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Vote Tuesday Against Sal Costello's Suburban Army

Sal Costello continues to post a shrill screed or three almost every single day to Austin Bloggers trying to get people to vote against incumbents who approved some or all of various toll road plans around these parts. Most irritating of all is that the Austin Libertarians (whose politics would logically tend to support tolls, even on existing roads, if they were being remotely consistent about user fees) have signed on with this pantload, which shows that they're just a bunch of suburban Republicans who don't want to be identified with the religious right.

If you have any interest in making sure that suburbanites pay their fair share, though, you need to vote the exact opposite way from Sal's recommendations. These toll roads finally start to reverse the decades-long subsidization of neighborhoods like Circle C by central Austinites who have to contribute property and sales tax money to TXDOT to build 'free'ways. At the same time, TXDOT spends most of their money in the suburbs and hardly anything remotely close to central Austin since most major roads there aren't part of the state highway system.

Tolls in any form are good. Tolls which changed by the time of day would be even better. Tolls which were frequently changed to ensure free-flowing traffic would be best. But any tolls are better than going back to the bad old days where Sal's driving is subsidized by people in Hyde Park who might not even own a car.

The truly amazing thing is that he's managed to sucker environmentalists into opposing these toll roads. Rather than imposing tolls on roads to stop subsidizing sprawl over the aquifer, groups like SOS actually think they have the power to prevent those roads from being built at all, and have made common cause with folks who would expand 290 to 100 lanes before caring one whit about Barton Springs.

Just say no to Sal. Tolls are a responsible way to make sure the people causing the demand actually pay the price.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Austin , Driving in Austin , Funding of Transportation , Republicans Hate Poor People , Republicans Hate Public Transportation , Republicans Hate The Environment , Texas Republicans Hate Cities , Transportation


My army is made up of Austinites that live downtown and in the suburbs. We are democrats, independents and republicans who are tired of corruption and new tax schemes.

We expect to not be ignored when 93% of us give feedback and oppose tolling roads we've already paid for.

I think "bake sale" (the 7%) should also be heard.

We are not opposed to traditional toll roads as the tolls pay for the road you are driving on. WE DO OPPOSE PRIVATIZING AND TOLLING PUBLIC HIGHWAYS, where the toll revenue from Travis County gets shipped off to Williamson County. That is called ROBIN HOOD FOR ROADS.

Comptroller calls it a double tax. She found CTRMA board members giving no bid contracts to themselves and friends: http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/ctrma05/

Maybe you like corruption "easy bake", but most of us don't.

Thanks for the new readers!

Sal Costello

I don't care about the difference between Circle C and some similar development in Hays County. I care about the fact that the property and sales taxes from people in central Austin paid for your sprawl, and now you cry and moan about paying some tolls to START paying us back.

You guys would have to pay tolls for a very very very long time to make up for the infrastructure you already got for free from central Austin taxpayers. The gas tax is just another transfer mechanism from city to suburb, unless we get to the point where the state is required to start spending proportionate amounts of money inside city boundaries like the Feds have to do with the states (the 90% rule).

Easy Bake,

The unaccountable double taxation of tolls, on state roads we've already paid for, that you and Gov. Perry love, will allow more sprawl. The revenue collected goes to building more freeway tolls.

Here's another one for you to chew on. IT INVOLVES YOUR CITY TAX DOLLARS, AND MINE.

The footprint of a toll conversion project is much larger than what's needed for a free road because the toll lanes and existing lanes need to be separate. Our existing roads have right-of-way corridors for expansion but were not planned for the larger footprint required by toll conversion. The larger footprint means extra right-of-way land must be acquired and utilities must be relocated.

Your SPECIAL INTEREST pal, Gov. Rick Perry, signed HB 2702 in a hurry in 2005. HB 2702 forces cities to use millions of our CITY TAX DOLLARS to pay for 50% of the utility relocation costs of the freeway tolls. More waste, more of our money.

Get a clue.

Sal Costello


That's the last time this "Easy Bake" crap shows up, or you're banned.

I've written extensively on the city/county tax issue. I recommend you read them (I've linked to some of it from this article) so you can develop more compelling (more truthful) counterarguments.

Who the heck ARE you, M1EK? Do you know what you're talking about re: transportation and toll roads?

I don't hide behind little sign-on names. I'm Peter Stern, a political writer printed in TX and nationwide, a former University Professor. BTW, I am a life-time Republican. I also worked in the Administration of the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

I'm one of those who join Sal in getting rid of special interests and toll road enthusiasts.

Why don't you stick to the facts and let us know the REAL reason you want toll roads. I'd be interested to hear why.

Then I'll give you the facts I know.



You can find my name if you read the linked articles from this page. Since you haven't, it's obvious you're not interested in a conversation; only in an attack.

I served on the city's Urban Transportation Commission from 2000 through 2005.