Monday, April 22, 2013

Elect Jim Tolbert

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Juárez Valley Farmers Come to Blows over Water

El Diario reports on April 16 that farmers in the Valley of Juárez have come to blows over irrigation water.   The farmers claim that the water agency, Conagua, is not delivering water equitably.  Individual farmers are creating blockages in the irrigation canals and using sand bags to direct more water to their fields, and  In any case the supply of water this year will be severely limited.  The director of the regional water office says that due to the delay in delivery of water from the US, he can only supply treated water (purple water) to the farmers, and that only at one-half the amount needed for irrigation.   Well water has become too salty for agriculture.

On Sunday, April 21, El Diario noted that the northwestern segment of Chihuahua would likely lose 4 million pesos of productivity this year, as farmers decide not to even try to plant crops such as wheat.   More than 2,000 hectares are likely to be left unplanted.

Thanks and a hat tip to Marshall Carter-Tripp for this report.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Let Your Will Be Heard; Don't Let TxDOT Dictate

The email address that TxDOT is giving out for public comments about the park entrance is still no good.  Truth is - they don't give a damn about your opinion.  

At the public meeting last week, Bob Bielek asked how many people in attendance wanted the TPWD alternative entrance (4) into the FMSP.  Over half raised their hands.  He announced that about half the people were for it.  His aim was to show that there is no consensus in the environmental community for the entrance.  Judy Ackerman then asked for those who were with TxDOT to raise their hands.  The other half did so.  The real point: the game was rigged.  Must be tough when your boss tells you that you must show up for an event to overturn public opinion.  Bielek announced that he and only he will decide what will happen.  Isn't history littered with dictators who believed that they and they alone can decide?  The question is this: how long will we allow one person or one agency to have such profound power? 

Bobby wants his Lone Star doodads - aesthetics they are called and not a safe, attractive entrance to our park - safe for humans and safe for wildlife.

Here's the email rejection notice:

-------- Original Message --------
Undeliverable: Tom Mays Park Entrance
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 23:24:27 +0000

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
Your message can't be delivered because delivery to this address is restricted.

TxDOT and Bob Bielek don't want what you do.  I'm reminded of the first meeting of the Mayor's Blue Ribbon panel regarding PSB land management. Bulldozing Ted TxDOT Houghton (Rick Perry's personal pick as Chairman of the TxDOT Commission) didn't want the meetings to be open to the public.  It's the same arrogance. 

Again: how long will we allow one person or one agency to have such profound power?

Go to Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition and read and respond to "Our State Park Needs Your Help".  Spread the word.

Attend tomorrow's MPO meeting:
Date: Monday, April 15, 2013
Time: 4pm
Location: 10767 Gateway West, Suite 605.  Arrive before 4 pm and sign up to speak in favor of Oprtion 4 and let Mayela Granados (915-591-9735, ext. 11, know that you want to speak.

This may be a good time to re-read (or read for the first time) Ralph Waldo Emerson's Concord Hymn.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Numbers Don't Lie: FMSP Entrance is a Major Traffic Safety Concern

First an email from TxDOT El Paso Regional Engineer, Bob Bielek. Afterwards, the numbers. [Red emphases are mine.)
Subject: Franklin State Park Entrance Environmental

Based on our teleconference yesterday, and my review of the situation, I have reached the following conclusions:
1.      The purpose and need for the project have been inadequately defined.  It appears that the purpose and need to this point has been focused on some unspecified safety concerns from the public or stakeholders.  We need to subject the situation to a standard traffic engineering analysis taking into account the volumes on the main lanes, the volume on the entrance road, and the end state from the current project, i.e., no left turns exiting the park with eastbound traffic routed to the frontage road and the “Texas Turnaround” at the Paseo del Norte interchange.  We will gather historical information on accident data as well as current and projected traffic to support these analyses.
2.      The loss of funding for this fiscal year provides an opportunity to gather information from the stakeholders and the public on what additional factors, or substitute factors, should contribute to the purpose and need for the project.  For example, is the real purpose to provide a safe path to connect the two sides of the park for hikers?  For wildlife?
3.      For the public meeting, we will show the alternatives that have been developed so far and provide several blank aerials that depict the situation that will exist at the end of the current project to allow the stakeholders and public to offer their suggestions or additional alternatives that should be considered.

