Archive for the 'meetings' Category

Richmond Avenue Workshop Saturday Jan 19

Monday, January 14th, 2008 is teaming up with other stakeholder organizations and institutions in our neighborhood to host a Richmond Avenue Workshop. This will be a highly interactive two hours designed to help define neighborhood-friendly rail — we’ll pose key questions, learn how others have addressed similar concerns and discuss ideas specific to Richmond. The workshop will be held 10 am to noon, Saturday January 19th at the University of St. Thomas Crooker Center.  For more details click here.

Please plan to join us!

METRO planning workshops for University Line

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

This Monday and Tuesday, METRO will hold the first official public meetings since they announced the final three alignment options for the University Line west of Main Street back in December.

These meetings are part of the required environmental process, and the public’s first opportunity to give METRO specific feedback about the remaining options. Here’s what RichmondRail supporters will tell METRO:

  • We want light rail for our neighborhoods.
  • We support the Richmond-to-Cummins option because it goes where we need to go.
  • We oppose Culberson’s elevated backyard option which leaves Richmond at Montrose-to-US59-to-Kirby-to-Westpark.
  • We want neighborhood-friendly design and amenities.
  • We want minimal disruption from construction and effective mitigation of impacts.

Fundamentally, we want neighborhood-friendly light rail transit for our urban neighborhoods. And we want it on Richmond Avenue through Neartown, Upper Kirby, and Greenway Plaza. If you agree with us, be sure to sign our online petition of support! And consider attending one of METRO’s meetings:

What:METRO University Line (West Side) Open House and Planning Workshop
When:Monday, March 26, two sessions:

Open House from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm;
Open House & Planning Workshop from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Renaissance Hotel at Greenway Plaza, 6 Greenway Plaza East. Hotel parking will be complimentary.

A second set of sessions on Tuesday, March 27, will focus primarily on the University line east of Main Street, and will be held at the UH Hilton. METRO says the public may attend either day if unable to attend the appropriate day.

See you there!

What a turnout! What an impact!

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

RichmondRail supporters at rally
Community support for RichmondRail at Thursday’s rally and town hall meeting was tremendous! What a surprise it must have been for Rep. John Culberson and his anti-rail cohorts to enter a room dominated by RichmondRail supporters, all sporting our message on buttons and t-shirts.

Neighborhood leaders speaking to press
A big thanks to everyone who showed up! Thanks especially to Adra Hooks, Allen Ueckert, Doug Childers, Jay Crossley, Jonathan Paull, Julie Orser Odermatt, Laura Mullen, Michael Massa, and Paul Lester for addressing the media! Thanks also to everyone who helped with signs, buttons, displays, and logistics!

Our mission Thursday night was not to change the Congressman’s views — fat chance! — but to forcefully convey the breadth of support for rail on Richmond, and we did! We captured the attention of Houston media and garnered some great press, including Friday’s Houston Chronicle editorial! We also enjoyed positive coverage from KUHF, KTRH, Fox, and the Examiner. Coverage has continued for a week culminating in the Chronicle’s best article to date: “Culberson’s meeting attracts vocal crowd”! Working together, our message is getting through loud and clear!

Town hall meeting this Thursday!

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

This Thursday, Congressman John Culberson will host a town hall meeting not too far from Richmond Avenue. We’re planning to be there. Mr. Culberson continues to insist that “the majority of people along Richmond” oppose rail, but we know that just isn’t true. We invite you to come out with us Thursday night and let the Congressman — and the media — hear what his constituents really think!

What: Congressional District 7 Town Hall Meeting
When: Thursday, February 22, 2007 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Rice University, McNair Hall, Shell Auditorium (campus map)
Enter from Rice Blvd., gate #20. Free parking will be available in the Central Campus Garage beneath McNair Hall.

Supporters workshop this Saturday

Monday, January 1st, 2007

We still have a lot of work to do because METRO’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. Just identifying the best alignment won’t get it built. Even now, some rail opponents are pushing for Culberson’s option, and others are working to kill this line entirely. The no-build option remains a real threat. is committed to getting the University line built where the people are, on Richmond (not on the edge of US-59). We have until March 2007 — when METRO circulates the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public comment — to cement public support for this line, and we need your help to do it.

