For anyone living in Texas I’d like to know what you think about this Keep Texas Moving initiative. I have relatives in Houston and many of them had no idea this was happening. What’s worrisome is they do read the newspaper and watch the news so I don’t know if the Keep Texas Moving website is the only place they have discussed these plans or if my family just wasn’t paying attention.
This topic is of interest to me because I believe the end result is going to be a insanely large superhighway that goes from Mexico to Canada in an effort to initiate an agreement between the three nations that will further the negative effects of NAFTA. If I’m wrong on this I’d certainly like to know. However, I do believe that included in this superhighway is a rail system, for moving items by train, and a gas/oil pipeline, along with a massive system of data cables.
Keep Texas Moving website.
If you want to voice your opinion on these roads then attend the meeting in your area. (link to schedule)
It seems to me that privately owned toll roads are essentially gilded roadways for those that can afford them. If you can’t afford the tolls then you’re not one of the elite that gets to avoid traffic thanks to some private business that was given land by the government upon which to build your golden track. Having to pay for tolls on a daily basis is definitely a burden to your budget. Per the Keep Texas Moving website gas taxes are no longer enough to pay for road repair and infrastructure redevelopment. So the best way to get the money is by handing this function over to big businesses which will then charge you to drive on the roads. I believe providing roads is a requirement of the government and we shouldn’t be charged to drive on them. Basically if you don’t have money then you’re not driving on these toll roads and that’s not freedom to me.
On the “Keep Texas Moving” website there is a section titled “Our Commitment to Texans.”
Our Commitment to Texans
In all the discussion about toll roads, it is important to remember two main points:
We will never convert an existing road into a toll road unless local voters approve it There will always be a free, non-tolled alternative
Note the fact that they are certainly not opposed to making every road a toll road. They’ll just scare you into making that decision or they’ll do a bad job fixing free roads until you cave in. In addition if you read this page, and you’ve been to Houston to experience Beltway 8, then you’ll have a vision for their plans. Since they’ll be adding a toll road next to the existing road they’ll probably reduce the legal speed on the free road and increase it on the toll road. In addition, they’ll probably add traffic lights to the free road making it that much more inconvenient.
I believe when people have to budget for every little part of life, especially things that seemed free previously, it’s more difficult to live and it allows them to get into financial trouble easier. This is no way for a government to “help” its people. When they pay for the roadways through the gas tax (and I was fairly sure that the federal government gives the states money too) then you just budget for gas and you’re done. Now they’re asking us to budget for gas and budget for tolls as well. This makes it easier for people on the lower end of the economic scale to get burned. What does a person with money care if it costs more to drive on roads? If anything they can probably simply buy stock in the company building the roads and come out even. For those millions that live paycheck to paycheck or struggling to make house payments and keep their children fed this new roadway is no benefit at all. How could they even afford to us it?
Here is a scary part of the website:
- How will right of way be acquired?
- How will landowners be compensated for the land being acquired by TxDOT?
- How will the affected property owners be compensated for the economic and environmental impacts to their property?
- Can the state take any property it wants and as much as it wants?
- How much right of way is needed and how much will it cost?
- Will large tracts of land be acquired and not used for decades if the TTC takes a long time to build?
- When will right of way acquisition begin?
For further reading here’s an article linking Giuliani’s law firm to this project.