On January 6, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced that the TransTexas Corridor had been scrapped. But - as even they admit - what they actually meant was that they were doing little more than scrapping the name, breaking the TTC out into individual projects with apparently individual proposals, and scaling back a few things. (The new name for their overall effort is "Innovative Connectivity in Texas/Vision 2009"; see their press release here, copy here.)
In fact, asked whether it amounted to little more than a name change, TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz said:
"That's basically it... The connotation of the name was that we were going to build all these elements (roads, rail and utilities) in one footprint."
See that link for more, and from this:
[South Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission (391 Commission) member Kathy Palmer says:] "Yesterday, it was reported that the TTC was dead... Actually, what’s dead is the name. The concept is still in place... It's a little different [she added that the width of the proposed transportation corridor has been scaled down from 1,200 feet to no more than 600 feet.. Now, rather than a single-concept project, this will be a series of projects... [she said that TxDOT will refer to the smaller projects by their segment names, for example, State Highway (S.H.) 130 or Loop 1604]... They’re still thinking of the corridor as a whole to move goods from seaports to the north... San Antonio to Dallas is the priority now... The TTC had such negative connotations, TxDOT feared the Legislature would pull all funding for it... Unless the draft environmental impact study [now awaiting approval with the Federal Highway Administration] and all funding is pulled, all that we heard in the last four years on this project is still a possibility."
...we asked if the original proposed corridors are now off the table... "I cannot say for sure. I cannot say for sure," said [TxDOT's Karen Othon]. "We're still in the development stages." ...Governor Rick Perry spoke to us from Iraq Tuesday. "Well, I think the issue at hand here is it will substantially scale down, and the terminology of Trans Texas Corridor will go away."
Contrary to how things usually work, there don't appear to be too many people trying to pretend the name change is more than it is, but at least the title "Texas kills road plan at heart of North American conspiracy talk" from McClatchy comes close (link), as does "Texas kills 50-year road building plan after outcry" from Jim Forsyth of Reuters (link).
And, see the 2001 version of keeptexasmoving.com for a flashback to the dishonest way in which the TTC was sold: link.
Sun, 01/18/2009 - 06:50 · Importance: 9