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Councilman Art Reyna ran on a anti-toll platform and routed the pro-toll incumbent, Hubert Lange, to win his seat. Now he’s proposed the Council pass a firm resolution blocking ANY tolls on Bandera Rd. We agree that the overwhelming consensus in Leon Valley, as it is elsewhere, is against tolls. The question is, what will the RMA and TxDOT do with such a resolution, legally binding or not, they will posit themselves against duly elected representatives of that community if they proceed with their destructive plan. The Leon Valley City Council Meeting is this evening at 7 PM in the City Council Chambers at 6400 El Verde Road, Leon Valley Texas 78238.
Leon Valley May Reject Tolls
Resolution before suburb’s council would block toll construction
By Jim Forsyth
Thursday, July 6, 2006
The city of Leon Valley is prepared to order the toll road builders to get out of town by sundown.
City Council in the northwest side suburb tonight will be asked to consider a resolution opposing any attempt to build toll lanes on Bandera Road. The Regional Mobility Authority has proposed an ambitious project to build an upper lane on Bandera Road from Loop 1604 to Loop 410, and charge people a toll to drive on it.
City Councilman Art Reyna, who is proposing the resolution, says ‘nobody in Leon Valley’ wants tolls.
“It would virtually kill our city if something like that were added,” Reyna told 1200 WOAI news.
Reyna says he has nothing personally against toll roads and drives on toll roads when visiting Houston and Dallas, but he says toll roads have no place in Leon Valley.
“The vast majority of the residents of Leon Valley wants tolls blocked,” he said. “Our city is very different from other cities where elevated toll roads have been considered.”
The RMA’s Jim Reed has indicated that construction on the elevated lanes of Bandera Road could begin as soon as next year.
Reyna says the resolution would not be legally binding on the RMA, but he points out that the Texas Department of Transportation has indicated that it will not build toll roads in areas where local governments have voted against them, and he hopes the RMA follows that lead.
“I think its important that the RMA do the work that it is tasked to do, but I think it is equally important that the citizens’ voice be heard in the process,” Reyna said.
He says there are ‘quite a few’ improvements that could be made to move traffic faster on Bandera Road, and elevated toll lanes are only one option. Reyna says the RMA was asked to consider improvements to Bandera road, but says residents were ‘shocked’ when officials decided to recommend elevated toll lanes.
Leon Valley runs along Bandera Road, and there are few alternative routes.
“Improvements are important, but they shouldn’t kill a city in the process,” Reyna said.