July 27, 2005
Some toll road notes

Here are a few toll road-related stories I've spotted lately:

Anne points to this story about a connector from the Fort Bend Parkway toll road to the West Loop and associated uncommunicativeness from Commissioners' Court on the issue. The good news is that according to CTC's Robin Holzer, recent rabblerousing has had an effect. From an email I just got:


In June, Harris County released the new Capital Improvement Plan which identifies 5-7 new priority toll roads to be developed. On Tuesday, CTC volunteers demanded that Harris County open up the toll road planning process, and we came home with a victory.

[...]

Community leaders from Cottage Grove, Westbury, Willowbend, and Meyerland expressed concerns about traffic, noise, flooding, air quality, and other impacts from proposed toll road construction. We called on County Commissioners not only to hold public meetings in every affected neighborhood, but also to ensure toll road planning addresses community concerns.

When the Toll Road Authority Director, Mike Strech, said there was no need to hold meetings until future plans are ready, the Commissioners disagreed. Commissioner Lee agreed meetings are important, Commissioner Garcia said they need to happen in every affected neighborhood, and Art Storey pledged to come participate. Judge Eckels asked us to help make sure good information gets out to the community.

As I write, civic club leaders in southwest Houston are organizing a town hall meeting about the Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road and related road widenings. Others may follow. In the meantime, you can stay informed and join the conversation in CTC's new forum.


Nice work, y'all. I'll post more info about that town hall when I hear about it.

Eye on Williamson notes this Statesman story which suggests that the Corte eminent domain bill (if it passes before this session dies) would put some interesting restrictions on the Trans Texas Corridor. I spotted a different aspect of this bill which may have a similar effect. Is this a trend? We know the TTC isn't popular, so perhaps the death by a thousand cuts approach will eventually cripple it.

And speaking of everyone's favorite statewide boondoggle, Rep. Aaron Pena flags a piece about an appearance by Carole Keeton Strayhorn at another anti-TTC rally. I'll be very interested to see if she ever gets any traction in the polls from this.

UPDATE: PerryVsWorld has more on the Strayhorn story.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 27, 2005 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack
Comments

"Commissioner Lee agreed meetings are important, Commissioner Garcia said they need to happen in every affected neighborhood, and Art Storey pledged to come participate. Judge Eckels asked us to help make sure good information gets out to the community."

Excellent! It's a step in the right direction.

Posted by: Anne on July 28, 2005 6:14 AM

The Citizensí Transportation Coalition (CTC) should understand that they are talking predominantly to representatives of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). The Regional Planning Division of the GHP, through many of its most influential members, has financed the campaigns of the majority of the Harris County Commissioners for which you and I may have voted. The CTC will continue to be talking at a smokescreen (most members of Commissioners Court) until they understand who their counterpart is and effectively control it.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on July 28, 2005 11:22 AM