Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston
 

 
April 2019
Preservation Texas Award
Preservation Officer Matthew Kriegl with the 2019 Preservation Planning Award for Houston Heights Design Guidelines
  
The City of Houston Planning & Development Department (P&D) was among nineteen agencies  awarded the 2019 Preservation Texas Honor Award for their efforts to save irreplaceable and authentic historic places in Texas. The award recipients were honored on February 27 at an awards ceremony and dinner in Austin TXP&D's Historic Preservation Office was recognized for their work on the Houston Heights Historic Districts Design Guidelines for three Houston Heights Historic DistrictsWe are extremely proud of the team's accomplishments as these guidelines will go a long way in protecting and preserving the cultural heritage in the Houston Heights. 
Transportation Planning  
Several transportation planning studies and projects are underway in our city to improve mobility, including vehicular, multi-modal, and bicycle-based transportation. Community meetings are currently being held to talk about proposals to create safe, comfortable biking connections in Houston, such as in the Third Ward community. The City of Houston also recently submitted an application to the League of American Bicyclists to renew or improve our bike-friendly community status; we are currently rated as bronze.  Here's a recap of some major initiatives that are being led by a very busy Transportation Planning team. For more details on , click here .

Bike to Work Day 2019: Bike To Work Day (BTWD) is Friday, May 17! The annual bike ride and festivities promoting biking as a transportation mode will take place at City Hall. Everyone is invited to participate! Go to the BTWD webpage for event details and to register.  Sponsors, volunteers, and riders are sought. For questions, contact bikeways@houstontx.gov.

Bicycle Advisory Committee: The Bike Advisory Committee (BAC) advises and makes recommendations to the Planning Commission and Planning Director on bicycling issues in Houston.  The BAC is exploring the possibility of an ordinance prohibiting parking in dedicated on-street bike lanes that are striped, buffered or protected. This item is on the April 24 BAC agenda for discussion and possible action. G o to the  BAC page  to learn more about the committee and their work.
 
Bike Plan Implementation Funding:  O n April 16, 2018, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Mayor Turner formed a city-county partnership to connect neighborhoods and destinations with high-comfort bikeways, and  improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Commissioner Ellis has committed  $10 million dollar towards this effort. The  City of Houston will allocate $1.1 million per year towards bicycle infrastructure for the next five years.


P&D's Transportation Planning Team is leading an extensive civic engagement campaign to hear the needs and wishes of the community regarding biking and safety, before plans are brought to fruition. Implementation is then proposed with partners who share the vision. Below are highlights of some of the proposed bikeway projects and community engagement efforts that are being led by the team.

Bikeways Pilot Program: An extensive bikeways program is being developed in three pilot areas, according to Transportation Planner Peter Eccles. For example, the Austin Street pilot program is for an area near downtown, and the Patterson Street pilot program is being planned for an area adjacent to Washington Avenue. See all the details here. 

11th Street Bikeway: We're receiving tremendous community interest since holding the 11th Street Bikeway meeting on March 5. People inquiring about this bikeway proposal can contact Transportation Planner Lauren Grove and the team at 832-395-2700 or bikeways@houstontx.gov
 
Transportation Planner Velyjha Southern with 60-year young newlyweds discussing the proposed MLK bike route

Pop Up Bike Lane - To create excitement and understanding of the program, the Transportation Team, led by Planner Velyjha Southern, created a block-long, pop-up bike lane on March 23, along a proposed route on Cleburne, between Ennis and Delano in the Third Ward. This tactical urbanism project provided an opportunity for community members to experience, and learn more about dedicated bike lanes. 

Positive Interaction Program: Our Transportation Planners attended a Positive Interaction Program meeting on Valentine's Day in District D to discuss the proposed Martin Luther King bike route.

For more information on the Houston Bike Plan, go to   www.HoustonBikePlan.org
Program Updates
              
Shannon Buggs, Complete Communities Director
Complete Communities:
Mayor Sylvester Turner appointed Shannon Buggs as the first director of the Mayor's Office of Complete Communities. The responsibilities of the director and office are detailed in a press release here .

Mayor Turner held a press event on March 25 to announce the creation of a Complete Communities Improvement Fund to accelerate the initiative's progress, with $10 million in contributions raised against an initial $25 million fundraising goal. Video highlights of this announcement are here. 

2019 Spring Community Meetings: Popularly known as Capital Improvement Project (CIP) meetings, the Mayor's annual council district meetings which took place in March, were staffed by P&D and a host of other city departments. This year's focus was on local issues, plus recovery after Hurricane Harvey. The Mayor also mentioned the importance of everyone being counted in Census 2020. 

 
Planning Interim Director Margaret Wallace Brown discussing the Census
Census 2020: P&D Interim Director Margaret Wallace Brown recently gave a presentation to Latino non-profits on the City's 2020 census efforts at the invitation of Council Member Robert Gallegos. The City, along with partners, Harris County and Houston In Action, officially kicked off its efforts on April 1. If you'd like to help with the Census effort in our city, click here.


City Gardens: The Mayor's City Gardens at 611 Walker demonstrated food production in container gardens from June 2010 to March 2019. Led by volunteers from P&D and other departments, the program created tremendous enthusiasm for gardening around Houston, and was the only Texas garden presented in Michelle Obama' s book, "American Grown." For current gardening resources, inquire with the City Garden's partners, Urban Harvest and Keep Houston Beautiful

Customer Service: Congratulations to P&D's Planner Huq Mohdudul for being recognized once again in the employee newsletter, City Savvy , for great customer service! 

Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan: The 2019 Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP) amendment process is being managed by Transportation Division Manager Sharon Moses-Burnside and her team. Details of the purpose and process of developing this annual transportation plan are available here. 

Walkable Places: The next Walkable Places Committee meeting is on May 1. To learn more about this committee and view past agenda's, click here
Upcoming Meetings & Events 
 
April 11, 25       Planning Commission (bi-weekly)     
                                                                              
April 17             Houston Archeological and Historic Commission  (monthly)
                             
May 17             Bike to Work Day

Visit the Planning Department's website at www.houstonplanning.com for complete updates and more details.  
 
Planning & Development

611 Walker Street, 6th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 832.393.6600