Residents say safety and mass transit should be addressed in future projects
Residents and motorists weighed in on proposed projects to improve travel along Harris County roadways during a meeting hosted by the Houston-Galveston Area Council on Thursday.
Rick Houdek, a bicycle shop owner who is about to open a store in the Vintage area near Texas 249 and Louetta Road, said he was interested in knowing more about plans to increase bike lanes in the area.
“I want to improve the infrastructure for cycling in my community and for my clientele,” he said.
Houdek said mass transit could be improved in the Houston area, since bus trips he’s taken could take over an hour versus driving about 40 minutes to reach a destination.
He said he was used to taking the ‘L’ System while he lived in Chicago, which was both reliable and affordable.
“I really think light to medium rail, especially between places like airports, connecting downtown would make a ton of financial sense and would show the region that it can be done,” he said.
Harris County’s population is expected to increase by about 4 million people by the year 2045, according to the H-GAC’s regional transportation plan, which focuses on roadway widening and maintenance projects as well as mass transit.
So far, 84 proposed projects are on the H-GAC’s list with about $1.5 billion in federal funding requests.
Some of the projects in the northwest Harris County include the expansion of FM 2920 from U.S. 290 to Texas 249.
Widening and safety improvements on Texas 249 from Beltway 8 to the North Freeway are also in design to improve traffic flow and prevent accidents.
Constructing sidewalks to connect segments along FM 2920 and making the sidewalks on FM 1960 between Texas 249 and the North Freeway compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act are also being considered.
H-GAC transportation planning and project manager Adam Beckom said environmental impacts and safety were some among the most important considerations for long range planning.
“Transportation is probably the most dangerous thing we do everyday. We want to make sure people can get from point A to point B safely,” he said.
While H-GAC collected public comment at the meeting, residents and motorists can still submit feedback for the 2018 call for projects draft until Thursday, Feb. 28.
Feedback for the H-GAC’s 2045 Regional Transportation Plan will be obtained starting on March 19 until April 16.
To view the plans, provide feedback or for more questions, visit 2045rtp.com.