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Posts Tagged ‘light rail’

More on carless commuting in Houston

Greg adds on to my recent post about getting to work in Houston if you didn’t have a car. In the comments of this Kuff post, Robert Nagle actually beats me to the punch in answering the central question. Yes, you can live quite comfortably in Houston without a car. As long as you base […]

Metro board passes amended GMP referendum

More consensus this time. The board voted 8-1 for a measure that, if approved by voters, would continue the so-called General Mobility Program in its current form, allocating a quarter of Metro’s 1-cent sales tax to Harris County, Houston and 14 small cities in Metro’s service area. The local governments use these funds for road […]

FTA writes another check for light rail construction

Keep ‘em coming. The expansion of Houston Metro got another boost from the federal government with the allocation of $188 million in additional construction funding for the North and Southeast light rail lines. Congressman Gene Green, the Houston Democrat who is dean of the metropolitan area’s House delegation, said the money is part of Houston […]

Could you get to work if you didn’t have a car?

Lots of people in the Houston area could not easily get to work if their car were not available to them. According to a new report from the Brookings Institution, only 57.8 percent of the jobs in the entire Houston metro area are in neighborhoods with access to public transit service. When ranked against the […]

Up or down, more or less

Metro has chosen its referendum. A sharply divided Metro board approved a plan Friday that would give the city of Houston tens of millions of dollars more for road projects under a ballot referendum to be put before voters in November. The 5-4 vote followed a sometimes strained, four-hour meeting and sparked accusations that city […]

Metro and UH make nice

Good. Construction of a light-rail line that would cross University of Houston property can continue now that UH and Metro officials settled differences that threatened to delay the project. UH announced in a statement Tuesday that university officials have agreed to allow the Metropolitan Transit Authority to start the next phase of construction of the […]

Keep Moving Houston Forward PAC poll on Metro and GMP

Yesterday I wrote about a poll commissioned by Houstonians for Responsible Growth on Metro and the General Mobility Program. That poll suggested that any changes to the GMP would be difficult for Metro to get, especially in the face of a negative campaign against it. Later in the day, I received the following in my […]

HRG poll data on Metro and the GMP

I mentioned on Friday that there had been a poll commissioned to measure voter attitudes towards Metro and the General Mobility Program. That poll was commissioned by Houstonians for Responsible Growth, and Joshua Sanders was kind enough to send me the polling data later in the day, which you can see here. On the key […]

Here come the GMP proposals

At Metro’s board meeting yesterday, trustees presented their proposed ballot referenda for the General Mobility Program. “I’m anxious to see the outcome just like everybody else,” said Chairman Gilbert Garcia, before anyone offered their specifics. As it turned out, city-appointee Garcia was one of only two trustees calling for a vote on capping the GMP […]

County wants to keep its share of the GMP

No surprise. Harris County Commissioners Court made it official Tuesday, passing a resolution calling on Metro to keep a quarter of its 1 percent sales tax flowing to road projects. The 5-0 vote leaves only Mayor Annise Parker backing Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia’s proposal to cap the so-called “general mobility” payments so the transit agency […]

Endorsement watch: An opponent for Culberson

The Chron gets around to another race it ignored in May, the Democratic primary in CD07. The winner of the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ U.S. House 7th District will face quite a battle against incumbent Rep. John Culberson on this comfortably Republican turf. Challengers for these sorts of safe seats have a dual duty: […]

Joshua Sanders: Required Referendum Does Not Need To Be A Bump In The Road For A New Metro

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. The METRO Board should not risk its newfound goodwill by raiding its member entities’ General Mobility Program (GMP) funds after the end of September 2014. Instead, METRO should move forward with a required referendum that offers […]

Christof Spieler: Deciding the future of Houston’s transit

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. We as a region are facing a huge decision about our future. If we don’t increase transit use by offering more people the option of high-quality transit, we will be stuck in gridlock. But among all […]

Laura Spanjian – From Industrial to Green Revolution: The New Houston

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. Bike Share kiosks in downtown. Electric vehicle charging stations at the grocery store. Over 15 miles of new rail lines being constructed. Wind turbines and solar on rooftops. Solar-powered mini-offices at schools and parks. E-cycling and […]

Public meetings on the General Mobility Program

From the Inbox: If you haven’t had a chance to share your opinions about METRO’s General Mobility Programand the upcoming referendum, METRO’s Board of Directors is hosting additional public meetings and invite you to attend. The next round of meetings will be held in the community on the following dates: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 6pm-8pm […]

Mayor Parker’s Metro decision

Mayor Parker may be in a jam because of the upcoming Metro referendum, but if so it’s not because what Metro is likely to propose is bad for Houston. “I’m between a rock and a hard place on this,” Parker said. “The general mobility money fuels our street capital projects plan. It’s a significant portion […]

Metro sets the schedule

Metro will take some time and get some feedback before settling on the language for its November referendum. Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia on Thursday laid out for the board what he called a “tight time frame” for a possible November 6 voter referendum on the future of General Mobility Program. According to the plan, community […]

