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Readers Respond

Ferries not a good alternative to the Bay Bridge

I enjoy reading your Democratic-biased articles, even if I grimace at some of your opinions.

I did some minor math about your idea to use ferries to relieve pressure on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (“With electric ferries, Maryland won't need a third bay bridge,” Mar 8). In fiscal year 2017, Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic was 27.2 million vehicles, according to their website.

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This comes to an average of 74,520 per day. (Shouldn't semi-trucks count for four vehicles when loading a ferry? Poundage is another factor.)

Applying the above statistics, that means at least 16 Ampere type ferries operating nonstop (and 16 would not be able to accomodate peak hour traffic). Probably, customers will have to spend over 40 minutes, including loading and unloading vehicles to go perhaps four to five miles. Freighter traffic will have to be avoided. Ocassionally, ice, mechanical problems and fog may interfere with operations.

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Have you begun to figure out the fare per vehicle? Ferrry maintenance and replacement costs? New roads and ramps? Terminal space and congestion? Vehicle problems and pollutants while waiting in line?

Different countries, populations, geography and localities vary vastly from our situation concerning the use of ferries.

I'm just having fun coming up with unmentioned factors. I am not laughing at your effort to propose bridge options; however, I don't think you have considered hardly any of the factors involved.

Give some more full context proposals to Gov. Larry Hogan to help him resolve the traffic/bridge problem. I'm sure he will appreciate your input with thought out realistic solutions vs. blanket assumptions and accusations.

Jay J. Gloede


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