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Livable Communities
Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee
by John David Suayan
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee on Wednesday voted 4-0-1, with Janet Hoffman abstaining, to request that Galveston City Council dedicate resources to obtain a comprehensive inventory of sidewalks on the island.

Committee member Paul Schnitger asserted that city leaders need to focus on sidewalks in order for Galveston to become a livable city. Listen (14:18)

“We barely talk about sidewalks, and yet, there are very few sidewalks in the city,” said Schnitger. “I feel like if the city council and the city want to make this a more livable city that it needs to make this city a walkable city as well. We are a compact place. Our weather is conducive to walking.”

Schnitger suggested the city look at east of 61st Street for areas lacking sidewalks, stating he spoke about the issue in September and November of last year.

Committee chair Hank Thierry introduced new members Robert Glover and Jayson Levy to the group. Listen (2:49)

“Hopefully you’ll find this to be an engaging and interesting committee,” Thierry told Glover and Levy.

Glover is a retired air traffic controller who moved to Galveston two years ago and Levy is a third-generation Galvestonian who owns a small business on Harborside Drive.  

Thierry mentioned that Addie Pappous resigned from the committee

Transportation consultant John Carrara of the Goodman Corporation updated the committee on the results of the February 12th Galveston City Council meeting discussion concerning the future of rail trolley and tourist-orientated transit. Listen (14:29)

Carrara said the discussion was “good and lively.”

Galveston City Council Member Ralph McMorris said that a group of advocates for the trolley with an emphasis on marketing was formed.  He noted that other cities are vuying for funding for trolley projects.

“So here we are, we got the money to do one,” said McMorris. “We just got to have the will.”

McMorris added the city council’s concerns pertain to financial losses, but touted the trolley as an asset for a tourist destination like Galveston. He said he is hopeful the city council will vote to move forward on the trolley restoration at its next meeting.

Carrara reported that Downtown Intermodal Transportation Terminal construction project is “moving along really well.” Listen (2:47)

“About this time next month, we’ll start to see the structure – the precast columns and beams – start to go up which will go on for six weeks throughout March and April,” said Carrara. “That will be a noteworthy event. It will really indicate the progress that’s been made.”

The building, a project of the Galveston Livable Communities Initiative, should be complete in August, he further stated.

Clyde Wood and Norman Pappous, the city council’s ex-officio representative, were absent.  

The next meeting of the ITC will be at 3:30 p.m. on March 18. 

Remembering Jim Guidry

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