I miss writing about the Trinity tollroad. Since Mayor Park Cities’ departure, it has hardly come up. But, bless his heart, Mayor Rawlings has decided to feed my jones. Today, he will announce that we desperately need the toll road or Dallas will collapse into a pit of mediocrity.
Or something like that. When it comes to the tollroad, these guys lose all sense of reason. How else to explain their thinking? The tollroad isn’t safe, there isn’t any money to build it, and there may well be a good chance that we don’t even need it any more. Gasoline consumption has dropped five percent in the U.S. over the past four years, and it looks like we’re in the middle of a profound change in driving habits, as we shift to a society not centered around the car.
None of this makes any difference to the bosses downtown, of course, who still think it’s 1999 — big lakes of federal money, a booming housing market, and all the other stuff that helped them make such crummy policy decisions over the past 10 years. Doubt that? Then look forward to my June East Dallas magazine column, in which I crunched the numbers and discovered that our propery tax rate has exceeded the rate of inflation over the past decade, while city spending mostly hasn’t.
Now I just need to think of a good nickname for Rawlings.