Last night my mother and I went to a public hearing on the I-35 Texas Trans Corridor, which the state of Texas is apparently required to have in order to complete it’s phase 1 environmental study according to the terms of the Federal Highway Administration and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. For those of you who don’t know, the Texas Trans Corridor is intended to be a new highway which will span approximately 1,200 feet and contain commercial trucking lanes, passenger vehicle lanes, freight train lanes, passenger train lanes, and a utility corridor. Here is the official map for the Texas Trans Corridor. The preferred route is to pass right through my parents’ farm. As with all things in life, there are those who are vehemently opposed and those who are in favor of, of. Personally, I would hate to see what my parents worked so hard for be taken away. It simply wouldn’t be fair, but the practical side of me knows the political machine is near impossible to stop. The legislation was passed in 2002 and as I stated above, we are already in the phase 1 environmental study.
The best thing I’ve about this subject with what seems to be some pretty tough questions was this Texas Cattleman article.
The hearing on Wednesday night was interesting. It started with the folks who are opposed outside of the auditorium wanting all those who oppose to sign up. They let us know that Carole Keaton Strayhorn, who is running for Texas governor, is opposed the the Texas Trans Corridor. Once inside my mother and I signed in and we mingled a bit. I tried to read most of the information presented to us.
Here’s my mom getting some information. This guy told her that because their property was in flood plains and due to the fact that the state is not as willing to acquire property with pre-existing powerlines (i.e. no one wants to mess with the electric company and their easements) that these were things in their favor to keep the property.
Once the hearing started, this guy essentially showed a video and then read a power point presentation.
Please note the incredibly happy individuals, propaganda at it’s best.
After the presentation, individuals were allowed to provide 3 minutes of testimony without anyone responding to their questions. Essentially, those individuals who spoke received no response other than the applause of the crowd.
For those of you who are worried that this might affect you, or could potentially affect you then the best thing to do is get involved with any grass-roots organization. The next best thing is to discuss with a condemnation attorney what is the best method of increasing the value of your property. The pessimist in me says that it’s just a matter of time, so it would be best to increase the value of your property, whether it be artificially or otherwise.