Articles

Mayor Turner Speaks to Texas Transportation Commission

February 2, 2016 • Continue Reading »

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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:
http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/TxTransComm20160128.pdf

Sincerely,
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Sylvester Turner
Mayor

Part of Fondren set to be widened to six lanes with drainage, lighting improvements

January 27, 2016 • Continue Reading »

fondren-construction-meetingAbout 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.”

constrcution-defaultDue 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.

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Fondren Reconstruction Community Meeting, Jan. 26

January 20, 2016 • Continue Reading »

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New Single-Family Home Development Coming to Brays Oaks District

December 18, 2015 • Continue Reading »

AC-homesFor all the Brays Oaks residents that have been wondering what the “New Homes” sign on the west side of South Gessner north of West Bellfort portends, the mystery has been at least partly solved. AC Homes, a Chinese investment and development firm closed on the property on Friday, December 11. The firm has previously done development in the Dallas area. Although district staff was unable to make contact with anyone at AC Home, we were able to talk to the broker that represented them, Mr. Ben Ho with Texas Midland Realty.

According to Mr. Ho, AC Homes plans to develop around 100 homes on the 9.46 acre tract indicating that the new subdivision will be a high density development. The new homes will be mostly 2-story, 3-bedroom ranging from 1,300 square feet to 2,300 square feet. Prices will likely range from the 170s to the mid-200s. Since AC Homes is not a builder in its own right, it is looking at several Houston area homebuilders to construct the new homes to its specifications. Preliminary architectural designs have already been completed, according to Mr. Ho. However, no timeline has been set for the start of land development or home construction at this time. Also, no name has been decided for the project.

The Brays Oaks District is happy to learn of this important news. It has shown the property concerned along with others suitable for single-family development to a number of Houston area developers and builders over the past five years without success. It is hoped that this project will stimulate interest among some of these builders in undertaking new housing projects of their own. Equally important, the district hopes the new subdivision will help the district’s efforts to attract new retail store names and full service restaurants to the area.

Stay tuned.

Changes are coming to the local bus route system on Aug. 16

July 28, 2015 • Continue Reading »

METRO - New Bus Network - Info Card.20JJUL.15

Take the new network out for a test drive – ride free August 16-22.

Construction at Robindell Plaza

May 20, 2015 • Continue Reading »

Robindell Plaza

Demolition of Robindell Plaza – 6711 Bissonnet. The site will be home to a new Aldi Supermarket.

Read more…

Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Council Committee Meeting, May 14

May 11, 2015 • Continue Reading »

citysealBelow is the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure (TTI) Council Committee agenda – scheduled for Thursday May 14, 2015 at 10:00 a.m., City Hall Council Chambers (901 Bagby St., 2nd Floor).

Agenda

  1. Welcome Remarks – Council Member Larry V. Green, Chair
  2. Municipal Setting Designation — J.Whalen, Inc. (8730 Meldrum Lane)
    • Jennifer Clancey, Program Manager, Planning and Development Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
  3. Chapter 6, 10 & 12 – Infrastructure Design Manual Update
    • Mark Loethen, Deputy Director, Planning & Development Division, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
  4. 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.
  5. Public Works & Engineering Dept. Communications Efforts
    • Dale Rudick, Director, Public Works & Engineering Dept.
  6. Public Comments

Please contact Donald Perkins at 832.393.3016 if you have any comments to questions.

METRO’s New Bus Network is Coming Soon

May 6, 2015 • Continue Reading »

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.

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Bi-Monthly Breakfast, May 12

April 27, 2015 • Continue Reading »

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Westbury Community Says Goodbye to Westbury Centerette

April 23, 2015 • Continue Reading »

BOMD Westbury Centerette Demolition from ev1pro.com on Vimeo.

The Westbury Centerette commercial strip center finally came down last month to make way for a new proposed development. The owner of the former Westbury Centerette site is in negotiations to bring a LA Fitness Center to this site.

“In past years, the Westbury Centerette was one of the commercial anchors at the Chimney Rock/West Bellfort intersection. Now that this demolition has occurred, the Westbury community is looking forward to regain this once vibrant commercial node into a transformed development,” states Council Member Larry Green.

“We thank Council Member Larry Green and the many residents of Westbury who came out to watch the demolition of the former Westbury Centerette,” states Becky Edmondson, President of the Westbury Civic Club.

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Council Member Larry Green and Brays Oaks District Director of Services, Richard Rodriguez, at the Westbury Centerette property (corner of Chimney Rock and West Bellfort) where demolition of the site began in March.