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Posts Tagged ‘HGAC’

The trouble with the Southwest Freeway

I think the problem is easy enough to identify. The solution is another matter. Houston-area transportation planners are considering some novel strategies – at least for Texas – for managing traffic to ease congestion on U.S. 59 between downtown Houston and the Sam Houston Tollway. Among the steps that may be considered are clearing accidents […]

The wheels on the bus go round and round, even in The Woodlands

Welcome to the wonderful world of transit. With help from regional officials, The Woodlands is entering the bus business, a decision that might give south Montgomery County commuters more options down the road. Population gains pushed the Woodlands-Conroe area from a “small urban area” to a “large urbanized area” of 230,000 residents for the 2010 […]

How to solve the traffic problems of The Woodlands

All that growth has its downsides. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, along with local entities including The Woodlands, Montgomery County, the City of Oak Ridge North and the Texas Department of Transportation, are working on a South Montgomery Mobility Study that they hope will ultimately ease the woes of commuters. Officials say they realize there are […]

Metro reports an increase in boardings with bikes

From the inbox: The number of people using bikes to extend their bus trips (or vice versa) increased more than 47 percent jumping from 12,111 bike bus boardings in January 2013 to 17,859 in January this year, That’s according to METRO figures which do not account for bikes taken onto light-rail trains. At the METRO […]

Chron favors Uptown transit plan

Good to see, and I think they make a decent point. We’re glad that Houston-area transportation officials have approved federal funds for an Uptown bus rapid transit (BRT) system. [...] But we’re struck by [Harris County Judge Ed] Emmett’s vote against the plan at the Galveston-Houston Area Council Transportation Policy Council. Emmett is no knee […]

H-GAC approves Uptown transportation funding

Good. Houston-area transportation officials approved a plan Friday to use $61.8 million in federal funds to help build bus-only lanes along Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area. [...] The project, sponsored by the Uptown Management District, widens Post Oak to add two center lanes for buses that will shuttle riders from two Metropolitan Transit […]

Uptown transit plan gets key funding approval

Good news. Plans for bus-only lanes along Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area moved forward Thursday when a key committee recommended spending $62 million in federal funds. Members of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s transportation improvement program subcommittee approved the spending, a month after delaying a decision so staff could study the issue more, especially […]

The Uptown plan is as much about HOV as it is BRT

Maybe more. Most discussion of the Uptown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone’s plan, which goes before City Council this week, has been about a proposal to annex Memorial Park into the zone and spend $100 million restoring the drought-stricken park. The centerpiece of the zone’s plan, however, is a $187.5 million vision to widen and rebuild […]

The Uptown/Memorial TIRZ

Big projects, big plans, big funding mechanism. Transit and trees – things that make urban areas move quickly and look pretty – are the centerpieces of a $500 million project that would remake the Uptown area and reinvigorate Memorial Park. Mayor Annise Parker and other officials announced a plan Thursday that would fund construction of […]

Biking to transit

KUHF has an update. Metro’s Strategic Planning Committee got an update on the “Bike and Ride” Access Study. Metro says it wants to make it easier for Houstonians to combine bike and bus travel. Metro officials say between 10,000 and 15,000 people every month bring their bikes aboard when they use the bus. Every bus […]

Take the 2013 METRO Bike and Ride Survey

A public service announcement from H-GAC: 2013 METRO Bike and Ride Survey The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) and METRO invite you to participate in the METRO Bike & Ride Plan, a planning effort to improve connections between bicyclists and the transit network in the METRO service area. Take the survey! Vision, Mission and Goals Based […]

Help Metro figure out the bike and transit thing

Your public service opportunity of the day: METRO and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) are seeking input from bicyclists on the use of public transit. Want to join? You must meet the following criteria: Already integrate biking and public transit Bike but not currently using public transportation Use public transit but not with a bike […]

Houston-Austin rail update

Houston Tomorrow: The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to fund environmental and financial feasibility studies for a passenger rail line connecting Houston to Austin, according to the Texas Tribune and KUT Austin. The planned line would be a 110mph train connecting Houston, Hempstead, Brenham, Giddings, and Austin, for about $1.2 billion, although TXDOT is […]

Roundabouts in the sky

I have three things to say about this. Imagine driving into downtown Houston on interstates 10 or 45, or U.S. 59, and having to merge with all other incoming traffic onto an elevated, one-way traffic circle around the cluster of skyscrapers. If downtown isn’t your final destination, you would stay on the circle until you […]

Galveston passenger rail back on track

Sorry about the pun, they can be hard to avoid when writing these titles. Anyway, the on-again, off-again Houston to Galveston rail line is apparently on again. A Houston-to-Galveston passenger rail line postponed indefinitely after the economy hit bottom in 2009 is getting another chance, but it could be a decade or more before the […]

Houston-Austin rail study

From Houston Tomorrow: The Texas Department of Transportation presented results from a study on the potential for new 110 mph passenger rail service between Houston and Austin, potentially connecting College Station, according to Guidry News and documented in the minutes of the December 16 minutes of the Transportation Policy Council. The study looked at 4 potential alignments, with […]

TPC splits the difference

Bike advocates get a partial victory as the Transportation Policy Council voted to keep the last $12.8 million of unallocated federal funds on alternate mode projects instead of redirecting it towards roads. “Whatever we do in this room is supposed to be representative of our regional values and needs,” said Harris County Public Infrastructure Department […]

