Tolls Levied East of I-35

RECEIVED Tue., June 20, 2006

Dear Editor,
   I understand that the Chronicle has limited space for news coverage. As is often the case, coverage of toll road issues leaves out the concerns of people living east of I-35. In a nutshell:
   CAMPO has approved building brand new "free" freeways west of I-35. Not a single mile of new untolled freeway is proposed for east of I-35.
   CAMPO will not toll any roads west of I-35 that had previously been funded with gas tax dollars. Every mile of every road east of I-35 that was previously funded with gas tax dollars will be tolled.
   CAMPO has approved the tolling of four existing freeway facilities east of I-35. Not a single existing freeway facility west of I-35 is slated for tolls.
   CTRMA has publicly stated that toll roads east of I-35 will be used as "cash cows" to subsidize road projects west of I-35.
   CTRMA director Mike Heiligenstein said that replacing tolls with increased gas taxes would cost "$2 to $3 dollars per gallon." CAMPO staff estimated the cost at "1.6 to 2.1 cents per gallon."
   None of the new "free" freeway projects proposed for the CAMPO area are located in Travis County. Travis County gas tax payments will be shifted to other counties' "pass-through financing" projects to subsidize sprawl, or the Trans-Texas Corridor boondoggle.
   US 183S, if built as current plans propose, will have 18 lanes where it crosses the Colorado River.
Vincent May
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