"A two-year delay is nothing compared to being stuck for a 50-year commitment to pay tolls, so other localities can build their roads at our expense."
Delay 121 also
April 20, 2007
Dallas Morning News
Re: "Transportation bill curbs agency's powers – Legislature: Senate plan would increase regional bodies' voice on projects," Thursday news story.
I would like to ask our local state legislators why they allowed the toll road moratorium to exempt State Highway 121.
It is utterly preposterous to stop all toll roads in the state except one.
Is the Frisco/Plano area of Collin County the cash cow for the rest of the metroplex? What happens if alternative highway funding becomes available during the two-year period? Does Cintra give back Highway 121? Yes, we need the highway to be built, but a two-year delay is nothing compared to being stuck for a 50-year commitment to pay tolls, so other localities can build their roads at our expense.
The "outcry" by state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller; and others is self-serving. Try to toll Highway 114 through Southlake and see the reaction. Locally, Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes and McKinney Mayor Pro Tem Brian Loughmiller applaud the exemption, because they daydream that tolls will pay for North Central Expressway improvements, again at our expense.
Plano already has two toll roads. One letter writer pointed out that all citizens will pay more for purchased goods, as businesses that are forced to use toll roads pass along their costs. Part of Highway 121 from the Dallas North Tollway to Hillcrest was already funded by the Texas Department of Transportation, yet it's part of the "sale."
Someone has to step forward and put a stop to this inequity. Perhaps a lawsuit is the only option – or the next election. In any event, the local taxpayers should not have to pay the brunt of fixing what the Legislature failed to address for years.
Joe Schumacher, Plano
© 2007 The Dallas Morning News Co
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