AP NEWS

No Tolls CT to host rally in Danbury

February 25, 2019

DANBURY — Opponents of tolls on Connecticut highways will stage a rally in friendly territory on White Street in Danbury.

The Stamford grassroots organization No Tolls CT is organizing the protest at 1 p.m. Saturday at the corner of White and Wildman streets,

Danbury leaders at the state and local levels have been adamantly opposed to tolls of any kind and Mayor Mark Boughton has been one of the most vocal, both as mayor and throughout his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for governor last year.

Boughton frequently quips that he’d chain himself to the highway to stop tolls, if it came to that, but he might not be available to chant and wave signs on Saturday afternoon.

“I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop by, but obviously I agree,” Boughton said.

City Council members also have expressed their dissatisfaction with any tolling plan, but they will not discuss a resolution formally opposing tolls at the council meeting next week. Instead, they’ll wait until this summer as the toll fight drags on.

“We’ve got a lot of budget-related stuff that we need to get through, so we’ll wait until the legislative session is over and then circle back,” Boughton said. A resolution “is something we’ll still consider, we just have to get through this first and then we’ll try tackle tolls.”

Gov. Ned Lamont proposed this month a plan to build 53 toll-collecting gantries across the cities three major interstates and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.

Construction could begin in 2022 at the earliest and cost $213 million, but Lamont has estimated it could raise as much as $800 million each year.

The plan has been met with some fierce opposition, however, including No Tolls CT, Danbury, Stamford and other municipalities along the state’s major arteries who argue the tolls are another tax on resident drivers and could hobble area businesses.

zach.murdock@hearstmediact.com