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Urbanrailfan

Trans Texas Corridor

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Texas has this proposal called "Trans Texas Corridor" proposed to gobble up 700 feet of land to build more roads. Their purpose is to take car traffic away from the existing interstates that go to Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and others. They also have high speed rail running alongside. Also since 18-wheelers are dangerous in this state, the first diagram shows trucks and cars having their own lanes separating 18-wheelers from car traffic.

IMO this is not a good idea. TxDot does not even get the message: they just pour concrete here and there. Even worse, farmers will suffer when these behemoths come in and cut their farmland in half! I'm all for just the rail corridor: instead of building more of those damn highways like crazy, they can just double-track existing railroads to accomodate passenger rail service (commuter). Another problem: in the map, the rail corridors do not even lead to the cities at all; they just skip around them to go to small towns and the burbs; that should be fixed by lettin g them go into downtown.

ttc_roadway600.gif

ttc_prioritymap600.jpg

What do you think?

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This project would be a waste of money; it's just like rebuilding the existing interstates with extra, unneccesary lanes. Not only that, I guess not enough people would use it once it's built cause not many people live in the rural countryside. It would be a huge waste of resources. I posted a response related to this in the USA West forum..

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At first I wasn't too hot on this plan, but I think it does have some merit--however I don't think that the whole thing will be built. I only think that the Mexico-Oklahoma, Mexico-Louisiana, and New Mexico-Louisiana links will see segments built. Possibly even only "Texas Triangle" corridors will be built.

It seems crazy right now, but look at it this way, Texas has 22 million people now, and could have 40 million by 2040 or so. With it being Texas and with many of those newcomers being immigrants coming for the "American Dream", there will be a ton of new cars. At the same time, truck traffic will only increase. Even now, some believe that truck traffic makes up 25% of the volumes on the I-35 corridor.

I now have reason to believe that the thing will work better than people think, and will actually be better for our cities in some ways. Some have questioned if there will be the traffic to justify the TTC. Well, with the private Spanish company Cintra building 300 miles of this thing for $6 BILLION and giving $1.2 BILLION to the state for other projects at the state's discretion, they had to have some awful good traffic projections. Take into account that being a private company, they're not gonna jump on a project this big if they thought they'd incur losses.

Also, according to another forum, they are apparently building the TTC's truck lanes first, and then the other stuf may follow. My guess is that the toll for trucks to go from SA to DFW may be $80 one-way. When you take into account that (according to some studies done at this University), depending on their loads, one hour is worth $75 to truckers.

So let's see, a trucker leaves a facility in San Antonio at 7 am, after taking about 40 minutes to get out of SA, he gets to Austin somewhere near 9 am. Anyone here who's driven in Austin knows that their traffic is beyond unbelievable--all day. From one end of Austin to the other at rush hour could take a solid hour, and then that dumps him into Dallas somewhere around or just after lunchtime. If he goes to north Dallas, he may be looking at another 40 minutes. If those time in those cities are twice as long as free-flow traffic, that's 70 minutes that the trucker lost just by dealing with today's traffic. That alone could justify their $80.00 toll if one hour is worth $75.00 to the trucker.

Add-in that you also get time and stress savings (the TTC posted speed limits will be 80-85 mph) and the trucks will get 13' lanes instead of the usual 12' and the 4 hour trip from SA to DFW (about in free flow traffic all the way) and that could shave another 30 minutes off the time.

So now you have 100 minutes saved. I think the truckers will be 'lickin' their chops' to use the TTC, and Cintra knows this.

Now for the cities, if a truck (25% of traffic) is the same as 3 cars, and you have 160,000 vehicles per day on your part of I-35, you 40,000 trucks, and get "new" space for 120,000 vehicles. Now widenings don't become as necessary, and pavements last longer since they're not under the weight of the trucks. Couple that with removing those trucks from the hills that they struggle to climb, which in themselves can set off the rush hour (esp. Austin), you get better use of your in-town freeways. Maybe you could even "urbanized" those arteries better. Those freeways would just be added to the roadway classification hierarchy.

So it's by design, IMO that I-35 will be the first corridor, as its traffic is pretty bad from Dallas to SA, especially from Georgetown to SA and from Hillsboro to Dallas. If the TTC is successful in this area, we will see more of these. If not, then that will be the end of the TTC b/c if it can't succeed where the need is greatest, then it definitely won't anywhere else, especially since the main selling point of the TTC has been for moving freight.

If you're a private auto owner, would you pay $40 to get to Dallas from SA in 3 hours instead of 4 (at midnight) or 5 (during the day) hours? Or $30 to get from Dallas to Houston in 2.5-3 hours instead of 3.5-4? I guess it all depends on what the hour is worth to you monetarily.

By the way, does anyone know who the Congressman is who has proposed 'truck-only' interstates? In think he may be from Virginia, since they are working on some sort of pilot project there for I-81.

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