The RTC Meetings on changes to the Transportation Improvement Plan for the region and funding for toll roads, highways, and rail in the region are over. However, the public can still submit comments to the RTC.
The RTC established a policy to fund necessary expansion of existing state and federal highways in the region and to fund new construction with toll revenue. They expect to spend available gas tax revenue on Hwy 75 and LBJ Freeway.
They surveyed some attendees at public meetings (March-May 2007) along the SH 121, SH 183 and SH 161 corridors. They asked them some questions about toll rates,\ and whether they wanted CDAs applied to projects in Collin County. Out of a population of over 6.5 million people, there were 214 respondents to the questionaair. Not all counties were surveyed and it was not administered to citizens from the southern side of the region.
The RTC established a policy to fund transportation construction and expansion with toll revenue and they established a policy to set the toll rates higher than required to retire the debt and maintain the roads. They decided to set the toll rates high enough to generate billions of dollars of upfront toll revenue to fund other transportation projects.
The citizens of this region were never given opportunity to vote on this policy. Yet we will be required to retire the debt on these proposed state (and federal) highway projects. The contracts are for 50 years. Talk about taxation without representation. Many future citizens who have not been born yet will pay the largest share of these escalating upward toll fees.
They ignored the will of the people expressed in their limited survey. They ignored the hundreds of citizens who testified at TxDOT TTC hearings against private public partneships and exercise of eminent domain for private development and profit.
If you were unable to attend these three public meetings (or unaware that they were occurring) please use the link to their e-mail form and submit written comment to the RTC.
Leaders of the RTC (Judge Glen Whitley for one) are urging member governments to write the governor urging him to veto the eminent domain bill passed by the Legislature to correct excesses which were enacted in the previous two sessions of the Legislature. If you think 675 miles of toll roads is good for this region, please use that form and thank them. If there is something which concerns you about the plan, please use the form and tell them.
The deadline is July 6th.
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