No state has embraced the use of toll revenue to fund new transportation projects more than Texas. Starting with urban beltways in Houston and Dallas decades ago, the use of tolls has expanded to other metropolitan areas (Austin, El Paso, Ft. Worth) and many, many more are on their way. Although tolling has certainly enhanced the state’s ability to provide for needed capacity to keep up with high levels of sustained growth, it has also led to much public consternation. With that in mind, check out this Dallas Morning News article which highlights no less than nine bills submitted in the current Texas legislature to significantly reduce the ability to use toll funding in the future.
One bill, HB 1835, would not only prohibit the implementation of new priced managed lanes, but it also seems to imply that no new managed lanes of any kind (including HOV lanes) could be operated:
Sec.A224.1525 – A LIMITATION ON MANAGED LANES. (a) In this section, “managed lane” means a lane of a highway the use of which is restricted to increase the efficiency of the highway. The term includes exclusive lanes, high occupancy vehicle lanes, and toll lanes. (b) The department may not: (1) operate an unrestricted lane of a state highway as a managed lane, and may not transfer an unrestricted lane to another entity for operation as a managed lane; or (2) operate a managed lane other than a tolled lane of a state highway as a toll lane, and may not transfer a managed lane other than a tolled lane to another entity for operation as a toll lane.