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I couldn't agree more with the two opinion pieces [“Bring Back East Avenue – Downtown Is No Place for a 20-lane Death Machine
,” “Oak Hill Road Plan Is Taxpayer Abuse
,” Sept. 17] this week regarding I-35 through Downtown and Highways 290 and 71 through Oak Hill. I lived in the Bay Area at the time that the Embarcadero Freeway was taken down. Afterwards, people wondered how we could possibly have had that huge, elevated monstrosity blocking views of the San Francisco Bay. TxDOT is not responsive to community concerns. Maybe it's time for some civil disobedience – block the bulldozers.
To the Editor,
Regarding the "Public Notice" piece on the Oak Hill expressway [“Oaks, Highways, and No Pickleball?
” Sept. 17], I live in the area and I encourage anyone interested to take a drive down 290 West from the "Y" in Oak Hill. The scale of the project is utterly shocking. TxDOT has gone full steam ahead and wiped out hundreds of trees in the area, hoping to get that done before further court action that might stop them. They cleared an area equivalent to the width of 290 on one side in the week before the last court hearing, and have now begun clearing an equivalent width on the other side. They have outright lied about the size of trees they are removing.
I feel the public was in no way given a good understanding of what the extent of this project would be in terms of natural area lost. TxDOT's Oak Hill Parkway website is an absolute joke, its so-called maps and schematics showing almost nothing. One has to dig hard and deep to find much detail on this from TxDOT.
In the same Chronicle
issue you talk about Heat Island effect. ["Can Austin Handle Its Heat?
" Sept. 17] As a past member of the city of Austin's Heat Island task force (many moons ago under Council member Jackie Goodman's guidance) I advised the city as to what the loss of dozens of acres of trees can mean to an area in this regard. As a consulting arborist, I am certain that the average summer temperatures will jump significantly in the area around this concrete nightmare.
I ask others to join me in supporting Save Barton Creek in opposing this project.