During the March 25, 2019 Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) meeting, the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court’s resolution to remove the Cibolo Parkway and Cibolo Expressway from the MTP was discussed. Questions or comments were taken from the floor, as well as, some of the AAMPO board members. (http://alamoareampo.swagit.com/play/03252019-692).
Listed below are clarifying responses to the primary comments made during the meeting.
- On May 22, 2017, the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) added the Cibolo Parkway and Expressway to its funded projects list. The design of the Project was never discussed or entertained in any AMMPO meetings, nor was it approved as a two lane or four lane road by AAMPO. It was simply approved as a funded project. (http://alamoareampo.swagit.com/play/05222017-646)
- The ‘environmental report’ mentioned during the AAMPO meeting was a preliminary report provided at the request of the city of Cibolo. This preliminary report had placeholders in certain sections where on-site inspections still had to be conducted before verifying any preliminary findings. This explanation of this preliminary environmental report had been posted and clearly explained on the Project’s website since October 2018 and available for all to read. Now that most of the on-site inspections have occurred the final environmental report is being finished and will be available to the City upon completion. (http://ciboloparkway.org/updates/october-15-2018/)
- The City’s alignment of the road has been on the project website for over a year and a half. This alignment is specifically identified in Exhibit A of the original the Development Agreement between Cibolo and TTC which was executed on March 10, 2017. It has not changed since then. In other words, the alignment of the road has not been ‘changing.’ As for citizens being aware of the extension of 1103 to I-10, the 1103 extension has been a part of the City’s master thoroughfare plan since 2007, long before TTC was invited to visit with Cibolo about this project.
- The Project is, and has always been, designed to TXDOT standards and the driving lanes have always been designed as concrete which is specified in the Development Agreement.
- Right of Entries (ROEs) have been obtained for 81% Land, from 73% Landowners. In the July 2018 City’s Enhancement Sub Committee meeting, Mayor Boyle requested TTC to obtain confirmation that landowners were willing to negotiate for the sale of their property at a fair price. Consequently, that language was included on the ROE forms. The City has copies of all the ROE forms. Memo dated May 2018 | Memo dated August 2018.
- In the Blue-Ribbon Committee meetings on May 2, 2016 and April 13, 2016, TTC stated that it would ultimately follow the estimates of the Investment Grade Traffic Study, which Stantec produced at a cost of $1,000,000. A copy of that report was provided to the city in May 2018 and is available for review at the City. Of note, the final recommendation by the Blue-Ribbon Committee, which had a current city council member on it and was passed unanimously, did not stipulate that the Cibolo Parkway be four lanes. (https://www.cibolotx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1127/05-Final-Recommendation-6-3-16?bidId=)
- Prior to Stantec’s investment grade traffic study, information pertaining to 1103 included only dated traffic counts from AAMPO and a 2007 Traffic Study of 1103 produced for TXDOT by RJ Rivera Associates, Inc. Since those reports were dated, in 2016 Cibolo contracted with the AC GROUP LLC to obtain more current traffic counts along 1103 at various locations. From this information, a Sub Level 1 traffic study was done by Stantec. This $15,000 report utilized AAMPO’s dated information and AC Group’s recent counts. Sub Level 1 studies are often the first step when considering the potential need of a new road or infrastructure improvement. If a Sub-Level 1 study indicates potential need then additional, detailed studies are pursued. If not, projects are usually dropped and no further monies are spent.
- Subsequent to the Blue-Ribbon Committee’s recommendation to pursue the Project, the Cibolo City Council voted to pursue the Project, the contract was negotiated and ultimately executed by Cibolo and Cibolo Turnpike, LP. The development agreement does not specify that the Cibolo Parkway be a four-lane road, as the initial design was to be determined by the investment grade traffic study. This is essentially how all state DOTs determine what size road is needed in order to move traffic efficiently and safely. Based on Stantec’s Investment Grade report the Parkway is being designed to open as a two lane road, to be expanded to four lanes in 2040 when traffic flow warrants an additional two lanes. As posted on the web site, Stantec produced the Investment Grade report and is the same firm TxDOT and CTRMA used to do their investment grade studies for SH 130 (Segments 1-4), 183A, 290E and 71E.
- All the professional firms working on the Cibolo project have, and do, work for TXDOT, including Cobb Findley, the ROW firm handling all the interactions with land owners regarding the acquisition on their respective properties. (http://ciboloparkway.org/project-team/)
- While alluded to, no one cited an example of where a city, which had invested no money, nor assumed any debt obligations, has been financially burdened with a bankrupt toll road. Cibolo’s Blue-Ribbon Committee addressed this very concern prior to endorsing the pursuit of the Project. The notion of a city being burdened with the debt and operation of a toll road it has no financial or operational obligations is unfounded, as the secondary markets have historically purchased bankrupt toll roads at a discount. A recent and obvious example of this is Sections 5 and 6 of 130 which recently went bankrupt and ended up being purchased at a discount by a venture backed by Strategic Value Partners with no financial burdens being assumed by any city, county, municipality or the State.