Two On Roads - UPDATED

Posted in Central Texas, Privatization, Road Issues, Williamson County at 12:04 am by wcnews

Sen. Kirk Watson (D - Austin) pens an editorial on transportation in today’s AAS, We’ll pay for problems with more than tolls. While he does make a valid point that something has to be done, he doesn’t really offer any suggestions or say what he believes we should do, other than stop bashing toll roads. He just says that “warring over those tools should no longer be acceptable”, whatever that means.

What Sen. Watson does is what so many politicians do, he lumps all tolls together as if they’re all the same. Most people, and I say most, myself included, are not against all toll roads. We are against corporate toll roads, and while would still not prefer toll roads to those financed by a much more broad-based tax, can accept those if that’s what the people want. I won’t go into that here, again, if you want to read about that search the archives. It’s an important distinction because toll roads done without corporate profit as the goal are much cheaper for the taxpayer/driver/consumer.

I would hope that Sen. Watson will make that distinction in the future and stop doing what so many try to do, paint those of us that are against corporate toll roads as being against all toll roads, no matter the particulars

Now that that’s cleared up, of course not matter the toll plan, raising the gas tax is always the cheapest, fairest, sanest way to pay for our roads. And when Sen. Watson says this:

If the environment was ever ripe for the creation of tools other than toll roads, it was during the past six months.

And then a couple of paragraphs later says this:

There was talk about raising the gas tax, or at least indexing it to inflation, and reducing the need for toll roads. But tax bills must start in the state House of Representatives, and a potential increase never made it to the floor.

He sounds naive. As long as Republicans make the decisions there is no environment to fix our neglected transportation financing other than corporate tolls. Sen. Watson is a smart politician, surely he knew all along that with Speaker Craddick and a Republican majority in the House the environment was poisonous toward any bill raising and/or indexing the gas tax. What this editorial needed was not an end to the warring but a new warrior in the battle to raise the gas tax. What we needed was a courageous, up and coming leader to lead on this issue. That’s what we needed and we didn’t get it.

[UPDATE]:Â McBlogger has more.

I told you two and here’s the second. Ben Wear tells us how well the scam the CTRMA setup is working out, 183-A’s toll-tag-only section has more than 30 percent violation rate.

More than 30 percent of people who drive on the 183-A tollway’s anomalous toll-tag-only section are doing so illegally, an abnormally high violation rate that has the road’s operator pondering alternatives to the confusing setup.

Ya think? Another toll working it’s magic.

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