This Saturday, January 6, we will host an educational workshop for Richmond Rail supporters. We are bringing in experts to help us understand the facts behind the options and make us better advocates. We will also lay out our next steps:

  • David Crossley of the Gulf Coast Institute will show us where the people are with job and housing demographics in the corridor
  • Christof Spieler of the Citizens’ Transportation Coalition will compare how METRO’s three remaining options affect Neartown, Greenway Plaza, Uptown, and Gulfton
  • Doug Childers, our chair, will outline next steps and upcoming issues for

This 90-minute session is intended to present critical information and answer many of your questions. We will also distribute our free “We want rail on Richmond” buttons and bumper magnets. We hope you will join us! Please refer to your email for the location and time. Put it on your calendar now!

Community meets at Ervan Chew

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Hundreds of residents and concerned citizens gathered at Ervan Chew park on Saturday to discuss developments in the debate over light rail on Richmond. sponsored the event. We invited supporters and members of the Neartown neighborhood to attend. A handful (I counted 4) of citizens opposed to a Richmond alignment were present. Ervan Chew Park is located on the border of the Richwood Place and Castle Court neighborhoods and is one of the parks that could be impacted by a phony light rail alignment suggested by Representative John Culberson and Council Member Anne Clutterbuck.

Overwhelming support for Richmond alignment
Those that gathered were overwhelmingly in favor of a Richmond alignment. They talked about visiting other cities and experiencing convenient and efficient public transit systems. They talked about how Richmond is such an important commercial corridor and all the places it links – (more…)

Neartown Leaders meet with Council Members

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

On Monday, August 7, about 50 community members gathered in a meeting organized by Council Member Ada Edwards. The meeting was called in response to the anouncement by METRO on Friday that they intended to study an alternative alignment along the North side of US 59, between Mandell and Shepherd. METRO indicated in their announcement that the alternative study had been requested by Council Member Anne Clutterbuck and Rep John Culberson. CM Anne Clutterbuck was there to explain her role in Metro’s decision. Council Member Sue Lovell and Pam Holm also spoke briefly at the meeting.

Ada Edwards began the meeting by saying that she had been blind sided by METRO’s announcement and decision to study the alternative alignment along the North side of 59. She noted initial anger at CM Clutterbuck and METRO for not communicating their plans in advance. CM Clutterbuck indicated that METRO misunderstood the
nature of her request -that she intended for them to study the option of cantilevering the line over the SW Freeway. She said that in no way was she advocating putting the line on private property or in the City Park. She apologized profusely to CM Edwards and to the community for not communicating her intentions before the METRO announcement.

According to the Chronicle on Saturday, Culberson’s proposal, would run “from Richmond in the vicinity of the University of St. Thomas to U.S. 59 (Southwest Freeway) to a transition point into the Westpark right-of-way.” The Chronicle further described how this idea was conveyed to Culberson by Ted Richardson - an Afton Oaks Resident. What is John Culberson thinking? Is there anyway to get from Richmond to 59 around St. Thomas, without barrelling through private property?

Community members at the Edwards meeting unanimously voiced their sense of betrayal, pointing out that this option had been previously discussed and removed from the table - for many reasons. Others simply said ‘no way’! CM Edwards asked for a show of hands of support for the proposed alignment; noone raised their hand. One resident asked if City Council could ask METRO to take this option ‘off the table’, again! The meeting ended with a commitment from CM Edwards to communicate with everyone as the process goes forward.

This debacle is the direct result of Congressman Culberson’s phony deadline and his intervention in a Federally mandated process. He has intervened in a local matter. His recent grandstand appearance in front of the Mobility Coalition’s anti-rail rally at James Coney Island, demonstrated that he simply does not care about mobility for Houston or what any of us want. Leadership is apparently foreign to his character.

