Link to Austin American Statesman editorials here.
A warning from Houston
I’m a longtime Houston resident who has a few comments for Austin area
taxpayers and drivers to consider as their toll road system rolls out.
Mobility is not necessarily the prime factor in toll road decisions. The
Houston toll road system is run by a small group of bureaucrats, with no
public oversight. The toll road on the Interstate 10 expansion replaced HOV
lanes that were to eventually be converted to rail. The taxpayers got no
more lanes, no future rail and the opportunity to pay tolls forever.
Some of the toll roads planned for Houston will actually hurt mobility in
that they primarily benefit developers who have land that cannot be
developed without better access to freeways. These toll roads just add more
commuters to the road system.
Another factor is that taxpayers are in line to cover interest and principal
payments if tolls fall short of expectation, as was the case for the Hardy