TxDOT Proposing Converting More HOV Lanes to Toll Lanes, This Time on 75

Categories: Transportation

US_75_square.svg.png
Federal Highway Administration

In a presentation to the Plano City Council Monday night, the Texas Department of Transportation outlined its plan to convert HOV lanes on U.S. 75 between Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in Dallas and McDermott Drive in Allen to mixed-use toll lanes.

The plan would allow single-occupant vehicles access to HOV lanes by paying a toll. Drivers hoping to use the lanes for free by bringing passengers along would have to register their trip online at least 15 minutes before departure.

Initially the lanes would be called Express/HOV lanes. Single-occupant cars could pay one rate, no matter the time of day, to use the otherwise HOV lane.

TxDOT's "Ultimate Design Project" for 75 calls for the lanes to eventually transition to what the agency calls "TexPress" lanes, which would require all users to pay a toll. During rush hour, registered HOV users would receive a 50 percent discount. At all other times, all non-commercial traffic would pay the same price.

For the first six months of the "TexPress," tolls would be charged at a fixed rate. Thereafter, tolls would be switched to dynamic pricing, which would allow for adjustments based on demand.

The plan is shepherded by Stephen Endres, a TxDOT engineer. Endres is also part of the team behind a similar planned transition for LBJ HOV lanes in Dallas. The plan, like the LBJ plan, calls for periodic enforcement from officers stationed at toll bridges to make sure that those registered for HOV trips aren't traveling by themselves.

See also: LBJ Toll Lanes Expanding to the East

TxDOT's plan calls for the newly transitioned lanes to be open to public traffic by early 2016.

My Voice Nation Help
49 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter

est | Top Comments

markie1918 hours ago


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief Trailer

m.lowry88
m.lowry88

TXDoT is perhaps the worst "functioning" entity is this state. There's minimal oversight to what they do and we get more roads than can be properly maintained. They're like a spoiled child on Christmas who gets every toy they wanted, then promptly throw it aside because they're bored with it after 5 minutes.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Fortunately for the Republicans, Democrats are too distracted by frivolous matters - like pink shoes and gay marriage - to focus on practical matters like this.  So they'll get little or no resistance on adding more taxways.

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

So HOV lanes were a reward for and an incentive to carpool. Now it's a punishment? Oh, but there's a 50% discount. How generous! What an effing joke. Raise the damn gas tax already!!!!

Anon.
Anon.

Nobody likes paying tolls. Nobody. Below are some excerpts from a Morning News article where they actually got it right. There is a lot of ignorance out there about tolls and taxes and who can do what.

Look at the sign in the image accompanying this article. See the shape of the shield as well as the caption below the image? US75, as well as IH635, are both property of the U.S. government. TxDOT is charged with maintaining the facilities, but Federal regulations govern what can be done with these facilities.

The HOV lanes were built using Federal transit monies in an effort to improve air quality. That means the HOV lanes must remain free for high occupancy vehicles so long as they remain HOV lanes.

TxDOT is out of money. Just in the Metroplex there's over $100 billion of highway projects that need to be done. Our friends in the Texas Legislature and Congress refuse to identify AND implement sustainable funding mechanisms for any of the public infrastructure that has been built over the past hundred and fifty years (highways, canals and locks, ports, etc.)

The math lesson in the comments section almost spells it out clearly, but here is another lesson: http://tti.tamu.edu/group/iiap/files/2012/04/GasTax-BROCHURE.pdf

This is put out by the Texas Transportation Institute, but the Aggies fail to mention an important point - diversions. After the education nickel and then all the money paid out of the gas tax to run the Texas Department of Public Safety, only about seven and a half cents out of the twenty cents per gallon paid to the state actually gets to TxDOT, and even then TxDOT has to use some of that for debt service since the Legislature used debt financing a few years ago because they found that more expedient than doing the responsible thing which is to raise the gas tax or find other appropriate, sustainable funding sources for highways. TxDOT gets the revenue from SOV usage of the IH635 East and US75 HOV lanes. They need every nickel they can get.

There is no such thing as a "free" road. There are roads constructed and maintained using taxes and there are road constructed and maintained using tolls. One requires no profit margin. One spreads the cost out over the largest number of people. One allows anyone who wishes to use the facility to use it any time, 24/7/365. The other builds in a profit margin, is paid for only by those who use it, and only folks who are willing to pay for the ability to use it are able to.

