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Friday, July 07, 2006

Public Hearing on the Trans Texas Corridor
Tuesday, July 11th, 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Decatur Civic Center, 2010 W. US 380

This is one Public Hearing You Won't Want to Miss!!!

Here’s the process provided by Corridor Watch.com:

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE NEPA PUBLIC HEARING PROCESS.

These hearings seek comment on TTC impact to: farmland; Ag conversion; community travel patterns; community social disruption; emergency services; local retail; regional economy; property & sales tax revenue; disadvantaged populations; air quality; noise; water quality; wildlife; floodplains; threatened & endangered species; historical sites; cemeteries; archaeological sites; hazardous waste sites; and, visual quality.

Your opportunity has been created by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal law that requires TxDOT to follow a specific process in assessing the environmental impact of their activities. These hearings follow the issuance of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). That document is available for your review. You do not need to read or understand the DEIS to participate in this process, share your comments, or express your opinions.

Through these hearings TxDOT must learn about the concerns and the issues they should address in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD). Your input will define the issues examined in their next round of environmental analysis.

This is a much more formal meeting than those held so far in the development of the TTC. As before there will be a period of open house visiting from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Then at 6:30pm there will be a TxDOT presentation that should conclude by 7:00pm. Thereafter you and fellow Texans will be give the microphone to make your comments.

Attend one or more public hearing. You DO NOT have to attend the meeting in your area or county. You CAN comment at ANY of the public hearing locations. You do not even have to live, work, or own property in the path of TTC-35 to particiapte in the public hearing process. Yes, you can even drive from Houston, El Paso, or Lubbock and speak at these meetings.

BECOME INFORMED.

Learn more about the TTC. Sadly there is plenty of misinformation on both sides of the issue. Seek out differing opinions and draw your own conclusions. Recognize that TxDOT officials and contractors are working hard to convince you and others of the merits of their project.

Watch out for 'weasel words,' such as "probably, likely, should, shouldn't, most, think, believe, usually, promise, intend, expect, anticipate, faith, confident, feel, trust, view, assume, opinion, predict, thought, maybe, could, and future." Cut to the bottom line, always ask, "Does the law permit or prohibit TxDOT (or the concessionaire) to do that?"

Be cautious about the answers you get to your questions. Even the best-intentioned TxDOT representative (or CorridorWatch.org member) can only tell you what they know or believe. In some instances the information they share may be incorrect. We have witnessed erroneous and/or misleading answers to TTC questions at every level of Texas government. Most are uninformed; few are intentionally disingenuous.

MAKE YOUR COMMENTS.

Please stay and speak at the hearing!

Be civil, be firm, and be heard. You do not need to be an expert, environmentalist, or expert of any kind to put your opinion on the official record. One factor that NEPA requires that TxDOT consider is general public dissatisfaction with and objection to the project. If all you do is say I don't like it and I don't want it built, they must register your objection and take it into consideration.

Of course having specific objections is better. See some of ours at the end of this message. Write down your own notes and give your comments and objections quickly, your time will be limited. You do not need to give full and comprehensive reasons behind for your concern. Be brief. Better to raise several important issues than dwell too long on one or two. If you do get cut off write the rest of you comments down and submit them for the record.

This is a kind of voting. Just because the person before you said what you had planed to say doesn't mean that you don't need to say it again. You do! They are counting and if you want to be counted you MUST say it for yourself. Avoid saying, "I agree with the last speaker." When they write it down it doesn't tell anyone what you agreed with and your concern could get misunderstood or lost. I repeat that repeating is not a bad thing.

If you come to a hearing with a concern express it. Even if someone at that meeting has told you that your concern is unwarranted, don't take their word for that, get your concern on the official record. If you can't stay late enough to speak please write your comments on the form and leave them.

