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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

TxDot's Dirty Secret: It's State Highway Robbery!

State Representative Ken Paxton and I have been engaged in an e-discussion of the conversion of State Highway 121 into yet another Toll Road. Information I received from government officials on the condition of confidentiality, casts a new light on Mr. Paxton's last response and TxDot's agenda for S.H.121.

Mr. Paxton is correct that 'local' offices decided to toll S.H. 121. However, the definition of local has been a moving target. Local was the cities involved at first. In fact, Frisco has a letter from TxDOT saying that if Frisco (or any other city along the route) did not want it to be tolled, it would not be. Of course, when Frisco said no, they changed local to mean 'the nearby cities'. So, when Frisco, Allen, Plano, McKinney and Collin County said yes ONLY if they were allowed to build and operate it and rates were charged only to the tune of what it cost to build, 'local' changed to the 'region' and RTC. At the same time, they changed the percentage of how many cities would have to oppose it. In other words, the rules of the game kept changing.

Frisco and the other towns went to the legislature for help several times. The legislature could have stopped this at anytime if they chose to. Mr. Paxton's voting record shows that he was one of the last ones to sign on to the bill that placed a moratorium. In fact, he signed on after there was more than enough votes to put it into effect. But when this moratorium went into effect, SH 121 was exempted. So, Collin County get stuck with funding the State needs.

My sources do think Representative Paxton is sincere in wanting to address this and they are not sure if he was able to build the support needed to intervene as this was taking place. My sources also wish more could have been done at the State level. "We sure needed their help as TxDOT was walking all over our region."

Also, the $3.3 billion Rep Paxton stated would be staying local is not the case. Again, it depends on how you define local. Local is a pretty large North Texas area. Also, think about it this way, do you think TxDOT will allocate the same amount of dollars in our region with this money coming in? In other words, my bet is that their budget is adjusted to remove 'general fund' money from here and use it elsewhere. So, the net gain would be the same!

We need your leadership, Mr. Paxton, and we need it now. As you, I, and anyone else who has attempted to drive Dallas Parkway instead of the Toll Way during rush hour know, service roads with multiple lights and cross-streets are no substitute for a freeway. And as I've said before, S.H. 121 is a STATE HIGHWAY. State funds should build and maintain it, not the poor overtaxed residents along it's route.

And TxDot's true agenda; their "dirty little secret", is that they were consumed by steering the whole process to selling off S.H. 121. It was never about building S.H. 121. This is a clear case of State Highway Robbery!

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1 comment:

Lastcowboystanding said...

What a shocker: TxDot is corrupt. Good thing the rest of Austin is honest....NOT! You must not have lived in Texas too long. Everybody in politics is corrupt here and always has been. They were not kidding when they said LBJ stole the election by stuffing ballot boxes here!

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"