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Crry or Houston —___8yvesterTurmer_ Office ofthe Mayor Mayor Telephone 311 May 12,2020 Commissioner Laura Ryan Texas Transportation Commission 1256.11" Steet Austin, TX 78701 Re: North Houston Highway Improvement Project Dear Commissioner Ryan, ‘The Transportation Policy Council f the Houston-Galveston Area Council vl shot vate to adopt the 2021-2024 “Transporation Improvement Program, incusing funding for Segment 3 of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP). In advance ofthat action, I tank you forthe opportunity to provide the following comments, ‘The NHHIP isa potentially ransfemmative project that can provide more options for both people and freight and Provide flexibly forthe future. For many years, ™sDOT has been working wit their partners to develop a project ‘with signifcant, fasting benefis for the cy. The City of Houston looks forward to its continued colaboration vith ‘TxDOT to design and bull the NHHIP in such a way to further the goals and objectives identified by the Mayor's ‘Advisory Task Force, business/conmunity and advocacy groups, andthe thousands of people who participated in various community engagementmeetings. I done ight, this project can advance the goals of TxDOT and bring about significant improvements to -45 inits present coniguration, wile improving the quali of fe of those who lve and work along the I-45 coridor. To putt mildly, | believe we can al agree tat ths isa once-in-a-generation investment that wll shape the Ciy of Houston for decades to come. This is our chance to rise to the challenge land chart @ new cours for transportation in the region. tis crucial that every opportunity is taken to design and construct the best possible project, ‘My goals for ths project are below and center around a major theme of reducing the environmental impact and «upton of neighbomoods whe embracing growth ‘Stengtien Houston's econo. Reduce floading on and ofthe freeway. Make travel safer for allroad user. Provide longterm capacity forall users ofthe roadvay, including automoble, freight and transit ‘Serve and preserve the neighborhoods slong the corridor while enhancing connectivity between neighborhoods. Mitigate impacts to existing parks and greenspace while creating addtional opportunity for green space. + Limit rightotway tothe extent necessary to meet project goals, ie, reduce the current footprint of the proposed plan. + Eneure accessible evacuation routes. In order forthe project to meet our goals, | established an advisory group of Houston citizens to review the project. In addition, I askea the City of Houston Planning and Development Deparment to recommend ways to improve the project Over the past year, the advisory group has met monthly and the Panning Department have listened to the public by hosting nie public meetings and reading through 1,130 writen comments received to date by the (ity and TxDOT. \with these goals in mind, we have worked with all Cay departments, and partners at the County and METRO, to Cevelop a design vision forthe preject. The elements of the Vision are deseribed in deta in he attached pages. ‘The coordination between the Cty TxDOT and our parners has identified opportunities for civic improvements in reighborhoads around Segment 3. These are shown in the Technical Appendix and relate to improved Connections, additonal park spaces, urban design ennancements, future development opportunites, reuse of ROW and transit improvements, is rial to continue this coordination wth TOOT through procurement. design ‘and constuction to enable the realization of these highly desired civic improvements that will make NHHIP a signature project. | would also pent cut this ist of improvements in Segment Includes several crcl tems ‘heedad ta maintain the functionally of the George R. Brom Convention Center, and are also detailed in the attached pages, The cy recommends that Segment 3 be constructed to accommodate the improvements noted. For Segments 1 and 2, we incorporated the Technical Appendix herein tis later and attached fr your reference. \We ask that you consider the following ‘+ Design an alternate lane configuration for Segments 1 and 2 that measurably reduces the requited right ofsway, ‘+ Work with METRO to detemnine how regional express bus and bus rapid transit can reliably operate inthe corridor as partof the voter approved METRONext plan, including stops that serve the surtounding communiies. ‘+ Study now bridges and other highway elements can be designed to accommodate future flood mitigation land open space projects on Halls and Lite White Oak Bayous, ‘+ Study how fontage reads 2an be designed to improve safety and accommodate allroad users ‘Retain and expand ocal sreet connectviy, particularly for people walking and biking. Identity ways of lmproving the freeway aeshetics, especialy trough trees and landscaping, ‘Addlionally, | request that TxOOT work withthe cyto develop programs to ensure tha all dlsplaced residents ‘can reloats in their neighborhoods and affordable housing supply is not reduced, Together, these elements significantly contribute tothe City's goals. We propose to wotk in close coordination with TxDOT to evaluate how these elements may be Incorporated into the final design of Segments 1 and 2. In ‘tder to allow for sufcient review as revisions are proposed and incorporated, | suggest that Segments 1 and 2 be constructed through a Desigh-Bc-Build process, rather than the curently planned Design-Buld. | appreciate TXOOT's continued engagement withthe cty throughout the design process and look forward to ‘working with you to design a projet with postive impacts forthe community, the Ci of Houston, and the greater region Enclosure: Technical Append North Houston Highway Improvement Project PLANNING & ‘Technical Appendix to leter from Mayor Turner DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT Footprint Segment 1 and 2 Public comments resulted in one design concept for Segments 1 and 2 ofthe North Houston Highway Improvement Project. The foatprint and lane configuration of his vision is described as follows ‘+ Rebuld the highway within the curentfetprnt as much as possible, + No added main lanes. ‘+ Current reversible HOY lane is replaced with two-way, dedicated transi anes. ‘+ Design excoptions and lane widths and shoulder wid as requited to keep the footprint within the current right of way. + Reconstruction of interchanges and on- and of-ramps. The City requests to partner with TxDOT to study this and other alternate configurations for Segments 1 and 2 This study would incluce: ‘+ Acconfrmation of goals amongst TxDOT, Haris County, METRO, and the City ‘+ The development of anew alternative as described, along with any other altematives that TxDOT may identi ‘+ Traffe modeling forthe now altsmative with agreement onthe parameters for that traffic modeling ‘+ Robust public input ‘Segment 3 No significant changes to configuration or footprint as curently designed. Some modifications to ramps {and structures to allow for mgroverenis listed in other sections, Ensure seamless transition with new ‘altematve selected for Sagment 2, Tran: This project should expand transit options, increase the rlibilty of transit, and support the voter-approved METRONext plan ‘Segment 1 and 2 Segments 1 and 2 shouldbe designed to reliably 2ocommodate two-way all day transit seroe, 08 envisioned inthe METRONEx plan, The City believes tis willbe best accompished with dedicated trans lanes, separated by barers from main lanes and ather managed lanes, which would be used by METRO's planned North Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service as well as regional express sven by iutiple agencies, “TOOT should work with METRO to integrate the panned Nort BRT servic Inthe design ofthis projet. This should inctude inlrmesiate stations inthe freeway, with METRO doing a paall planing study and coordinating wih T

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