Toll booth idea is bad for North Carolina

By: - July 11, 2005 5:00 am

Fayetteville Observer Letters to the Editor 

Recently, a writer suggested putting toll booths on North Carolina roads at the state lines.

I am a traveler who’s been abused by New York and New Jersey toll roads. I can understand the revenge motive. An attempt to get back at fellow travelers from neighboring states is not just bad neighbors; it is a bad idea for all of us.

Consider this:

  • Most of the vehicle license plates on North Carolina interstates are from North Carolina. We would hurt a few travelers with state-line toll booths, but we would hurt our own travelers much more.
  • Most of our commerce is trucked in. We would raise the transportation costs of almost every product sold in the state.
  • Toll booths produce pollution and waste fuel. Thousands of cars leave little more than a few coins, exhaust fumes and carcinogenic brake dust.
  • Toll booths are high/low speed bottlenecks, responsible for a tremendous number of small accidents and fender benders. North Carolina should not inflict that personal and property damage on its citizens.
  • Toll booths inhibit commercial growth. Just look out your car window and compare a free road like Interstate 95 with the New York State Thruway. I-95 is a flurry of commercial activity; the Thruway is dead.

    The best revenge is living well. North Carolina is at its best when it takes the high road, serving as a shining example of how highways should be maintained.

    Keep North Carolina roads free of toll-booth blight.

    Shawn M. Schultz, Fayetteville

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    Chris Fitzsimon

    Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066