Houston-Galveston Area Council

February 2013
In This Issue
A Letter from Alan Clark, Transportation Director
Transportation Policy Council - January 25, 2013
2040 RTP Begins Phase I of Public Outreach
Army Corps of Engineers Making Progress on Waterway
METRO Bike & Ride Survey
Holiday DWI Task Force
Clean Vehicles Program Free Webinar
"Mobility NOW" Presents...
Did you know...?
H-GAC in the News
Join Our Mailing List!
H-GAC's YouTube Channel 
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Upcoming Meetings
TAC - Wednesday,
February 13, 2013


TPC - Friday,
February 22, 2013
Clean Vehicles Program Webinar
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Save the Date
Brown Bag Luncheon
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Letter from Alan Clark, Transportation Director

Dear readers of The VISION,


H-GAC is looking forward to a year of unprecedented investment in our region's transportation infrastructure. The reconstruction and widening of US 290 to accommodate reversible managed lanes will begin in the next few months and is scheduled to be completed in just five years. Construction of SH 99 from US 59 S in Sugar Land to US 59 N in Montgomery County is underway, and the North, East End and Southeast expansions to METRO's Light Rail system are on schedule to be completed by 2014.


TxDOT is aggressively working to complete the remaining environmental work for managed lanes along SH 288 from US 59 in Harris County to the proposed SH 99 in Brazoria County and expects to complete a procurement for initial construction by this time next year. Recently, TxDOT announced its expanded commitment to advancing work on adding toll lanes on existing lanes to SH 249 in Montgomery and Grimes Counties, complementing ongoing work by the Harris and Montgomery County Toll Road Authorities to complete SH 249 tolled segments south of Pinehurst.


These critical investments would not be possible without the commitment of our local governments and transportation agencies to work together and leverage our limited financial resources.


Please make sure to check our website regularly for our monthly Technical Advisory Committee and Transportation Policy Council meetings. We welcome your attendance and participation in all of our public meetings.


Stay tuned to for all our department updates. You can also visit our YouTube channel to watch relevant videos and episodes of Mobility NOW.


Alan Clark, Transportation Planning Director

Transportation Policy Council - January 25, 2013

Transportation Director Alan Clark presents Kim Slaughter with a recognition for her service to TPC

On Friday, January 25, 2013, the Transportation Policy Council (TPC) approved the recommendations of the Nominating Committee for 2013 TPC officers, for one at-large position on the TPC and for 16 at-large positions on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Harris County Judge Ed Emmett was approved as TPC Chairman, City of Houston Councilman Stephen Costello was approved as First Vice Chair, Brazoria County Commissioner Matt Sebesta was approved as Second Vice Chair and Mayor of the City of Pearland Tom Reid was approved as secretary.

Amendments to the 2012-2013 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) were approved by TPC. Amendments 17, 18 and 19 of the UPWP cover funding for long-range planning and special studies with relation to livable centers and access management.

TPC voted unanimously to approve Brazoria Commissioner Matt Sebesta as its representative in the SH 288 Toll Road "1420 Committee." The "1420 Committee" will determine the distribution of the project's financial risk, method of financing and the tolling structure and methodology.

A resolution was passed by TPC for the adoption and incorporation of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) into the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan Update. The CMP ensures that lower cost traffic and travel demand management options have been properly considered and, if warranted, incorporated into roadway widening projects during the planning process.

To view the agenda and listen to audio, click here.

2040 RTP Begins Phase I of Public Outreach

Phase I of public outreach is underway for the the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (2040 RTP).

The 2040 RTP is a long-range planning document that identifies future transportation needs and the roadway, transit and other transportation activities that will best meet those needs. It establishes future transportation policy, projects and programs that meet federal air quality standards and are affordable based on transportation revenue projections.


We are seeking your input principally on the latest vision statement and goals, but we also welcome any comments, ideas or suggestions you have on the transportation system as it exists today or is planned in the future.


