Capacity crowd at TTC hearing in San Antonio…people turned away…duplicate mtg called Thursday!

David Stall of Corridor Watch was able to get this release out before I even arrived home from the hearing. He says it best, so read the gist of what happened below…

For Immediate Release
Corridor Watch.org
August 8, 2006

TxDOT FAILS TO ACCOMMODATE HUNDREDS AT SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC HEARING

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Hundreds of Texans were unable to attend and participate in the TTC-35 DEIS Public Hearing held in a San Antonio high school on August 8, 2006. When the East Central High School Cafeteria reached its 600-person capacity the doors were closed. Many of those left standing outside had driven great distances, some from as far away as Houston.

Apparently TxDOT didn’t realize that San Antonio is the 2nd most populated city in Texas. In fact the Alamo city is. And TxDOT might take note that it is also the 7th most populated city in the entire United States. Really something we would have expected them to have already known.

How did this happen? Was TxDOT unaware that metropolitan Bexar County’s population had grown to near 2 million? Did they really expect that a meeting room with a 600 person capacity would be adequate, especially given the vigorous debate over the TTC and toll projects in Bexar County?

This stands in stark contrast to Temple, population less than 55,000. When a stunning 1,600 people showed up for the TTC-35 DEIS Public Hearing in Temple, TxDOT needed only to add an additional 100 chairs to accommodate the crowd. And that wasn’t the only big turn out by Texans who want to let TxDOT know what they think about the TTC. Waco attracted more than 1,000 and 800 in Floresville, just a stones throw from San Antonio.

What were they thinking? Were they thinking? Some suspicious types might even suspect an evil plot designed to repel the throngs of unhappy citizens who are taking advantage of their right to express their unhappiness. Certainly people will give a second thought before drive to San Antonio if there’s a chance they’ll end up standing outside instead of listening and speaking inside.

CorridorWatch.org however is more inclined to suspect it was just horribly poor planning. The kind of planning we fear will be commonplace with the massive Trans Texas Corridor project that’s currently being designed in secret without coordination with regional transportation planners or meaningful citizen review and comment.

Of course, TxDOT will hold an additional Public Hearing in San Antonio in an attempt to reach those who were turned away. Will they move to a larger facility where everyone, even if there’s more than 600, can be assured that they can get inside the building? No they won’t.

The next San Antonio DEIS Tier One Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2006, again at the East Central High School cafeteria, 7173 FM 1628, San Antonio, Texas. The meeting room will open at 5:00 p.m. for open house style displays and discussion with a formal presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by oral comments from the public.

SUPPORTERS FAIL TO IMPRESS

Only three speakers in San Antonio were heard publicly addressing TxDOT in support of TTC-35. That was a surprise since a couple Pro-Toll Pro-Corridor organizations made a plea for their members and the public to testify for TTC-35. Their call for support even got some press coverage but didn’t seem to produce any results.

NOTE ADDED BY TERRI: In fact, the pro-corridor speakers were booed off the stage. They just grinned and took their seats. Yep, grinned…they think they sit high atop their untouchable, special interest ivory tower. Well, it’s about to get knocked down November 7!

0 Replies to “Capacity crowd at TTC hearing in San Antonio…people turned away…duplicate mtg called Thursday!”

  1. Linda Green

    I was at the meeting. I live in Adkins so it was easy for me to get there. Fortunately I arrived in time and got a seat. St Hedwig Mayor Mary Jo Dylla made a very passionate speech about how her little historical town will be destroyed by TTC-35. She said it would basically be divided in two and many historical sites will be removed. Of course, the Grandma got everyone hot. She said this nonsense will go away if she is elected, so I’m trusting her on this. Many people in the audience agreed that this is Rick Perry’s baby and if he goes away, hopefully TTC-35 and tolling in general will as well. I don’t try to tell people how to vote, but in this instance, if you want to save property rights and personal freedoms, well, I think you see my point. Another thing about TTC-35 and the I 69 Corridor that is missing from much of the discussion is that people will lose their property with this construction. Eastern Bexar county and the other locales on these routes are rural farm lands that have been in families for generations. These routes go through less affluent and less powerful communities, and many of us in the Adkins, St Hedwig area believe we are getting the shaft here, because we lack the political and economic clout. So make sure you get your public comment in to Tx Dot by Aug 21 saying you want no action on TTC-35, and make your voice heard in November. As they said in my dad and grandfather’s day–Vote the Rascals Out. Thank you.

  2. edward fitzpatrick

    the way that tx dot handled this meeting shows contempt for the public
    not scheduling enough space for the people attempting to protest toll roads
    since i was one of the ones turned away,
    i will have to go twice to give my protest of the toll road

  3. Kathy Palmer

    I was at the August 8th meeting from start to finish. I arrived at 5 for the open house and by 6pm the doors were closed to the public in the presentation area due to the huge amount of turnout. I would ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to attend tonight BEFORE you start saying it is a “not in my backyard” issue. I have a vested interest in where this tollway goes as I live in St. Hedwig and right now the proposed route will cut our city in half. Yes, congestion is an issue. I drive in Dallas and Houston on a regular basis and cannot stand the traffic. BUT some of the things folks need to realize are these:
    Truckers avoid tollways like the plague. Several of the folks that spoke against the TTC at the meeting were truckers, and they flat out said they WILL NOT use this tollway. If the intent of the tollway is to take the truck congestion off of I35 and put it on the TTC, but the truckers refuse to use it, where is the benefit?
    Second, most folks are not aware of the non compete clause that could be placed in the contract with Cintra Zachary should this project come to fruition. This non complete clause WILL NOT allow ANY expansions of ANY feeder roads that come in contact with the TTC. That means out East, FM 1346, Hwy 87, FM 1518, 181, or any country road that should run under or over the TTC WILL NOT be widened to accommodate growing traffic for the next 50 years.
    Third, not all roads will have access to this TTC, meaning that you will have to drive and extra length of time and miles and possibly have to backtrack your route if an exit is not provided for the road you want. This is clearly stated and shown in the 30 minute TXDOT dog and pony show given at the public seeings. (I say public seeings and not public hearings because you WILL NOT be allowed to ask questions once the presentation is started. You will only be allowed to ask questions during the open house from 5-6:30)
    Fourth, THIS CAN BE STOPPED but you MUST go out to the polls on Nov. 7th and let your voice be heard against Gov. Perry. This was pushed through legislation in 2002 without a substantive amount of public comment. Contrary to public belief, we WILL NOT be able to vote on the project itself, but we CAN vote on the folks in office and make the changes that way.
    I have many more comments but will close for now.
    I hope you read this entire response as the TTC does affect you, no matter where you live in the Bexar and Wilson county areas.

  4. Michele Bryan

    I thought I sent this earlier, but I don’t think it went thru. If it did, sorry for the repeat.

    I attended the TTC hearing (if you want to call it that) last Tuesday night at East Central High. What a travesty putting you next to last. I truly believe the only way to get their attention is at the ballot box.

    My family owns land around Dilley on I35. I also attended the Pearsall meeting. Not one person spoke in favor of the TTC. I also drive ALL around San Antonio in my job as an insurance rep. It is hard enough to work with gas prices, but if I also have to pay tolls, I may as well stay in Dilley and get a job.

    My brother owns a Chick-Fil-A franchise at the corner of 290 and Hwy 1 in Austin. They finally finished an overpass at that corner and the politicians started talking about tolling it. Austinites started a recall election on any local politicians that were in favor of tolling and the matter was dropped.

    I will attend any meeting I can and I will be sending a check. Thank you for all that you are doing!

    Michele Bryan
    Dilley, TX

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