Monday, April 04, 2005

Fort Worth left out of advisory commitee

Fort Worth not represented on corridor committee

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright 2005

Twenty-one people from across the state have been appointed to keep an eye on the Trans -Texas Corridor -- but none is from Fort Worth.

It may seem like a strange omission, considering that about 7 percent of Texans live in Tarrant County and the first toll road project will directly affect the movement of people and goods in and around Fort Worth.

But after the Cintra-Zachry firm was brought in this year to build the corridor , Gov. Rick Perry insisted that the staunchest opponents be given a seat on the Trans -Texas Corridor Citizens Advisory Committee. And few, if any, Tarrant County residents fit that description.

The Texas Transportation Commission chose members last week from 251 applicants.

The committee will develop official positions on the Trans -Texas Corridor , then submit them to the Transportation Commission. The role will be purely advisory and nonbinding.

Since the Trans -Texas Corridor was proposed three years ago, the tone in the Fort Worth area has been to speak supportively of Perry, the commission and the overall corridor plan -- or not at all.

In other parts of Texas ,corridor hearings overflowed with angry critics, sometimes by the hundreds.

The advisory committee does include a couple of notable North Texans.

Sandy Greyson, a Dallas city councilwoman, is an ardent advocate for the preservation of the Interstate 35 trade route.

Grady W. Smithey Jr., a Duncanville council member, is considered by some to be the conscience of the Regional Transportation Council because he regularly reminds other leaders to think "regionally."

Gordon Dickson, (817) 685-3816 -eoptag-

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