Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In response to various articles on toll projects in Austin:TX

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is an agency in which decisions by the few rule the many.

The State agency let's foreign companies purchase 50-year contracts to build and maintain toll roadways and Texans now have a lost, runaway agency.

Toll roads are a last resort, not a first option.  They encourage long-term debt.  And usually property values decline in the adjacent areas.

A case in point why toll roads are not the solution to every problem:  Hwy 130 was built without study or awareness of who would use it.  The 85 mph speed  was the carrot dangling above our heads, but it didn't work.  Very few cars and trucks are using the tollway and it is hurting the state.  Taxpayers are reeling from that poor decision and are losing millions of tax dollars.
Currently, TxDOT is building 2 toll lanes on MoPac… another poor idea.  Instead of widening the entire roadway to facilitate more cars and thereby easing traffic congestion, TxDOT's 2-lane dysfunctional approach adds significant long-term costs and won’t relieve traffic.

TxDOT and toll road enthusiasts are stuck in a desert of decision-making.  They seem to see only quick dollars, but it’s merely a mirage.  We need intelligent decisions to fix traffic congestion, not toll roads!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Austin, Texas pushing toll roads again...whether we need them or not

In response to public statements by Precinct 3 Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty regarding his gung-ho push for toll roads whenever possible because he tells us that toll roads are the only way to get roads we need built quickly.  What Daugherty does NOT tell us is that building toll roads makes those roads cost much more than roads built with other tax dollars from gasoline and other allotted taxes that were approved and passed for TxDOT’s use to build and maintain our roadways.
Commissioner Daugherty also does NOT tell us that up to 80 percent of the tolls collected go immediately off the top to the companies that maintain the toll collection.  Now that’s a lot of money that adds years to the cost of paying for that roadway.
In addition, toll roads make certain that the public will pay toll taxes [after all, what are tolls if not new taxes] for 50 years because that’s what the contracts usually are with toll road companies.  What we look at with each new toll road is long-term debt and Daugherty never acknowledges how much more toll roads cost all of us in the long term.  He wants roads built quickly, as we all do, but at what cost with tolls?
We need to build toll roads only as a last resort and NOT the first knee-jerk reaction that Daugherty and other pro-toll road enthusiasts want.  Toll roads are NOT in the communities best interests.  Toll roads are in the best interests of the toll road companies who spend huge amounts of campaign contributions to make sure they continue to buy lucrative contract from our state and representatives.

We need to stop building toll roads as though they are the best invention since sliced bread.  We need to get smarter about how we spend our tax dollars and maybe we need to put a lid on officials like Daugherty who just want to spend our tax dollar without looking at the long term implications and huge costs.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jeb and Donald... barking at the people

In Response: rainmakers are selling folks what they want to hear...
Neither Jeb! nor The Donald will win the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.
Both are too obtuse for the American people. The Don is too grandiose and acts too much like a carnival barker, while Jeb is too liberal for the good of the people.  The GOP will NOT support either of these two.
That said, I like a lot of what Trump is throwing out at the American people, but he has yet to say HOW he would do the things he is telling us he wants to do.

To be honest, the GOP has yet to have a candidate that would offer A REAL option to Hillary Clinton.

And the most scary thing is how inept, unprofessional, willful, arrogant, entitled and dishonest Hillary Clinton has been and still is and yet the American people will vote for her over any current GOP candidate.

All this does NOT bode well for the American people.