Bypass plan a smart economic move


Last week, TxDOT showed up again with a proposal regarding a relief route for the city of Madisonville.

It’s a tweaking of a plan that was presented previously in 2014; the major changes include dropping a northern route (for now) and adjusting the southern route to be less disruptive (meaning the effect on residences and structures).

It’s something that’s been bandied about for some time for our town here, and it’s something, I’m sure, that stirs up quite a lot of emotion, including fear.

One argument that I’ve heard quite a bit is that a relief route will kill downtown businesses, as traffic will no longer go past at the same levels without the relief route.

While any town the size of Madisonville will rightly be concerned about any potential loss of business, in this case, I think that won’t happen here. As a matter of fact, I think this will be a boon for the county.

As I see it, right now with the amount of traffic on 21, it is at times impossible to get across the road to frequent the fine stores. Moreover, there’s not the kind of parking necessary to accommodate all the travelers should they deign to stop.

But aside from the physical, it seems to me that the repeat customers, who pretty much happen to be local and happen to be the bread and butter of most businesses, frequent these establishments, and will continue to do so with our without a bypass.

Additionally, an additional route in town that will handle traffic will provide an opportunity for future expansion of Madisonville, and that’s a good thing, as expansion leads to larger tax bases, which spurs growth in other areas. There’s a real economic domino effect that can happen.

Teenagers will tell you that growing means some pain, but for the city, it should only be the pain of new dynamics.

•This week’s Headline of Note hails from that former bastion of journalism, Newsweek. Given all of the events that are going on in the month of December, their headline is “Mike Pence’s pets won’t stop dying.”

I believe I might just rip up my latest front page for this riveting account of national import.

The Vice President’s cat, Pickles, died at around 16 years, which by many accounts, is a pretty full and long life.

Another family cat, Oreo, died six months previously, at 13 years of age. During the campaign, a 13-year-old Beagle died.

What’s fully amazing about the story is that the writer said it was “unclear whether the stress of Washington life” was the culprit here.

In text message parlance, SMH (shaking my head).

To read this Pulitzer-worthy piece, go to

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.