Thursday, October 16, 2008

290 E design like 281--in violation of legislative intent

This summer's Sunset Advisory Commission hearing on TxDOT gave several interesting views on how the old and new leadership at TxDOT would continue to act and on what legislators might think about it and might try to do to correct the arrogance and excesses of TxDOT.

For one thing, Deirdre Delisi, new Transportation Commission chair, did not stay to hear any of the public testimony, which went on into the evening. The panel of legislators noticed. They commented that since one of the big issues was communication with the public they would have thought Delisi would have made a point to listen to the public.

Also, TxDOT executive director Amadeo Saenz had a revealing exchange with legislators. First, they told Saenz that making the free lanes on 281 in San Antonio the frontage road lanes, with tolled highway lanes in the middle, was NOT their legislative intent when they forbade converting free lanes to tolled lanes. This is the plan for 290 East, also--the free lanes will be frontage lanes with a lower speed limit.

The panel tried to hope that Delisi and Saenz were turning over a new leaf and that the Legislature and the public would have a better relationship with TxDOT and the new leadership. The video with the exchange between Rep. Ruth McClendon of San Antonio and Saenz is an informative and entertaining illustration of how the new leadership is continuing the policies of the old leadership.

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