Disclosure - sent to us by a supporter of Ourrail.org:
Some of you may already have received a message about the upcoming Project Connect "public workshop" scheduled for this Saturday (April 12th) starting at 09:00. In case you're as unfamiliar with the old location of Antone's (as I was), the Midway Field House appears to be located in the south side of the strip mall along East Riverside east of I-35 and close to Royal Crest.
Especially in view of the revelations emerging about a proposed
"Trinity Bridge", possible subway tunnels, and the urban rail project cost and
timeline details in the proposed CAMPO 2040 plan, it would be quite helpful to
have citizens involved as possible in this.
Here are some questions/issues that come to mind about Project
Connect's plans at this stage:
• Why are the public (who are expected to vote ultimate approval) being
allowed only these rare, occasional, highly constrained opportunities to review
and select from a narrow assortment of choices determined by the Project Connect team and officials? Why aren't the public, through an inclusive community-wide technical committee, being given the opportunity to be involved in reviewing the basic data, interacting with the consultants, and formulating the choices themselves?
Why is Project Connect still going through the motions of a purported high-capacity transit "study" to determine alignment and mode, and seek CCAG and
Council approval for an LPA (Locally Preferred Alternative), when it's
already submitted $1.6 billion of URBAN RAIL projects for inclusion in
CAMPO's 2040 plan — including $275mn already projected for an initial route
to Hancock to open in 2020? If URBAN RAIL and its details are already a
foregone conclusion, why is taxpayers' money and the time and effort of
CCAG, the City Council, and other bodies being wasted on this?
(Click Read More)
• Why is $190mn in "BRT" infrastructure being proposed for Guadalupe-Lamar?
Won't this be a barrier to future urban rail?
• Why is a Guadalupe-Lamar route omitted from the $1.6bn urban rail submission to CAMPO's 2040 plan?
• Why is this plan proposing a slow, tortuous, meandering route from
downtown, the least active part of the UT campus, and Hancock Center, to
ultimately reach Highland/ACC? Where's evidence of the travel demand in this
route? Does this route carry as much travel as the Guadalupe-Lamar corridor?
• What's the ridership projected for this route? (Wouldn't that be considered
in the decision to submit this to CAMPO?) How can Project Connect claim that
this route would have more ridership than the 30,000+ daily ridership previously forcast for the Guadalupe-Lamar route?
• Why is a new $75mn bridge proposed to cross Lady Bird Lake, when either the Congress or S. First St. bridge could be retrofitted for urban rail at half the
cost or less ($23-36mn)?
• Is a grade separation considered necessary for urban rail to cross the
MetroRail line? Why? Dispatching is entirely under the control of CapMetro.
Light rail already crosses heavy rail lines in Philadelphia and Tampa. (This
issue would also be involved in the case of urban rail on N. Lamar and the
Hillside Oaks neighborhood