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Posts Tagged ‘light rail’

More back and forth on the Metro referendum

Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia explains the referendum for those who say they don’t understand it. The referendum is as easy as 1-2-3. If approved, it will: 1. Continue the road-building program. 2. Expand Metro’s bus system. 3. Pay down Metro’s short-term debt. Sure, the mathematics of how the money flows to accomplish these items […]

What comes after the Metro referendum

I hope you found my series of interviews on the Metro referendum to be useful. I think there’s plenty in those four interviews to bolster your support of or opposition to the referendum. The referendum question is simple – do we or do we not want to continue the General Mobility Program? but the issue […]

Interview with County Commissioner Steve Radack

To wrap up my series of interviews relating to the Metro referendum, I spoke to the person with whom Metro Chair Gilbert Garcia brokered the deal on the GMP reauthorization: County Commissioner Steve Radack. Commissioner Radack is a strong advocate of the General Mobility Program and a critic of light rail. I suspect that if […]

Interview with Sue Lovell

Former Council member Sue Lovell was not directly involved in the current Metro referendum, but as the past Chair of the Transportation Committee on Council under Mayor Bill White, she was instrumental in the creation and adoption of the city’s operating agreement with Metro, which is what authorized Metro to begin construction on the 2012 […]

Interview with Gilbert Garcia and Christof Spieler

Continuing the discussion of the Metro referendum, today’s interview is with Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia, and Board Member Christof Spieler. Garcia originally proposed a referendum that would continue the GMP but freeze revenues for the member entities at 2014 levels, with Metro getting all of the revenue increases above that. After an alternate measure […]

Interview with David Crossley

This week I’m going to take an in depth look at the one contentious referendum on the ballot, the Metro referendum. The purpose and the language of the referendum is whether or not to reauthorize the General Mobility Program, in which Metro turns over 25% of its sales tax revenue to Harris County, the city […]

Will voters understand the Metro referendum?

That’s the question that people on both sides of the issue are asking themselves. “You have some people who will read it and maybe they don’t like Metro and so they’re going to vote against it, without realizing that by voting against it they’re really going to be damaging the county and the city and […]

A streetcar for the East End?

It could happen. As the once solidly industrial East End transforms with a 4-month-old soccer stadium, a light rail line under construction and the imminent sale of a 136-acre plot that could signal coming lofts and boutiques, boosters are studying the possibility of reviving the streetcar in Houston after an absence of more than 70 […]

Whither the University Line?

Is the University Line in doubt? Some people think so. Over the last decade, METRO spent $71 million of your dollars to build a rail line. But the agency recently took that project off the table for at least another decade and no work has been done. So where did all that money go? Ten […]

Endorsement watch: For Metro

The Chron comes out in favor of another referendum. If you look closely at the weekday mix of traffic, you’ll finds lots of 18-wheelers inching along during rush hour. That makes congestion more than an annoyance for individual commuters. Along with the clean air impact it brings, it creates a serious competitiveness issue for this […]

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 […]

Ashby everywhere

Nancy Sarnoff notes a trend. Homeowners in the Memorial area held a meeting last month in the lobby of a nearby medical office building to discuss what to do about a large apartment complex being planned in their neighborhood. They said the project – and other new developments in the area – would lead to […]

Houston Tomorrow versus Metro

David Crossley: On November 6, you will be asked to vote on whether to stop expansion of light rail transit service in Houston. If you think that’s a terrible idea, you must vote No. If you do, you will be going up against some very powerful people and institutions. But that’s what voters do, isn’t […]

What would you do with 136 acres near downtown?

Something urban, mixed-use, and transit-oriented, one hopes. A rare opportunity lies in 136 acres just east of downtown Houston. The Buffalo Bayou-front parcel, a longtime industrial and office complex, went on the market earlier this summer – a move bayou enthusiasts, East End residents and real estate developers had been anticipating for years. Some of […]

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 […]