I appreciate the work that has gone into this so far and the work you have all done in developing and progressing the alternatives.  Given the scrutiny that projects are receiving today from other members of the public who, for example, question the wisdom of spending money on providing bike lanes on arterial roadways, we need to ensure that the purpose and need for the project are clearly stated and that we are solving a real, and not imagined, issue.

Bob Bielek, DPA, PE
District Engineer, El Paso District
Texas Department of Transportation
(915) 790-4203 Office
(915) 309-0482 Cell

Okay, here are the real numbers (not imagined) as gathered by Franklin Mountains State Park Superintendent, Dr. Cesar Mendez.  Dr. Mendez says that the numbers are: ". . . the estimated number of vehicles (ingress and egress) rather than the visitation, since we have other areas of the park that are accessed by visitors, as well as many times  there are more than one visitor per vehicle.  But also we will include park staff (personal vehicles and TPWD vehicles, community service, volunteers, TDCJ, special events, search and rescue training, search and rescue incidents, media, etc. etc.) that are not accounted for in the visitation numbers, but certainly have an impact in the vehicle traffic numbers."

Water Conservation through Sod Reduction

The following slide presentation was prepared by Mr. Tracy Novak, the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation at the City of El Paso to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board last night, April 8, 2013. Novak used this program during his tenure in Nevada. It presents an excellent idea for water conservation through sod reduction at public parks.  Novak has been in his job in El Paso for a short while.  The big question is this: Where have they been hiding this guy!?

Compare the picture of Las Vegas Bay below in 2002 with an image of Elephant Butte in 2013. (Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it.)

Normally water would have been released to the El Paso area for irrigation in March.  It won't be this year until June.

Monday, April 8, 2013

TxDOT's Comment Email Still Not Working!

Elpasonaturally reported earlier that the TxDOT's email address for comments about the park entrance wasn't working.  It seems that it still isn't:

Read through the email below. (Be sure to see my question following the email string.)

Dear Representative Pickett,

Thank you for working with TxDOT to El Paso’s advantage.  I hope you can help fix this problem.  TxDOT is soliciting public comment on the Franklin Mountains State Park entrance, but the address for comments is “not yet active.”  Makes me wonder if they really want comments….

Judy Ackerman

From: judy Ackerman
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 7:46 AM
To: 'Bob Bielek'
Subject: RE: ? Correct e-mail address for Meeting announcement, Entrance Franklin Mountains State Park

Dear Bob Bielek,

Thank you for your quick response.

It is unfortunate that your announcement, posted on your website says:

“Written comments may be emailed to the following address: Blanton & Associates, Attn: Loop 375 at the Franklin Mountains State Park Entrance, 5 Lakeway Centre Court, Suite 200, Austin TX 78734. Comments may also be e‐mailed to”

Which implies the public can comment now, but the address returns an error.  I hope you can activate the address soon, if you want to receive public comment.

Judy Ackerman

From: Bob Bielek []
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 2:28 AM
To: judy Ackerman
Subject: Re: ? Correct e-mail address for Meeting announcement, Entrance Franklin Mountains State Park


That address may not yet be active.  You can send your comments to me and they will get into the system.
Bob Bielek, DPA, PE
Sent from my iPad

On Apr 7, 2013, at 8:11 AM, "judy Ackerman" wrote:
Dear Bob Bielek,

Please tell me the correct address to send comments on the proposed Franklin Mountains State Park entrance project.

Your announcement at this link:
states that the address is:

However, that address returns the following error.

Please advise.

