By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Read it and draw your own conclusions. I know what I want. I want an election just so we can finally get Boo Radley to come out and play:
Schutze: I am writing a column saying the explanation you offered for the Krieger and Eager e-mails doesn't wash. They told you the road they had designed had morphed into an expressway. In claiming the road under design was still the road they had signed off on, you misled the public. They never approved or signed off on the road that is now under design. Their e-mails prove that.
Miller: I've never misled the public. When exactly do you think I misled them?
Schutze: Do you feel you have ever publicly given the impression the toll road in the current plan has the blessing of Krieger and Eager?
Miller: It is THEIR road design so of course they bless the one in the Balanced Vision Plan. Which is why I asked them to alert us if they ever see any designs from NTTA that even look slightly different than what they designed and the City Council voted to build. They alerted me in the e-mails you have in hand. Because of their concerns about what they saw in preliminary designs, the city manager and I have complained to NTTA and told them to fix it. We fully expect that they will. Otherwise they won't have a road project on city-owned land since ALL parties agreed on the road just as Krieger and Eager designed it—NTTA, COG, City of Dallas, TxDOT, Dallas County.
Schutze: So the road design that is now in place is now in question. You and the city manager agree, I take it, that it must be changed. It's not a good design. Tell me again why the taxpayers should not be allowed to vote on it.
Miller: The so-called design is a preliminary drawing of it—not a final design, or a near-final design. The reason we ask to see preliminary designs is to make sure we get what we asked for. In this case, the road doesn't have curves in it—we want curves. It had break-down lanes—we don't want break-down lanes that could be turned into six lanes, which is two too many. What we want is the road that's in the Balanced Vision Plan—Eager and Krieger's road.
What Angela is asking the voters to do is DELETE the road in the Balanced Vision Plan. And there's no alternative road route given—she says they can figure that out later.
But we know from Eager and Krieger that there is no better place to put this four-lane, 55-mile-an-hour parkway. So a vote with no solution is not a good idea.
Schutze: Her proposed ordinance does have a road in it. A four-lane road. What's wrong with that?
Miller: The ordinance precludes the road as designed by Eager and Krieger, which we believe is a good road.
Schutze: But you can offer not one word of guarantee it will be built. Why not let the voters get a guarantee of their own if they want one?
Miller: If the referendum was to build the road as proposed by Eager and Krieger in the Balanced Vision Plan—or not do it at all—I would support it. Because I want the road built as they designed it—and I'd LOVE a guarantee on that. Which is why I've always asked Eager and Krieger to tell me if the road didn't look exactly right. Because [former city council member] Sandy [Greyson] and I were the strongest proponents—and she's gone now.
Schutze: So who's paying the blockers?
Miller: Donors for the campaign are Citizens Council, Harlan Crow, and I don't know who else has given. I suggested we use people involved in the project, like members and Trinity Trust/Commons to man the polls and ask people not to sign the petition for all the reasons I gave above. Apparently, with all the great number of polling places, we need more manpower. They are not supposed to "block" people. Just give them the reasons we don't want a vote—primarily because what we have now works and there is no parkway solution available other than the BVP.
Schutze: Thank you.
Miller: You can't say I skirt the questions, or that I'm not forthcoming. I care a lot about this issue. I truly believe in the BVP. As designed.