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Complaint alleges U.S. 290 East toll road violates civil rights act
The Elgin Courier ^ | April 29, 2009 | The Elgin Courier

Posted on 04/30/2009 6:43:35 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The proposed toll road along US 290 East discriminates against low-income and minority populations in Austin, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Highway Administration.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, in conjunction with the SOS Alliance and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, filed the complaint on behalf of three Travis County residents and the Bluebonnet Neighborhood Association.

Filed against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), the complaint argues that the toll road project violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by having a disproportionate impact on the low-income and minority communities that surround and use the highway.

"The toll road will create a class distinction between those who are and are not able to use it," said TRLA attorney D'Ann Johnson. "Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads or spend an unreasonable amount of their income on tolls."

According to the complaint, the project would impose economic hardships, increase health and safety risks and increase traffic in the neighboring communities. The complaint also argues that previous reviews of the toll road project have underestimated the impact it will have on neighboring communities and low-income residents who currently use U.S. 290 East for their commute.

Added Johnson, "The impacts of this toll road will not be felt equally among Austin residents. Specific communities are being forced to bear the weight of this burden and won't reap its benefits."

A copy of the complaint can be found at http://budurl.com/tollroadcomplaint.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: civilrightsact; tollroad; tolls; us290
Women, children, and minorities hardest hit!


1 posted on 04/30/2009 6:43:36 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

They want to put tolls back in CT , but only in border areas maybe we should cry discrimination.


2 posted on 04/30/2009 6:45:19 AM PDT by RedStateGuyTrappedinCT
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Gasoline should be free too, because I cannot afford it.

/sarc

3 posted on 04/30/2009 6:45:37 AM PDT by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Here in Dallas we can't move without a toll.....Especially north Dallas. My toll-tag gets automatically recharged a few times each month....
4 posted on 04/30/2009 6:46:11 AM PDT by devane617 (Republicans first strategy should be taking over the MSM. Without it we are doomed.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
According to the complaint, the project would impose economic hardships, increase health and safety risks and increase traffic in the neighboring communities.

1. If only rich white people can afford to travel on this road, isn't it a good thing it is more dangerous?

2. If it increases traffic in these communities, does that not help the economy?

This complaint seems to throw a bunch of contradictory statements out there hoping one will somehow stick.

5 posted on 04/30/2009 6:47:45 AM PDT by Always Right (Obama: more arrogant than Bill Clinton, more naive than Jimmy Carter, and more liberal than LBJ.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The proposed toll road along US 290 East discriminates against low-income and minority populations in Austin, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Highway Administration.

I agree let's privatize the county airports first.

6 posted on 04/30/2009 6:48:27 AM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Well, I guess these low income people could always move to a state where there is an income tax with which to build roads. In those states they can be exempt from paying taxes and get everyone who has to pay the tax to pay their share also. But when funds are raised based on use or consumption, you usually can’t get those nifty exemptions. Cry me a river.


7 posted on 04/30/2009 6:53:19 AM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The proposed toll road along US 290 East discriminates against low-income and minority populations in ...

America. Yeah, right, yadayadayada.

Why not just eliminate money? That will stop it!

8 posted on 04/30/2009 6:54:57 AM PDT by bill1952 (Power is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads or spend an unreasonable amount of their income on tolls.”

Welcome to my world!!!!!

I avoid 183 toll and MOPAC toll like the plague.....


9 posted on 04/30/2009 6:55:01 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads..."

That's the one thing I like about using the toll roads.

10 posted on 04/30/2009 6:58:14 AM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

There’s a simple answer to this problem.

Tax the rich.


11 posted on 04/30/2009 6:59:18 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Selah)
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To: Le Chien Rouge
I avoid toll roads, too---just on the principle of it. Our gasoline taxes are supposed to pay for the roads---and I pay a lot of gasoline taxes!

. So far, I have paid 50 cents in tolls, and that's only because I was in the wrong lane at the wrong time, and had to enter the toll road.

I don't have a problem if they are handy for other folks--but as long as there is another road that gets me to the same place, I'm happy.

