A few words on the vote last Nov. 6th, when Dallas voters narrowly okayed the toll road in the park. A lot of my friends have called or emailed to say how sorry they were that the anti-toll road side lost, but I'm not worried, nor was I really that upset (I'm used to voters lacking the intelligence to look at an issue beyond what their politicians tell them). Just because the vote turned out that way, doesn't mean the toll road will be built. In fact, I don't think it will ever be built. The Army Corps of Engineers is not going to approve a highway in a flood plain just because voters okayed it. Nor will the NTTA (North Texas Tollway Authority) suddenly be able to come up with the engineering and environmental requirements necessary for approval What voters okayed, was that the city could proceed to try and build it. The vote didn't eliminate all the hurdles that have to be jumped to get the first highway ever to be built in a floodway in this country approved.
In any case, TrinityVote hasn't just thrown up their hands and walked away. About 30 of us showed up at the first City Council meeting after the vote--in your Yes! t-shirt--to make sure the rest of the council didn't try to beat up on Angela. And we'll continue to monitor the progress of the toll road. Check out the Trinity Vote blog to see how the false promises, deceipt and lies the Mayor, the Dallas Morning News, the NTTA and other city officials made during the campaign have slowly started to unravel. For one, the Morning News sat on information damaging to the Vote No side for a month prior to the election and only printed it after the election was over. James Ragland just wrote about a "private party" Leppert held for the all the councilmembers (except Angela Hunt!) as a thank you, and held at Ross Perot, Jr.'s condo at the W. Journalists were not allowed.
Once again, we have a greedy, self-interested Mayor and City Council, with the sole exception of Angela Hunt, of course. But our grassroots movement came close to defeating them. It was an historic vote. Despite the fact that the Vote No outspent us 20 to 1, and had on their side both U.S. Senators, a U.S. Congressman, State Representatives, 13 of 14 City Council members, the Mayor, two Dallas ex-mayors, every Chamber of Commerce and business organization in the city--they could only win by 6%. It was an extraordinary experience working on this issue, and, as I said, it ain't over yet.