Fort Bend Now
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Area congressman Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson) has hailed the Texas Department of Transportation's decision to abandon plans for the Trans-Texas Corridor as" a major victory for Texas."
Paul's congressional district includes portions of Fort Bend County, including much of the Cinco Ranch area.
Just over a week ago, TxDOT announced that it will drop plans to develop a mega-highway across much of Texas in lieu of improving the existing US Hwy. 59 into a full, controlled-access interstate highway. Paul credited public outcry over TTC plans as the reason for the transportation department's change of plans.
"According to the Texas Transportation Commissioner, consideration is no longer being given to new corridors and other proposals for a new highway footprint for this project. A major looming threat to property rights and national sovereignty is removed with this encouraging announcement," Paul said. "Public outcry was cited as the main reason for this decision."
Paul said he was "very impressed" to learn that TxDOT had received nearly 28,000 public comments on the proposal, and that some 12,000 Texans attended the 47 public hearings on the TTC.
"They could not ignore this tsunami of strong public opinion against the proposed plans. I was especially proud of how informed my constituents became on the subject, and how eloquently and respectfully they spoke and conducted themselves considering how upsetting the plans were for our communities in Texas," Paul said.
Paul cautioned, however, that residents should not become complacent.
"The bittersweet aspect of this victory is that we had to fight at all. We took time away from family and friends, doing other things, to attend these meetings, inform others, write letters, post signs and submit our complaints, and we should not have had to," Paul noted. "Government should let us be, if we are peaceful citizens harming no one. In a perfect world, government could be trusted to act in the best interests of the people without overwhelming pressure of this kind."
Paul added that since this is not a perfect world, constant pressure is needed to keep government in check. He said that although the people prevailed in this case, it will probably not be the last time citizen involvement will be needed.
He also warned that a similar superhighway proposal may be brought forth at some future time."We still face many unreasonable encroachments of big government today, from confiscatory, economy-strangling taxation to creeping disregard of the rights of habeas corpus and other constitutional rights, to thousands of nuisance bureaucratic regulations interfering with our every-day lives. We have drifted far from what the founding fathers envisioned for this nation," Paul said. "We must continue to hold the politicians' feet to the constitutional fire. If I had to guess, they will probably try to implement the NAFTA Superhighway again sometime in the future."