Misconceptions about the ICC
Ronald Freeland's opinion, ["ICC tolls appropriate and will benefit entire state," Jan. 13] that ICC toll rates are high to prevent congestion is misguided. If that were the case, then the system in place would be a continuously variable toll rate. Mr. Freeland further discusses the need to pay off bonds and maintain the AA credit rating. How will the MDTA generate toll revenue and maintain this credit rating if people do not drive the road? If the goal of the current toll rates is to minimize congestion, will tolls be reduced if no one drives the road?
It is simple supply and demand. If the goal is to minimize traffic, a tolling structure like that of HOT lanes should be implemented. If the road gets too crowded, raise the tolls. At night, or overnight, the road should be very cheap. This is not the case with the current toll plan. With the current toll rates, it is my opinion that the majority of people will not be using the road. This would cause less revenue and draw funds from other areas to cover the difference.
A simple solution to this debate would be to announce that these tolls are preliminary. When the road opens and traffic is not near the level to cause congestion, tolls would be lowered. Conversely, if the tolls are in fact "cheap" as Mr. Freeland seems to suggest, and too many people use the road, they could raise the tolls.
Eric Wong, Silver Spring