Joe Krier, in his article that appeared February 9 in the Express-News(read it here), attempts to make the case yet again for tolling freeways we’ve already paid for. Here’s some points that seem lost on toll proponents. We have a built-in system to help fund population growth: more residents means more taxpayers. We already have a user tax for roads. It’s called the gas tax. The more you use the more you pay. Also, every time we fill up our gas tanks, we’re continuing to fill up the Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) budget. Much of the growth Mr. Krier refers to can and needs to be reigned in by our weak-kneed politicians at the City and County.
It’s absurd for him to assert toll lanes on 281 will relieve congestion. Tolls roads don’t relieve congestion, they are a tool to manipulate congestion for profit. The needed improvements to 281 have been in the works for 6 years, are paid for, and should be completed by now, so it’s patently FALSE for Mr. Krier to assert that adding express toll lanes to US 281 will speed up congestion relief. In fact, the toll project has delayed congestion relief in favor of taking private land against the landowner’s will through eminent domain in order to hand it over to foreign toll operators for private gain. These public-private partnerships called CDAs are being kept SECRET from the public and will last up to 50 years with no cap on how high the toll rates will go and with no oversight by ANY elected official!
Toll roads will not reduce emissions, but make the problems motorists are already experiencing, permanent. The only non-toll lanes will be downgraded to slower frontage lanes with stop lights. There would be NO non-toll expressway option as users have today. Therefore, rather than install the no-toll ORIGINAL funded plan on 281 that would relieve congestion and make traffic flow smoothly for ALL motorists, Mr. Krier, SAMCO, the Greater Chamber and our politicians (through TxDOT) would rather force us to pay a toll (a whole new permanent driver’s tax) for a freeway that’s already paid for WITHOUT a vote of the people.
San Antonio Toll Party