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The recent editorial on the tolls charged on New York State highways struck a chord. My family recently traveled more than 2,600 miles through eight states by automobile. Through the middle 2,400 miles, we paid $2.50 in tolls. The first and last 95 miles, in New York of course, we paid $4.20. That was traveling north and south from Buffalo to Pennsylvania. Thank goodness we didn't travel east and west.

I'm further frustrated with my daily search for two quarters to place in the basket at the Black Rock toll barrier, simply so I can make my way to work. It is a tax, pure and simple. I question the contention by the Thruway Authority that the majority of tolls are paid by out-of-state drivers, because my casual observation is that the majority of users, especially at the Black Rock and Ogden toll barriers, are fellow New Yorkers.

Any notion that these tolls will go away any time soon is foolhardy. The most telling evidence that the tolls are here to stay is E-Z Pass. If the state had any intention of phasing out the tolls, would they have invested in this bit of technology that makes it even more convenient to take our money?

STEPHEN F. BRADY North Tonawanda

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