Oklahoma Turnpikes: Who's Profiting?

Oklahoma Turnpikes: Who's Profiting?

There are 157 comments on the Oklahoma Impact Team story from Jul 19, 2010, titled Oklahoma Turnpikes: Who's Profiting?. In it, Oklahoma Impact Team reports that:

What started out as one toll road connecting Oklahoma City and Tulsa has turned into a multi-billion dollar web of turnpikes across the state.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Oklahoma Impact Team.

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Bart

Checotah, OK

#1 Jul 19, 2010
Bureaucrats will do ANYTHING to protect their power. It isn't about serving the people, it is about protecting their jobs and power. This has got to stop somehow.
dee

Bluejacket, OK

#2 Jul 19, 2010
it is because of stories like this that have some depth and facts, that we watch channel six. finally some effective and relative reporting. this issue will not die.
BSwift

Boynton, OK

#3 Jul 19, 2010
A good idea in the 60's that has been abused and perpetuated by the ultimate power of the Governor. It's political suicide for a potential candidate for Governor. My Dad drove the Turner Turnpike the day it opened and even he, at age 77, knows the OTA will never go away and neither will the tolls.
toll2033

Ardmore, OK

#4 Jul 19, 2010
wow my question or comment is i wish you would investiagate how the workers r treated, i know some dont get a lunch break cause if the turnpike they work on not making the amount of money they think it should , they wont hire any one to fill the job, they r cutting cost do more with less i know this is a recession but ota???
they want things more automated,or headed to fill jobs with temps., that way they have to pay no benefits, pushing -- the workers who been there the longest ,by picking on their performances, making them angry enough to quit. they have cut the hours that the booths have people in them and customers r gonna put money in till they get that green light, paying way more than the original toll for fear of tickets or other concrns happing to them
b 4 real

Broken Arrow, OK

#5 Jul 19, 2010
The OTA needs to go away. We've paid for those roads over and over again. Sounds like it is time for a Class Action lawsuit. What is the reason for paying to put a Oklahoma tag on your vehicle to use the Oklahoma roads then continue to drive on them everyday. I'm surprised they haven't found a way to have us pay a toll to drive on city streets. It's time for our lawmakers to actually work for us and not the deep pockets or have they forgot who elected them into office. Not a bad idea for building roads in the beginning but haven't we paid enough in taxes and tolls to end paying for them what appears to be for the rest of our lives and then some
Ellen

Bixby, OK

#6 Jul 19, 2010
How can the people ever be heard on this issue? We all know the OTA will never work themselves out of a job. There definitely needs to be major reform. However, I am not certain that putting the OTA under ODOT is the answer. That is a whole other story of inefficiency and waste of taxpayer dollars. Thank you Oklahoma Impact Team. Please do not stop shedding light on this true highway robbery.
srj5783

AOL

#7 Jul 19, 2010
If Oklahoma is not making any money off the Turnpikes then I think the Oklahoma Highway Patrol needs to quit patroling it unless the Owners are going to pay them. If we do not own them its not fair that Oklahomans pay the Troopers to patrol. Let the Owners pay for it. You see more O.H.P. on the turnpikes then you do any where else. Let the Troopers start patroling the state owned roads.
Pfft

Broken Arrow, OK

#8 Jul 19, 2010
OHP is profiting.

lols.
srj5783

AOL

#9 Jul 19, 2010
Just wondering if the State of Oklahoma does not own the roads, wouldn't they be considered private property. Kind of like store parking lots?
kwill

United States

#10 Jul 19, 2010
And good look finding someone to complain to when you have gotten a ticket that you should not have gotten because of their stupid machines. Never mind there was not a picture of the the car tag, etc. sent with the ticket.

