San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 23rd, 2008
Kyle Chamber of Commerce channel:
‘Save lives, save time, save gas’

GUEST COMMENTARY by RAY HERNANDEZ

Kyle is the fastest growing city in the third fastest growing county in all of our great state of Texas. In Kyle we have had over 20,000 new residents in ten brief years. The reasons they make Kyle their home are many.  We are truly a simply charming community with honest hard working folks, great schools, a low tax rate, events and places for families to play, along with plenty of room for new businesses to flourish. Additionally, there are currently two major retail projects under construction that will bring approximately two-million square feet of retail and a large 210-bed hospital to Kyle in just over a year from now, and so much more. We have an opportunity to protect our way of life and take pro active action and deal with transportation issues now.

Hays County voters will be asked to pass a $207 million bond issue this November. A large chunk of that money will be designated to address transportation issues in Northern Hays County. The improvements along Interstate 35 will not only make the roads safer, but also more efficient for those traveling to and from our new retail centers.

Some will say that it is too expensive, but what is the price of a loved one’s life?

Some will say if we do not build it they will not come, but try driving anywhere in Austin around 8 a.m. or getting on Interstate 35 in Kyle from 1626 or Beebe road and you will know that “they” are already here.

Some will say that new roads are bad for the neighborhood, but try explaining the long wait and waste of gas to a family trying to get to an after school activity for their child. Some say that just wait and the Texas Department of Transportation will build these roads on their own. Federal and state funding cannot keep up with the current roads we have now. The average home owner would pay less than six dollars a month. Less that the price of a lunch meal per month.

Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote, early voting October 20th-31st, last day to vote is November 4th.  You can pick up voter registration cards at the Kyle Chamber office or Kyle City Hall.  The postage is free and takes less than a minute to fill out

The Kyle Chamber Board of Directors calls on all to vote to save lives, save time, and save gas by voting for roads, VOTE YES for the Hays County Road Bond Package. The time for action is now. Ask yourself “If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?”

The former San Marcos Hispanic Chamber of Commerce director, RAY HERNANDEZ is now the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

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12 thoughts on “Kyle Chamber of Commerce channel:
‘Save lives, save time, save gas’

  1. I would just like to add, that while $207 million sounds like a great deal of money, much of that will be returned to taxpayers by the State of Texas for the IH 35 improvements, the FM 1626 road, FM 110, and any other state roads included in the bond package. The County is, in effect, building the roads for the state and will be reimbursed for these roads over the next few years. We will have to pay interest on the money – but otherwise these roads would not be improved for years and years.

    It’s a good deal for taxpayers and we can not afford to pass on it. The State of Texas is no longer offering this kind of deal.

  2. It’s very important for us all to get out and vote YES on these road bonds. For the safety and quality of life on the I-35 corridor we need to get our share of TxDot funding and this is the way to do it.

  3. I agree.

    This is a very important set of improvements. It was great to see the various city and county officials AND citizens working together to come up with a package that will benefit all of us and I would also encourage everyone to get out and vote YES.

    $133 million of this money is eligible to be repaid by TxDOT. It does not look like we will get another chance to get that money.

  4. I just came across this quote in the Austin Business Journal, from last May, when the first road bond effort failed.

    ****”Are people standing in line waiting to scoop up dollars that Hays could leave on the table?” says Bob Daigh, TxDOT’s top engineer in Austin. “You bet they are.”

    Daigh says the future of the pass-through agreement is up to Hays County officials. But he also says he’s received queries from several county commissioners asking him how their counties could obtain the money if Hays County terminates the pass-through agreement.****

    A lot of people have worked very hard to make this bond package better for the whole county than the last one that was offered up. Let’s not allow some other counties to “scoop up” the money that has been offered to us!

  5. If these projects don’t allow for bike lanes & sidewalks, I won’t support them.
    We cannot drill our way out of the energy problem and we cannot build roads enough to beat the road congestion problems. Look at Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. They have spent gazillions of dollars on road construction and they are just awful to travel around in. We have to build for walkers & cyclists & mopeds & scooters because what we have been doing is a mobility dead end. People will not leave their cars if they can’t travel in safety using alternatives.

  6. What?
    I don’t think people are realistically going to commute to Austin everyday on a bicycle or a moped. Certainly not unless they have access to shower facilities once they get to work. That is wishful thinking.

    But saving lives and making our roads safer is a realistic goal. And it can save the lives of people who are locally biking and walking along the roadways – because the new roadways will have adequate SHOULDERS.

    If you don’t want to vote for the bonds, then don’t. But come up with a better excuse than this.

  7. These projects do include great bike/ped improvements. As someone who bikes 2000 or more miles per year, this was very important to me and I was pleased to see so many bike improvements outside of San Marcos. I’m surprised you did not know this. I thought you posted elsewhere that you participated in one or more of the workshops.

    As for scooters, they are required to drive on the roads like any other motorcycle. I know. I have two.

    Mopeds are another story. They are pretty much governed by the same laws as bicycle. They are 50cc and smaller and go no faster than 30 mph. Most of the 50cc bikes I see have been deregulated so that they go faster than 30 mph and are therefore no longer mopeds. In either case, they are accommodated.

    So, that must mean that we can count on seeing you posting messages in support of this very forward-thinking package.

    BTW, I’ll extend to you the same open invitation that I have extended to others, to join me on a ride any time. It would be great to discuss bike improvements with a fellow cyclist. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you riding. Maybe we have different routes. I’m always up for learning a new route.

  8. Ted,
    I have had an ear disease (Meneires) that took away my hearing in one ear and also took my balance so that I can no longer ride a bike. Sold my beloved Trek road bike a couple of months ago (after seeing it hanging, unused, from the ceiling of my garage for 2 years). But I do KNOW that we need to get short distance commuters out of their cars and onto other modes of transportation and that there is absolutly no way we can build roads and highways faster than people will fill them up to overflowing. There is not room enough nor money enough. And exhaust pollution doesn’t do any of us any good.

    I have never attended a workshop. I live in Kyle. Moved here from the McKinney area after I retired last November (new grandbaby in Buda got us here).

    I asked in another posting whether there was an online map of the areas being improved by the package. Do you know?

  9. http://hayscountybac.org/projectlist.asp

    http://hayscountybac.org/data/Matrix_Web.pdf

    I haven’t looked this over carefully, to see if there is a 1 to 1 correlation between these proposed improvements and those on the bond. I suspect some were dropped.

    Also, some of the descriptions on the first link are pretty incomplete. There are better descriptions, although still somewhat brief, at the second link. The second link also has some traffic data, reasons for the improvements, etc.

  10. Ted & Bill,
    Thanks for the links.
    They do mention bike lanes in a couple of places but I’m not sure what is actually to be built from the bond package as opposed to what is a request for money for planning/feasibility. But at least someone is looking at alternatives.
    Lila,
    I agree that almost nobody would commute daily to Austin on a bike – regardless of how good were the bike facilities. But all day long much of the automobile traffic is short hops to the grocery to pick up milk & bananas, to the library, to school & back, to the post office, etc. Lots of folks both live and work in the Kyle-Buda & San Marcos areas, and safe bike commuting for many of them would be a really great option for them and a benefit to all of us.

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