Letter to Editor: Time for tolls?

To the Editor:

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before cruise ships, we did our weekly shopping in Bar Harbor. Even then, parking and congestion were difficult. One had to frequently wait for a spot at Don’s. Once inside it was obvious that few of the parkers were actually shopping in Don’s. This forced our weekly shopping to move to Ellsworth long before Walmart and Home Depot arrived.

Cruise ships were not the problem. It was already too many tourists coming across the Trenton bridge. The contagion and parking problem has spread across Mount Desert Island.

Acadia National Park put a toll gate at the Ocean Drive, issued commercial permits and now plant to implement a private vehicle reservation system to ration access.

The other island towns do not permit cruise ships. With will power Bar Harbor could reduce their permit. Cruise ships are just the tip of the iceberg. Bar Harbor has a permit/toll system to ration parking.

We now have full traffic signals because of traffic congestion. The problem is and always has been the number of tourists and vehicles crossing the bridge creating backups of as much as a mile long.

We are bumbling toward rationing access to MDI. This could be done with a free EZ-pass based permit system at the Trenton bridge. Originally that was a toll bridge.

Carl Brooks

Great Cranberry Island

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