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Old 04-30-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,457,879 times
Reputation: 174

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The free interchange (well free in that it would not be a tolled interchange) that was planned for 1604 and 281 that would connect 1604 both directions with 281 south of 1604 that was slated for construction this fall thanks to the federal stimulus funds is now in danger of losing its funding as a result of environmental concerns (lawsuit) surrounding a set of beetles.

News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas

I am environmentally conscious. I care for nature. I am a responsible hunter. I recycle. I generally make decisions with thought and concern for our environment. However, I think at some point we need to do what is in OUR best interests. In this case, that intersection (which has been fought about for 15 years (at least)) is needed. In fact - I bet it would help the environment as you would have less cars idling there at those dang red lights as they hoped to make what should be a simple transition. BUT - since it may harm a beetle - we may lose the chance to improve our lives? What gives? Since when did our needs become secondary to a beetle?

I know I am over simplifying this - but come on. Its not like they will be paving a bunch of space that is currently green. Hell, that whole intersection is damn near covered in concrete. I believe that the intersection will resemble the one at 281 and 410 and the fly overs would be elevated with large concrete polls supporting the roadways. What sort of green space will that encroach upon?

I am fed up with the delays and ready for some solutions.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:41 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,823 posts, read 33,222,901 times
Reputation: 13612
That's always an ugly card to play and since it'll be a non-toll solution, I'm surprised that the anti-toll forces aren't twisting AGUA's arm behind the scenes to get them not to play it. If it works, say goodbye to over $100 million in Federal highway money that would have been spent on that interchange.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 971,482 times
Reputation: 229
If this wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. An organization whose mission might be laudable, loses any and all credibility (and probably suport) if they go forward with trying to block the addition of this interchange through a lawsuit that will essentially force us to lose stimulus funding. There are plenty of other project to protest if you must. In this specific area, the damage has already been done! You are about 25 years too late!

You can be very anti-toll in general, but how can you be anti-free? Boggles the mind!

Let's call this for what it really is: using the threat of a lawsuit to negotiate concessions from the Alamo RMA on future infrastructure development.

Last edited by datacity; 04-30-2010 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
4,149 posts, read 9,328,749 times
Reputation: 3308
I'm going to invite this group to my back yard this weekend to watch me seek out and stomp every single beetle I see.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,457,879 times
Reputation: 174
I think we should start a campaign to call AGUA and SOS 20 times a day - each - and tell them how big of a mistake they are making.

I am a bit scared to do it because I may get myself in trouble.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,457,879 times
Reputation: 174
AGUA
1809 Blanco Road
P.O. Box 15618
San Antonio, Texas 78212
(210) 320-6298
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: SA/Pipe Creek
2,790 posts, read 5,187,220 times
Reputation: 1590
This is crazy. These critters aren't even cute like that tiny lil' horse that's been around the 'net the past week. I say build the gosh durned road, to heck with the beetle. Goooooood grief....
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 971,482 times
Reputation: 229
The following is a statement by AGUA on this issue at their blog (albeit from earlier in the month):

AGUAblog Ľ AGUA on 1604/281 Interchange: “We cannot build our way out of this problem.” (http://www.aquiferguardians.org/blog/?p=41 - broken link)

The most telling statement in the above comes in paragraph four, speaking about mass transit for Frederickburg Rd and the question "Do we really want stimulus money, our public funds, to subsidize and exacerbate sprawl?"

My take from this blog post is that this isn't about protecting the acquifer or beetle; it's about whining about the fact that stimulus funds are being spent in the north vs. inside the loop.

The backward logic continues as it doesn't make sense to me how adding an interchange that facilitates movement from/to 281 to/from 1604 only on the cityside (i.e. south) creates a feedback that will increase development in areas north of 1604 off 281. If anything, it should help save gas and reduce pollution compared to the existing situation. This is different from anything that is done north of this point on 281 that actually would encourage further development north of 1604 (including superstreet, which sounds like is AGUA approved in the blog post).

As for proper use of stimulus if it doesn't preclude alternatives in the future... why doesn't AGUA offer up an alternative that works, and more importantly, try to win public support?

The sad thing is that I think AGUA has done some good things. However, there is no logical sense for them to join with SOS and the Toll Party on blocking this interchange. In doing so, they risk alienating potential supporters who in principle believe in stronger acquifer protections.

By the way, there is a list of donors (including businesses) at the AGUA website that one might want to know:

http://www.aquiferguardians.org/donors.htm

Last edited by datacity; 04-30-2010 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:38 AM
 
15,065 posts, read 19,707,243 times
Reputation: 12234
Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
The free interchange (well free in that it would not be a tolled interchange) that was planned for 1604 and 281 that would connect 1604 both directions with 281 south of 1604 that was slated for construction this fall thanks to the federal stimulus funds is now in danger of losing its funding as a result of environmental concerns (lawsuit) surrounding a set of beetles.
You'll can call it whatever you want,
beetlegate, 281gate, etc, etc.

I call it "politics as usual" ,
if KSAT's claim about a lawsuit because of endanger beetles was real,
then why was all the development North of 1604 allowed when everybody knows that it would require (1) Expand 281 (2) have car idling for hours on 281.

Again, call it whatever you want,
I call it "politics as usual"
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:06 PM
 
824 posts, read 1,605,899 times
Reputation: 597
You might not agree with their perspective (there's plenty of AGUA positions/tactics that I disagree with), but it's hard to argue with the statement that this project would "subsidize and exacerbate sprawl". This interchange would absolutely encourage more sprawl development in this area. No doubt about it.

It's really a question about the kind of city San Antonio wants to be. And the sort of infrastructure we build will have a tremendous impact on the way SA grows. I believe we should encourage the development of compact, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods (that can also be served by transit). But that's hard to do when public subsidies makes driving a mandatory daily activity.

While the people who live in the sprawl-burbs won't agree with it, there are plenty of people who think that investing in multi-modal transit (as opposed to an auto-centric arrangement where cars are the ONLY form of transportation) is simply a better long-term investment than more pavement/asphalt (and makes much more financial sense). And I have a legitimate gripe with folks who made a decision to live in an area with sub-standard infrastructure and feel entitled to an expensive solution subsidized by the rest of us.
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