Sen. Whitmire explains why he pushed for $AFEclear reform
Sen. Whitmire has written an op-ed in today's Chronicle about why he fought to change $AFEclear:
My involvement will also have a positive effect on the Safe Clear program. What my critics fail to realize is that it was my aggressive legislative approach that led to the meeting with White, resulting in these numerous steps toward our common goal of safer freeways in Houston.
It is my belief that with continued modifications, Safe Clear can become a model for traffic management not only for Texas, but for the entire country. I am proud to play a small but necessary role in fine-tuning this worthwhile program.
We have pointed this out before -- Mayor White really wanted to save $AFEclear, somehow, and with Sen. Whitmire taking a hard line the mayor was forced to make some changes. It just so happens that in this case the changes turned a terribly heavy-handed and punitive program into a much more citizen-friendly program. Would it be better not to have $AFEclear? Maybe, probably, and we can certainly debate that. But Sen. Whitmire's firm stand helped make it a better program, and now we have an expanded Motorist Assistance Program, to boot. That benefits everyone, and Sen. Whitmire deserves praise for helping make that happen.