Archive for March, 2007

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!

Bringing it to the bottom line!

Monday, March 19th, 2007

RichmondRail supporters are amazing!

Last Tuesday, more than 80 rail supporters dined at Maria Selma’s Mexican Restaurant (review) in support of rail on Richmond! Your support was so overwhelming that we not only filled the restaurant inside, but also spilled out to fill the new palapa outside, too. Thank you, all, for our best turnout ever!

Our thanks also go out to radio stations KTRH and KUHF (story) who came out to cover our event and tell our stories!

As we return each week on Tuesday — or any day — to local spots like Maria Selma, Pepino‚Äôs, El Pueblito, Blue Fish House and others, we reinforce our mutual relationships with the owners. With our help, they are learning more about rail transit, and they know that we will be there for them through construction and beyond!

If our positive approach makes sense to you, consider joining us for an upcoming Tuesday Night Out:

  • Tuesday, March 27: Hobbit Cafe, 2243 Richmond near Greenbriar
  • Tuesday, April 3: Ninfa’s, 3601 Kirby Drive at Richmond
  • Tuesday, April 10: Harlow’s, 3839 Weslayan St. off Richmond

Join us for Tuesday Nights Out!

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Have you heard? Richmond Rail supporters put our money where our mouths are!

Every Tuesday for five months — 22 Tuesdays and counting — we are demonstrating our community support for Richmond Avenue businesses and for light rail on Richmond.

This Tuesday, lots of us will be at Maria Selma Mexican Restaurant — dining in groups and individually — to let owner Rene Hidalgo know that we want rail on Richmond in front of his restaurant and we support him, too. Here’s why:

The many wonderful restaurants on lower Richmond Avenue play a big part in making Neartown and Upper Kirby vital places to live and work. Studies show that restaurants are often the first businesses to benefit when rail service begins — rail transit brings hungry customers! But many Richmond restaurant owners are fearful of the disruption created during rail construction.

It’s in our interest to ensure these businesses survive and thrive. Tuesday Nights Out are our way of showing Richmond business owners that RichmondRail supporters are their customers today and will continue to support them throughout construction. When we show up as a group of customers sporting green and white RichmondRail buttons and t-shirts, it sends a powerful message that we support rail and we support their businesses. And we estimate that we have spent more than $10,000 in these restaurants to date, which doesn’t hurt either!

So this Tuesday, consider joining us… for dinner and for rail:

What: Tuesday Nights Out for RichmondRail
When: Tuesday, March 13 between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Where: Maria Selma Mexican Restaurant, 1619 Richmond Ave. near Mandell, 77006 (map)

And if our positive approach makes sense to you, consider signing our petition of support for rail on Richmond!

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!