HOUSTON (KTRK) --With construction already underway, opponents of the Post Oak bus lines still want it stopped. On Monday, they asked Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to stop it. They announced the DA is investigating land deals (the DA had no comment). And if those options fail to stop the plan, they also announced a legal fund to pursue potential lawsuits against the project.
The project will build dedicated bus lanes for buses from the Bellaire Transit Center to the Northwest Transit Center. It would include dedicated bus-only lanes on the West Loop. It will cost $300 million public dollars. That money comes from the taxes collected by public groups connected to Uptown Houston.
In the morning news conference outside the cosmopolitan condominium high-rise, dozens of Uptown residents said the project would make traffic worse, pointing to the existing bus line on Post Oak, which draws slightly more than 2,000 boardings per day, according to METRO statistics.
"It's absolutely not a comparison," said John Breeding, Uptown Houston's director.
Breeding pointed out his projections predict 14,000 boardings once the bus lanes are open and running sometime in 2018 or 2019.
Breeding said he is not concerned by the opponents' latest moves. He said the project can be vetted by numerous groups and will go forward.
The group of opponents filed a criminal complaint with the Harris County District Attorney's Office earlier this spring. They claim the DA continues to investigate. They want the DA to look at land purchases through eminent domain claiming that influential directors on Uptown's board also sold land to the project. Breeding doesn't deny that happened, but says all of the deals were approved by attorneys and were widely vetted.
The group is also calling for an independent traffic study of the project and a halt on any new high-rise construction until that study can be completed.