They send them to a place in KS to be collected. No one on OTA or Pikepass can help. What garbage.
Coweta

Broken Arrow, OK

#11 Jul 19, 2010
While I do think the Turnpike Authority should be under the OTA's jurisdiction, the one thing you CAN say about the turnpikes is the quality of the roads. They see tons of traffic, but manage to stay in better condition than the state highways. I think they should probably remove the tolls from the turnpikes, but somehow work a slightly lower fee into taxes to pay for road maintenance for all roads. That seems to be a much bigger issue since the amount of funds allocated to fix the poor roads is nowhere near the amount that the turnpike charges in tolls per car.
just wondering

Broken Arrow, OK

#12 Jul 19, 2010
so does this mean that the turnpikes are owned by a private corporation
meaning private road, if so, how can troopers issue citations on private property?
i believe state law indicates that law enforcement has no jurisdiction on private property (parking lots etc),,,,,,,,,just wondering
my2cents

Tulsa, OK

#13 Jul 19, 2010
srj5783 wrote:
If Oklahoma is not making any money off the Turnpikes then I think the Oklahoma Highway Patrol needs to quit patroling it unless the Owners are going to pay them. If we do not own them its not fair that Oklahomans pay the Troopers to patrol. Let the Owners pay for it. You see more O.H.P. on the turnpikes then you do any where else. Let the Troopers start patroling the state owned roads.
The OTA actually does pay for all of the equipment fuel and Troopers salaries, sadly the state of Oklahoma could never afford to pay the Troopers to patrol the turnpikes or the maintenance workers it takes to maintain the turnpikes I don't know what the answer is, but I just don't see a day when the state could pay the huge expense it takes to keep those roads operating
srj5783

AOL

#15 Jul 19, 2010
Ok everyone needs to go to this site and write in to the Good Ole' Governor and tell him how we feel. Nothing is going to change if we just sit back and watch the story and do nothing! We need to stand up for our rights. Time to open our mouths and take some action instead of being all talk. http://www.gov.ok.gov/contact.php
einzig

Sand Springs, OK

#16 Jul 19, 2010
If I'm in no hurry I rather enjoy route 66.
srj5783

AOL

#17 Jul 19, 2010
my2cents wrote:
<quoted text>
The OTA actually does pay for all of the equipment fuel and Troopers salaries, sadly the state of Oklahoma could never afford to pay the Troopers to patrol the turnpikes or the maintenance workers it takes to maintain the turnpikes I don't know what the answer is, but I just don't see a day when the state could pay the huge expense it takes to keep those roads operating
Well I would say if they got the toll money then they could afford to pay for it all! Why are we letting people from out of state own them. Thats just nuts!!! If we are not getting the tolls then get the Troopers and our equipment off them and let the people filling their pockets with the toll money to pay for it ALL!!!!
srj5783

AOL

#18 Jul 19, 2010
my2cents wrote:
<quoted text>
The OTA actually does pay for all of the equipment fuel and Troopers salaries, sadly the state of Oklahoma could never afford to pay the Troopers to patrol the turnpikes or the maintenance workers it takes to maintain the turnpikes I don't know what the answer is, but I just don't see a day when the state could pay the huge expense it takes to keep those roads operating
I would like to know the answer to that question! I do not think if they are owned by private people etc then the troopers can issue citations. More investigations need done on that.
opie

Lone Grove, OK

#19 Jul 19, 2010
Sad part of the whole deal is many of the turnpikes aren't all that much better than the interstates and rural highways that they bypass. This is particularly true in the rural parts of our state; the metros are kept in pretty good shape.

How many of you know the story behind the Cherokee Turnpike? As they used to say: "Pray for me, I drive Highway 33."

The state knew 20 years ahead of time where the new highway was going to go. The bond was paid three times over, yet never fulfilled because the state kept pulling money out of that bond for other projects.

What a slap in the face to those who lost family and friends on Highway 33. That highway should've been a regular four lane highway, not a toll road.
JKM

Tulsa, OK

#20 Jul 19, 2010
Turnpikes equal a bank roll for some fat-cat-big-daddy.
Fact

Cordele, GA

#21 Jul 19, 2010
Oklahoma is well known for corrupt, greedy kickback taking politicians and it has been that way for many generation's!And whoever said that turnpikes are in better shape than other non-turnpike roads obviously has not driven on the Will Rogers Turnpike in the last 40 years!I have never driven on that sorry road in my years of living in Oklahoma(40+years) and they did'nt have some stretch of that road torn up!Right now it is torn up in the Vinita/Big Cabin area and they have concrete barriers in the westbound lanes that are barely big enough for a Volkswagen to drive through,let alone the Semi-Trucks that pass through there by the thousands daily.In my view, until it is fixed properly they should either eliminate or reduce the toll that they now charge,because you are paying for a good road and getting a sorry one instead!Also,you don't need a sign out there say's you are leaving Oklahoma into Missouri,you know that when the pavement get's smooth and better maintained!

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