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VinnyVincent

Why does everyone keep talking about toll roads like it's a positive thing?

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32 minutes ago, cspwal said:

 

Found a house for you - new construction, $155,000, 3 bed 2 bath, inside the loop

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3506-Tuam-St-Houston-TX-77004/27756257_zpid/

 

No tolls needed

 

30 minutes ago, VinnyVincent said:

LOL you must not be from Houston either.

 

I have a girlfriend, who has a daughter and I'd like to not risk them getting raped when they are walking outside to get the mail.

 

You know that's hilarious.

 

When people aren't willing to jump into a neighborhood when it's moving up because it's 'too sketchy' or 'too dangerous'.

 

Then, in 5 years when it's out of their price range, they can't afford to move there and they complain because they can't afford it.

 

good job. enjoy paying your tolls. enjoy the addition of more toll roads in your area that will force you to pay even more tolls than you currently do, and finally, enjoy the increased price of the tolls as they need even more money to expand the toll system to account for people who want the same suburban lifestyle you wanted 10 years ago, but they want it even farther out of town because traffic in your area sucks. Expanding 249 to College Station as a tollroad. College Station is going to be a commuter town for Houston. LOL.

 

here ya go, that's literally the cheapest place in the area:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/928-Mckinney-Park-Ln-Houston-TX-77003/80554712_zpid/

 

Hell, buy the one that cspawl referenced now, lease it for $1000 a month. You're making extra money over the mortgage/tax/insurance costs. then when the area is nice enough for you to move in, boom. kick out renters and move in.

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56 minutes ago, cspwal said:

 

Found a house for you - new construction, $155,000, 3 bed 2 bath, inside the loop

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3506-Tuam-St-Houston-TX-77004/27756257_zpid/

 

No tolls needed

Here's the view of the houses across the street...

 

That's your options for living toll free in houston, unless you have a million dollars to live in river oaks.

 

 

taumstparadise.jpg

Edited by VinnyVincent

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13 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

 

You know that's hilarious.

 

When people aren't willing to jump into a neighborhood when it's moving up because it's 'too sketchy' or 'too dangerous'.

 

Then, in 5 years when it's out of their price range, they can't afford to move there and they complain because they can't afford it.

 

good job. enjoy paying your tolls. enjoy the addition of more toll roads in your area that will force you to pay even more tolls than you currently do, and finally, enjoy the increased price of the tolls as they need even more money to expand the toll system to account for people who want the same suburban lifestyle you wanted 10 years ago, but they want it even farther out of town because traffic in your area sucks. Expanding 249 to College Station as a tollroad. College Station is going to be a commuter town for Houston. LOL.

 

 

Dude there's crack houses across the street. No reasonable person is going to move their family into that house.

Edited by VinnyVincent

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BTW what are the property taxes like on those houses? Outrageous I'd imagine.

FYI they are now diverting tax money from the appraisal district into road construction too...so you guys enjoy paying your inflated property taxes that everyone has been noticing the past few years.

They just passed that which is why they have been going up so much.

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The property taxes would be even higher if it was paying for new freeways.

 

just saying

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Just now, cspwal said:

The property taxes would be even higher if it was paying for new freeways.

 

just saying

The point is the gas tax is supposed to be paying for new freeways and that money is being diverted to less important BS...so instead of fixing that they raise property taxes AND tolls have gone up.

 

SO we are being triple taxed and apparently a lot of this is going to simply "maintain" the roads.

Yeah right. If they were dumping that kind of cash into road maintenance, we should be driving on silky smooth roads with a surface less than 10 years old on each of them.

Instead I have to change my shocks out every 75K because they are so worn out...

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48 minutes ago, VinnyVincent said:

The point is the gas tax is supposed to be paying for new freeways and that money is being diverted to less important BS...so instead of fixing that they raise property taxes AND tolls have gone up.

 

SO we are being triple taxed and apparently a lot of this is going to simply "maintain" the roads.

Yeah right. If they were dumping that kind of cash into road maintenance, we should be driving on silky smooth roads with a surface less than 10 years old on each of them.

Instead I have to change my shocks out every 75K because they are so worn out...

 

What "BS" is it going to instead?

