Thanks to Don Dowdey, for providing a study by Texas Transportation Institute TTI Study Leap Impact.pdf The study delves into LEAP impacts to small communities along the proposed trade corridor. It also provides an analysis regarding the projected truck traffic originating from the Chihuahua City maquiladora industry.
One very important factor neglected in the study is the impact on projected truck traffic for Presidio Port of Entry, relative to the future expansion of the Fabens Port of Entry. This expansion and upgrade coupled with a new connector highway to I 10, is critical to include in any kind of future truck traffic figures related to the Presidio PoE. Hopefully, TTI will include this data in future studies.
On Tuesday evening 4/17/07 at the Marfa City Hall Casner Room, TxDot held a public hearing to discuss the District Rural Transportation Improvement Program and the Unified Transportation Program. Chuck Berry with TxDot introduced the goals of current and future improvements, followed by Chris Webber who presented a powerpoint presentation of area project updates and local issues.
At numerous times during the hearing TxDot emphasized that road improvements were only funded and executed unless there was a need due to traffic surveys, accident history and other safety needs. Charles Perry stated “There’s not enough money to be proactive.” Megan Wilde with the Big Bend Sentinel has written a detailed coverage of the meeting.
At the hearing, a map was on display showing the traffic activity on various roads in the tri-county area. Celcia Salazar with TxDot, was kind enough to email the file that contains the traffic density information.
TxDot representative, Julie Pollard, Transportation Planning and Programming, emailed me a 2005-truck.pdf which indicates Annual Average Daily Truck Traffic (AADT) for Highway 67 above Presidio at 59 per day.
TxDot representative Charles Perry reported that the Fabens TX Port of Entry has received the required Presidential Permit Application and the Environmental Impact Study has been completed. Construction is pending.
It is not worthy economic development that sacrifices one economy for another. Proponents of La Entrada like to point out that expanded roads mean a benefit to tourism. This argument is a red herring. Most tourists that I talk to, come to the Big Bend Region to get away from the multi-lane highways and to experiance the vast remoteness.
This more big roads for tourism attitude is brought up again in a recent article. State Sen. Kel Seliger, R. Amarillo, representing Midland and Odessa states that “this type of economic development is not inconsistent with tourism because transportation benefits all forms of growth” in a Midland Reporter- Telegram article of April 15, 2007.
There is more coverage in the Odessa American that features interviews with local residents of Marfa and Alpine.
TxDot has responded to the request for minutes to the meetings that took place in Ft. Stockton, March 20, 2007 and Midland March 19, 2007.
A number of our citizens concerned with the proposed La Entrada al Pacifico trade route have contributed in bringing forth the facts. A special thanks to John Wotowicz, Don Dowdey, Jose Aguayo, Rod Ponton for speaking at the Midland City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 10th.
Also Sterry Butcher, my local hero, has reported and written a very revealing article describing Mexico’s position on the the La Entrada al Pacifico trade route. It is very encouraging to know that Mexican trade officials are mainly focused on rail transport for the port of Topolabampo.
Please go to the Act Now page and find new contact information for your elected officials. Write them, call them, and email them with your concerns. We’re working on an easier way to send a message to your elected officials, but for now Click here to Act Now.
Google Maps has a new feature named My Maps and I have created a publicly available overview of the path of La Entrada al Pacifico. It starts in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico and ends up in Lamesa, Texas.
You can view it here.
We’ll update it as we get more information.