There so much to say about the boondoggle that is the Trinity River Project. This project is becoming more and more of a fiasco with each passing week.
You will hear a lot of hate thrown in our direction from naysayers and cheerleaders for this project. In fact it's already started. Some are lobbyists, and some are controlled by big-time business interests. When they blurt out passionate half-truths, ask them if they are financially involved with the project or were they a big supporter back in 1998. 99 times out of 100, the answer will be yes.
If you live in the southern sector, you need to be concerned about flooding. Read my old posts (under the "Trinity River" label) to catch up on some of the details.
Click the picture on the front page of this site or visit www.trinityvote.com. Read the FAQ; decide for yourself.
Among the gems in the FAQ:
Q. I don't remember voting for a toll road. Was that on the ballot in 1998?
A. Here's the language that appeared on the ballot in 1998:
PROPOSITION NO. 11
"THE ISSUANCE OF $246,000,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION TRINITY RIVER CORRIDOR PROJECT BONDS, THE PROJECT TO INCLUDE FLOODWAYS, LEVEES, WATERWAYS, OPEN SPACE, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, THE TRINITY PARKWAY AND RELATED STREET IMPROVEMENTS, AND OTHER RELATED, NECESSARY, AND INCIDENTAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE TRINITY RIVER CORRIDOR."
Notice the conspicuous omission of the word "toll road." "Trinity Parkway" was interpreted by many to be a low-speed access road for the park. Today the plan is to build a high-speed, six-lane, limited access toll road to help relieve traffic congestion on I-35 and the mixmaster. The toll road is planned to be constructed within the Downtown Trinity Park.
Q. Are you against building a reliever route for I-35 and the mixmaster?
A. No, we just don't want it in the park.
Q: I keep hearing that we'll ruin the whole project if the toll road is taken out of the park. Is that true?
A: No. This is a scare tactic used by those who want to see the toll road built in the park, to convince us that there's no park if there's no road. If you scrutinize their argument, it goes something like this: We've got to dig out a lot of dirt to create the lakes. Excavation and removal of all that dirt will cost more money than the city's got. The toll road needs a lot of dirt for the "bench" it's going to sit on. Therefore, federal money for the toll road can be used to excavate the lakes, and the lake dirt can be used for the toll road bench. If the toll road isn't built, though, there's no money to dig out the lakes. No road = no lakes.
Thing is, that isn't really true. The federal government is already committed to using the lake dirt to raise and extend the levees. The city will receive flood control money (and therefore, money to dig out the lakes) whether or not we build the toll road in the park. So perhaps it would be correct to say "No flood control improvements = No lakes." But "no toll road, no lakes" is just not true.
And remember: We're not trying to kill this toll road. We're just trying to move it out of the park.
According to the Dallas Observer in 1998, the anti-Trinity folks lost by only 2,357 votes. We CAN get this accomplished. But it will take an effort from all parts of the City and all groups around Dallas.
I am energized by the number of people in attendance today (despite real short notice) and the amount of calls and e-mails I received today. The diversity of the group was great to see. You saw all age brackets and many nationalities.
Haters will no doubt speak passionately about "moving full speed ahead", claiming this was "debated ad nauseum" etc. What are they afraid of? That voters will find out the truth about the Tollroad.
As said in my previous posts, the Army Corps of Engineers wants to use post-Katrina flood protection. Laura Miller wants to get a waiver so the project can be built at pre-Katrina flood requirements.
The Trinity Project is also now a Mayoral election issue. Deal with it.
I am inspired by my downstate peers like Sal Costello, who was able to help turn back toll roads in Central Texas. WE CAN GET THIS DONE!
For your reading, here are some of the recent articles I've uncovered:
Dallas Observer (Trinity River Project article search)
Unfair Park: March 15th, March 5th, February 21st, January 17th, October 12th