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VinnyVincent

Toll road protest organization

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There has to be some kind of action we can take as everyday citizens against all this rampant toll road expansion around here.

That land they are using to build the 288 toll road; Doesn't it belong to the taxpayers? Why are we being charged to build a road on that land? 

If they are going to use that land every citizen in the county should be reimbursed for that land they took from us.

 

Any ideas?

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21 minutes ago, placoors said:

When corridorwatch.org was around they may have done some of the things you are talking about:

 

http://www.corridorwatch.org/ttc/

Man great info on there, thanks!

 

The idea I have would be something along the lines of the critical mass event.

Something to raise awareness as to just how many of us motorists have totally had it.

I'm stuck when it comes to thinking of an effective, yet legal way to do that...

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Once again, you completely ignore the fact that there is not enough tax revenue to build the roads. Until such time as the folks in the Legislature decide to raise taxes high enough to cover maintenance plus new roads, we will get toll roads in large cities.

 

The land on 288 was bought decades ago, either through negotiated purchase or condemnation. That land never belonged to you, or me, or anyone who didn't own it at the time it was bought, so what is this crap about " every citizen in the county should be reimbursed for that land they took from us "

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16 minutes ago, Ross said:

Once again, you completely ignore the fact that there is not enough tax revenue to build the roads. Until such time as the folks in the Legislature decide to raise taxes high enough to cover maintenance plus new roads, we will get toll roads in large cities.

 

That's the thing though Ross, with the current attitude of the general public, why would they raise taxes when they can just continue with building  toll roads all over the place with little to no backlash? After all they are a cash cow and they free up other tax dollars to fund their pet projects, all while likely receiving a paycheck from entities who stand to benefit from the proliferation of toll roads.

 

AT the end of the day there is plenty of tax revenue because that's all that tolls are; an overpriced tax. 

Problem is they are looking at roads as a revenue generating opportunity and not to increase mobility because it's gotten so out of hand. 

Look at the hardy toll road. How long was that subsidized? Let's be real here, they did not need to build that road and it's just like 288...they are building because it is a good business opportunity and when that fails, your outrageous tolls on BW8 will have to pay for it too.

 

 

Look Ross, I think at the very least we can both agree that the situation is totally out of control. I mean if we need to toll the roads we need to toll them, but check out that link I just posted up nd it outlines what I think are some reasonable suggestions for regulating the toll road operators.

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45 minutes ago, Ross said:

The land on 288 was bought decades ago, either through negotiated purchase or condemnation. That land never belonged to you, or me, or anyone who didn't own it at the time it was bought, so what is this crap about " every citizen in the county should be reimbursed for that land they took from us "

 

Is it not public land? I would have thought that the land would have been purchased/secured back when they initially built 288.

Now they are paving over it(saving tons of money not having to buy or clear any land to build their little toll road scam) and charging people to drive on it. To me that's not much better than just converting the whole thing into a toll road.

Why didn't they build their toll road elsewhere? Because it's not as profitable since they would actually have to purchase the land, that's why. Instead they have encroached on a public road and made it a "private" thing.

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1 hour ago, Ross said:

Once again, you completely ignore the fact that there is not enough tax revenue to build the roads. Until such time as the folks in the Legislature decide to raise taxes high enough to cover maintenance plus new roads, we will get toll roads in large cities.

 

The land on 288 was bought decades ago, either through negotiated purchase or condemnation. That land never belonged to you, or me, or anyone who didn't own it at the time it was bought, so what is this crap about " every citizen in the county should be reimbursed for that land they took from us "

 

No. How the heck were all the freeways around here built then?

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14 minutes ago, LTAWACS said:

 

No. How the heck were all the freeways around here built then?

Federal dollars for some, and state dollars in the days where there was enough tax revenue to fund them.

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Not sure how the tax rate has remained the same, population has increased, but somehow now we can't even afford to maintain roads when we used to build them.

 

Edited by VinnyVincent

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9 hours ago, Ross said:

Federal dollars for some, and state dollars in the days where there was enough tax revenue to fund them.

Our elected apes need to find a way - without tolls - to fund more roads. If they did it once, they can do it again.

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11 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

Not sure how the tax rate has remained the same, population has increased, but somehow now we can't even afford to maintain roads when we used to build them.

 

Inflation. A quarter isn't half of what it was in 1990. The cost of construction materials has skyrocketed as well. Meanwhile, it is an article of faith for a good portion of the electorate that any tax increase, even one tied to the Consumer Price Index, is inherently tyrannical.