Judy Ackerman

From: []
Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2013 7:25 AM
To: Teschner, Richard
Subject: Undeliverable: Please choose Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's "Option 4" for the Tom Mays Entrance to El Paso's Franklin Mountains State Park

Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:
Your message wasn't delivered because of security policies. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.
Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server:
#< #5.7.1 smtp;550 5.7.1 RESOLVER.RST.AuthRequired; authentication required> #SMTP#

Original message headers:

Received: from ( by ( with Microsoft
 SMTP Server (TLS) id; Sun, 7 Apr 2013 13:24:36 +0000
Received: from mail128-co9 (localhost [])      by (Postfix) with ESMTP id CCA9CC0448    for
 <>; Sun,  7 Apr 2013 13:24:35 +0000 (UTC)
X-Forefront-Antispam-Report: CIP:;KIP:(null);UIP:(null);IPV:NLI;;;EFVD:NLI
X-SpamScore: 0
X-BigFish: ps0(zzc85fhzz1f42h1fc6h1d77h1ee6h1de0h1fdah1202h1e76h1d1ah1d2ahzz17326ah18c673h8275bh8275dhz2dh2a8h668h839hd25h1288h12a5h12bdh137ah13eah1441h14ddh1504h1537h153bh15d0h162dh1631h1758h18b6h18e1h1946h19b5h1b0ah1bceh1155h)
Received: from mail128-co9 (localhost.localdomain []) by mail128-co9
 (MessageSwitch) id 1365341073899314_17988; Sun,  7 Apr 2013 13:24:33 +0000
Received: from (unknown [])      by (Postfix) with ESMTP id D910558005A     for
 <>; Sun,  7 Apr 2013 13:24:33 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from ( by ( with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id; Sun, 7 Apr 2013 13:24:31 +0000
Be Safe. Drive Smart. 

So here's the question: If you want your comments to "get in the system", do you really trust Bob Bielek, the guy who has used many excuses for wanting to defund the TPWD's preferred entrance to the park rather than state the truth that he wants Lone Star Doodads for other projects?

Send him email, but be sure to send that same email to the list provided by the FMWC at the bottom of this announcement.

Wakeem Reiterates OSAB's Recommendation of TPWD Preferred Park Entrance

Open Space Advisory Board Chairman and one of El Paso's most respected "statesman", Charlie Wakeem sent this email to City Council members and other public officials:

Dear City Council and Public Officials,
The City of El Paso Open Space Advisory Board (OSAB) reviewed the six options for the entrance to the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park at its February 20. 2013 meeting with the understanding that this item would go before City Council some time in March.  However, I was told later the item was removed from the Council agenda.
I understand that the MPO met Friday morning to discuss the issue.  Even though OSAB is tasked by ordinance to advise only City Council on matters regarding the Open Space Master Plan and the Mountain Development Area of El Paso, in which this entrance is a part of both, I would like to give you OSAB's decision.
Originally, OSAB recommended the spur road option a few years ago.  Not having reviewed the final six options at that time, since they were not available, OSAB's decision was not fully informed.  The board once again reviewed all of the options February 20th.  After weighing both the pros and cons of all six options, OSAB unanimously voted to recommend the Texas Parks and Wildlife preference, or Option #4, for all of the reasons TPWD has given.  The principal reasons for OSAB's support of Option #4, the underpass, is that it provides a safe entrance to the park, it preserves the view of the mountains, it would keep the Tom Mays Unit easily accessible to the public, including tourists, and it would easily accommodate vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle and wildlife passage across Transmountain Road.  Even though it is one of the more expensive options, OSAB feels it is the best option for the good of the community in the long term.
Cordially yours,
Charlie Wakeem
Charirman, Open Space Advisory Board

Friday, April 5, 2013

MPO Delays TxDOT Attempt to Defund Park Entrance

Judy Ackerman was our woman on the ground for the MPO meeting today.  Below is her report along with a message that she will send out again to FMWC persons.  I include it here for everyone.  Apparently the MPO delayed decision on taking funds from the park entrance project and spending them on doodads and frills (those boring Lone Stars that TxDOT likes to use for its big freeway exchanges instead of real live landscapes - and, in this case, in stead of a safe, visible entrance to our Franklin Mountains State Park which will include an animal corridor as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths that will connect the southside of Transmountain with the North.  Lone Stars in TxDOT's planning come before human safety or wildlife preservation.  

Judy told me that the Chairwoman of the MPO, Judge Veronica Escobar, made it clear that the MPO wanted to see consensus in the environmental community.  With the exception of one person, there is unanimous favor for the TPWD's preferred alternative - an underpass at the entrance not a 3 mile round-trip diversion from Paseo del Norte that will cut through an arroyo and valuable archaeological assets. 

