Friday, November 11, 2005

Wise County and the Trans-Texas Corridor

One third of Wise County Under Study???

It’s interesting to note that there’s very little local information about the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC). That’s the proposed 10-mile-wide transportation corridor generally paralleling I-35 and running south to the Rio Grande Valley. According to the proponents for the TTC, Keep Texas Moving, TTC is a “statewide network of transportation routes in Texas that will incorporate existing and new highways, railways and utility right-of-ways.”

Keep Texas Moving has nicely explained the strategy for gobbling up miles of rural land. “Developed land is far more expensive to purchase than undeveloped land, and relocation has a greater impact on local communities.” Their solution is to carve out the corridor from less expensive rural county farm and ranch land. They can pay fair market value for the land, or if the property owner refuses to sell, TxDOT will use Eminent Domain.

The opposition, Corridor Watch, points out that TTC-35 could consume an estimated 4,500 acres in Wise County. But not to worry – this is a project that will take more than 50 years to complete. Federal environmental studies began in 2004 and there’s no telling how long it will take before the studies are completed.

In the mean time, we can only imagine what will happen to the land values in the 1/3 of Wise County which falls within the study area (see map)? That’s almost all of south and southeastern Wise County! Let’s see if we can guess? What kind of development do you think is going to take hold when no one knows for sure the exact route TTC will eventually take? So if you are TXDOT, you keep an area under study for years, watch the land values fall, and then you can come in and offer fair market value??? Even the TTC proponents, who are currently running a poll on the Keep Texas Moving site, have to admit that 64% felt that acquisition of property is their primary concern.

Here’s some excerpts from some other sites discussing the TTC:

“Listen to proponents, and the Trans Texas Corridor sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Talk to opponents, however—including many rural Texans—and that sliced bread has turned stale and moldy, way past the time it needs thrown out. . . Hogwash, say Texans who are among the mounting opposition finding flaws in these arguments. In some cases, they insist the exact opposite is true. Texas Farm Bureau's primary concern, however, is its impact on agriculture and landowners. . . . Texas Farm Bureau has registered its opposition in a number of forums. . . TFB would like to see the corridor concept scrapped and future highway planning put under the auspices of the state legislature.”

“The Trans Texas Corridor is 4,000 miles of toll roads and rail that will cris-cross Texas. The proposal is a major concern for Texans. If passed, it means one million acres of Texan's land will be taken through eminent domain and turned over to private corporations to make higher profits.:"

“You would think that the Texas Farm Bureau would never abandon Rick Perry, the former Agriculture Commissioner and a rancher to boot, but they have split over his baby, the Trans-Texas Corridor. . . Rick Perry’s toll-road plan betrays a fundamental lack of accountability to the basic rules of fair play. Texans don’t want to give up their farms and ranches because of some Austin insider boondoggle. Texans don’t want to pay tolls to drive on roads they built with their taxes.”

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Other blogs with info about the TTC include:

corridornews. blogspot.com

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 PM  

Like so many other things going on most people are not asking questions and geting informed. We need to let the politicians kno ho we feel. If they do not agree vote them out. It is time for a change.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:04 PM  

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