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13 minutes ago, Triton said:

 

What "BS" is it going to instead?

Doesn't matter. What matter is that it's supposed to be going to roads and it's not.

So instead they have increased our property taxes to help supplement the gas tax they are abusing.

Tolls have gone up as well...

 

Still all new roads are toll roads. Ridiculous.

Edited by VinnyVincent

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

My property tax is about 2.5%

 

The last appraisal I got from the judge was $170k value?

 

So just over $4000. The majority goes to schools. I'd have to pay attention to the percentages.

 

Here's a fun article for you take a gander at:

http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents/Publications/Primer/Highway Funding Primer 312012.pdf

That's old. I wonder how much we're getting ripped off on our property tax that is now being used for roads...

 

EDIT: Also you already know that whole thing is somewhat false. They have a chart showing you how the gas tax is spent. They have 75% of the funds going to roads and 25% going to schools on that chart. We already know that's false. You said yourself the money was being spent on other things didn't you?

Edited by VinnyVincent

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4 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Fig2-revised.png 

Which means next to nothing when you consider the fact that they aren't using the money on roads to begin with, like they are supposed to...

Edited by VinnyVincent

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Even with the toll roads, there are plenty of ways to get around town. When visiting friends in Pearland from the northwest, I take 290 straight toward 610, work counter-clockwise, then go south on 288. It's less mileage too I believe. Back when I lacked a tolltag and didn't have enough change, I also went from Bellaire toward 290 on the Beltway. There were maybe 15 lights and traffic was bad, but it was just as bad on the tollway too (it was a Friday afternoon). When I lived in Spring Branch, exiting Gessner was just as fast, and the times I went meant very little traffic on it (heck, it wasn't even four lanes near Hempstead Hwy. even 10 years ago).

 

Point is, for a vast majority of what you're trying to do, there are ways to avoid tolls without destroying your commute. I dare say that if you mentioned your neighborhood and your work, we would probably point out that you don't pay tolls at all, but then get lectured because it's the "principle" of it.

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I will grant that when I am going to Tomball I really wish I updated the CC on my eztag account. it adds 30 minutes to my drive.

 

There's no way I'd consider living up there.

 

Certainly if I had to live up there, then there's no way I'd consider living up there without an eztag.

Edited by samagon

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25 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

Even with the toll roads, there are plenty of ways to get around town. When visiting friends in Pearland from the northwest, I take 290 straight toward 610, work counter-clockwise, then go south on 288. It's less mileage too

That's the route I take every day. 290@1960 - 288 and 610. it takes 1-2 hours in traffic and 32 minutes without.

If I want to take BW8 it's 10 dollars round trip AKA well over 3000 a year to commute that route to work...

Edited by VinnyVincent

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5 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

 

Doesn't matter. What matter is that it's supposed to be going to roads and it's not.

So instead they have increased our property taxes to help supplement the gas tax they are abusing.

Tolls have gone up as well...

 

Still all new roads are toll roads. Ridiculous.

 

I am curious why you're saying it's not going to roads... is that just your perception? This is a pretty big country and, in our city alone, we see construction of major projects such as 290 and that portion of 610 (mostly non-tolled except express lanes), and we see the massive 45 project ahead, again mostly non-tolled except for express lanes. Anyone have any figures on gas tax/property tax going to highway construction?

 

I am not sure whether this website has a liberal or conservative bias but this is an interesting read on numbers alone:

 

http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-tolls-pay-only-third-state-local-road-spending

 

Sounds like not enough money is even raised from tolls and especially not from the gas tax either. Appears a majority of projects require federal funds.

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7 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

Dude there's crack houses across the street. No reasonable person is going to move their family into that house.

Those aren't crack houses, they are old, poorly maintained houses where poor people live. There are very few crack houses. Those houses are probably going to disappear soon, as they are all owned by the same company. The location is just a few blocks from UH.

 

 

7 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

BTW what are the property taxes like on those houses? Outrageous I'd imagine.

FYI they are now diverting tax money from the appraisal district into road construction too...so you guys enjoy paying your inflated property taxes that everyone has been noticing the past few years.

They just passed that which is why they have been going up so much.

