June 02, 2007
Three transit stories

The Chron's This Week section was a trove of transit stories this week:

Meetings net ideas for neighborhoods

Transit-oriented development could take place in Houston if the urban corridor planning process moves forward as anticipated.

The Planning Partnership, a consulting firm that has been working with the Houston Planning and Development Department and hosting corridor workshop meetings around town since mid-April, presented its preliminary findings to residents at a wrap-up meeting May 23 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"There will be more opportunities for shopping in your neighborhood, but there will also be opportunities for you to go anywhere in the city and shop," said Rick Merrill, a partner with The Planning Partnership, describing the benefits transit-oriented development can bring.

As the North, East End, Southeast, Uptown and University light rail lines are constructed and begin to connect with the already built Main Street light rail line, the city's planning department aims to create corridors along each of the lines with different standards for development.

The goal is to bring in new businesses and make buildings and the streetscape more pedestrian-friendly.

Join debate on University rail line, speaker urges

East End residents and business leaders focused on Metro's plans for light rail along Harrisburg should keep an equally sharp eye on competing proposals for the University rail line.

That's what Neartown resident Robin Holzer, chair of the Citizens' Transportation Coalition, told members of the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce at its infrastructure meeting on Friday.

"I suspect (the University line) hasn't gotten a whole lot of attention in the East End, because mostly it (wouldn't) run in the East End," she said. "But I would argue that it affects you anyway."

H-GAC seeks reactions to transportation plan

The Houston-Galveston Area Council will host public meetings in June regarding the $92 billion in sponsored transportation and related clean air planning and projects identified in its draft 2035 Regional Transportation Plan.

The 2035 RTP is the long-range transportation plan for the Houston-Galveston region and serves as the blueprint that will guide the development of transportation systems through the next 30 years, according to an H-GAC press release.

Developed in cooperation with area cities and counties, Metro and the Texas Department of Transportation, the plan identifies long-range transportation needs, prioritizes programs and projects, and provides a forum for dialogue and regional problem solving.

"Every transportation plan serves as a stepping stone for the next plan," said Alan Clark, director of Transportation Planning for H-GAC, in a press release..


A 30-day public comment period will begin on June 1, during which residents are encouraged to express their views and opinions on the plan.

Written comments can be made online at [email protected], faxed to 713-993-4508, or mailed to H-GAC Public Information, 3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77027.

Community associations, religious and civic groups, and business organizations can contact H-GAC at 713-993-2438 to request a special 2035 RTP presentation.

H-GAC will host five open houses in Harris and surrounding counties.

For meeting dates, locations and times, or for more information, visit www.2035plan.org.

I figure Tory and Christof will follow that last one, but that doesn't mean the rest of us should ignore it. Keep an eye out for those open house meetings, so you won't be surprised by anything they dream up a few years from now.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 02, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles