Friday, November 16, 2007

"As Austin's transit-world turns, the free roads continue to fall like dominoes."

TxDOT Plans Toll Roads In Manor

Nov 16, 2007

KXANTV (Austin)
Copyright 2007

More toll roads are being planned for Central Texas, this time heading out towards Manor. Toll roads between 183 and new State Highway 130 are already in the works.

Now, the Texas Department of Transportation is proposing a new, three-mile stretch of tolls from State Highway 130 East to Manor.

Some residents welcome any effort to relieve the growing congestion out there.

Others find the idea of more tolls like fingernails scratching a blackboard. As Austin's transit-world turns, the free roads continue to fall like dominoes.

TxDOT and toll road proponents argue that congestion, accidents and population projections along 290, east of Austin, are skyrocketing and that tolls are the quickest and cheapest solution.

The plan involves free access roads, three lanes each way, and three toll lanes each way, elevated over crossing intersections.

People realize something must be done.

"I don't want Manor to turn into another ‘Y' at Oak Hill, because every once in a while, I have to drive through that, and it's atrocious, and I feel like that's what's happening in Manor right now," said Manor resident Alex Carrillo.

TxDOT is used to catching flak, but they said this case is different.

"They really want this project to be done to help with the congestion here locally in Manor, so we've received a lot of positive feedback from the local public," said TxDOT Project Director Joe Seago.

There are three proposed routes, and the middle alternative would run straight down the present 290, where some businesses might get displaced. The biggest beef is a dirty little four letter word: toll.

"It just rubs me the wrong way," said Carrillo.

"It doesn't make any difference to me whether we have a toll or not. The essence of having a quick commute from a place like Elgin into Austin is absolutely essential," said Manor resident Gerald Aalbers.

"You take my tax dollars, you build a road, then you make me pay to use it. I ain't too crazy about that," said area resident Brenner Donohue.

The first shovels could hit the ground in three or four years.

One resident had an alternative plan. She said anyone moving east towards Manor has to leave their cars behind, so people would have to use only bicycles or mass transit trains. That's not likely to happen.

© 2007 WorldNow and KXAN:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE