March 7, 2007
Yesterday, a bill was filed in the Senate calling for a moratorium on the Trans-Texas Corridor and other projects that give private corporations control over Texas’ transportation infrastructure. The bill had 24 co-authors, including me. Its principle author is Senator and former Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert Nichols. This bill — and the overwhelming support it has received in the Senate — is not about mobility or Texas’ unquestionable and very real transportation challenges. It is about openness, accountability, and reassurance that public protections will last as long as these roads will. The State Auditor has revealed how much we don’t know about the Trans-Texas Corridor. The state has entered into contracts that could prevent local officials from addressing their mobility challenges for generations. No matter how you feel about roads or toll roads, these are troubling uncertainties. Far too much of Texas’ transportation policy is being defined by unanswered questions. Before we go further with these contracts, we need to be sure of where we’re going. Until we are sure, we need to stop, and this bill is the stop sign.