TrinityVote and Angela Hunt get 80,000 signatures to force referendum vote
TrinityVote has cleared the first hurdle in their efforts to force a vote on the tollroad portion of the Trinity River Project. The group turned in 80,000 signatures of registered Dallas voters who support a November referendum regarding the road project.
The Dallas City Secretary must now verify that at least 48,000 of the signatures are from valid Dallas voters. According to the TrinityVote website "We've already checked them, and we have more than enough."
Though current mayor Tom Leppert and former mayors Ron Kirk and Laura Miller are against the effort, TrinityVote has a number of strong allies (note to Mr. Leppert: line up opposite of Laura Miller whenever possible). Angela Hunt and company count former council members Don Hill, John Loza, and NAACP President Casey Thomas as supporters. Rickey Smiley also used his airwaves to bolster the number of signatures.
Those who were against Ms. Hunt and TrinityVote -which includes the Dallas Morning News – said it was time to move on and get the project underway. Even if it is not the project that voters passed back in 1998. You could almost hear a collective laugh from the Dallas establishment when TrinityVote had their initial press conference on March 11 within the Trinity Greenbelt.
See a slideshow of recent Trinity water levels from Unfair Park here.
To see the ordinance language for the referendum click here.
The ordinance seems to come down to no roads inside the levies with the following exceptions:
* roads constructed before the ordinance
* roads perpendicular to the floodplain
* roads of two travel lanes or less in each direction, used only for access and a speed limit of 35 MPH or less
* roads of less than two travel lanes, within 50 feet of the levees, used only for maintenance and closed to the public
After the 47,999 signatures, not including my valid one, are verified I'm sure we can expect some good ol' community forums. The kind of forums that were held 10 years ago selling voters on a low speed parkway as part of the Trinity Project. Both sides will have plenty of opportunities to make their case.
The "powers that be" must realize that it is a new day in Dallas. A day when text messages, e-mails, blog posts, and radio announcements can mobilize thousands of people in mere minutes. And a day when the voters will take matters into their own hands if necessary.
Picture by Dallas Morning News photographer Gerry J. McCarthy