TEX Rail project
State Sen. Konni Burton is launching a last-minute attempt to kill TEX Rail, inferring that the project is a Johnny-come-lately plan without public support.
It has been in development for more than 12 years. Most of that time was devoted to federally mandated processes to ensure transparency, including a prolonged series of public forums and events.
At every stage in this process, ample opportunity was provided for public input. The environmental review addressed potential harm to surrounding areas, including property rights and road traffic.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments, Tarrant County and the cities of Fort Worth and Grapevine have committed to financial participation. Regrettably, Colleyville alone has resisted. That is its right.
Recently, however, Colleyville negotiated with the state and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to finance and install “quiet zone” infrastructure at three crossings within Colleyville city limits. That was essentially a goodwill gesture to address potential noise concerns.
That infrastructure is now in place on tracks, which incidentally were built long before any residences were built alongside!
Now, Burton seeks to portray the project negatively, implying lack of public participation! Enough!
North Richland Hills
Need I remind Burton that many costly transportation projects all over Tarrant County have been undertaken without a countywide vote to approve them? The toll road from Fort Worth to Cleburne is just one example.
It is a little disingenuous for a state senator from Colleyville, which opted not to participate in the TEX Rail project, to be whining about how it wasn’t voted on.
Her argument is that it does little to help the environment. Have you seen the CSX Railroad ad on television? It claims that one ton of material can be transported 486 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel.
Using this calculation, about 80 200-pound people could be transported on the 27-mile TEX Rail route on one gallon of diesel fuel. Is your vehicle this fuel efficient?
I personally am looking forward to completion of this project so that I and my family can travel to Fort Worth without the need to hunt for parking. We now use DART to Dallas often.
Burton should think about speaking for all her constituents along the proposed TEX Rail route and not just those in Colleyville.
Curtis Ratliff, Grapevine
Shame on Konni Burton for her illogical opposition to the TEX Rail project.
She wants the people who built their houses near to an existing railroad to be “protected” at the cost of depriving thousands of area residents and visitors from this long-overdue transportation mode.
Joseph Klein, Fort Worth
Israel and the F-35
I’m always amused when I see an article about Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment, in this case the F-35 fighter from Lockheed Martin. (See Thursday news story “Lockheed Martin rolls out first Israeli F-35.”)
The reality is that the United States makes a “charitable contribution” to Israel in the form of foreign aid.
The $3 billion that the U.S. sends to Israel every year is more foreign aid than any other country, although the argument could be made that other countries are more deserving of our largesse.
It may appear as if Israel is buying fighter jets, but it is really the American taxpayer who is paying for them and giving them to Israel for free.
Now Israel has already started to lobby the Obama administration and Congress, as its foreign aid package expires in a few years. Israel wants even more money.
Without question, the one-sided policies in favor of Israel have contributed to the tension in the Middle East for decades. I for one am tired of seeing American troops and taxpayer dollars heading to the Middle East supporting policies that are heavily tilted toward Israel.
It’s time for the U.S government to develop a more balanced approach in the Middle East that treats all of our Middle Eastern allies equally.
Mike Morgan, Colleyville