Culberson’s Univesity Line attack makes it through the House

Great. Advocates of federally subsidized expansion of the Houston Metro light rail system lost a crucial round to Houston Congressman John Culberson on Friday, leaving dwindling opportunities to overturn spending restrictions on the Richmond Avenue project. The House adopted a $51.6 billion spending measure on a 261-163 vote that included Culberson’s ban on federal spending […]

For spending Metro’s sales tax revenue on transit

A list of contributors almost as long as the University Line will hopefully someday be wrote a Sunday op-ed in favor of giving Metro more money for transit. Unfortunately, not all of the money that we voted for back in 1978 actually goes to provide transit service. A huge sum has been diverted to road […]

Take the train to your dining destination

Katharine Shilcutt writes about how she gets to some of her favorite restaurants. When owner Staci Davis decided on a location for her restaurant, Radical Eats, one thing was extremely important to her above all: Davis wanted her vegan paradise to have access to the new Metro light rail North Line that’s currently being built along Fulton. When […]

UH prof writes letter in support of resolution with Metro

After I published about UH holding up construction on the Southeast Line over concerns about the route, I was forwarded a letter sent by UH English professor Irving Rothman to UH President Renu Khator asking her to get this issue resolved. Here’s the letter. When I first arrived in Houston with my family in 1967, […]

Steve Brown: The Grown-Up’s Platform

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. Texas Democrats recently adopted a very progressive platform that addresses critical areas of need in our state. It also gives reasonable, mature Texans an alternative to empty ideological rhetoric. Although most headlines will center on our […]

Culberson up to his old tricks

You almost have to admire the single minded focus on doing something only he and a few other people really want to do. For the first time in his long-running dispute with Houston Metro, Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, has managed to insert language into a $51.6 billion spending package that could block federal funding to […]

Your vote on the Metro referendum may not matter

Unless of course you vote the way the developers want you to vote, in which case it’s all good. In an interview prior to Monday’s meeting, Joshua Sanders, the acting executive director of Houstonians for Responsible Growth, said the group would resist [capping Metro's General Mobility Payments]. “We’re ready to run a campaign against the […]

UH versus Metro over Southeast Line route

Not sure what’s up with this. Half a year after receiving a long-delayed $450 million federal funding grant for its Southeast line, Metro appears to have run into almost as big an obstacle to progress on that light-rail alignment much closer to home – the University of Houston. “I can confirm for you that UH […]

Metro meeting about the General Mobility Program

Put it on your calendar. You’re invited to attend a special board meeting to tell METRO what you think about the agency’s General Mobility Program (GMP) and the upcoming referendum. The board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in METRO’s board room at 1900 Main St. If you […]

Why the small cities like the GMP as is

The GMP is Metro’s General Mobility Program, which distributes funds for road projects to Houston, Harris County, and the smaller Metro member cities. The smaller cities like it as it is, don’t want any changes made to it, and claim they give more than their fair share. I called for some objective data to check […]

Open house meetings for US90A/Southwest Rail Corridor project

From Metro: The New METRO is continuing work on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the US90A/Southwest Rail Corridor Project with meetings to inform the public about alternatives that will be considered as part of this federal process. The US90A Project newsletter has been distributed to communities in advance of the open house meetings […]

Metro floats compromise on mobility funds

As we know, Metro is preparing for a referendum this fall on the status of the general mobility fund, which is one fourth of the sales tax revenue Metro collects and which goes to Metro member cities for road projects. Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia has suggested freezing the payments after 2014, with any future […]

Can we please call a critic a critic?

Metro had a public meeting on Thursday to address the question of the diversion of transit funds to cities for road projects, which is expected to be a referendum topic this fall. The Chron has a story about the meeting that contains the following facepalm-inducing paragraphs: Resident Thomas Bazan said many residents don’t support the […]

The B-Cycle era begins

At long last, Houston’s B-Cycle program officially kicked off last week. Mayor Annise Parker, an occasional bicyclist, called the federally-funded program “a quick, easy alternative to being stuck in traffic or walking long distances in downtown.” She said the bicycles may help familiarize residents with downtown, an area she said many still consider “foreign territory.” […]

Metro comes to a fork in the road

Which way will they go? It’s up to them, and it’s up to us. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is preparing for a referendum, likely to be on the November ballot, asking voters to decide whether to put millions more of their sales tax dollars toward transit or continue diverting part of it for road projects […]

Houston area transit preferences in 2012

The 2012 Houston Area Survey is in the can, and though the data has not been published to their website yet, there have been a few preview tidbits tossed out to whet everyone’s appetite. One of them has to do with attitudes about transit and neighborhoods. But perhaps the most dramatic change, [Rice professor Stephen] […]

What’s to become of the downtown post office?

Lisa Gray writes about the future of the downtown post office on Franklin. In the past couple of years, there have been rumblings that the U.S. Postal Service plans to leave 401 Franklin and sell the 16-acre complex – a prospect that sets developers, architects and planners atremble. It’s not just that the parcel of […]