Don't like tolls? Avoid the tunnels

I just read with great interest the letter from the resident of northern Maryland who complained that now that the Interstate 95 tunnel toll is $8 she will no longer be able to afford to come to Baltimore, and it left me scratching my head ("New tolls hit northeast Md. hardest," July 2).

How exactly does someone who lives north of the city have to pay the toll for the tunnel to get here when the tunnel is south of the city? Has this woman never heard of the Beltway? I've lived in Baltimore all my life and I have never once used the I-95 tunnel or the older alternate, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, to go north. In fact, I would have to be a complete idiot to do that, because it would involve me driving south through the city to go north. Not only would it waste a huge amount of time, it would involve me paying a toll for absolutely no reason. Who would do anything that idiotic?

Let's face facts. The main users of the tunnels are people traveling from states north of Maryland to states south of Maryland. Anyone who lives here knows hundreds of ways around the tunnels. I think I've been through them maybe five times in 50 years, and that's only because I was too lazy to take the longer way round. And I only use them to go south because that's where they are, on the city's south side. Using the tunnels to go north (or using them to get into the city when you're coming from the north) is nothing but stupidity.

William Smith, Baltimore