Friday, March 02, 2007

"Think of all the land that these people are going to be taking away because they can."

Concerns Grow over Texas Corridor


Reporter: Daniel T. Gotera
KXII-TV Sherman, Texas
Copyright 2007

Five years ago, the Texas Transportation Commission drew up plans for a 4,000 mile network of corridors that they say would connect the entire state and reduce traffic. It sounds like a plan people would like, but that’s not been the case.

"This land has been in our family for over 150 years," said Whitfield.

It's been five years since the Trans-Texas Corridor was proposed and feelings about it are still strong, especially at Lavender Farms in Cooke County.

"It's the most horrible thing you can think of, think of all the land that these people are going to be taking away because they can," said Whitfield.

In Austin a rally took place Friday morning to protest the projected project.

"When we give up a work day when we have to give up a day of Independence from our jobs from our families to come here and express our feelings to our reps, it means we need some help," said a member of the rally.

The last two days, the 4,000 mile long corridor has been a hot topic at the State Capital.

Dr. Amy Klein from Calisburg was one of those opposed to the plant that spoke at the hearing yesterday, put on by the Texas Transportation Commission. "We don't want our land taken for profit whether its for the state or private, this stands to ruin homes, businesses across Texas," she said.

But not all those who spoke were against the plan. Texans for Safe Reliable Transportation Chairman Joe Krier was for the plan. "Hurricane Rita taught us that our existing transportation infrastructure is not able to handle large scale evacuations during emergency situations,” he said. “Additional roads, both traditional and toll roads will provide for faster evacuations for Texas families potentially saving lives.”

That is a statement which owners of Lavender Farms agree with. "We do need some additional highway because the trucks are taking over the roads and the traffic is pretty thick, this is absurd, it’s absurd," said Whitfield.

The corridor that would cut through that would cut through Grayson and Cooke County is considered to be part of one of the four primary corridors and would be one of the first built. Those affected are hoping the legislature hears the public’s cries.

"We just need to raise the awareness; it’s the only thing we can do at this point."

© 2007 The Associated Press:

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