Last week, we told you about an internet survey pushed out by Dallas state representative Rafael Anchia asking residents their opinion about the Trinity Toll Road. We speculated that Anchia's sudden interest might signal forthcoming action in Austin, likely an attempt by supporters to fund the currently unfunded (and unneeded) project. After speaking with Anchia, that seems even more likely.
"It's pretty simple: We're just gathering information from the community to get a sense of where they are on this thing," he told Unfair Park. "If it turns out that it becomes a funding request in the legislature, I need to know what the sentiment is of the constituents I represent."
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The survey could give Anchia and others in Dallas political cover to stand against the road. State Senator Royce West has already said that he will reconsider his stance on the project if residents come out overwhelmingly against it. Anchia has long been an ally of Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings, who supports the toll road. Whatever happens, Anchia says he and the mayor's relationship won't change.
"My approach is just to figure out where my constituents are on this thing so I can properly represent them," Anchia said.
After the survey is complete, Anchia said he plans to hold town hall meetings with Dallasites to discuss the results and how to move forward.
"I suspect that the sentiment of the respondents is going to be unfavorable, and that's consistent with what I'm hearing in the neighborhoods that I represent. We're going to use a number of different tools to gather information and do fact finding," he said.