FLYING-PIG ALERT: Krusee committee passes toll road ban

By Ben Wear | Austin American Statesman | Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 03:11 PM

So, if the Legislature passes TWO bills banning private toll road contracts for two years, would the moratorium last four years?

Okay, we’re kidding and the answer to that is no. And it’s a good bet that the House Transportation Committee and its chairman state Rep. Mike Krusee were not considering that math when they unanimously passed SB 1267 today. But there could be other legislative calculations at work.

The committee convened during the noon hour around Krusee’s desk on the House floor and voted 7-0 for the bill, which would forbid the state and other Texas toll road agencies from signing long-term toll road leases until September 2009.

The bill, like the other legislation carrying the moratorium now, carries a lengthy list of exceptions. Most of them are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Spanish toll road builder Cintra and some partners have dangled a $2.1 billion upfront payment in front of local leaders. That money, which Cintra would pay for the right to build and operate the Texas 121 toll road in Collin County for 50 years, would help pay for several other highway projects in the area. Read the rest of the article HERE.


Anonymous said...

My gosh, how are these bills supposed to be helping the people. All they appear to do is trade one tyrant (TxDOT) for 100 possible tyrants (NTTA, HCTRA, RMA's or new county toll authorities). They place huge restrctions on oversight of TxDOT while granting all the powers we should be concerned about to many other parties with little or no oversight and no limitations on the powers. Folks here in the DFW area and other places are getting sold out. I would not consider myself safe in Austin or San Antonio with the RMA's already established there. This all looks like a big swap tactic that is being pushed by a bunch of local toll authorites to build their own buracracies which have less oversite than TxDOT. Just look at NTTA here in Dallas, hell Senator Shapiro apparently doesn't know the difference between an agency and a corporation. She repeatedly claims they are a company capable of building and operating roads, while they tell everyone here who will listen that they soley will control toll rates so they promise huge return to everyone, but if a the rates local politicians want aren't making enough, they can jsut raise toll regardless of what the RTC has asked for what a deal for me toll rates raising at CPI for 50 years in TxDOT's CDA or by God knows what through NTTA's board. Heck history here tells us they have been raising at CPI every year as well. Why support any bill that is not truly solving our problems. Do we need more roadways and other transportation options yes, is there enough funding today no, are our legislature taking serious the need, no. They are simply reacting and not solving anything. Further they keep pointing blame at TxDOT as if a bunch of government workers are to blame for their lack of actions as policy makers. TxDOT has 80 years of history providing what compared to the many states I have traveled through is a great highway system, the best I can tell the more the politician get involved and tell TxDOT what to do and dodge their responsibility to provide adequate funding for needed maintenance and improvements to our infrastruce to sustain our quality of life and our economy.

for further scares to what RMA, RTA and other do with your tolls, rumor has it NTTA has lobbyists in Austin pushing their agenda as what the DFW region wants as well as hosting dinners of appreciation for legislatures. Also a few years back some big conference in Paris, France NTTA apparently sent 30 people, boy that is good use of my tolls, 5 days in Paris all expenses paid what a deal, and this is who our legislature thinks needs to control all of our toll roads in DFW. Of coarse I am sure Senator Shapiro and a few others are part of the list NTTA keeps trying to hide of people they have issued "non-revenue" tags to. ie if they run it she doesn't have to pay the toll. What a joke. Oh well I guess I have vented enough for today -toll.hater@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

A concerned "Otis" says - Please take the time to read the bills that are being put forward for full passage and signature. Think about fairness from a contractual standpoint if you were doing business and were expecting at least some oversight for the money being spent you should question the powers that are being shifted. The current laws do provide reasonable oversight and flexibility in contract development to address the concerns being expressed by the those on these energetic web sites. The standard audit process, as exhibited by recent discussions on needed funds, provide a mechanism to move forward in a positive manner. The proposed bills need some wotk to do the same. If you were concerned about the State having the ability to award a CDA to a company from Spain then why are you going to go ahead and give the same authority to Counties, Local Toll Authorities, County Toll Authorities and RMA;s? And to a more restricted and limited degree the State can as well if the local option is not chosen. Be careful what you ask for. - Says a Concerned "Otis"