Sarah Eckhardt opposes toll roads and she has voted against them dozens of times as a County Commissioner and member of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization(CAMPO). But Andy Brown is attacking Eckhardt claiming she “campaigned against toll roads and voted to toll Mopac.”
Don’t be bamboozled by Brown! The charge is utterly false.
Eckhardt voted for the Mopac Improvement Project which, among other things, added a lane that will be tolled. The remaining lanes will not be tolled, just like they are now. Sarah wrote on her blog at the time of the vote about how this big transportation project solves several transportation problems.
Ironically, Eckhardt worked with Senator Kirk Watson to pass this project. Perhaps Brown was too busy representing some corporation in court at the time to know that his attack on Eckhardt amounts to an attack on one of his own key supporters.
Sarah Eckhardt played a major role in making the Mopac Improvement Project better for taxpayers and drivers. Because of Sarah Eckhardt’s amendments, the Mopac Managed Lane will:
- Not be owned in any way by a foreign entity;
- Be in an existing transportation corridor;
- Preserve all of the existing non-tolled capacity;
- Go through existing high population areas;
- Be designed to directly address a high-priority congestion area;
- Include free passage for bus rapid transit and registered vanpools;
- Preserve access to the MoPac rail line for future commuter rail service;
- Include long-awaited sound walls as well as improved sound-absorbent pavement and other amenities that raise the bar on the interface between highway and neighborhoods; and
- Provide free access at reliable travel speeds to public safety vehicles, improving emergency response times through the corridor.
As vice chair of CAMPO (our regional transportation planning organization), Sarah Eckhardt worked to reduce traffic and gridlock and support alternative transportation options. We can count on her in the future to be part of the solution to our traffic problems.