 

For the 5 lots along Tuam with the small houses, about $10,000 last year http://www.hctax.net/Property/TaxStatement?Account=0171580000002

The appraisal district doesn't collect taxes, so your statement about them being diverted is meaningless. Tax rates hven't really gone up, but property values have, which has increased taxes

 

30 minutes ago, Triton said:

 

Sounds like not enough money is even raised from tolls and especially not from the gas tax either. Appears a majority of projects require federal funds.

Exactly, and the feds don't fund a lot of roads that are needed.

 

 

8 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

LOL you must not be from Houston either.

 

I have a girlfriend, who has a daughter and I'd like to not risk them getting raped when they are walking outside to get the mail.

That neighborhood isn't as dangerous as you think it is.

 

 

20 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

I have a little experience in reading financials. I'm not a financial analyst or anything, but I've looked at quite a few back when I was trying to make some money in the stock market.

 

From what I understand it is VERY easy to manipulate a financial statement that is audited.

 

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental-analysis/financial-statement-manipulation.asp

 

But do you know what makes it even easier? When you have the amount of money, power and influence that HCTRA has.

The site you linked to is aimed at corporations, which have more ways to state their financials than a government organization. My 30 years of accounting experience tells me that the HCTRA financials are not manipulated. Government accounting rules do not allow as much leeway as corporate standards. Besides, there's little incentive for HCTRA to lie.

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13 minutes ago, Ross said:

For the 5 lots along Tuam with the small houses, about $10,000 last year http://www.hctax.net/Property/TaxStatement?Account=0171580000002

The appraisal district doesn't collect taxes, so your statement about them being diverted is meaningless. Tax rates hven't really gone up, but property values have, which has increased taxes

Saying the tax rate hasn't gone up is a technicality. Sure the rate has stayed the same, but recently they have been pulling some shenanigans where they are grossly overvaluing peoples homes in order to get more tax out of them. This all seems to have coincided with property tax funds being diverted into roads.

 

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/shakedown-the-hcad-appraisal-game-6597876

Exactly, and the feds don't fund a lot of roads that are needed.

 

 

That neighborhood isn't as dangerous as you think it is.

It's surrounded by some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. Somehow I'm thinking it is dangerous. Look at the street view on google maps. There's trash all over the road, people wandering the streets in rags...that neighborhood is the ghetto by most peoples standards.

I'm fairly familiar with that area because I often ride my bicycle on that brays bayou trail, ironically enough to kill time in order to avoid afternoon traffic.

 

 

The site you linked to is aimed at corporations, which have more ways to state their financials than a government organization. My 30 years of accounting experience tells me that the HCTRA financials are not manipulated. Government accounting rules do not allow as much leeway as corporate standards. Besides, there's little incentive for HCTRA to lie.

Even if their financial report checks out, that still doesn't mean they aren't doing shady crap like loaning money to other tolling agencies.  They need to go. THere's no room for appointed positions when it comes to tolling our roads. When I get onto BW8 I am paying for them to build more toll roads. I thought toll roads were a way to pay for the road you are riding on...now we've moved that goalpost and I'm paying for "other peoples roads"?(although their roads will also be tolled) What's the point of tolling if they are going to do that? It's just not an efficient use of our money.

 

 

I actually looked at property over in sunny side near where I work...somewhere to build like a small second house where I could relax for a few hours after work and wit on traffic to die down.

I finally concluded that I'd probably rather sit in my car than risk my life spending time in that area. Plus the property tax's were crazy and if you wanted to say, add a culvert for a driveway, by the time you got done paying off the county to do that it was almost ten grand. That's before even pulling any permits...so yeah I ended up getting property in Grimes county instead. I'm sure they'll turn 1788 into a toll road before too long and I'll be stuck paying 10 dollars to visit my rural property.

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

 

I am curious why you're saying it's not going to roads... i

I'm just repeating what some of the pro-toll people in this thread have said and also some of the anti-toll sites I've read seem to be of that opinion. Also by their own admittance 25% is going to education.

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8 hours ago, samagon said:

The last appraisal I got from the judge was $170k value?

