Here’s a Tweet from Lina Hidalgo, the County Judge for Harris County, Texas:
NEW: The feds have told TXDOT to pause I-45 expansion pending further review. The truth is, they have acted in bad faith throughout this process, refusing to incorporate expert and community feedback. We won’t be bullied. Thanks to everyone who is pushing back.
Well, I’m afraid TxDOT has acted in bad faith here in El Paso, also.
Currently, TxDOT is soliciting opinions on three options for widening the freeway downtown. Really, they’re all the same solution with minor tweaks. All three “solutions” involve building a deck suitable for MountainStar’s soccer stadium.
That’s it. No other options are up for discussion.
We can have any freeway improvement we want, as long as it incorporates a deck and freeway frontage roads through our otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
At this Monday’s El Paso County Commissioners Court meeting, the Commissioners will consider a resolution asking TxDOT to reconsider its choice. Alternatives to the deck, as identified by TxDOT, are rebuilding the freeway downtown without widening it, and constructing a tunnel.
The sensible solution would be to build a freeway around El Paso, from 375 to the Anthony Gap, but then MountainStar won’t have a deck to put their soccer stadium on.
This is the first I’m hearing about a tunnel, and I think TxDOT just put it out there because it’s impractical, and TxDOT wants to pretend that they’re open to suggestions. If I worked for TxDOT, I might have proposed a wormhole, or a Star Trek transporter, because, you know, eventually. But instead, TxDOT proposes a tunnel, with a straight face.
You have to admire their nerve.
TxDOT threw that tunnel story out there because they think you’re pendejos. They think that you’re a bunch of suckers.
Back in 2016, when Congresswoman Veronica Escobar was County Judge, she met with MountainStar to discuss the plans for the soccer stadium, and the deck. She’s been disconcertingly quiet during the current controversy. TxDOT receives Federal Highway Department funds. That gives Congresswoman Escobar leverage. Do you think la Vero should tell us how she feels about TxDOT’s plans? Does Congresswoman Escobar represent the interests of her constituents, or only her campaign donors?
MountainStar has been talking about the soccer stadium on the deck since 2016. Do you really think that TxDOT considered any alternatives?
I expect a lot of the usual suspects will sign up to address Commissioners Court on Monday. Probably the same people that stood in front of City Council to support the Great Wolf land swap. The Chamber of Commerce will be there, as well as a collection of other bloodsuckers, God bless them. All the shape-shifting serpents will be there.
El Paso may gain stature as the first city converted by shape-shifting serpents, or, maybe, like every other trend, we’re ten years behind.
(Isn’t it curious that the Chamber of Commerce supports projects that raise property taxes? Wouldn’t you think that the Chamber of Commerce would oppose property tax increases? Welcome to Bizarro World, where the mailman bites the dog.)
I recommend that we all voice our opposition to the deck, to the soccer stadium, and to the systematic exploitation of the taxpayers by a handful of oligarchs who have captured city government. Call 888-835-7276 (888-8EL-PASO) at about 9 a.m., and tell them you want to comment on Item 7. They’ll call you back when it’s your turn.
Alternatively, send an email. The email addresses of the Commissioners are Commissioner1@epcounty.com; Commissioner2@epcounty.com; Commissioner3@epcounty.com; Commissioner4@epcounty.com; and CountyJudge@epcounty.com. Email them all.
Best of all, do both. Send an email, and sign up to speak.
If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.