HCTRA declines to tell residents about proposed toll road
Here's yet another story about Harris County being less-than-forthcoming on a possible toll road project:
There could be another toll road in the works to help commuters from Fort Bend County. The early proposal would connect the still-under-construction Fort Bend Parkway toll road to the West Loop. But the plan is already under fire.
Even though there isn't start date for construction. Harris County has already bought some right-of-way for the road and has an early design plan. And that's big news to thousands of people who could be most affected by the project.
The Fort Bend County toll road is considered the gateway to new master planned communities. It takes people from suburban homes into Houston. Harris County has plans for a toll extension. That would make the trip even faster, but many homeowners who live in the proposed road's path know nothing about it.
"You're the first news I've ever heard about that toll road coming in here," confessed home owner Ted Sewell. "I thought it was just going to stop right there at South Main where it's going right now."
The Harris County road would meet Fort Bend County's Highway 90 next to the South Loop. For Sewell it could mean anything from a noise nuisance to costing him his home.
He said, "It doesn't surprise me that I'm not told, because that's the way governments work. Their best work is done in secrecy."
Neighborhood leaders also want the county to conduct a complete environmental impact study, so they'll know exactly what piping cars from Fort Bend County all the way into Houston neighborhoods will do to them.
The Harris County Toll Road Authority doesn't consider the process a secret, but admits to declining some invitations to tell southwest Houston neighborhood groups about the project.
That's pretty much business as usual for Harris County.