I just noticed this. You had to go to court to determine what your house is worth? :lol:

 

Sounds like they really hit you guys hard in the inner city lol

 

 

Edited by VinnyVincent

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What property taxes are being diverted to roads? Harris County always spends money on roads, that's one of the functions of a County in Texas.

 

The HCTRA financials will spell out any loans made - that's stuff is a required disclosure in a footnote somewhere. Reading footnotes is mandatory for financial statement understanding.

 

If you live in Grimes County, I don't want to hear complaints about commute times. You did that to yourself.

 

I live inside the loop. My house, and the houses around me are all valued pretty close to market value. Some people are willing to exert more effort taking the appraisal district to court. I'm not, since it would not make any difference.

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6 minutes ago, Ross said:

 

If you live in Grimes County, I don't want to hear complaints about commute times. You did that to yourself.

no no no, I'm talking investment property, not where I live. I live off 290 and 1960 near cypress/jersey village. 

I was considering investing in a second property in sunny side...ironically enough so I could kill time waiting on traffic to die down before I drive home each evening...but went with Grimes Co. instead(no building codes enforced)

Edited by VinnyVincent

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22 minutes ago, Ross said:

What property taxes are being diverted to roads? Harris County always spends money on roads, that's one of the functions of a County in Texas.

Quote

Representative Doug Miller introduced SB 1110 (in 2013), that heists property taxes (through appraisal increases) for transportation projects and expands the use of Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ) from strictly FREEways to toll roads, rail, transit, and dedicated bike lanes. WE"RE DIVERTING GAS TAX AWAY FROM TOLL ROADS AND THIS GUY WANTS TO TAKE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES TO MAKE UP FOR THE TAX SHORTAGE ON ROADS - THAT ARE BEING TAKEN FROM GAS TAXES. ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL. 

 

https://www.change.org/p/texans-for-toll-free-highways-heavily-reform-toll-roads-by-legislation-or-litigation-sign-the-petition

 

Perhaps this is inaccurate? I haven't looked into anything about SB 1110...

 

 

22 minutes ago, Ross said:

 

The HCTRA financials will spell out any loans made - that's stuff is a required disclosure in a footnote somewhere. Reading footnotes is mandatory for financial statement understanding.

 

So what about this? http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Harris-County-OKs-20M-loan-for-MoCo-toll-road-5997311.php

 

 

I live inside the loop. My house, and the houses around me are all valued pretty close to market value. Some people are willing to exert more effort taking the appraisal district to court. I'm not, since it would not make any difference.

 

It sure is a shame that some people in certain areas aren't even able to simply live in a city without having to take that city to court for trying to rip them off...

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6 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

 

 

I actually looked at property over in sunny side near where I work...somewhere to build like a small second house where I could relax for a few hours after work and wit on traffic to die down.

I finally concluded that I'd probably rather sit in my car than risk my life spending time in that area. 

3

 

I guess the old timers out there in Sunnyside ought to thank their lucky stars that they haven't died in that battlezone despite being there 50-60 years! <_<

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7 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

 

 

It sure is a shame that some people in certain areas aren't even able to simply live in a city without having to take that city to court for trying to rip them off...

You don't sue the City, you sue the appraisal district that sets the values. The City is just along for the ride.

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21 hours ago, Triton said:

 

I am curious why you're saying it's not going to roads... is that just your perception? This is a pretty big country and, in our city alone, we see construction of major projects such as 290 and that portion of 610 (mostly non-tolled except express lanes), and we see the massive 45 project ahead, again mostly non-tolled except for express lanes. Anyone have any figures on gas tax/property tax going to highway construction?

 

I am not sure whether this website has a liberal or conservative bias but this is an interesting read on numbers alone:

 

http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-tolls-pay-only-third-state-local-road-spending

 

Sounds like not enough money is even raised from tolls and especially not from the gas tax either. Appears a majority of projects require federal funds.

 

http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents/Publications/Primer/Highway Funding Primer 312012.pdf

 

is what I had found.

 

19 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

I just noticed this. You had to go to court to determine what your house is worth? :lol:

 

Sounds like they really hit you guys hard in the inner city lol

 

 

 

ha, no. nothing so spectacular. IIRC, the last tax assessor collector had judge on his name in some way, or was previously a judge, or whatever. anyway, whenever I looked at the letter from the tax assessor collector's office it would say "from the office of judge blah blah blah" or that's what I remember having read. maybe my mind added that. anyway, not spectacular at all.

