Monday, February 18, 2013

United Nations Agenda 21 In Connecticut; New Britain-Hartford Busway, CTfastrak

The availability of having your own personal form of transportation, like a car, is a great asset to add to a persons life.  I don't believe people would sacrifice their car for the seemingly cheaper form of getting around, public transportation, or else they would have done it already.  Many people, that I know, that do take the bus, do so because they can't afford, or are saving up for, a car.  Despite the significant benefit one receives from owning a vehicle, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, and a number of other Connecticut elected 'officials', are determined to get you taking the bus, even if it means making it harder for you to own your own personal vehicle.

Why would public officials have a policy of forcing people off the road and into public transportation?  The short answer is United Nations Agenda 21.  For a few decades now, many nations, including the United States, have been adopting and implementing various policies that have been directly, and indirectly, handed down from the unelected bureaucrats at the United Nations.  Agenda 21 is the plan for the world, by the United Nations, for the 21st century.  United Nations Agenda 21 is so vast, and covers nearly every thing, and every place on this planet, it deserves its own level of deep research.  There have been many documentaries, some books, and other resources on Agenda 21, you should definitely check out.  In this article I will just focus on Connecticut and the New Britain-Hartford Busway, also known as CTfastrak, in relation to United Nations Agenda 21, but it is important for the reader to understand that this busway is just a small part of a fairly secretive, broader, global plan.

(CTfastrak Rapid Transit Virtual Tour)

CTfastrak is a bus rapid transit line currently under construction between Union Station in Hartford and downtown New Britain, in central Connecticut.  The CTfastrak is promoted on it's official website as "the beginning of a new era of transportation in Connecticut, combining the fast, traffic-free advantages of a train with the frequent, direct and flexible benefit of a bus. With express and feeder routes that will use a new dedicated roadway to avoid traffic congestion on local streets and on I-84, CTfastrak will benefit a large geographic area and provide a one-seat, no transfer ride to regional employment, shopping, cultural, educational and healthcare destinations."  The estimated cost of this project is now $569 million.  A Yankee Institute poll found that 60 percent of 500 likely voters believe the busway is “bad” use of taxpayer money.

The remainder of this article will be dedicated to showing the true nature of CTfastrak.  At best, the New Britain to Hartford busway is a colossal waste of tax payer money, at worst, it is part of a wider, much more broad United Nations program designed to remove the sovereignty of local governments, and lower the standard of living of Americans.

The initial planning of the New Britain to Hartford busway occurred during the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland.  (Ironically, Rowland is now a big critic of the busway, calling the plan "the biggest waste of taxpayer money in Connecticut history.")  The plan for the busway continued through the administration of Gov. Jodi Rell, and has now begun construction under the current governor, Dan Malloy.

Off The Road

According to the State of Connecticut's official website, "When planners first met in Hartford in 1997, their goal was to reduce traffic congestion on I-84, which in turn will reduce energy use and air pollution."  To the average person, "reducing traffic congestion on I-84" would mean expanding roadways and/or creating other roadways, but when the state's goal is to "reduce energy use and air pollution", that means they are looking to take/force many people OUT of their vehicle.  I will continue to show that the real goal of government with this project, and others, is to make it harder for you to own your own personal form of transportation, thus limiting your mobility, which in turn lowers your standard of living.

Supporter of the busway, Connecticut Representative Tony Guerrera stated, in an interview with local news, that the real goal of the busway is about "getting people off of the roadway.  That was the most important. About 18,000 per day."  I wonder if Rep. Guerrera plans on counting himself as one of the 18,000 people that will willingly give up their personal vehicle, for public transportation?

One easy way to get people to stop driving, is to make the cost of driving too much of an expense for the average person to bare.  Connecticut currently has the highest combined state and federal taxes on the sale of gasoline in the Northeast, resulting in Connecticut having the highest gas prices in the region. This is because Connecticut imposes two taxes on gasoline: a State Excise Tax and a Gross Receipts Tax.  The State's Excise Tax holds at a steady rate of $0.25 per gallon. While that price seems high, the tax actually stays relatively even with the surrounding states. What actually hurts Connecticut drivers the most is the state's Gross Receipts Tax   The Gross Receipts tax started at 2% in 1981, has gradually increased to it's current rate, 7.53%, and is currently scheduled to increase to an effective rate of 8.81% on July 1st 2013.  If you add this to the ever-increasing cost of car registration, car taxes, license fees, car insurance, etc., you can imagine a future with very few people being able to afford the luxury of having their own personal vehicles.

There are many state representatives against the creation of the busway (Rep. Rob Sampson, Rep. Selim Noujaim, Rep. Whit Betts, Sen. Joseph Markley, Sen. Andrew Roraback, and more), mainly due to the cost of the project, and the current situation of the states finances.  Senator Joseph Markley estimated the cost of the busway to be "nearly a thousand dollars an inch", and added "this is the most preposterous waste of state money I have ever seen."

(CT State Representative Rob Sampson Opposing The New Britain-Hartford busway)

Interestingly, there was a website solely dedicated to informing the public on, and trying to block the creation of, CTFastrak, , but I recently went to check back on the website, for research purposes, and that website is no longer available.

Business owners in the area don't seem to be too excited about the project either.  "I think it's a waste of money, in my opinion," said Eric Barreira, owner of a Dunkin' Donuts shop, in the area of the proposed busway. "I'm not going to take the bus, and I'm pretty sure 95 percent of the people that are here are not going to take that bus."  Others have criticized the "pork projects" that have come along with the funding of the busway.  Also, an industry insider told me that local companies in the planning and construction fields constantly criticize this busway project, and laughingly refer to this obvious waste of money as a "busway for drug dealers", among other names.

Where is the state getting the money to build this busway?  Where else?! U.S. taxpayers!  The Busway Sources of Capital (chart below) shows the busway is using some federal money, and the rest state money, which to me, is the same thing; money coming out of my pocket.

One interesting thing to note about the busway sources of capital is the government program CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality).  According to Mike NiCastro, President and CEO of CT Chambers of Commerce, CMAQ gives states money for taking automobiles and trucks off the road.  "If you take carbon based automobiles and trucks off the road, you can get CMAQ money", says NiCastro.  Also the Federal CMAQ Improvement program of 2008, says; 
"strategies should be designed to influence trip-making behavior...Constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities (paths, bike racks, support facilities,
etc.) that are not exclusively recreational and reduce vehicle trips...Public education and outreach can help communities reduce emissions and congestion by inducing drivers to change their transportation choices."
I think we can assume CMAQ is just another tool being used by elements within our own government, attempting to lower the standard of living of Americans, thus making us more dependent on government.  

(A presentation by Central CT Chambers of Commerce President, Mike Nicastro, on the Busway, and alternative transportation plans.)

Opponents of the CTFastrak say that spending almost $600 million on the creation of a busway, doesn't make sense, when there are much needed improvements to the states crumbling transportation infrastructure.  "Of the 5,250 highway bridges in the state of Connecticut, it is estimated that nearly 1,800 are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state has at least seven bridges that are more than 100 years old and thousands of bridges have far exceeded their life spans."  But not repairing roads and bridges DOES make sense, if the ultimate plan is to force people out of their personal vehicles, and onto "special" roads for public transportation.  I will continue showing that this is the case.

Eminent Domain

The plan is not only to restrict your transportation ability, but also your property rights, forcing you off of your land, through procedures like eminent domain.  As I have stated, Agenda 21 is about controlling EVERYTHING, and leaving very limited options available for individual choice.

What is eminent domain?  Eminent domain is "the power to take private property for public use by a state...following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property."  The state comes in and says that your land is needed for a public project that will benefit everyone, they take it, and offer you 'just' compensation for it.  The problem is that the state is usually wrong on what validates 'just' compensation, and their public projects usually turn into disastrous debt holes.  The biggest problem, to me, about eminent domain is the fundamental question to property rights, that it evokes.  If the state could just take your property, do you really own anything?

Here are some examples of Eminent Domain being undertaken for the completion of the CTFastrak:

  • Mike Camillo, owner of West Hill Automotive, told reporters the state is using eminent domain to take part of the property upon which his business is located, and offering him far less than the land is worth. As a result, he said he will be forced to lay off three of his 10 employees.  “They’ve told us to move. We’re not moving. This will be a fight. They come and move my equipment, I’ll be chained to it,” he said.
  • The owner of a restaurant in the path of construction in Hartford worries that the project will put him out of business. Donald Mancini, owner of Red Rock Tavern, said he attended a public hearing last November to criticize plans to close the street where his restaurant is located.
  • Rick Cyr who owns Cyr Woodworking in Newington, said the state plans to take portions of his land, and the land of others, through eminent domain.  "I'm not very happy with it. It's definitely going to impact my property.  We're going to lose the loading dock, the entrance," Cyr said.
  • In October of last year, Senator Markley released a statement concerning the Department of Transportation's decision to permanently close Flower Street in Hartford, to vehicular traffic, making way for the New Britain to Hartford Busway.
Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, estimates about 10 percent of the states 'property acquisitions' are outside what the department considers a “friendly” acquisition.

Questions are asked, but never answered, as to why there is such a strong push for this busway, and where the idea to create this plan really originates from.  My answer: United Nations Agenda 21

(This is an example of how the un-elected bureaucrats at the United Nations view a "sustainable" living pattern in the United States.  This was created by The Wildlands Project brought forth by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Plan to Restore Biodiversity in the United States in 1991.   The light blue areas are the places where you are allowed to live and work.  The rest of the country is off limits to the average person.)

