Texas Has a Toll Road (or three)

Texas has a toll road or more specifically, Austin has a few of ‘em hanging around our city. Sure, everyone rallied and said no. We explained that the roads were paid for, but the mayor and others threw caution to the wind. So, as of this month you have to pay to access certain sections of highway around town. There’s a nice little jingle they play on the radio to get everyone excited. (By “nice” I mean you wonder what bet some wanna be cowboy folk singer lost to write one of the most ridiculous, insipid, and all around lame tunes I’ve ever heard on the radio. You know, that kind of “nice”.) There are even a few events I saw listed on the official “Yee Haw We got a Toll Raid, Ain’t You Glad” website that are being held around town to get everyone excited. I can only hope you can get balloon animals and face paintings – a little painted roadway upside my head would completely sell me on the whole toll road idea.

My simplistic understanding is that despite the roads being paid for, Texas still needs a little bit of money in its coffers and they’re going to try to grab it from people like me who live about a mile and a half from one. Why, if I wanted to access IH35, all I have to do is pay about 75 cents and it saves me from sitting through TWO lights and an entrance ramp. You can imagine how I’m clamoring to hop on board this wagon train. Just the outrage of spending an extra 5 minutes to get to the highway is going to drive me to toss three quarters into a plastic bucket.

I wish, as do others in our area, that Texas should seriously rethink this latest money making scheme. My personal proposal is that everyone pay a quarter fee for disagreeing with me. Think about it. I say something like “Casino Royale” was the best movie of 2006, you say no, and ch-ching the money starts rolling in. (Although, I dare say that’s a bad example since I know none of you could disagree with the simple truth of that statement.) I say to my friends “you’re going to spend a month in the Spring turning my backyard into a Japanese garden” – you don’t think so? Ch-ching again! And say hello to some koi and bamboo!

Anyway, you get the idea. It really costs you almost nothing to disagree with me and you’re helping the state earn a little extra cash while making the toll roads go away. Don’t you feel like a better citizen already?

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