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3 hours ago, ADCS said:

Inflation. A quarter isn't half of what it was in 1990. The cost of construction materials has skyrocketed as well. Meanwhile, it is an article of faith for a good portion of the electorate that any tax increase, even one tied to the Consumer Price Index, is inherently tyrannical.

That's true but the population has what? Tripled? Cars on the road has also at least tripled it seems.

They're getting tons of revenue from toll roads now.

Yet for some reason it seems like we can barely afford to do a half job maintaining the roads that already exist. It's bizarre...

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22 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

There has to be some kind of action we can take as everyday citizens against all this rampant toll road expansion around here.

That land they are using to build the 288 toll road; Doesn't it belong to the taxpayers? Why are we being charged to build a road on that land? 

If they are going to use that land every citizen in the county should be reimbursed for that land they took from us.

 

Any ideas?

 

Here's an idea: Do some research.  Make some attempt to actually know what your are talking about. 

 

The company building the 288 toll lanes is paying "us" for the right to use the right-of-way. It's all there in the development agreement.

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26 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Here's an idea: Do some research.  Make some attempt to actually know what your are talking about. 

 

The company building the 288 toll lanes is paying "us" for the right to use the right-of-way. It's all there in the development agreement.

That's great. Somehow I doubt I'll be receiving a check in the mail and will still have to pay to use a road that was constructed on public land.

 

So yeah I like my protest idea better than "researching" to try to convince myself I'm not being screwed- I KNOW I'm being screwed. I just paid five dollars one way to work on a road that's been paid off for years. I live here. I see it everyday. Some of us can only go off what they read in google which doesn't always align with reality.

Waiting for the private toll road operator to show us some mercy after we sold our soul to them in some 52 year contract that will probably be renewed after they line the pockets of whatever politician is in office. No thanks.

 

I'm thinking maybe a deal we a whole bunch of cars meet the drive around BW8 as slow as legally possible.

Edited by VinnyVincent

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Here's one of the many reasons HCTRA needs to go away:

 

Quote

"The construction of that road has been paid for 12 times?" we asked Harris County Toll Road Authority Director Peter Key.

"It's one system, it's one system that funds all the needs out there," he said.

http://abc13.com/archive/8671067/

 

Really Mr. Key, like what roads? The hardy toll road? Other roads HCTRA has built?

How about we get rid of HCTRA along with the toll on BW since people who ride BW8 are currently not paying for BW 8, but funding their next cash cow toll road business money making opportunity.

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16 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

Not sure how the tax rate has remained the same, population has increased, but somehow now we can't even afford to maintain roads when we used to build them.

 

money for state funded roads come specifically from taxes collected from gasoline and diesel. 

 

the tax rate is 20 cents per gallon goes to the state, and 18.4 to the national government.

 

That tax rate hasn't been adjusted in over 25 years. Some would argue it's a regressive tax that harms poor people more than rich, which I would agree with. I'd like to see a fuel tax remain to encourage use of more efficient vehicles, but there should be a tax for new cars that is specific to vehicle weight, as the weight of a vehicle has the higher effect on roads over time.

 

as far as not receiving a check from the HCTRA for their use of the 288 median, I'm personally just as happy with not having to pay higher taxes because they are offset a bit by HCTRA paying for use. 

 

tollroads are here to stay because no one wants to commit political suicide by raising the gas tax.

 

I mean, the option is:

 

1. higher gas tax. I end up paying for the roads you are using.

2. more toll roads. you pay for what you use.

 

I like option 2. Cause I don't want to subsidize your decision to live 30 miles outside of the city, and 20 miles from your office.

 

Here's a tip, if you don't like using the tollroads: Move. I live 3 miles from the city core, and I never need to use toll roads. I received a new credit card in the mail 3 years ago when the old one expired. I never updated the card on my eztag account. I just don't use tollroads.

Edited by samagon
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2 minutes ago, samagon said:

money for roads come specifically from taxes collected from gasoline and diesel. 

 

the tax rate is 20 cents per gallon goes to the state, and 18.4 to the national government.

 

That tax rate hasn't been adjusted in over 25 years. Some would argue it's a regressive tax that harms poor people more than rich, which I would agree with. I'd like to see a fuel tax remain to encourage use of more efficient vehicles, but there should be a tax for new cars that is specific to vehicle weight, as the weight of a vehicle has the higher effect on roads over time.

I think it should be a 10% tax on fuel that way it would raise along with gas prices and economic strength, plus further encourage the use of more efficient vehicles.

I tend to agree with your vehicle weight tax as well.

