Archive for the 'supporters' Category

Thanks for a great workshop!

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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More than 70 of us spent Saturday morning hearing the latest about METRO’s six remaining University line options. We were rewarded with fantastic, informative presentations by David Crossley of the Gulf Coast Institute and Christof Spieler of the Citizens’ Transportation Coalition.

They made it clear to all of us that we still have a lot of work to do. Just identifying the most cost-effective alignment — from Richmond to Cummins to Westpark — won’t get it built. The no-build option remains a real threat.

Further, drawing a line in the right place on the map won’t make rail neighborhood-friendly. The devil will be in the details. There are many important decisions yet to be made, like where will the stations be and what will our streetscapes look like?

As Councilmember Peter Brown reminded us, we need to start making a lot of noise if we want to ensure this line gets put in the right place and that the City of Houston and METRO get the details right! Stay involved!

For the future of Houston

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

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In the fifty years that I have lived in Houston, I have seen many changes - some good and some bad. I remember when Richmond Avenue was a two lane street that stopped at Post Oak. I remember when Gerald Hines got his start by building small office buildings near Buffalo Speedway; I even helped to design some of them. I remember when a whole neighborhood of nice little houses was torn down so that Greenway Plaza could be built. I remember when Richmond was widened into four lanes and then a year or so later torn up to install a new utility line. Now I am witnessing even more changes along Richmond - old apartment complexes and office buildings being replaced by new apartments, a huge HISD complex being converted into shops and apartments, explosive growth on the west side of town…the list could go on and on. The point is that Richmond Avenue, just like most of Houston, has been changing for at least 50 years, and it will continue to do so for the forseeable future. The street will not stay just like it is. It could become another multi-lane Westheimer-outside-the-Loop, or it could have a light rail line added down the middle to handle the coming increase in traffic, thus preventing the need to add more traffic lanes.

As an architect and urban planner, that is the kind of growth that I would like to see. I travel Richmond frequently as I go between my residence in Midtown and my office on Weslayan at West Alabama. With the rail in Richmond, I could get on the light rail in Midtown and ride to the Weslayan Station, close enough to my office to walk the rest of the way. Or, I could join friends for an evening at the regular Art Crawls along Richmond and Colquitt (Kirby Station) and not have to worry about finding a parking place or driving home. This is all part of making Houston a city of the future, a place where we can truly have options in the way we travel about the city.

It is time for us to get past the misinformation and the fears and start embracing the most feasible way to provide transportation options where the people are!

Houstonians want rail on Richmond!

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

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It’s true! We asked you to sign our online petition to show your support for rail on Richmond. In just two weeks, more than 700 Houstonians have signed up!

We told you that we would make sure your voices are being heard. So we just sent all of the petitions to METRO, Mayor White, Judge Eckels, Rep. Culberson, and all of the relevant elected officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels. We introduced them with this letter:

TO:
Mr. David S. Wolff, METRO, Mr. Frank Wilson, METRO, Members of the METRO board

CC:
Mr. John Culberson, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee, Ms. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mr. John Cornyn, Mr. Garnet Coleman, Ms. Martha Wong, Mr. Bill White, Mayor, Ms. Anne Clutterbuck, Ms. Ada Edwards, Ms.Pam Holm, Mr. Robert Eckels, Mr. El Franco Lee, Ms. Sylvia Garcia, Mr. Steve Radack, Mr. Jerry Eversole

Dear Mr. Wolff and Mr. Wilson:

In just 15 days, more than 700 Houstonians have signed their support for this clear statement:

“I support neighborhood-friendly light rail on Richmond Avenue.”

We are residents, business owners, workers, and students living and working on or near Richmond Avenue. We are civic leaders and professionals with a stake in Houston’s quality of life and economic vitality. We are landowners and institutions with a specific interest in the long term health of Richmond Avenue. And we want light rail on Richmond.

We want to preserve and enhance the quality of life and vitality of our neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions. We want to ensure the long term quality and success of our neighborhoods through the addition of light rail along Richmond Avenue from Main Street to its connection with the Uptown line and beyond.

Houston will not have a healthy and vital future without a mass transportation system that is built where the people, places, and destinations are. RichmondRail.org will be fighting for rail on Richmond and for solutions that maximize the benefit for all citizens - and minimize the negative impacts on businesses and neighborhoods in the corridor.

In the coming weeks, we will be signing up thousands more residents, institutions, and businesses along the Richmond corridor that support a Richmond alignment. The more than 700 Houstonians listed with this letter are just a taste of the broad based support for and logic of a Richmond rail alignment.

We expect METRO to thoroughly study and expertly design the Richmond alignment. We expect our local elected leaders to support it. And we expect our Congressional representatives to fund it.

Sincerely,

Doug Childers, Chair
RichmondRail.org
doug@richmondrail.org

We even faxed the whole stack of names — all 46 pages — to Rep. Culberson’s office in Washington!

Culberson keeps telling everyone that he won’t let METRO build rail anywhere the people don’t want it. The more petitions we get, the harder it will be for Culberson to claim that no one wants rail on Richmond!

Can you help us build our base? Ask your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to sign the RichmondRail petition, either online or on paper. And ask them to do it soon!

Thanks to everyone who already signed the petition.

For my daughters…

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

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My name is Jonathan Paull and I am a father of two daughters. My 2-year-old has asthma that is aggravated by Houston’s smog, and I want my girls to grow up in a city where they have other options of getting around other than cars. We live just off Dunlavy and a rail line down Richmond will let me take my girls to Mandell Park, to the Children’s Museum, to school, and to all the restaurants and shopping that are along Richmond, not Westpark. As a parent I will feel better knowing that my daughters can choose a safe dependable rail system instead of a car (especially during their teenage years). And I hope they will want to live in a Houston that is vibrant, connected and safe; instead of avoiding a Houston that continues to deteriorate in more road-building, traffic, pollution and sprawl.

For better access…

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

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My name is Jason. I have lived and worked in the Greenway Plaza/Timmons area for 3 years. I have muscular dystrophy and I’m in a wheelchair, and METRO buses and trains take me to work and other activities everyday. The Universities rail line extension down Richmond will not only make my life easier, but also enhance the mobility needs of persons with disabilities and improve the quality of life for all Houstonians.



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