Letter to the Editor

Local Alpine activist, Susan Curry has written a well composed letter to the local media outlets clearly describing our concerns. This letter could be copied and pasted into a letter to your local representative. Please come out for the letter writing/party, June 9, at the Alpine B&B, at 113 W. Holland Ave.

To the Editor:

Some people say it’s a done deal; that MOTRAN has the political clout to have their way; that trucks will be filing down Holland Avenue , spewing diesel exhaust fumes as they inch their way through workday traffic.

At this time, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is performing the La Entrada al Pacifico (LEAP) Corridor Study in order to determine the most efficient location of a potential trade route from Mexico (beginning in Topolobampo, traveling up the Copper Canyon to Chihuahua City and into the United States at Presidio). At the present time the existing LEAP Corridor follows US 67 from Presidio through Marfa and Alpine to IH 10 where it travels along IH10/US 67 through Fort Stockton to US 385 at McCamey before connecting to IH 20 and SH 349 in the Midland/Odessa area.

At the first public meeting of the LEAP Corridor Study set up by TxDOT on March 13, 2007, approximately 350-400 people crammed into the Alpine High School Cafeteria to register their concerns and opposition to this potentially community breaking project.

With this first public meeting, a core group of citizens from Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis , and Marathon began meeting to address the problems we will face due to increased long-haul truck traffic going through our main streets.

As we met and began researching the many angles and various players and ports, we realized that it should not be a “done deal”. If we let it happen without questions being asked and the right answers being given, this whole project could go down as a Texas-sized example of rotten pork at its stinkiest.

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you donʼt have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” It seems that a seed sprouted this spring.

Community members from all over the Big Bend began meeting to work on the long-haul truck traffic issue and the Stewards of the Big Bend, a non-partisan citizens’ group of stakeholders who are working together to help determine our own future, germinated. We are prepared to work with our elected officials and TxDOT to find alternatives that will not fill our main streets with traffic congestion, pollution, safety hazards, excessive noise and huge pot-holes. It is no secret that we want tourists crossing our streets, not trucks.

TxDOT says they want our input. Within the project timeline there are two more public meetings scheduled, one in July and the third in January, 2008.

It is at this early stage of the study that out comments are being solicited. The Stewards of the Big Bend (SBB) will host, along with the Bread and Breakfast, a Letter Writing Party/Meeting on Saturday, June 9 from 3-5 p.m. Please join us. We will have things set up for you to send a letter or postcard. If you can’t make it please take the time to tell TxDOT how you feel. You can leave a phone message on the LEAP Corridor Project Hotline at 1-800-517-4652 or you can email TPP_TXDOT-LEAP@DOT.STATE.TX.US. Please check out the web site: www.stopthetrucks.org and leave your comments. If you have any questions call 837-0735 or email the SBB at uptous@sbcglobal.net.


Best regards,

Susan Curry

Alpine, Texas



8 responses to “Letter to the Editor

  1. As a professional trucker I understand your concerns.
    The plight of American truck drivers is not understood by many politicians who have promoted NAFTA and other devious schemes, to undermine the middle class worker.
    Latino truckers are fast dominating the biz. on the west coast for several reasons.
    Mainl y economics, they work cheap, have equipment that is substandard, ignore routine maintenance and have an uncanny knack for circumnavigating routine safety inspections.
    The future for american truckers is bleak, dominated by large manufacturingand shipping intrestests whose only criteria is the bottom line its not hard to understand.
    It seems that maintaining good safe equipment is a thing of the past.
    While the CVSA espouses safety concerns the government at large turns a blind eye to the reality of whats going on.
    After twenty years on the road its getting worse not better.
    If you find this disturbing and want further dialog feel free to contact me, I’m in your corner.

  2. Elizabeth Pool

    We just returned from a visit to the Big Bend area. While looking over a Big Bend Gazette, I saw the reference to “stopthetrucks.org”. At this moment, I can think of nothing more ludicrous than building a monster highway through that beautiful country. Oh yeah, I forgot, they are also building one through the middle of the Blackland prairie.

  3. Don, It’s really great to hear from a professional trucker out there that see’s it as it is. You have confirmed the conditions of “Fair Trade” trucking that I have read. A reduction of wages in Mexico has excellerated the emigration of workers to the US. Now it appears that this wage reduction model has migrated to the United States trucking industry.
    Responsible operation and safety in the trucking industry comes at a price. I have the highest respect for truck drivers who deal with constant everchanging conditions, demands on the equipment and the requied concentration to safely deliver their loads.
    Please continue to share your knowledge and observations with our community of concerned citizens. Thanks again, Don and keep up the good work.

  4. Elizabeth, I’m so glad you have weighed in on the discussions. You and other tourist are the life blood of our economy. Without you and others, many of us would not be able to live here.
    We locals, have heard many times from MOTRAN, (Midland Odessa Transportation Alliance, Inc) http://www.la-entrada-al-pacifico.com/roads_reality.htm
    the supporters of the proposed La Entrada al Pacifico, that larger improved roads will allow more tourists easier and greater access to Big Bend National Park and other recreational destinations.
    Your point, shared by so many, is exactly opposite to the MOTRAN ludicrous position of larger roads will bring more tourists.
    Smaller roads and the vast open country is exactly why tourist are drawn to this beautiful section of country.
    MOTRAN, are you out there? We would love to hear from you on this topic.

  5. I need to include the reference that Don has mentioned, CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) Please have a look at the site. http://www.cvsa.org/
    Most interesting is the Forum and government links. Thanks Don for the reference.

  6. Kerr Mitchell

    Its is still my opinion that TxDot is lulling us to sleep. We need to keep up the pressure and information in front of the public.

  7. Kerr,
    I agree with you. With road improvements already occuring on Hwy 67 and 90, prior to the completion of the TxDot study, one gets the feeling that what we have here is a pre-determined outcome.
    We have discussions of bypasses around cities along the proposed trade corridor, with still no data to justify the need.
    Thanks for your comment, Kerr.

  8. Keep up the pressure is right.

    The moratorium on the TTC is working in Perry’s favor right now as much as it’s hurting him. The people scored a small victory, and now they’re acting like they’ve won the war.

    Have y’all contacted any national news outlets yet? I know NBC did a bit on TTC not too long ago, but it centered around the TTC35 corridor. Nobody’s paying any attention to us proud West Texans, and nobody’s going to until our voices get a lot louder.

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