TX: Streetcar Opponents Protest Project on Courthouse Steps

Feb. 18--SAN ANTONIO -- Opponents of VIA Metropolitan Transit's streetcar system gathered on the Bexar County Courthouse steps Tuesday morning to protest the project, promising this is just one of many public demonstrations they will hold denouncing the rail plan.

A little less than two dozen people showed up for the rally. Of those, about 16 or 17 people actually stood on the steps, and several of them spoke out against VIA's 5.9-mile downtown streetcar system.

Opponents to the rail project included members of the Concilio Zapatista 4383 chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens and the more conservative tea party and Homeowner-Taxpayer Association of Bexar County Inc.

But the protestors said their opposition to the streetcar plan, and their disdain for the elected officials who support it, has united them.

They were all here for one cause, said LULAC member Henry Rodriguez: "to stop this ... streetcar!"

He also challenged city and county officials to a debate about why he thinks the streetcar should be put to a public vote. Interim District 9 Councilman Joe Krier has asked the city attorney for a legal opinion on the same issue.

Several candidates for office -- including Carlton Soules, who hopes to oust Bexar County Judge and streetcar supporter Nelson Wolff from office -- also spoke, an indication of how the streetcar issue has increasingly become a target for politicians during this campaign season.

vdavila@express-news.net

Twitter: @viannadavila

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