Monday, October 29, 2007

Toll road tid bits

Did you know that the Trinity River has four forks? I always assumed it had three. Wonder why they don't call it the Amazing Quadrupal River?

Morning News watch
More good stuff in the Dallas Morning News, believe it or not. I'm more or less ignoring the goofy news items. On the other hand there is a good piece reminding us that there are ecological concerns with the wetlands that will be displaced by a toll road. I'm surprised the News ran this article amidst their misinformation campaign. Good for them.

The Viewpoints page continues to host some good guest columns. On Friday we had this piece from DMN alum Victoria Loe Hicks. Lots of good stuff here including some insight into how Dallas' wealthy elite approach public works projects like parks and toll roads. Here is a bit that I especially like:

The road-beside-the-river gang insists that building along Industrial would be far more costly than in the riverbed. That's because they're counting on us to give up a big swath of parkland for free. But the cost of building beside the river has skyrocketed and will continue to – precisely because building a highway in an area designed to carry floodwaters is, to put it mildly, very, very tricky.

And on Monday morning we have the question we should all be asking, which is not "where should we put this highway?" but rather, "should we build another highway through the middle of our city?" Great column by Eric Van Steenburg of Friends of the Katy Trail. Van Steenburg rightly points out that we are addicted to highways (and cheap fossil fuels I would add) and he has several suggestions for curbing the addiction. I find it interesting that both sides of the debate reference Portland, OR, as an example of a place that decided to invest in public transit rather than highways. It seems to me we would want to emulate them, but the pro-tollroad crowd is afraid of Birkenstock wearing, bicycle riding, and (gasp) walking(!) tree huggers that the comparison somehow works for their side too.

Neighborhood sign watch
I think the Tom "your taxes will go up" Leppert scare tactics are working on some folks. I drove through the White Rock Valley neighborhood on Sunday and saw lots of Vote No signs. It was rather disheartening. The only thing I can figure is that people really believe the city will lose $1 billion if we vote Yes on (or "FOR") Prop. 1. Even the DMN says this really isn't true (though they don't put it on the front page). Let's hope enough of the people at the polls are informed enough to know this.

Pegasus News has all the donors to the two PACs. No surpise here. The TrinityVote Yes side has lots of small donors (and hopefully voters) and the Vote No Pave the Trinity side has fewer but much wealthier benefactors.

Reverse psychology tactic? or something?
And in weird "news," Wick Allison of plastic surgery's favorite magazine has thrown in the towel and conceded defeat that the Vote Yes side will win. Because his mother said so.

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