TXDOT-Synonymous with Toll Roads Now? What is the Long Range Transportation Plan 2035Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas
TXDOT-Synonymous with Toll Roads Now? What is the Long Range Transportation Plan 2035
7 April 2010 at 5:45:47 PM
Saw an ad in the back of this week's Glen Rose Reporter about how TxDot in conjunction with the FHA is going to have two open-house public meetings in Fort Worth about their Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan. It doesn't sound, from reading the ad, that people will be able to give comments into microphones to an assembled group of TxDOT employees but instead can come to an open house and submit comments via written forms.
The meeting is going to be on May 6 2010 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the TxDot Fort Worth District Regional Training Center, 2501 SW Loop 820 in Fort Worth, with info by phone 1-888-589-7526.
Anyway, I"ve been so wary of the Trans Texas Corridor, know it was renamed and pretend-done-away with, and it's not likely that TxDOT which is always saying it's broke but doesn't want to, say, raise the gas tax, is going to push anything but more toll roads. (Remember, even Kip Averitt said Rick Perry is STILL wanting to push the TTC but under another name)
As the 2030 Committee is charged with assessing the statewide need, the total need identified
above must be adjusted to more closely reflect the approximate financial responsibility of the
State of Texas under each scenario. There are three ways that investment costs to the State can
be reduced – sharing mobility costs with local entities (“more system”), making more efficient
use of the system capacity (“more efficiency”), and reducing total travel demand through
alternatives and incentives (“more options”). Together they represent ways to complement the
traditional expenditure of state funds on roadway construction.
• More System - freeways, streets and public transportation service provided by other
funding sources – Cities and counties traditionally construct 30 percent to 40 percent of
the roadway capacity in urban regions. The larger metropolitan regions have a significant
amount of toll highways in their current committed plans. And new public transportation
system capacity is funded largely by a combination of local and federal funding. All of
these funding alternatives reduce the total funds needed from the state. For analysis
purposes, this section of the report assumes a baseline local share of 33 percent and
examines the effects of local funding up to 50 percent of total needs.
These major reductions in cost are speculative. To achieve them will require substantial
implementation expense (though less than actual road construction), unprecedented levels of
public acceptance for non-traditional options, as well as difficult state and local policy decisions,
such as charging travelers for roadways that provide fast and reliable travel times.
Yup. Toll Roads. You want to have a good road in Texas? You'll pay to drive on it.
Interesting comment on p 57 about loop roads.
For example, a short $10 million loop road segment connecting two highways in a rural Texas
town could result in a total economic impact of more than $30 million per year by serving as a
major catalyst for development. If it prompted a small manufacturing company employing 100
people to locate in the town, the original 100 jobs would likely create an additional 110 support
jobs. Total annual income in the area would increase by more than $8 million per year. The
additional income would increase consumer spending. Sales tax collections would likely
increase by $400,000 per year and property tax revenues for the city, county and school district would rise, as well. Similar employment and income effects of that decision would likely go
unnoticed in a large urban area, but would impact rural areas significantly.
A simple comparison of the Texas Trunk Highway System to the TTC plan would allow even the most biased observer to realize that the two are vastly different. The Texas Trunk system contains most of the existing US numbered highways and Interstates in the State, while TTC was a much more limited set of alternate corridors to existing facilites. Perhaps the author could inject less drama and hyperbole into his reporting (?) by doing a little bit more work next time.
In the broader scope of the article, perhaps the author would like to ask the question, "Why is TxDOT preparing this Statewide Plan?" Perhaps in asking that question he might be led to various Federal Regulations (inspired by the US Congress) that mandate a Statewide Transportation Plan with routine updates. The last adopted plan for Texas came in the 1990's, so an update is clearly needed now that population has increased, Federal policies and programs have changed, and even the whole status of transportation funding has been altered by State Legislation. I believe the 2030 plans the author references were developed by Blue Ribbon Commissions to address specific topics as opposed to being a comprehensive long range plan for the State as a whole.
As I said "Does this include what was formerly called the TTC?". Didn't say that it is synonymous in every respect but that it *incorporates the same major highways that the TTC did". Don't have a problem with statewide transportation plans. Do have a problem with the roads being toll roads and PPPs with foreign companies. My point is that the TTC lives, is rolled up into the Texas Trunk which of course includes other roads but ALSO apparently the same plans, renamed, as the TTC.
In August of 2009, Perry-appointed Texas Transportation Commissioner Ned Holmes asked for the TTC-69 contract to be approved by the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott. Perry wants this contract signed before the citizens of Texas can step-in to stop it. Perry's son, Griffin, works for UBS (to further connect the dots go here), the financial arm of the ACS consortium who won the development rights for TTC-69.
When TxDOT announced that TTC-35 was "dead," it also clearly stated TTC-69, also given the name I-69 to make it appear more harmless, is still moving forward. In fact, expansion of US 77 is already underway in the valley as part of the initial leg of what will be known as TTC-69/I-69.
In addition, Ports to Plains (to run from Mexico all the way to Alberta, Canada) and La Entrada de Pacifico, two other active TTC corridors, show that nothing has changed there either, except shedding the official connection by name to the Trans Texas Corridor. La Entrada, to traverse through the Big Bend area, has a disturbing new twist with the resurrection of the idea to cede Big Bend to international interests by deeming it an "international" park, essentially to join it with Mexico's "Big Bend" on the other side of the U.S. border.
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