Toll Road Footprint
Because Texas law dictates that the Texas Transportation Commission cannot convert a non-toll road segment into a toll road unless the public has “a reasonable alternative non-tolled route” (Texas Transportation Code Ann. § 370.035(2),Vernon 1999 & Supp. 2004), TxDOT’s plan for Oak Hill is required to have handle both toll and non-tolled traffic. This creates a highway that is wider than a football field for more than 3 miles.
The toll road takes up the entire right-of-way, thereby preventing any other possible future transit options.
Highway 290 and Old Bee Caves Road before and after. 600 foot wide highway.
Highway 290 and Convict Hill before and after. 400 foot wide highway.
Toll Diversion / Avoidance
Some people cannot afford to pay tolls, so they seek alternate routes and clog frontage and local roads. It’s a well-known fact that toll roads divert traffic and cause accidents
North Carolina I-95 Economic Assessment / Section 3-26
Kenmore, WA Mayor David Baker said the number of people avoiding tolls by driving through his town is unbearable and about to get worse when the state turns carpools lanes on Interstate 405 into express toll lanes later this year.
Effects on Local Businesses
Having to pay a toll to get to a place a business makes it less likely to have unplanned or casual shoppers.
Orange Beach, Alabama Mayor Tony Kennon
Additionally, if the toll road creates more local access traffic, it’s less likely a shopper will want to stop.
“Socio-economic impacts of road pricing”, Conference of European Directors of Roads, 2009
Economic Equality Concerns
Toll roads can create additional economic disparity when someone is on a limited budget.
United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) – GAO-12-119
Compared to the surrounding areas, Oak Hill can still be considered an affordable place to live in Austin. We are also home to affordable housing communities, and with more planned, the affect of additional financial burdens on these households must be considered.
← “Heat Map” of Austin real estate prices from trulia.com. Oak Hill is circled.