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Livable Communities
Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee
by Jim Guidry
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Transportation consultant John Carrara of The Goodman Corporation updated the Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee on the Downtown Transit Terminal Construction and Streetscape Design Project on Wednesday. 

“Last week, City Council approved the terminal management and operating agreement between the city and the port for the terminal,” Carrara reported, noting that the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves on Monday will consider changes to the agreement requested by the city council.

Carrara said work on the transportation terminal has been held up by problems with the owner of a neighboring building adjacent to the terminal, “who has taken legal action against the port and the contractor for damages to their building”.

He said that the city has advertised a request for qualifications to design the second phase of the Streetscape Design Project under the Livable Communities Initiative, which will include all of the downtown streets except The Strand, which was landscaped during the first phase.

“We should have somebody under contract by the end of July,” Carrara said.  “Then there will be some public meetings to allow the community to input and ask questions about the specifics of the design and improvements.  But they will be similar to what was installed previously on The Strand.”

He said Galveston City Council may consider the future of the track trolley which was damaged by Hurricane Ike at a meeting in August.

“The track repairs bid package is ready to go,” Carrara said, adding that the University of Texas Medical Branch is considering whether to support enhancements to the system.  “One issue under the feasibility study that has been raised from time to time by UTMB is having a double track on the Strand so that basically they can avoid Postoffice Street.  So trolleys can come from the campus to Shearn Moody and then go directly back on The Strand.”

Carrara reported that a proposal to use Transportation Development Credits to fund bicycle paths was not well received by the Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council.

“The discussions by the policy council have not been favorable to pedestrian and bicycle type projects to receive credits,” he said. “They want credits to go toward major regionally significant projects, like big highway projects.”

Carrara said that the matter may be decided by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Michael Worthy of Island Transit reported on bus ridership, noting a significant increase in the Victory Lakes Park & Ride program, as well as an overall increase in ridership since last year.

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