Legislators Made Promises They Did NOT Keep
by Peter Stern
During the past decade the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has cried poverty, that it does NOT have the tax dollars needed to build and maintain our highways. During the years, Governor Rick Perry gave TxDOT the green light to do whatever necessary to use “creative” sources of financing. Apparently the term “creative” means 50 to 70 year private contracts to build and maintain Texas TOLL roadways. In addition, TxDOT seems to have plenty of money to lobby Washington D.C. and to promote the advertising for building toll roads. In addition, TxDOT has been known for poor quality work performed by its contractors that needed to be redone, e.g., the resurfacing of FM 1826 in Hays and Travis counties, sometimes doubling the tax dollars needed for road maintenance and repairs.
Several years ago the Senate Commission on Transportation agreed that TxDOT needed an overhaul and required closer oversight. However, TxDOT remains a runaway agency that requires better oversight. Currently the agency is pushing for its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) that is promoting a Grand Parkway in Houston ahead of approximately 100 other road projects needed to relieve heavy traffic congestion throughout Texas. Furthermore, little is being accomplished that would change traffic light patterns that could ease traffic at intersections without building or improving those roadways.
TxDOT continues to work for its special interests, which places community needs on the back burners and instead places the priority on projects wanted by wealthy concerns and the legislature continues to look the other way.
Read more about what is going on re: a variety of special interest road projects at:
Texans should contact their Senate and House Representatives and notify them to reign-in TxDOT, provide better oversight and to change the agency’s priorities in the best interests of the Texas community instead of for special interests.
House of Representatives http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/