After reading Stavros Mendros’ letter (May 3), “Putting aside the rhetoric,” I found I had more questions than answers. I must disclose, I have been a satisfied customer of the Maine Turnpike for almost 30 years.

Yes, residents between Portland and Brunswick have a free, four-lane highway, but to go farther north or south they also pay tolls for use of the road. And comparing the distance between Biddeford and Portland versus Auburn or Lewiston to Portland is also not equal, as the mileage is not equal. In fact, Lewiston to Portland is nearly twice the mileage from Biddeford to Portland.

Equally important is that I am paying to use a well-managed road that provides great jobs and offers a convenient way for the out-of-state traveler to quickly get to much of Southern and Central Maine, supporting the state’s economy.

The Turnpike pays for the State Police detachment, pays for its own construction and seems to be doing a better job than many municipalities and Maine DOT. Most important, no one is forced to use the Turnpike, but many choose to do so for convenience and safety.

It should be noted that as a Legislator in 1999, Mendros submitted LD518, which would have added interchanges locally. The legislation failed, but it is important to note that there was no mention in that bill of eliminating tolls or doing anything to help the local community with what is now suddenly considered a problem.

So who really is providing rhetoric?

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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