"The governor, TxDOT and Texas Transportation Commission are now using scare tactics to say the toll moratorium could cost us federal funds."
San Antonio Express-News
Hope Andrade's comment "Half-truths, fear will not yield traffic solutions" (April 28) isn't filled with any truths either. It appears that when people like Andrade and Joe Krier write comments, they expect us to believe them because of their positions.
The real problem is that toll roads are not a way to efficient or effective transportation. If anyone is guilty of not telling or slanting the truth, it is the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Transportation Commission.
Andrade does point out that it is not appropriate for her or TxDOT to take sides. However, TxDOT and the Texas Transportation Commission have taken sides.
Andrade writes that TxDOT holds hearings to get public input, but my experience is that it doesn't listen. TxDOT goes into the effort with a foregone conclusion, lets the citizens have their say, but then goes ahead with the plan.
Look at the hearings on U.S. 281, where an overwhelming number of citizens have said we don't need a monster 16-lane road (with tolls) where a six-lane road with overpasses (without tolls) can do the job at about a third of the cost (toll roads always cost more to build) and could be finished in about a third of the time.
The original U.S. 281 plan (a freeway with overpasses) was to have been finished by 2003 but was held up by TxDOT to ensure it could force a toll road on us. Did TxDOT look at the best solution? No. It took sides with the toll road lobby.
The governor, TxDOT and Texas Transportation Commission are now using scare tactics to say the toll moratorium could cost us federal funds. This moratorium will give us a chance to see the facts and not hurry into a plan that promises our roads will be under foreign control for many years. It will give us a chance to reach the goal that Andrade has stated she wants — "a chance to have an honest discussion of the facts."
TxDOT and Texas Transportation Commissioner Ric Williamson have not been totally honest with us.
Robert McKechnie, a consulting engineer for MTC Technologies, has more than 46 years of government and industrial experience.
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