Large ‘No Tolls’ rally held in Hartford

Hartford

It has been a busy week at the Capitol with tolls in the spotlight.

Democrats are putting forward their plan to toll I-91, I-84, I-95 and other roads as the Republicans say they have a way to do it without the gantries.

And as the debate comes to a head, people packed onto the Capitol steps trying to stop tolls.

People at Saturday’s rally said there wasn’t just one reason why they were against tolls.

Some were worried the money wasn’t going to transportation. 

“Don’t take our money and spend it in other places, that is wrong! So we are here on this beautiful sunny day. When we could be doing a lot more at home, we are here to say, ‘No, it’s important,’” Maria Pyzmar of Enfield said.

Related Content: 100,000 signatures on No Tolls CT petition delivered to Gov. Lamont

Others called it a mileage tax.

“It makes it very prohibitive to go back-and-forth, back-and-forth to three times a day for five times a week. You’re going to really get kicked in the head, economically,” Clark Pritchett of New London stated.

Still, others said it’s hurting business.

“I am a union electrician, so my job takes me all over the state and it’s going to cost me at least $100 to $200 more a month, is what I’m figuring, on top of the fact I have to pay for an electrical license, sales tax on the vehicle I drive,” Lary Winfield of Clinton explained.

In all, there have been 30 rallies and town hall-style meetings across the state where the no tolls people have collected 100,000 signatures in an online petition and 18 town and cities have passed no toll resolutions. 

Related Content: Connecticut Republicans share transportation investment plan

Enfield is one of them.

“It will just crucify our town, our Route 5 will become a parking lot. Every year around the Big E, people [are] going through Agawam. You can’t get onto our Route 5 because of that,” Pyzmar said.

“I think they are listening loud and clear. I think several of them are on the fence. I think several of them are starting to take a step back from tolls, and they are recognizing this is not what the public wants,” Patrick Sasser stated.

This following week will be an interesting one as Democrats pull their plan together. Republicans will continue to push their plan as we move towards the end of a session and a vote.

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