It is critical that you let TxDOT, the MPO, Judge Escobar and City Manager Joyce Wilson know that you prefer the TPWD's choice and no others and that you are part of the environmental community.  Judy has published a list of email addresses below.  I add two more:

Robert Bielek, TxDOT Engineer for El Paso:
Ted Houghton, State TxDOT Chairman:

I have also learned from an undisclosed source close to MPO and TxDOT that TxDOT person's have been told to lie about the alternative - to claim anything besides the truth which is that they want to divert funds from safe, visible entrance preferred by the Park and use those funds for Lone Star doodad frills.

Judy's Report

Today, MPO Delayed a decision on agenda items 10 – 15  TXDOT’s proposal to Defund Option 4 was based on an agreed upon suspense of 30 Aug to let the funds.  Joe Pickett believes he can slip the suspense. MPO wants to hear from the public and says their recommendation to defund will go forward unless the community comes to consensus at the meeting 10 Apr.  IF Pickett can NOT ensure the money will still be available after 30 Aug, MPO will have a special meeting to decide whether to defund.


Email to FMWC Community 

You - the Public will determine the fate of FMSP Entrance.  Your participation will determine if Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP) will have a safe, appropriate entrance.  The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will base its approval of the TXDOT project on the public comments at next week’s meeting.  If there is no public conscious, the FMSP Entrance project will be de-funded. 

Please attend TXDOT’s public meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Canutillo High School, 6675 South Desert Boulevard, El Paso TX 79932.

We need an entrance to FMSP that is safe for vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and animals.  TPWD completed an in-depth analysis and determined that TXDOT’s Option 4, with an underpass into the Park, is the only acceptable option.  Links to their reports are available at:

Expanding Transmountain Road cuts the Park in half, fragmenting habitat and making it impossible for visitors to safely get from trails south of Transmountain Road to amenities that are north of the road.

Links to details about the environmental community’s preference can be found at   

The MPO board members repeatedly reminded FMSP advocates that public participation is the key to funding Option 4.  Whether you can attend the meetings or not, please contact all the elected officials and government personnel listed below and let them know that you support a safe and appropriate entrance to our nation’s largest urban park.

Written comments from the public regarding this project are encouraged. Comments may be submitted either at the Public Meeting or within 10 days after the meeting. Written comments may be emailed to the following address: Blanton & Associates, Attn: Loop 375 at the Franklin Mountains State Park Entrance, 5 Lakeway Centre Court, Suite 200, Austin TX  78734. Comments may also be e‐mailed to

Comments must be postmarked on or before Saturday, April 20, 2013 to be included as part of the public record. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the project in more detail, please contact Ms. Martha Gandara, TxDOT Project Manager, at (915) 790‐4255.

Here is a sample message you can copy and paste:

Dear City, County and State Officials,

I urge you to support and fund TX Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) preferred entrance to the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP) known as TXDOT Option 4.  This is the only option that is safe for vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and animals. 

As someone who deeply cares about our State Park and the safety of motorists and wildlife, I want the TPWD front-door alternative back on schedule and fully funded.

Here is why you should support an improved entrance to the Tom Mays Section of the Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP) that includes an underpass. (This is known as TXDOT Option 4.) 

·         Ensures safe access to the FMSP for vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and wildlife. 

·         The TPWD and FMSP personnel are the experts on the Park.  They have reviewed the entrance options and we should respect TPWD’s professional decision on what is the best entrance to the Park.

·         Ensures that emergency vehicles will have the easiest access and swiftest response times when dealing with emergencies in the park.

·         Safeguards orderly traffic flow for an estimated current 35,000 – 40,000 vehicles that visit FMSP each year - and the number is growing.

·         Minimizes habitat and terrain distribution.

·         Leaves the FMSP’s richest archaeological site undisturbed.

·         Preserves mountain vistas.

·         Provides a world-class entrance to a world-class Park, not the back-door entrance proposed in other options.

