In what is shaping up as a repeat of an unsuccessful but expensive legal battle to stop the Main Street rail line, opponents of light rail on Richmond have gone to court. Perhaps preliminary to a full-blown lawsuit, a single business owner has asked a state district judge to compel Metro officials to answer questions about plans for the westward extension of the system.
The request raises a familiar issue often cited by rail opponents. In a 2003 referendum, Houston voters narrowly approved a plan authorizing Metro to expand the rail system with seven additional lines, including a route, labeled Westpark, running from Wheeler Station at Main to the Hillcroft Transit Center. Opponents of rail anywhere on Richmond argue that any route except one along Westpark requires fresh approval from the voters.
Speaking of Andy, he's got his conspiracy theory hat on again.
Last week, Andy Taylor, a lawyer representing an opponent of light rail on Richmond Avenue who is suing the transit agency, blamed Metro for the possibility that the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation may have to move from city-owned property near River Oaks.
Finally, interim County Judge Ed Emmett weighs in on the topic of Richmond rail:
Q: Everybody has an opinion about light rail on Richmond. What's yours?
A: If the entire Westpark corridor had been preserved as it was originally, maybe they should have put the rail there, but I think there are issues now that the Southwest Freeway has been rebuilt.
When I hear politicians say they are opposed to a transportation improvement because the people most directly affected don't want it, I have a problem. The reason has to be more transportation-related than that.