Texas Toll Roads

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by updawg, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. updawg

    updawg Member

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    Haven't seen much discussion of this around here (although I may have missed it or ignored it)

    From article

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    During a break in a recent commission meeting, Williamson shook his head in befuddlement when asked why the state has begun paying millions of dollars in “stipends” to companies because they weren’t picked to build some of the toll roads.

    The notion of paying the losers, Williamson agreed, is “nutty as a fruitcake.” But the department is bound by law to do it, he said, a law Williamson suggested might be a holdover from the era of big government.

    Actually, million-dollar parting gifts for the losers is a more recent Texas custom, courtesy of the huge 2003 transportation bill sponsored by Mike Krusee, a Republican state representative from Round Rock and chairman of the House Transportation Committee.


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    The effort to privatize infrastructure dovetails nicely with the agenda of public officials who want to build new roads and repair old ones without increasing taxes. “What we’re seeing,” says Pat Choate, an economist, author, and Ross Perot’s vice presidential running mate in 1996, “is an era in which governments will be selling off their infrastructure to keep their no-tax pledges.”
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    That “choice” was made by a powerful clique of state officials and business leaders, not the public. Taxpayers may well have been receptive to a big, messy debate about future transportation needs and the gasoline tax, but they were never asked.

    For Republicans, though, the prospect of raising taxes was akin to heresy. So state officials snuck innocuous-sounding constitutional amendments onto the ballot in 2001. Proposition 2 allowed the state to issue bonds for road projects in border colonias. Proposition 15 created the Texas Mobility Fund, a bank of sorts that is funded by a stream of tax revenue and can make grants and loans, and issue bonds to finance the construction, reconstruction, acquisition, operation, and expansion of state highways, turnpikes, toll roads, toll bridges, and other mobility projects.

    Voters approved both amendments in a low-turnout election. Effectively, just 2 percent of the state’s population voted for the ballot measures, hardly a mandate. The Trans-Texas Corridor was never mentioned in either proposition, and the word “toll” appeared only in passing.


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    Among the greatest ironies is that the super-highways won’t really do much to reduce congestion, a fact that Chairman Williamson confirmed during a recent commission meeting while trying to allay the fears of businessmen and communities who worry they’ll become ghost towns once the new roads go through.
     
  2. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    I will make a bunch of roads that will allow the rich to drive unflettered by the poor
    :D

    The Poor with be driving on 'poor' roads

    Rocket River
     
  3. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    Its awful in austin. Some of our new toll roads were funded with money that was already set aside for free roads.
     
  4. underoverup

    underoverup Member

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    why do republicans waste so much money? :confused:
     
  5. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    Because it makes them rich and its not only republicans.
     
  6. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    i thought i heard that mexico owns the new toll roads in austin. which to say the least, i think is funny that we pay another country to drive on our own roads.
     
  7. updawg

    updawg Member

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    A Spanish company is doing Tx 130
     
  8. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    the roads are owned by a spanish company. if i understand correctly, profits from the tolls collected on all these new roads will be used in part to fund the rest of the nafta superhighway down to the mexican pacific coast. so in a way, mexico does own the toll roads as they will be helping to pay for mexican roads.

    this way, products made by chinese slaves can be shipped into mexican ports and get around those pesky u.s. inspectors and port authorities. and they can be shipped north to us by mexican truck drivers, who will be able to enter the u.s. unfettered under the north american free trade agreement. the mexican government will operate a checkpoint in kansas city and mexican troops will be patrolling and doing inspections there.

    everything they are doing is cutting the american worker out of the process, from the production to the transportation and shipping.
     

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