Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"That sucking sound..."


Questioning the corridor

April 30, 2008

The Houston Chronicle
Copyright 2008

Plausible rationale?

Thank you for bringing to the attention of Chronicle readers the proposed I-69. (Please see "TRANS-TEXAS CORRIDOR / Inside a swath of land TxDOT is studying for the proposed route live Texans who fear losing their property and their way of life," Page One, Monday.) More explanation should be given to the article's jump-page headline on Page A6, which stated: "Route's goal is to speed traffic past Houston." This begs the question: Speed from where to where? The proposed route does not connect any major cities in Texas or follow any current traffic flow; the vast majority of Texans heading to/from south Texas or to/from Texarkana will be coming to/from Houston.

The Texas Department of Transportation has not produced any evidence that the massive growth that it projects in Texas (thereby justifying the road) will occur anywhere along the route between the Valley and Texarkana. Given the lack of population centers on the route (and there is no indication that the route is intended to create job centers in Texas), such spontaneous growth seems highly unlikely.

The only plausible rationale is that the route's goal is to speed trucks from Mexico past Houston, indeed past Texas, carrying containers of goods manufactured elsewhere. Just as the public has begun to recognize the need to reduce carbon output, TxDOT proposes that we sacrifice what remains of Texas' open space and air quality to facilitate the distribution of consumer goods primarily from Asia, by the most carbon-intense method possible.

Goods manufactured under 19th century labor conditions, transported by 20th century technologies, is not what Texas needs for the 21st century.


What they don't see

It is beyond belief that the Texas Department of Transportation and Gov. Rick Perry continue to push the Trans-Texas Corridor/Toll Road that no one wants except some politicians.

I have lived and worked in Germany, where major industry uses the German autobahns (interstate equivalents in the United States) to move commerce across Western Europe. These are not toll roads. There is no excuse for going around major cities such as Houston if you see how it is done in Germany. But Perry and TxDOT do not want to see how it has been done successfully in Germany.


Renamed process

If I understand the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor, Texans' land will be expropriated by eminent domain. The land will be deeded over to a Spanish corporation that will use Chinese and Indian engineers to design the project and illegal immigrants to build the roads. Then, Texans will be charged a fee to use the Spanish highway.

Today, this process is called globalization. When I was in college, the process was called colonialism.

That sucking sound we hear is the sound of American taxpayer dollars being siphoned off by foreign corporations in the global economy.