Welcome to the
Boulevard Oaks Civic Association

 

Boulevard Oaks Civic Association
P.O. Box 540331
Houston, Texas 77254
Voice: (713) 528-2622

E-mail: info@boulevardoaks.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter of Support for Southwest Freeway Reconstruction

The Boulevard Oaks Civic Association (BOCA) strongly supports the current schedule for reconstruction of the Southwest Freeway and the building of the new exit ramp inbound at Main Street.

For many years, area neighborhood associations and businesses north and south of the freeway and other important institutions to Houston such as the Museum District, Hermann Park, Rice University and the Texas Medical Center have advocated for an exit ramp to Main Street to provide direct access to these areas and reduce cut-through traffic in our residential neighborhoods. Neighborhoods north and south of US59 formed the Southwest Freeway Alternative (SWAP) to advocate for the exit ramp, the lowering of the proposed 5-story HOV lane, the elimination of the Westpark flyover, depression of the freeway from Mandell to Main Street and beautification of the freeway. SWAP worked with TXDOT diligently for years on every aspect of the US59 design, including Spur 527. While TXDOT did not depress the Spur as hoped for by stakeholders, they have since 1994 engaged in extensive discussions with these stakeholders and made significant changes in the US59 project to accommodate community desires whenever feasible. These changes include:

  • Changing the main lanes project of US59 from an elevated structure to a depressed facility;
  • Changing the HOV lanes from an elevated structure to one flush with the main lanes;
  • Eliminating the Westpark flyover at Kirby;
  • Creating an inbound exit ramp to Main Street;
  • Engaging architects to design a series of beautiful freespan bridges over the freeway;
  • Engaging landscape architects to create a greenway on both sides of the freeway;
  • Redesigning the Main Street exit ramp area to accommodate a change in landscape design;
  • Responding to neighborhoods along the entire length of the freeway in the design of soundwalls;
  • Revising the construction phasing to permit one continuous lane of through traffic southbound on the Spur and northbound on the Spur feeder road via the Main Street exit ramp; and
  • Adjusting the construction schedule whenever possible to accommodate these changes and traffic management plans for the Super Bowl.

The stakeholders have been joined in this lengthy process by State Representative Garnet Coleman, former State Representative Debra Danburg, former City Council Member and now State Representative Martha Wong and City Council Members Ada Edwards, Mark Goldberg, Annise Parker and Carroll Robinson. We thank the Texas Department of Transportation and our local traffic and elected officials who have worked so hard to respond to community concerns.

Boulevard Oaks is the neighborhood directly adjacent to US59 on the south side of the freeway from just east of Kirby, east to Graustark and south to Bissonnet. BOCA has been actively involved with every part of this project. We empathize with WALQ's concerns since our neighborhood has been and will be impacted more than most by the US59 construction. However, the current cut-through traffic traveling from US59 south on Greenbriar to the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, the Museum District, Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo is extreme and has for years seriously impacted our residential neighborhood. The Main Street exit is absolutely critical for us.

The construction phase is undeniably painful but will result in vastly improved mobility in the inner city. We do not want this important project to be jeopardized or delayed as delay will only worsen our situation as we deal with a staggering increase in population in the inner city. We urge the City of Houston and METRO to continue working with TxDOT and the impacted neighborhoods to implement every reasonable measure to best manage traffic disruption during construction. However, in no event can we afford delay.

Sincerely,

Kay M. Peterson, President
Boulevard Oaks Civic Association
P.O. Box 540331
Houston, Texas 77254
713-528-BOCA (2622)