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    Texas Triangle highlighted in Federal study

    Academic research not just "academic" when it comes to long-range planning

    The Federal Highway Administration commissioned a survey of literature related to planning on a regional and mega-regional basis. The extensive 103-page document highlights the handful of mega regions identified by regional planners and academics.

    1. Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion
    2. Northeast Megaregion
    3. Northern California Megaregion
    4. Southern California Megaregion
    5. Great Lakes Megaregion
    6. Texas Triangle
    7. Southern Florida Megaregion
    8. Gulf Coast Megaregion
    9. Cascadia
    10. Arizona Sun Corridor
    Interestingly, Houston is one of the few metro areas to belong to two different mega regions: the Texas Triangle and the Gulf Coast. While certainly Houston is connected to the Gulf Coast because of the oil and gas industry, I would argue other ties are much more tenuous than compared to the strong bonds connecting H-town to the Texas Triangle.

    This would all be academic apart from the fact that plans for high speed rail are being bandied about, and, as mentioned before (see "Mind the Gap"), no rail link is being proposed to connect Houston to the rest of the Lone Star State.

    Below is material adapted from the FHWA report, describing the various mega regions. .:.


    Elephant in the Room

    Texans use the "S-word" and all "H" breaks loose

    When Texan governor Rick Perry announced his strong support for HCR 50 (being discussed today by the Texas legislature), it looked like the first step toward secession. Certainly it was a savvy political move for Perry, who is seeking re-election in 2010. But there's more going on here than mere Machiavellian positioning.

    A Yankee by upbringing, no I'm not from Dallas, I was first shocked when I heard this increasingly discussed by Texans over the last six to nine months. I've been taught to view "secession" as inextricably linked with racism and other ugly concepts, which likewise are wrapped up into a generally negative worldview of the South.

    I can only imagine the shock experienced by scores of millions of Northerners when they heard Governor Perry say openly what his constituents have been discussing privately. But I've come to understand secession is a far more complex issue than it appears on the surface. Below is a list of links related to the secession hullabaloo that bring up important points of discussion:

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    Texas secession blog posts

    U.S. News & World Reports
    Commentary by John Aloysius Farrell - You might not agree with his conclusions, but Farrell does bring up real challenges for an independent Texas at this moment in history.

    Houston Chronicle
    Democrats: Perry should disavow secession talk

    The Dallas Morning News

    Rick Perry strikes a chord with comments about Texas secession

    Texas Secede!
    Doesn't the Texas Constitution reserve the right of Texas to secede?


    Fortune 1000 Braggin' Rights for Lone Star State

    Texas emerges as dominant state and region for business

    As Fortune Magazine released its seminal list of big companies online, the numbers came in big for Texas. According to the site, the Lone Star state had more companies in the top 500 than other state. Additionally, Irving-based Exxon-Mobil edged out Wal-Mart to become the only member of the Fortune 1 list.

    Rank # of Fortune 500 Companies
    Texas 64
    New York 56
    California 51

    In the overall top 1000, Texas took 118 spots and, of those, 114 companies were based in Texas Triangle.

    Within the Triangle, here's how the regions breakout:
    1. Houston Area - 56
    2. Dallas-Fort Worth - 48
    3. Austin/San Antonio - 10
    The four remaining Fortune 1000 firms were 1 in El Paso, 1 in Corpus Christi, 1 in Pittsburg, and 1 in Angleton.

    With these numbers, it's now undeniable that Texas and the Texas Triangle has emerged as a dominant business community in the United States and the world.


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