Click the logo to learn more about the 2040 RTP. Have your voice heard today with the 2040 RTP Survey

Army Corps of Engineers Making Progress on Waterway

Transportation isn't limited to dry land. A large percentage of shipping in our area comes by sea, and a major shipping lane is the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). The task of upkeeping it falls to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District.
Currently, USACE Galveston District is using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) to survey the GIWW. The data gathered will be used in the development of a dredged material management plan for the GIWW High Island to Brazos River Project, scheduled for completion in April.
USACE Galveston District plays a key role in America's well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce. Dredges are constantly at work keeping vital marine arteries open for waterborne traffic carrying cargo ranging from crude oil to coffee.
Join us March 18th for our Brown Bag Lunch Series when we host Colonel Christopher Sallese, Commander of USACE Galveston District. Stay tuned for more details or contact Rosalind Hebert at


H-GAC and METRO are conducting a study to improve mobility by improving the nexus between biking and transit. Commuting by bicycle is a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to cars, and with METRO you can get to and from work in a reasonable time. The overall goal of the study is to identify key activities that will make the joint use of bicycles and transit an easy and affordable way to get around.


We invite you to participate in the METRO Bike & Ride Plan by clicking here and completing the survey. Let us know how we can improve biking and transit connections.


For more information about the study, please contact Patricia Lawhorn at

H-GAC Forms DWI Task Force to Keep Roads Safe

H-GAC announced the formation of an innovative regional DWI task force for its eight-county area. The task force will bring together multiple agencies from the region to enforce DWI laws during peak holiday weekends. 


This initiative is a first of its kind for DWI enforcement in Texas. Funding for the program is provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant. Due to the requirements for obtaining STEP grants, many smaller agencies may not meet the requirements to receive such a grant. By pooling the funding under a single regional grant application from H-GAC, these smaller law enforcement agencies will be able to assist in curtailing drunk driving in the region. In addition, with H-GAC serving as the administrator of the grant, these smaller agencies can devote their focus predominantly on patrolling for DWIs instead of grant administration.


The year-long grant is a pilot project with TxDOT, providing funding for 50 additional DWI patrol units throughout the region over six holiday periods. The first enforcement period was for the Christmas and New Year holidays which covered the weekends of December 21- 22 and December 28 - 29, 2012. Additional enforcement periods will include Spring Break, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.


For more information about this initiative, please contact Jeff Kaufman at

The next H-GAC Clean Vehicles Program free webinar has been scheduled for Wednesda, February 6, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The presentation will provide an overview of program guidelines and application procedures for vehicle replacements, retrofits and conversion.
Clean Vehicles is a fuel/technology-neutral grant program managed by the Houston-Galveston Area Council to assist corporate, non-profit and government vehicle fleets in upgrading to cleaner technologies. The program will fund up to 75% of the cost of vehicle replacements, retrofits, conversions, or refueling/anti-idling infrastructure equipment and installation, depending on the anticipated air quality benefits of the project. 

"Mobility NOW" Presents...

The latest episode of "Mobility NOW" highlights Houston TranStar, an agency committed to real-time response to the traffic incidents that can slow your commute. Our guest is Jack Whaley, Executive Director of TranStar.


With its network of traffic-monitoring cameras, TranStar takes steps to identify traffic problems and send assistance. Two such programs that offer motorist assistance are SafeClear and the Motorist Assistance Program, or M.A.P. TranStar dispatches a SafeClear tow truck to remove disabled vehicles and restore the normal flow of traffic. In cases of minor automotive emergencies, such as running out of gas or getting a flat tire, a M.A.P. officer is dispatched to assist the disabled vehicle.

Learn more about how TranStar provides messaging to you mobile device, emergency weather reports, construction updates and Amber Alerts with this three-minute video or catch the latest episode of Mobility NOW.

 Did you know...?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District was established Feb. 25, 1880, as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. It serves an area encompassing the Texas coast from Louisiana to Mexico, spanning an area of 50,000 square miles that contains more than 1,000 miles of channels (750 deep-draft and 250 shallow-draft), 28 ports and 700 miles of coastline.

H-GAC in the News 
Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson was honored with the Road Hand Award

Marco Bracamontes talks with Univision about the challenges facing Houston roadway system.

Public meetings to be held on Fort Bend Subregional Plan.
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Houston-Galveston Area Council | PO Box 22777 | Houston | TX | 77227-2777