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News Flash: September 11th, 2006 - Study CAMPO Agenda Item 5: Agreement for Environmental Justice (9 Pgs.) and within it. The Analysis of the Effects of the Austin Regional Toll System on Environment Justice Populations (186 Pgs.)
Texans Against Tolls Petition To Stop Toll Roads
We the undersigned citizens of Texas, and users of Highways 290 East, 183 South, and 71 East, firmly oppose the tolling of these roads and other currently public highways in Texas. We pledge further to vote our conscience in all upcoming elections.
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My VERY SIMPLE TAKE on the idea of Tolling Hwy 290E
1) Hwy290E is an existing road that has already been already paid for. It was built with our Taxes and CANNOT be taxed again. That, in and of itself, stops any discussion about tolling Hwy290E right there.But further:
2) The necessary upgrades have been anticipated and have already been paid for by our Taxes. Any upgrades due, (or over due), have been delayed by TxDOT in anticipation of the new free money from the tolling Hwy290E scheme.
3) So, pay any costs of upgrading Hwy 290E from the cause. If the traffic flow from IH-35 to Manor is going to be increased because of SH130, then any additional upgrades to Hwy290E needed for this reason should be paid for by the tolls collected from SH130 - NOT FROM ANYWHERE ELSE. In other words - if you are going to build it and you need to charge someone, charge the people using SH130, NOT the people just trying to get back and forth to work and/or school on Hwy290E.
4) The residents of NE Travis county that use Hwy290E on a daily basis, (or anyone else for that matter), SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT pay any additional tax to use our paid, existing roadway.
5) This idea that the Hwy290E Toll Road will be "a road in addition to" the existing flow that we have now and that we will lose nothing, IS A FLAT OUT, BOLD-FACED LIE. The traffic flow on the lanes that they were NOT going to toll because they will be used as access roads, would be reduced by ingress, egress, intersections and a 20mph lower speed limit than exists now - that is NOT what we have now.
6) The building of a NEW roadway, one that had not existed before, like SH130 and Hwy183A, is the perfect and proper use of a Hwy Tolling Scheme to finance its construction. NOT FOR ANY PAID, EXISTING ROADWAYS. If TxDOT would like to build a completely new road, (like SH130 or Hwy 183A), maybe Hwy290E-A to relieve traffic by offering an alternative to the existing road - go for it, but don't take our road from us, turn it into a Toll Way and proclaim that they did us a favor. Yes - TxDot has told us that they have "nothing to do with the tolling or not tolling of the roads". They have been directed to put all of their energy into redesigning Hwy290E as a toll road and not just designing the necessary upgrades to improve traffic flow as the non-tolled road that it is. (All of this does not even begin to discuss how it appears that Toll Way will economically KILL Manor, Texas.)
7) Nothing set in motion to date by ANY "Tolling Authority" or ANY Governmental Entity is set in stone. There are no "final dates" for discussion or input. As far as we are concerned, we will not allow it to happen even if they think that "its a done deal" - its not. They thought that before and were proved wrong in South Austin by "the people of the area" not allowing them to follow through on their Toll plan.
8) If only a fraction of us stand behind the no additional tax (or Toll) on Hwy290E then the "Public Officials Elected and the Private Individuals Appointed" that have come up with the ridiculous scheme of tolling it, will have no choice but to obey our desires. They are working/serving us, NOT the other way around! This "Toll Hwy290E" issue is no more complicated than this!
I hope everyone that uses Hwy290E will join together to do the right thing and not just oppose this ridiculous idea, but to let those in power know that we NOT GOING TO ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. Democrat or Republican, Incumbent or Newcomer, all need to realize that their tenure in office will be short lived if they do not vote as we direct them to.
This is the view of just one VOTING family in NE Travis County, if its yours too - jump in, get active and make your voice heard. Please get involved and support the groups in our area fighting for our rights! I cannot endorse all of these groups, but appears that they are all working to our end. Here are a few and I am sure that there are others:http://www.blacklandprairie.org/
NE Travis County
The truth about toll roads:
We do not need Toll Roads!
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As President John F. Kennedy said in 1963:
Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.
If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action. Aggrieved individuals may file administrative complaints with the federal agency that provides funds to a recipient, or the individuals may file suit for appropriate relief in federal court. Title VI itself prohibits intentional discrimination. However, most funding agencies have regulations implementing Title VI that prohibit recipient practices that have the effect of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
To assist federal agencies that provide financial assistance, the wide variety of recipients that receive such assistance, and the actual and potential beneficiaries of programs receiving federal assistance, the U.S. Department of Justice has published a Title VI Legal Manual. The Title VI Legal Manual sets out Title VI legal principles and standards. Additionally, the Department has published an Investigation Procedures Manual to give practical advice on how to investigate Title VI complaints. Also available on the Coordination and Review Website are a host of other materials that may be helpful to those interested in ensuring effective enforcement of Title VI.http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/coord/titlevi.htm