H-GAC seeks input
Big Thicket Messenger - June 2007
A 30-day public comment period is underway during which citizens are encouraged to express their views and opinions on the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) draft 2035 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). With 3.5 million people moving to the greater Houston area, you have a say on how to connect work, home, school, shopping and services.
H-GAC will also host public meetings in June to discuss $92 billion in sponsored transpiration and related clean air planning and projects. For the region to continue as an attractive place to work, live and play, communities need a comprehensive transportation plan to ensure adequate mobility and access for current and future residents.
The 2035 RTP is the long-range transportation plan for the Houston-Galveston region and serves as the blueprint that will guide the development of our transportation systems through the next 30 years. Developed in cooperation with area cities and counties, METRO and the Texas Department of Transportation, the RTP identifies long-range transportation needs, priorities programs and projects, and provides a forum for dialogue and regional problem solving.
“Every transportation plan serves as a stepping stone for the next plan,” said Alan Clark, director of Transportation Planning for H-GAC. The 2035 RTP builds upon the 2025 RTP and incorporates new elements developed through last Fall’s Envision + Houston Region initiative, a proactive outreach strategy that explored alternatives for the future, tested various scenarios regarding land use and transportation, and collected opinions from a wide range of people regarding land use, transportation, and quality of life.
The RTP strives to improve mobility, reduce congestion and costs, and provide easier access to jobs, homes, schools, shopping and services. It also aims to preserve floodplains as reservoirs and recreation, and create more transit opportunities and a healthier environment. The 2035 RTP is based on four main strategies.
System Development and Preservation – The RTP will expand select roadways, grow bus and rail transit services, expand bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and reduce potential conflicts with trains.
Demand Management (TDM) strategies will help ease congestion and reduce commute times by taking cars off the road and provide new travel lanes for transit, carpools and vanpools.
Operations Management – The RTP will maximize the effectiveness of existing transportation infrastructure and facilities, including the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Smart Streets, and Emergency Management.
Transit and Livable Centers – By expanding transit and encouraging development that supports it, transit will enhance mobility choices, increase access, and produce economic, environmental, and “quality of place” benefits.
For the region’s transportation plan to be successful, we need to hear from you. Effective June 1, H-GAC invites the public to voice its opinions during the public comment period. H-GAC will host several open houses in Harris and surrounding counties. For meeting dates, locations and times, or for more information on the 2035 RTP, visit www.2035 plan.org.
Written comment can be made online at firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (713) 993-4508, or mailed to H-GAC Public Information, 3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77027. Contact H-GAC at (713) 993-2438 or request a special 2035 RTP presentation for your community association, religious or civic group, or business organization.