Terri vs Bruce

Bruce Davidson, one of members of the Express-News’ editorial board, wrote a spot-on editorial in yesterday’s paper about how the root cause of toll roads is the Legislature’s and Governor’s resistance to increasing the gas tax.  His editorial essentially says not to blame the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA) because they’re just playing the hand they’ve been dealt and that, in reality, they are working to find funding for 281 and other projects “wherever they can get it.”

Of course, the response out of southern Comal County was nearly instantaneous.  more »

TURF: “MPO rams 37 toll projects down San Antonians’ throats”

Mobility 2035During my daily review of transportation news, I came across this the-sky-is-falling press release by staunch toll-opponent Terri Hall and her TURF organization.  As usual, TURF shows a continued lack of insight of what’s actually happening and peppers the article with their predictable array of tried-and-true rhetoric, fallacies, and mendacities as they denounce the large number of projects that are listed as possible toll and Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) projects in the new 25-year regional transportation plan.  Yes, there are a substantial number of toll-option projects in the plan.  However, the outright panic by TURF is premature and demonstrates their failure to see and comprehend the bigger picture and actually jeopardizes badly-needed future projects.

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25 Oct 2009, 10:46am
Toll roads:
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20 lane toll road?? Not really…

Back at the US 281 Super Street meeting a few months ago, I got into a discussion with a TURF representative about the proposed tollway for 281.  His was adamant that the toll plan would need more lanes than the original toll-free or “gas-tax” plan.  When I pressed him on it, he could not explain why a tolled expressway would need more lanes than a free expressway, only that “it would have to.” 

As it turns-out, one of TURF’s most misleading half-truths is the notion that the tollway proposal for US 281 would be 20 lanes wide, while the “original overpass plan” would only be 10 lanes.  Good job TURF!  You guys have mastered the art of misinformation.

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Why the MPO vote to remove tolls doesn’t matter

Tommy Adkisson

Tommy Adkisson

The San Antonio-Bexar County MPO is scheduled to vote next Monday on whether or not to remove the toll option from the US 281 and Loop 1604 expansion projects.  This plan was put forth by new MPO Chairman Tommy Adkisson, Bexar County’s Precinct 4 Commissioner and an ardent toll road opponent.  Make no mistake—his plan is actually the brainchild of staunch toll road critic Terri Hall, the self-appointed director of Texans United for Freedom and Reform (TURF), and is based on the theory that she could just take plans and estimates from 2001, add the inflation factor since then, and have the magic estimate of what it would cost to build the original toll-free plan today.  This elementary formula skips a number of important steps and omits several ancillary items that were not included in those original estimates, such as design work, right-of-way acquisition, and utility relocation.

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