Written by Staff
Bicycle enthusiasts and elected officials are meeting this weekend in hopes of spurring Irving to becoming a more bicycle friendly city.
“Biking and walking is important for so many reasons, including public health, quality of life, and mobility for our growing population, including the aging tsunami we are facing,” said Leslie Luciano, Bike Texas community relations and membership coordinator. “The economic benefits of walkable/livable complete streets are attractive to corporations, and attract corporations whose workforce wants to live in this type of community with these amenities. Leaders need to get behind it so they don't get behind and lose these opportunities.”
Irving already boasts a handful of bicycle lanes and a trail system for recreational biking, but community leaders, including the Bike Irving initiative, have long pushed for safe cycling in the City.
“Irving needs to support policies that will help grow their communities into healthy and prosperous living communities,” Luciano said. “Bonds for these types of projects have been passing with over 60 percent overwhelming public support. The public wants this and they have demonstrated it with their votes”
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 14:35
Written by Staff
By Phil Cerroni
As humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International hailed the United Nations’ March 27 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as a major step towards eradicating violent conflicts and humanitarian crimes around the world, gun advocacy groups in the United States, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) voiced strong opposition to the Treaty, claiming it will infringe on the Constitutional right to bear arms. The NRA announced on their website that the ATT is “incompatible with our Second Amendment rights.”
The ATT regulates the international trade of conventional weapons, a category ranging from battle tanks and warships to light weapons and small arms. This latter category includes a large number of handguns, shotguns and assault-style rifles that many Americans own for recreational purposes – Berettas, Glocks and Sigs are all popular imports.
Although the preamble to the ATT has a broad focus “underlining the need to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market, or for unauthorized end use and end users, including the commission of terrorist acts,” the NRA looked at the specific effects the Treaty could have on individual gun owners in the United States.
“Such provisions could lead to a system of firearm registration and significant additional burdens being placed on the firearms industry as well as the millions of American gun owners who occasionally trade and sell firearms out of their own personal collections, the “"Undead" U.N. Arms Trade Treaty” article stated.
Ladd Everitt, the Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was more sanguine about what he thinks is the negligible negative effect the ATT will have if it is passed by Congress.
“The treaty is replete with protections for domestically-enacted laws. It explicitly recognizes the sovereign status of each country and the laws they have enacted to protect domestically-owned firearms,” he wrote. “Furthermore, obviously, our Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate to ratify treaties and any actual changes in our gun laws would have to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by our President.
“Given all these protections, it's difficult to understand how anyone outside of a conspiracy theorist--or NRA fundraiser--could argue that the treaty is a threat to the Second Amendment.”
Ernest Leonard, an attorney with the Dallas-based law firm Friedman and Feiger thinks the effects the Treaty will have on average, gun owning Americans is an open question.
“How the courts would view the creation of a national control system in light of the Second Amendment also is an open question; it would probably depend upon how burdensome the mechanics of a national control system are upon individual gun ownership rights. That is, if the national control system is narrowly tailored to address international arms dealers (the intent of the treaty), the law would probably pass constitutional muster. However, if it is overly broad to affect an average citizen who happens to own a gun manufactured outside the U.S., the law would probably find itself subject to judicial scrutiny.”
Read the whole story in the April 13 edition of The Rambler.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 14:14
Written by Staff
By Amanda Casanova
IRVING – City staff are looking for input on a plan to redevelop the Belt Line Corridor, a10-mile long road in Irving sometimes dubbed “the first impression” for visitors to the City.
“The goal is to work together so more people come to the corridor and get more out of it,” said Troy Wynne, senior planner, in an April 8 stakeholder meeting.
Among strategies for the redevelopment, the plan could include identifying “village centers,” widening the sidewalks, landscaping parking lots, pole replacement and possibly even having incentives available to property owners to update older buildings to match commercial design standards.
“Any proposed improvements to the site and proposals to enhance landscape would be potentially eligible for incentives,” Wynne said. “Right now, we’re here to get feedback.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:09
Written by Staff
By Amanda Casanova
As Fort Worth officials gear up to for the proposed TEX Rail project, a Swiss company is hoping to land the job as the builder for the commuter line.
The company, Stadler US, is working in the next few weeks to pitch the company’s modern passenger rail cars to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. The company is a Swiss transportation business with a North American office in New Jersey.
If approved, the proposed rail will run from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and DFW Airport. Requests for proposals could be opened as soon as late spring or summer and a contract could be awarded sometime after the fall.
According to TEX Rail officials, the proposed system will use self-powered rail vehicles, which would be less costly than electrified light rail.
“Stadler’s forte is building rail vehicles with a low life cycle cost,” said Stephen Bonina, president of Stadler US. “There are a lot of manufactures throughout the world who build inexpensive rail vehicles, and while these vehicles are cheaper to procure, they typically cost more to operate.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:11
Written by Staff
By Elaine Paniszczyn
With an average of 1,000 people moving into the state of Texas each and every day, the current widening of the state’s roadways may not suffice for long. Anybody who drives Interstate 35 (I-35) knows how traffic backs up during rush hours.
A federally-funded Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study (TOPRS) is evaluating existing passenger rail services in an 850-mile corridor from Oklahoma City to south Texas as a potential future transportation option to help reduce demands on the state’s roadways, particularly along the highly-congested I-35. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials were in Dallas Wed., April 3, gathering public input for the study. Twelve such meetings took place across the state in March and April.
“We have no preconceived notion; we’re looking for input from the public so that we can then form what the citizens of Texas want for passenger rail service,” said William E Glavin, Rail Division Director, TxDOT. “And of course the option could always be a no-bill – everybody’s happy with what we currently have.
Glavin said that public opinion varies from region to region within the state.
“It’s everything from ‘If we’re going to have rail service, it’s got to compete with cars. Therefore, it’s has to be 220 miles per hour. If it isn’t that fast, it doesn’t make any sense’ to ‘We really don’t need anything that fast. We can overlay existing freight lines; we’re perfectly happy with it taking four hours to get between Dallas and Austin and five hours to go on to San Antonio’ – so an 80 mile per hour average speed.
“An 80 mile per hour average speed means a top speed to 120 (mph), probably because of geometries and everything else,” Glaven said. “If you’re moving at a slower speed, you will probably, typically make more stops. At the higher speeds, the speed being the factor in attracting the ridership, then the fewer stops you would make.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 13:40