 

as an aside, we probably pass each other on that brays bayou trail. I ride in the afternoons when I get home from work. amazing isn't it? I work in downtown leave my house at 7:00am, walk into my office at 7:15am. then I leave at 4:30pm, pull into my driveway at home at 4:45pm and am on the brays bayou trail no later than 5pm. I don't ride during standard time, only DST, too dark too early :(

 

For me, it's less about the $3000 wasted in tolls, but the time you lose each day. 1-2 hours each way in traffic? that's 2-4 hours a day. I mean, split the difference and call it 3 hours a day. at 240 working days a year (52 weeks, -4 weeks for holidays and vacation multiplied by 5 days a week), that's 720 hours you waste. extrapolate to days. 30 days wasted in your car. Take my $3000 I could care less, but a whole month in the car. I am so sorry. 

 

My quality of life is so much better now that I have a ~15 minute commute. I will never again have a 1 hour or more commute. ever. never ever. 

Edited by samagon
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That sounds... great.

 

So... why does everyone keep talking about tool roads like its a positive thing?

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because people still insist on living in locations that are too sparsely populated to support a state funded freeway, and they are happy (well, most are happy) to pay $3000 a year for the privilege of a 1-2 hour commute.

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Alternatively, those of us who live outside the beloved Loop may do so because we can't afford anything reasonably nice closer in. I never minded my commute when I did it. It was so nice to come home to a peaceful suburb, it was all worth it.

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On 1/24/2017 at 0:21 PM, LTAWACS said:

That sounds... great.

 

So... why does everyone keep talking about tool roads like its a positive thing?

 

Because I get to opt out of paying for roads that I don't use.

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On 1/24/2017 at 6:27 PM, gmac said:

Alternatively, those of us who live outside the beloved Loop may do so because we can't afford anything reasonably nice closer in. I never minded my commute when I did it. It was so nice to come home to a peaceful suburb, it was all worth it.

 

right, isn't that what I said :)

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5 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

Yup and they get to throw huge parties off the books with peoples money who did pay to use the road...


http://corridornews.blogspot.com/2007/06/huge-parties-by-hctra-and-its-vendors.html

 

quoted because if you read that you're going to delete it. lol, you didn't read a single word of that did you?

 

literally, the second paragraph:

 

Quote

Contractors doing business with the county paid thousands of dollars for a picnic for Harris County Toll Road Authority employees last year

underlined... CONTRACTORS paid this. people who use the road didn't pay this.

 

yes, it was off the books. yes, it's going to be classified as unethical and probably never happen again.

 

but it wasn't what you suggest.

Edited by samagon

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6 hours ago, samagon said:

quoted because if you read that you're going to delete it. lol, you didn't read a single word of that did you?

 

literally, the second paragraph:

 

underlined... CONTRACTORS paid this. people who use the road didn't pay this.

 

yes, it was off the books. yes, it's going to be classified as unethical and probably never happen again.

 

but it wasn't what you suggest.

I have no dog in this hunt.  But, I did read the linked article.

 

From whom, back in 2007, did the contractors (I.e vendors) who worked for the toll road authority get paid?  

 

Was it the toll road authority?  

 

If so, where did the toll road authority get its funds?

 

tolls?

 

"contractors" are any business doing business with the toll road authority.......  could be someone providing office supplies, office furniture, document management, legal services, ..... anything...... all of those folks, back in 2007 were "hit up" to pay for a picnic.... seemingly as a cost of doing business with the toll road authority.  So, they simply charge a little more for their services and bill the tool road authority a bit more and are paid in ..... toll road user tolls.......

 

am i missing something?

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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I don't disagree with that, but...

 

presumably the prices the contractors bid have to go through review and ensure they are commiserate with other projects?

 

presumably these contractors do business with other roadways?

 

so yeah, I'm sure there's some costs that get back to the tollway users, but it's pretty well defrayed.

 

again, not saying it is especially legal in a world where we need to ensure that there aren't any chances of an ethics violation.

