Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston
 

 
January 2018

Happy New Year!  

By all accounts, 2017 was an incredible year for Houston. Our Astros won the World Series, Super Bowl LI was here, and Hurricane Harvey showed the world what Houston Strong means.  Mayor Sylvester Turner was able to pass bipartisan pension reform and one writer (from Dallas no less) suggested he should be Texan of the Year for his efforts after Harvey. 
 
The Planning and Development Department (P&D) has also had a big year. The Houston Bike Plan was approved in March. A new committee to address walkability in the city was launched, and a project to radically redesign the Lower Westheimer Corridor was undertaken with our partners in Public Works and Engineering. Complete Communities, Mayor Turner's plan to transform under-served communities, has been our most exciting project and is well underway.
 
P&D is currently working on the 2017 Annual Report and it should be completed by February. The annual report covers the department's accomplishments in more depth and will be available on our website when completed.

Great Region Connection Award
   
The Houston-Galveston Area Council awarded the Houston Bike Plan the 2017 Our Great Region Connection Award! The Connection Award honors a project that advances two or more of the HGAC Regional Plan's strategies  through innovative partnerships.
The Houston Bike Plan, adopted by City Council on March 22, 2017, is a guide for the City of Houston to achieve the vision of make Houston a safer, more accessible gold-level bike-friendly city by 2027. The vision is supported by four goals:
  • Improve Safety - Provide a safer bicycle network for people of all ages and abilities through improved facilities, education, and enforcement
  • Increase Access - Create a highly accessible, citywide network of comfortable bike facilities that connects neighborhoods to transit, jobs, and activity centers, including schools, universities, parks, and libraries
  • Increase Ridership - Exceed average ridership levels in peer cities by implementing policies and programs that enable more people to ride bicycles and encourage healthy, active transportation choices
  • Develop and maintain facilities - Develop and maintain a high-quality bicycle network, including both bikeways and end-of-trip facilities.
The City of Houston Planning & Development Department in coordination with the Department of Public Works & Engineering and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department led the update to the plan. The City worked with funding partners BikeHouston, Houston Parks Board, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Texas Department of Transportation to develop the bike plan. For additional information on the City's bicycle programs and projects, visit the Houston Bikeways Program website.
Staff Spotlight: Communications Team

Do you want to know more about the work, accomplishments or information about the Planning and Development Department? There's a significant chance that a member of the department's communications team is the individual who will assist you. For example, Will Schoggins serves as webmaster; Dylan Osborne interfaces regularly with City Council, and Patricia Benavides-Foley handles the public information requests. Teresa Geisheker, as Community Engagement Planner, coordinates aspects of the various Commissions and Boards. Tonya Sawyer not only is Planner Lead on one of the Complete Communities, but she also arranges most of our public events. Anna Sedillo serves as Grant Coordinator and oversees the communications team. This team works on a myriad of communications projects under Brian Crimmins, as Public Information Officer for the department.
 
P&D's Communications Team is comprised of (from left rear) Will Schoggins, Dylan Osborne, Patricia Benavides-Foley and (from left front) Teresa Geisheker, Tonya Sawyer, and Anna Sedillo

Super Neighborhood Profile Updates
Valuable new information is now available on our web site! The project team has completed revisions to all 88 Super Neighborhood Profiles using the most current data available from the American Community Survey data release. City Council district profiles were also revised and uploaded in summer of 2017. This information contains interesting demographic data that is valuable to a number of community organizations, stakeholders, and curious residents.
 
In addition to the Super Neighborhood profiles, our website also offers a host of demographic data for the city and has a number of intriguing  infographics comparing Houston to other large cities. These graphics cover economics and housing data, in addition to demographics.

Fast Facts

Complete Communities:  The Planning and Development Department is working to get the next round of Complete Communities public meetings scheduled for early 2018.  The public meeting for Acres Homes has been set for January 20th at the White Oak Conference Center located at 7603 Antoine Drive from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. To learn more about what step in the planning process each neighborhood is in, meeting dates and activities, visit the Complete Communities program website and sign up for CC Newsletter emails and updates.

Walkable Places Committee:
The Walkable Places Committee continues to make the changes for Houston to be more pedestrian friendly. The committee has an on-going discussion about walkability across the city. Join us at the next committee meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 4 pm - 6 pm, City Hall Annex, Public Level Council Chambers, 900 Bagby St. See the committee webpage for more details.

Redevelopment and Drainage Task Force: P&D Director Patrick Walsh is adding expertise on a task force, being spearheaded by Steven C. Costello, Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Houston. Comprised of over 40 community and agency leaders, the task force is addressing detention, fill, and drainage issues. This group was being convened before Hurricane Harvey, but its purpose is now even more imperative to plan for some flood related conditions. Goals are to ensure that the City of Houston's design standards are conducive to responsible development which does not negatively affect drainage, and to empower the City of Houston to effectively and consistently apply and enforce drainage-related development rules.

Houston BCycle Expansion Update: Three bike stations that were out of commission due to damage from Hurricane Harvey have been replaced and are now in operation at the following locations: Jackson Hill & Memorial Drive, Westheimer & Waugh, and Jury Assembly (in front of the Harris County Jury Plaza). Another five stations are scheduled to be installed in February. Check out a Houston BCycle today!
 
The bikeshare program expansion is funded by a federal grant award to the City of Houston's Planning & Development Department. Houston Bike Share, operator of Houston BCycle, is responsible for the 20% local match and implementation of the stations
Planning & Development

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