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austlar1 Sep 29, 2007 9:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3082667)
I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it until I hear a better argument, but I like toll roads. He who uses it, pays for it - I don't see what is wrong with that. People still have a choice, they can move somewhere that there is not a toll road in their way to work. Or they can also take mass transit. They can also take the side arteries that travel along side the tolls. No one is forcing them to pay the toll.

Plus it seems to keep the roads in better condition and better flowing than traditional "free" roads. I've seen the model work in Houston - it works, and it works well. You pop on a toll road, and it is amazing the condition of the vehicles on the road. In general, the vehicles seem to be reasonably maintained. So I would also argue that toll roads are safer due to better maintained vehicles on them and less congestion.

That all sounds very elitist. It is poor people who have little choice about where they live and what they drive that are forced to pay a steep price for your toll roads. Notice which part of town all the roads are being built? For the most part they are going into farflung areas of moderate or low cost housing where the working poor and the working lower middle classes must live nowadays. Certainly living downtown in one of these new high rises is not an option, nor is living in central Austin (north or south). Additionally most of the jobs are not necessarily in central Austin. The professional class commutes to town for work in large part, but the working class commutes all over the place for work. The well off don't blink an eye at the tolls, but for a working stiff trying to feed and house a family, or a single mom ,or people living on pensions or a fixed income the tolls are a real burden.

M1EK Sep 29, 2007 9:45 PM

The truly poor are riding the bus. Don't buy the crocodile tears from the suburbanites. And even the poor that drive are likely INSIDE the toll roads (east Austin, west of 183).

M1EK Sep 29, 2007 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by austlar1 (Post 3081653)
I betcha anything that if voters were given a choice, especially if they understood that the alternative was toll roads, they would vote overwhelmingly for the special tax. We have never been given that choice.

Yes, and hopefully we never will. The 90% of people who drive would vote for such a sales tax - but that doesn't mean it's good public policy to expand the already tragically large subsidization of drivers.

bigdogc Sep 29, 2007 10:07 PM

Screw the poor people. Focus on DT :notacrook:
/sarcasm

austlar1 Sep 29, 2007 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M1EK (Post 3083089)
The truly poor are riding the bus. Don't buy the crocodile tears from the suburbanites. And even the poor that drive are likely INSIDE the toll roads (east Austin, west of 183).

Out in Manor and Hutto or over in Cedar Creek or out Bastrop way and also along and beyond eastern 183, hell, in all the outlying areas where the lower classes and working poor are being encouraged to live due to high housing costs, there are a lot of people barely hanging on that would probably like to lynch the likes of you.

Meanwhile when are you going to admit that you had your facts wrong about Phoenix?????

JAM Sep 29, 2007 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by austlar1 (Post 3083087)
That all sounds very elitist. It is poor people who have little choice about where they live and what they drive that are forced to pay a steep price for your toll roads. Notice which part of town all the roads are being built? For the most part they are going into farflung areas of moderate or low cost housing where the working poor and the working lower middle classes must live nowadays.

Plenty of poor or working lower middle class people living close-in on the East side of downtown, south side of downtown, and by the old and new airports. No toll roads over there. Seems like it was all the rich middle class folks living in areas like Avery Ranch, etc that created the congestion issues and the need for new roads.

austlar1 Sep 29, 2007 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3083156)
Plenty of poor or working lower middle class people living close-in on the East side of downtown, south side of downtown, and by the old and new airports. No toll roads over there. Seems like it was all the rich middle class folks living in areas like Avery Ranch, etc that created the congestion issues and the need for new roads.

You should take a drive (gasp!) around the NE, eastern, and SE fringes of the metro where most of the new toll roads are slated to be buillt and see the kind of traffic out there and check out who is driving. Rush hour into Austin on 290 or 71 from the east is brutal, and it is all slated to become toll road. This traffic is mostly composed of blue collar types and government and office workers employed all over the metro and commuting long miles with little choice in the matter. Also, you might want to check out the demographics for the typical buyer of a home in the new subdivisions sprouting up along Texas 130. These are hardwoking people without much discretionary income. Many are barely getting by paycheck to paycheck.

NormalgeNyus Sep 30, 2007 1:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3083156)
Plenty of poor or working lower middle class people living close-in on the East side of downtown, south side of downtown, and by the old and new airports. No toll roads over there. Seems like it was all the rich middle class folks living in areas like Avery Ranch, etc that created the congestion issues and the need for new roads.


have you seen the outrageous plan that kirk watson has for toll roads? these crazys want to toll every highway in Austin. including the three highways that boarder east Austin poor. we pay very cheap gas compared to alot of the country. it would not hurt to put a higher tax on gas to pay for the roads instead of making people pay for ROADS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN BUILT

austlar1 Sep 30, 2007 8:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M1EK (Post 3083093)
Yes, and hopefully we never will. The 90% of people who drive would vote for such a sales tax - but that doesn't mean it's good public policy to expand the already tragically large subsidization of drivers.

