THE STATESMAN SEES THE LIGHT (at least for 1 week)

The Statesman endorsed the unpopular Phase II tolls (tolls on roads we've already paid for) in 2004, and left all the heavy lifting to the public.

This week has been a turn of events.

The Statesman is doing some decent reporting on the managed (toll) lanes on Mopac, that we've been talking about for some time.

This is a great editorial from the Statesman, I'm glad they are finally taking our talking points:

"Painting new lines on the pavement to create the additional lanes means the new lanes will be narrower than most are now, and the shoulders will be all but eliminated in some stretches. Shrinking the shoulders on that heavily traveled roadway creates a dangerous situation that can be expected to lead to more crashes.

Anyone who drives MoPac at rush hour regularly sees vehicles on the shoulders. Some are stalled, others were involved in minor wrecks, but if they can get out of the driving lanes and onto the shoulders traffic continues to flow. Insufficient shoulders will probably mean more slowdowns, hassles, accidents and injuries.

Moving to and from the toll lanes will be nightmarish as well.
With more and narrower lanes, and short distances to cross over them to enter and exit, traveling MoPac will become an even more daring dance at 60 mph in two tons of steel."
"MoPac needs to be expanded as soon as possible, but it doesn't need toll lanes.

HOV lanes will be just as effective, if not more so, and not incur the enmity of the driving public. Local and state officials have heard plenty from local residents incensed about the state adding tolls on roads already paid for.
The MoPac proposal is another one, and wholly unnecessary."
Too bad the Statesman does not always stand with the people. We'll take what we can get. They still won't print any of my letters to the editor.

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