On the one hand, transportation officials tell us that they just don’t have the funds available to build roads. Yet on the other hand, toll roads dollars are being used to let executives take European vacations complete with first-class and business-class airline seats.

CBS News 11 in Dallas is reporting that the North Texas Tollway Authority spent $42,500 to send five people to the “75th Annual International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association conference in Vienna, Austria.”
But don’t worry about them being stuck in boring conferences, most of the officials skipped out on the meetings and went window-shopping. They did find time for the free meals, of course.

The tollway’s executive director is quoted as saying the trip was critical for the NTTA “to understand the global market as we compete in North Texas.”

How, exactly, does a toll-road in north Texas “compete” globally? Does a driver in Vienna wake-up on a Tuesday morning and ask, “Am I going to drive to fly from here to Dallas, take their toll-road, and then fly on to Rome?”

This was nothing more than a posh vacation paid for by Texans who seeing both their gas-tax dollars AND their toll-road dollars squandered by a bureaucracy accountable to no one.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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