Then to add insult to injury, voters recently voted out two of the most knowledgeable elected officials when it comes to transportation - John Carona and Linda Harper Brown. Carona has been very blunt for years about the need to pay for highways through taxes and that in order to do so additional revenues are needed. That is open, very frank, and honest. Yet voters went for a guy who said he doesn't want any taxes at all, and who has no plan to pay for the remarkable backlog of highway projects across the state. And LHB has been a very effective representative for Irving, bringing home highway project after much needed highway project for her district

And again, voters showed her the door in favor of a fellow who has no experience and no plan.

I suppose these are the just desserts from years of gerrymandering districts to cater to the most extreme of the party base. Just another hoax perpetrated on the public by self serving electeds.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20140611-era-of-the-toll-is-about-to-dawn-on-dallas-area-highways1.ece

"Texas lawmakers haven’t raised the state gas tax, the primary revenue source for transportation funding, in decades. They also haven’t developed a meaningful, long-term alternative funding source. When inflation and fuel efficiency in vehicles are factored in, Texans effectively are paying far less to fund transportation needs than they were 20 years ago.

"Planning officials with [the NCTCOG], which steers billions to transportation projects, call it a financial crisis. State Sen. John Carona, who tried unsuccessfully to solve funding woes when he chaired the Senate’s transportation committee, calls it a “political tragedy.”

“This was highly predictable,” said Carona, who was defeated in the March primary. “Myself and others have warned of this for the past decade in Austin.”

Carona, the state senator, said the reliance on tolls actually costs North Texans more than raising the gas tax would have. He said that toll projects cost more than three times what free roads do because they involve much more complicated financing methods and typically involve private developers who aim to make a profit.

Carona said politicians who pat themselves on the back for not raising the gas tax have effectively hit their constituents’ pocketbooks harder.

“It’s been a hoax on the public,” he said."

crashbot
crashbot

If all the major thoroughfares are going to be tolled and all the surface streets are turning into moonscapes of disrepair, stop charging me the road, bridge, and gas "fee/taxes".

tlewis186
tlewis186

I remember a time when the state and federal government built roads and bridges. Now it's all about raising revenue with tolls so rich fucks can get tax breaks. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

This isn't about raising revenue or streamlining traffic.  It's about hillbillies outside of Dallas trying to fuck over city dwellers.

WaitWhat
WaitWhat

I just don't see how adding barriers is ever going to speed up traffic.

Aren't there rules about charging tolls on a road that taxpayers have already paid for?

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

"Drivers hoping to use the lanes for free by bringing passengers along would have to register their trip online at least 15 minutes before departure."

Really?

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

All because our elected overlords have not raised the gasoline tax since 1991. Cowardly playing to the no tax crowd that doesn't understand the tolls end up costing them more than the tax.


"Our state gas tax is 20¢ per gallon. The average driver pays $9.52 a month in state fuel taxes. Of this, a nickel goes to public education. The monthly net to the highway fund is $7.14 a month. This assumes your vehicle gets 21 miles to the gallon and you drive 12,000 miles a year. There is an additional 18.4¢ a gallon collected by the federal government."

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

It's only a matter of time before all limited access roads are tolled all the time.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Plz sumbody splain these HIV lanes... shudn't being in a different car be pertection enuff? But different LANES??

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

Gee, if they do this, do you think they can also pull down those damn pylons so that residents of Plano and Richardson could use the HOV/Toll lane?

OxbowIncident
OxbowIncident

How about TxDOT leave them as regular lanes and spend some money on a campaign that educates the public what the hell a passing lane is? Pass on the left, slower traffic to the right, no 18 Wheeler's in the far left lane, allow traffic to merge if you are in the far right lane. Oh, and turn signals when changing lanes is a good thing.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Any word on whether motorcycles would have to pre-register, or is it still just the same for motorcycles?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Anon. 

 Might as well ask what happened with the money that was raised by selling the tolling rights for 121, GBT and 635?

Anon.
Anon.

@crashbot These are two different, if interconnected, transportation systems. The gas tax goes to the state for construction and maintenance of state and Federal highways. Your local streets are paid for through sales and property taxes collected at the local level. 


You want better maintained and less congested public infrastructure? It has to be paid for somehow.

monstruss
monstruss

@bvckvs the proposed toll lanes would begin at 635 and go up to Allen. Reading Comprehension! 

