For Whom the Road Tolls

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/lat…

The report also predicts the initial cost to motorists when the first sections open around 2014. Cars and small trucks will pay about 15.2 cents per mile, or $56.24, to travel the entire route. Truckers initially will pay 58.5 cents per mile for a cost of $216.45 to travel the entire route. Final toll rates will be set when the state negotiates contract terms on each section of the toll road.

Do not ask for whom the road tolls, it tolls for you — and me, and everyone else who drives. Now, I realize toll roads are very common in some parts of the country, but around here the Dallas North Tollway stood alone for a long, long time. After the Dallas-Fort Worth turnpike earned out the cost of building it and became a free road, it was the only road around the metroplex area that you had to pay to drive on.

Now it seems toll roads are popping up all over the place. We have the George Bush turnpike, which I admittedly use quite a bit despite my opposition in principle to the concept (I’m even more opposed in practicality to sitting still on I-635 for hours to get across town). Then there’s the extension of the DNT through Frisco, which is under construction. And the proposed Trinity Parkway inside the eastern levee of the Trinity River.

Now they’re going to build the Mother of All Tollways, this 370 mile Trans-Texas corridor. They say we’ll be paying for it for fifty years.

Is it just me, or is there something fundamentally wrong about having to fork over money just to drive on a road? Isn’t building and maintaining roads one of those things our taxes are already supposed to be paying for?

Of course, I guess it beats the proposals by some states to tax everyone for every mile they drive their cars. At least this way, I can choose to avoid the toll roads if I want, and I don’t have more government intrusion collecting information about how much I drive. If I have to, I guess I’ll take the lesser of the two evils.

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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