Trans Tx Corridor Public
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
An estimated crowd of 800 filled
the LaGrange hall to capacity!
An estimated 800 filled the
Knights of Columbus Community Center in LaGrange Tuesday night for
another Trans Texas Corridor public hearing. As the meeting time drew
near a line of people waiting to sign-in stretched out the door, down
the sidewalk and into the parking lot. [photos]
At least two County Judges
and a half-dozen County Commissioners came to hear state transportation
officials answer questions and address concerns about the Trans Texas
Corridor. District 17 State Representative Robby Cook joined
Commission Member John Johnson and Department of Transportation
Executive Director Michael Behrens in speaking to the audience. [bio] The
audience included elected city and county officials represented more
than a dozen communities and four or five counties.
The sometimes angry crowd
was not happy with the uncertain answers given to dozens of their
questions. No timetable for construction nor the location of future
corridors was provided in response to repeated requests. Confusion was
generated when one official talked about the Corridor in terms of when
it is built, not if it is built. While another official characterized
the Corridor as only being conceptual and nothing more than a vision.
Members of the audience were quick to point out that state law and the
plan adopted by the Transportation Commission have put the Corridor well
beyond the conceptual phase. Executive Director Behrens even referenced
TxDOT's role and the process of Corridor construction and operation.
Fayetteville resident David
Stall called the Corridor "Highway alchemy." He went on to add, "The
Governor wants to turn your land into state gold." Stall disclosed to
the group that last month, on the same day that TxDOT officials were
holding a Trans Texas Corridor meetings in Bastrop and twenty-three
other counties, a delegation from Spain was scheduled to hear a program
titled, "Presentation of Projects: I-69 Corridor, I-10 Corridor, I-45
Corridor." He was disturbed that TxDOT was actively offering the I-10
Corridor as a potential project only days before a TxDOT official stood
before the citizens and officials of Colorado County and said the I-10
corridor is "20, 30 or 40 years away."
Stall told the audience
that the, "grand plan adopted by the Transportation Commission is not
driven by well-defined demands for transportation. It is driven by the
opportunity to generate revenue." [text]
One speaker from Wahalla
credited CorridorWatch.org with getting the community involved.
CorridorWatch.org founder Linda Stall vowed that this is only the
beginning and that TxDOT and state officials will hear lots more from
the entire state. Additional information will
continue to appear on the CorridorWatch.org Internet website.
Prepared Comments by David Stall.
Letters to the editor by TxDOT Executive Director
has reviewed TxDOT's sign-in sheets from the March 23, 2004 public
hearing in LaGrange, Texas. Sixty-three pages list 703 participants.
Since we were there and know that many participants refused or just
didn't sign-in, we're still estimating 750 to 800 in attendance.
Thank you for your time and interest.