Why are we building the ICC?
A mighty wail of consternation and dismay arose from all the land, and there was great gnashing of teeth. Those who had intended to drive quickly from I-270 to I-95, cutting through the hearts of their parks and casting a cloud of pollution over their neighbors' houses and schoolyards have made a terrible discovery. They'll have to pay. And the toll could be nearly twice the $7 predicted before construction began. (But then, the cost of construction has always been understated, so why not the toll?)
Add the annual cost of $18 (currently) for the EZ-Pass, and this begins to add up. Oops. Well, back to the (free) beltway and local roads. Only 5 percent of people want to go the whole way anyway. So ... why exactly are we building this road?
Anne Ambler, Silver Spring
ICC tolls will cost everyone
The writer of the opinion ["The toll of tolls," Sept. 30] will make a good politician with surprise outrage over getting what they wanted, but not understanding the consequences of their choice. You must have missed how the project was going to be funded $750 million of the $3 billion ICC project funding was [from] GARVEE bonds and the rest state bonds. The bonds to a state are similar to house mortgage to you. They have to be paid off within a certain time limit. The GARVEE bonds were planned to be paid over the next 20 years with future federal highway funds, which would be about $50 million a year. The state planned on using funds from tolls and possibly other funds ; the state funding share would probably be $100 million per year.
Here is where your surprise comes in. The state, in its first approach to paying the bonds, is to have the users of the ICC pay. If you are surprised by the math today on toll rates, then you will be really shocked when public opinion makes them lower the rates and everyone's taxes will go up to pay for the ICC.
So in the end it will be a low-traveled toll road with high rates and every Maryland taxpayer helping to pay for it.
Mike Shirven, Derwood