, I-84, I-95, and R-15. This means that modest wage workers from the poor, under-developed, jobless cities of Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury,
    who are forced to commute, will bear the brunt of the tolls.
    IT’S HIGHWAY ROBBERY!
    No matter how it’s spun, it disenfranchises the poor cities that, at election time, Lamont claimed were his priority…
    There is no real transportation plan in existence that is married to a rational redevelopment scheme for Connecticut and its cities. Any “extra” money garnered for transportation will be used to maintain the tax-base development status quo in Connecticut, which means that we, as a state, will lose further ground socially and economically, marginalizing more Connecticutians into poverty even as we concentrate more affluence in the Gold Coast and Hartford suburbs — further sharpening the income-education gap and the “boundaries” between the two Connecticuts in the context of other Third-World-like entities…
    Tolls are regressive, in any event, for a state like Connecticut. They shouldn’t even be considered until we have a rational, thoroughly-considered, comprehensive, master transportation plan for our long-term future that is married to — an integral part of — a rational, thoroughly considered, comprehensive master plan for the long-term economic/social development of the whole of Connecticut, with the focus on the cities… In the meantime, borrow to maintain transportation safety, if necessary, but No TOLLS. NO HIGHWAY ROBBERY!

  4. Instead of the constant search for more money; try something new … cut something.

      1. Our elected leaders just came out with plan to mortgage off the pension debt to our childern. The repubs have plan to mortgage off our transport costs to them as well. Why don’t we just move all of our debt. At some point it will force the feds to take over our state like the state taking over Hartford. Just put it all on the card and tell our kids I’m sorry later. If it works for state labor. Why can’t it work for us driving citizens.

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