by Elliott Stonecipher
Some of you may have read this Shreveport Times article in their online edition today, and others may see it in their print edition tomorrow.
Regardless, our Finish 3132 Coalition would like to quickly correct the erroneous impression left by the newspaper.
— To the extent any reader concludes that Coalition legal action is responsible for stopping the 3132 Extension, I can personally assure you such is 100% false. That claim has been the very pointed strategy for many months of NLCOG, developer Tim Larkin, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, the five members of the City Council who recently voted to effectively finish-off the Extension, and various other supporters of the now three-year old effort by Larkin / Glover / NLCOG to kill the Extension. It is a completely false narrative, no matter who in the news media peddles it for those who will rest only when the Extension is dead and buried.
— I recently explained in a like article that the Coalition has had a specific proposal on the table for many weeks which will end the subject litigation. Please note: we have asked only for those agreements which protect the public interest, specifically including full transparency of every action related to the Extension, most notably the inclusion of all route alternatives in the Stage 1 Study. We have received no response of any kind to our proposal.
In today’s article, the impression left is that the Coalition opposes the Stage 1 Study. Missing, of course, is the rest of the position of the Coalition via our attorney, i.e., our proposal to end all related litigation. The facts of that proposal have been repeatedly explained to The Times and the interested public in repeated public meetings and these articles.
The Coalition in NO way opposes a Stage 1 Study which evaluates ALL route alternatives developed by the Stage 0 engineering consultants and the LA DOTD (Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development) project engineer.
— At the very important NLCOG meeting mentioned in the Times article, those in attendance – and The Times reporter was not – heard very clearly how NLCOG / Larkin, et al, intend to finish-off the Extension, and allow full development of Larkin’s “Esplanade” through which the Extension must proceed. Their plan: if the current Stage 1 Feasibility Study contractor dumps the contract for the stated reasons, no other engineering firm will perform it either.
So, if NLCOG / Larkin / Glover can manipulate this supposed contract squabble – even given that litigation can be easily and quickly ended – into no Stage 1 Study, NLCOG and the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, LA DOTD, will simply declare the studies over and done. No Stage 1 Study, no 3132 Extension.
The Chamber of Commerce, Committee of 100, board of the Port of Caddo-Bossier, North Louisiana Economic Partnership and other groups now expressing their support of the Extension – and we welcome them with open arms! – are hereby informed that the mechanism to kill the Extension is in place, and working.
Finish 3132 Coaltion