many-headed dragon or hydra, the proposed Grand Parkway (GP I call it the
Road to Nowhere) is being pushed forward by politicians, developers, and road
builders. This effort drains local, state, and federal transportation coffers of money
needed for other more important projects.
A recent Texas Transportation Department (TxDOT) public meeting revealed that the State
of Texas believes that the proposed GP is the highest priority transportation project in
our state. Over the next three years TxDOT proposes that $4.8 billion (that is correct
billion with a b) be spent on planning and construction of
the proposed GP. This puts the Road to Nowhere in a position of prominence
over transportation projects where the people live and congestion is greatest like:
- Widening U.S. 290.
- Construction of the Hempstead Highway Managed Lanes (toll road).
- Improvement to SH 6 and FM 1960.
- Improvement of I-45, north and south.
- Metro transit projects including expansion of light rail.
- A multitude of similar, crucial projects in Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, the
Rio Grande Valley, and all over Texas.
All so that some developers, led by Billy Burge and Ned Holmes, can use public monies
to subsidize their and their friends sprawl and force the rest of us to cool our
heels (more like melt our soles) in congestion and climate-change heated traffic.
Related items include:
- The Sierra Club and others met with U.S. EPA twice to discuss the proposed GP and its
impacts on the environment and wetlands and how Section 404 of the Clean Water Act can be
changed to provide better protection of water quality.
- A meeting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service occurred where possible changes to
Section 404 were discussed to slow wetland destruction.
- Revelation that the proposed GP endangers Addicks Detention Dam and thus flooding of
Buffalo Bayou and nearby residents downstream.
What it will take to topple the Road to Nowhere is not known. The Sierra
Club will keep pushing back at this pointless project.