Tag Archives: TxDOT

Texas Leaders Ask Trump to ‘Nix’ Tolls in His Infrastructure Plan

While some have called the Trump proposal DOA on Capitol Hill, Texans are taking nothing for granted and made the trip to D.C. to deliver it to the White House personally to ensure the President got the message from a … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation, Transportation Issues Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas Lawmakers Clash with State Toll Bureaucracies Over Cap on Toll Fines

Governor Greg Abbott decidedly departed from Perry’s policies and tapped the brakes on toll roads, most notably killing 15 new toll projects last fall. The majority of lawmakers have feverishly responded to constituents’ complaints about the costs to drive toll … Continue reading

Posted in Freedom, News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Tolling, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , |

TX Governor: “No More Tolls”

Sen. Bob Hall issued a scathing statement on TxDOT’s proposed toll plan that equates the typical $10/day toll to a $25 per gallon gasoline tax that, over a lifetime, would mushroom into an eye-popping $135,000 in toll taxes. “This is … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Tolling, Transportation, Transportation Issues Tagged , , , , , |

Precedent Set as Tolls Come off Two Texas Highways

No one should be charged a toll to use a road that’s paid for, otherwise it’s double taxation. The move to remove tolls once a road’s debt is retired is one of several recommendations that came out of the interim … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Tolling, Transportation Tagged , , , , |

Double Crossed

Many consider Texas the cradle of liberty and a bastion of limited government conservatism. But who lets a State agency abuse taxpayers and deliberately thumb their noses at a state law they know is coming online that was passed by … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Tagged , , , , |

Anti-toll Reforms Finally Pass Texas Legislature, But Not Without a Hitch

Taxpayers pushed for over a decade to get these reforms in place and finally got them in SB 312. While there’s still much work to be done to completely reform toll policy in Texas, the majority of the heavy lifting … Continue reading

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Secret Agreement Handed Private Toll Firm Control of Texas Public Roads

While the politicians argued that eminent domain would only be used as a last resort, that’s just the club the Texas Turnpike Corporation’s CEO John Crew needs to beat landowners into submission to sign over their land in so-called negotiated … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Issues Tagged , , , , , , , |

Report: TxDOT not ready to handle influx of new road funds

Texans deserve better than they’ve been getting for their multi-billion dollar investments in TxDOT. The legislature and Sunset must engage in constant oversight and a shorter review timeframe. While some progress has been made, TxDOT has a long way to … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Tagged , , , |

Sparks fly as Texas senators discover numerous toll roads with no debt, prompts call to remove tolls

Many Texans are paying upwards of $300 a month in tolls just to drive to work. Since the privatized toll road projects opened, one has gone bankrupt, SH 130 (segments 5 & 6), and two in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex use dynamic or ‘congestion pricing’ (where the toll is based on the level of congestion) to soak the traveling public, charging up to $50 a day in tolls. Over a dozen Texas toll road projects were built with state and federal funds, no debt is owed, and yet officials charge tolls simply to profit off of congestion and use it as a means to control people and traffic. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Tagged , , , , , |

Lone Star Rail Now Hitched to I-35 Toll Lane Debacle

If TxDOT magically pulls a rabbit out of its hat to have room at-grade for these tracks, not only were they misleading the public last year at the hearing, they’d be taking up the most valuable real estate in Texas and eliminating any hope of expanding general purpose lanes in the future, because now you’d either have to condemn billions in rail or billions in private commercial property in order to do it Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Michael Morris: The Big Government, Unelected Bureaucrat Behind Texas Toll Road Expansion

Abbott can change the tide very quickly with his new chairman and commissioner at the Texas Transportation Commission. Frankly, short of the RTC firing Morris, DFW residents have few options to stop his march to impose the largest managed toll lane network in the country. State lawmakers continue to be ignored by Morris. In fact, he works against elected officials’ efforts to represent their constituents’ opposition to new toll taxes. Residents do not get to choose who represents them on the RTC, and the board is so big, 44 members, it’s hard for residents in one corridor to sway the votes of the other 43 members to stop tolls. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , , |

