Thanks to Bruce Burton and Texans Against Tolls for sending around this link. http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/txdot_makes_plans_for_stimulus_money
Here, you can see the coverage of today's Texas Transportation Commission meeting, where they approved the list of Texas transportation projects to get the stimulus funds. The most expensive project in our area is flyovers at 290 East and 183, intended to be the west end of tolling 290 East, the "Manor Expressway."
The stimulus funds were supposed to help economically disadvantaged areas--this project will be the beginning of further oppression of an economically disadvantaged community in Eastern Travis County that cannot afford the additional burden of paying tolls to commute to work.
As transportation analyst Roger Baker says, "290 E had seen stagnant . . . user demand. It had to be combined with 183 A to keep it financially viable. . . . Starting the 290 E toll road project at one end will help keep it alive as a project, but it still needs a lot of additional federal TIFIA loans, plus big private bond loans to build the rest of the road. Bottom line: it's a waste of money to widen a road that ain't broke when you look at the numbers. It's pure road lobby pork."
MEMBER OF TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION INSULTS CITIZEN
The KXAN video shows Hank Gilbert testifying. Hank is one of the founders of TURF and was the Democratic candidate for Ag Commissioner in 2006, drawing the most votes of any Democratic state-wide candidate. For some strange reason, Commissioner Houghton decides to call Hank and his TURF group "bigots." It seems to me that the "bigots" are the Transportation Commissioners who use our taxpayer stimulus funds to cause even further economic distress to the Manor-area commuters.