Re: “Change coming: Maine Turnpike plans to end cash toll collection” (Feb. 2):

We were shocked by the Maine Turnpike Authority’s revelations concerning all-electronic tolling. It is outrageous to learn that the Turnpike Authority now admits that Think Again and the town of York were always correct. All-electronic tolling is a safer and more efficient solution; all-electronic tolling does not destroy the environment and reduces carbon emissions.

The Turnpike Authority lacks the vision and an understanding of long-term trends. While the rest of the U.S. has been removing cash toll plazas, the Turnpike Authority continues to build more. In 2014, Rodney Emery, of the Turnpike Authority’s subcontract engineering firm Jacobs Engineering, predicted that E-ZPass usage at the York plaza wouldn’t reach 85 percent until 2043. Now, Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills admits that this change occurred last year.

In 2016, a CDM Smith report estimated that building an all-electronic tolling facility in York would cost $4.8 million. The new York open road tolling plaza ultimately cost over 10 times as much. It is a “white elephant” that was unnecessary and more dangerous.

Peter Mills’ idea that all those cash lanes can be converted to collect electronic tolls misses the issue. The issue is that the cash lanes, the building and the access road are simply a waste of money and never should have been built.

The Maine Turnpike Authority has a dismal record.

Joan Jarvis
York Harbor

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