Texas Tracks Drivers To Data Mine Without Their Consent

The revelation that a consultant hired by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) used a Bluetooth reader to secretly collect trip origination and destination data from unsuspecting travelers didn’t come to light in time for a bill to be filed in the Texas legislature that concluded its 84th session on June 1. But look for legislation at the earliest opportunity to protect Texans from such an infringement of their individual rights. In the meantime, the citizen groups insist TxDOT should voluntarily cease and desist. Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , , |

Anti-Toll Movement in Texas Comes Under Attack

Tolling existing free lanes should be off the table in the Lone Star State that claims to be the beacon of freedom and boasts of a low tax burden. Tolling the main lanes of a highway and downgrading the free option to frontage roads is highway robbery and a means to force drivers to pay tolls to get anywhere. Texas taxpayers are adamant that this abuse come to an end. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , |

Grassroots Texans Lead Toll Road Rebellion

Anti-toll advocates seem to have the momentum as both Governor Greg Abbott and the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick campaigned on many of these reforms. But taking nothing for granted, the ‘Toll-free Texas’ grassroots coalition sacrificed their time and dime to come to the Capitol anyway, realizing toll entities, local governments, and transportation boards want the status quo and will lobby hard to water-down and defeat needed reforms.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , |

California Style ‘Complete Streets’ Coming to Texas Cities: Policy is a Congestion Nightmare

While Texans are busy living their lives and contributing to one of the world’s largest economies, planners, bureaucrats, social engineers, and the rubber stamp MPO boards, supposedly run by elected officials, are busy trying their level best to screw it up…

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Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , |

Texas State Rep. Kolkhorst asks for AG legal opinion on use of gas tax revenue to subsidize more toll roads – seeks clarity over Prop 15

As voters overwhelmingly embrace a move away from toll roads with the election of anti-toll Greg Abbott as the new Texas Governor there remains an open question about whether or not the voters approved the use of the state gasoline tax, and any other money available to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), for toll roads when they approved Proposition 15 back in 2001. Some state leaders believe the voters approved the use of gas taxes to build toll roads with passage of Prop 15, but the ballot language never mentions a word about gas taxes nor all funds available to TxDOT being used for toll roads – which constitute a double tax.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Anti-toll candidates sweep key races in Texas

Abbott will get two new appointees to the Transportation Commission right out of the gate in February. Together with the current Commissioner, Victor Vandergriff, who’s been an outspoken critic of the agency’s practices and ill-conceived toll projects, Abbott will have a majority…

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Proposed Blacklands Tollway Near Dallas, Texas Fuels Public Distrust

The people have spoken and their will is clear – they do NOT want the proposed private Blackland Tollway-Northeast Gateway Corridor through Rockwall to Greenville counties in east Dallas. A record capacity crowd of nearly 1,500 showed up to get their opposition to the controversial toll project on the record. Landowners and concerned citizens voiced their opinions to the Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) at a public meeting held in Rockwall that lasted until after midnight.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conservatives introduce “TEA” highway bill that scraps federal program, but pushes tolls, P3s, & transit boondoggles

While Graves, Lee and Rubio may believe they’re offloading their federal gas tax revenue problem to the states, in reality, they’re seeking to compound the problem 50-fold; the states aren’t any better than the feds on transportation funding. We should not be encouraging more tolling of any kind, whether at the federal or state level. Tolls are a tax. The principle of “pay-as-you-go”…

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Posted in Homepage Column Two Row Three, News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Houston toll agency surrenders control to TxDOT

An out of control Texas Department of Transportation has discovered how to self-fund its agency with unlimited taxation through tolls. Texas taxpayers have had little luck controlling TxDOT and its lust for toll roads, so this notion that handing TxDOT control will mean more free highway lanes just won’t materialize.

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Tea Party Victories in Texas Elections Support Anti-toll Movement

Under Dewhurst’s leadership, Texans experienced a massive shift away from an affordable gas- tax-funded freeway system to a reliance on tolling. The Perry-Dewhurst regime brought us the Trans-Texas Corridor, quick-take eminent domain, tolling existing freeways, handing our public roads to private toll corporations who charge Texans 95 cents a mile to drive, and using gas taxes and a host of public money to subsidize and guarantee the loans on toll roads. They took Texas from zero debt for roads to now the highest road debt in the nation at $31 billion.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas House to end 80-yr raid of gas taxes

