Area Transit Planning

Robert Dallos' laudatory description of the recent penchant for toll roads with computerized toll collection (Column One, Aug. 14) is misleading. Relative to the need for improvement and repair of the nation's overburdened roads and bridges, Dallos claims, "With few exceptions, there are no public funds available for new facilities." That just is not so.

In the past the new facilities have been paid for by special assessments, in large part, from landowners and developers whose land values skyrocket because of the installation of the new facilities; they pay a portion of their windfalls for the process under which they are enriched. The new trend, as exemplified by our new drastic gasoline-tax increase and the toll-road fad, is to exempt the fortunate landowners and raise the revenues through regressive consumer taxes.

The burden on American motorists brought about by the Mideast crisis is far outweighed by the burden unnecessarily imposed by regressive gasoline taxes and toll roads perpetrated on ourselves by ourselves due to ignorance of economics.

STANLEY SAPIRO

Malibu

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