Transportation Commission Scraps I-635 Tolling

Transportation Commission Scraps I-635 Tolling

AUSTIN – In a positive step and a victory for the people of Texas, the Texas Transportation Commission voted yesterday to scrap the toll element of the Dallas I-635 expansion project and the Austin I-35 project from the Uniform Transportation Plan (UTP).

The commissioners recognized that the continued escalation of toll roads is inconsistent with the guidance from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Legislature, and the people of Texas who have expressed that they do not want more toll taxes.

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“Advocates of tolling and managed lanes continually argue that there is not enough funding in traditional methods to fix the state’s congestion problems, urging the commission to ‘keep every tool in the toolbox.’ Prop. 1 and Prop. 7, which were initially considered as part of the I-635 E funding scheme, are constitutionally protected from going to toll projects, and TxDOT must abide by the wishes of the voters and get these projects done without tolls,” stated Senator Hall.

“Another concerning issue is how money is allocated. Some regional planners attempt to create a false belief that there is not enough money by diverting funds to lower priority projects and then try to claim that available funds are insufficient for the high priority mega-projects such as I-635 East. Cities such as Houston have a better track record of prioritizing crucial projects to receive adequate funding allocations before funding lower priority projects. “Still,” Senator Hall continued, “the commission’s decision is a victory for the citizens and activists who fought bravely to prevent toll roads from being built with Prop. 1 and Prop. 7 funding and support Governor Abbott’s promise of ‘no more tolls’ in Texas.”

“More than that though, it is a victory for Texas drivers who do not support the outrageous double taxation scheme of toll roads. We’ve already paid for our roads through taxes. Let’s never stop fighting to keep them open to everyone,” closed Senator Hall.

Source: Press Release

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