If you can't attend a hearing please send in your written comments.
You can send your comments in before or after the hearing by mail or via the Internet (keeptexasmoving.com). No matter which you prefer please make your comments by August 10, 2006. NOTE: TxDOT comment forms will ask which route selection you support. If you don't support any route don't leave it blank - check "I oppose" AND "No Action Alternative."

STAY ENGAGED.

This is an environmental process. The Governor and the Transportation Commission have already decided to build the TTC. That decision was reached without asking for your input. These environmental hearings will help decide where the TTC will be built. If you have concerns about building the TTC you must contact your elected state officials and let them know your opinions. Only the Governor and the State Legislature can change the future course of the TTC plan.Of course we would like a very strong record of objections to be built across the state during these public hearings. A record that will signal to our elected officials that this is indeed an unpopular project. That while we recognize that need roads, we do not need the TTC.


THE TRANS-TEXAS CORRIDOR IS AN ALL AROUND BAD IDEA FOR TEXAS.

Here are just a few reasons why:

It turns private land into State land. More than one-half million acres will become government property used not only for transportation but also as State owned rental property in direct competition with private development. It takes land well in excess of what is required to accomplish the goal of providing transportation and utilities. The width cannot be justified.

It's designed to generate revenue first and provide transportation second.

The Plan is based on uncertain assumptions. The plan is predicated on Texas population growth, not traffic projections. There is no demonstrated public demand for corridors that circumvent the metropolitian traffic generators.

It doesn't solve the urban congestion & traffic problem.

Adverse economic impact. It takes economic assets away from Texas communities by rerouting the flow of commercial trucks and limiting traveler access to local services, lodging and attractions.

Private Interests v. Public Interests. Puts private state partners revenue generation ahead of legitimate public interests.

The opportunity for informed public comment and full NEPA participation is seriously restricted by the state keeping project design details already outlined and defined by the concessionaire secret.

Loss of local property taxes. State owned TTC land will be removed from county and school district tax rolls. County and district taxpayers will shoulder the burden of making up the losses.

Local jurisditions, predominantly rural, will be burdened with the cost of providing infrastructure, governmental services and emergency services to a massive state owned project that may generate no local revenues while the state and their concessionaires reap the benefits of tolls, fees, and charges.

It creates a 'soft' terrorism target. This is not the time to put so many critical infrastructure elements in one place. A single act could impact transporation, communications, and utilities. As proposed the corridors are in the least equipted and prepared communities to respond to an act of terriorism or accidental incident. The threat to life, property and the environment are tremendous.

Dividing the State. Corridors will divide rural Texas making it more difficult to get from one place to another. The economic factors that impact the ability to provide crossings will limit access across the corridor. Longer travel distances will result in loss of community cohesion, increase travel cost (fuel), increased vehicle generated pollution, and increased emergency response and transport times.

Potential for tremendous liabilities created by secret Comprehensive Development Agreements. It is impossible to understand and explore the range of possible concerns and issues that such agreements may present when their content is secret.

High cost of tolls. Tolls are projected to equate to $3.85 per gallon of gasoline. At 15-cents per mile the increased cost to the travelling public is more than ten times that of the present gasoline tax.

Air pollution. Increased highway speeds (80 MPH) mean greater fuel consumption and more air pollution. Increased non-corridor travel distances also mean greater fuel consumption and more air pollution.

Source:===========================================CorridorWatch.org, Inc.Fayetteville, TX 78940-5468"Challenging the Wisdom of the Trans-Texas Corridor"

CorridorWatch.org, is an organization of concerned Texans and public officials who question the wisdom of the Trans-Texas Corridor. Our mission is to increase public awareness and understanding of the Trans-Texas Corridor and its impact on Texas and all Texans. For More Information Visit Us on the Internet: www.CorridorWatch.org


For comments on how the TTC will effect Wise County you can search this blog for the Trans Texas Corridor, and for additional local comments on the TTC, go to
Wise County Online Forum, General Discussions, subject: The Trans Texas Corridor . . .How Will it Effect You?
http://www.advancedbroadband.net/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=415

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