 

With all that being said, people keep saying we can't build roads like we used to because of inflation...however isn't the amount of fuel we are burning significantly higher than what we used to burn? Plus there is toll revenue which seems to be just vanishing without a trace. 

Do vehicle registration fees not go toward roads as well? Those have gone up quite a bit too. It costs +/- 80 dollars to register a vehicle now even though it is less paperwork with their new system.

 

Everything keeps going up, up, up...yet somehow the money we are using to build roads out of that tax pool seems to be going down/we are getting a whole lot less for more money.

 

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Forget raising the fuel tax. Keep it where it is. Assess an additional 1-2 cent charge per mile driven on all vehicles in the state, and dedicate those funds strictly to road repair and construction.

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39 minutes ago, gmac said:

Forget raising the fuel tax. Keep it where it is. Assess an additional 1-2 cent charge per mile driven on all vehicles in the state, and dedicate those funds strictly to road repair and construction.

Seems fair to me. 1 cent a mile for me would be about 150-200 a year VS about 3300 in tolls if I were to take BW8 to work each day instead of sitting on 290 and 45. Would be easy to record mileage during state inspections

Edited by VinnyVincent

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And don't forget to include in the bill for the mileage tax that no new toll roads are to be built, and existing tolls should only to be to pay off current debt. 

 

Seems Totally reasonable to me considering we have no state income tax.

Edited by VinnyVincent

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SO I am asking your thought's on the legality of this idea:

Set up a meet sort of like critical mass. We all meet up and go for a "group drive/ride" on the entire BW8 loop...only we are all going to take up every single lane and drive as slowly as legally possible.dontknow.gif
Think it would work? I mean if I got at least a good 30-50 cars what could they really do about a chunk of cars driving really slow?dontknow.gif

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7 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

With all that being said, people keep saying we can't build roads like we used to because of inflation...however isn't the amount of fuel we are burning significantly higher than what we used to burn? Plus there is toll revenue which seems to be just vanishing without a trace. 

Do vehicle registration fees not go toward roads as well? Those have gone up quite a bit too. It costs +/- 80 dollars to register a vehicle now even though it is less paperwork with their new system.

 

Everything keeps going up, up, up...yet somehow the money we are using to build roads out of that tax pool seems to be going down/we are getting a whole lot less for more money.

 

According to the State Comptroller, fuel tax revenue is essentially flat (rose by 13.5% between 2003 and 2013) while road costs are going up far faster (83% in the same 10 year period). Fuel consumption is essentially flat. More information here http://www.comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2016/february/fuels.php

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2 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

SO I am asking your thought's on the legality of this idea:

Set up a meet sort of like critical mass. We all meet up and go for a "group drive/ride" on the entire BW8 loop...only we are all going to take up every single lane and drive as slowly as legally possible.dontknow.gif
Think it would work? I mean if I got at least a good 30-50 cars what could they really do about a chunk of cars driving really slow?dontknow.gif

 

 

I don't know about the legality of it but it would sure get a lot of people to hate you and your cause just like everyone hates critical mass. Just a bunch of a**holes who think raising awareness is doing something constructive.... we know what your cause is, we just don't care.

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9 hours ago, jgriff said:

 

I don't know about the legality of it but it would sure get a lot of people to hate you and your cause just like everyone hates critical mass. Just a bunch of a**holes who think raising awareness is doing something constructive.... we know what your cause is, we just don't care.

You might hate them but the reality is that they have been very effective in pushing the city to make it more bike friendly by adding bike lanes and the like.

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11 hours ago, Ross said:

According to the State Comptroller, fuel tax revenue is essentially flat (rose by 13.5% between 2003 and 2013) while road costs are going up far faster (83% in the same 10 year period). Fuel consumption is essentially flat. More information here http://www.comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2016/february/fuels.php

 

pretty much.

 

my back of the napkin math says we'd have to increase fuel tax about $1 to cover the costs of new roads. I'm quite ok with pay to play roads.

 

10 hours ago, jgriff said:

 

I don't know about the legality of it but it would sure get a lot of people to hate you and your cause just like everyone hates critical mass. Just a bunch of a**holes who think raising awareness is doing something constructive.... we know what your cause is, we just don't care.

 

I'd LMAO. other people's problems.

 

Realistically though, during high traffic times wouldn't 30 mph just be going with the flow of traffic on some of the tollways? I mean, you'd have to go slower than that.

 

Maybe just stop your vehicles all-together.

 

Convince someone to burn their car each day during heavy traffic. this would shut down the entire freeway for a period of time.