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*sigh*.... lets just get rid of the darned tolls one that particular stretch of road is paid for already?????

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On 1/30/2017 at 9:55 AM, LTAWACS said:

*sigh*.... lets just get rid of the darned tolls one that particular stretch of road is paid for already?????

I'd be happy with that bit of progress. At least shut down the one thats been paid for 12 times over.

Without doing that, they're using toll money simply to fund more toll roads. It's like a tax with the added weight of a private company to support.

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11 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

I'd be happy with that bit of progress. At least shut down the one thats been paid for 12 times over.

Without doing that, they're using toll money simply to fund more toll roads. It's like a tax with the added weight of a private company to support.

 

But that's the point!

 

Use the high volume existing toll roads to fund new toll roads and pay for other existing toll roads that under perform.

 

Anyone who chose to live next to a toll road with the expectation that at some point in the future the tolls would no longer be charged let themselves be suckered.

 

Progress would be that METRO and HCTRA are combined and for every dollar spent on toll roads an equal dollar must be spent on mass transit (commuter rail, light rail, subway, buses, etc).

Edited by samagon
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10 hours ago, samagon said:

 

But that's the point!

 

Use the high volume existing toll roads to fund new toll roads and pay for other existing toll roads that under perform.

 

Anyone who chose to live next to a toll road with the expectation that at some point in the future the tolls would no longer be charged let themselves be suckered.

 

Progress would be that METRO and HCTRA are combined and for every dollar spent on toll roads an equal dollar must be spent on mass transit (commuter rail, light rail, subway, buses, etc).

But isn't the argument for toll roads "You aren't going to increase my taxes to pay for roads I don't use!"? Well, by paying to ride on a road that's been paid off already, you are paying for other roads that you probably don't use. Most people who use BW8 on a regular basis aren't using the hardy on a regular basis.

It's the exact same thing as a tax, but the cost is higher because they are #1 for profit and #2 their executives are overly paid. There's also a lot of what essentially amounts to bribery/back scratching going on.(I'm thinking county commissioners here)

 

What's more, they secure funding from investors to build new roads. Why do they need BW8? Foreign Investors are beating down the door to buy more of our public land, so they can charge us to use it...shouldn't be too hard to get all the money that way. The only reason I see to keep BW8 tolls open is greed.

 

249 used to be a decent free highway. Now the poor people who have always lives there are reduced to some cheesy little feeder road that got squeezed in as a technicality. That toll road made traffic in that area worse, not better, because no one uses it.

 

 

 

Edited by VinnyVincent

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21 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

I'd be happy with that bit of progress. At least shut down the one thats been paid for 12 times over.

Without doing that, they're using toll money simply to fund more toll roads. It's like a tax with the added weight of a private company to support.

Roads (or any transportation network) aren't just "build once and ignore forever" no matter how you slice it, because once you take a road off of funding, it will fall apart. Imagine the Houston freeways having the sort of potholes some of the late 1970s/1980s roads have gotten prior to rebuilding. Richmond, Broadway, maybe Gessner north of I-10, all that. And of course, maintenance for emergency situations. They repaired Beltway 8 south of I-10 following damage from Harvey. Imagine if they didn't repair it or just scrounged up enough cash to plug the most problematic areas with asphalt. Or expansion, like how Beltway 8 and 288 is getting a shiny five-stack, or at least the first phases of it.

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42 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

Roads (or any transportation network) aren't just "build once and ignore forever" no matter how you slice it, because once you take a road off of funding, it will fall apart. Imagine the Houston freeways having the sort of potholes some of the late 1970s/1980s roads have gotten prior to rebuilding. Richmond, Broadway, maybe Gessner north of I-10, all that. And of course, maintenance for emergency situations. They repaired Beltway 8 south of I-10 following damage from Harvey. Imagine if they didn't repair it or just scrounged up enough cash to plug the most problematic areas with asphalt. Or expansion, like how Beltway 8 and 288 is getting a shiny five-stack, or at least the first phases of it.

I understand that, but it's well known that the Hardy toll road loses money and is SUBSIDIZED(there's that nasty word people hate when talk of increasing taxes comes) by funds from BW8.

