End Williamson County's Long Range Transportation A1&E1 Corridors, Extensions & Arterials
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Since the initiation of the Williamson County Long Range Transportation Plan, officials have identified transportation needs in eastern Williamson County. These needs are based on projected growth in largely rural, long-standing farming and ranching communities. Traffic studies were NOT conducted in these areas. Among their recommended strategies are new and widened arterial roads, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and 5 priority superhighway/tollways.
Williamson County’s Long Range Plan was approved in March 2016 to include a 1 mile grid, whereby there would be an arterial road every 1 mile running north/south as well as east/west. The A-1 and E-1 corridors are proposed controlled access divided 10 lane divided superhighways, possibly toll roads, with utilities and pedestrian paths contained within. The massive right of way (ROW) acquisition is enough to have a 10 lane divided superhighway as well as contained retail and convenient stops, much like the design of the Trans Texas Corridor and acquisition methods used with the 130 toll road.
A-1 and E-1, and their future extensions, are unnecessary projects. The closest divided highway, U.S. 79, contains just 4 lanes and has only become a divided highway within recent years. Toll Road 130 has not lived up to its projected use and has seen endless issues ranging from billing management to the bankruptcy of a foreign-owned company and bailout, all of which were widely predicted by citizens and ignored by those in charge. Keep in mind the E-1 corridor, which roughly parallels toll road 130, is 6 miles further EAST. The projected growth in these rural areas could only remotely be realized if the farmers and ranchers, the grateful stewards of this great Blackland Prairie, are forced out. Forced out for someone else’s master plan of development, which appears to be the long-standing plan of the City of Hutto and Williamson County, as the paths cut through the heart of some of the largest farming operations in Williamson County.
When projects this large in scale seem to catch all committed land owners by total surprise, the phrase “follow the money” always seems to be the suggestion by those heeding the warnings. It is quite easy to follow the money along the paths of E1 and A1 (as well the future extensions of these massive corridors). A quick visit to Williamson County’s Appraisal District website allows anyone to search for property owners. We encourage you all to follow the money to see who shares in the pot of gold while the heritage farms, the legacies, the livelihoods would forever be destroyed with a dark burden of incomprehensible loss. Contacting your city and government officials to express your disapproval is the best way to discourage the continuance of these projects.
THE REST OF US LOSE
× School Districts become bisected, introducing travel safety concerns in previously quiet, safe, rural communities
× Increased, devastating flooding added to the already heightened flooding seen on Brushy Creek from Upstream Development
× Open to Private Owned/Foreign Owned Corridors with contained utilities (as with 130)
× Increased crime and risk with severe lack of Emergency Services in place
× Wildlife & Wildlife Patterns (over 41 bird species on just one property documented recently)
× Creeks and Ponds
× Water, Noise and Light Pollution
× Greatly increased traffic forced into quiet, peaceful regions of the county
× Veterans and seniors who will no longer be able to live out their dreams of living on the land and in the homes they worked decades for.
× Increased property appraisals thus increasing already high property taxes.
Some land and home owners forced out by being zoned commercial or annexed by
cities due to property tax bill
× Farmers & Ranches cut off from agricultural property without overpasses at each
farm with adequate clearances for large equipment
× Destruction of 100+ year old family Heritages
× Destruction of Livelihoods Bisect long-standing communities of neighbors,
farmers and patrons to local businesses
× Small Businesses will be bypassed for big box businesses
(remember Pruetts when Walmart came to Taylor)
× Increased taxes in both increased property tax assessments and bonds to pay for
projects – Taxways or Tollways
× Businesses related to agriculture – banks where agriculture has been the
backbone of its existence, farm supply and implement dealers
× Loss of agricultural-based jobs and tax base
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