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News Opinion

No gas tax increase until the state stops wasteful highway projects

I have a few comments about increasing the gas tax ("Get Maryland moving," Dec. 17). First of all, before they take any more of my money, they need to make it impossible to raid the Transportation Trust Fund, like they have done in the past.

I wouldn't mind it if there wasn't so much of the current money being wasted. Let me give you a few examples I have noticed recently. I have property near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and I have used I-70 for the last 35 years to get there. The intersection near Frederick has been changed at least twice in the past, say, 10 years. There used to be a big truck stop that was a great place to eat, and there was I think a BJ's as well. When they first changed this terrible roadway they removed these two buildings, probably costing us millions. They have since changed it again, and it is still going on. What a tremendous waste of my money. Then along that area I noticed that they are putting up light poles along the exits. Why do we need a few lights when there are none needed?

This year the oak trees produced billions and billions of acorns, yet the state was paying to plant trees. All the trees along the way grew naturally, as far as I know, so why again pay people to plant trees when nature would do it by itself? All someone would have to do is poke a hole about 2 inches deep and put in an acorn, and next year we would have new trees almost for free. And it is so easy to gather them up with ashopvac. I have a 25 year old seeding of the Wye Oak on my front year, and I had 10 gallons of acorns. I took about half of them and planted them about a foot apart all along the roads at my place in W.Va. I hope that if the deer don't eat them.

Then last year on 95 heading into town they replaced what seemed to be to be perfectly good overhead signs near Washington Blvd. Why did they need to be replaced?

Also, old bridges are being replaced, which I am sure is necessary. What I don't understand is why do they build a temporary one to go around the old one, then replace the old one and then tear down the temporary one. Why not just build a permanent one that goes around the old one? Then in 50 years they could replace that one with another new one, cutting the cost in half. This could have been done at Frederick Road and Liberty Road, and I guess they will soon replace the one over Edmondson Avenue. They have also done this on Route 40 where it goes over the Patapasco River.

I just wish The Sun would have a weekly section about government waste. You would probably increase your readership if we 53 percent who pay taxes had a place to vent.

If they need more money, why don't they just cut welfare and all the handouts the deadbeats get for doing what is wrong.

Merry Christmas,

Joe Heldmann, Catonsville

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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