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Congestion pricing? What congestion pricing?

Well, that was fast.

County Judge Ed Emmett announced today that the county will not double fees during peak hours on the Westpark Tollway, backing off a decision made two days earlier that was assailed by many tollway drivers and area residents.

“We will cancel the Westpark (peak-hours) increase,” he said.

Member of Commissioners Court, especially Commissioner Steve Radack, have received phone calls and e-mails from residents criticizing the court’s decision Tuesday to raise Westpark fees from $1 to $2.50 per transaction during peak hours.

Rescinding Tuesday’s unanimous vote by the court “was certainly influenced by the public’s reaction,” Emmett said.

Boy, when was the last time public opinion had any effect on Commissioners Court? I guess even kings and czarinas have to be concerned about the rabble once in awhile.

So-called “congestion pricing” was intended to reduce gridlock on the tollway during the morning and evening commutes. But after voting for peak-hour pricing, court members became concerned that doubling the fees would force some drivers onto just-as-congested nearby roads.

Gosh, where might they have gotten that idea? Let’s be real here: What the Court – in particular, Judge Emmett – became concerned about was the specter of Charles Bacarisse and David Mincberg rubbing their hands and cackling with glee at the juicy electoral issue that just dropped into their laps. Will people forgive and forget, or will they think he’s a flipflopper as well as a chiseler? Look for the hit pieces in your mailbox, any day now.

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One Comment

  1. Charles Hixon says:

    Although the decision may have been wise, the way it got there was arbitrary: as arbitrary as a unanimous vote in Commissioners Court, and as arbitrary as a reversal in private.