Read our posts about the first SA hearing here and here.
Nearly 700 turned out to oppose the corridor in Seguin. Not one person spoke in favor. Of course, they didn’t cover our statement which addresses what the true source of congestion is on I-35: NAFTA trucks and the trade with China that’s projected to increase containers traveling through the U.S. from 100,000 to 700,000 by 2010. It’s not Texas truckers and it’s not commuters clogging I-35, it’s the foreign trade from NAFTA and CAFTA (neither of which Americans got to vote on) clogging Texas highways, and these urban toll roads are all feeders roads and revenue sources to make Texans bear the burden of the Nation’s commerce. Get rid of the trade agreements, and you get rid of the supposed “need” for the Trans Texas Corridor.
Our statement in Seguin:
The San Antonio Toll Party is part of a growing statewide grassroots movement to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor and the urban double tax tolls. Perry’s toll plans illustrate the total disconnect between the government and the grassroots who pay the bills. We NEED political reform. Carole Keeton Strayhorn, has made the best case through which the people of Texas can stop Rick Perry and this massive boondoggle, and that’s to institute the long-term solution of statewide Initiative & Referendum by giving Texans a vote to overturn this horrific toll road legislation.
San Antonio is ground zero for the special interest highway lobby including Zachry, which along with its majority partner Spanish company Cintra have paid over $7 billion for exclusive development rights for the corridor and are also one of two bidders to takeover the 281/1604 toll projects. This isn’t like opposition to the interstate system as they’d have us believe, the interstate system is already built (we don’t need two). It wasn’t a toll road, and it wasn’t 1/4 mile wide for the sole benefit of private interests…Eisenhower wanted it built for national security! This corridor threatens our security making our utilities and infrastructure a target especially when containers from China and Mexico won’t even be inspected until they reach the ports in San Antonio or Kansas City (read about it here)!
The planned route of the Corridor is slated to takeover parts of EXISTING I-35 and other existing roads, thus DOUBLE TAXING Texans for something we’ve already built and paid for.
It’s eminent domain abuse of the worst kind taking our land and handing it over to private interests for commercial gain. It’s the Supreme Court Kelo case wrapped up in a different colored bow.
The Governor’s Transportation Commission Chair Ric Williamson said this just two days ago when asked if all the universal opposition to the Trans Texas Corridor will stop the project, he answered, “The transportation needs of the state trump such opposition” (see it here). So whatever Perry and Williamson define as “transportation needs” is what rules the day. Apparently, we’re officially living under a Perry/Williamson dictatorship. We need a regime change and to stop special interest, elitist “we know best” politics.
Truth is, they haven’t justified the “need” for this corridor. It’s based on population growth not traffic projections, it doesn’t even factor in the rising price of gas and that people are actually driving less and congestion is going down. No one uses commuter rail outside populated areas, and truckers can scarcely fill their gas tanks much less afford toll roads. The real story is, they want this corridor to benefit foreign interests, mainly China, not Texas.
Recent news articles tell us the Port Authority of San Antonio has been working actively with the Communist Chinese to open and develop NAFTA shipping ports in Mexico that will enter the U.S. through the Trans Texas Corridor (or NAFTA superhighway) for the purpose of increasing its annual handling capacity from 100,000 containers to 700,000 containers initially, with possible expansion to two million containers by the end of the decade. That’s the congestion problem they’re seeking to solve, the source is not Texas truckers and commuters but the massive new influx of Chinese goods into the U.S. via Mexican ports, trucks, and rail (read more here).
It’s no accident that they planned the corridor to go through the path of least resistance, in rural areas, out of major media markets, with little political clout. But what they didn’t count on was the same opposition to their urban toll roads and they didn’t count on all of us banding together to unseat every last toller who thumbs their noses at the taxpayers starting with Rick Perry!
We urge you to join our statewide movement against the Corridor and double tax tolls by signing up at our tables outside before you leave. Join rural, urban and surburban Texans by not simply talking, but organizing. Our only vote on this is Nov. 7!