I have been a Cecil County resident for over 20 years, and I, like so many others, have been forced into purchasing the EZ Pass to cross the Thomas J. Hatem or Millard E. Tydings bridges over the Susquehanna River just to go home after a hard day's work. Those victims who are just passing through, perhaps on their way to the Hollywood Casino, are forced to pay $8 to drive across the two most expensive tolls in Maryland.
I had to cross the bridge on Saturday, and as I got about halfway I realized that I had left my EZ Pass in my other vehicle, which was getting repaired. When I got to the toll, I explained to the toll booth attendant that my EZ Pass was in my other vehicle and that I didn't have any cash to pay the toll. She stated that it was OK and that my license tag would be scanned and that I would get a bill for $12 in the mail. My thought then changed to, "Well, if they can scan my tag to get my name and address to send a bill, then couldn't they also tell that I have multiple EZ passes?" I even asked if I could go inside the toll facilities building and use my debit card. She said no, just pay the fine when it arrives.
How insane is it that I, a Cecil County resident, has to pay to drive home on a bridge that was paid for around the 1960s (from what I've been told)? And that since I didn't have the cash, get charged an additional $4? Like the state isn't making enough revenue from the new casino that Gov. Martin O'Malley was so vehemently opposed to having in Maryland? They have to charge an obscene amount of money so Cecil County residents can drive home. And, if they don't happen to have the money, they get charged more? Does anyone else see a problem here?
Back in 2011, I tried to attend a meeting at Perryville High School concerning the bridge's toll increase, but there were so many people there who were outraged by the increase, I couldn't get anywhere near the school. And yet the increase still happened? Sorry, that doesn't sound like democracy to me or maybe totalitarianism is the new democracy in Maryland.
Erik Donald, PerryvilleCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun