Regional Transportation Plan and Air Quality Conformity Submitted Public Comments

Public comment period for the Draft amendments to the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan and the 2021 Transportation Conformity document will be open till April 28, 2021 at 5:30 PM.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council will hold two virtual public meeting on Thursday, April 8 to discuss proposed amendments and the 2021 Transportation Conformity Determination.

Comments

Name Organization Comment Submission Method Date Submitted

Robin Yates

Citizen

You need to step back, and look at the successful cities worldwide, and model them. If you look and listen, you will learn that your focus is off. You have one paragraph and only feigned attention given to what you call ‘Active Transportation.’ Until we invest heavily in and emphasize walking, biking, rolling as main means of transportation, we will continue this cascade of funding the self destruction of our species and planet. It is not safe to bicycle or ride a motorcycle in or around the Houston area. That needs to change. Thus plan only gives lip service to this need. Start over, folks.

Online

03/28/2021

Jacob Powell

Baytown City Council

I am happy to see the proposed addition of the I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge. It has been struck by a barge multiple times in recent years. Each of these instances has caused months of extended commutes for residents that live on the east side of the river. I strongly encourage H-GAC to make this bridge replacement a high priority. Thank you.

Online

03/29/2021

Stephen Livingston

ExxonMobil

I am one of thousand of Harris County residents that commute I-10 on the East side of town every day. The fact that one of the largest and busiest interstates in the nation has been ground to a halt on multiple occasions in the past few years because of an extremely inadequate bridge at the I-10 San Jacinto River crossing. This bridge should be replaced with an elevated bridge that has structural supports outside of the barge traffic lanes to prevent strikes, and the bridge should be expanded to resolve the DAILY bottleneck that occurs with SPUR-330. Cars sitting bumper to bumper instead of moving smoothly are an enormous problem in Harris County, and this is one of the worst locations on a daily basis.

Online

03/30/2021

Oscar S

Motorist

I support all the proposed highway additions to the 2045 mobility plan. The West Loop express lanes project is the most urgently needed among the new additions. Year after year, the West Loop ranks as the first or second most congested segment of freeway in Texas.

In terms of the overall 2045 project listing, I'm concerned about a highway segment which experiences heavy congestion but is not slated for any improvements: The North Loop 610 between US 290 and Interstate 45 north. There is congestion on this segment throughout the day and I have recently been in congestion going eastbound on a Sunday afternoon. When a highway is congested throughout the day and on weekends, it means there is inadequate capacity. This segment is the sixth most congested freeway in Texas, according to TTI. The antiquated interchange at IH-45 is a major contributor to the eastbound backups. This interchange is slated for improvement with the NNHIP, but with the future of the NNHIP uncertain, this section of the North Loop needs to be studied separately for improvements. Most likely the addition of one additional lane in each direction is the most suitable improvement, and that could probably be done with minimal or no new right of way.

Online

04/05/2021

Judi Becker

Myself

Hello, I recently moved to 17116 Harper's Trace in Conroe and the traffic on 242 and Harper's Trace is terrible. It took me 30 minutes to go the mile from Harper's Trace to I-45. There are several new subdivisions in this area along with schools, HEB and various other businesses that have opened. The two lanes going east and west cannot handle the flow of traffic especially with the construction going on further east that has many big rigs adding to the traffic.
One thing that could be done in the meantime is to have the traffic lights going longer as they are close together only allowing 1-2 cars to be able to enter onto 242.
Thank you for listening.

Online

04/07/2021

Tecky Surawijaya

Harris County Resident

MPOID 18722: SH6 corridor improvement between Clay and I10W needs to consider adding protected bike lane and sidewalk to connect Bear Creek, George Bush, and Terry Hershey parks.

Online

04/07/2021

Thomas Kirn

Self

In general, I support the expansion of FM 2920 (#18510) from 4 lanes to 6 lanes. However, I believe that the continuous left turn lane that is currently present, needs to changed. There should be medians and curb openings when needed. At present, there are no mechanisms to stop cross traffic from potentially causing an accident. A traffic signal at Foster Road and FM 2920 would also improve safety and allow for safer turning movements.

