Friday, November 24, 2006

Beware PA Floater Idea Outsource Road Construction

Read Nafta Superhighway

Don't be fooled by the illusion of talk of raising the gas tax to fund PA highways. We already have a double taxation system implemented by converting state highways into toll roads with a fee that continuously increases. The monies supposed to go to the toll roads are diverted to make the politicians look as if they didn't increase taxes in other areas, so they escape criticism. Consider that PA roads remain pothole black holes.

Readers talk turkey about transportation woes
Friday, November 24, 2006

By Joe Grata, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's a good thing you didn't have to read today's "Getting Around" column just after Thanksgiving dinner.

The subject is the recently released final report of the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission.

As part of its unenviable task, the special panel appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell gave the public a lot to swallow. It recommended a first-of-its-kind, 0.9 percent increase in the state's 1 percent realty transfer tax to help public transit; a local sales, income or realty transfer tax to match state transit funding; a 12.5-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax for roads and bridges; and a $15 increase in driver's license or motor vehicle registration fees...

Pennsylvania toll collectors are paid $18.50 an hour, or more than $38,000 a year.

March/April 2006
The Return of Private Toll Roads
by Robert Poole and Peter Samuel
Private concessions offer an alternative to managing American highways.

In little more than 12 months, beginning in late 2004, the following events occurred: A Spanish toll road company proposed to invest $7.2 billion to build the first leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), a major highway, rail, and utility corridor running north-south from Oklahoma to Mexico. A global consortium agreed to pay $1.8 billion to lease, toll, operate, and maintain the Chicago Skyway for 99 years. And an Australian toll road operator bought out a struggling public-private toll road in Virginia.

These events illustrate a growing trend in highway investment. The reality today is that increasingly the public and private sectors are looking toward partnerships to build, operate, and maintain highway infrastructure in the United States.

Coming Through! The NAFTA Super Highway (by Kelly Taylor)
by Kelly Taylor
August 7, 2006
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The planned NAFTA Super Highway would radically reconfigure not only the physical landscape of these United States, but our political and economic landscapes as well. (Click here to tell your representative and senators to "Stop the NAFTA Super Highway Steppingstone to a North American Union.")
Kelly Taylor is an Austin-based writer and filmmaker, and the producer of a politically based TV talk show.

All across America, mammoth construction projects are preparing to launch. The NAFTA Super Highway is on a fast track and it's headed your way. If you don't help derail it, you may soon be run over by it - both figuratively and literally.

The NAFTA Super Highway is a venture unlike any previous highway construction project. It is actually a daisy chain of dozens of corridors and coordinated projects that are expected to stretch out for several decades, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and end up radically reconfiguring not only the physical landscape of these United States, but our political and economic landscapes as well.

In Texas, the NAFTA Super Highway is being sold as the Trans Texas Corridor. In simplest terms, the TTC is a superhighway system including tollways for passenger vehicles and trucks; lanes for commercial and freight trucks; tracks for commuter rail and high-speed freight rail; depots for all rail lines; pipelines for oil, water, and natural gas; and electrical towers and cabling for communication and telephone lines. One of the proposed corridor routes, TTC-35, is parallel to the present Interstate Highway 35 (I-35), slightly to the east, running north from Mexico to Canada. Its present scope is 4,000 miles long, 1,200 feet wide, with an estimated cost of $183 billion of taxpayer funds. It runs through Kansas City...

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Under the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (whew!), U.S. funds apportioned to a border state may be used to construct a highway project in Canada or Mexico, if that project directly facilitates cross-border vehicle and cargo movement! Just think - your tax dollars may now be sent to Canada or Mexico to aid the entry of illegal aliens into the United States, like it or not.

Additionally, SAFETEA-LU allows U.S. states to use tolling on a pilot basis to finance Interstate construction and reconstruction, and to establish tolls for existing Interstate highways to fund the new Super Highway corridors. Austin, Texas, is already experiencing fierce struggles over converting its already-paid-for Interstate and state highways to toll roads, but few Texans understand that this new tolling is to be the mechanism for funding the leviathan Trans Texas Corridor. Since Austin has been identified as the pilot city in the nation for testing the new toll policies, you can assume that what passes here is coming your way.

This planned wedding of Mexico's cheap labor force with brand new infrastructure would make Mexico an irresistible magnet for all manufacturers now remaining in the United States. Even those companies who wanted to keep their operations here would likely be forced by cheaper competitors to join the exodus. The United States, until very recently the manufacturing capital of the world, will continue its downward spiral into increasingly dangerous dependence on foreign manufacturers for almost everything, even as burgeoning inflation makes everything more expensive, devastating much of our middle class.

Scores of Corridors

An additional Super Highway route known as the Interstate 69 corridor (TTC-69) would enter Texas from Mexico as three spur lines at Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, which then will join together to head north through Houston, to Memphis, Tennessee, to Port Huron, Michigan, to Toronto, Canada...

Truckers call for boycott of foreign-owned road

Truckers are being called on to boycott a decision by Indiana to lease a
highway to foreign investment groups.

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