This is NOT new information to ANYONE who has been following the proliferation of toll roads in Texas or to the communities on the receiving end of them. TxDOT leaders are bullies, they’re proven liars, and the Legislature had the golden opportunity to rein them in but FAILED to override the Governor’s veto of HB 1892. Mark my words, it WILL come back to haunt them.
TxDOT Attacks More Communites
In the New Braunfels area TxDOT is pushing for a loop around the town whether or not it is in the best interests of the community. Many residents there are upset by the “commando” tactics of TxDOT for its special interests. Several local homeowners are worried the newly determined route will cut through their homes and backyards.
Another incident last May 5th at a meeting with TxDOT scheduled by Rep. Patrick Rose at the State Capitol approximately 50 Hays County Residents heard TxDOT engineers Bob Daigh and Don Nyland “whine” that TxDOT didn’t have the financial resources to resurface a “shoddy” and unprofessional job it had performed 6 months ago on FM 1826. The residents left the meeting with “a bad taste in their mouths” for TxDOT and the knowledge that the agency did not assume responsibility for the poor job and that in addition, it would not resurface the roadway any time in the near future.
After residents filed a formal complaint against TxDOT with the Senate Committee on Transportation as well as additional pressure applied on TxDOT by Hays and Travis County officials, the agency did a complete turnaround and stated that it would resurface FM 1826 with a hot mix material from FM 150 to Hwy 290. Residents were told that the job would be completed by the end of summer.
Currently, TxDOT again has “changed its mind” regarding scheduled repaving. According to a 6/20 letter sent by Rep. Rose, the agency has 2 additional roads needing similar work; therefore, it will request outside bids to perform the 3 jobs. FM 1826 is the primary, larger job, would begin in the Fall.
Bottom-line is that TxDOT is hard to believe and its motives generally are for special interests and not for the community good.
First one must assume that somehow, miraculously, TxDOT “found” the money to perform 3 road jobs when first it stated it hadn’t the financing to reseal FM 1826.
Secondly, it is apparent that schedules determined and made public by the agency can not be taken seriously and may be modified or completely changed at any time.
The facts show that TxDOT promises many things, but its words cannot be taken seriously by the public and elected officials, which should be noted more seriously by those who want to contract partnerships with the agency via road bonds and other ventures. How can anything TxDOT says or promises be taken seriously? Who has authorization over the agency if not legislators and the people of Texas?
Voters via legislators must stop the TxDOT autocracy. It is a shame that TxDOT cannot be trusted by community taxpayers who have paid for its creation and who must rely on it for building, maintaining and improving roadways.
Clearly, there is a trust issue. TxDOT is an agency in need of revamping and more oversight is needed by an independent committee to ensure that it operates in the best interests of the community.
To permit the ongoing behavior and “commando” actions of TxDOT is unacceptable. Currently, TxDOT is counter-productive and falsely advises the public and legislators re: the status of its financial “well-being”. Few are aware of how much tax dollars TxDOT has and the Senate Committee on Transportation should follow the paper-trail to see how the agency spends our tax dollars and monitor more closely areas of conflict and special interest motivations.
Regarding TxDOT’s motivations, at best the agency has conflicting affiliations with private industry and various questionable individuals — even former convicted criminals, e.g., the infamous Pete Peters. Its prospective plans first must be scrutinized to ensure integrity and validity. If the agency can’t control itself, then it is the responsibility of state government — guided by the people — to “reign-in this wild stallion”.
Taxpayers and voters are the “bosses” of TxDOT and elected officials. It is not vice-versa, as it appears to be and how TxDOT believes it to be.
Texans deserve better!
Contact members of the Senate Committee on Transportation and ask them to investigate and revamp TxDOT for the good of the Texas community: