A number of very professional and complete traffic-engineering studies have shown that adding congestion pricing (i.e. modern-day tolls) along the entire length of I-95 in Connecticut would be equivalent to adding an additional lane to the highway from one end of the state to the other. This would very severely mitigate the daily traffic congestion and do it at the least cost.

The Federal Highway Administration would even be more than happy to fund the program with currently available funds if Connecticut's officials would just agree to stop studying and whining about the issue.

The FHA has repeatedly encouraged Connecticut to commit to this cost-effective and demonstrated solution, but to no avail. The old bromide that Connecticut would lose money if tolls were put on I-95 is just not true. And the notion that we can fill in the Long Island Sound watershed to widen I-95 is just plain ludicrous.

Along with the new tolling, some exits and entrances would be eliminated -- too many were added to the highway's design at local politicians' requests when the Connecticut Turnpike was first built. Route 1 would be modernized, in both geometry and signalization, so that peak local traffic could move along at a regular pace, instead of looking like the Giants' stadium letting out after a game.

And with tolls paying more of the way, I would expect our gas tax to go down and be more in line with neighboring states, too. Tolls may not be politcally popular, but they can solve just a few of our big problems in this state.

Jim Brown