Online

04/08/2021

Jeffrey Wiley

Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council

Thank you very much for the opportunity to comment. As the President and CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan is hugely important to the future planning of regional mobility, congestion mitigation, quality of life, safety and efficient movement of goods. We appreciate the effort.

Two projects we do not see on the list of projects in the 2045 RTP, which we believe should be included, relate to the continuation of an efficient and expanded transportation and freight route from Port Freeport to US 290. They involve a route from the Rosenberg\Needville\I69 area in Fort Bend County to Interstate 10 in Waller County (36A Southern Route) and a continuing piece from Interstate 10 to US 290 (36A Norther Route) in Waller County.
These routes are necessary for enhanced evacuation capacity given State Highway 36 is a primary evacuation route for Southern Brazoria County and for efficient freight movement as a means of current and future need identified by HGAC in their freight mobility efforts to route traffic outside the metropolitan core.

TXDOT is currently underway with a 2 to 4 lane expansion from Port Freeport to Rosenberg. This route needs to continue in an efficient path to Interstate 10 and to US 290 to provide maximum benefit of evacuation safety and efficient freight mobility movement.

HGAC knows well that planning is the key to ensuring the most effective routes at the most reasonable costs to achieve their goals. Doing so before development occurs expands options and reduces cost. For this reason, we have particular concern that the Southern Route be incorporated this year at minimum. The pace of development in Fort Bend County poses great risk to the future location of such a route and threatens to increase cost, should they not be undertaken now. 36a Southern Route provides the key connection from Port Freeport and Brazoria County to Interstate 10 and provides enhanced evacuation, safety, freight mobility and commerce throughout the region.

We highly encourage the inclusion of both 36A Southern Route and 36A Northern Route into the plan with particular emphasis on the Southern Route to extend mobility effort along State Highway 36 already underway from Port Freeport to Interstate 10.

With the groundbreaking today of Port Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project, ensuring that Port Freeport will be the deepest Port on the Gulf Coast and throughout the region, we need to have foresight to ensure transportation mobility is there as the Port grows among other benefits delivered by the two projects.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Online

04/08/2021

Michael Huffmaster

Blue Print Houston / Katy Prairie Conservancy

Please provide assessment criteria for route alternatives consideration (pertains to 35 and 36A), or perhaps a TxDOT link

Online

04/08/2021

Vernon Hegwood

Costello, Inc.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to comment. As a Harris County citizen, the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan is hugely important to the future planning of regional mobility, congestion mitigation, quality of life, safety and efficient movement of goods. We appreciate the effort.

I fully support the amendment to add 36A to the list of projects in the 2045 RTP. This route will provide an efficient and expanded transportation and freight route from Port Freeport to US 290. It involves a route from the Rosenberg\Needville\I69 area in Fort Bend County to Interstate 10 (36A Southern Route) and a continuing piece from Interstate 10 to US 290 (36A Northern Route) in Waller County.

These routes are necessary for enhanced evacuation capacity given State Highway 36 is a primary evacuation route for Southern Brazoria County and for efficient freight movement as a means of current and future need identified by HGAC in their freight mobility efforts to route traffic outside the metropolitan core. Again, as a Harris County resident, providing a route that bypasses Houston would greatly improve local mobility as well.

I highly encourage the inclusion of both 36A Southern Route and 36A Northern Route into the plan with particular emphasis on the Southern Route to extend mobility effort along State Highway 36 already underway from Port Freeport to Interstate 10.

With the groundbreaking of Port Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project, ensuring that Port Freeport will be the deepest Port on the Gulf Coast and throughout the region, we need to have foresight to ensure transportation mobility is there as the Port grows among other benefits delivered by the two projects.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Online

04/08/2021

Elizabeth Jensen

Referee PAC

When learning about each project being funded for widening a road or constructing a new one, I've not been able to find information on its expected capacity. What I'm looking for is a measure of expected capacity/cost, say at 5 and 10 years following project completion. Also, given this area's high fatality rate on the roads, I've been looking for projects that are focused on that particular issue (none are labeled as such).

