Via the DMN, Hutchison says private toll roads will continue if she is governor. This was totally expected. It’s not like she was going to come out for a gas tax increase when she’s down double digits in a GOP primary race in Texas.
Private toll roads will continue to be a significant part of Texas’ transportation solutions should Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison be elected governor in 2010, the candidate said today.
“Public-private partnerships are an important part of a modern transportation system, and can often build roads faster and cheaper than the government could do it working alone,” Hutchison said in a new policy paper presented by her campaign, and unveiled at a series of public speeches throughout Texas today.
Hutchison said Gov. Rick Perry, who has pushed hard for privatization of highways for most of his tenure, has failed to include necessary safeguards in the contracts awarded to private companies who seek to build Texas toll roads, in return for the right to collect tolls there for generations to come.
“Too often, those partnerships have given unfair advantages to private parties at public expense,” she said. “Some Comprehensive Development Agreements in Texas contain obscure clauses that limit public rights without the public fully realizing it. Some clauses would prohibit the state from building public roads within a certain distance of the toll road. Others could steer traffic onto toll roads by lowering the speed limit on the public road and raising the speed limit on the toll road.” [Emphasis added].
Still, the campaign was not able to immediately point to those examples. And in recent years as the push back against the Trans Texas Corridor grew louder, the Texas Department of Transportation has instituted rules of its own that largely mirror Hutchison’s concerns.
It’s obvious from the highlighted part above that Hutchison doesn’t seem to realize that without those “unfair advantages” in a contract corporations balked at building toll roads. I guess she wasn’t paying attention when it was being debated in the legislature.
Ben Philpott at the TexasTrib has more, On the Road Again.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has laid out her vision for the future of transportation in Texas.
- Hire a Transportation CEO
- Increase Transparency
- Restructure TX Transportation Commission
- Stop Highway Fund Diversions
Wow! What an innovative and fresh plan for transportation in Texas – NOT! Corporate toll roads and reforming TxDOT? That sounds familiar. If you have the stomach you can read the entire nonsense here [.pdf].