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Most Texas bills targeting toll road payment problems failed this year

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Bobby5280:

--- Quote from: Road Hog ---Just don't drive a toll road. Problem solved.
--- End quote ---

Shunpiking is easier to do in some locations than other places.

If I'm driving from Lawton to OKC I'm always going to use the turnpike. It would be silly, not to mention less safe, using the other "free" 2-lane roads to get there. Taking the free route means driving significantly more miles, using more fuel, driving slower speeds and burning up more time. Plus there's the syndrome of too many other motorists driving distracted (or even drunk). I'm far less likely to get in a head-on collision with someone on the turnpike than I am piddling around on US-62/277.

On drives from Lawton down to Temple, OK I'd sometimes take the free route rather than I-44. It's only one exit and there's no mileage savings taking I-44. But at night I'll opt for using I-44. Again it's the safety issue.

Scott5114:

--- Quote from: bwana39 on August 21, 2023, 08:53:58 AM ---Scott,

This is almost solely a HCTRA issue.  The beauty of the locals controlling the agencies is that you don't have a single entity controlling it and you can build what you want or need.

--- End quote ---

The problem with such local control is that if you're not a local, then you have no meaningful way to apply political pressure to the agency.

Let's say I'm driving the Creek Turnpike in the Tulsa area and OTA rips me off. If I don't like the response they give me, I can call up my state rep and have her start digging into things for me. And if I don't like the response she gives me I can fire her. It doesn't matter that I live in Cleveland County and OTA doesn't (yet) have any toll roads in Cleveland County, my rep has as much say over OTA and its budget as any of the 101 members of the House do.

If Oklahoma followed the Texas model, the Tulsa turnpike authority would be able to say "neener neener neener" and that's that. Nobody that appears on my ballot would really be able to do much because I don't vote for anyone with any sort of regulatory authority over the Tulsa County government that's more granular than being able to say what county governments can and cannot do in general (short of playing the silly "counties with populations between 137484 and 137498 people" games).

There's also the problem that you have to have an executive officer structure for each of these turnpike authorities, and that leads to a lot of waste since every toll road basically gets its own president and vice president as so on. In Oklahoma, we have one turnpike director that oversees every mile of toll road in the state. (And the governor often appoints the Transportation Director as Turnpike Director to boot. Tim Gatz started out as Turnpike Director, and is also the current ODOT Director, as well as the Transportation Secretary. Do we really need to pay state benefits to three different people to do the same thing in three different buildings if Gatz can apparently handle it all by himself?)

kalvado:

--- Quote from: Scott5114 on August 24, 2023, 04:00:19 AM ---
--- Quote from: bwana39 on August 21, 2023, 08:53:58 AM ---Scott,

This is almost solely a HCTRA issue.  The beauty of the locals controlling the agencies is that you don't have a single entity controlling it and you can build what you want or need.

--- End quote ---

The problem with such local control is that if you're not a local, then you have no meaningful way to apply political pressure to the agency.

Let's say I'm driving the Creek Turnpike in the Tulsa area and OTA rips me off. If I don't like the response they give me, I can call up my state rep and have her start digging into things for me. And if I don't like the response she gives me I can fire her. It doesn't matter that I live in Cleveland County and OTA doesn't (yet) have any toll roads in Cleveland County, my rep has as much say over OTA and its budget as any of the 101 members of the House do.

If Oklahoma followed the Texas model, the Tulsa turnpike authority would be able to say "neener neener neener" and that's that. Nobody that appears on my ballot would really be able to do much because I don't vote for anyone with any sort of regulatory authority over the Tulsa County government that's more granular than being able to say what county governments can and cannot do in general (short of playing the silly "counties with populations between 137484 and 137498 people" games).

There's also the problem that you have to have an executive officer structure for each of these turnpike authorities, and that leads to a lot of waste since every toll road basically gets its own president and vice president as so on. In Oklahoma, we have one turnpike director that oversees every mile of toll road in the state. (And the governor often appoints the Transportation Director as Turnpike Director to boot. Tim Gatz started out as Turnpike Director, and is also the current ODOT Director, as well as the Transportation Secretary. Do we really need to pay state benefits to three different people to do the same thing in three different buildings if Gatz can apparently handle it all by himself?)

--- End quote ---
Let's talk about EZpass transponder discrimination, then (if that's not too off-topic in TX thread). But taxation (well, tolling in this case)  without representation is something Americans seem to love even more than baseball.

J N Winkler:

--- Quote from: kalvado on August 24, 2023, 08:21:51 AM ---Let's talk about E-ZPass transponder discrimination, then (if that's not too off-topic in TX thread). But taxation (well, tolling in this case) without representation is something Americans seem to love even more than baseball.
--- End quote ---

I think E-ZPass transponder discrimination is a legacy problem.  The Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas interoperability zone is much more recent and this form of differential pricing is explicitly forbidden--all transponders get the same electronic rate.

Sykotyk:
1. If you keep your vehicle registered in another state, you just put it in a family member's name who does live there. I've done this many times for family. They give me the car. No payment. It's now legally my car. I title and register it in my state. And let them drive it. Perfectly legal. I own it. I could sell it tomorrow if I wanted to. That's how you do this.

2. All the texas tags are interoperable. But that doesn't mean issues don't happen. I was on the TX-550 Toll Road in Brownsville, and it didn't register my Pikepass (even though it's interoperable and has read it many times in the past). Instead of going through my account and just manually debiting the money, I was sent a bill for the toll plus $50 late fee. I called them. Got it sorted out. They said they couldn't check if I had a Pikepass account. When the transponder didn't read it, they can only check the Texas tags for my license plate.  When one wasn't found, I got the letter. And since I am not a Texan, it took a while to get it sent to me and by then their system had flagged it late. Even though that was my first letter. But I had to pay with a card over the phone, rather than have it added to my Pikepass account. Which is annoying when you're writing off toll receipts for work. I had to keep that email saved of the receipt on top of my EZPass and Pikepass account's invoices.

Just a waste. For a small meaningless toll. And once it went live, they made it so that you couldn't bypass the tollbooth. They put in a U-turn on the frontage roads. And the only thing you're kinda bypassing is a train track that might be in use.

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