Sometimes, caring can cost us. The people who sat through a grueling public hearing on the Trinity Toll Road on Tuesday became reacquainted with that fact.
The meeting involved a presentation of the newly released Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS), which “discusses the potential impacts the Trinity Parkway project could have on various social, economic and environmental elements. It is meant to update the Draft Environmental Impact Statement of February 2005.
It also took up 114 power point slides for the evening’s presentation.
Unfortunately, the talk reiterated many things already known about the proposed toll road. Namely, the federal government won’t allow beginning construction because levee conditions still need further review to determine whether a major highway could compromise them.
The meeting marked the last time citizens would have a chance to publicly voice their opinions to city and highway officials before they decided on a construction plan alternative. They got that chance at 9 p.m., after NTTA officials finished their presentation, which began at 7 p.m. And they got three minutes each.
This arrangement frustrated many of the attendees.
“I first want to say I’m greatly disappointed in the way this meting has been held, in this public process because as I look around I see that a good half of the audience has left,” said City Council Member Angela Hunt, the first at the microphone. “Half of the audience has left and that’s because we’ve had a presentation by staff for two hours and it’s very difficult for those with families and jobs tomorrow to stick around for two hours to get the chance to speak … this is the type of presentation that makes people believe we’re just going through the motions of this.”
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.