Tolls are the best option

To the editor:

Nobody denies that there is an infrastructure crisis in CT. Fifty-seven percent of public roads in CT are in poor condition; 338 bridges 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 percent 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


Opinion on tolls

To the editor:

Sometimes wishing for “the good ole days” requires revisionist history, but I do remember when Connecticut was a state that reflected issues that we all face in a bipartisan fashion. Solutions were viewed with the aim of ensuring a quality of life for all of its citizens. Party lines were not the determinant of how our legislators voted. They were leaders!

The dire state of our infrastructure — roads, bridges, transportation — is one arena that demands a bipartisan solution; in Gov. Lamont’s words, to solve this crisis we need to put our state on a “debt diet,” giving us income opportunity.

Tolls, as suggested in the bill before our legislature, is an opportunity to gain revenue and not increase expense. The protection of the newly created transportation lock box will ensure that the money raised will be directed appropriately. The opposition seems to be trying to convince us that bonding, a borrowing tool will ease the debt crisis. It does just the opposite. It creates an immediate cash flow by putting off the pay back.

A toll is a user fee just as our paying for a train, bus or taxi is a user fee; this is for car and trucks using our roads. Out-of-state drivers will add $320,000,000 (40 percent of the revenue gained) to our state coffers each year. Bonding on the other hand adds 20 years of debt to an already burdened budget. What will we have to give up to balance the budget to pay for the bonding?

Sandy Lefkowitz


‘Drink Wiser’ this Memorial Day

To the editor:

On Memorial Day, Americans around the country will honor the service and sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform. The holiday weekend is an opportunity to gather with loved ones and celebrate those who have fought to preserve our freedom as we welcome the arrival of summer.

But before you raise a glass to those who have served our country, we invite you to join us in prioritizing what those in uniform give their lives to protect: our communities and our safety. If your plans involve alcohol, make sure to #DrinkWiser by planning ahead for safe rides and hydrating between beers.

Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesaler partners have invested more than $1 billion in the United States on national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving .Dichello Distributors, Inc. is working alongside Anheuser-Busch to ensure that everyone continues to make safety the number one priority this Memorial Day.

But we can’t do it alone. We hope the entire community will join us in our local efforts to keep our roads, friends, and neighbors safe.

From all of us at Dichello Distributors Inc., we wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day.

Tony Lota

Dichello Distributors, Inc.