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Getting There: Bridge, tunnel toll increases cruel but fair

Board deserves credit for equalizing heavy burden

June 12, 2011|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Truly, there's far too much parochial thinking going around. Over time, the various facilities of the Maryland Transportation Authority system support each other. Is the Bay Bridge helping to pay for the ICC and the I-95 toll lanes now? Yes, though not nearly as much as the tunnels. Would it pay more under this proposal? Yes again.

But in the coming decades, the ICC will be paid off and likely generating big profits. The Express Toll Lanes could be raking in healthy returns. And these healthy youngsters will pay for the geriatric care of the Bay Bridge and help replace the obsolete Nice Bridge, the new version of which will support the McHenry Tunnel in its dotage.

It's the old concept of what goes around comes around. Or as former Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. put it: One Maryland.

But that's for another day. For now, Baltimore needs to push back every time the rural counties play the victim. We pay our fair share at the toll plazas. It's time they did, too.

michael.dresser@baltsun.com

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