Of course if I had to go to work every day during rush hour, I'm sure I'd have a far different attitude.

Did anybody get stuck in traffic the other day when Plugs Biden was in town. They make such a circus out of getting those "important big people" around.

Stick the guy in a plain ole beige SUV and no one would ever notice him. Good grief! It looked like his police escort consisted of every cop in Austin and the surrounding counties.

12 posted on 04/30/2009 7:05:46 AM PDT by basil ( It's time to eliminate all "Gun Free Zones")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The proposed toll road along US 290 East discriminates against low-income and minority populations in Austin, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Highway Administration. ... "The toll road will create a class distinction between those who are and are not able to use it," said TRLA attorney D'Ann Johnson. "Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads or spend an unreasonable amount of their income on tolls."

Then Gas Taxes discriminates
License Plates (tags) discriminates
Then Cigarette Taxes discriminates
Then Liquor Taxes discriminates
Mandatory Car Insurance discriminates
Car payments discriminates
Auto maintenance costs discriminates
Apartment Rent discriminates
Home Owners Insurance discriminates
And House payments discriminates.

OOPs scratch that. They're already want free houses.

13 posted on 04/30/2009 7:06:02 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, in conjunction with the SOS Alliance and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment

It all goes back to illegals. Kick them out and we won't have to constantly build new roads.

14 posted on 04/30/2009 7:16:59 AM PDT by bgill (The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration)
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To: basil
I avoid toll roads, too---just on the principle of it. Our gasoline taxes are supposed to pay for the roads---and I pay a lot of gasoline taxes!

I agree, and oppose them because it is an illegal usage of imminent domain.

To exercise the power of eminent domain, the government must prove that the four elements set forth in the Fifth Amendment are present: (1) private property (2) must be taken (3) for public use (4) and with just compensation. These elements have been interpreted broadly.

Number three, it is not for public usage if it is closed to the total public.

15 posted on 04/30/2009 7:21:09 AM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I lived in Elgin as a kid.

I can't believe they have an online news site.

Elgin is pretty simple.

16 posted on 04/30/2009 7:23:31 AM PDT by humblegunner (Where my PIE at, fool?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I think a civil rights theme song is in order - maybe “We Shall Overpass”


17 posted on 04/30/2009 7:25:14 AM PDT by almcbean
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It’s an added expense for the drug dealers as they ship their wares from Mexico....


18 posted on 04/30/2009 7:41:36 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; MeekOneGOP; ValerieTexas; txhurl; basil; SwinneySwitch; austinaero; ...

Whining from the liberals in east Austin again. There are more toll roads from the NW section of Travis / Williamson county area than on the east side.


19 posted on 04/30/2009 7:48:51 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: basil

Our gasoline taxes are supposed to pay for the roads-—

AMEN!!!!


20 posted on 04/30/2009 7:50:17 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: basil
I avoid toll roads, too---just on the principle of it.

I avoid them, where possible, in PA because they are inferior to public roads.

21 posted on 04/30/2009 7:51:30 AM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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To: org.whodat

Here on Houston’s westside, all the so call Freeways except 290 are either toll roads or have toll lanes. I-10, Westpark, Beltway 8 and the new Grand Parkway are all or in part toll roads. Maybe because all these new toll roads are on the westside, they may think that only rich perple live there and they can afford to pay tolls.


22 posted on 04/30/2009 7:51:31 AM PDT by CyfairAl
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To: Arrowhead1952

Austin - Texas’ own lil’ piece of Berkeley California


23 posted on 04/30/2009 7:51:58 AM PDT by lormand ("Janet Napolitano should resign or be fired." - Congressman John Carter - My Congresscritter)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Low-income residents should walk and ride the bus!


24 posted on 04/30/2009 7:56:43 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch (ObommaNation - beyond your expectations!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

You left out homosexuals.


25 posted on 04/30/2009 7:58:43 AM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: basil; Le Chien Rouge
“Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads or spend an unreasonable amount of their income on tolls.”

