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Thread: The Trans Texas Corridor (TTC)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The Trans Texas Corridor (TTC)

    TIME Magazine just had a great article about the TTC. A 1/4 mile wide corridor from Mexico to Oklahoma, proposed to have 6-8 lanes of car-dedicated tollway, 4 lanes of truck dedicated tollway, 6 rail lines, communications, power, and gas pipelines, etc. The privately funded TTC has "quick take" powers allowing takings with compensation in as little as 90 days. It is being heralded as the most innovative transportation project of the last 50 years, and the Sierra Club has labelled it "evil".

    Has anyone heard of this yet, and what are your thoughts?

    EDIT: Here's the official web site

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I'm from Texas, and don't get me started on this thing. The plan as currently drawn wastes a significant amount of money and will probably have low commuter rail usage (why ride a commuter rail that never comes within 25 miles of the city core). There's a couple of alternative proposals, such as this one warning I am a PDF .It seems like a more financially feasible first step, though it may have long term problems and does not provide a secondary NAFTA highway. I know most of the turnpikes in the NE come MUCH closer to the city than as depicted in the TTC.

    I like the high speed rail and seperate car/truck lanes, but have a lot of concerns about the alignments. No one has really clarified how the high speed rail and commuter trains will interact. Also, no one has really discussed the land use issues that YOU KNOW will pop up around these new highways. Remember, Texas does not have county level planning. They need to explain how the commuter rail will actually get people into the city, since as it currently stands it sure looks like the commuter train does not connect to any destinations (I guess they expect every city to create their own system and connect it to the TTC).

    I guess you can consider it innovative, but they are not looking at all of the costs. The Sierra Club does have some legit gripes with this one; one major one being that the alignment cuts right through the heart of the blackland prairie, which is some of the richest farming soil in the nation. Kudos to Texas though for actually considering planning beyond the end of their nose. Personally, the thought of Gov. Perry working with this scares me to death. TxDOT also has a colorful history of stupidity. note: I am not a big fan of our state government, in case you can't tell.

    Yes, I think a project like this is needed, but all of the accolades are unwarranted. I would rather see congestion pricing on existing thoroughfares. [ducks as Republic of Texas Militia storm office]

    Good = intermodal transportation, seperate lanes, high speed rail

    Bad = unclear how commuter rail will work with current alignment, not close enough to cities, environmental issues, managing development along TTC, why is the ROW so wide

    I think Fueled by Ramen is doing a thesis or something on this project, so I'm sure he'll chime in.
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 02 Dec 2004 at 9:22 AM. Reason: clarify position on TTC

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian poncho's avatar
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    Yeah it is pretty scary, I have been a bit too involved in this. I arranged a workshop for our County Commissioners a few weeks ago concerning this. There were the usual militia men there and after the TxDOT Engineer was done with his presentation, the militia dismissed the idea as a plot of the UN.

    DOT is pressing it pretty hard, the public meetings are run by consultatnts with no actual DOT representitives. There are plenty of spinoff groups that want their alternative plan to go through. It is far from over.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I will predict that this will be both an environmental and economic disaster. At least it is happeneing in Texas, and not in one of the good states.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Sometimes I hate this f*cking state. If it weren't for Austin, I wouldn't live here at all. Unfortunately, Austin's liberal and environmentally-conscious population is not enough to stop the rest of the "bigger is better" idiots that control the rest of the state.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    [chamber of commerce]"You have to make sure the highway slows to a crawl as it enters our town. We need to have curb cuts every 15 feet along the path. Our merchants need to have access to the traffic. However, it would be alright if the highway skirted all the other cities on its path."[/chamber of commerce]

    PS - Where are the bike lanes?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    PS - Where are the bike lanes?
    You want to bike next to that much exhaust?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ludes98
    You want to bike next to that much exhaust?
    No, I just want to remind them of their obligations under federal law. Besides it will all be electric in a few years right? Then the problem will be carcenogenic ozone emissions from all those electric motors.
    Last edited by el Guapo; 01 Dec 2004 at 1:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Its interesting that they say one of the objectives is to safely transport hazardous materials. While the freight RR and truck lanes are separate, that wouldn't make much difference for the people in the other lanes or tracks. Say if they had a chlorine tank car derail and leak, it would effectively shut down all the other parallel modes.

    The renderings remind me of the NJ turnpike, but somehow located in a barren wasteland. Is land still cheap enough in Texas that things like this 1200' ROW are actually feasible?
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  10. #10
    Cyburbian poncho's avatar
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    Some of the main East West transportation corridors (cars and trains) run through very congested areas. An idiot that can not drive can shut sown traffic for 5 or more hours on these corridors. The main hazardous materials route is about 5 blocks from downtown Dallas. I believe the same can be said for San Antonio and Austin (I-35, I-10, etc.)


    Yes EG you got it right, the biggest opposition so far are from the big cities who think they will loose revenue. No exits? What do you mean no exits?

    Land in the boonies, which is the proposed route is reasonably priced compared to the furture, or compared to the existing corridors.

    They plan to sell access to the TTC to help fund it. You pay enough, and get exclusive rights to the only exit ramp for 30 miles. NO competition.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by poncho
    They plan to sell access to the TTC to help fund it. You pay enough, and get exclusive rights to the only exit ramp for 30 miles. NO competition.
    And what about the economy of the communities that get cut off? What about the farmers or ranchers who are cut off from nearby places, services, or even their own land? I doubt you will see many overpases built to cross eight lanes, four lanes, and railroad tracks. I really doubt that much thought has been given to the adverse social and economic impacts of this mess. I also suspect it will run into some serious conflicts over the granting of eminent domain powers. That will end up in the court, and given the current sentiment, is likely to be successfully challenged.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Im writting a thesis on HSR in Texas that should be done in a couple of weeks. It is, as they say, the bane of my existance.

    At first I thought that TxDot just had their heads up their proverbial behinds, but in talking with some people at one of the town hall meetings, they just dont have any plans at all (at least when it comes to rail).

    In their "plan" on-line it says that commuter rail and freight rail will have access to the city centers, but that HSR will NEVER leave the corridor and that one must transfer to a commuter train or a bus to get to the city from the HSR station....

    ....however, after talking to a consultant (Jared Heiner), I found out they dont really have any specific plans and that their firm is probably going to try to convice TxDOT to run HSR lines through the cities.

    I agree with Suburban Repairman that THSRTC has a much better plan....if anyone is interested I can put my thesis online when I get done with it.

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The HSR needs to stop at city centers, not suburbs. We have a hard enough time controlling sprawl in Texas as is.

    I like a bicycle analogy for how HSR and commuter rail should interact. The HSR serves as the frame connecting the two wheels. Then the spokes (commuter routes) spread from that central hub.

    Most of the employment is still downtown and having HSR stations in downtowns help keep them alive and vibrant.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    The HSR needs to stop at city centers, not suburbs. We have a hard enough time controlling sprawl in Texas as is.

    I like a bicycle analogy for how HSR and commuter rail should interact. The HSR serves as the frame connecting the two wheels. Then the spokes (commuter routes) spread from that central hub.

    Most of the employment is still downtown and having HSR stations in downtowns help keep them alive and vibrant.
    yep, thats a big point in my thesis. Really, the only problem with hsr in texas besides cost, would be getting it approved, I think. If it ran between city centers (and also to airports), could travel between cities about as fast as a car, and didnt cost an arm and a leg, i think it would be quite doable. (oh, and if all highway supporters were "taken care of")

    My suggestion is to sell off blocks of seats to airlines and have them use the HSR as a "connecting flight" which would allow them to stop the rediculously inneficient 30-45 minute flights between austin and houston, austin and dallas, and houston and dallas, while still allowing them to retain their customers.

    better yet, just have SWA opperate it. We've all seen what Herb Kelleher can do with an airline...I think he could do wonders with rail.

    If the Wright brother were alive today Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs.
    — Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines, 'USA Today,' 8 June 1994.


    I'm here to tell you that I am proud of a couple of things. First, I am very good at projectile vomiting. Second, I've never had a really serious venereal disease.
    — Herb Kelleher, addressing the Wings Club in New York regards his time at Southwest, 2001

  15. #15
    Without seeing the details, I would have a big problem with giving a privately funded group the power to condemn and sieze private property no matter what the project.

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