November 16, 2006

You couldn't even get the toll roads right

I remember when the debate over tolls was joined. I remember the bullshit and the lies, how it was 'the only way we could build out transportation infrastructure this decade' without compromising. So, exactly what the hell am I to glean from the fact that as I drive on the 45 Tollway, I see the following missing:

1) A flyway from EB 45 to SB 35
2) A flyway from NB 35 to WB 45
3) A flyway from NB 35 to EB 45

So, basically, they even managed to screw this up. I know what the excuse will be... their analysis says no one will drive that way. It's crap, but that'll be the excuse.

But wait... the best part about this is that people are using the tollways. I'm pleased as punch since they'll get used to it and will start paying the toll. Now remember, TXDoT says to do away with tolls in Central Texas we'd have to have a gas tax of 17 cents a gallon. Assuming your car gets 20 miles a gallon and your daily commute on the tollway will be 20 miles (not, by any means inconceivable) you'd spend only an extra 17 cents per day driving to and from work. That's the non-toll road math. So how much will it cost you with the tolls.

No one knows yet what the toll will be. 25 cents per mile? 50 cents per mile? Let's go with 25 cents per mile... using the same assumptions as above, you'd pay $5.00 per day in tolls. Using Republican math, that's cheaper than 17 cents, don't you know. Yeah, I can totally see how 17 cents is more than $5.00. Is this the same kind of math Bush has been using to 'balance' the federal budget?

You want to know the gas tax equivalent? It's easy... $5.00 per gallon. That's what you're going to pay in tolls if you're one of those unlucky people living in Wlliamson County and commuting into Travis. It's kinda funny since most of you vote Republican and have kept Mike Krusee in office for 12 years, not to mention Dan Gattis who also voted to toll the shit out of you. I know y'all are out there... I see you clogging traffic on southbound MoPac every day.

Bell's biggest mistake was not campaigning against Perry in Williamson, Collin and Fort Bend County on tolls. In his defense, there are a ton of Democrats who think tolls are a necessity since people don't want the gas tax raised. My only question to those Democrats is, Did you ever think of explaining it to voters? Huh. That's funny since it worked pretty damn well for Karen Felthauser who will no doubt go on to beat the hell out of Krusee in 2008.

Good bye, Mikey. Much like Todd Baxter's constituents, yours are beginning to realize just how bad you screwed them over. Next cycle, you are toast.

Posted by mcblogger at November 16, 2006 09:44 AM

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Major logic error.

The 17 cents was for every driver - not just those that use the toll roads. IE, they also collect 17 more cents/gallon from me, who never drives on those toll roads (and in fact spends 90% of my time driving on roads that don't even get any gas tax money at all).

Gas taxes are a huge subsidy from urban, central, drivers to suburbanites; and raising it just raises the subsidy.

Posted by: M1EK at November 20, 2006 02:26 PM

It also alleviates traffic for those of us who happen to live IN THE CITY, not to mention making it easier for the suburbanites you deride to drive into the city to work and spend money.

You obviously can't see beyond the end of your own nose. We've had this discussion and what you call a 'major logic error', is, in reality, simply common sense.

Tolls have been around for HUNDREDS of years. When it came time to really build out infrastructure in the US, the vast majority of it was done with taxes. We ALL benefitted from that. What makes you think we wouldn't benefit this time from a massive investment in public infrastructure?

Posted by: mcblogger at November 30, 2006 11:08 AM

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