The company managing the redevelopment of the 635 LBJ corridor has blocked me from commenting on their Facebook page, LBJ Express, after my comments yesterday on their LBJ-Dallas North Tollway video. The video showed clearly cars moving in the wrong direction on all four clover leaf interchanges between 635 LBJ and the Dallas North Tollway. And while I acknowledged that this is only a funny occurrence on an animated video which will be corrected in the actual project, I also pointed out that the Managed Lanes and the actual clover leafs would not only ensure congestion but that the Managed Lanes actually depend on this congestion to work.
It is interesting to note that the Dallas Morning News, by comparison, was prominently featured by LBJ Express on Facebook with an article on its blog saying LBJ Express wasn’t all that bad, though. Merry Christmas, and all that. Pretty lights, go out and shop. Of course, the Dallas Morning News has a long, distinguished history of serving as TxDOT’s greatest talking points proponents and disseminating propaganda favorable to shoddy transportation policy being implementing. But that’s another article entirely. Let’s just say the Fourth Estate has failed equally if not worse than the policy people on the issue of freeways.
I also noticed that I am no longer able to post comments on the LBJ Express page either. This also brings up another interesting issue–that of the 1st Amendment rights of the Free Press. I have established a nasty reputation as a “loud-mouthed activist” on the topic of freeway policy. Now LBJ Express is apparently wanting to pick a fight on 1st Amendment issues, as if they don’t have enough hood-winking the entire populace, managing a Facebook propaganda page and redeveloping the busiest stretch of freeway in the world. More power, guys.
TxDOT doesn’t like me because every time I open my mouth I undermine their policies. I did so in 2008 and their website, talking points and marketing materials magically changed. Suddenly, congestion relief wasn’t that big of a priority. And since I pointed out that they actually had grown to LIKE congestion, it became a convenient excuse to revamp their tired, out-of-date policies and making public talking points match.
So they started saying, “We’re doubling lane capacity–that will relieve congestion, right?” Question. Not a statement, a question. Which I answered by pointing out that TxDOT had likewise doubled capacity on 75 Central Expressway in the 1990’s and in 2010 TxDOT listed 75 Central Expressway as the 2nd worst congested stretch of freeway in the state. How did “doubling capacity” do at achieving congestion relief? They literally changed their formula for calculating congestion so that Central Expressway fell out of the top 10. Explain that.
So now TxDOT has decided to skirt 1st Amendment and FOIA requirements by silencing any critics by “outsourcing” their duties to the companies who will be managing the “Managed Lanes.” Nice, guys. You know how fast that will fail too, right?
But hey, the Dallas Morning News reports that there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel.” LBJ Express told them so.
Hey, Santa Claus–I know a whole bunch of big boys and big girls who need to be added to that “naughty list.” Its getting rather long down here in Big D.