IOW supervisors need to stand against bridge toll

Published 8:54 am Friday, April 1, 2011

To the Editor:

Why are we, the citizens of Isle of Wight County, required to pay a toll on the James River Bridge?

We do not receive any benefit from either of the new crossings. As far as I know, tolls were placed only on the new bridges or roads that were built. That way, the users paid for the right to cross over.

Many of us who live here in the county work on the Peninsula. This will add an additional cost to us to travel back and forth to work. That is just not right.

Why doesn’t our Board of Supervisors make this point? Why aren’t they standing up for the citizens who elected them?

I sat through a presentation given at the last Board meeting in regards to the new crossing, and the only comment made by any supervisor was that he hoped the Patriots Crossing was chosen because a toll may not be added to the James River Bridge.

Our board should be doing all it can to make sure the citizens of Isle of Wight County are not required to pay this new tax. They should be working to formulate a plan to make sure we are not included in this plan.

The powers that be may say that a toll is needed to keep travelers from avoiding the tolled routes. That may be a valid claim, but we should not be caught up in that plan.

There has to be a way that we do not have to pay this toll. I propose that this new taxing authority give the citizens of Isle of Wight County a way of crossing this bridge at no cost.

One way to do that is to supply the citizens a Smart Pass, similar to that used on the George P. Coleman Bridge that crosses over the York River. This would allow us to cross without paying and still charge those trying to avoid the other toll crossings.

There is still time for this if the Board will stand up for the people that elected them. That is their first priority.

Tom Gaskell