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Opposition Growing to 'Super Toll' Plan

 
Opposition Growing to 'Super Toll' Plan
Posted Tuesday, January 7th 2014 @ 5am  by Jim Forsyth

 

  Opposition is already building to the so called 'Super Toll Initiative' plan for $825 million in toll roads to be built around the city, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  Despite the certainty of Texas Department of Transportation officials who announced plans for the toll lanes to be built along I-10 between Loop 1604 and Ralph Fair Road and along US 281 between Loop 1604 and the Comal County line, Terri Hall of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, which was organized to fight toll road plans, says she has heard plenty of 'certain plans' for toll roads over the past decade, and all have fizzled.

 

  "I can't remember how many times they have said it is a done deal, and every  time it has come unraveled," Hall said.

 

  She said pressure has to be mounted on the unelected Regional Mobility Authority, which will have the final say on toll decisions.  She says lawsuits are possible and she pointed out that several pro toll officials, including Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, are up for election in 2014.

 

 "These elections are now referendums on toll roads," she said.  "If they're not, they should be."

 

  A similar plan to build toll lanes along US 281 was to the point that site preparation had actually begun back in 2008, before a lawsuit filed by Hall's group and environmental activists scuttled the plan.

 

  Hall says the 'ruling class' individuals who are imposing toll roads on San Antonio obviously have no idea how the average San Antonio family lives.

 

  "There are just not enough people in this community who have enough money to pay between 17 cents and 50 cents a mile to get to work."

 

  She pointed to the failure of the State Highway 130 toll road as an example of who actively motorists will avoid toll roads.  Despite increasing congestion on Interstate 35, motorists still choose the free road rather than the toll alternative.  She said the free alternatives in the areas where the San Antonio toll roads will be built will result in motorist cutting through neighborhoods, endangering children as they get off the school bus and leading to more tragedies in residential areas.

 

  Hall also points out that the major funding for these two toll road projects is coming from the Advanced Transportation District sales tax, and from a $10 a year increase in the annual vehicle registration fee.

 

  "I think the money is there, particularly on 281," she said.  'Public money and tax money is already there to build these lanes without tolls.  The question is, whether there is the political will to do that."

 

 

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