The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council has unanimously approved a list of potential projects for supplemental funding by the Texas Department of Transportation. This list includes the controversial direct connector through Hermann Park from Highway 288 to the Texas Medical Center, which numerous Houstonians came out to speak against. The connector project is still far from being decided, however, according to Guidry News:
“Whoever issued the call to arms issued the wrong place and the wrong time,” said TPC Chair Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who explained that the TPC’s action did not approve the project, only included it on the list as a placeholder. “No decision is being made here that in any way affects Hermann Park.”
James Koch of TxDOT explained the process.
“We’re looking at partnering with Harris County and Brazoria County into bringing a two lane reversible toll facility up from the south into town,” Koch said. “As part of that facility we need to provide some kind of access into the medical center.”
Although Koch and Judge Emmett stressed that there would be ample public hearings on the project before it ever is considered for final approval, a dozen concerned citizens each spoke on the issue at today’s meeting.
The list included representatives of the Sierra Club, the Hermann Park Conservancy, the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, residents of the area and Houston City Council Member Wanda Adams.
Note: neither the City of Houston or Metro requested any of the $488 million, some of which was “flexible” and available.