Letter: Bridge Tolls Will Drive Stake Through Heart of East Bay Economy
A Letter to the Editor from Bristol's Chuck Millard regarding the recent proposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Governor Chafee and the DOT are about to drive a stake through the heart of the East Bay economy.
Make no mistake about it if they succeed in setting up tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge potential visitors from South Eastern MA and Tiverton will change their shopping patterns. Impulse visits to our community will drop off precipitously.
Tourists are not going to shell out $8.00 to have an ice cream at the Daily Scoop and stroll through our shops. They are not going to 'hop over to the Pot' for drinks or get a bite at Roberto's. Visitors from MA will not be able to buy the discounted transponders and will have to pay the full freight. Our museums will suffer. Who is going to pile their family in the car and come to Bristol for a hike around Mount Hope Farm and lunch in town when there's an $8.00 toll surcharge on top of $5.00 gas!
Rhode Island is a series of peninsulas and islands with 400 miles of coastline connected by a highway system that by necessity includes bridges. Singling us out for living on the East Bay makes as much sense as placing a surcharge on the residents of Foster and Gloster to pay for the inordinate amount of snow removal required in the northern kingdom.We need to forcefully make the point that infrastructure is a shared burden that should be carried evenly.
Our Representatives and Senators are actively fighting this train wreck. We need to let them know that the troops are behind them.
Charles Millard, Bristol