The cost escalation for the fix to 281 going from $100 million to a $1.3 billion toll road has NEVER been justified by TxDOT or the tolling authority (RMA) nor scrutinized by Commissioner Kevin Wolff, the MPO, or any elected officials except Commissioner Tommy Adkisson and Rep. David Leibowitz. Inexplicably, Wolff now advocates unprecedented scrutiny be paid to the far more affordable non-toll option, and he wants more taxpayer money spent on yet another non-toll study.
This unneeded wasteful spending of $200,000-$500,000 of taxpayer money on something TxDOT already has on the books but refuses to sponsor or advance due to its pro-toll agenda is a gross abuse of taxpayers and congestion weary commuters on 281. Fiscal conservatism and responsible government is absent from such "studies"...
Web Posted: 11/19/2009 12:00 CST
Non-toll option needs valid study
Express-News Editorial Board -
Anyone who has to endure traffic in the U.S. 281-Loop 1604 corridor on a regular basis wants the congestion problem solved sooner rather than later. And given the option, they'd prefer that the solution increase mobility with free lanes and interchanges rather than tolled ones.
The problem is that no up-to-date non-tolled option exists. As County Commissioner and Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairman Tommy Adkisson discovered in September, there is no plan or study available that can serve as the basis for non-tolled improvements to U.S. 281.
That didn't stop him from pushing the non-existent non-tolled plan at last month's heated MPO meeting. Fortunately, a majority of MPO board members voted down a proposal that would have put hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal transportation funding at risk and delayed progress on U.S. 281 by years.
Read the rest of the editorial here.