Light rail planned for uptown district

December 10, 2009 2:46:01 PM PST
METRO has plans to add 30 more miles to its light rail line and we are starting to learn the details of exactly what it is they plan to do. METRO's light rail could be headed along one of the nation's busiest business districts. But it would mean major changes for the way traffic moves in and around the uptown Houston area. The area along Post Oak Boulevard is full of businesses, store fronts, and homes. It's also full of automobile traffic. But if a light rail plan created by METRO, the City of Houston, and the Uptown District gets the go-ahead, it could mean major changes along a four mile stretch of the road.

"The whole concept of this project is to develop this for pedestrians," said Mike Williams with METRO. "That's something the district has really taken upon themselves."

Those changes include adding 14 additional traffic signals, some of which would be for pedestrians, between Richmond and the Loop.

"They'll see more traffic signals," Williams said. "But hopefully they won't see a tremendous difference in how they move through the area. But there will be additional signals."

By making the area more pedestrian friendly, developers hope it becomes a unique place in the nation's fourth largest city. It's an idea those we talked to seemed to like.

Houstonian Thad Moore said, "I think hopefully it'll slow down a little bit of the traffic. People can park someplace else and catch the rail to go to some of the shopping and things like this."

"If you look at a lot of other previous construction projects that's gone on in town, it's a lot of inconvenience at first," said Houstonian Anthony Goss. "But when it's all said and done, everybody is really glad it happened. And I think it will definitely move people in and out a lot quicker."

The stretch would include six or seven stations-and the uptown district would share a large portion of the expansion costs.


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