Houston’s Katy Freeway is fully open for business, I guess. 18 lanes of concrete glory. Kinda boggles the mind, really, but I can vouch for the drive into downtown being much quicker. And that’s not necessarily a good thing, in my book…
Elected officials attending the celebration included Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. John Culberson, who, with former County Judge Robert Eckels and county infrastructure director Art Storey, had pushed the idea of including toll lanes and using county toll road revenue to speed completion of the work.
Culberson said the job was completed in five years and four months, compared to a likely 10 years or more with conventional funding.
“And without a single federal earmark,” he added.
Before the ceremony, Eckels said he still hopes commuter rail can be built along the route, possibly in one of the strips between the main and frontage road lanes.
But Culberson, whose ability to get federal dollars was crucial to the widening project, pledged not to give up a single freeway lane for Metro rail.
(Emphasis added.) Why is that something to brag about? It’s such a blatantly obvious rail corridor, far more obvious than UH-D to Reliant Stadium, and yet Culberson brags about keeping it from happening? Even Eckels, a Republican, sees the utility in having rail down the Katy Freeway. What is the antipathy to having rail in Houston? Don’t you think the people who already ride the buses from the Hwy 6 Park and Ride would rather ride a train to work? I do, and I know I’d rather ride a train than those buses.
In any event, I guess it’s not surprising that the Chronicle, in a string of rather stunning endorsements (Obama and
Cisneros (durrr, I got that wrong) Noriega), has endorsed Culberson’s challenger, Michael Skelly.