H-GAC Transportation Newsletter: July 2020
Transportation Policy Council Meeting: June 26
At the Transportation Policy Council meeting on June 26, the key topic of discussion was an a pproval to create a memorandum of understanding between the main entities involved in the North Houston Highway Improvement Project , which involves the reconstruction and widening of I-45 North from Beltway 8 North to and around Downtown Houston.
 
The council voted to form a working group that will outline the criteria to go into the memorandum and define the roles of the key cooperating entities, which are the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Transportation Policy Council, City of Houston, Harris County, Harris County Flood Control District, and Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). The Transportation Policy Council , TxDOT , and the City of Houston have received feedback regarding the design of the North Houston Highway Improvement project from community leaders and members of the public over concerns of the project's potential impacts on low-income and minority communities situated along the highway. This feedback included a letter from the City of Houston sent on May 12 discussing the city's goals for the project and opportunities to address community concerns. Developing a memorandum of understanding was one of the key recommendations of the Transportation Advisory Committee .
 
The council also formally approved the 2021-24 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to be submitted to TxDOT for final review. The 2021-24 TIP includes several major transportation infrastructural improvement projects that will impact several communities in the region over the next four years. Projects include shared use lanes in the Galleria, a new roundabout intersection on Navigation in East Downtown (EaDo), hiking trails and bikeways in League City, a new bus fleet maintenance facility in Conroe, and segment 3 of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, which is concentrated in the Downtown Houston area.
 
Additional funding for projects was approved by the council in 2021-24 TIP . Those include TxDOT gap projects , and projects in Houston and Baytown . The purpose of City of Baytown's project is to widen and extend Garth Road, a major commercial thoroughfare to Baytown and many surrounding communities . T he City of Houston's Shepherd-Durham Corridor Improvement Project aims to redesign and rebuild Shepherd and Durham in the Heights area from 15th Street to I-10 to improve safety and mobility. Planned upgrades include improved drainage, turning lanes at designated intersections, dedicated bike lanes, and pedestrian safety features. The project is also expected to coordinate with the I-10 Inner Katy bus rapid transit corridor.
 
To listen to the audio recording of the latest TPC meeting, click HERE . The next meeting is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m., Friday, July 24 via teleconference webinar. Click HERE for more information. Public comments on agenda items may be sent by email to publiccomments@h-gac.com . Comments received by 5 p.m., Thursday, July 23 will be entered into the meeting record.
Public Can Review Regional Transportation Performance Measures Online
Members of the public can assess the region's progress in transportation improvement on the new H-GAC Transportation Performance Measures web page . Federal legislation introduced Transportation Performance Management to address challenges facing our nation's transportation system. As a metropolitan planning organization, H-GAC sets targets and collects data on how our region's transportation system is progressing based on the following key areas:

  • Safety: goals to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists
  • Pavement and Bridges: maintaining safe, quality roadways to facilitate the movement of goods and people
  • Reliability: making travel more reliable for personal travel and freight
  • Congestion: assess and measure hours of peak excessive delay; plan for an increase in multi-occupancy vehicle use or ridesharing to reduce congestion
  • Air Quality: reduce emissions and improve air quality by funding Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program-eligible projects
  • Transit Asset Management: maintaining proper conditions of public transportation vehicles and facilities to sustain a reliable multi-modal network for the region

Residents and stakeholders can learn more about these transportation performance measures and view our region's scorecard HERE . The public comment period about the performance targets and the report will run from through Aug. 8, 2020. The public may submit their comments HERE .

The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan prioritizes transportation investments that will contribute towards achieving the transportation performance measures. Click HERE to learn more about the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.
Hurricane Preparedness Resources for Coastal Residents and Special Needs Individuals
Forecasters are predicting the 2020 hurricane season will be a busy one, and H-GAC wants to make sure everyone in the region is prepared.

Residents who live in an evacuation zone are encouraged to download a printed and digital copy of the 2020 hurricane evacuation map to help determine the best route for them and their families if they are called to evacuate.

