When I lived in the DC area many years ago, my wife and I would make the trip from Arlington, VA to New York many times and accepted tolls as a way of life.
I have become less tolerant of this legalized form of highway robbery with each trip to the region, but my worst disdain is reserved for the states of Maryland and Delaware.
Our Founding Fathers would have classified the two as rackets rather than states when they ratified the Constitution if they had only known what was in store for motorists in another 180 years or so later.
You pay $8 in tolls from the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel to the Delaware Memorial Bridge (I am not counting the tolls for the tunnel or bridge, because you can avoid them with viable alternate routes). The distance is about 70 miles one-way.
No road in the US is worth over a buck every 10 miles. The Delaware Memorial Turnpike and the JFK Memorial Highway are nothing special either. For that matter, the speed limits must have been set by a nanny. 60 MPH is about the legal average and there is never a shortage of ticket-happy state troopers raising revenue for their respective states. Do not expect to make any decent time on these cow paths.
George Washington crossed the Delaware River for free, but I swear, had he traversed it between New Jersey and Delaware rather than Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the state of Delaware would have nicked him $4 for every boat plus extra for the canon.
The New Jersey Turnpike is the worst at $13.85 for 113 miles, but you can easily avoid it by taking I-295. There are no good options in Maryland and Delaware and the governments of both states know it. It’s like crossing the Panama Canal – you pay the toll, or go by way of Cape Horn.
It’s not even scenic driving. I gladly pay the National Park fee of $15 for the privilege of driving the Blue Ridge Parkway through Shenandoah National Park in the high season. The JFK Highway and Delaware Turnpike are as dull as asphalt. The centralized service areas serve over-priced food and snacks. God forbid if you need to use a restroom on a holiday weekend.
Citizens from Florida to Maine should lobby their Senators and Congressmen to introduce legislation that would declare the tolls as restraint of trade.
Better yet, the residents of Maryland and Delaware should kick the good old boys that run their states out of office and replace them with folks who don’t soak motorists like local hicks in a small town filling station.