Sunday, June 21, 2009

"The Texas toll road mentality bubble has finally burst...Decades of gas taxes have been squandered...Now those chickens have come home to roost...."

On NTTA's toll increases

toll tax vultures


Letter to the Editor
The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2009

And they think income will rise?

Re: "Area toll road rates may jump -- With traffic down in bad economy, board looking today at 32% hike," Tuesday news story.

The North Texas Tollway Authority is looking to attract more business and more income -- so they propose to raise their rates?

That's a marketing technique I'm not familiar with. Look out for more traffic on Stemmons Freeway and North Central Expressway.

--Bob Magruder, Dallas

Diverting gas tax is the problem

If tolls dropped to 75 cents per gate, perhaps a lot more drivers could find it in their budget to use the roads. It seems that if higher tolls are put in place, fewer people will use the roads, which defeats the whole purpose of building empty roads.

When tolls jumped to $1, I found other ways to get around. It seems like others did the same thing.

The gas taxes we've been paying for decades have been squandered on other state departments. Now those chickens have come home to roost. Those departments that benefited from raiding the transportation funds need to repay them. And those officials who raided the gas tax fund should be named and then fired. We have paid for new roads several times over. They just never got built.

--Jan Neher, Richardson

Endless cycle of toll hikes coming

There is a recession, and when the economy gets better in three to five months, all of that money, plus more, will pour into the coffers of the North Texas Tollway Authority. With layoffs and downsizing, what do you expect?

What do the "experts" at NTTA plan to do to fix this temporary problem? Propose a 32 percent hike. If that goes through, I will go on the toll roads 32 percent less than I do now. Why should I pay the present tolls to sit in traffic, when I can do that on main streets or other alternative freeways?

It's not fiscally responsible. You're punishing the people using your system. If NTTA raises tolls this much, how many other people will seek other alternatives, and, then what, raise the toll fares another 32 percent next year?

--Don Webb, Plano

Now drivers have the upper hand

Re: "Did toll agency overpay for 121? $3.2B highway deal weighs on officials facing rate hikes," Wednesday news story.

The Texas toll road mentality bubble has finally burst. Drivers now have the upper hand and can finally put a stop to this nonsense of making every road a toll road. It's time to avoid the toll roads and send a message to Austin.

The story says that on Highway 121, traffic is nearly 20 percent below levels projected two years ago. Could it just possibly be the revenue projection was incorrect to begin with but was necessary to sell the debt to investors?

It's unfortunate Gov. Rick Perry enjoys promoting this stealth tax, even though this is not the panacea for our infrastructure challenges.

The correct solution is to fix the Texas Department of Transportation and adjust the gas tax. Roads are our infrastructure and the costs should be shared by all.

If Perry can't fix TxDOT, maybe we should elect someone who can.

--Ralph Bouvy, Plano

I'll just leave earlier on free roads

Looks like the North Texas Tollway Authority is acting before thinking the issue through. Toll roads are being used less due to the economy. Go ahead and raise the cost of using the road. The $80-plus you get from me will go away, as I will get up 30 minutes earlier to use any road other than the Dallas North Tollway.

--Scott M. Brown, Aubrey

© 2009 The Dallas Morning News:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE