Results from the big toll road vote

After hour upon hour of citizens to be heard (well over 100 of them), and then several agonizing minutes of parliamentarian wrangling over whether the proposed changes had to have cost estimates to be legal, the MPO finally voted at around 11:20pm.  The first vote, to remove tolls from 281, was 13-5 against with one abstention; the vote among elected officials was 6-5 against.  The subsequent vote on removing tolls from 1604 went the same way.  However, in the surprise of the night (besides Jack Finger ending his comments with time to spare), the board voted unanimously to remove the CDA (comprehensive development agreement) option for Bandera Rd., essentially killing the prospect of tolls on that roadway.  That almost seemed like a consolation offering to Tommy, Terri, and the anti-toll crowd.  The final vote of the night– whether to build all eight ramps of the 281/1604 interchange instead of just the four already in the works– ended-up being dropped entirely after a board member pointed-out that the additional four ramps could not be built because they would have to be covered under a separate environmental study.  This would cause it to lose its federal stimulus funds because the project would not be shovel-ready by next March’s deadline.  In the end, I think everyone was too tired anyway to debate it.

Much more to follow in the coming days.


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