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Chron slaps Culberson again

The Chron delivers another backhand to John Culberson for his anti-leadership on rail.

The congressman, who once tried to press criminal charges against Metro for an alleged discrepancy in its financial reports, recently wrote to Metro Chairman David Wolff regarding rail on Richmond. In his letter, Culberson claimed that more than 90 percent of the people who lived or worked along Richmond opposed the rail project. But Culberson’s staff could not state the total number of residents, business operators and property owners along Richmond. It is impossible to calculate 90 percent of an unknown quantity. Culberson’s pronouncements regarding the opposition are meaningless.

In an attempt to appear cooperative, Culberson suggested that Metro use the Southwest Freeway to connect the Main Street corridor with Westpark. But he forbade Metro from taking any traffic lanes or private property.

From an engineering standpoint, it would be easier to get the camel through the needle’s eye than to meet Culberson’s demands. Even if such a line could be built, it would be too expensive and probably would fail federal ridership standards.

“Metro created this dilemma,” said Culberson, the man who for a decade helped to block all federal aid for rail transit in Houston, placing this city behind its competitors and sending tax dollars paid by Houston motorists to Dallas and other cities.

I say again, this is Culberson’s attempt to undo the referendum. If he couldn’t make his claim about the ballot language, he’d find something else. There’s nothing in his track record to suggest that he’d ever work to support light rail in Houston.

As for his even more bogus 90% claim, RichmondRail.org presents the case against Culberson’s numbers. Maybe it’s time someone did a more comprehensive survey. Who knows what we might find.

In the end, I believe that as long as Culberson is in office, we’re going to have to fight and refight these battles. If you’re as tired of it as I am, and especially if you live in CD07, you have an alternative.

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4 Comments

  1. Kenneth Fair says:

    A small typo: You have an extra quotation mark at the end of the last link to Jim Henley for Congress.

  2. Bill says:

    Please que the Kevin quotation about how voters voted for rail on Westpark. If Metro runs the line down Ricmond to Greenway, then jumps over 59 to Westpark, how much of the rail will be on Westpark. I imagine more than the Main Street line is on Main.

    The next time I hear a Republican tell me elections matter, ask for their support of a paper trail.

  3. Dale says:

    Culberson’s cluckheadedness makes it too easy to ignore the massive flaws in the design of this line and Metro’s rail plan in general. As a fan of rail I am dismayed to see how badly Metro is messing it up. 19th Century technology, highly flawed, is no basis for building a 21st Century transportation network.

    Houston needs a rail system based on the high-speed European and Japanese models. Anything else is a waste of money, and not worth fighting for.

  4. Michael Hurta says:

    I agree with Dale. Of course, it would be nice if the people making heavy public headway on anything to do with the rail were the members of City Council- who have that responsibility, as opposed to members of the US Congress who have other responsibilities to do instead.