Toll Roads in Texas- The Road to Ruin or the Roads IN RuinSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Toll Roads in Texas- The Road to Ruin or the Roads IN Ruin
 


1 December 2006 at 11:03:02 AM
salon

Since the weather was so bad yesterday and kept my connection flaky and mostly down, I read the newest Texas Monthly issue while snuggled up under a blankie! I recommend, if you are interested (and you should be!) in the toll roads issues in Texas, that you run out and get the December 2006 issue to read an article by Paul Burke. He makes a strong point about the idea of privatization of transportation. And don't be fooled, it's not only at a state level, but federal level that the idea of public transportation paid for by our taxes is going the way of the buggy whip. Burka's point is that we can't get hung up first on the fact that the companies TxDOT and others are entering agreements with are foreign.. but that they are doing it at ALL.

TxDOT's plan for toll roads is to surrender public control of these roads by entering into "comprehensive development agreements" (known as CDAs) with private companies, such as the partnership between Cintra... and Zachry [TTC] ... What matters is whether the arrangement protects the public interest. Here is what John Carona, a Republican state senator from Dallas who is the new chairman of the Senate committee that deals with transporation, has to say on that subject. "Within thirty years time, under existing comprehensive development agreements, we'll bring free roads in this state to a condition of ruin."

The reason for this is that the CDS contain non-compete clauses that prevent TxDOt from building new roads that might COMPETE with the Toll Roads! ... and that includes UPGRADING EXISTING HIGHWAYS.

Any improvement to an existing highway that is not already planned at the time TxDOT enters into the contract is prohibited. .. How about adding extra lanes? Sorry, prohibited by the CDA. An HOV express lane? Not a chance... If you don't like the traffic, use the toll road.

There's another part of this article that deals with how the money that Cintra, etc are paying TxDOT is money up front that Cintra will need to get back. By having fair, public highways? No, by charging tolls.

So you see where Burka is leading. You have crumbling, deteriorating PUBLIC roads that can't be upgraded or new roads built because of the CDA contracts with WHOEVER. Meanwhile, citizens of this state (and other foolish states that choose to shaft their citizens in this manner), if they want to ride on a GOOD, MAINTAINED ROAD, will pay a toll to do it. Seems to me that rewards the more well-to-do in this society and is longer an egalitarian highway such as, say, I-35 is.

Again, run out and get the issue to read this. Another good article is on the Best Public Schools, worth the read.


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