Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Hypocritical for the state to be attempting to dispel these myths when it's representatives are unable to produce a cohesive plan for the Corridor."

Officials should clarify plans for corridor

Letter to the editor
Tayor Daiy Press, Copyright 2005

I would like to begin my letter by asking the reader to spend a few moments in contemplation of the State of Texas. Consider the things that come to mind when I say the word "Texas." Perhaps you imagine the deep forests of the Big Thicket, the majestic peaks of Big Bend and the seemingly endless plains of the Panhandle. Perhaps you envision the Fort Worth Stock Show, the San Antonio River Walk or the sparkling beaches of South Padre Island. It's a beautiful place, with wide-open spaces, cosmopolitan cities and a diverse population.

Now imagine a road. More and more, when individuals on the national political stage think of Texas, that's exactly what they think of.

I write this letter in response to a series of press releases sent out by the Texas Department of Transportation and the Office of the Governor, attempting to assuage our concerns in reference to the continued association of Texas with roads, most notably the Trans-Texas Corridor System.

The most recent of these releases, "Common myths about the Trans Texas Corridor," (May 10) presents a series of seemingly hyperbolic statements. It strikes me as hypocritical for the state to be attempting to dispel these myths when it's representatives are unable to produce a cohesive plan for the structure of the corridor.

Several weeks ago, my parents, Mahon and Susan Garry, and several other representatives of the Coupland community were able to visit with state Rep. Mike Krusee, who informed them that the corridor, at least through this area, would be much less sweeping in scope than (the) image presented by the press release. In the past year, we have been told that the corridor through Williamson County will consist entirely of SH 130, that our farm is the proverbial bullseye in the middle of the study area, and everything in between, with little or no clarification on the finitude of the situation.

The diversity of the 'official' statements involving the corridor do not seem to reflect the unified position of a governing body that is prepared to enact legislation, so much as they resemble conflicting reports from the aftermath of a natural disaster. From his position, whether it be as governor of the state, a TxDOT engineer, or chairman of the House Transportation Committee, each person involved in the planning of the highway insists that his is the clearest of viewpoints, only to be contradicted by someone who claims to be closer to the epicenter of the activity. Even if I did not feel that my family's farm and heritage were at stake in this conflict, I would be skeptical of such an ill-conceived plan that seems to be hurtling at such stratospheric speeds towards fruition.

Therefore, I ask the following of our elected leaders and the staff at TxDOT:

1. Coordinate among yourselves to devise a unified picture of what this corridor will actually look like at different stages in the future.

2. Treat your constituents as the intelligent people that we are. We deserve full and accurate disclosure of the machinations of our government.

3. Consider Texas as the rest of us do, as a beautiful and historic land of wide-open spaces, cowboys and a unique and vibrant culture. Remember for a few moments that it is more than a space between Oklahoma and Mexico that must be paved. If you still cannot see it as any more than this, I suggest you move somewhere else.


Margaret Garry

Coupland, Texas

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