Re: Oct. 27 article, “On southbound MoPac, toll lane drivers win, Winsted drivers lose.”
In the article about the problems created by restriping MoPac Boulevard to allow a thru toll lane at the expense of entering Winsted Lane traffic, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority seemed to think that the fact that this bad idea had been part of the plan all along was a sufficient excuse for it. Actually, it is poor design — no matter how long it has been part of the plan. Maybe the original design was flawed and they need to rethink it.
Weren’t we told when the Texas Legislature in its wisdom decided years ago to allow toll roads, that toll roads would never be allowed to usurp nontoll roads? Is this restriping even legal?
ANDY ROGERS, AUSTIN
Re: Oct. 28 article, “Southbound MoPac toll lane opens Saturday morning.”
The article says officials claim “that the toll lanes are bound to ease traffic for everyone by removing some cars that would otherwise be in the free lanes.”
Unfortunately, experience around the nation has shown that the perception of faster driving causes the number of vehicles to increase. Thus, even with 26 lanes, traffic on Houston’s Katy Freeway has not sped up. The only sure beneficiaries are the construction companies that have raked in millions.
PHILIP RUSSELL, AUSTIN
Three bonds failed in the May election and three Board of Trustee members have resigned around them, replaced by appointments. It seems the budget shortfalls have been placed squarely on teachers’ backs.
My employee plus child premium went up 46 percent; co-pays 17 percent; and our new prescription card won’t cover my daily asthma inhaler. I’m back on a medication that didn’t work well for me in the past. I started an immune treatment last summer but it now costs $200 a month, so I will need to cancel it.
I understand prices can’t stay the same forever, but this is extreme. Teachers are famously underpaid. Having good benefits is what makes it possible to do this important work. Trustees, we do no less than raise up your children — and in return you have treated us shamefully. I would like my vote back. I intend to use it.
STEPHANIE MARTIN, ROUND ROCK
The front page of the Oct. 22 issue of the Statesman offered a stark contrast between a progressive future and a stagnant past.
On one side was a photo of Georgetown GOP mayor Dale Ross — a strong proponent of renewal energy, and who actually has meaningful conversations with, of all people. former vice president and environmental champion Al Gore. Who would have thunk it? On the other side was U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, who represents the prevailing fossil fuel dinosaur wing of the Republican Party.
The,n there was the contrast between a city that actually works and does innovative things — as do many other Texas cities — versus a state government, led by Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who seem far more interested in potty patrol than in providing for good schools and other important state needs.
STEPHEN SHACKELFORD, AUSTIN
Disappointed with the Statesman’s articles on Austin’s Central Library.
The only negatives were the cost of the library and that parking will not be available for the next two weeks. Before your review, I expected major complaints about the scarcity of parking to occur in about six months after opening. I now estimate this will occur in three months or less.
BERNARD SCHIFF, AUSTIN
I hope my representative, John R. Carter, is listening to me when I and many of his constituents say scrap your plan to allow internet service providers to charge for preferential treatment.
These rules would destroy the open internet. I urge Carter to make a public statement telling the Federal Communications Commission to throw out its proposed rules and to preserve real net neutrality.
SARAH POLK, CEDAR PARK
Re: Oct. 24 article, “Prosecutors drop all remaining charges against Rep. Dawnna Dukes.”
The only way to keep the sad, painful saga of state Rep. Dawnna Dukes going would be for the voters of District 46 to re-elect her in 2018 — after she skipped out on more than half of this year’s session.
Voters, on behalf of everyone with an ounce of common sense, please make this bad dream end.
DON STRATMANN, CEDAR PARK
At a national forum on liberty, former President George W. Bush said, “Our security and prosperity are only found in wise, sustained, global engagement … in the fostering of global health and development as alternatives to suffering and resentment.”
The United States has long been a leader in fighting preventable maternal and childhood deaths worldwide. UNICEF recently reported that preventable deaths for children under 5 are at a new low of 5.6 million per year. It is possible for number be lowered to zero by 2030. As Bush says, “We only need to remember our values.” Saving children’s and mothers’ lives is right up there. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act focuses U.S. global health efforts to be more efficient, transparent and effective. I urge senators and representatives from Texas to remember their values and cosponsor this bill.
ANNE CHILD, AUSTIN