Saturday, January 07, 2006

“The Largest Land Grab in Texas History”:
TXDOT’s Eminent Domain Plans for Rural Texans

Currently 1/3 of Wise County is under study for the eventual route of the Trans Texas Corridor. See map of Wise County at http://sandflat.blogspot.com/2005/11/wise-county-and-trans-texas-corridor.html

The Trans Texas Corridor Debacle

In case you haven’t head about it, TXDOT plans to privatize our limited public infrastructure by handing our highways over to foreign corporations for 50 year monopolies! It’s called the Trans Texas Corridor.

According to TXDOT’s official pro-corridor mouthpiece, Keep Texas Moving.com, Texas needs the Trans Texas Corridor to address the state’s future transportation needs based on a 50 year plan.

“The current population of our state is about 22 million. By 2030, forecasters predict we’ll have as many as 36 million people who live, work and drive in Texas. The majority will move to our urban areas, where we simply cannot expand our existing highway system fast enough to accommodate transportation demands.”

In other words, the TTC won’t do much to help current or future urban congestion; it will just move trough traffic from Mexico to Canada across Texas rural farm and ranch land.

So the Trans Texas Corridor proponents want to use urban congestion as their primary selling point while they intend to intentionally bypass urban centers by acquiring inexpensive undeveloped rural land for the TTC. If you visit the Keep Texas Moving site, you will note that they don’t actually spell out the reality of how they are going to acquire all this rural land.

“We may enter into early acquisition agreements with willing property owners to preserve future transportation corridors. We may pay landowners a fee to forego additional development on the property, with an option to purchase the land for fair market value in the future.”

The reality is that if property owners are not willing to give up their land, TXDOT will use Eminent Domain to take the property – and we are talking about taking well over a million acres of rural farm and ranch land across Texas!

Although TXDOT states that “Public comment is required in the decision-making process,” it is also points out that Texans won’t get to vote on this boondoggle!

“There will be no statewide or local vote on specific Trans-Texas Corridor routes.”

The estimated cost for the TTC is now up to around $183.5 billion dollars!! So how will this monster be paid for? According to Keep Texas Moving (TXDOT’s mouthpiece), TxDOT is seeking new public-private financing methods with the emphasis primarily on collecting Tolls.

Part of the TTC plan will include the privatization of our already paid for public freeways. If TXDOT gets its way on the TTC, in our lifetime most of our paid for freeways will become toll ways. Basically that amounts to double taxation!

If you ask proponents if our gas taxes will increase as well, here’s their answer . . .

“We cannot speculate whether construction and operation of the TTC will lead to an increase in the state fuel tax.”

Want to take a guess as to the correct answer?

TTC proponents are very short on real answers. As a matter of fact, everything about the actual plans for the TTC has been shrouded in secrecy. What is the real reason for this monstrous project?

According to Texas Comptroller and announced independent candidate for governor, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, “The people of Texas recognize Gov. Perry’s Trans Texas Catastrophe as the largest land grab in Texas history . . . Gov. Perry and his highway henchmen want to secretly cram toll roads down the people’s throats, which is why they don’t want these documents made public. Withholding the financial and development details of the largest land grab in history is unconscionable.”

There are plenty of facts that TXDOT and its official mouthpiece don’t want Texans to know. If you want to know the real reason for the TTC, read the following article, “Sixteen Reasons Why All Texans Should Oppose Governor Perry’s Trans Texas Corridor”


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