Local watchdog and blogHOUSTON commenter Tom Bazan gets a little attention from the Chronicle‘s Rad Sallee today:
MetroRail critic Tom Bazan filed an open records request to find out whether the Pierce Elevated overpass had been damaged by stray current from Metro’s light rail tracks.
Now, ironically, statutes whose supposed purpose is safety have blocked that search. The Chronicle is seeking related information.
An opinion Thursday from the Texas Attorney General’s office says federal law exempts TxDOT from disclosing information gathered for “identifying, evaluating or planning the safety enhancement of potential accident sites, hazardous roadway conditions or railway-highway crossings.”
Metro revealed the leakage after learning about it from CenterPoint Energy, which has underground power lines near the tracks. Bazan said he wants to know if the current has corroded structural steel in the overpass columns where the tracks cross three freeways, and in buildings along the route.
Officials of TxDOT, Metro and the Texas Medical Center say they know of no such damage. Metro acknowledges that the leakage eventually could harm underground wiring and other nearby objects but says the problem has been mostly corrected.
Nothing to see here. Move along now. Trust the government bureaucracy that chooses to hide information from the people. After all, the problem is mostly corrected!
BLOGVERSATION: Lone Star Times.