Friday, April 13, 2007

For Whom the Road Tolls

Before any more mention is made in the Governor's Office or in the Gen Ass about re-introducing toll roads back to Tennessee after nearly a century without them, our state leaders should take responsibility for the following information from yesterday's City Paper:
The federal government has cut back its road funding for Tennessee. But Tennessee did a great deal to hurt itself when it comes to road projects and the quality of life issues they can represent for average, working Tennesseans.

Put simply, the state’s road fund has been plundered to the tune of $280 million by the last two administrations in order to afford other things the state budget would not otherwise permit.

The result has been a slowing of road projects in Tennessee for some time.
The Governor and the Legislators owe it to us to reimburse the state road fund the $280 million that was robbed from it to pay for other projects.

After they've done that, they need to heed these facts about toll roads (via the Denver Post):
86 percent of new toll roads in eight states failed to meet expectations in their first full year.

By year three, 75 percent - 15 of the 20 that have been open that long - remained poor performers.
Any future racketolling scheme in Tennessee would amount to robbing taxpayers to pay for projects for which taxpayers already paid, and it would be double-dipping for projects destined to fail because private toll companies take their toll on taxpayers. Double-dipping is impolite; you take one dip and then end it.

1 comment:

  1. I believe it was Victor Ashe who said, "We have the best roads in the country leading to the worst schools."

    When the highway funds were cut, many people felt roads were overfunded at a time other areas (TennCare and education for example) were facing budget cuts. The ones I remember squawking the most about the cuts were the privately owned road building companies who acted as if we were taking "their" money.

    So if you want to "reimburse" these funds, what area of state government are you willing to cut? And are you saying you are willing to do this to benefit PRIVATE, for profit, builders?