If toll roads are so successful, as you claim, why not charge 30 cents at the booth on BW8 to cover filling of pot holes and here's an idea- how about a VOTE on whether or not we need additional funds to build roads in some areas?

Why I am I stuck paying for someones bad business decision when I ride BW8 but not the Hardy?

 

They fixed the road after hurricane harvey? LOL that's what they're SUPPOSED to do! of course they fixed it. They were losing more money per day in tolls than the repairs cost them no doubt. Gotta keep that money pouring into he county commissioners pockets, right? I bet if the roads were public roads and they got damaged, we could have gotten federal assistance for repairs...

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42 minutes ago, VinnyVincent said:

I understand that, but it's well known that the Hardy toll road loses money and is SUBSIDIZED(there's that nasty word people hate when talk of increasing taxes comes) by funds from BW8.

If toll roads are so successful, as you claim, why not charge 30 cents at the booth on BW8 to cover filling of pot holes and here's an idea- how about a VOTE on whether or not we need additional funds to build roads in some areas?

Why I am I stuck paying for someones bad business decision when I ride BW8 but not the Hardy?

 

They fixed the road after hurricane harvey? LOL that's what they're SUPPOSED to do! of course they fixed it. They were losing more money per day in tolls than the repairs cost them no doubt. Gotta keep that money pouring into he county commissioners pockets, right? I bet if the roads were public roads and they got damaged, we could have gotten federal assistance for repairs...

They ARE public roads. None of the Houston area toll roads are owned by private entities. They are all owned and operated by government agencies.

 

What's your evidence that the Hardy is subsidized by the other segments? Claiming that "it's well known" is not evidence.

 

On the 2016 financials, it shows that HCTRA transferred $124 million to the County for non-toll thoroughfare construction.

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2 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

I understand that, but it's well known that the Hardy toll road loses money and is SUBSIDIZED(there's that nasty word people hate when talk of increasing taxes comes) by funds from BW8.

If toll roads are so successful, as you claim, why not charge 30 cents at the booth on BW8 to cover filling of pot holes and here's an idea- how about a VOTE on whether or not we need additional funds to build roads in some areas?

Why I am I stuck paying for someones bad business decision when I ride BW8 but not the Hardy?

 

They fixed the road after hurricane harvey? LOL that's what they're SUPPOSED to do! of course they fixed it. They were losing more money per day in tolls than the repairs cost them no doubt. Gotta keep that money pouring into he county commissioners pockets, right? I bet if the roads were public roads and they got damaged, we could have gotten federal assistance for repairs...

The Houston Chronicle reported in 1998 that the Hardy Toll Road was still not paying for itself and indicated with their numbers that there needed to be about a 50% increase in toll-paying drivers for it to break even. However, by 2002, the Hardy Toll Road traffic had increased by 50% and has been rising since. (source: Houston Freeways by @MaxConcrete)

 

So yes...you are correct if you were using data from two decades ago. As for your other claim, HCTRA is still a government agency and is eligible for disaster recompensation.

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On 10/11/2017 at 5:43 PM, VinnyVincent said:

But isn't the argument for toll roads "You aren't going to increase my taxes to pay for roads I don't use!"? Well, by paying to ride on a road that's been paid off already, you are paying for other roads that you probably don't use. Most people who use BW8 on a regular basis aren't using the hardy on a regular basis.

It's the exact same thing as a tax, but the cost is higher because they are #1 for profit and #2 their executives are overly paid. There's also a lot of what essentially amounts to bribery/back scratching going on.(I'm thinking county commissioners here)

 

What's more, they secure funding from investors to build new roads. Why do they need BW8? Foreign Investors are beating down the door to buy more of our public land, so they can charge us to use it...shouldn't be too hard to get all the money that way. The only reason I see to keep BW8 tolls open is greed.

 

249 used to be a decent free highway. Now the poor people who have always lives there are reduced to some cheesy little feeder road that got squeezed in as a technicality. That toll road made traffic in that area worse, not better, because no one uses it.

 

 

 

 

Taxes aren't increased to pay for roads you don't use. Tolls are collected on tollroads to help pay for new tollroads. You also have a choice to not take the tollroad. My taxes have not once gone up to pay for tollroads.

 

Now, to the point where you are lying...

