Link to article here.
TxDOT continues to mislead the public into thinking the Trans Texas Corridor is DEAD when in fact, it’s just been renamed. If you read this article carefully, they even say so. The new name is “innovative connectivity plan” where they plan to break it up into segments instead of build the massive new corridor all at once. It’ll still be a gigantic foreign-owned toll road. Our tax dollars at work…in order to truly KILL the TTC and reform this rogue agency, we need a new Governor. The current regime is a one trick pony…mislead and railroad the public until it’s too late to stop it.
Trans Texas Corridor as such is gone
Regional segments, such as Loop 9, part of new vision
Rockwall County Herald-Banner
September 9, 2009
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has no intention of developing the Trans Texas Corridor TTC, said agency spokesperson Chris Lippincott, on Wednesday.
He confirmed what was said by transportation planners in the Aug. 26 Rockwall County Road Consortium meeting, that the TTC is almost gone. Instead, local input will be key to developing transportation segments serving regional needs, through a new plan, Innovative Connectivity in Texas/Vision 2009.
The vision was unveiled in January at the fourth annual Texas Transportation Forum, in which TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz outlined new plans for corridor width, transportation mode, use of existing facilities, timelines, and level of involvement of local officials and citizens in the planning.
“Texans have spoken, and we’ve been listening,” said Saenz. “I believe this transformed vision for the TTC and other major corridor development goes a long way toward addressing the concerns we’ve heard over the past several years.”
Focus will be on segments closer to 600 feet wide, rather than the 1,000 plus of TTC, and be named per the highway numbers originally associated with each segment, such as I-69, SH 130 and closer to home, Loop 9.
Loop 9 is proposed to be a 44-mile-long new road running along the southern edge of Dallas County, dropping into Ellis County, and turning north through the western edge of Kaufman County and back east into Dallas County in order to connect Interstate 20 and US 287, as well as major cross streets. It was first conceived in the 1950s. “It may be developed by the private sector, it may end up as a toll road because of lack of resources,” Lippincott said.
It is a TxDOT project.
It’s east-west portion would also tie into the Outer Loop, a ring of connected roadways around the Metroplex, being coordinated by North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).
At the Kaufman/Dallas County border, where Loop 9 heads northwest, the Outer Loop would break off and head northeast into Rockwall County if Rockwall County’s preferred Outer Loop alignment is ultimately chosen, or into Hunt County.
“North Central Texas COG is as sophisticated an agency of this type as there is in this state,” Lippincott said in the phone interview. “The means it has are vast,” he said, noting NCTCOG, as the other metropolitan planning areas in the state, receive some federal funding.
When told that some citizens expressed concern at the Consortium meeting that the Outer Loop is a Trans Texas Corridor in disguise, he said, “I don’t want to minimize questions. They (the citizens who are concerned) should stay involved.”
“Every time we build a road, we’ve got to listen and work with the people,” he said.
Right of way can not be purchased until there is money, and not until an environmental impact statement is approved. A draft environmental impact statement for Loop 9 is due in late 2009.
“At some point we will have to acquire the land if we build Loop 9,” Lippincott said. On that subject, he said roads “mean different things to different people. “If you’ve got a McDonalds or a 7/11, Loop 9 could be the greatest thing that could happen. If you’ve got a retirement home, you’ll have a different view,” he said.
TxDOT is expected to hold a public hearing on Loop 9 in the fall; the date is yet to be announced.
Though TTC is essentially gone, “what remains is the challenge created by traffic across our state,” Lippincott said, noting that Texas grows by 1,000 people a day. To that end, TxDOT is still holding public meetings on the 600 mile I-69 project.
Thank you! Excellent coverage.
Developers who seek to profit at other taxpayer’s expense rejoice. Communities and real priorities get lost as those with the most money to gain put out massive amounts of money to grease the wheels of “so called progress” which shifts wealth from those with less power. The only way to stop this is for citizens to be alert, be informed, and unite in determination to stop CDA’s (private public partnerships). Toll roads are not the most efficient way to build highways. They are definitely not the most efficient way to move people and goods from one point to another. Everyone pays the toll, even those who never drive on them. These north Texas toll roads, even those operated by the public toll authority, have to comply with the same bid guidelines as private companies like Spanish controlled Cintra and Australian MacQuaqurie, robbing the people of the advantages of a public toll authority.
Most people in this region commute hours to work each day and have less time to watch the news and read newspapers and blogs. Those who work in different communities than where they live have less opportunity to attend meetings in their hometown or where they work. This creates a ripe territory for special interest to come in and take-over public infrastructure. This is especially a problem when the Governor of the State, the Lt. Governor of the State, and the Attorney General are either acting for the private for profit interest or asleep at the wheel.
I recommend that citizens watch San Antonio based groups such as San Antonio Toll Party and the statewide group T.U.R.F. (Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom) co-founded by Terri Hall and Hank Gilbert. Our own group, DFW REGIONAL CONCERNED CITIZENS. benefits greatly from their expertise.