Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sixteen Reasons Why All Texans Should Oppose
Governor Perry’s Trans Texas Corridor

1. The Trans Texas Corridor is a network of multimodal toll corridors for transporting goods and people by car, truck, rail and utility lines to be built all over Texas during the next 50 years. The corridor will crisscross the state and will intentionally bypass every major city and many small towns.

2. The Trans Texas Corridor is the biggest transportation project in the United States since the creation of the US interstate highway system in 1956. When the TTC is completed, half of the nation’s toll roads will be in Texas!

3. The TTC will pave 8,000 miles of Texas highway and take away 1.6 million acres of valuable Texas land. Because the TTC will skirt every major city, it won’t alleviate traffic congestion in large metropolitan areas. And because the TTC will have few regular access ramps, nor will it have frontage roads, it will bypass many small towns and will hurt rural economies.

4. The TTC will pave over 580,000 rural Texas acres consuming 140 acres of prime farm- and ranchland per mile! This land will be confiscated through the use of Right of Way Takings and Eminent Domain. This could be the confiscation of your private land for economic development!

5. The TTC will take more than 9,000 square miles of right-of-way for the corridors from critical wetlands and vital rural lands. Many farms and ranches will be divided by the corridor and the TTC will give no reasonable access to divided property. It is estimated that some farmers and ranchers will have to drive 20-30 miles out of their way to get to the other side of their property!!! The Texas Farm Bureau strongly opposes the TTC and is fighting to get assurances from TXDOT that landowners will be provided passage beneath the corridor.

6. The TTC will negatively impact wildlife and hunting in many of the areas of the state where hunting is a big part of farm income.

7. The Trans Texas Corridor will not increase adjacent property values because the TxDOT plan provides that business development along the Corridor be on State owned land leased to State concession businesses.

8. The TTC will promote the loss of ground water. There is nothing in the Transportation Code to prohibit private businesses from leasing the right to drill or operate a groundwater well in the corridor. If the well is large enough, it could devastate adjacent landowners.

9. The TTC will adversely affect small rural towns due to loss of local tax revenues. Because the TxDOT plan provides that business development along the Corridor be on State owned land leased to State concession businesses, the TTC will increased tax burdens by removing land from the local tax base. Rights-of-way will not be taxed, and any private business located on the right-of-way will also not pay taxes on their structures.

10. The Trans Texas Corridor will be built over the next 50 years at a cost of up to $185 billion, mostly with private money. A private foreign contractor, Cintra, will bankroll and build the highways and then charge tolls for up to 50 years. Much of the income will come from new toll taxes imposed on existing free roads that have already been paid for by our taxes.

11. Freeways all over Texas are now being converted to Toll Roads. Tolls placed on already paid for existing freeways amounts to double-taxation! A foreign company, Cintra, will control the TTC tolls and Cintra has a nasty reputation for aggressive toll collection and for raising tolls without public input. According to a January 25, 2005 article by Gordon Dickson, a staff writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram, since Cintra began controlling tolls in Canada, “Tolls have gone up 200 percent!”

12. Cintra contributed heavily to lawmakers who voted to give the state expanded power to acquire land for the tollways and broad authority to privatize public roads and highways and convert them into toll roads. But the public and elected officials have been excluded from learning the details of the secret toll road agreements between TXDOT and Cintra.

13. The TTC is designed with two primary purposes. First, the TTC is designed to generate revenue for private investors and to benefit the politically connected, foreign special interest donors, and private road building interests. In addition, TTC is designed to further the aims of the FTAA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which may eventually merge the economies of North and South America under a single governing body like the EU (European Union).

14. The Trans Texas Corridor toll plan gives an unelected bureaucracy, The Texas Transportation Commission (five members appointed by Governor Rich Perry and his special interest friends), the authority to tax us without limit and with no accountability to the voters.

15. There will be no statewide or local vote on specific Trans-Texas Corridor routes. Unless Texans can get some form of referendum or initiative process to roll back this horrible Corridor legislation, the Corridor will be built without public disclosure, without public debate, with no legislative oversight, without any confirming transportation studies, and without input from professionals, urban planners, sociologists and environmentalists.

16. There is mounting bi-partisan opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor, but big money and special interests are determined to push it through. Already over 32 counties have passed formal resolutions opposing the Trans-Texas Corridor. To view these counties go to: http://salcostello.blogspot.com/2005/10/32-counties-formally-oppose-trans.html

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