For the first times in years, I can go on MoPac Boulevard peacefully knowing that I have an option of using the toll lane when I’m pressed for time. The toll lanes take the drivers in a hurry off the free lanes. This makes for an anxiety-free, safer and quicker ride for everyone.
Extra traffic on Cesar Chavez Street after the toll lanes opened? It’s a direct indication that the toll lanes are moving the traffic faster on MoPac. Now, it’s time to address the Cesar Chavez traffic issue.
How about adding an exit to MoPac farther down Cesar Chavez? It would allow the cars heading to the south of the river a quicker alternative, thus taking a huge load off Cesar Chavez.
SUBHASH BHARDWAJ, PFLUGERVILLE
So, we spend millions of dollars to add a single “express” lane to MoPac in an effort to combat the awful traffic on this road. Then, we charge people to use it.
But how can this help the traffic in the other three lanes — those who don’t use the express lane — when we charge people more in the express lane as more people use it, thereby causing some folks to decide not to use it, and then they clutter up the other three lanes again?
And charging rates as high as $4-plus to go 5 miles and $8-plus to go 10 miles?! Really? Even at these rates, I’ve watched the “express” lane sit at a stand-still, while the other three lanes are also at a stand-still.
Help me understand how this is helping the traffic situation. I’m not seeing it. Nor do I see the mindset behind it.
LISA C. SELF, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 30 commentary, “Why Austin city leaders should invest in public safety.”
In regards to the commentary from members of the various police associations that Austin should keep investing in the police force, I will agree when I no longer see police wasting my taxpayer dollars.
• Three police cars parked under the Ben White Boulevard overpass at Manchaca Road. No civilians in sight. All the cops are standing around chatting. When I drive by again, 20 minutes later, they are still chatting.
• A police car pulls up along the fence line at Austin Pets Alive to talk to a dog walker. When I ask if there’s a problem I’m told, “No, he just wants to see the dog.”
• A motorcycle officer is leaning on a fence watching a bunch of kids play baseball. Thirty minutes later, he’s still watching the game.
Need more examples? I’ve got them!
RONA DISTENFELD, AUSTIN
Re: Dec. 1 commentary, “Ala. needs to elect Moore so GOP can control courts.”
Pat Buchanan states that Alabamans must sacrifice their religious beliefs and elect an accused pedophile, so that the GOP can control the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. He is willing to condone bad behavior in order for good things to happen.
I, as a Christian, was taught that the end never justifies the means, and controlling the Supreme Court for this one issue may lead to other judicial travesties.
Is this the world that we want our children and grandchildren to inherit? Where sexually deviant men can abuse young girls, maintain their status among so called respectable people and still make laws that affect us all?
RICHARD CHIARELLO, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 28 commentary, “Is there an evangelical crisis on the horizon after Trump’s tenure?”
I consider myself erudite and capable of deciphering most rhetoric, but Ross Douthat has confounded me by his murky and byzantine article concerning a supposed evangelical crisis somehow brought on by the election of Trump.
After three readings of the column, I still am not informed of what the crisis is or what if anything can be done to avert it. All I know is that we are headed down a dangerous path if the religious right is successful in further weakening the Constitution regarding legislation favoring one religious group over another.
The Constitution as written and amended is a guarantee of religious freedom only if the various religions keep their mitts off the government.
CHARLES GLISAN, CEDAR PARK
Is the proposed tax plan good or bad?
I won’t confuse anyone with numbers — but for many, the new, seemingly great standard deduction really isn’t so great.
Add up your exemptions and see if that’s more or less that the proposed standard deduction. If you are single or married with no kids, the new standard deduction may benefit you. Not so much if you have dependents.
And for seniors 65 and older who each get an additional exemption, you likely are losing some deduction. That means you pay more tax and receive less refund if you normally get a refund.
Seems the new tax plan is bad for many.
ANN T. RUIZ, PFLUGERVILLE
President Trump will do anything to keep his name in the news. His specialty is insults, taking advantage that whoever he denigrates has more dignity than he and thus can’t respond in kind.
Among Trump’s latest is resurrecting the moniker of “Pocahontas” for Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Trump’s father claimed to be of Swedish ancestry after World War II, so he wouldn’t have problems selling apartments because of his German ancestry. Trump continued this fiction in his book “The Art of the Deal.” So, here we have a case of proven deceit and swindles.
Result: he’s a liar and a fraud.
DON BATORY, AUSTIN