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Livable Communities
Intermodal Transportation Committee
by Jim Guidry
Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to include a downtown restroom in Phase Two of the Livable Communities Initiative. Listen: RealPlayer MP3

The motion approved by the committee did not specify the proposed location at The Strand and 21st Street that has been discussed by Strand merchants, but John Carrara of The Goodman Corporation said a restroom is consistent with the LCI and could be included if Galveston City Council approves of the concept.

Carrara said that George Mitchell’s offer to purchase the parking lot at 25th and The Strand from the Brown Family Trust for a downtown transportation terminal will be considered by the city council after Saturday’s runoff election for three city council positions.
RealPlayer MP3

Carrara announced that the corridor alternatives for commuter rail and other issues being considered under the Galveston-Houston Mobility Corridor Alternatives Analysis will be announced on Monday. 

Several members of the committee were concerned about an amendment to the City Charter that requires an election before any new transportation system can be installed.

“The city council shall call a public referendum before creating a mass transit system that requires the expenditure of local, state or federal funds by the city of Galveston,” the charter reads. “The definition of a mass transit system includes, but is not limited to, trolley cars, heavy rail systems or light rail systems.”

Carrara said that the proposed commuter rail is a $600 million to $800 million program.

“We hope to get half of that from the feds,” Carrara said. “The rest of it has to be gathered locally amongst the two counties, 11 cities, other jurisdictions, the Freight Rail District; so it could be at a point when the City of Galveston needs to put actual cash into it, either under that provision or if they determine they need to sell bonds in order to come up with money for it, that would trigger an election.”   

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