After more than a decade of sometimes contentious debate, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority has released the final draft of it's proposal for the first phase of improvements on US 281 outside Loop 1604 north to Stone Oak Parkway, 1200 WOAI news reports.
ARMA Chairman John Clamp says the improvements will eventually cover all of 281, from 1604 all the way to the Comal County line.
"There will be one toll lane in each direction, there will be two express lanes in each direction, and there will be two to three frontage lanes in each direction," Clamp told 1200 WOAI news.
He says the 'express lanes' are non tolled, similar to the lanes that exist on 281 today.
He says there will also be lanes dedicated to VIA busses and car pools.
"It will be a high occupancy vehicle lane, a managed lane, an emergency vehicle lane," he said.
Clamp said the plan now is for construction to begin on the long delayed project in 2015.
But anti toll activist Terri Hall of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom wasted no time criticizing the ARMA proposal.
"What they presented actually exacerbates the bottleneck at Stone Oak," she said. "It will cause congestion on the two remaining non toll main lanes even though there will be overpasses. They are actually shrinking the non toll capacity."
Clamp says no decision has been made on how much the toll will be to drive on the tolled lanes. Hall says the toll will be as much as 50 cents a mile, which, in effect, will be a massive increase in gasoline taxes for people who live in the Stone Oak area.
"Big daddy government will track every mile you drive with an electronic toll tag," she said.
Hall also warned that building a toll road through such a built-up area will have one unexpected side effect that will make Stone Oak residents' lives a living hell.
"People try to avoid paying tolls, so they find alternate routes to bypass toll lanes," Hall said. "Studies show tolls displace traffic onto surrounding neighborhood streets, and increase congestion and accidents on local streets."