·         The best long-term investment in local transportation.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Outraged? Email Bulldozing Ted "TxDOT" Houghton

Apparently not all comments about the State Park entrance sent to the email provided by TxDOT are getting through.

Note this response to one person who wished to comment:

Date: April 3, 2013 11:23:15 AM MDT
Subject: Undeliverable: Please choose Entrance Option 4

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
Your message can't be delivered because delivery to this address is restricted.

If you are outraged by TxDOT's pulling funding and support for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's preferred entrance to the Franklin Mountains State Park, send your email comments to:

Robert Bielek

Rep. Joe Moody Speaks Out About Park Entrance

In an email to a constituent, Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) wrote this:

"First, thank you for your commitment to El Paso in supporting a number of choices for the entrance to the Franklin Mountains State Park.
As a representative of the El Paso residents closest to the park, I support projects that will ease access, preserve the area's natural beauty, and promote tourism. After conducting research and meeting with a wide array of El Paso stakeholders about the proposed entrance options, I am firmly in support of alternative four.
That entrance plan is not only the most convenient for visitors but also the safest. Creating an overpass would allow for improved and orderly traffic flow because of the dedicated entrance and exit ramps for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. It also ensures that emergency vehicles will have the easiest access and swiftest response times when dealing with emergencies in the park.
An equally important consideration is that alternative four is the option least disruptive of the natural aesthetics of the area. The project blends in with the landscape, utilizes existing arroyos for natural drainage to prevent flooding, and includes a wildlife crossing to protect the park's animal life.
Although alternative four is not the cheapest solution, it is the best long-term investment. The park already hosts over 50,000 visitors every year—90% of them local. Improving visitor access while preserving the park itself will drive further growth in both local visitation and tourism from outside the El Paso area.
Franklin Mountains State Park is important to me, to our community, and to Texas itself. Please feel free to contact me any time.
Representative Joe Moody
District 78 | El Paso County"

Outraged by TxDOT's pulling funding and support for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's preferred entrance to the Franklin Mountains State Park?Send your email comments to:

Robert Bielek

Monday, April 1, 2013

More Information about Park Entrance Travesty

Before I go any farther, take the time to go to the FMWC call to action concerning the park entrance.  In addition to meeting dates and an email that you can write (complete with a list of email addresses), also go to TxDOT's Public Meeting Notice and see where you can send comments.  In all 4 calls to action: emails to officials, an MPO meeting on April 5 and the TxDOT meeting on April 10, and information where you can email your comments to TxDOT - window dressing for them, of course; but it will be great to have on record emails from all of you.

Now here's how the bad deal went down - the defunding of the TPWD preferred entrance to the FMSP which provided safety and better access by motorists along with an animal corridor. Just know that there is still more information coming in.

On February 25, 2013 Dr. Richard Bonart met with Bob Bielek, the El Paso District TxDOT Engineer, and City Council representative, Susie Byrd.  Rep. Ann Lilly also joined the meeting at the park entrance from Transmountain in question is in her district.  

Dr. Bonart reportedly either was misunderstood or misrepresented the position of the environmental/conservation community - viz., their support of the TPWD's Alternative 4: an underpass at the entrance that will support motorists, animals and hikers and bicyclists.  Bonart has opposed such a plan for a long time now and has lobbied for a route from Paseo del Norte about 1.5 miles from the park.  Since OSAB changed an earlier recommendation of the Bonart proposal to the TPWD preferred alternative, it seemed certain that the park entrance would be the TPWD's preferred plan.  Rep Lilly apparently also favors the TPWD proposal for an entrance in her district.  Unfortunately, one meeting can undo what the larger public favors.  Bielek is using the mis-information at the meeting to further what it now seems was his plan to scuttle a safer entrance to the park in the first place.

Bielek has been making several assertions about defunding the project for a new entrance that just don't seem to add up.

In one email he blames the Sierra Club:

From: Bob Bielek []
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 8:44 AM
Subject: Re: TXDOT Option 4


To clarify the actual situation regarding the project to alter the entrance to Franklin Mountain State Park, the following are the facts:

1.  The funding for the project had to be obligated by the end of August of this year.  Because of the suit by the Sierra Club environmental processing was delayed and therefore the project can not be funded with those funds.  Also, the funds reserved for this project were insufficient for the alternative you describe.  We do not believe that finding alternative funding once the environmental process is complete will be a problem.