It is bad public policy for a decision of this magnitude to be taken without consulting the electorate.

jordan Sep 30, 2007 4:42 PM

What needs to be done in Austin is to have U.S 183 from 1-35 to State Hwy 71 northwest of the ABIA (Austin Bergstrom International Airport). This will connect with State Hwy 71 west to I-35. This section of Austin, needs to be up graded to a freeway. Free that is, this will give Austin the loop, that other major cities have across this country. In using this loop. U.S. 183, State highway 71, Loop 1 Mopac. This will totally loop around Austin with access to I-35 from the north and south. After this is done, then all other roads in Austin could be considerd for tolling. Except for U.S. 290 east, all this area needs is an extra lane from U.S. 183 to about a few miles east of Manor.

nixcity Sep 30, 2007 8:50 PM

183 could then actually provide a real alternative for travelers looking to bypass Austin. 130 is just too far out of the way. However, it looks like the only way to get funding to make this happen in a timely manner is through tolling. And I have finally, after much time reading, feel like tolling is the best option. While I was reading http://www.takeontraffic.com/ I actually thought I could support the $50/month prop. tax increase. But this is just silly for people that would never use it, although anyone using 35 will benefit from less traffic. The stretch of 183 over the river to Ben White and then to Riverside is a complex area and one that will require a lot of money to fix, thus the tolls. I would love to see a plan that has tolls until paid for and 20 years of maintanence covered then stop for 15 years and then toll a few more years to cover the next 20 years of maintanence. If this were part of the deal I think Austinites would get behind it more.

austlar1 Sep 30, 2007 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAM (Post 3083940)

Hokay! I have pretty much vented my spleen anyhow. You and I are not likely to agree, and M1EK and I are never ever likely to agree about anything. I must admit that it has been fun getting you guys all exacerbated on this topic. Later..................

austlar1 Sep 30, 2007 9:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jordan (Post 3084016)
What needs to be done in Austin is to have U.S 183 from 1-35 to State Hwy 71 northwest of the ABIA (Austin Bergstrom International Airport). This will connect with State Hwy 71 west to I-35. This section of Austin, needs to be up graded to a freeway. Free that is, this will give Austin the loop, that other major cities have across this country. In using this loop. U.S. 183, State highway 71, Loop 1 Mopac. This will totally loop around Austin with access to I-35 from the north and south. After this is done, then all other roads in Austin could be considerd for tolling. Except for U.S. 290 east, all this area needs is an extra lane from U.S. 183 to about a few miles east of Manor.

Sounds like an interesting idea that would take a lot of the sting out of the toll road penalty that folks in the fast growing and not very well-off eastern half of the metro are going to have to pay to get around. Also, the road to the airport needs to be freeway all the way out beyond to the 130 interchange.

I don't understand why none of the toll roads are being built with the idea that they would become freeways after the debt has been retired. The only road in Texas that I know of where that has happened was the old Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, which was built in the late 1950's and became IH20 (now IH30 Tom Landry Freeway) after the debt was retired. The Dallas North Tollway was first built with that understanding, but the need to expand it ever further north undid that arrangement. The DFW Turnpike, by the way, was paid off almost 10 years early.

NormalgeNyus Sep 30, 2007 9:36 PM

this tolling idea is so stupid plenty of other places and build roads and not have to toll them. i mean we have really cheap gas we can just tax it more. and the tolls are not even staying localy the money is getting sent to spain or something like that. the only way i would support tolls are that if they are brand new roadways (not exsisting freeways) and if they can get paid off and turned in to free roads and if the toll money went to other local projects

Saddle Man Oct 1, 2007 1:31 PM

Politicans won't vote to raise the gas tax. That's why toll road proposals are plentiful.

bigdogc Oct 1, 2007 1:32 PM

i have a solution to austins traffic- invest in a private jet. LOL!!

M1EK Oct 1, 2007 1:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by austlar1 (Post 3083137)
Out in Manor and Hutto or over in Cedar Creek or out Bastrop way and also along and beyond eastern 183, hell, in all the outlying areas where the lower classes and working poor are being encouraged to live due to high housing costs, there are a lot of people barely hanging on that would probably like to lynch the likes of you.

And the poor people just hanging on in East Austin would like to stop subsidizing wealthier suburbanites' highways with their property and sales taxes. Yes, even the suburbanites in Manor are wealthy in comparison.

Quote:

Meanwhile when are you going to admit that you had your facts wrong about Phoenix?????
I'm not an expert on Phoenix - but the scatterplot makes it very difficult to believe your figures in general. Again, unless you can state that the definitions are the same for both, I'm not buying it (ref: urbanized area versus metropolitan area).

For instance, I just spent five minutes of my life that I'll never get back confirming that the TTI has Austin and Phoenix in different categories. Austin is in medium-sized cities; Phoenix is in large-sized cities. So whether or not Phoenix built more lane-miles is, as I suspected, a red herring - they're not even in the same category.

M1EK Oct 1, 2007 1:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NormalgeNyus (Post 3083362)
have you seen the outrageous plan that kirk watson has for toll roads? these crazys want to toll every highway in Austin. including the three highways that boarder east Austin poor. we pay very cheap gas compared to alot of the country. it would not hurt to put a higher tax on gas to pay for the roads instead of making people pay for ROADS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN BUILT

In Texas, the gasoline tax is functionally a big subsidy from urban drivers to suburban drivers, and the fact that it can't cover the full bill of the highway construction projects means urban drivers and non-drivers cover the gap with sales and property taxes.

If you like urban development, you ought to be thrilled with toll roads - the business-as-usual alternative means Austin taxpayers funding even more of Round Rock's sprawl.

ATXboom Oct 1, 2007 7:02 PM

Personally I am a fan of toll roads. I live in the city and don't want to pay taxes for roads I won't use...

They get built quickly which is efficient business.

It is like a menu system that Cable TV providers should use... pay only for what you use... seems to make good logical sense.

arbeiter Oct 1, 2007 7:35 PM

That's a bunch of baloney that the tolls are hurting the poor and lower middle classes. Much of the new suburban development that 130 is helping to engender is solidly middle-middle-class in price and nature, and a lot of those houses will be bought by people who work at Dell, other places in Round Rock, the airport, the semiconductor factories, Samsung, east side office parks, etc. The really poor parts of the eastside are still within easy driving distance of downtown via thoroughfares. And 130 doesn't really go where no other roads can, you have non-tolled options.


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