A question and answer session followed. I won’t go into all of them, but I will highlight a couple. One question asked if this is considered a regional mobility solution or if it’s geared toward local traffic. [Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) Executive Director Art] Storey admitted it’s basic purpose is for regional mobility, although he’s sure locals will use it once it’s built. He said that currently it takes Tomball residents one hour to get to I-45 and that needs to be remedied.
Which makes me wonder why Spring residents have to be bulldozed in order to give Tomball residents a faster route to I-45. That’s just bizarre. If a Tomball resident needs to get to I-45 more quickly on a regular basis, then maybe that person should move closer to I-45. Duh.
This “regional mobility” crap is the same stuff that’s been fed to residents and businesses currently displaced by the Katy Freeway boondoggle, and to residents and businesses threatened by the proposed I-45 widening. The subtext is that the need of some people to get from where they live to where they work faster than they are currently able to do is more important than the inconvenience that accomodating them would cause to the people in between. I’m sorry, but my neighborhood is not an impediment to your mobility. I refuse to have my quality of life suffer so you can shave ten minutes off your commute. You made your choice about where to live, you can live with the consequences of that choice. Maybe it’s time we looked at alternatives, such as figuring out ways to reduce traffic on overburdened roads, instead of automatically drawing lines on maps and thus rewarding one kind of lifestyle over another.
Bottom line: If it were properly calculated, the cost of destroying an established neighborhood so that people from someplace else can drive a little faster would be much higher than the dollar-and-cent total for condemning the property. If we took the real costs into effect, we’d see the need to find alternatives. It’s going to require that the people who are demanding the faster routes to realize that their subdivision could be next before this will ever happen, unfortunately.