11.29.06

The TTC – Worst Public Policy Fiasco Of A Lifetime

Posted in Around The State, Road Issues at 11:32 am by wcnews

Paul Burka’s “Behind The Lines” column in the December 2006 issue of Texas Monthly, entitled “His Way or The Highway”, is a must-read. Burka takes on Gov. Perry, the TTC, TxDOT, and “comprehensive development agreements” (CDAs). The only issue I have with it is that it should have been written before the election.

He tells a great story of how our state government has ceded control of our transportation future to corporations, foreign and domestic. He quotes Sen. John Carona (R – Dallas), Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security, as saying this about CDA’s, “Within thrity years’ time, under existing comprehensive development agreements, we’ll bring free roads in this state to a condition of ruin.” Burka explains brilliantly here:

The private companies that will build and operate the toll roads are in business to make a profit. In order to ensure that profit, they must have people who want to drive on their roads. And – here’s the rub – in order to be sure that people will want to drive on their roads, the CDAs with TxDOT will contain non-compete clauses that prohibit TxDOT from building new roads or upgrading existing highways. Any improvement to an existing highway that is not already planned at the time TxDOT enters into the contract is prohibited. That billion-dollar concession limits TxDOT’s ability to improve nearby secondary roads. How about adding extra lanes? Sorry, prohibited by the CDA. An HOV express lane? Not a chance. This is why Carona says that free roads will be reduced to ruin. TxDOT will no longer be able to respond to the transportation needs of the state, other than to say: If you don’t like the traffic, use the toll road.

This is horrendous! They could essentially argue that building any road is competition. We are not just allowing corporations to porfit off our infrastructure we are giving them control, allowing them to dictate to us, the planning of our infrastructure. Needless to say what benefits their bottom line will take precedence over what will be best for Texans.

Burka finishes by saying that if this is not changed, “we are headed for the worst public policy fiasco of my lifetime.” He’s right about that. I believe it’s time to start a push to repeal HB 3588.

11 Comments »

  1. salcostello said,

    November 30, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    TxDOT does not care about making transportation affordable to our families. WATCH THE VIDEO:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uyMtbL4Gs0

  2. Eye on Williamson » Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) Takes Aim At Toll Roads said,

    January 5, 2007 at 10:24 am

    [...] Here’s the story from SAEN Transportation writer Dan Driscoll, Going for jugular of tolls (Tip to Sal on this). It’s about a bill that Sen. Carona (R-Dallas) has filed to do away with the “non-compete” clauses associated with toll roads in Texas. (If you don’t remember what this is all about read this post from last year. It’s about an article by Paul Burka and has quotes from Sen. Carona).  It seems that these “free market” corporations are so sure of their product and it’s money making capabilities that they want to limit their competition, the market if you will, to guarantee them their profit before getting involved in building these toll roads. There’s a free market and then there’s free money and we all know what’s better. [...]

  3. Eye on Williamson » Perry Wants To Sell The State Lottery said,

    February 2, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    [...] Just like with toll roads, will the corporation that buys our lottery get a non-compete agreement with this state? Meaning no casino’s as long as this corporation operates a lottery in Texas. That’ll kill this alone. Is this an end-around way to keep casino’s out of Texas? Or will it be just another privatization scheme gone bad that winds up costing taxpayers millions? We’ll just have to wait and see. [...]

  4. Eye on Williamson » Sen. Ogden Joins In Fight Againt Tolls, TxDOT said,

    February 27, 2007 at 11:43 am

    [...] Sen. Ogden is repenting, and it appears has come more to Sen. Carona’s way of thinking on the TTC and tolls and is moving away from last term Krusee’s way of thinking. This is good news and a good first step. I’d like to see a little stronger legislative rhetoric than, “He’s considering legislation..” But this is progress and he deserves credit for that. Give Sen. Ogden a call or send him an email letting him know you appreciate this effort. [...]

  5. Eye on Williamson » Weekend Update said,

    March 12, 2007 at 10:11 am

    [...] Here’s the second article, Texas toll-road debate still has miles to go. It’s a where we stand now type of article and generally puts off any possibility of this being stopped, despite the public outrage. It also has no mention of CDA’s and PPP’s, basically known as the hijacking of our transportation future.  Not much new in it for anyone that’s been paying attention. It again reminds us that we’re, only now, starting the debate about Texas’ transportation future that we should have had many years ago. This is the penatly we get for electing people like Mr. 39%. (Ben Wear also has this little dittie on former TxDOT member and current Sen. Nichols change of hear on the TTC). [...]

  6. Eye on Williamson » Sen. Carona Jilts Toll Road Opposition said,

    March 22, 2007 at 10:26 am

    [...] Posted in Commentary, Road Issues, 80th Legislature, Privatization at 10:25 am by wcnews “Within thirty years’ time, under existing comprehensive development agreements, we’ll bring free roads in this state to a condition of ruin.”-Sen. Carona, December 2006[…] [...]

  7. Eye on Williamson » Sen. Carona, You Can’t Put Lipstick On This Pig said,

    April 27, 2007 at 11:02 am

    [...] Sen. Carona seems to have forgotten, and the rest of these pro-corporate tollers don’t seem to understand, is that these are bad [...]

  8. Eye on Williamson » SB 792 Passes Senate said,

    May 14, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    [...] a long way we’ve come since December when Sen. Carona said this, “Within thrity years’ time, under existing comprehensive development agreements, we’ll br…“  Oh [...]

  9. Eye on Williamson » The Congestion Pricing Scam said,

    July 11, 2007 at 11:06 am

    [...] withering of non-tolled roads was what Sen. John Carona (R – Dallas) was so concerned about before session, with CDA’s, before he lost his will to turn back the tide on toll roads. As [...]

  10. Eye on Williamson » Transportation Orgy In Irving This Week said,

    August 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    [...] steal a line, “there he goes again”. In case you forgot we were all very happy when Sen. Carona used harsh, but very true, rhetoric when about tolls and PPP’s late last year and early in this year’s legislative session. [...]

  11. Eye on Williamson » Wrap-Up From Yesterday - Without Williamson, TxDOT Becomes Scapegoat said,

    February 6, 2008 at 11:38 am

    [...] in the legislature, and in powerful positions, long enough to have known what’s going on. Sen. Carona even figured it out before this past session only to be cowed by the smooth talking Williamson in the [...]

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