 

I've been on 249, both before and after the tollroad was added. they absolutely did not add tolls to an already existing freeway as you suggest. Where the freeway ended is still where the freeway portion of the road ends, they added tolled lanes beyond where the freeway had always ended.

 

Simply put, 249 freeway always ended between Spring Cypress and Northpoint Blvd. The last free exit is currently after Spring Cypress, for Northpoint Blvd.

 

So you are lying when you say the people are now 'reduced' to some cheesy feeder. After Spring Cypress all that was available was a feeder road.

 

Traffic in the area is worse because there are more people living all over the place up there. Traffic in the area will continue to get worse because they are building more and more homes. 

 

Confirmation of your lie about what 249 was/is, and confirmation of new neighborhoods can both be seen on historic aerials.

 

You don't like tollways, that's fine, but you don't need to lie to try and bolster your argument that they are pure concentrated evil.

 

It may come as a surprise, but I don't like tollways either. I haven't been on a tollway in over 10 years since I moved away from beltway 8. I don't like them, but I do recognize and appreciate their value as a method of quickly increasing car mobility in a given area without raising taxes.

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To be fair, they've added a lot of stoplights to the 249 feeder that weren't there before in order to accommodate those fancy overpasses. The medians that used to let you cut across were taken over for the toll lanes and you now have to drive farther to get around the other side.

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29 minutes ago, brian0123 said:

To be fair, they've added a lot of stoplights to the 249 feeder that weren't there before in order to accommodate those fancy overpasses. The medians that used to let you cut across were taken over for the toll lanes and you now have to drive farther to get around the other side.

There were a few crossing areas that were taken out because they weren't really meant to have overpasses to begin with (generally, the ones that were supposed to have full interchanges had turnaround lanes and were perpendicular to the frontage roads, whereas the ones that were temporarily weren't). As an example, the crossing between Canyon Gate Pointe Drive and 3 Lakes Blvd. was temporary. As to why the stoplights are still there, I don't know. Just eyeballing it on Google Earth, the only new stoplights added were two for Grand Parkway, which is standard for intersecting freeways in Houston. Looks like they have the right of way cut out for the eventual five-stack ramps.

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 7:52 PM, brian0123 said:

To be fair, they've added a lot of stoplights to the 249 feeder that weren't there before in order to accommodate those fancy overpasses. The medians that used to let you cut across were taken over for the toll lanes and you now have to drive farther to get around the other side.

 

They also do this to annoy the hell out of non-toll-road users in order to frustrate them to the point where they DO purchase an EZ tag. Eff them.

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On 10/18/2017 at 1:30 PM, samagon said:

 

Taxes aren't increased to pay for roads you don't use. Tolls are collected on tollroads to help pay for new tollroads. You also have a choice to not take the tollroad. My taxes have not once gone up to pay for tollroads.

 

Now, to the point where you are lying...

 

I've been on 249, both before and after the tollroad was added. they absolutely did not add tolls to an already existing freeway as you suggest. Where the freeway ended is still where the freeway portion of the road ends, they added tolled lanes beyond where the freeway had always ended.

 

Simply put, 249 freeway always ended between Spring Cypress and Northpoint Blvd. The last free exit is currently after Spring Cypress, for Northpoint Blvd.

 

So you are lying when you say the people are now 'reduced' to some cheesy feeder. After Spring Cypress all that was available was a feeder road.

 

Traffic in the area is worse because there are more people living all over the place up there. Traffic in the area will continue to get worse because they are building more and more homes. 

 

Confirmation of your lie about what 249 was/is, and confirmation of new neighborhoods can both be seen on historic aerials.

 

You don't like tollways, that's fine, but you don't need to lie to try and bolster your argument that they are pure concentrated evil.

 

It may come as a surprise, but I don't like tollways either. I haven't been on a tollway in over 10 years since I moved away from beltway 8. I don't like them, but I do recognize and appreciate their value as a method of quickly increasing car mobility in a given area without raising taxes.

 

Sounds like the fella has more of a socio-econo-political axe to grind than any logical or practical solution to traffic.

The only solution is autonomous vehicles. Traffic is caused by drivers with the lowest threshold of skill.

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