R. Jensen: Toll gate lunacy


I read in the Sun Journal that the Maine Turnpike Authority is starting a $5 million project at the Gray plaza for “open road tolling” that would allow those having E-ZPass transponders to drive through while traveling up to 65 mph. That has to be the epitome of insanity.

Traveling on the turnpike, I disable the cruise control at the half-mile approach sign to the toll barrier. I engage the cruise control after exiting the barrier and am at the end speed limit sign — 50 seconds of elapsed time for that activity. Covering approximately the same distance (6/10 of a mile) at 65 mph, it takes roughly 30 seconds; so the $5 million project will save a driver 20 seconds on his journey.

Turnpike Executive Director Peter Mills is quoted as saying, “The new toll system will save money.” Pray tell, how, Mr. Mills?

I cannot believe the Turnpike Authority’s board of directors has approved such lunacy.

Richard Jensen, Minot