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11/02/07    A few final thoughts on the Trinity Toll Road
Or, can you swim when it rains?

Here are some questions I have about the toll road that no one has answered yet.  Maybe DallasArena.com readers can answer them in the few days left before the election.

 
1.   The NO folks talk about all the landscaping along the toll road.  We already know that the Army Corps of Engineers has said trees can not be planted in the levees.   Rebecca Dugger has proposed putting the trees in containers.   Here are my questions about the trees and possible answers.
     
    a) How are the trees going to be watered?  As a gardener, I know anything I grow in a container has to be watered daily to survive the Texas summer.  So, where is the water coming from?   Will it be a sprinkler?  Hand watering or lots of prayer?
     
    b) What is the life expectancy of the trees in the containers?   I would not think they would survive very many years in our crazy weather in containers.  Will the NTTA keep replacing these trees as they die?
     
    c) How tall will there trees get and big will the containers be?   Will the trees along the toll road also be in containers or will they be planted in the floodway?  If they are planted in the floodway won't that slow down the flood water?
     
2   I read in the Wall Street Journal that the Trinity Toll Road will be built on a 2 foot base of dirt to keep it out of the 100 year flood.   What will keep the dirt base from washing away when the toll road is flooded?
     
    a) How high up will the road be?  This summer, the water nearly touched the bottoms of the I-35 bridges several times.    I think the road would not be high enough to avoid closure.
     
3   What happens to all the toll road traffic when it closes due to high water?
     
4   What happens when there is a traffic accident?  The nearest fire station or even police station is quite a distance from the few entrances and exits to the toll road.  Could this just become another parking lot do to frequent accidents?
     
5   Since even The Dallas Morning News admitted this weekend that the Trinity Toll Road will not pay for itself in the first few years, will the NTTA have to raise tolls on other toll roads to pay for the bonds?
     
    Editor's comments:  Sam Merten @ DallasBlog.com (NTTA Does It Again) says:
 

I read on and felt the hit on my checking account as the FAQ explained how tolls have gone up for TollTag users at main plazas $.10 ($.25 for cash customers) and various rates at ramp plazas. A full trip down the DNT? Now $3.05 for TollTag users and $4.05 cash. The PGBT? Try $3.50 and $5.00.
 

Right after I finished contemplating how anyone in their right mind doesn?t have a TollTag, I moved on to a section called ?What is the money used for??
 

There it was. Plain as day. Six items were listed and stuck right in the middle was ?Trinity Parkway in downtown Dallas.?

   

 

6   After the subprime meltdown on Wall Street, who in their right mind will be willing to lend the NTTA money?
 
Just a few questions to ponder.
 
Stan Aten

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8