Tuesday, July 29, 2014
   
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TRUTH BE TOLLED 281 SPECIAL EDITION

NOW ONLINE - Full movie!

TBT-online-link

Truth Be Tolled is essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand how big money interests and government bureaucrats are hell bent on tolling Texas highways in spite of an overwhelming taxpayer opposition.

TxDOT approves $97 million for El Paso street car

Link to article here.

When TxDOT wastes our road money on silliness like street cars that don't solve (and actually cause) traffic problems, they're never going to win back the public trust or get their cooperation to give them more money. Street cars were removed for safety concerns and the fixed track became obsolete and replaced by more nimble and flexible buses. It's lunacy to install them again and waste taxpayer money on such nonsense when this same agency is whining for more money & claiming we can't get our roads widened without paying expensive tolls.

Funding approved for Downtown streetcar line
Work could begin on $97M project this summer
By Robert Gray
El Paso Inc.
June 29, 2014

A $97-million project to restore streetcar service to Downtown El Paso has received state funding and construction could start as soon as August.

Sometimes called trolleys, the streetcars were a part of life and work in El Paso until the early 1970s.

Returning streetcar service to Downtown has been a dream of many for a long time, but the project had been stymied for years because there had been no funding.

Read more: TxDOT approves $97 million for El Paso street car

 

Cintra grabs I-77 public private partnership in NC

Link to article here.

I-77 tolls could be $9 to $11, study says
By the Charlotte Observer
Monday, June 23, 2014

A Mooresville-to-Charlotte round trip on planned Interstate 77 toll lanes is projected to cost $9 during the morning rush hour and at least $11 in the afternoon, according to state documents obtained by a Lake Norman area citizens group.

Widen I-77, which opposes tolls on N.C. interstates, obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents predict that Mooresville-to-Charlotte tolls will jump to at least $20 one way by 2035, according to the group.

Read more: Cintra grabs I-77 public private partnership in NC

Local leaders question toll plans on US 75

Link to article here.

State, county leaders question proposed toll lanes along U.S. 75
By JULIETA CHIQUILLO
Dallas Morning News
July 2, 2014

RICHARDSON — Several Collin County and state officials voiced concerns Tuesday about TxDOT’s plans to turn HOV lanes into toll lanes along a section of U.S. Highway 75.

The elected officials were among more than 120 people at the Richardson Civic Center for a public meeting about the proposal.

Under a plan unveiled last month, single-occupancy vehicles would be allowed to use the managed HOV lanes by paying a toll. Car poolers would have to register to use the lanes for free. The plan involves a stretch of U.S. 75 beginning near LBJ Freeway and ending in Allen.

Read more: Local leaders question toll plans on US 75

Obama highway plan called 'crazy'

Link to article here.

OBAMA: My Highway Plan Is 'Not Crazy, It's Not Socialism, It's Not The Imperial Presidency'
By Brett LoGiurato
Business Insider
July 1, 2014

A rather exasperated President Barack Obama pressed Congress to find a solution to the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis, arguing "it's not socialism" to want to build new highways and bridges in the country.

"It's not crazy. It's not socialism. It's not the imperial presidency," Obama said Tuesday afternoon during a speech in front of the Georgetown waterfront with the Key Bridge in the background. "We're just building roads and bridges, like we have for the past 50 years."

Read more: Obama highway plan called 'crazy'

Toll Roads, State Gas Tax Hike Discussed by Legislature

Link to article here.

It's important to note that Donna Campbell campaigned on an anti-toll platform. Now she's calling for toll roads to be part of the mix in conflict with her own party's gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott who promises to fix Texas roads without raising taxes, fees, or tolls.

Toll Roads, State Gas Tax Hike Discussed by Legislature
By Jim Forsyth
June 24, 2014

Lawmakers now say it will take between $4 billion and $5 billion a year to simply maintain the state’s crumbling road system, and state lawmakers are considering the possibility of a hike in the gas tax, 1200 WOAI’s Chris Fox reports.

Read more: Toll Roads, State Gas Tax Hike Discussed by Legislature

Calls to reform federal transportation spending before tax hikes

Link to article here.

Here’s a Crazy Idea: What About Reforming Transportation Spending Instead of Hiking Taxes?
By Emily Goff, Heritage Foundation
June 26, 2014
Daily Signal

Americans know the drill. When Congress faces a gap between its spending wants and available money, it is quick to ask for more money, instead of fixing the spending side of the budget ledger.
This time it’s Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has proposed a rag tag group of revenue provisions, including hiking taxes on heavy vehicle use, aimed at filling a hole in Washington’s Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Federal gas and diesel taxes deposited in to the HTF go to pay for road, bridge, transit, and other surface transportation projects in the states.
Yup, you got it: Wyden’s focusing on new ways to collect money – without even mentioning spending reforms.

Conservatives on the committee rightly grumbled at its total lack of spending cuts, and now the committee is going back to the drawing board to try and find more palatable reforms all around.
Wyden isn’t alone: Others in Congress have called for gas tax hikes or bailing out the fund with postal reform revenue. But few have proposed reforming spending out of the HTF. In other words, lawmakers by and large aren’t interested in, changing which programs are eligible for the federal gas and diesel taxes deposited into the HTF.

Read more: Calls to reform federal transportation spending before tax hikes