Stop using road money (paid for by motorists) for transit, rail, and bike paths that motorists don’t use. That goes for diverting both federal and state gas tax revenues. The Texas Mobility Fund is being used to build street cars, toll roads, and dredge our ports, when it should be used to fix our freeways and keep them toll-free. Adopting a transportation policy of ‘pay-as-you-go’ would be more fiscally responsible.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Toll tyranny and social engineering in local transportation policy

San Antonio’s proposal smacks of the European-style congestion tax imposed on downtown London, Stockholm and Milan, which carries serious implications for environmentally targeted cities all across America. Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation, United Nations Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

TxDOT proposes elevated toll lanes over Interstate Highway 35

When a local San Antonio TV reporter goes on a rant over a toll lane proposal, you know the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has hit a nerve. TxDOT is proposing to add two elevated toll lanes on Interstate 35 each direction from Loop 410 in Bexar County to Schertz in Comal County, approximately 15 miles.

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Texas downgrades foreign-owned toll road to junk bond status

Hate to say it, but we told you so.

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Posted in Sovereignty, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas: Downgrading paved roads to gravel and planning license plate surveillance cameras

It’s dog eat dog as the fight over scarce road money gets uglier in Texas. At a recent Senate Select Committee on Transportation Funding hearing, the Senate Transportation Committee Chair Robert Nichols took issue with DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler’s comments that urban areas of the state are ‘pillaging’ road funds he believes are largely being provided by rural areas where the oil shale boom has swelled the state’s coffers of oil and gas severance taxes to windfall levels.

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RFID Spy Chips: Toll Tags & Tracking Drivers

Radio Frequency (RFID) readers are not limited to toll roads. One driver tweaked his toll tag to make a sound go off every time it’s detected and picked-up by an RFID reader. He discovered it went off all over the … Continue reading

Posted in Constitution, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Lawmaker to TxDOT: Time to say ‘We made a mistake’

They stepped in it and now the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is on the fast track to smoothing things over with local governments across the state. Rep. Joe Pickett (D – El Paso) didn’t parse words at the August 29 Transportation Commission meeting: the agency has had a series of missteps that are upsetting people and it’s time for the Department to own up to it, say ‘we made a mistake,’ and start to make amends.

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With toll road failures widespread, TxDOT issues state highway fund-backed loan guarantees

State and federal highway dollars are pinched and toll road traffic is taking a hit from a sustained economic downturn and high gas prices, while states are looking for ways to get projects built with limited resources. Bond documents for the $2.6 billion Grand Parkway (State Highway 99) tollway reveal the bonds issued by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be backed by the state highway fund for all but $200 million of the debt, if toll revenues are insufficient.

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Tolling Texans by ‘rule change’: TxDOT’s end run around the legislature

Question: How do you know when a public agency is out of control? Answer: It tries to bypass the legitimate branch of government, in this case the Texas legislature, to make an administrative ‘rule change’ instead.

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Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Gateway to globalization: Texas toll roads, reinvestment zones and trade corridors

Despite high hopes that lawmakers would address the chronic road funding shortfall at the outset of the 83rd session of the Texas legislature, Texas taxpayers only saw $534 million of $1.2 billion in diversions of gas tax revenues returned to roads (for the next two years) with a reliance on more toll roads to fill the remaining $4 billion annual funding gap. That’s only one-eighth of the money needed.

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Posted in Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sequester prompts Texas governor to take over municipal airports

It sounds like something you’d hear on April Fools’ Day, but in Texas, Governor Rick Perry and his highway department are quite serious.

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Posted in Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Tea Party Texans say ‘No’ to more tolls, debt and taxes

Texans from across the state recently converged at the capitol in Austin to stress the need for Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, and House and Senate budget writers to prevent the most fiscally sound, long-term road funding solutions from being held hostage to more tolls, debt, and tax hikes.

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Focal Point Texas: The Coming Trade Tsunami and the Greater Push Toward Globalization

The eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum hosted by the Texas Transportation Institute and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently held in Austin had all eyes on the future – the future of international trade in light of the anticipated Panama Canal expansion, the future of road funding, and even the future of driving (like driverless cars).

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Posted in Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas leads the nation in road debt as Perry solicits ideas for tax relief: Groups say nix toll taxes

In his State of the State speech, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked Texans how they’d like to see tax relief implemented in the new 83rd biennial legislative session (January 8 – May 27/140 days).

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