The Houston-Galveston Area Council on Friday voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting a joint request to the Federal Transit Administration by the City of Conroe and The Woodlands Township that they be granted “designate recipient” status for federal funding. Listen
Manager of the Transportation and Air Quality Programs Alan Clark explained to the board that Willis, Shenandoah, Oak Ridge North, Conroe and The Woodlands have been combined into a larger urbanized area, wholly in Montgomery County, based on the 2010 Census.
“This urbanized area, because its population now is in excess of 200,000, it changes the status of this area in terms of its eligibility for transit funding,” Clark said, explaining that, if the FTA accepts the request, Conroe and The Woodlands would jointly present a single program of projects for federal funding to the H-GAC. “Of course, that means if they don’t agree, then neither one of them would be able to file grant applications and receive funds from the Federal Transit Administration.”
“Why didn’t they try and just create a transit district?” asked Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark.
“There was discussion of that,” A;an Clark responded, noting that there is a transit district in Montgomery County, but unlike the Galveston County Transit District, the one in Montgomery County is not countywide.
Conroe Industrial Development Corporation Executive Director Larry Calhoun said that interlocal agreements have been approved between Conroe, The Woodlands and other entities in the area.
Shenandoah City Administrator Greg Smith attended the meeting to speak in support of the resolution. Listen
The TPC voted unanimously to approve an amendment to program $2.5 million in 5309 FTA funds for the 2012 Galveston Seawall Boulevard Bus Livability Grant. Listen
The TPC voted unanimously to defer until the October meeting a proposal related to development of managed lanes on State Highway 288. Listen
James Koch, TxDOT's director of transportation planning and development for the Houston district, updated the members on the status of the project, beginning with Phase One, which features reversible express lanes between U.S. 59 and the Harris County line.
“We are going to be going through the existing 610 interchange,” he said. “We are proposing four direct connectors at Beltway 8, and in this particular configuration, we need no additional right-of-way.”
Koch said the portion of the project regarding a connection to the Texas Medical Center is being handled as an independent project.
“This connection will have its own path, it’s going to have its own environmental path, a separate environmental document,” he said. “We are going through an alternatives analysis with our stakeholders right now.”
Correction: The TPC heard a briefing on the METRO referendum on continuation of the General Mobility Plan. (However the board did not vote on the plan) METRO Board Vice President Allen Watson appeared before the council in support of the resolution. Listen
Transportation Program Manager David Wurdlow updated the TPC on the Transportation Improvement Plan’s Call for Projects. Listen
All other agenda items were approved by unanimous votes. Agenda
Baytown Council Member Terry Sain, Galveston Council Member Marie Robb, Houston Council Member Melissa Noriega, League City Council Member Mick Phalen, and Texas City City Engineer Doug Kneupper were absent and not represented by alternates. Also there was no representative from Chambers County. Other members were absent but represented by alternates.