Thought Starter: A Toll For The Trenton Bridge? [POLL]
Now that there's paid parking in Bar Harbor, is a seasonal toll to cross the bridge onto the Island next?
Before we go any further, let us be perfectly clear that there is no current state or local plan to put a toll on the Trenton Bridge, the structure that carries Route 3 traffic between Trenton and Bar Harbor.
But, the times they are a changin'.
Paid parking kiosks in Bar Harbor and a pending reservation system for Acadia National Park - so one has to wonder, what's next?
Back in 1837 the first structure spanning Mount Desert Narrows was completed. A toll was charged to cross. According to the Mount Desert Island Heritage website, the cost was 10 cents for a horse and rider, 15 cents for a team of horses, and 25 cents for a double team.
Certain areas of Hancock County have changed drastically over the years, especially during the summer months of June, July and August. From the "crossroads" of Ellsworth down Route 3 in Trenton and across the bridge that spans Mt. Desert Narrows to a very busy and now well-populated Mount Desert Island, well-educated folks specialized in scenarios like this have the thinking-caps on and are coming up with ideas, like the recent paid-parking in Bar Harbor.
Think about it. Part of the tolls that you pay when driving over the Piscataqua River Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire go towards the upkeep of that structure. You pay a specific toll when crossing the Tobin Bridge into Boston as well.
There are tolls where the traffic is.
Would a toll on the Trenton Bridge decrease traffic to the Island during the summer months, giving vacationers another reason to park at the Trenton Transportation Center and then take an Island Explorer bus to their destination, thus decreasing traffic within Acadia National Park and on the streets of Bar Harbor? Maybe.
Just an idea.
By the way, motor vehicle traffic was banned on the Island between 1903 and 1915. Just another idea.