Opponents Say Heights Walmart Could Tie-Up Traffic
by: Laurie Johnson, September 7, 2010 9:09:00 pm
The organization Responsible Urban Development for Houston has spear-headed the anti-Walmart effort. It now says the development could impact traffic in the neighborhood more than it previously thought. A new traffic analysis commissioned by the group shows there are actually fewer vehicle trips currently along some of the streets that border the development than previously thought. The group's Nick Urbano says even if the developer widens Koehler, a key east-west street that runs along the north edge of the property, it still won't mean traffic relief for the neighborhood.
"From what we've seen, from the pictures that have been released, they're only talking about widening Koehler on the north side of the development. There's been no discussions about widening it all the way through the neighborhood. There have been no discussions about how they're going to address the other streets where traffic is going to flow around. So, that's all that we've seen. Essentially, what we've seen in the plans benefits the development and not the neighborhood."
Urbano says a so-called 380 agreement that could mean the developer would improve and widen area streets to handle more traffic is, in theory, a good idea. But, he says, it doesn't appear that will be enough.
"I believe that the 380 can be used as a responsible tool, I genuinely do. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel like and it doesn't seem like the use or implementation of it right now is really meeting the needs of the community and we'll have to see if that changes."
Urbano says his organization has requested a meeting with the city and the developer on the traffic concerns and has yet to hear back.
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