The Road to North Texas' Future Is Paved With Tolls - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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The Road to North Texas' Future Is Paved With Tolls

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Quote:
By Omar Villafranca
NBCDFW.com
updated 11:18 p.m. ET, Fri., March. 19, 2010

Love them or hate them, toll roads are a reality for thousands of North Texas drivers.

But is the road to the future paved with tolls? Michael Davis, a professor at Southern Methodist University's School of Business, said he expects to see even more toll roads -- and more drivers that use them.

"People can resent toll roads, hate paying the tolls, but the fact is, there is no other effective funding mechanism that is politically viable in the state right now," he said. "The way our tax system works -- the gas tax in particular -- there's just not enough money there to build and maintain the infrastructure we need, especially here in North Texas."
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Because of the political and fiscal reality, North Texas Tollway Authority and toll road companies such as Cintra can make a profit.

The Texas Department of Transportation doesn't have the money to build all of the roads state and federal lawmakers want built. So the NTTA is filling the void by constructing and maintaining toll roads in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties.

"Because there is a transportation funding shortfall, unless they raise the gas tax, the only option is toll roads to get the mobility projects that the region needs," NTTA spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt said.

But will drivers reach a certain point where they will avoid toll roads and opt for free roads? The numbers say "no."

According to toll road usage numbers, more than 315 million drivers passed through NTTA lanes in 2004. That number went up by 2008, when more than 412 million drivers zipped through NTTA lanes. And more than 650 million drivers are projected to travel on toll roads by 2015.

Davis said he expects drivers to continue to turn to toll roads as more and more roads become congested.

"I think the toll roads are like a lot of the consumer goods," he said. "It's not just a matter of price; it's about the quality of service you obtain."

Toll roads aren't as clogged up as "free roads," which is one of the reasons many drivers use them, Coffelt said. She said people use them so they can use the time they would otherwise spend stuck in traffic for things they want to.

"Some people don't like toll roads, and we understand that, and they don't have to take them," she said. "But for the people who do take toll roads, it frees up space on the gas-supported roads."

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:10 AM
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They've been trying to push toll roads in San Antonio really hard for the past 5 years. I'm thankful to say that the citizens have fought tooth and nail to keep them out and so far we have won. The politicans tried to sell us really hard on the idea of it's the only fix to the problem at 1604 and 281. They claimed that toll roads were the only viable option as their wouldn't be tax dollars to fix this issue for another 20 years. The fighting got down right dirty but the people won the battle. Two weeks ago they broke ground ground at 1604 and 281 to fix the congestion problems and there will not be a toll road. The project is being paid for with tax payer dollars.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FreightTrain View Post
They've been trying to push toll roads in San Antonio really hard for the past 5 years. I'm thankful to say that the citizens have fought tooth and nail to keep them out and so far we have won. The politicans tried to sell us really hard on the idea of it's the only fix to the problem at 1604 and 281. They claimed that toll roads were the only viable option as their wouldn't be tax dollars to fix this issue for another 20 years. The fighting got down right dirty but the people won the battle. Two weeks ago they broke ground ground at 1604 and 281 to fix the congestion problems and there will not be a toll road. The project is being paid for with tax payer dollars.
It is amazing what happens when the people insist that the politicians don't take the path of least resistance. Also known as the path to keeping their job.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:33 AM
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gas tax isn't enough?? bs. maybe if they would do a better job of building the roads the first time they wouldn't need to do soooo much "maintenance". if you can call the half ass attempts at repairing the roads maintenance. what a bunch of shit.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:34 AM
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It is amazing what happens when the people insist that the politicians don't take the path of least resistance. Also known as the path to keeping their job.
Aint that the damn truth. The county judge and several other politicans flipped flopped faster than John Kerry after the citizens mobilized and started protesting everywhere these bastards went. I will say this though. The real reason why San Antonio doesn't have toll roads is because yall have had them for over a decade now. It has given us the chance down south to get an honest opinion of what they do and don't do and we don't have to rely on the lies some political group is trying to sell us. Needless to say this is going to be an on going war down here. Especially since north Austin just opened a new toll road. It seems they keep trying to drive the idea of tolls roads further south every chance they get. I'm not 100% sure of this but I think San Antonio is the largest city in the country that doesn't have some sort of toll road. I contribute this to our small town feel that hates change. Some times locals bitch about it, but I think it's a good thing.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 12:05 PM
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I may be wrong, but wasn't Gov. Goodhair gloating about Texas having a surplus of revenue on commercials right before the elections?

