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A Transportation Alternative In Texas
The Houstonian ^ | April 8, 2008 | Sally Abdelmottlep

Posted on 04/08/2008 5:44:33 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Cars have been a huge part of our lives. We use them to get around anywhere. It might have been the best invention mankind came up with, but we all hate several common things about cars, such as the cost of gas prices and traffic. We think sometimes in our imagination how awesome it would be if cars had wings, so maybe one day we will fly through terrific! We also despise accidents, high insurance and drunk driving.

Sometimes, I feel that we need other alternative means of transportation, such as a subway system in the state of Texas; maybe such a system will lessen the negative consequences of cars that we face today. Before my attempt to write this article, I asked random people about their opinions on a railroad system in Texas. Here are some of the answers I have came across "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Another one was "Texans love their cars too much and I feel more comfortable driving my car than riding a train. " These answers were different but are the same in a way; people seem to oppose any changes without weighing the true advantages that it could offer.

For instance, if we looked at the advantages of a subway system for drivers in Texas we would find that it could lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and lessen our dependence, which means we can finally fight the conspiracy of high gas prices. The TxDOT strategic plan for 2007-2011 reveals that in the next 25 years road usage will grow by 214%. If consumers use trains then the dependable usage of vehicles will degenerate, causing roads to be less congested with traffic. Less people using cars comes with pros too, such as less accidents and drunk driving. According to the TxDOT strategic plan 2005-2009, the NHTSA reported that Texas falls under the highest number of fatigue-related accidents in the United States. During a hurricane, a subway system could come in handy. Do you remember where you were during Hurricane Rita? You might have been stuck in traffic for no less than three to nine hours trying to get from one destination to another. The creation of a subway system could be a great aid in such situations, making mobility easy for southern Texas. Texas has three of the largest cities in the nation, such as Houston as the fourth followed by Dallas at the eighth and San Antonio at the ninth. The subway system should at least be able to connect these cities together. A railroad system was not a foreign idea to Texas. Texas once had one of the most successful Railroad systems for transportation, with 380,00 miles throughout the state in the 1800s. The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, introduced a plan under the name of "Trans-Texas Corridor" that included 4,000-mile road, rail, and utility network. The plan contained the following: six highway lanes and six rail lines divided into three highway lanes and three rail lines that would run in each direction. According to Perry, one rail line would be designed for high-speed commuter rail and one to a local commuter subway system. The TxDOT strategic plan believes that "Trans-Texas Corridor" would promote safety for transporting goods and people. Another TxDOT strategic plan of 2007-2011, mentioned that the TTC plan would create an estimated 434,000 new jobs that in my view, could create a noticeable boost to the economy of Texas.

After reviewing all of this information, you are probably wondering, "why is the plan not in effect?" There is currently a funding gap that TxDot is working on overcoming, in order to precede further with the plan and put into reality by 2030. In my opinion, the funding gap can be unfolded by creating more awareness to the general public about the project and more financial involvement from the private sector.

In conclusion, there are other alternative means of transportation out there for the consumer to use. Every plan comes with its pros and cons, but its left to us to consider the overall benefit that could result from such a plan and improve our way of living. A subway system will not only help us consumers, it will prosper the economy of Texas, reduce air pollution and help us uphold the saying that every thing is bigger and better in Texas.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: 2030; accidents; airpollution; autoinsurance; cars; congestion; dallas; drunkdriving; economy; environment; evacuation; fatigue; fundingcrunch; fundinggap; gasprices; houston; hurricane; jobs; mobility; nhtsa; privatefunding; privateinvestment; privatesector; privatization; rail; rickperry; rita; roaduse; sanantonio; southtexas; subway; texas; traffic; trains; transportation; transtexascorridor; ttc; tx; txdot
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To: Paleo Conservative; All

“Does the author understand how high the water table is in Houston?”

She also doesn’t understand how expensive it would be to dig a tunnel through miles of bedrock around Austin.

She’s obviously a Yankee transplant. (and a Muzzie)


21 posted on 04/09/2008 4:37:41 AM PDT by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Does the author understand how high the water table is in Houston? The last place I'd want to be during the storm surge of a hurricane is underground below the water table in a subway tunnel.

OMG. You're not kidding!

There is a tunnel in Baytown I believe that goes under the Houston shipping channel.  I don't know if it was open during evacuations. I don't think I'd take that route anyway. ;-)

22 posted on 04/09/2008 6:53:13 AM PDT by zeugma (FedGov has no intention of actually doing anything to secure this nation. It's all a power grab.)
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