Ivan Most, a professional engineer, provides us with a picture of our deteriorating transportation infrastructure (“Maine Voices: U.S. needs national initiative to upgrade roads and bridges,” Dec. 3).

As he points out, we have invested in building that infrastructure, but are failing to maintain it. One suggestion of his is that politicians with “intestinal fortitude” raise the gasoline tax. Another suggestion is to turn our roads over to the private sector, with tolls possibly covering their cost.

Unfortunately, with electric cars, hybrid cars and traditional vehicles, a gas tax falls unevenly on road users. There is also resistance to raising any tolls (see, for example, the Nov. 28 New York Times article “For New Tappan Zee, Questions Persist Over How High the Tolls Will Climb”).

The ideal solution would involve each user paying for that stretch of highway used, with bridge use incurring proportionally higher costs.

With our ability to monitor vehicle location, this is technically feasible (for aircraft, see the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s Flight Explorer Snapshot), but privacy concerns will probably prevent its implementation.

Most writes: “Doing nothing is not an option.” Unfortunately, that is precisely the future into which we are moving. As a Bob Mankoff cartoon in The New Yorker puts it, “How about never – is never good for you?”

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island