Yesterday I started an explanation of why I think toll roads are good for everyone. The myth we tackled yesterday was that it was double taxation. You are NOT paying twice to drive a toll road. Let’s move on before the a Anti-Toll Party hunts me down.
Myth # 2: It puts an added burden on the poor.
The second myth is they put an added burden on the poor or don’t provide the poor access. This frankly doesn’t make any sense.
Legislation currently doesn’t allow for existing roads to be converted to toll-only roadways, which means current roads would become upgraded frontage roads with tolled main lanes or new tolls roads would be constructed where none exist that typically include frontage roads (see 183A here in Austin). It doesn’t change the poor’s access, and actually improves what they currently drive on while decreasing the traffic along free frontage roads.
Now I agree that sometimes those lights along the roads seem to be timed terribly which a conspiracy theorist can say is by design to get people to take the toll road, but I think it just shows poor work done by the City in timing the lights, especially the one at Toll Road Loop 1 and Howard Ln. It’s horrendous. And by the way, your city designs the majority of the traffic signal timing, we can’t fully blame TxDOT for that.
The 2nd half of this myth doesn’t follow as well since the poor can choose whether or not to drive the main lanes and pay the tolls. It’s designed to be a choice payment. You pay it if you want to, but don’t have to. Studies have shown that the majority of toll users are in the upper echelon of money-makers, so the case could be made that the burden falls upon the rich who choose to take it, but they are much less fun to defend and fight for.
How does the poor benefit?
No additional money is required of them except what they choose to pay.
The existing roads they use become upgraded roadways as a result and traffic decreases along their daily commute.
Their access is actually upgraded as a result.