Bandera Rd doesn't need tolls, community group concludes

Link to article here.

It’s once again, very clear that the Alamo RMA, the tolling authority, WILL NOT listen to the community. They exist to toll roads, period. They’re paid NOT to consider other alternatives, regardless of what the community wants! They’ll pretend otherwise, but it’s been made clear in countless public statements by the RMA, no matter what is done on Bandera Rd., it must be tolled if the RMA is going to make inprovements.

Bandera Road panel sees no need for tolling
Amanda Reimherr Buckert

After nearly a year of work, the Bandera Road Community Working Group has identified possible solutions to alleviate the traffic and congestion problem along Bandera Road — none of which includes toll roads.The next project the working group is tasked with is to create a Context Sensitive Solutions strategy for the 61/2-mile stretch of road between Loop 410 and Loop 1604, and the public has been asked for input.

“CSS is an approach that determines what the unique characteristics of a community are and how those can be enhanced to create a design standards book for an area,” said Leroy Alloway, spokesman for the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority.

The authority created the Bandera Road group last October after a public outcry against toll roads as a solution to the traffic problems. The Texas Department of Transportation has allocated no money to improve Bandera Road, so the Alamo RMA was charged with finding long-term solutions.

A total of 21 options are being considered, but the only one that can fund any improvements is tolling.

“Some of the interim improvements the group has suggested are synchronizing traffic lights, extending turn lanes and other traffic access management options; but a long-term solution must be a build option,” Alloway said.

But no traffic relief solutions that include building or expanding roadways can be done until an Environmental Impact Statement required by the Federal Highway Administration is completed in 2010 or 2011.

Numerous residents have opposed either elevated or at-grade toll lanes, and they suggest that other options are available.

Marcy Meffert, a former mayor of Leon Valley, is a member of the working group.

“This is my personal opinion, I am not a spokesperson for the group, but we need to do something about this traffic. A toll road — elevated or not — is not the answer,” she said.

However, Alloway said nothing is final.

“Nothing can be official until the (environmental) study is completed, but the likelihood of an elevated toll lane is now significantly less,” he said.

During the CSS process, the Alamo RMA is seeking as much public involvement as possible, Alloway said.

People are encouraged to submit their input on what is important to them or what they would like to see in the area by contacting the Alamo RMA at (210) 495-5256 or e-mailing