The San Antonio metro area has grown again.
New Braunfels, the second-largest city in South Central Texas, now is part of the newly expanded and renamed San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has grown from four to eight counties.
Defined by the federal government as a geographic region that shares social and economic ties, an MSA is designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used by the Census Bureau to collect data.
The changes have sparked applause in Comal County, where German settlers founded New Braunfels in 1845 and where many San Antonio commuters live.
Whether it’s entirely good for New Braunfels, however, “depends on who you ask,” said Mayor Bruce Boyer. “There’s certainly some pride in it, but we want to preserve our culture and heritage.”
More on the newly-named MSA is here. The change is mostly about regional planning, which is more of an issue now as development on each end of I-35 between the two cities creeps closer and closer together. I don’t know if they need to be thinking about regional transit – I have no idea how many people live in NB and commute to SA, and the story says that this is about more than that anyway – but if that Lone Star Rail line ever gets built, it would be nice for the two cities to coordinate their efforts.
No matter what strategies are developed, [Bexar County Judge Nelson] Wolff predicted that the two biggest cities in the revised MSA will grow closer.
“Twenty-five, maybe 50 years from now we won’t be able to tell where our city ends and where theirs begins,” he said.
Yes, just like Katy and Sugar Land and eventually the Woodlands with Houston. Which may be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. But pretending it’s not going to happen won’t change anything.