25 July 2006 at 3:57:18 PM
This was the LARGEST turnout so far of any TTC meeting
A proposal to build a huge transportation corridor parallel to Interstate 35 faced a tough crowd of more than 1,000 people Monday at a Texas Department of Transportation public hearing at the Waco Convention Center.
The crowd applauded as speaker after speaker blasted the Trans-Texas Corridor — its displacement of farmland, its funding as a toll road and the choice of a Spanish company to develop it. State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn used the occasion as a stump speech in her gubernatorial campaign against Gov. Rick Perry, denouncing the corridor and pledging to “blast it off the bureaucratic books.”...
In contrast to Groth and Vaughan, McLennan County Commissioner Lester Gibson suggested that, if the transportation corridor is built, it should skirt McLennan County entirely.
“What you’re proposing is going to harm Waco and McLennan County,” Gibson said. McLennan County commissioners have expressed their opposition to the corridor in a resolution.
Dunnam said he would do everything he could to kill the corridor plan, which Perry has proposed as a quarter-mile-wide conduit for highways, rail and utilities over the next 50 years. Dunnam said Texas taxpayers should not have to bear the financial brunt of highway expansion needed for increased international truck traffic.
“If the federal government wants a NAFTA highway, let them come build it,” he said.
And one misconception
The Trans-Texas Corridor improvements would be financed and developed by a Spanish company, Cintra Zachry, which would collect tolls, but the system would belong to the state of Texas.
Let's put it this way. Cintra-Zachry decides where to put the roads, where they can make the most profit. The State of Texas takes people's land so that Cintra-Zachry can operate the toll segment for 50 years (or more). Suppose somebody came along and booted you out of your house, and sold the land to your neighbor. Your neighbor doesn't live on your former property but rents it out to a company who charges money for anyone wanting to cross your old property and gives a little bit to your neighbor. Yes, the land may now technically belong to your neighbor (while you're living under a bridge) but the MONEY for it is going to the company who, with your neighbor, colluded to kick you off it.
The bottom line is that the State of Texas legislature thinks it's okay to substitute PUBLICLY FUNDED HIGHWAYS for toll roads run by private companies and doesn't have an issue even if those companies aren't Texan, aren't United States, but foreign. If YOU, the reader, aren't in the path of this corridor, you might think you're safe, but you don't think that the same legislature that thinks it's a good idea to build TOLL roads won't do the same in YOUR area? PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
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