Responding to METRO’s new study in a press release and letter to Martha Wong, the Mobility Coalition (so called) showed their true colors. They would rather the University line run through the yards, houses and parks of Castle Court and Richwood Place than on the public right of way in Afton Oaks:

“ and friends and neighbors of Richmond Avenue are encouraged by the latest proposal for a new light rail alignment in the University Corridor”

A few vocal zealots in Afton Oaks are pretending to speak for all of the residents in the Richmond Corridor. Please join us and let your elected officials know that you support rail in the existing right of way, where the people and businesses are. A new right of way through our homes and parks is absurd - nothing more than a political detour engineered by those who do not want rail at all. We think METRO and the community should take adequate time to explore the options, compare cost, true community impact and ridership. But we should not let a few vocal nay-sayers undermine our transit future. Neartown is 30,000 strong - let your voices be

First scoping meetings this week!

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Obviously, LOTS of people are thinking and talking about METRO’s Univiersities light rail line. We sure are!

You need to know about two important meetings this week. METRO is holding “scoping” meetings, which are our official opportunity to tell METRO where we want the rail to go:

  • Tuesday, June 27th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis, Houston, Texas 77004, and

  • Thursday, June 29th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Select, 2712 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas, 77098.

Expect an informal workshop, where you can view maps and displays on your own and communicate one-on-one with METRO staff. The most important thing for you to do at the meeting is is submit your comments. You can write them down on a comment card, or say them to one of the official stenographers.

Tell them you want rail access down Richmond Avenue, and tell them where you want it to go. Be specific: name all the places you want to go and the locations you want rail to serve.

Even if you can’t make it to one of these meetings, you still need to tell METRO where you think the University line should go. Let them know you support the project and make your ideas part of the official project record. You can submit your comments three more ways:

The deadline for submitting comments is July 14, 2006 for the scoping phase. If this deadline is extended we’ll let you know.

Town Hall Mtg April 12

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Friends of Richmond Rail:
We are pleased with all the support for our efforts to bring reason to the discussion about the future University Corridor light rail line. This is one of the most important times in Houston’s history. Don’t let the politics of fear undermine the right answers for Houston’s future. Join us now!

Come to the Public Meetings and show your support for the best transportation system in the right places - Where the People are!

There are 4 Public meetings this week as shown below.

All meetings start at 6:30 PM – show up early to get a badge

Monday, April 10 - Upper Kirby, San Jacinto Girl Scouts HQ, 3110 SW Fwy

Tuesday, April 11 – Neartown/Montrose – Bering Memorial United Methodist, 1440 Harold

Wednesday, April 12 – This is most important – Come early to ensure seating; Rice University McNair Hall – Shell Auditorium;
Rice Blvd / Entrance 20 - Town Hall Meeting with John Culberson

Wednesday, April 12 –Larchmont, St. George, Gulfton - Pilgrim Elementary School, 3315 Barrington

For more info:

Mobilize this Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

It’s time to let our media and elected leaders know that WE care about the future of Richmond, too! You can be part of a brand-new campaign to support rail on the parts of Richmond Avenue that matter.

Supporters will launch the campaign this Wed Apr 5 at 5:30 pm at Poe Elementary. Meet on the big deck at the corner of Hazard and North, before the first council district forum to kick off this campaign. Campaign stickers and placards will be distributed for use during the meeting.

Numbers matter so YOU should come and bring your friends. The anti-Richmond-rail crowd will assuredly attend, so all of us should attend, too. They’ve printed more than 5,000 yard signs, held rallies, done telephone push-polling, and sent direct mailers. Your presence will help the media figure out that we care about Richmond, too. And your personal effort to recruit friends to participate will make the difference between 15 participants and 150!

If you’re interested in supporting the campaign, contact

First public forum: Wed Apr 5 at 6:30 pm Poe Elementary School (Boulevard Oaks, Neartown) 5100 Hazard St at North Blvd, Houston, 77098

Our district Houston City Council Members are co-hosting this round of public meetings in the Universities corridor with METRO. See METRO’s website for all 8 meeting dates: