I am writing to you to communicate my opposition to the Blacklands Toll Road/Northeast Gateway Project. Plans for this toll road that will span an area from Greenville to the PGBT in Garland/Rowlett originated from a privately owned company, NOT from a need in the area. Your organization has been discussing this idea since early 2012. However, the public has not been well informed. The more the public learns about the project, the more opposition has risen. The public information meetings conducted originally by PublicWerks and more recently by NCTCOG have only fueled opposition to the project. There is no consensus, nor has there ever been a consensus, for building this road. It is well understood that Texas faces some major hurdles when it comes to transportation funding, but turning to the private sector for public infrastructure is not the answer. Using the power of eminent domain for PRIVATE gain goes against everything we as Texans stand for. Abusing the private property rights of citizens is unacceptable. For many of you, neither you nor your constituents will be affected in any way by this toll road, but what happens tomorrow when it’s in your backyard? You will not be so quick to jump on board a project that the vast majority of your people do not want. A need for this road has not been proven. Nor has it been proven that traffic will support the road. These types of projects are failing all across our state and our country. Please do not allow greed to drive these plans. Please DO NOT allow the Blacklands Toll Road/Northeast Gateway Project to be added to the 2035 Mobility Plan in any shape, form, or fashion.
Thank you for your time and for your service to our communities.
The residents of the Blacklands-Northeast Gateway corridor wholeheartedly reject any version of the toll road coming through our communities. It’s unnecessary and we’d rather see limited resources focus on expansion of I-30 sometime in the future when traffic warrants further expansion. At this time, projected traffic for this corridor has been inflated by NCTCOG compared with TxDOT’s projections and neither forecast justifies any kind of road, much less a toll road through the Blacklands corridor. We ask the NCTCOG to NOT include the Blacklands-Northeast Gateway toll road in its short or long range plans (neither the TIP nor MTP). NCTCOG should heed the public outcry and stop this unneeded toll road dead in its tracks.
I strongly oppose this proposed toll road being added as an amendment to the 2035 MTP. I have attended several of the public meetings and the NCTCOG and TTC have been less than forthcoming on their feasibility study and plans for this toll road. The projections on growth I have been able to find that NCTCOG is using to make their recommendations are severely inflated when compared to other agencies (TxDoT, Federal Census, and NTTA) projections for growth in this corridor. You can see a comparison here in the Dallas news article (http://cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/572164342775021568/1024/10/scaletowidth#tl-572164342775021568;1043138249‘) to put it simply, they have a solution for making private profits and are looking to create a problem.
Every day I drive from my home in Nevada to Wylie where I work. I use highway 6 and get on highway 78 towards Wylie. I pass through Lavon and highway 205. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no need for additional freeway/toll way capacity in the area to relieve traffic. I have seen the current 2035 MTP and based on realistic growth numbers by several agencies other than NCTCOG and the decline of growth in Hunt County expanding 205, 78, and 6 per the plan will relieve any congestion. The issues on I-30 in Rockwall are not as urgent as they seem. Here is an article detailing the top 100 busiest corridors in the state. The I-30 corridor in Rockwall County is found to be a top 100 in this study (http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/29/top-100-congested-corridors/) so again NCTCOG in cooperation with TTC are trying to create a need when there is none.
I urge you as a committee to consider how you would vote if this toll road was impacting your home or city you represent. Would your constituents approve of you supporting a toll road that is not needed and allows a private company to use eminent domain to procure private citizens property for their private profits? Please be mindful of the concerned citizens in the Blacklands Corridor who have voiced their opposition to this atrocity. The only vote can be a no vote.