More feedback to Metro about the eastern portion of the Universities line, whose route may include Wheeler Avenue through the Texas Southern University campus.
Dozens gathered around aerial maps at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center, which outlined the proposed paths of its University corridor rail line. Many were focused upon the plan to build a rail line from Wheeler to Scott, which requires reopening a portion of Wheeler on TSU's campus that was closed in 1984 and converted to a pedestrian mall, now known as "Tiger Walk."
"Wheeler was closed because students kept getting hit by cars," explained Gabrielle Green-del Bosque, a TSU student. "Students would have to cross the rail line to get to classes and I'm not too thrilled to have to wait on a train."
"The train line will destroy the sense of community that the closure of the street has generated inside the campus," TSU's acting president Bobby L. Wilson wrote in a letter to Metro President and CEO Frank Wilson. He also cited safety, noise and interference of ongoing campuswide renovation and landscaping projects as other reasons for the opposition.
Minister Robert Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam's southwest region and a TSU graduate, said a rail line would be beneficial to the Third Ward neighborhood, but he favors Alabama or Elgin as alternate routes rather than cutting through his alma mater.
"It would be disruptive going down the heart of the campus," he said.
But, he clarified, residents are willing to compromise rather than miss out on the economic boon light rail would bring to the community.
Meanwhile, the pro-Richmond forces are preparing to take their voice to City Hall this afternoon. From a RichmondRail.org press release:
We invited Houstonians to speak out for Rail on Richmond. In less than 4 weeks more than 1000 citizens have signed our petition declaring their support for neighborhood friendly rail on Richmond.
We promised to make their voices heard. We are going to City Council on Tuesday with petitions in hand.
Houston City Council Pop-Off Session
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 2:00 pm
City Hall, 901 Bagby @ Walker
Finally, Blue Bayou has a nice long riff on the Richmond controversy. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 25, 2006 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack