We hope you will plan to join us on Tuesday, November 29th at 11:30 AM at the METRO Downtown Transit Center.
Exercise your right to vote wth FREE round-trip service to and from the polls on all METRO local bus, light-rail and METROLift paratransit service.
To mark the start of what will be an increased emphasis by my administration on achieving improved mobility for Houston, I recently traveled to Austin to speak to the Texas Transportation Commission, the agency that decides how state transportation dollars are spent. My message was very specific: the transportation strategies of the past are increasingly inadequate to meet the needs of the future. We know this to be true when congestion has continued to grow despite the added capacity that should have occurred as a result of such major past projects as the 610 Loop, the Beltway and the Grand Parkway.
To successfully accommodate the growth that Houston and other major urban areas are anticipating, there must be a paradigm shift. We need a greater emphasis on intercity rail, regional rail, High Occupancy Vehicle facilities, Park and Rides, Transit Centers, and robust local transit. We need to focus highway resources on the urban cores of our cities, where congestion is most severe. And, finally, we need to maintain collaboration between the City and the State.
Mobility is very important to Houston’s success, and it’s important to me. I look forward to continuing to communicate our progress directly with you. If you would like to read my entire speech, it is available here:
About 60 members of the Brays Oaks Management District community came to meeting at Fondren Middle School on January 26, armed with questions about the impending Fondren Corridor Reconstruction Project.
Houston City Councilman Larry V. Green of District K kicked off the meeting after one Fondren Middle School student spoke about public safety issues and auto-pedestrian accidents along the major thoroughfare.
Most of the questions from the audience concerned drainage issues and flooding mitigation, but others addressed lighting, sidewalks, crosswalk signals, the preservation of trees in the median, access to businesses facing Fondren, and traffic cutting through residential neighborhoods during construction.
The Capital Improvement Project is one of several components of the ReBuild Houston Program within the city’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. The design phase began in 2015 for widening a 2.2-mile stretch of Fondren from four lanes to six between West Airport and South Braeswood Boulevards. Room for the expansion would be taken from the median, and sidewalks would be widened to six feet. Construction is set to occur in 2018 and 2019 and completion is estimated for 2020 or 2021.
The design renderings on display in the school’s auditorium lobby are “not set in stone,” Green said, emphasizing that the purpose of the meeting was to get public input so problem areas could be identified and addressed, and a follow-up meeting would ensue.
Carol Haddock, Senior Assistant Director in PWE, answered most of the audience’s questions, and assured them that at least two lanes of the roadway would always be open during construction.
“It is our desire to minimize disruption––even though construction itself is disruptive,” Haddock said. She emphasized that the reconstruction project was designed to bring existing lighting and traffic signals up to code and for the roadway to endure “for another 50 years.”
Due to her background working with the Harris County Flood Control District, Haddock said she understood the need to address Fondren’s drainage problems, which is a key part of the project. Some of that flood mitigation would have to be handled with larger underground drainage pipes and by utilizing detention areas. She said the PWE team would continue working with the Flood Control District to coordinate efforts and already meets with them once a month.
When a question was raised about the brightness of LED streetlights causing nighttime glare and a potential safety hazard, Houston City Councilman Larry V. Green of District K said now is the time to talk about upgrades and changes. He suggested the Brays Oaks Management District Beautification Committee might be able to find the funding for lighting upgrades.
He also suggested that the problem of drivers speeding through residential areas to bypass construction might be alleviated by petitioning the Fondren Neighborhood Traffic Management Program to provide speed cushions.
Five intersections along the project site will benefit from new signals, pedestrian ramps, and a reduction in congestion, according to PWE plans. Those include West Bellfort, Portal, Creekbend and Willowbend, Dumfries, and South Braeswood.
ReBuild Houston is a funding source approved by Houston voters in 2010 and takes a “pay-as-you-go” approach to infrastructure improvement projects instead of accruing more debt, explained Rob Lazaro, ReBuild Houston Executive. The program employs a data-driven system to decide which areas have the most urgent need for improvement projects, he added.
Take the new network out for a test drive – ride free August 16-22.
- Welcome Remarks – Council Member Larry V. Green, Chair
- Municipal Setting Designation — J.Whalen, Inc. (8730 Meldrum Lane)
- Jennifer Clancey, Program Manager, Planning and Development Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
- Chapter 6, 10 & 12 – Infrastructure Design Manual Update
- Mark Loethen, Deputy Director, Planning & Development Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
- Bio-Solids Management Plan
- Jun Chang, Deputy Director, Public Utilities Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
- Dan Menendez, Deputy Director, Engineering & Construction Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
- Public Works & Engineering Dept. Communications Efforts
- Dale Rudick, Director, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
- Public Comments
Please contact Donald Perkins at 832.393.3016 if you have any comments to questions.
More Service, Better Service, Your Service
METRO is excited about its “NEW BUS NETWORK” starting August 2015. Check out some of the service improvements we are looking forward to providing to our customers.
See METRO’s New Bus Network in action with METRO’s interactive map.
Since coming in office, the Brays Oaks community has continually sounded off about the condition of West Airport Blvd. – particularly between Fondren Rd. and South Gessner. Every year, Council Member Green would press the Public Works and Engineering Dept. (PWE) to consider this roadway as a high priority project.
The PWE Dept. has commenced with the rehabilitation of West Airport Blvd. between Fondren Rd. and South Gessner Rd. Prior to the start of this infrastructure project, Council Member Green hosted an informational meeting at the South Gessner HPD Substation whereas representatives from the adjacent residential communities impacted by this project were invited to engage the PWE project manager as well as the project contractor to ask questions about the project.
“The District K office will continue to monitor the progress of this 6 ½ month project,” states Council Member Green. For more information about this West Airport Blvd. rehabilitation project, click the link to access the FAQs: http://www.houstontx.gov/council/k/westairport.html.