Online

04/10/2021

Elizabeth Jensen

Referee PAC

When learning about each project being funded for widening a road or constructing a new one, I've not been able to find information on its expected capacity. What I'm looking for is a measure of expected capacity/cost, say at 5 and 10 years following project completion. Also, given this area's high fatality rate on the roads, I've been looking for projects that are focused on that particular issue (none are labeled as such).

Online

04/10/2021

Marc Anderson

none

For all road and transportation improvements, please use low glare lighting fixtures that are full cutoff that properly aim the light down and out of the eyes of drivers, pedestrians, and from going into the windows of homes/businesses. This will greatly help safety and allow lower wattage bulbs that will conserve energy. Use smart lighting that can automatically dim based on time of day or motion and conserve even more energy. Also please use low temperature lighting (2700-3000K) to avoid the adverse affects on the environment and people's melatonin levels while still maintaining a high CRI value for safety.

Online

04/10/2021

Alexsovan Hory

High School Student

2045. When we reach 2045, how do we want to picture ourselves moving around the Houston area? Our current strategy of actively accommodating only the car is simply unsustainable. We need to stop this car-dependent urban sprawl. Hurricane Harvey's impacts were worsened because we live in a concrete jungle. As a teenager, who only recently received his driver's license, I found it so difficult, dangerous, and inconvenient to go anywhere without a car. I'm sure parents want to see their kids become independent adults, but how can I and other kids become independent adults when we have to depend on our parents to take us everywhere because we can't drive. It is not only kids; senior citizens like grandparents are too scared to drive so they depend on their adult children to take them everywhere; the disabled are also neglected. For instance, how do you expect someone who is tied to a wheelchair or someone else who is impaired drive? By properly and actually putting plans into reality, we can embrace multi-modal transportation so everyone has the freedom of mobility. Everyone talks about the freedom the car brings but not many people talk about the freedom of NOT having to use a car. Even though I consider myself a car enthusiast, being interested in cars ever since I was five, I would much rather have the choice and the peace of mind of being able to walk, bike, use public transport, or other modes of transportation. What many don't know or seem to understand, when you provide alternate modes of transportation, you alleviate pressure on others. People who would rather use public transport or walk can do, and by doing that, traffic that must use the roadways such as commercial trucks have the room to do so. Economically, regions that are not car dependent have much more comprehensive and thriving economies. Look at New York, Tokyo, and London. They are all global cities, and what do they have all in common? Multi-modal transportation systems. They are walkable, bikeable, and public transport friendly. The backbone of the economy are small businesses. What small businesses need the most is foot traffic, but that is quite hard to attract when people are stuck in their car whizzing by to head to the nearest McDonald's. The car-dependent Houston area is heaven for these huge corporations since no matter where you go, there will be fast food. There will be these big box stores. When people think about food, they think about fast food here. I would love it if people thought about their local bakeries instead. Speaking of local, multi-modal transport is great socially. It encourages social interaction. As a teen without access to a car since I can't drive, I was stuck home in our car dependent suburbia. Every time I simply wanted to go to my friend's house who only lived five to ten minutes away by car, I've always felt stressed and worried for my safety since drivers are ruthless and our infrastructure and the way we design the places we live are all centered around the car. There is a reason why parents always drive their kids to school or other places because it really is dangerous to go anywhere without a car. With mental health being more important than ever, I felt frustrated and sad that I simply wanted to hang out with my friends to go eat, to go shopping, to be kids and have fun but since I had no car and can't drive anyway, I'm stuck at home. Also, we are experiencing an obesity epidemic. An environment where we can so easily go from our suburban home straight into our car, and pick up and eat fast food without ever getting out says a lot. People live busy lives and lots of time is spent commuting and being stuck in traffic staying in one place. There is little physical activity. No wonder why people have little time to exercise. When people of thinking of walking and biking, they usually think of it as recreational. Why not make it from point A to point B? Let people go from home to school, work outside of a car. I have a DREAM that one