But YOU would not be allowed to drive on some of the lanes!!
Bexar County Commissioners have moved the bar back into the 'no toll' column by approving the use of $100 million from the Advanced Transportation District to build no-toll lanes on US 281 and Loop 1604 on the north and northwest sides, 1200 WOAI news reports.
But the proposal would use your sales tax money to build lanes that you would not be allowed to drive in. They would be so called High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, which could only be used by vehicles with multiple passengers or by busses.
"The $100 million funding comes from the ATD, which was a specific tax designated for transportation, a sales tax," County Judge Nelson Wolff said, pointing out that the proposal does not include any bonds being sold by the county, or any effort that could increase property taxes.
The area that would be covered include non toll express main lanes and overpasses and continuous frontage roads on Loop 1604 from Bandera Road to Potranco Road on the northwest side, and on US 281 from Loop 1604 to Stone Oak Parkway.
The proposal does not mean that the no toll lanes will certainly be built. The $100 million will be used to negotiate more funding from the Texas Department of Transportation and other sources. The total cost of the construction is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion.
The vote came immediately after the Commissioners Court voted to abolish the Regional Mobility Authority, the quasi-governmental body which for five years has been in charge of road building. The RMA was set up to make sure revenue from toll lanes stayed in the local area, but political and public pressure prevented any toll lanes from being built, starving the RMA of it's designated source of income.
Commissioner Kevin Wolff said the move to absorb the RMA's road building functions, including the construction of the southern half of the 1604/281 project now underway, into the County's infrastructure department, would save taxpayers as much as $1.4 million a year.
But the proposal did make a concession to social engineering. If built, the new lanes on Loop 1604 and US 281 would include the first so called 'High Occupancy Lanes' or 'Diamond Lanes' in Bexar County. Lanes which would be closed to vehicles containing only the driver.
"Preferred lanes, for use for transportation of volume, whether it's busses or whatever," Commissioner Paul Elizondo said. "High occupancy lanes."