2.  In reviewing the situation, it does not appear that a change to the entrance that will exist after completion of the TransMountain West Project is necessary from a traffic safety perspective.

3.  A Public Meeting will be held April 10th, from 6PM to 8PM at Canutillo High School to advise the public of the alternatives that have been investigated and to permit the public to offer their own alternatives.  This is particularly important since it appears that the Purpose and Need for this project is not traffic safety but other issues, such as the safe passage of pedestrians and wildlife that wish to transit TransMountain.

We certainly welcome anyone with an interest in this project to attend the Public Meeting and to participate in the environmental process.
Bob Bielek, DPA, PE
District Engineer, El Paso District
Texas Department of Transportation
Sent from my iPad

However, the Sierra Club's attorney says that the Sierra Club's suit did not affect the entrance in any legal way:

From: David Frederick []
Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: FMSP Entrance and Sierra Club ?


I am overseas for a short break.  So, this is perfunctory.  But, it is not correct or fair to say the Club's suit, which was over the expansion project from which TxDOT had earlier deleted (segmented) the park entrance project, affected the park entrance project in any legal sense.  TxDOT may have wished to move slowly on the park entrance project to make look more reasonable it's argument in court that the two projects were wholly independent, because, otherwise, the environmental impacts of the park entrance project should have been considered in the EA for the Transmountain road expansion project, and they were not.  Basically, TxDOT could more easily argue the park entrance project was not related to the expansion project, if the two were separated by more time and if the park entrance project were still vaguely defined.

David Frederick
Lowerre, Frederick, Perales, Allmon & Rockwell
Austin 78701      phone: (512) 469-6000

Furthermore traffic safety has been the primary reason for a discussion about a new park entrance since the expansion of Transmountain West from 2 lanes to 4 has been in front of the public.

In another email, Mr. Bielek asserts that he has never spoken with anyone at TPWD about the entrance alternative so, in effect, time has just run out and there is nothing that he can do about it now:

From: Bob Bielek <>
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 18:04:04 -0600
To: Teschner, Richard<>
Subject: Re: Loop 375's FMSP Tom Mays Entrance: A grade-level crossing against two lanes of downhill traffic is safe?


First, I am not familiar with the original arguments made for TransMountain West.  Transitioning from a four lane facility to a two lane facility on a steep grade is a safety issue and if this is the argument made at that time it is quite valid.  It would also be a valid argument that the road is four lane for much of its length and that reducing capacity on steeply graded sections has an adverse impact on capacity, delay, increases pollutant discharge, and wastes fuel.  That said, when considering the situation when TransMountain West is complete, there will be no left turns permitted to eastbound TransMountain from the park entrance.  Eastbound traffic will be required to exit westbound to the frontage road (downhill) and then use the Texas turnaround at any of the interchanges to proceed eastbound.  Eastbound traffic entering the park will need to cross two lanes of traffic; however, the sight distance is virtually unlimited and the volumes are so low as to not meet any warrant for signalization much less grade separating the crossing.

I was not at the January 11th meeting you mention and I don't know if anyone from TxDOT attended that meeting.  I am unaware of any agreement between TxDOT and TPWD other than an exchange of land for the former TxDOT District Office now occupied by TPWD.  While there was an agreement for this exchange of land, really cleaning up an old situation since TPWD has been using the Clark Street TxDOT property for more than a decade; any "done deal" on implementation of any alternative being considered would have been a gross violation of the environmental process.  Since I am the TxDOT official that will make the recommendation for the preferred alternative as the process proceeds I can assure you that I have never even spoken to anyone from TPWD regarding TxDOT adopting a preferred alternative.

I appreciate you position regarding highway safety; however, my professional opinion is not consistent with yours.  I am afraid we will need to agree to disagree on this point.

Bob Bielek, DPA, PE
District Engineer
Texas Department of Transportation
Sent from my iPad

Elpasonaturally has reason to believe that there was substantial communication between TPWD and TxDOT including Bielek. More coming, folks.  Promise.