 

I'm throwing out pure gold here!

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Couch burnings are popular after sports wins, so maybe they could be used for toll road protests?

 

I know! A giant troll doll, that you have burning in the median.  Call it Burning Troll or something

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So you guys admit that people are paying outrageous fees to use a road that was paid off so long ago that now it's just about as slow as the free roads.

 

At any rate, I plan on doing this in the evening after people are off work. I'm thinking 7p.m.

Should still be enough traffic to have an effect but not so much that they were already barely moving anyways.

We would also travel along a strategic section that is laid out best for our cause.(not parts where it is 7+ lanes)

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7 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

You might hate them but the reality is that they have been very effective in pushing the city to make it more bike friendly by adding bike lanes and the like.

We got bike lanes way before critical mass. They were mandated by the feds. Even my hardcore biking friends hate critical mass. The PR damage they've done is far worse than any good they've done.

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3 minutes ago, jgriff said:

We got bike lanes way before critical mass. They were mandated by the feds. Even my hardcore biking friends hate critical mass. The PR damage they've done is far worse than any good they've done.

Trust me you got a lot more because of critical mass. The PR thing, that's your opinion. Ever hear of bike houston and the houston bike plan? Both of those are connected to the critical mass event.

 

The event has been very successful nationwide, in spite of what you and your cyclist friends think.

I think if I model this toll road protest after them, it can also be successful.

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Critical Mass is scheduled regularly and has police escorts, and supporters of Critical Mass would claim that they're trying to raise bicycle awareness on the roads (you know, share the road and all) and bike at a normal speed, and not "I specifically aim to be an asshole to antagonize others into doing what I want", which is what you seem to be suggesting.

 

Secondly, bicycling has gotten a better reputation and even in areas that don't have Critical Mass (like, say, College Station-Bryan) bicycling improvements have gotten much better. Correlation doesn't equal causation, bud.

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3 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Critical Mass is scheduled regularly and has police escorts, and supporters of Critical Mass would claim that they're trying to raise bicycle awareness on the roads (you know, share the road and all) and bike at a normal speed, and not "I specifically aim to be an asshole to antagonize others into doing what I want", which is what you seem to be suggesting.

 

Secondly, bicycling has gotten a better reputation and even in areas that don't have Critical Mass (like, say, College Station-Bryan) bicycling improvements have gotten much better. Correlation doesn't equal causation, bud.

Critical Mass certainly didn't start out with police escorts. On the contrary they were often harassed by police before they grew to such large numbers.

What I'm suggesting is no different than the critical mass event. It's a regularly scheduled meet where like minded individuals meet to show the morons in Austin that we are tired of this crap. Every new road is a toll road and it's BS.

They don't understand/listen to anyones complaint so apparently citizens need to take action. What would you suggest would be an effective way to get the message across to them?

 

Your second paragraph is a phenomenon known as awareness. Back when houston was designed bikes were not factored in. College station probably doesn't want a bunch of obnoxious cyclists clogging their streets every month, so when they started to get more developed they included bikes in the mix.

Awareness is exactly what we would be raising by participating in this protest.

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Every time I see Critical Mass, my immediate thought is they should all be arrested for traffic offenses, and their bikes impounded. Recently, HPD has been pretty good about stopping them every so often to allow cross traffic to go through. Critical Mass does nothing to further understanding and tolerance for bikes.

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29 minutes ago, Ross said:

Every time I see Critical Mass, my immediate thought is they should all be arrested for traffic offenses, and their bikes impounded. Recently, HPD has been pretty good about stopping them every so often to allow cross traffic to go through. Critical Mass does nothing to further understanding and tolerance for bikes.

Arrested for traffic offenses? Man you pro toll guys sure are starting to sound like you want houston to turn into a police state:P

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3 hours ago, VinnyVincent said:

Critical Mass certainly didn't start out with police escorts. On the contrary they were often harassed by police before they grew to such large numbers.

What I'm suggesting is no different than the critical mass event. It's a regularly scheduled meet where like minded individuals meet to show the morons in Austin that we are tired of this crap. Every new road is a toll road and it's BS.

They don't understand/listen to anyones complaint so apparently citizens need to take action. What would you suggest would be an effective way to get the message across to them?

 

Your second paragraph is a phenomenon known as awareness. Back when houston was designed bikes were not factored in. College station probably doesn't want a bunch of obnoxious cyclists clogging their streets every month, so when they started to get more developed they included bikes in the mix.

Awareness is exactly what we would be raising by participating in this protest.

 

lol you're giving Critical Mass way too much credit

 

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