So I'm reading this article about opposition to the Trans Texas Corridor by folks who are living on or near the proposed path for I-69, and a question strikes me.
Although TxDOT has heard a nearly unanimous negative verdict from residents of the area, Dennis Mlcak is not sure how much that matters.
"They keep pushing this thing, and it keeps marching in a forward direction, so we can't really wait and see if it will die of its own accord," he said.
The Mlcaks' friends, Dane and Maxine Rudloff, whose property lies along I-10 near Sealy, have been through this before. When I-10 was built in the 1960s, the family had to sell 13½ acres for right of way. The road cut off 50 acres from what was left.
"We could see it, but eventually we sold it," Dane Rudloff said. "My mother-in-law went to her grave fuming about that."
Beyond that, I got nothing. I thought the anti-TTC fervor would play a role in the 2006 Governor's race, and maybe it did drive some voters from Rick Perry to Grandma Strayhorn or Kinky Friedman (who spoke the most clearly against the TTC on the trail), but in the end Perry won, and he beat back the toll road moratorium in the Lege. If the Governor's race were this year instead of 2010, that might be an issue, though I daresay other things would overshadow it. If it's an issue in any State House races, I haven't noticed it yet.
Another factor to consider:
It is from there -- the ranches and small towns of Walker, Grimes, Waller, Fort Bend and Austin counties -- that some of the most unyielding opposition has come.
If there was an inviting target for their wrath, it would have been State Sen. Steve Ogden, who represents Walker and Grimes counties and is a strong proponent of the TTC, but he won easily in 2006 over a typically underfunded candidate. (Sen. Glenn Hegar represents Waller, Austin, and Fort Bend; he had no Democratic opponent in 2006.) As I see it, until and unless a statewide candidate taps into this sentiment and converts it into votes he or she would not have already had - which is to say, until and unless a Democrat convinces these generally Republican voters to cross over - the TTC will not be much of a campaign issue. The spirit may be willing, but the numbers are weak.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 29, 2008 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles