METRO postpones vote on university lane alignment after community backlash

Sat, Mar 25, 2023 11:09 p.m

Neighbors in Eastwood are fighting to move a metro bridge

Houston, Texas — The Harris County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has made a decision on an alignment Metrorapid University Corridor Project It was suspended after concerns about a flyover at Eastwood.

The video above is a roundup of the community’s reaction to the proposal.

The agency announced that it would not decide on an alternative locally preferred path for the project during its board meeting on March 23. Residents and community leaders expressed a number of concerns during the meeting, which primarily centered around insufficient public participation by the agency and the bridge that runs along Lockwood Drive in the East End community.

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The Bus Rapid Transit line is expected to run 25.3 miles from Westchase Park & Ride near the intersection of Westpark and Sam Houston routes to the Tidwell Transit Center near the intersection of Tidwell Road and Hwy. 59. Buses will move through traffic in a lane designated for crossing only.

Line piece of Metrona $7 billion plan set to be implemented over the next 20 years covered by a combination of federal funding and a $3.5 billion bond referendum that was approved in 2019 by nearly 70% of district voters.

The bridge, part of Part 4, will pass along Lockwood Drive from McKinney to Canal Street and cross railroad tracks owned by Union Pacific Corp., according to the coordination. Houston’s 1st District Councilman Robert Gallegos expressed concerns at the meeting about the damage to the historic Eastwood neighborhood that could result from the structure. Harris County Commissioner 2 Adrian Garcia echoed his concerns.

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“I think METRO owes it to East End residents to build consensus; help them understand why they would choose Lockwood over any other option. Upper lanes tend to be divisive, and they tend to segregate communities more. Our black and brown communities have historically already had a lot of that”.

METRO Chairman Sanjay Ramabhadran said the agency expects to return the item to the board for consideration for a vote in the next week or two, after further conversations with the community.

“Metro’s commitment, the locally preferred alternative, is to keep the community dialogue going throughout this project because we’re not even into 30% design,” Ramabhadran said. “There are a lot of ways to go before we actually start building things.”

This article was taken from our partner ABC13’s Community Impact Newspapers.

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