Was it something I said? Perhaps the tone? I have that way, you know.
Staff at LBJ Express removed a link to my rootshed.com article on their flawed video posted earlier. Text from the exchange follows.
LBJE: “Hey, I didn’t like this comment. We have performance standards for both managed lanes and the general purpose lanes. Sorry you are offended.” (note: apparently they catch BIG things like ‘performance standards for both managed lanes and the general purpose lanes,’ but not the little things like animated cars going the wrong way on ramps in videos.)
The offending comment: (Including link to previous article) “Actually…its on ALL FOUR clover leafs…which, by the way, are 1950’s-era freeway relics that CAUSE congestion, not REDUCE congestion. But that sure will push more drivers onto the…MANAGED LANES…won’t it? And at $1++/mile…wow, that’s going to make a LOT of money, isn’t it!
I stopped asking a LONG time ago why things like clover leafs and entrances-preceding-exits (standard on MANAGED LANES, by the way) have not been removed from freeway construction design. But then, that kind of answers itself, doesn’t it?
Do you WANT your “managed freeway” to be profitable? Yes? Well, then, you WANT congestion on the “free lanes,” don’t you?
Waste of breath. Funny video. Glad you were already aware of that. Although…that kinds of speaks, too, that you would post it anyway, hmm??
Have a nice day…still here…still paying attention.”
The LBJ Express staff member referenced performance standards. Let me address this matter. I am making assumptions on previously disseminated information, not recounting comments from LBJ Express from this instance.
The developer of the 635 project is required during construction to keep a certain number of lanes open during peak (rush) hours. Heavy fines will be assessed for each instance of lanes being closed during construction.
After the freeway is complete, the performance standards will be specific to the “paying” customers, or the requirement that tolled “Managed Lanes” be required to remain flowing at a minimum 55 MPH during peak hours. This will be achieved by employing variable toll rates. Simply stated, this means that tolled lanes will cost more during rush hour than non-rush hour times, more at 1 am than at 1 pm. The purpose is to maximize revenues and, thus, profitability.
Now, there will also be standards of maintenance such as requiring a certain amount of money being paid to maintain each freeway lane mile per year. But these “performance standards,” as best as I have heard, will not apply to the “non-paying” customers after construction is complete. After all, if you want a proper supply of “paying customers,” the best place to find those is in the realm of hyper-congestion. On the “free lanes.” Keep congestion, keep the revenues flowing.
However, note that at no time did I mention the topic of “congestion” or of “congestion relief.” That is because…Managed Lanes DO NOT reduce congestion. Managed Lanes are not MEANT to reduce congestion. Managed Lanes are meant to MANAGE congestion.
I first stated this in my 36-page report to the Texas Legislature on freeways, congestion and TxDOT in 2008. I stated the same during testimony before the Sunset Commission in both August 2008 and December 2010, preceding the last TWO General Sessions of the Texas Legislature.
And you can imagine, folks at TxDOT, in the transportation industry and at the Legislature haven’t been very appreciative of my efforts, referring to me as a “loud-mouthed activists.”
Yup. Maybe so. But as I stated to the LBJ Express staff, I could care less if I offend. Their activities behind closed doors, which I also exposed (nobody ever denied the closed-door meetings which I alleged, by the way!), are quite offensive to me.
And all I want is congestion relief. I’m not a graduate of TAMU College of Engineering, I don’t have P.E. certification and I don’t have 25 years of experience…and I figured out their game!
And that just bugs the tail feathers out of them!