For Immediate Release
September 26, 2003


West Houston Board of Directors
Statement on Mobility

One of, if not the primary key to Houston’s future is its ability to successfully address the challenges of current and future congestion. Recognizing that mobility funds are finite, these funds must be directed in a manner that will achieve the greatest reduction in congestion for the funds invested. The West Houston Association applies a very simple test in assessing mobility plans:

  1. available funds must be utilized in the most efficient manner and yield the greatest impact (cost/benefit) on congestion relief;
  2. all projects must be analyzed on the same basis and ranked accordingly.

An extensive review of currently available data clearly demonstrates that in order for our region to improve its mobility, we must be willing to commit to a much greater investment in all transportation systems, including both roadways and transit. The planning, design and implementation of these systems must correlate to our region’s dispersed population and employment centers.

In order to effectively plan for our region’s future needs, all agencies and elected officials with responsibility for these systems must begin to work together in a unified and cohesive manner. No one agency should be planning systems without involvement and buy-in from all the agencies involved in this effort. There simply are not sufficient funds to allow this to continue.

The 100% Solution process being crafted by the traffic planners at the Houston-Galveston Area Council realizes that in excess of 95% of daily passenger trips are currently and will continue to be served through non-transit means. The 100% Solution process:

  1. Recognizes that Houston’s employment is widely dispersed with less than 10% of our region’s employment located downtown,
  2. Will add additional capacity where needed,
  3. Upgrades key thoroughfares into “super-streets” with grade separated intersections,
  4. Provides for a region-wide computerized traffic signalization system, and
  5. Recognizes that transit should be an element in its plan.

Recognizing that congestion does not stop at governmental boundaries, we urge that a far more comprehensive, integrated and balanced plan—a plan that takes into account the reality of finite funding and the cost/benefit of each mobility component—be developed between Metro, the City of Houston, the Transportation Policy Council, Harris and surrounding counties and TxDOT. The time is now for our elected officials and community leaders to commit to take this bold step forward.

Accordingly, the West Houston Association Board of Directors recommends that the impending Metro referendum be postponed until an integrated plan can be crafted.