Letters to the Editor

The problem with the present toll setup on U.S. Route 301 is that the toll gantry near the southern end collects $4 for every car passing in either direction, even though northbound drivers may get off at the first exit to go into Middletown. Someone driving up to Middletown from the south and returning will pay $8 for the privilege of using roughly a mile of the new road. This is grossly unfair to the drivers, and is reducing revenue for those trying to repay for the costs of building it.

The solution to this is remarkably simple: There are three exits on the new road, and if toll gantries were placed over both lanes of the main road between each of these exits as well as at the two ends between the last exits and the end of the road (in each direction) there would be a total of five toll gantries on the whole road.

Passing under each gantry in either direction would generate a toll of 80 cents, and if you travelled the whole distance, a total toll of $4. The gantries present currently at the entrance and exit ramps of each of the exits could be removed. This system would charge drivers only a pro rata amount for the distance they used the new road and would be completely fair to everybody. Drivers coming from the south would pay a total toll of $1.60 for driving in and out of Middletown, which is not enough to make them divert to the parallel routes through Warwick or Levels roads. Overall, it would generate more toll revenue than the present system, because many more people would use whatever section of the road was appropriate for their needs, as the tolls for short sections would be quite low, and the present avoidance behavior would go away.

I trust in your position you might advance this proposal as a low-cost, very quick way to solve this problem while generating more revenue than is currently the case.

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