In other words, using the SAME roads under the SAME conditions they currently have. Once the toll road is built, a number of commuters will be on that, and have less congestion on the frontage roads.

Of course if I had to go to work every day during rush hour, I'm sure I'd have a far different attitude.

I have to drive in the PM, 5 o'clock rush hour. You sure are not rushing to get anywhere. The rubber neckers make me want to want my .45 M1911 with me many days. Just the APD parking an EMPTY cruiser in the median on MOPAC will have people stopping to see if someone is inside.

Did anybody get stuck in traffic the other day when Plugs Biden was in town. They make such a circus out of getting those "important big people" around.

At least that was in the limousine liberal part of Austin for the most part. I hope he has some dims really PO'ed at him for that charade.

26 posted on 04/30/2009 7:59:09 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: basil

Judging by his gaffes, they should just stick Biden in a cardboard box in the White House basement and leave him there.


27 posted on 04/30/2009 7:59:32 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Barack Obama: in your guts, you know he's nuts!)
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To: lormand

Yep, sure is.


28 posted on 04/30/2009 8:00:04 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Whatever it takes to stop TxDOT from tolling every road in the state.


29 posted on 04/30/2009 8:00:17 AM PDT by zeugma (Will it be nukes or aliens? Time will tell.)
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To: devane617

man...I can remember when except for the Ft Worth tunrpike, Texas had no tolls or state taxes either on individuals

oil baby


30 posted on 04/30/2009 8:02:24 AM PDT by wardaddy (You will not destroy our country without a fight replete with horror your naive ass cannot imagine)
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To: lormand; fieldmarshaldj

just like Nashville, twin sisters in so many ways


31 posted on 04/30/2009 8:03:40 AM PDT by wardaddy (You will not destroy our country without a fight replete with horror your naive ass cannot imagine)
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To: Graybeard58

Tax the rich.


ATL has one toll road, just inside the city limits at the end of GA 400 where all “those people” come in every morning from the fancy North side to do their dirty work.

Odd I never heard of racial impact on that one.


32 posted on 04/30/2009 8:09:55 AM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: wardaddy

We’re still exempt from State Taxes, but have a 8.25% Sales Tax. Toll roads are growing like wildfire all over the DFW metro area. Also, our Property is around 2+ mill in most areas.


33 posted on 04/30/2009 8:11:12 AM PDT by devane617 (Republicans first strategy should be taking over the MSM. Without it we are doomed.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

I hope they don’t use the same engineering firms Houston used or their last two major projects - an East/West Toll road from the Katy area into downtown was completely shut down after the rains the other day since it was flooded out at one point..... and the underpass of a multi-hundreds of millions dollar project at the intersection of I-10 and the Sam Houston Tollway had something like 10 feet of water at the base..... Thanks a bunch for those engineering marvels!


34 posted on 04/30/2009 8:11:38 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (He bows to the Saudi King - we don't have Camelot, we have Camel Lot)
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To: Le Chien Rouge

183 and MOPAC are toll roads? Guess it’s been longer than I remembered being in Austin. Did they figure out a way to let the hippies free?


35 posted on 04/30/2009 8:13:00 AM PDT by Terry Mross ( I hate all politicians. Including republicans.)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA

Didn’t they have pumping stations there like they do on other facilities (since the Houston area is as flat as a pancake, as far as I know).


36 posted on 04/30/2009 8:14:49 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Barack Obama: in your guts, you know he's nuts!)
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To: devane617

no state income tax here in Nashville but prop tax is 4.49/40% commercial, residential less...3 something on 30%

sales is 9.25%

I lived off Preston in a garage apt on an estate as a lad...dad worked for Texas Industries ..cement

plenty of kin in Dallas


37 posted on 04/30/2009 8:18:09 AM PDT by wardaddy (You will not destroy our country without a fight replete with horror your naive ass cannot imagine)
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To: Terry Mross

83 and MOPAC are toll roads?

Both NORTHERN sections(thru Cedar Park and north of Parmer) have become Toll Roads.

Did they figure out a way to let the hippies free?

