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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Jim Guidry
Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Committee on Friday voted unanimously to approve the 2012-2013 Unified Planning Work Program. Listen MP3  RealPlayer

“You see first on the list is the Regional Goods Movement Plan, then we’ll also have the Southwest Corridor US 90A Alternatives Analysis that METRO is conducting and the West Belt Rail Studies,” said Ashby Johnson of the H-GAC staff, listing some projects in the plan.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett noted that the West Belt Rail project is on Houston’s east side, and is a railroad project.  

Texas Department of Transportation Houston District Engineer Delvin Dennis updated the TPC on implementation of SH 99, the Grand Parkway. Listen MP3  RealPlayer

“As of today the schedule is on track,” Dennis said, noting that TxDOT received 23 responses to a request for information.  “Basically, what we’re looking at is comments, feedback, on the best way to implement the Grand Parkway from I-10 West to I-10 East.”

Ashby Johnson led a discussion of the public outreach on the I-69 Project. 
MP3  RealPlayer

“The slogan for the presentation developed by TxDOT is ‘Driven by Texans,’” Johnson said, reviewing the steps TxDOT is taking to garner public input on the project.  “As opposed to the way the Trans Texas Corridor was done in the past, this is an effort by TxDOT to work this from the bottom  up, as opposed to the top down.”

The TPC voted unanimously to proclaim August as 2011 Commute Solutions Month.

“H-GAC’s Commute Solutions is a partnership of Texas Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, City of Galveston Island Transit, The Gulf Coast Center, Fort Bend Public Transportation and the region’s transportation management organizations,” said the staff report.  “Commute Solutions supports NuRide, carpooling, teleworking, vanpooling and other transportation-related options and services.”

All other agenda items were approved.  All votes were unanimous with Baytown City Council Member Terry Sain, Galveston Council Member Dianna Puccetti, Houston Council Member Sue Lovell, League City Council Member Mick Phalen, Pasadena Council Member Darrel Morrison, Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Chambers County Engineer Don Brandon and Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark absent and not represented by alternates.

Per recent legislation, adding a non-voting ex-officio representative of the Texas Legislature to the TPC, State Representative Allen Fletcher attended the meeting.
MP3  RealPlayer

Representative Fletcher, a retired Houston police officer, said he has been working on transportation issues for several years.

“Prior to going to the legislature I served as the chairman of mobility and transportation in the Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce, “ Fletcher said, reporting that he was appointed to the House Transportation Committee when he was elected to the legislature.  “When I arrived that first day I was a little taken aback to realize that out of the 12 men and women on the Transportation Committee, I was the only member of the 25 person Harris County delegation serving on that.”

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