As anyone knows who has had to commute to work in any large Texas city, such as Houston or Dallas, dealing with traffic jams has become a way of life. However, highway congestion adds to commute times, exacerbates pollution with all of those cars stuck in traffic, and raises blood pressures of motorists.
Unfortunately, the construction of new highways has not kept pace with the increase in motorists who need to go to and from work every day. A new group calling itself Texans for Traffic Relief has formed to advocate for the building of new toll roads to help ease the congestion.
A toll road is a stretch of highway that is managed either by the state or a private group that relies on motorists paying for the right to travel along it to pay for their construction and upkeep. Texans are familiar with some existing roads, such as Beltway 8 in Houston. One can either pay at a toll booth or have an EZ Pass installed in one's vehicle that allows one to whisk past a sensor that will record one's passage and deduct the toll from the driver's EZ Pass account.
However, plans for adding more toll roads to the Texas highway system are likely to run into some opposition in the Texas Legislature. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has stated that the voters and legislature are already, "spending record amounts on transportation." The clear implication is that additional toll roads are not needed.
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