Visit TogetherAgainstTheWeather.com for tool kits and strategies on preparing your home and family for a hurricane or severe storm. The page also contains helpful materials for those caring for small children, special need individuals, and those with health conditions.

H-GAC Hurricane Experts Featured on 104.1 KRBE Radio Show "Around H-Town"

H-GAC transportation planners Stephan Gage and Justin Riley discussed hurricane preparedness and evacuation planning with Freddy Cruz, host of the 104.1 KRBE radio show "Around H-Town". Click HERE to listen to the interview. The segment is labeled "Around H-Town - Houston-Galveston Area Council - 07-19-20."
Register for Free, Upcoming H-GAC Webinars at New Hub Page
H-GAC has launched a new hub page offering residents and stakeholders a one-stop access point for all the agency's upcoming and past webinars. H-GAC routinely hosts webinars on regional matters such as transportation and mobility, community and environmental initiatives, business and economic development, public safety, workforce solutions, and aging and disability programs. All webinars are free and open to the public to attend.

Visit the H-GAC webinar hub at h-gac.com/webinars/. Bookmark the page in your favorite internet browser, and check back frequently for new, upcoming webinar events!
Upcoming Webinars of Interest

Tuesday, July 28
10-11:30 a.m.

The Bringing Back Main Street initiative offers local communities a place to share best practices and engage in a regional dialogue about revitalizing and supporting vibrant downtown spaces. Each quarter, community leaders gather for a roundtable on topics ranging from small business support to sidewalk infrastructure.

Click HERE to register. Contact Cheryl Mergo, cheryl.mergo@h-gac.com, for more information.
Past Webinars of Interest

Recorded April 13, 2020

Jamila Owens, manager of the H-GAC Travel Demand Management program, provided an in-depth snapshot of the state of telework in our region.

Click HERE to watch the webinar recording.
Next Brown Bag Webinar Featuring Brenda Bustillos at TxDOT Takes Place on Monday, Aug. 17
Mark your calendars for the next Brown Bag webinar on Monday, Aug. 17, featuring Brenda Bustillos, transportation engineer at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Bustillos will discuss ConnectSmart, a federally-funded program focused on deploying the latest advanced transportation technologies to help inform, manage, and reduce congestion within the Houston region.

Click HERE to save the Zoom webinar link and event information to your calendar.

Missed the last Brown Bag webinar? Click HERE to view the presentation slides from our latest Brown Bag speaker, Houston TranStar's Josh Shideler, on hurricane preparedness.
Brenda Bustillos, Ph.D., P.E.
Transportation Engineer
Use Mobility Links to Find Free or Affordable Transportation Options in Your Community

Need help finding free or affordable transportation options in your community? Mobility Links is a user-friendly, one-stop search hub with directory information on hundreds of providers of medical transport, commute assistance, taxi and shuttle services, meals on wheels, and other essential mobility services for residents throughout the 13-county Houston-Galveston region.

Mobility Links can be used by anyone in need of transportation services and is especially suited for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and low-income families. Results can be broken down by county service area, service type, passenger type, and organization name, and include each provider's hours of operation, cost information, contact information, scheduling requirements, and more.
Visit www.h-gac.com/mobility-links to find a transportation provider in your community. If you're a new mobility service provider and would like to be added to our list of providers, email RidesCustSvc@csd.hctx.net .
There's Still Time to Take the U.S. Census!
There's still time to take the 2020 U.S. Census online! Census results show where communities need new schools, clinics, roads and other services benefiting families, older adults and children. They help decide federal funding for disaster recovery, mental health services, medical benefits programs, education programs and much more. When you’re counted in the census, you’re helping to build a better community and a stronger Gulf Coast region.  

Complete the census online in less than 10 minutes at 2020census.gov . The census is also available by phone and by mail in more than 13 languages. Say YES to Census 2020, and help us shape the next 10 years for the Gulf Coast region. You deserved to be counted!
Upcoming Meetings

Friday, July 24, 2020 
9:30 - 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020
9:30 - 11 a.m.