Today’s the day for the TIP

That postponed Transportation Policy Council meeting to determine how to allocate unprogrammed federal transportation funds happens today. A proposal before the regional Transportation Policy Council last month could have clawed back $12.8 million in funding set aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects and directed those dollars to road and freight rail work. At the urging […]

HGAC hearing on TIP

From Houston Tomorrow: The Houston – Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council will host a public hearing to discuss citizen priorities for the use of discretionary funds in the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program on March 25, 2011 at 8:45am at the H-GAC building in the 2nd Floor Conference room at 3555 Timmons. The Technical Advisory […]

TPC delays vote on TIP

Houston Tomorrow: The Houston-Galveston Area Council’sTransportation Policy Council (TPC) unanimously voted on Friday morning to delay by thirty days its vote on a full $79.8 million allocation of unprogrammed federal transportation funds toward Mobility – roadway and freight rail – projects and a reallocation of $12.8 million from already committed pedestrian, bicycle, and Livable Centers […]

City to ask Census for a do-over

Very interesting. The city of Houston will ask the U.S. Census Bureau to change its official count, raising questions about whether some apartment complexes or even entire neighborhoods were missed. Houston’s population is 2,099,451, according to Census data released last week. That’s more than 100,000 fewer people than earlier estimates, and slightly below the 2.1 […]

More on H-GAC and the TIP

I received some feedback from Judge Ed Emmett’s office regarding this post about H-GAC’s Friday Transportation Policy Council (TPC) meeting, at which funding in the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) will be discussed and voted on. There’s some context missing from what Houston Tomorrow and Bike Houston wrote about this. Let me start by pointing […]

Why aren’t we investing more in non-road transportation?

Houston Tomorrow has some disturbing news. A proposal to limit bike, pedestrian, and livability funding in the 2011 Transportation Improvement Program will come before the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council (TPC) this Friday, February 25, at a public meeting in the H-GAC building at 3555 Timmons on the 2nd floor in Conference Room A. The proposal […]

TxDOT to take on primacy for Grand Parkway

From Houston Tomorrow: “There are potential opportunities to help advance [the Grand Parkway] in its entirety over the short term,” according to John Barton, assistant executive director for the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) engineering operations, told the Transportation Policy Council (TPC) of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) on Friday, according to Guidry News. Barton […]

Department of rail-related corrections

Council Member Sue Lovell writes a letter disputing certain aspects of the recent story about Galveston commuter rail being off track. Barry Goodman blames lack of a regional transportation policy as a big obstacle. The eight-county transportation planning region represented at TPC has begun review of commuter rail options with the Houston-Galveston Area Council Regional […]

Bumpy roads

This story is mostly about how Houston ranks against other cities in road conditions. Of interest to me is the reasons why we’re not likely to get any better: At the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the transportation planning body for Harris and seven surrounding counties, roughly $50 billion has been trimmed from a $157 billion, 25-year […]

Commuter rail along US 90A

Here’s an update on a piece of the 2003 Metro Solutions referendum that has been largely quiescent till now, the proposed commuter rail line from the Fannin South station to Fort Bend County. Though efforts soon stalled after a 2003 referendum in which voters approved a light rail expansion, the project has seen renewed political […]

H-GAC Transportation Survey

Make your preferences known. This is a brief survey about funding for roadway and transit improvements. For decades our community relied on state and federal dollars to supplement local dollars that are used to grow and maintain the region’s Transportation system; unfortunately the funds from these sources have not kept pace with our region’s population […]

H-GAC Livable Centers Study of the Ensemble/HCC Station Area in Midtown

Tomorrow night at 7 PM at the Trinity Episcopal Church located at 1015 Holman Street at Main (map) is a public meeting for the H-GAC Livable Centers Study of the Ensemble/HCC Station area in Midtown. You can click on the flyer for the details, but the basic idea is to figure out how to enable […]

The Mayorals on mobility

Carolyn Feibel discusses the Mayoral candidates’ plans for transportation and mobility. Two candidates, City Controller Annise Parker and Councilman Peter Brown, disagree on what Metro’s main focus should be. While supporting light rail, Parker said buses should remain the “heart” of the transit system. “I have been increasingly concerned that in their efforts to build […]

Interview with Council Member Sue Lovell

Council Member Sue Lovell is running for re-election to her third term in At Large #2. She chairs the Quality of Life committee, from which the recent ordinances about billboards, signage, and attention-getting devices originated, as well as the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Aviation committees, and she also serves as Mayor Pro Tem. Oh, and she’s […]

How to uncrowd the jails

Defense attorney Rob Fickman makes the case for dealing with Harris County’s jail overcrowding problems. Jail overcrowding creates unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Locking up the wrong people does not leave sufficient room to lock up the right people, those who are truly dangerous. It also exposes the county and the taxpayers to expensive lawsuits. The […]

Commuter rail update

Christof has some surprisingly good news for those who want to see commuter rail in the Houston area. There hasn’t been much public movement on commuter rail since the HGAC’s study was released a year ago. But quietly, gears are meshing, and we may have commuter rail to Galveston and Hempstead as early as 2012. […]

Just how viable is the Grand Parkway anyway?

So it’s official, Commissioners Court has voted to seek stimulus funding for the Grand Parkway Segment E despite numerous concerns about the way they went about it. Houston Tomorrow explores a facet of this that I hadn’t been aware of before. Proponents of Segment E have come under fire in recent months for waiving a […]