Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trans Texas Corridor- Minor Victory

Good news: the Texas Department of Transportation has nixed their plan to build the I-69 Trans Texas Corridor as an entirely new highway, grabbing millions of acres of new land to bypass virtually everyplace.

Bad news: the plan to make I-69 part of the Trans Texas Corridor still stands- which means that US 59 will be expanded to the Goliath proportions of the 400-yard-wide Trans Texas Corridor standards for most of its rural length. Local businesses near the existing US 59 lanes will be destroyed or bypassed for the toll incarnation of I-69, which will have businesses owned and operated by the same private corporations that operate the toll road itself.

In short, the Trans Texas Corridor Project is still alive; the beast has not yet been slain.

TxDOT promises that existing lanes will not be made into toll lanes on US 59. This, of course, presumes that existing lanes won't be torn up or shut down for various reasons.

Granted, Rick Perry is having trouble holding even his loyal Republicans in line on this issue. My Republican State Senator, Robert Nichols, was elected without any opposition whatever- but he supported the moratorium on toll road construction currently in place, and he seems favorable to killing TTC off completely.

Still, it's all the more important to elect Democrats to the Texas state legislature- especially since the Republicans hold only a five seat majority in the House at present. A flip of three seats would be enough to turn the House Democratic, which in turn would spell doom for the TTC and for most long-distance toll projects in the state.

Good Lord, let it happen...

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