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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Jim Guidry
Friday, June 28, 2013

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council today voted 15-2-1, with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who chairs the TPC, and Harris County Engineer Art Storey opposed; and Port of Houston Authority Chair Janiece Longoria abstaining; to approve project selections from the 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program Call for Projects. 

The projects include two Uptown Houston funding requests, the Post Oak Boulevard Reconstruction/Transitway and the Uptown Intermodal Terminal.

Before the vote, H-GAC Transportation Program Manager David Wurdlow reviewed the projects under consideration.  Listen (8:28)

Eleven people spoke in support of the Uptown projects, almost all in favor. Listen (19:42)

“The Partnership has very much reviewed the Uptown Transit Project as it has been reviewed by our Transit Policy Advisory Committee chaired by Gary Trietsch, who is here with me today,” said Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.  “I am here to suggest that the Partnership strongly favors the Uptown Transit Project.”

Daphne Scarborough spoke in opposition to the project.

“This project is not ready for your vote because we have a Super Bowl coming,” Scarborough said, predicting major transportation problems for visitors who come to the sporting event. 

“The process has worked the way the process is supposed to work,” Judge Emmett said before expressing his concern about the project.  Listen (3:28)

“This is a cute project, but it is not a world class project,” Emmett said.  “I have to say, as one who used to go around the world a lot, it would never cross my mind to take a bus to get on another bus to go somewhere.”

The TPC voted unanimously to approve resolutions recognizing Houston Port Commissioner Steve Phelps and Joe Adams, the TPC ex-officio representing Freight Rail Interests, for their service on the council; and to appoint Port of Houston Chair Longoria and Brenda Mainwaring, representing the railroads, to replace them on the TPC.

The TPC held an extensive discussion of the Transportation Improvement Program Amendment Process, but took no action.

H-GAC Air Quality Program Manager Shelley Whitworth led a discussion of the Voluntary Particulate Matter Program, but the council took no action.

All other agenda items were approved unanimously.  Attendance Report   Agenda  (The agenda includes links to staff reports and other documents, and additional audio excerpts).

Dannenbaum Engineering BayTran
Remembering Jim Guidry

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