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Montgomery County
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Jim Guidry
Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council on Friday approved a resolution in support of several amendments to the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program and the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan Update, as well as a resolution in support of recommendations for use of Rider 42 Bond funds which were approved by the voters in Proposition 12 .

Transportation and Air Quality Programs Manager Alan Clark said the recommendations are intended to improve mobility using simple solutions.

“What TxDOT is likely to explore is operational strategies: how the ramp access works in this corridor, things that could be done during peak time periods, whether or not there are improvements to the frontage roads or to the ramp connections between these locations that could relieve bottlenecks, whether or not there are even improvements on parallel arterial streets that might make sense,” Clark said.

The board voted to open the 30-day public comment period for the 2013-2016 TIP. 

The board voted to support co-designation of US 59 as US 59/IH 69 in Montgomery, Harris and parts of Fort Bend counties.

The board took no action, but held an extensive discussion of the Regional Goods Mobility Study which is being prepared for consideration at a future meeting.

“The purpose of this study was to identify improvements in strategies to accommodate and enhance the mobility of people and goods while mitigating the impacts of freight activity where possible,” explained Senior Transportation Planner Chandra Bondzie.  “Over the past two years, our consultant team led by Cambridge Systematic analyzed existing conditions, assessed our needs for now and in the future; and recommended possible solutions to meet the region's needs.”

Bondzie said the recommendations are in three areas.

“These strategic directions include enhanced existing infrastructure, where we address capacity and operational improvements on local roads that play a regional role,” she said. "We also look at future growth improvements to increase our east/west/north/south connectivity to give our urban core some relief, and to address port connectivity. Our third strategic direction – we took a look at freight rail and passenger improvements.  We wanted to look for recommendations that would have an immediate impact on freight rail but that would also be necessary for commuter rail.”

All other agenda items were approved.  Agenda (Agenda includes links to audio excerpts and all relevant documents)

All votes were unanimous.  Galveston City Council Member Dianna Puccetti, Missouri City Assistant City Manager Scott Elmer and Pasadena Council Member Darrel Morrison were absent and not represented by alternate members.  Texas Department of Transportation Beaumont District Engineer Tucker Ferguson was absent but was represented by Phillip Lujan, his alternate; and Gulf Coast Rail District Chair Mark Ellis was represented by Executive Director Maureen Crocker, his alternate. Roll Call




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