Opinari - Latin term for Opinion. Opinari.net is just what it seems: a cornucopia of rants, raves and poignant soliloquy.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Here in East Texas, we have a little public works project called Loop 49 that is supposed to help with congestion in an ever growing Smith County. Because of the amount of time it will cut off any driving to the Dallas Metroplex, I'm all for the project.
The new Loop will also be a toll road. While I am generally anti-tax, I am usually a supporter of user fees. I think tolls encourage responsible use of thoroughfares, plus they help to pay for maintenance costs.
This August, the first section of the Loop is scheduled to open. The new Loop will not be a toll road until November.
Now, all of this is well and good, but what really frosts me is that the public officials have decided to have a parade celebrating its opening. That's right, a parade.
So why does this perturb me so? Because I think it takes a lot of nerve to fund a road with tolls under the assumption that we cannot afford to fund it publicly, and then turn around and take money out of the public coffers to give yourself a big pat on the back.
Why not just use the money for something more productive, like paving some of the spurs along the inner loop? Or for paying someone to come out and repair the road sign that marks the entry to my neighborhood?
Furthermore, the parade route will be along US Highway 69. This route accommodates 15,000 cars per day or more. And it's darn near the only way into town. In fact, the new Loop is being touted as a means of bifurcating traffic flow along 69.
And so, to celebrate the logic of a new route, our county officials have decided to shut down traffic temporarily that day and have a block party. Smooth move, guys.
I have a better idea. Open the loop. Advertise its opening in the paper. Write an op-ed touting its use. And use the party money elsewhere.
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