Editorial reply: Fix congestion without toll roads

Published On: Mar 16 2012 03:02:34 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 16 2012 03:12:47 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

"It's hard to swallow this notion that we're out of money for roads and that we must have toll roads to fix congestion," says TexasTURF.org's Terri Hall, "when TxDOT just announced it "found" another $2 billion.

"With 281 tied for the most congested road in the state, fixing 281 without tolls needs to be our top priority, especially since the fix was previously funded with gas taxes.

"Toll roads do not solve congestion.

"Case in point, Highway 130 was built to "solve" congestion on Interstate 35 through Austin. Yet so few cars take the toll road that not only are people still stuck in I-35 traffic, the toll road is so empty a plane landed on it during "rush hour."

"Toll roads also include non-compete agreements that limit the expansion of free roads around the toll road, guaranteeing congestion on the free lanes, FORCING us to pay this new tax on driving.

"With 57 toll projects planned for Bexar County, there will be no escaping this new tax that runs from 25 cents/mile up to a $1.50 a mile.

"Plus, more than half the money to build the toll roads will require subsidies from ALL of us, whether you use them or not.

"With gas prices already hitting drivers hard, Texans don't need higher taxes through tolls. Use some of that new-found $2 billion to fix 281 and keep it a freeway. No more excuses."