The people came with passion. The people came with data. The people came with reminders that widening highways does not reduce congestion and increases tailpipe emissions in the long run. A local furniture mogul came with a paraphrase from William Jennings Bryan about "crucifying [Houstonians] on a cross of concrete."
This is a sequel to yesterday's post about the North Houston Highway Improvement Project. The first expenditures on Segment 2 of the project got the go-ahead today, despite strong opposition from advocacy groups and Near Northside residents whose neighborhoods will be affected.
Only a few people spoke in favor of the NHHIP; dozens including Gallery Furniture entrepreneur "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, spoke against it. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston City Councilmember Dwight Boykins offered motions to delay the vote, which was all the crowd was requesting. But a majority of the Transportation Policy Council had already made up its collective mind to spend the first $100 million dollars toward what McIngvale called "the $7 Billion Boondoggle."
Hidalgo cast the only Yes vote on her motion to delay. The rest of the TPC is ready to let the bulldozers roll.
Here are a few links to reports in local media sources:
“This plan is not a good plan for the city of Houston and represents the past and not the future of transportation in the City of Houston,” former district judge and Metropolitan Transit Authority board member Dwight Jefferson said, noting how prior freeway projects—including I-45—cut large gashes in black and Latino communities.
A few years ago, in the wake of my run for the US Senate, beloved friends and HAUSmates started calling me "Senator." The nickname stuck, and it has become my playa-name in the Burner community. It helps distinguish me from the other Davids in that crowd, not all of whom even have playa-names.
BikeHouston calls me an Ambassador, meaning that I (a) help promote the interests of the organization in my area of town and (b) help shape its approach to policy initiatives in city government. Last night, a couple dozen of us ambassadors got together at the BH office and did some (b) work.
Several BH initiatives and programs came under discussion, including:
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.