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Is NCTCOG Staff Dictating Regional Transportation Policy?

345

Question: What is Michael Morris, the transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, trying to do in this Dallas Morning News piece on I-345 that ran over the weekend? (I know, I know. Tired of this topic yet?)

Morris states that the NCTCOG and TxDOT will not support the proposal to replace I-345 with a boulevard:

“There’s not much our office is going to be able to do to help them and there’s not much TxDOT’s office will be able to do.”

Then he fires off this one:

“I have found no one above my pay grade that supports the elimination of the main lanes of 345.”

Never mind that elsewhere in the piece we read about the study TxDOT is working on which will include estimated expenses and logistics for replacing I-345 with a boulevard, nor that numerous public officials have expressed at least an openness to considering a teardown as part of the future of I-345. What’s troubling here is that Morris is repeatedly making policy statements on behalf of the NCTCOG, an organization ostensibly governed by the Regional Transportation Council, which is governed by representatives from the numerous municipalities which make up the region. Sure, that’s a lot of byzantine governmental overlapping which opens the door to bureaucratic machinations. But Morris’ repeated attempts to steer policy on the I-345 debate are the mark of a rogue official pushing his own agenda. He’s been made to apologize before. How many times does this guy need to be put in his place?