Our amateur radio club is in the process of starting another class for people interested in getting their ham radio license. One of the more difficult tasks is finding a place to hold the classes. We need a room that’ll hold 25 or 30 people, available after hours or on weekends, and free. We don’t charge for the classes, so we can’t afford to pay for a room.
In Round Rock, a local hospital has generously donated use of a conference room on Saturday mornings. That’s great for people in north Austin, Round Rock, and Georgetown, but people who live in central or south Austin are understandably reluctant to drive all that way. We finally found a place in central Austin, but telling people where it is has become something of a comedy.
The Combined Transportation, Emergency, and Communications Center (CTECC) in Austin brings several state, county, and municipal government agencies together under one roof so they can share command-and-control resources in the area. It houses traffic management and emergency communications for public safety. The agencies involved include:
- City of Austin (911 dispatch, police, fire, EMS)
- Travis County (911 dispatch, sheriff, constable)
- Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (the local bus system)
- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the freeway
That’s all well and good, but where is it? Searching the Web for “CTECC Austin” leads to any number of articles about what it is and what it does, but the only location I could find amounts to “on Old Manor Road at the old Mueller Airport.”
So I thought I’d ask for the address on my club’s mailing list. All I got was a bunch of confusing directions with questionable landmarks and that ended in “look for the building with all the antennas on top.” No published street address because, as one person said, “they have a real Homeland Security concern in advertising their presence.”
That’s just silly. I can’t imagine that hiding their street address will inconvenience anybody who has evil intentions. “I was going to attack the Austin emergency communications facility, but I couldn’t find their street address.”
If “Homeland Security” is the real reason that I can’t find an address for this facility, then they probably shouldn’t advertise its existence at all and they certainly shouldn’t allow a bunch of amateur radio operators and students to use their facility. Or will they make us submit to a detailed Homeland Security background check before they allow us on premises?
Sorry, but I don’t buy the “Homeland Security” excuse for not posting an address. Anybody have a real reason?
By the way, a little fiddling with Google Maps reveals an approximate address of 5020 Old Manor Road. Am I going to get a visit from Homeland Security for posting that?