The Big Bend Sentinel, again has done an excellent job of reporting the facts. The latest edition contains insightful articles by Fran Sage, a Guest Commentary by Mary Bell Lockhhart, Mr. NIMBY himself, Jack McNamara, and my local heroine, Sterry Butcher.
The articles are available on the Big Bend Sentinel website and on this blog.
Fran Sage has forward the attached june-28-2007-la-entrada-al-pacifico-or.doc on the latest of La Entrada featured in the Sentinel.
Mary Bell Lockhart of Alpine, has also contributed her opinion: mbh-letter-la-entrada.doc
HDR Consulting Engineers and TxDot have invited a select group “Technical Advisory Committee” for one on one meetings. The earlier meeting scheduled for June 5th and 6th was cancelled for whatever reason. See previous post “Show us the Numbers”.
HDR Consulting Engineers have identified the members of the Technical Advisory Committee who will be allowed to participate. HDR has mailed to the committee members a package with a “feedbackrequest.pdf” and containing questionnaire-p1.pdf, questionnaire-p2.pdf, two copies of leap-alt-base-map.pdf showing alternate routes and leap-study-objectives.pdf.
As we proceed with the latest TxDot/HDR technical advisory committee meetings, which are closed sessions to the media and the general public, one gets the feeling, of a predetermined outcome. Where is the data that reflects the projected truck traffic to justify construction of a 4 lane trade corridor? Where is the data that reflects the projected truck traffic to justify construction of alternate routes? The data should consider the retrofit of the Panama Canal and the resulting trade goods that will continue east without stopping on the west coast of Mexico and the US. This is some of the required research and data collection that should be completed prior to any rational discussions of alternate routes and trade corridors.
I recommend those of us who have been excluded send responses of the questionnaire regardless, voicing recommendations and opinions.
Send to Ms. Peggy Thurin, P.E. c/o La Entrada al Pacifico Project Team, 17111 Preston Road Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75248
Susan Curry of Alpine writes:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
> On Saturday afternoon, June 9 from 3-5 pm, the Stewards of the Big
> Bend and The Bread and Breakfast will host an information and letter
> writing meeting at the Bread and Breakfast, 113 W. Holland Avenue in
> Alpine concerning the current status of long haul trucks coming
> through our Big Bend communities. Please join us and tell your friends
> and neighbors to join us. Attached is a no-trucks-meeting-flyer-2.doc that I hope you will help us distribute.
> Please forward this to everyone you think will be able to help this
> very important cause. Many thanks!
>> YOUR HELP IS NEEDED – let your voice be heard – WE CAN MAKE A
Next weeks “txdot-stakeholders.pdf” meeting organized by TxDot and consultant HDR that was scheduled June 5th and 6th has been postponed. The purpose of these 2 meetings was to present to the “Stakeholders”alternative routes and discuss any new alternatives. The term “Stakeholder” is a gambling term, to wager money for a short term outcome. Apparently TxDot is reassessing the use of this term.
Before any discussion of alternate routes and bypasses, the current and projected truck traffic should be presented along with the sources of the data, to justify the need and expense. TxDot has repeatedly emphasized the business investment model of “we only build when the need is there”. TxDot has also predicted a 86 billion dollar shortfall in the next 25 years for highway funding.
Why would Texans be asked to invest millions of dollars for La Entrada al Pacifico, when truck traffic numbers are currently not there to justify the expense, when there is a predicted 86 billion dollar shortfall?
Why would TxDot be compelled to operate contrary to their stated business investment model, of “we only build when the need is justified”?