The Austin Chronicle

Not Just Football to Blame, but Cars, Too

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 14, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Your article on Waller Creek [“Going With the Flow”, News, Jan. 11] correctly identifies one Texas obsession – football – as a cause of the 1969 Waller Creek “riot.” However, the article failed to indict the other Texas obsession which is equally to blame – the automobile. The UT stadium could have been expanded without jeopardizing the century-old cypresses along the creek. Unfortunately, the university felt that it also needed a four-lane road (San Jacinto Boulevard) running through campus. Since there wasn’t room enough for trees, four lanes, and the stadium expansion (the efforts of us “rioters” notwithstanding), the trees were cut down. Ironically, within a couple of years, university administrators realized that it was colossally stupid to have four lanes running through campus, so they reduced San Jacinto to two lanes with restricted access. Needless to say, that delayed insight came too late to save the cypresses.
Philip Russell

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