Rick Perry surges against those sleeper cells on the Capitol-route bus line
By Wells Dunbar, Fri., Jan. 4, 2008
Taking the Capitol Out Of Capital Metro
If 9/11 established anything, it's that airplanes are al Qaeda's preferred method of travel – not the city bus. But that won't prevent Rick Perry from surging against those sleeper cells on the No. 7.
Perry issued an otherwise unremarkable press release last week, "Security Upgrades to Begin on Capitol Grounds," a boilerplate act of security theatre opening with the phrase "Since the 9/11 attacks." The changes direct all vehicles to enter the Capitol from 15th Street – a moot point for the public at best, since only legislators are allowed to motor onto the grounds. But buried toward the bottom is the announcement, "the state is working with Capital Metro to address relocation of their bus stop on 11th Street adjacent to the Capitol Grounds," for those nebulous security worries. It's never good to imply your constituency is "with the terrorists" – so it's probably a good thing no Republicans ride the bus.
Cap Metro's Capitol hub is one of the agency's most-trafficked and highest-profile bus stops, serving thousands of passengers across a multitude of bus lines. Moving the stop in less than a year – per the governor's demand – will be yet another headache for the embattled agency. Yet, as the stop sits on state land, the agency and the city may have to take their lumps. Apparently the Perrys' remodeling of the Governor's Mansion is more extensive than first thought. In her letter of protest to the guv, American Civil Liberties Union Central Texas Chapter President Debbie Russell puts it succinctly:
"Instead of spending gobs of money and time fighting to move Austin's oldest public transportation center, confusing and inconveniencing 1,500 people a day, negatively affecting our public transportation system, so you can avoid being bothered by working-class Austinites' comings and going ... in the name of 'security' ... here's an option for you:
Use the west gate to walk home."
Posted Friday, Dec. 28.
Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.