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

@bvckvs Dude, what is your problem?  Did some suburbanite call you a bad name when you were a kid?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@WaitWhat

See, you're looking at this all wrong, just a little shift in perspective should clear this up for you.

You see a "road", politicians, lobbyists and businessmen, on the other hand, see a "profit opportunity".

OxbowIncident
OxbowIncident

@fred.garvin.mp.713 Yes, there's nothing better than pulling out your smart phone going 65 miles an hour down a freeway and trying to register something online, ...with passwords, ...and your wife yelling at you, ...and kids screaming, ....and you spilled coffee in your lap, ...and someone texts you....

WaitWhat
WaitWhat

@fred.garvin.mp.713  Will it be legal to make this request for passage while driving, and how much of your toll will be paid to a well connected software company to consider your request?

bushwood.smithie
bushwood.smithie

@Sotiredofitall


Something's wrong with that math. Per the Texas State Constitution, 25% of gas taxes are diverted to public schools. Based on you other numbers, that would be $2.38 a month, not $0.05. 

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@Sotiredofitall I bet they plan on doing both.  First, they will sell the roads to their crony capitalist pals and once that is done they will raise the taxes.

Anon.
Anon.

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 


Highway projects are hugely expensive. The Legislature is too chicken to raise taxes to pay for the projects outright. That leaves two options. One, do nothing and choke on congestion. Most folks agree that’s not a good option.

That leaves one other option. Lease the facility to private investors of one sort or another in exchange for them building and maintaining the highway for a set number of years, nowadays that’s 52 years. At the end of the 52 years the facility reverts to the state (in the form of TxDOT) in as new condition. Money does not flow to the state in these deals.

Allowing SOVs in HOV lanes for a price (as on 635 East and US75 in Richardson and Plano) is not the same proposal. Those revenues do go to TxDOT (except for the administrative fee collected by NTTA for toll collection.)

NTTA is one of those private investors in the case of the PGBT, the DNT (and other highways), as is the consortium currently building the LBJ Express. Curiously DART is another one of the investors in the LBJ Express (to the tune of $1 million/month for a total of $60 million, for which DART will get a guaranteed rate of return!)

The state (TxDOT) does not typically receive money from these investors. The investor raises money from other investors with very deep pockets and/or issues revenue bonds against the anticipated future revenue from operating the facility as a toll facility. NTTA has issued so many revenue bonds that they have no more capacity to issue bonds until either existing debt rolls off or revenues increase due to increased usage of their facilities. In fact, in a particularly bad piece of public policy, the RTC recently issued what is in effect a loan guaranty for NTTA on the upcoming 360 project because NTTA has no more bonding capacity. So, the region is on the hook if NTTA can’t pay its bills on 360.

So, to recap, the state issues a 52 year lease for a highway project. It is built on state owned right of way. The investor builds the project by issuing bonds, meaning tolls have to pay for the bond principle and interest, as well as provide a return on investment to the investor, AND pay to maintain the facility for 52 years. At the end of the 52 year lease the facility is returned to the state in as new condition. So after 52 years taxpayers get a new highway that was built with private money. Of course, after 52 years that facility is likely to be badly congested and in need of expansion, so who knows what the public policy will be half a century from now?

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@TheCredibleHulk @OxbowIncident  Got my first full-sized SUV five years ago.  Nothing pleases more than when someone tries to cut me off after they see my turn signal.  They always chicken out and slam on the brakes when 5,000 lbs. moves on over anyway.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@CheeryBitch @TheCredibleHulk

We've had to fight tooth-and-nail just to be recognized as High Occupancy Vehicles in order to use those lanes without hassle, and now this.

I remember back in the 1990's our ABATE chapter handed out little cards that listed the requisite statute chapter-and-verse to show the Highway Patrol clowns that were pulling us over to ticket us for using them.

Here we go again . . .

bushwood.smithie
bushwood.smithie

@Sotiredofitall @bushwood.smithie


I see the confusion. When you said "of this, a nickel..." I read it as referring to the $9.52 in the preceding sentence, when you were intending the "20¢ per gallon" two sentences back.

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

I drive an average, best up car. I use the same approach when the person not yielding has a really nice car. They don't want that nice car scratched after all.

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Yeah, I've gotten to where I use my turn signal last minute, otherwise it's an invitation to be c-blocked ( the "c" stands for "car").

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

@TheCredibleHulk My husband rides so I know all too well your frustrations. This takes away the safety net (of a sort) of the HOV lane from bikers. It really is hard to understand.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...