day I will be able to ride my bike together with my friends as our way of getting to and from school just like Dutch kids. Environmentally, we all know that climate change is real. We know that cars are contributing to this climate crisis. We all know the causes, effects and danger of air pollution, so why aren't we actively embracing the solutions? So what are the solutions? From the bottom up, this is what we need to do. We need to design our housing developments to be walkable, bikeable, and public transport friendly from the start. Currently, we are mass producing homes to accommodate for our population growth, but all of these new communities are completely car dependent suburbs; it will be hard to retrofit these communities into the multimodal dream that we dream of. We are currently mass producing car-dependent suburbs, so that means we can mass produce these homes the right way. Next, it is well known that highways wrecked American cities. Cutting through communities of color and creating blight. With the car and highways, people who could afford to leave the inner city and out into suburbs did. The people who did were typically white and this is where white flight came from. This left the poorer communities of color who were already disadvantaged to become even more disadvantaged. With new schools being built out in the suburbs, they were able to be financially supported through the influx of tax dollars and support of these new homes. With schools out in the suburbs where school quality is better, and education is power, no wonder why even in the 21st century that the inner cities tend to be communities of color and that the schools tend to be bad. Houston may be considered "diverse" but it is extremely racially segregated with the west being well off such as River Oaks and Memorial while the east such as the Third Ward and areas immediately east of Downtown tend to be the most deprived areas of the city. With no or the lack of or the dismal quality of schools, combined with less access to a car, the people in these areas are stuck in a toxic cycle with a difficult way out. My ideal plan is to create a transportation megahub of a city. Everywhere is walkable, cyclable, and have a huge bus network, tram network, mass rapid transit network, suburban rail network, regional rail network, intercity rail network, and finally a high speed rail network. Create a comprehensive, complex system where this is literally everywhere, connecting our region like never before. I feel we should complete the Grand Parkway loop and that is it when it comes to highway expansion. There is a phenomenon known for a LONG time called induced demand. The infamous Katy Freeway is the prime example of this. Taxpayers paid $3 billion dollars for even worse traffic. The Katy Freeway is now 26 lanes across at its widest point and still has gridlock traffic even having traffic worse before the reconstruction. Commuting times increased. Coupled with extremely heavy housing developments in the Katy area, the short term benefits of the expansion drastically shortened and we're back to square one. It is proven time and time again that we can not build our way out of traffic, so why are we still doing it? For instance, Interstate 45. It is proposed by TxDOT to expand I-45 North to even wider than it is now, but it seems like TxDOT did not learn their lessons that highway expansion does not solve anything, so why are we still pouring tons of taxpayer money into these unsustainable projects? TxDOT should not be so eager to go on a spending spree of highway construction because the T in transportation does not mean just cars. It means all modes of transportation including mass transit. Therefore, TxDOT should just shift all that money and into actually investing in solutions that actually work than those that don't. I propose that as the urban core of Houston, all of the highways inside I-610 should be removed. Many cities all around the world have experienced with freeway removal. And guess what? It actually caused traffic to be better while better connecting the communities within, drastically lowering air and noise pollution levels while beautifying the area. Look at San Francisco, with the earthquake in the 80s, the Embarcadero Freeway was removed since it was destroyed beyond repair; now the area is a vibrant, liveable place where people come spend quality time. Seoul's Cheonggyecheon was a freeway, now it is a exciting, livelty place like a park and has become one of the city's most famous places. As I wrap things up, to learn more and see these examples in action, check out BicycleDutch, Not Just Bikes, and Streetfilms on YouTube; these are channels that show all the great infrastructure that can be possible. Specifcally the first two focus on infrastructure in the Netherlands. My dream is to have infrastructure that rivals and best the ones found in the Netherlands such as biking infrastructure and Japan and its trains. I have a lot more that I want to say, but I will wrap it up here!

Online

04/10/2021

Neal Ehardt

N/A

To the sponsor for each of the following projects: Does your project include sidewalks and protected bike lanes?

