The Statesman Misinforms The Public - Again.

The Austin American Statesman has done it again.

Today's editorial tricks Statesman readers with the same politician talking points - by suggesting these toll roads don't use our tax dollars. The editorial FAILS to mention the massive amounts of tax dollars to be DIVERTED to pay for these new revenue generating roads:

"...many people were upset because they believed tolls were being slapped on highways they said had already been paid for with taxes, even if the tolls were to pay only for using new lanes or to finance local highway construction."
The editorial today fails to mention the diversion of $910 million tax dollars to pay for the next set of Austin toll roads that will shift our freeways to tollways. The fact is, the new tolled expressway lanes are built with mostly tax dollars intended for freeways - not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars of right of way we've already paid for. This to create monopolistic toll roads to collect more tax dollars from our families.

No other city in the country has shifted it’s existing public highways to toll ways. Under this double tax toll plan, voted in by profiteer Sen. Kirk Watson and other CAMPO board members in October, portions of 71W, 290W, 71E, 71W, 45SW and 183 will be toll toads. To make matters worse, unaccountable, unlelected people will set the toll tax on roads our tax dollars helped pay for.

The Statesman first endorsed the Austin toll plan on June 27, 2004. Since then they have failed to do any investigative reporting on the corruption (other than Dawnna Dukes) of tolling our public highways.

The sadest part? Free lanes could be built with that same $910 million dollars (without any debt), and those lanes would move traffic faster than any type of toll booth.

Click on the first link above to read the editorial and make comments online. Also, since they have blackballed my letters to the editor, consider writing one (150 word or less) and mention the key points above.


Anonymous said...

They also don't mention that very ruse to add a toll road on the overpass at MOPAC (Hwy 1) and William Cannon Road was thwarted by all of us. If we didn't fight that toll road we would all be paying the tolls today. THAT is a prime example of attempting to build a toll on an existing and already paid-for roadway!!! I believe the Statesman is just another store-bought media for the wealthy special interests. We need an honest newspaper and editors in Central Texas!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm sure $910 million bucks can build most of the necessary bridges over the stop lights on 71E, 71W, 290E, 290W, 183E which would convert them to FREE expressways NOW. Separate lanes with the proverbial access roads can wait till more funding is available!

Why is that Austin is the only major city in Texas that has to deal with all this toll road crap?!?!? For krissakes they want to build like a dozen toll roads in this "little" college town!!! Is there any other city of Austin's size in the US with this many tollways?? I don't think so! There aren't even BIG cities with this many tollways. Why isn't any one of these politicians screaming at the top of their lungs at how REDICULOUS THIS IS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

I think it was planned to place the beginning of the toll on 183 a few feet before the main exit into Cedar Park. You now either pay the toll to get home or you exit early and wait on the light and on the 30 people in front of you who are trying to avoid the toll. Kirk Watson and all of you other crooks and sellouts for sex and money should be ashamed and arraigned.

Anonymous said...

Perry has stated, "not one inch of free road will be converted to a toll road. The law says that." Yeah, Perry's lying, we know that, but really, is TxDOT breaking or planning to break this very law? It appears so- Campo and TxDOT is planning on making our drive from the airport to I35 via 71 a toll road. Currently, motorists can enter 71 westbound from riverside and avoid the poorly timed stoplights on the westbound feeder at burleson. If TxDOT were to remove the riverside entrance and/or make it a toll entrance, all of the inches of paid-for toll-free highway between riverside and the next 71 entrance ramp to the west would become toll road. That's breaking the law- grounds for a lawsuit. We must fight for every inch of road to remain toll free. Watch for technicalities such as this and highlight it when talking to the press.