Letter to the Editor
Wed, 05/14/2014 - 5:00pm Sanmarcos1
MoPac not in best interest of residents of Hays County
If you think toll roads work well, all you have to do is to look at states that have had them for decades. Some of those states are New York, New Jersey, California, to name a few. Toll roads add long-term debt, more traffic, pollution and they are private roads for the wealthy who can afford them.
Please remove the proposed $100 million SH 45 SW “aquifer toll road” from the 2015 to 2018 Transportation Improvement Plan. If built, the project would make congestion on MoPac worse while polluting the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer.
CAMPO’s own December 2013 traffic study showed that building the SH 45 SW aquifer toll road will divert traffic from Interstate 35 to MoPac, which is already overloaded. Only a relatively few Hays county commuters will benefit at the expense of current MoPac commuters, MoPac corridor neighbors, taxpayers, and Barton Springs.
The $100 million cost of SH 45 SW should be directed to projects that improve traffic flow on IH-35, provide transit options to north-south commuters, and encourage development and use of the SH 130 corridor.
The proposed SH 45 SW is really just one piece of the larger project to convert MoPac to a western alternative IH-35. This loop and bypass plan should be studied first, as one whole project, rather than pursued in piecemeal fashion. MoPac should continue to serve primarily as a local commuter highway, with limited access at the south end, until such time as all of the costs, benefits and environmental impacts of expanding MoPac to a full freeway, expanding the MoPac bridge over Lady Bird Lake, and building SH 45 SW are considered together.
Thank you for your consideration. Please start working in the best interests of the entire community and not merely for special interest and/or the wealthy.