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Uptown agitation

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A bunch of business owners along a proposed light rail corridor are upset with Metro.

Business owners along Post Oak Boulevard met for about two hours Thursday in an effort learn about — and block — plans for a Metro light rail line that would run in front of their businesses.

After the gathering, many left Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli, 2327 Post Oak, expressing what attorney Chris Begala described as “disappointment, even shock.”

Begala, who organized the meeting on behalf of his client and relatively new Post Oak tenant Jim “Mattress Mack” MacIngvale, characterized those attending as “like-minded people,” who feel the Metropolitan Transit Authority is going beyond what it has been charged to do.

“They (business owners) are going to raise the bar, raise awareness,” he said, of the group’s plans.

More info about the Uptown line design is here. While the story focuses on what Metro is doing, it’s the Uptown Management District that has done the design work on this. There are no quotes in the story from anyone associated with the UMD, or with Metro for that matter, so it’s hard to objectively evaluate the complaints from this story. On Monday, I will publish an interview with UMD President John Breeding, in which we discuss this story and what their plans are for Post Oak. I hope that will help to clear this up a bit.

One thing to add is that Chris Begala was one of the anti-Richmond agitators, and he took that act up to the North Line back in 2007, with little effect. He can talk all he wants about blocking the Uptown line, but the fact remains that this was voted on in the 2003 referendum, and they’re not even claiming some bogus “The ballot said Westpark!” logic to claim that the line isn’t supposed to be built where Metro is planning it. If the goal here is to get Metro and the UMD to do a better job of communicating with them about their plans, then I wish them all the luck in the world and I expect them to be successful. If they think they can actually stop this, I have no idea what legal justification they think they have for that. Thanks to Swamplot for the link.

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  1. […] Last week, I noted that several business owners along Post Oak had gotten together with one of the local anti-Metro agitators to complain about what was going on with the Uptown Line and make claims about working to stop it from being built. Among other things, I noted that the story did not include any response from Metro or the Uptown Management District, which I understood to be the main mover behind the Uptown Line design. So I figured if I wanted to know what the Uptown Management District had to say, I ought to ask for myself. As such, I got in touch with John Breeding, the President and CEO of the Uptown Management District, to ask him about it. Here’s what we talked about: […]

  2. […] McIngvale’s antipathy to the Uptown Line goes back at least three years, when he and some other Galleria-area businesses, aided by one of the anti-rail-on-Richmond […]