On the Bridge Toll

On Dec. 31, you carried a commentary written by the mayor of Coronado, Mary Herron, which dealt with the problems of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. I want you to know that the message by Mary Herron does not speak for all the residents of Coronado.

The mayor talks of reducing the traffic in Coronado by the use of any mode of transportation except the single-occupancy auto. She also speaks of the tourist industry preference for discounting the present toll. What was not said was that, for several months, there has been a "car pool" lane on the bridge that allows cars with two or more persons, buses and motorcycles to cross the bridge without paying any toll. Therefore, most tourist traffic can use this benefit.

Many of the Coronado residents must still make their way to the San Diego side in order to make their daily wage. In many cases, this involves the use of single-occupancy cars because car-pooling is difficult, if not impossible, to arrange.

It should be noted that these residents are for the most part traveling in the opposite direction of the heaviest traffic. Yet we must pay the toll each and every day. It seems that the mayor is most interested in ensuring that the toll continue to provide bridge maintenance and for the ever-illusive alternative transportation system.

I submit that the car-pool lane is an excellent means of moving the vast number of cars through the toll plaza, but is a poor way to reduce the number of cars on Coronado's streets. Therefore, I would propose that the car-pool lane be limited to the high-traffic periods (for the most part, early morning) and all vehicles pay a reduced toll at other times. In this manner, the monies necessary for bridge maintenance could be generated by all travelers, not just the people who cannot find another person to transport.

I would also hope that some of the revenue generated would provide some measure of control of the traffic along the few streets that carry such a high percentage of the commuter traffic. During much of the day, it is difficult and dangerous to cross such streets as 3rd and 4th. I would also hope that the mayor would instruct the Police Department to enforce the speed limit on all vehicles. This would include buses and trucks. Mayor Herron observe the speed that some of these vehicles use on these streets. It is frightening.

The headline, "Coronado Is Still Willing to Pay the Toll" is misleading. It leaves the impression that Coronado wants the toll the way it is. The toll needs to be rethought and the residents of Coronado allowed to fully express themselves on the way it is applied, or, I should say, misapplied.

JACK A. VAUGHAN

Coronado

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