September 15, 2020
The big picture by Houston's first-ever Chief Transportation Planner, David Fields.
August 19, 2020
Local and national experts discuss how transportation infrastructure projects, like the proposed I-45 expansion, impact community health.
September 6, 2019
February 27, 2019
December 16, 2015
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Subject: NHHIP, Delaying Final EIS
We are writing to you from our homes where we are scared and alone, confined to wait out a storm we cannot see. Even though we are spread out and disenfranchised by this virus, we are nonetheless committed to our democracy and to environmental justice. We are writing to ask you to advocate to delay the Final Environmental Impact Statement, consider other options for the design of I-45, and bring transparency to the Steering Committee’s Process.
Vision C is not enough. It leaves EaDo vulnerable to utter destruction and does not right any of our old wrongs related to the construction of freeways. For a project this big we should consider a CityMap, exhaust the exploration of all possible alternatives, and cultivate a culture of zero-tolerance relating to displacement. Freeways do not belong in our urban core. We need to make use of existing capacity to develop truly creative, innovative solutions that protect communities most impacted by the existence of I-45.
This is not the time to release the final Environmental Impact Statement from TxDOT. Priorities shifted, and anxiety is high. People fear the virus, economic instability, mortality, and the disruption of their lives’ routines. It is too much to ask that citizens remain engaged in this projects’ development at this time. The City and TxDOT should delay the Final EIS until such a time that we are able to gather again.
The Steering Committee was shrouded in mystery from very early in this process, and that elusivity persists. The electricity of the moment highlights the injustice: Houston’s ultra-wealthy gather behind closed doors amid pandemic scare to decide the fates particularly of poor Houstonians of color for decades to come. The Steering Committee needs to provide their decision making framework and criteria for public review, and decisions should be postponed until the public can be allowed to attend open-door meetings.
The Mayor and City of Houston have demonstrated a commitment to public engagement surrounding the NHHIP. That commitment should not falter at this moment. Delay the final EIS, explore all possible options to prevent displacement, and open the Steering Committee for public scrutiny and engagement.
Thank you for your time,