Wednesday, August 09, 2006

08.08.06 CorridorWatch.org

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Linda Stall 512.784.6539 (San Antonio)


HUNDREDS OF TEXANS ARE LOCKED OUT OF THE PUBLIC HEARING IN SAN ANTONIO

SAN ANTONIO - Apparently TxDOT didn't realize that San Antonio is the 2nd most populated city in Texas. In fact the Alamo city is. And TxDOT might take note that it is also the 7th most populated city in the entire United States. Really something we would have expected them to have already known.

Hundreds of Texans were unable to attend and participate in the TTC-35 DEIS Public Hearing held in a San Antonio high school on August 8, 2006. When the East Central High School Cafeteria reached it's 600 person capacity the doors were closed. Many of those left standing outside had driven great distances, some from as far away as Houston.

How did this happen? Was TxDOT unaware that metropolitan Bexar County's population had grown to near 2 million? Did they really expect that a meeting room with a 600 person capacity would be adequate, especially given the vigorous debate over the TTC and toll projects in Bexar County?

This stands in stark contrast to Temple, population less than 55,000. When a stunning 1,600 people showed up for the TTC-35 DEIS Public Hearing in Temple, TxDOT needed only add an additional 100 chairs to accommodate the crowd. And that wasn't the only big turn out by Texans who want to let TxDOT know what they think about the TTC. Waco attracted more than 1,000 and 700 in Floresville, a stones throw from San Antonio.

What were they thinking? Were they thinking? Some suspicious types might even suspect an evil plot designed to repel the thongs of unhappy citizens who or taking advantage of their right to express their unhappiness. Certainly people will give a second thought before drive to San Antonio if there's a chance they'll end up standing outside instead of listening and speaking inside.

CorridorWatch.org however is more inclined to suspect it was just horribly poor planning. The kind of planning we fear will be commonplace with the massive Trans Texas Corridor project that's currently being designed in secret without coordination with regional transportation planners or meaningful citizen review and comment.

Of course TxDOT will hold an additional Public Hearing in San Antonio in an attempt to reach those who were turned away. Will they move to a larger facility where everyone, even if there's more than 600, can be assured that they can get inside the building? No they won't.

The next San Antonio DEIS Tier One Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2006, again at the East Central High School cafeteria, 7173 FM 1628, San Antonio, Texas. The meeting room will open at 5:00 p.m. for open house style displays and discussion with a formal presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by oral comments from the public.

George Eliot GeorgeEliot2009@yahoo.com

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