After reading the article about the increased traffic and accidents on Interstate 295 (Dec. 1), I felt compelled to write to offer what I think to be a rather obvious reason for the increase.

While it is definitely due in part to raising the speed limit to 70 mph (in a zone whose speed never should have been raised over the previous 65 mph), for the main reason you need only look to the increase in tolls and constant road construction on the Maine Turnpike.

I always used to travel to Portland from my home in New Gloucester via the turnpike. But in the 14 years that I have lived in New Gloucester, the tolls on the turnpike have tripled!

Secondly, as soon as one bridge or section of road construction is completed, another section or bridge is started, reducing the traffic on the turnpike to one lane with speeds of 50 mph. I now take the back roads over to 295 in order to get to Portland – it takes the same amount of time and doesn’t cost any extra money.

This is why traffic has increased by 12 percent on I-295 – maybe someone should look into the traffic on the turnpike from Exit 63 to the Portland exits during this same period and see if there has been a decrease.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend returning the speed to 65 mph between Portland and Yarmouth in order to save lives.

Diane Brogan

New Gloucester

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