Both Commissioner Lyle Larson and Commissioner Tommy Adkisson spoke to raucous applause from a very frustrated and motivated crowd last night. Both encouraged attendees to contact their legislators IMMEDIATELY to demand our raided highway funds get returned and that they STOP THE WIDESPREAD TOLLING OF TEXAS! Larson emphasized that though he’s been with us since the beginning, he has no direct oversight over TxDOT, only the Governor and Legislature do. So it’s imperative that we contact the Legislature immediately and follow-up frequently during this legislative session that ends in May.
Freshmen State Representatives Nathan Macias and Joe Farias also spoke and received hearty applause for their strong stand against the tolling of existing highways and they, too, encouraged us to contact our representatives about this issue. Macias welcomed constituent feedback as “refreshing.”
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO SAY NO TO TOLLS!
To find out who your representatives are, go here.
Contact State Senator Jeff Wentworth (210-826-7800) and State Representative Frank Corte (210- 349-0320) and respectfully but firmly demand they return the STOLEN highway funds and STOP THE TOLLING OF 281 IN THEIR OWN DISTRICT!
TxDOT tries to silence citizens AGAIN!
TxDOT REFUSED to allow citizens to put out a table with petitions and information saying it was private property. We called a County Commissioner and Attorney both of which said this was a PUBLIC MEETING and PUBLIC FORUM and the facility was rented with TAXPAYER MONEY and the citizens have a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT to FREE SPEECH! So we handed out our information at the end, but lost precious opportunities to inform attendees about the TRUTH for a good portion of the meeting.
Then, TxDOT cut the microphones about three-quarters of the way through the meeting claiming they suddenly had “sound problems.” This agency is shameless and behaving as dictators who are trying to SILENCE THE CITIZENS!
GET YOUR COMMENTS ON THE RECORD BY FEB 16!
EMAIL comments to get on the LEGAL RECORD here or fax comments to (210) 349-2101.
TOLL PARTY COMMENTS AT 281 PUBLIC HEARING
Here’s 3 things that everyone needs to know:
1) The needed overpasses for 281 are already paid for! A plan for overpasses and expansion of HWY 281 has been presented to and PROMISED to the public in prior public meetings since the late 90s. I hold in my hands that ORIGINAL improvement plan that should have begun in 2004 as scheduled and would have been completed last year. The cost was $100 million all the way to the county line. TxDOT’s own documents show they have $100 million RIGHT NOW to install these improvements. Now to build this as a tollway, it’s more than DOUBLE the pricetag to the taxpaying public.
2) This toll plan has two bidders. Both are foreign companies. TxDOT is planning to give one of these foreign companies control of our PUBLIC infrastructure for the next 50 years…that will outlive most of us in this room. This isn’t just some ordinary highway project. We’re talking about something that will impact our children and grandchildren and change San Antonio forever!
These contracts include something called non-compete agreements where TxDOT would give control of the free routes around the tollway to this private company, which not only means they’d control the signal lights and speed limits on the non-toll access roads, but they may also control Stone Oak Parkway and Bulverde Rd. We won’t know for sure until the contract is already signed since this is being negotiated in SECRET, and even our elected officials cannot see the terms of this contract UNTIL AFTER IT’S SIGNED. So TxDOT’s version of tolls won’t solve congestion; it’ll manipulate it for profit. Over the next 50 years, this foreign company stands to make $1.6 billion just on this one 8 mile stretch for a project that costs about $200 million to build. This is truly highway robbery!
3) The Legislature has stolen our highway funds to the tune of nearly $10 billion and spent it on political pet projects for things like tourism, TX Commission on the arts, enhancing benefits for public employees, and WE THE TAXPAYERS need to demand they give it back. If that money had not been stolen from us, we would not be discussing tolls across Texas! We don’t lack funds; our politicians lack fiscal accountability. Call Wentworth and Corte and demand we get this money back and that they STOP the tolling of 281!
The taxpayers have a right to vote on matters of such grave public interest. We are the owners of government, not an unelected bureaucracy behaving as dictators of public policy.
We’re tired of the manipulation of the timing of the stop lights on 281 and bringing this corridor to needless gridlock by stealing our time since last January when a lawsuit shed light on these fraudulent plans. They’ve hijacked the PUBLIC’S highway to push a political agenda by misleading the public into thinking the ONLY solution is a tollway while NOT telling us they already have the plan and money to fix it, but they’d rather hand it over to a foreign company and collect tolls without limit than install the simple, sensible, less expensive solution they promised the public would be done last year.
This Governor and his Transportation Department are guilty of colluding to defraud the public and of purposely increasing our cost of transportation from pennies a day under gas tax to dollars per day under an unaccountable toll system in the hands of a foreign company for private gain WITHOUT THE PUBLIC’S CONSENT! TxDOT’s own studies show toll rates of up to $1 a mile! We’re talking about $2,000-4,000 more per year to use our PUBLIC highways. The community will not let you dictate this to us and target 281 users while those in other parts of town enjoy FREE routes. You’re taking away our freedom of mobility to line the pockets of private corporations. The taxpayers not TxDOT have the final say on the public’s roads.
Get informed and get involved. SAY NO to this money grab because they’re selling Texas to the highest bidder unless we stop them!