Viewpoint: Hold on to your quarters, Self urges stand against creeping toll lanes

From Keith Self:

This is a call to action.

Tolling has raised its head again.

No, I don’t want you to give money. I want you to take action. Encouraging action. Positive action.

The situation is this, as I understand it.

The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) will not spend any funds to rebuild US75 until we reach a “consensus” among the legislative delegation, county, and cities on tolling or no tolling on US75. They are willing to wait while we add thousands of new citizens and our congestion on US75 gets worse. In other words, wait until tolling is the only option.

That’s right, the RTC will not act when funds allocated to Collin County are available, and our county needs planning, decisions and solutions now.

The issue is that cities agree that US75 can be tolled.

But every Collin County Republican legislator and the Commissioners Court do not want US75 tolled. It’s that simple.

There may be cracks appearing in the Republican ranks. This is the action item. I need you to encourage your Republican elected officials to stand firm. A positive message to simply stand firm, to demand that the RTC find a way to rebuild US75 without tolls.

Making no decision soon is tantamount to making a decision to toll. Maybe that’s the RTC plan.

We stood silent when billions were spent on I-35 north of the metroplex when US75 carries more traffic to the north. We have not objected to RTC support for the Southern Gateway or I-635E, but to say that funds available for Collin County will not be spent is unacceptable.

This reminds me of the situation in the US Congress and the Texas House.

Republicans hold a majority in both houses of Congress, yet seem to have little or no control over the agenda.

Republicans hold a large majority in the Texas House, yet many believe that Democrats largely control the agenda.

So the question for you is this, “Are we going to follow the example in Congress and the Texas House, or are Collin County Republican elected officials going to stand firm in the will of the people that we do not want US 75 to be the fourth major toll road in Collin County?”

Will we join the I-635E Legislative Delegation that is standing firm against the RTC tolling I-635E? We should. We should enlarge that group to protect against the RTC tolling momentum.

Our RTC representative will brief the Thursday RTC meeting at our evening Commissioners Court session in the Fairview town chambers at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14. Join us for a first-hand account.

Collin County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag

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