Saturday, May 31, 2008


Central Texas Republican Assemblies held a Transportation Summit (Part I) with TxDOT on Tuesday, May 27. Some comments on it, related to the previous post that came in CTRA followup communication:

There was positive feedback from both participants and the speaker, Colby Chase of TxDOT. The response of TxDOT to the concerns expressed by the candidates and others at the Summit could not have have been quicker or more direct. The Transportation Summit being juxtaposed with this week's action of the Transportation Commission is a bit surreal. In the free flowing Q&A session Tuesday night we touched on the very thing that the Commission did today. I had no idea that the Commission was going to take this action, but when Coby was refuting some of the wild anti-TTC rhetoric such as the dogmatic statements by some that the Spaniards will own Texas’ toll roads as a result of Centra-Zachary’s involvement in the TTC, I thought "why not just state at the top of the Comprehensive Development Agreements a principle that lays out the truth that the State of Texas will own the highways and have control over the tolls, etc." That is effectively what the Delisi led Transportation Commission did in it’s action today.

A number of communications, from citizen-activists, Texas conservative legislators, Rep Glen Hegar, other politicians, asked the transportation commission to lay out key principles, such as:

  • Texas owns the highways it builds
  • Only use eminent domain when and where needed
  • All CDAs (Comprehensive Development Agreements) should have buy-back provisions to allow the state to buy out leases if it is in the interest of the state
  • Don't convert existing freeways to tollways
  • Toll rate setting should be done publicly and with local government involvement/approval
  • Don't use non-compete bids and don't include non-compete clauses that limit upgrade to state roads nearby tollways

These are common-sense principles to keep Government accountable when it comes to transportation and tollways. It was both the correct policy and politically wise to affirm these as written public commitments of the Transportation Commission.

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