UN Agenda 21

Through many reports, this being one, I will attempt to show the reader that the US Federal government, working with the United Nations, is trying to get rid of the sovereignty, the decision making power, of local governments, so that you have no say in what happens, in your local community.  In a video interview debate between a supporter of the New Britain-Hartford busway, Rep. Tony Guerrera, and a non-supporter of the busway, Rep. Rob Sampson, Guerrera stated that the money, for the busway, can't be used for anything else, because it was 'earmarked' for this project, from the federal government.  He also says if we don't use the money for this project, there may be "repercussions" from the federal government.  Think about that, your local elected representative, fearing "repercussions" from the federal government, for going against what some bureaucrats in Washington want to do, in your backyard.  Guerrera either doesn't believe in the idea of states' rights, or isn't aware that any job that is not designated to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution, is a job for the states to deal with, with no federal government intrusion.

In the United States, any 'urbanized area', with a population greater than 50,000, is required to have a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  MPO's are federally mandated, and federally funded, 'policy making organizations'.  These MPO's are set up so when the federal government gives money to a state for "tranportation projects", the state will not have the final decision as to what that money is used for, the regions MPO, the federal government, will have the final say.  The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) is the designated MPO for the Capitol Region, where this busway is being built.  A document put out by the CT Department of Transportation explains, "although the State Department of Transportation has the primary role of administering the expenditure of these funds, all federally funded transportation projects in the Region must be approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization."  CRCOG, the MPO for the region, supported the busway project for inclusion in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

So now we have established that the federal government has eliminated the decision making power of cities and states, in regards to "transportation projects".  Now we will explore the shadowy connection between the United Nations, these transportation projects, and international companies.

There have been several reports of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) being used to implement Agenda 21.  In her book, "Behind The Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21", which is highly recommended to anyone trying to understand the agenda further, Rosa Koire explains her past experiences with MPO's and COG's (Council of Governments).
"These two regional planning groups are comprised of selected city council members and county supervisors from all over the 'region,' who are responsible for putting UN Agenda 21 Sustainable Communities Strategies into place...These agencies are working with a model they have received from ICLEI that urbanizes every targeted area and gradually empties the rural and suburban communities into the city...As more and more regions are created, identified, and superimposed on the local and state governments there will be more regional legislation and less local control.  Local government will exist solely to implement regional regulations administratively.  Seperate sovereignty will slip away.  As clusters of elected officials from different areas join together in regional boards you'll have no way to vote them out as a body, and you'll find yourself having to travel to a regional hub to attend meetings or make objections to new laws.  Your rights as a voter will be dissolved into the consensus of Communitarianism"

After just a quick Google search, I have found connections between MPO's and UN Agenda 21 being established in Idaho, as well as Texas.  In actuality, this is happening everywhere, even in your state, and most likely, your town.

In another connection to the United Nations, the CTfastrak busway is considered a 'bus rapid transit' line, and in June 2007, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) published the BRT (bus rapid transit) Planning Guide with support from the United Nations Environment Programme.  Also, at United Nations website for sustainable development, they have a section for Principles for Bus Rapid Transit Systems.  This information shows, if nothing more, that the United Nations is encouraging the construction of bus rapid transit lines.

One company has caught my eye, that is consulting the state on this CTFastrak busway, Michael Baker Engineering Inc, a unit of Michael Baker Corporation (NYSE MKT:BKR).  The vice president of Baker's Connecticut office, John S. Prizner, Jr., P.E, is the program director for the CTfastrak program.  Michael Baker Corporation is a global company, that I have found has past connections to Agenda 21 construction projects.  In 2008, about 25 people demonstrated in front of the Frederick, Maryland offices of Michael Baker Jr. Inc. in hopes of bringing attention to the company's role in construction of the I-69 "superhighway" from Canada to Mexico.  Protestors were concerned because farmland and old growth forests were going to be destroyed, as well concerns about the number of people being displaced, because of the "superhighway" project.  With its power, and global reach, some critiques have placed the Michael Baker Corporation in the same category as Halliburton.  Also, the Michael Baker Engineering Inc. is involved in the closing of Flower street, in Hartford, to make way for the busway.  More research is needed to be done in this area, but it seems as if the Michael Baker Corporation is just another wealthy clique of guys, who get contracts by being "connected" to the white-shoe-wearing, good-ole-boys.

United Nations Agenda 21 is real, and it is here.  Because it is difficult to explain the full agenda of the United Nations plan for the 21st century, in one story about a busway, I will continue to attempt to document the various local activities that are being influenced by this shadowy group of decision makers.  I encourage the reader to do their own research on the subject, and come to their own conclusion.

Related Stories:
  • Agenda 21 in Connecticut: The Tri-State Transportation Campaign - August 22, 2013 (link)
  • Ohio Judge Calls Red-Light Camera Operation A "Scam That Motorists Can't Win" - March 11, 2013 (link)
  • CT State Senator Steve Cassano Wants Traffic Enforcement "Photographers" Taking Pictures Of You In Your Car - March 06, 2013 (link)
  • The Push For Red-Light Cameras In Connecticut; Corruption, Agenda 21 & the Rockefellers - March 01, 2013 (link)

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