Thursday, May 03, 2007

Not So Fast, Gov'nor


When did you first hear about the Trans-Texas Corridor?

It's shocking just how few Texans know about this massive super-highway-rail-utility project launched by Governor Perry in 2002. Ten vehicle lanes, six rail tracks, utilities, pipelines, state concessions (gas stations, restaurants, motels, stores, warehouses, etc.) all on 4,000 miles of toll roads that will consume more than one-half million acres of Texas.

Everyone should understand that this isn't another Interstate Highway. It not just a jumbo-sized highway. This Corridor project is a very wide, very flat, extremely limited access, mostly toll, highway-rail-utility corridor. To cross the Corridor at any point will require a quarter-mile long overpass.

It will connect to Interstate and other major highways. However, by design it will not provide easy, if any, access to the communities it passes by. It will not spur commercial development along its frontage like our Interstate Highways. There will be no frontage. There will be no opportunity for the owners of property it abuts to develop new or expanded businesses with access to the Corridor. Moreover, it has provisions in the plan and the law to place all possible traveler services on the corridor itself.

Every mile of Corridor will consume 146 acres of land. That's property that will become state owned land - removed from county and school district tax rolls everywhere it extends.

So the Texans decided that this is one boondoggle that won't roll over them.


At last, CDA Moratorium Bill (HB1892) has PASSED.
Today's House vote 139 to 1

The next stop is the Governor's Desk.

HB1892 passed last week in the Senate 27 to 4 and today in the House by a vote of 139 to 1. The lone supporter was Rep. Mike Krusee. Those margins don't invite a veto, but Governor Perry is poised with pen in hand. He has until Monday, May 14th to send the bill back with his veto and objections. If he doesn't act by that date the bill will automatically become law.

The Trans Texas Corridor is effectively stopped for 30 months.

Today's action puts the breaks on the TTC and initiates a study process that will bring to light the numerous flaws surrounding the project.

Job well done.

Thank you everyone. Members of CorridorWatch and our numerous friends and allies in the fight have won a tremendous victory for the state of Texas and its citizens. You should know that nearly everyone believed that what you have accomplished today was impossible. Yes, it was hard. And yes, there's still a lot to do. But what we have done together this session will provide the time and encouragement to take our fight to the next level.

CorridorWatch especially applauds the Senators and Representatives who listened to our concerns and led the charge inside the Capitol. Without their efforts we would have been lost.