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 12:08 PM
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The NTTA sucks... that is all....

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 12:46 PM
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The whole toll road scam is a bunch or horse shit. Cintra isn't even a American company which is just absurd.

Our government needs our help, they have an addiction. Our government is addicted to our money. Since they always have our best interest at heart it's time we return the favor. We need to have an intervention, for the governments own good of course. It's just irresponsible for us to let people with a known money addiction continue to handle our money. Lets have an intervention now so we can help these sick individuals.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
"The way our tax system works -- the gas tax in particular -- there's just not enough money there to build and maintain the infrastructure we need, especially here in North Texas."
Well raise the gas tax, duh.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 02:09 PM
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It would be one thing if the toll roads were another "option" to travel on, but if you want to get anywhere in the colony, frisco, little elm, etc, you're tied to at least one toll road. It's fucking stupid that every highway in north dallas besides 35/75 is a toll road.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 02:36 PM
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It would be one thing if the toll roads were another "option" to travel on, but if you want to get anywhere in the colony, frisco, little elm, etc, you're tied to at least one toll road. It's fucking stupid that every highway in north dallas besides 35/75 is a toll road.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Letting Gov. Goodhair get re-nominated (almost guaranteeing reelection) has guaranteed that this shit is gonna happen..

As for the gas tax. I agree with Medina and Hutchinson's assertions that we need an audit of DOT and we need to free those funds from anything that isn't transportation related (specifically roads and bridges). But after that is done, we should be willing to give serious consideration to new gas taxes. The tax hasn't been raised, what 20 years? Steel, asphalt, and concrete didn't exactly get cheaper over that time.

At least put it up for a vote. Let people decide if they want toll roads or a higher gas tax.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:18 PM
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At least put it up for a vote. Let people decide if they want toll roads or a higher gas tax.


Or maybe a government that is more fiscally responsible and as wasteful with the tax money already in its coffers...
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:29 PM
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I don't see the problem with toll roads, in theory. However, if they are going to be subsidized at all...there needs to be a price control in place for once they are paid off. If they are unsubsidized, then hell, they can do what they want.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:59 PM
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Here is MY PROBLEM with Toll Roads:

1. 820 - Currently has 2 free lanes that go through NRH's. They want to make toll lanes, so they are planning (If I'm reading it correctly), to expand the freeway to 3 lanes but to convert two of the lanes (each way) to toll lanes. So if I'm understanding it correctly, 1 free lane, 2 toll lanes. Thats a bunch of horse shit.

2. 635, expand the freeway and make the lanes toll.... again horse shit.

3. 121, made it a toll road... again horse shit.

Why are these problems in my opinion? They have been paid with tax payers money. They were built to be freeways... AS IN FREE. I don't have a problem with the Tollway or George Bush because from the outset they were built to be TOLL ROADS.

Now with the Obama Bucks, Tex Dot wants to rebuild 635/121/114 interchange and make it a FUCKING TOLL ROAD. They also state it will be the most expensive toll rate in the State. WTF?

You know when I lived in the North East, I could drive 300 freaking miles on a toll road for $5.00 --- To Drive from one side of Dallas to the other costs you $5.00 or so. Hell if you get on some of these Toll Roads and exit 1-2 miles down the road, it can cost you $1.00

If they are going to build TOLL ROADS everywhere, fucking remove the Gas Tax since I'm paying for it with tolls and REDUCE my freaking tags each year.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 07:46 AM
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Toll roads are a rip off and are never "paid for". The reasons their numbers show more usage is that there are more toll roads and in some cases, you have no other alternative. I like how they justify raising toll rates when traffic avoids the toll roads because it costs too much. WTF? F slick Rick, F NTTA, F Cinta.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 11:52 AM
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So how do these freeways become toll roads to begin with, don't they have to be voted on by the citizens, or do the politicians decide for themselves what/how there going to make money for themselves and the public has to deal with it?

If there going to make most freeways toll roads they better do away with the gas tax, I'm not paying for both.

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