1. Hempstead Rd -- MPOIDs 18701, 18702, 18703, 18704, 18705, 18706
2. IH 10 E -- MPOID 18707
3. IH 10 W -- MPOIDs 18708, 18709
4. IH 610 E -- MPOID 18710
5. IH 610 S -- MPOIDs 18711, 18712
6. IH 610 W -- MPOID 18730
7. SH 288 -- MPOIDs 18713, 18714, 18715, 18716
8. SH 35 -- MPOIDs 309, 310, 18717, 18718, 18728
9. 36A South -- MPOID 18719
10. 36A North -- MPOID 18720
11. SH 6 -- MPOID 18721
12. SH 99 -- MPOIDs 18723, 18724, 18725, 18726
13. SL 8 -- MPOID 18727
14. IH 45 -- MPOID 16328

To H-GAC staff: What metrics did you use to select these projects for amendment? Are you prioritizing some projects that are unsafe by design for people walking and biking?

Email

04/09/2021

Nick Garner

N/A

Hello,

I am writing to let you know that is absolutely imperative to include the I-10 Bridge project in the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.

As you most certainly know, this bridge is artery that connects thousands of people from home to work and vice versa, and when it is closed indefinately it becomes a massive issue. It is NOT just a simple inconvenience. THOUSANDS of people added at least an hour per day to their commute because to the detours and additional traffic that other roads incurred.

This HAS to be number 1 on the 2045 Plan!

Email

04/04/2021

Heather Betancourth

N/A

On the Regional Transportation Plan and Conformity Updates Public Meetings:

I am writing in support of project included in the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan to widen and reinforce the San Jacinto River bridge on Interstate 10. As a Baytown resident, worker, and City Council member I cannot stress enough how important funding this project is sooner rather than later. I-10 is a national transportation route that severely breaks down when the San Jacinto River bridge is compromised. Delays in commerce are common when this route down, as well as the ability for workforce to get to major industrial complexes. ExxonMobil and Chevron Phillips both have their largest domestic manufacturing plants in Baytown and many of their essential personnel commute from Houston. When the San Jacinto Bridge is not passable it greatly affects people's ability to get to work, affecting petrochemical manufacturing which, again, has a national ripple effect. Please consider not only funding this project, but do so now.

Email

04/04/2021

Andrew Bohac

City of Needville

As an advocate for the development of regional transportation infrastructure from the Brazosport area to Hempstead and beyond, I fully support the amendment to add 36A to the list of projects in the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. This route will provide an efficient and expanded transportation and freight route from Port Freeport to US 290. It involves a route from the Rosenberg\Needville\I69 area in Fort Bend County to Interstate 10 (36A Southern Route) and a continuing piece from Interstate 10 to US 290 (36A Northern Route) in Waller County.

These routes are necessary for enhanced evacuation capacity given State Highway 36 is a primary evacuation route for Southern Brazoria County and for efficient freight movement as a means of current and future need identified by H-GAC in their freight mobility efforts to route traffic outside the metropolitan core. With the groundbreaking of Port Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project, ensuring that Port Freeport will be the deepest Port on the Gulf Coast and throughout the region, we need to have foresight to ensure transportation mobility is there as the Port grows, among other benefits delivered by the two projects.
The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan is hugely important to the future planning of regional mobility, congestion mitigation, quality of life, safety, and efficient movement of goods. We appreciate the effort. TxDOT is currently underway with a 2 to 4 lane expansion from Port Freeport to Rosenberg. This route needs to continue in an efficient path to Interstate 10 and to US 290 to provide maximum benefit of evacuation safety and efficient freight mobility movement.

H-GAC knows well that planning is the key to ensuring the most effective routes at the most reasonable costs to achieve their goals. Doing so before development occurs expands options and reduces cost. For this reason, I have particular concern that the Southern Route be incorporated this year at minimum. The pace of development in Fort Bend County poses great risk to the future location of such a route and threatens to increase cost, should they not be undertaken now. 36A Southern Route provides the key connection from Port Freeport and Brazoria County to Interstate 10 and provides enhanced evacuation, safety, freight mobility and commerce throughout the region.

Needville’s location at the southern end of the potential 36A route is critical to our mobility requirements in the near future. We are seeing tremendous residential and commercial growth coming over the next 10 years and the need for efficient transportation from the port through our community is of critical importance.

Online

04/15/2021