Most are too stone too care


38 posted on 04/30/2009 8:19:34 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: wardaddy

I live about a mile from Preston Rd. Probably a bit further north than you lived during your time here. I suspect my area was prairie land back then — heck, it was prairie 10 years ago.... I love Texas, and obviously many others do also according to the vast influx of people from out of state. We have several of the fastest growing areas in the country here in the DFW area. A great place to live as long as you stay out of the Dallas proper city.


39 posted on 04/30/2009 8:26:02 AM PDT by devane617 (Republicans first strategy should be taking over the MSM. Without it we are doomed.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Yes they had pumping stations but all creeks and retention ponds were full..... and seriously, those same creeks and retention ponds ALWAYS get full when we have any rain, so a huge rain is positively going to fill them up! For hundreds of millions of dollars you’d think they could come up with a super duper emergency retention pond scheme.....I’m not an engineer but even I can figure out that zillions of cubic feet of concrete in a flood prone area means ya gotta come up with a plan....


40 posted on 04/30/2009 8:34:02 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (He bows to the Saudi King - we don't have Camelot, we have Camel Lot)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"Low-income residents will be forced to either use congested frontage roads..."

Yeah. It sucks being poor. No one ever said that life was fair. Why bother being rich if there are no advantages?
41 posted on 04/30/2009 8:35:40 AM PDT by LetsRok
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA

Well, west Houston and east Texas are too flat for any easy drainage. That is why there are [well used to be] so many rice patties in that area.

We have the Steck overpass here on MOPAC/Loop 1 that has been shut down except for one lane during heavy rain. Several years ago, it took us over one hour to get five miles to 183.


42 posted on 04/30/2009 8:39:05 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: Terry Mross
183 and MOPAC are toll roads?

183 A is a toll road that runs from just north of RM 620 to north of Leander. The MOPAC extension - north of Palmer Lane to IH 35 is now a toll road.

43 posted on 04/30/2009 8:41:27 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

How insane is it that an elevated overpass would flood out????? Well, considering the non-english speaking day laborers they use these days to build these roads, I’m thinking quality control isn’t what it used to be...


44 posted on 04/30/2009 8:45:01 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (He bows to the Saudi King - we don't have Camelot, we have Camel Lot)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Sorry about the confusing explanation, but it was actually the roadway UNDER the north bound overpass that flooded. The south bound side of that road actually had to be rebuilt several years ago because of the shifting roadbase.
45 posted on 04/30/2009 9:03:33 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

Not confused, I was referring to Houston roads... lol Overpasses that dip down some still don’t drain as they should


46 posted on 04/30/2009 9:10:42 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (He bows to the Saudi King - we don't have Camelot, we have Camel Lot)
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To: CyfairAl

CyfairAl,

I live in the Cy-Fair area, too. I also use the toll roads on occasion to get to work when some numbskull has caused a 3 car pile up on the southbound loop at Westheimer or 290 wins the daily “overturned 18 wheeler” lottery. I’d rather pay the $3 then to have to ride the clutch with a bad knee for an hour.

Anyhoo...

I notice on the Sam Houston that there are plenty of “minorities” using the toll road, including many of the lawn crews. I guess maybe they are more like Chicago Democrats where they understand “pay to play”, unlike their Californicated Austin brethren who think the world is one great big happy Bunnyland where everything should be free for everyone except for those evil Gringos.

BTW...

If you drive down Westpark from Weslayan to Edloe one of those “lawyer box” houses has a big “Vote Democratic” banners up on it’s back fence facing Westpark. Someone last week spray painted “SUCKERS” in big letters on it. When I saw that one I had to laugh! The “intelligent and educated” Democrat owners of that house had not taken it down as of Monday so it might still be there.


47 posted on 04/30/2009 9:11:21 AM PDT by Nahanni
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The fact that McDonald's charges prices that allow it to make a profit unfairly impact on the poor. In fact the profit motive inherent is all free markets is grossly unfair to the poor. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.
48 posted on 04/30/2009 9:14:34 AM PDT by JimSEA
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