In a change of tactics for anti toll groups, they have begun circulating petitions calling for an election on a change to the San Antonio City Charter which would require that a public vote be taken before any toll roads or toll lanes could be built inside the city limits, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"When they come back and want to toll these roads, they would have to get public approval first," said Terri Hall, founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, a major anti toll organization, told 1200 WOAI news.
Anti toll groups have previously urged voters to support anti toll candidates and lobbied the Legislature to place non-tolling requirements into highway construction bills. This represents a major change in the groups' strategy.
Hall said volunteers will start hitting streets, malls, Fiesta events, and polling places during the May municipal and runoff elections.
"We need 20,000 signatures n the next 180 days in order to force an election on changing the City Charter to require a vote on all these toll projects," she said. "An up or down vote, that's all we ask."
City officials have said that requiring transportation planning decisions to be subject to a public vote would clog up the works, and would threatening carefully negotiated financial plans. But several city officials said they had not heard of the petition drive or proposed City Charter change until told about it by 1200 WOAI news and were unable to comment.
Hall says a couple of volunteers went to polling places on Tuesday to test the waters for the petition. She says the biggest problem they had was too many people wanting to sign.
"Over 90% of people we ran into at those polls were scrambling to sign the petition," she said. "They do not want toll roads."
The petition campaign is at: letsavote.com.