W. Airport Extension is Now Open

Two years and four months ago, I joined Council Member Green, Donald Perkins, TX DOT, James Construction and members of our community for the ground breaking ceremony for the W. Airport extension project. We were excited to celebrate the coming of another much needed mobility project in District K.

Friday, June 19th, we held a small but significant ribbon cutting celebration to mark the official opening of W. Airport from Hiram Clarke to Almeda Road. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were unable to have a public ceremony but that did not stop us from commemorating this occasion in District K fashion.

This newly built 2.5 mile, east/west connection consists of a 4-lane divided (raised median) concrete pavement, concrete curb and gutter, signing, pavement markings, storm sewers, drainage ditches, retaining walls, new signals and illumination coming soon. The project also includes 6’ sidewalks a dedicated bike path, two new bridges: C-146 Channel and C-161 HCFCD Channel, two new ponds and landscaping along the roadway and around the ponds. The total cost of the project was $22,634, 383.

This project, like so many others is extra special to our community. I’m so honored to continue the work we started together. Ride through and check out the newest streets in District K!

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association Celebrates Juneteenth in District K

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association celebrated Juneteenth (Friday, June 19th) with a week long Tasting Tour in support of black-owned restaurants around the city. Our city’s restaurant industry is greatly strengthened by our diversity. Juneteenth was a perfect time to celebrate our black businesses and the history of our nation, especially in Texas.

It was our pleasure for District K Chief of Staff, DiDi Chavis and I to welcome the GHRA members to Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill. Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill is located at 8270 W. Bellfort Ave., specializing in authentic Jamaican cuisine and American favorites. Every meal is prepared by Jamaica-native, Chef Terron, who is passionate about sharing the essence of his culture with every recipe he creates. Check them out on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives then go taste the food for yourself!

The GHRA also visited Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering in District C, Blakes BBQ & Burgers in District F, Neyow’s Creole Cafe in District J and Triple J’s Smokehouse and BBQ Catering in District B on their Juneteenth Tasting Tour. Thank you GHRA for highlighting some of our local favorite restaurants and supporting our vast community of local black restaurant owners.

The Greenbriar Drive Bridge is Re-Opened

The Greenbriar Drive Bridge over Brays Bayou is officially open again. On Monday, June 15th, I joined Matt Zeve, HCFCD representatives, Congressman Al Green, Commissioner Rodney Ellis and guest for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. This is especially significant as we enter a hurricane season that has been deemed an active one. The Greenbriar bridge is one of more than 30 bridges being re-constructed along the 21-mile length of Project Brays. It is an active, multi-year $480 million project and is the largest partnership project the Flood Control District and US Army Corps of Engineers have conducted to date.

When completed, Project Brays will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for 15,000 structures in the Brays Bayou watershed.

The new Greenbriar Drive bridge is higher, longer and wider than the bridge it replaced, allowing for the expansion of the bayou below it. The new bridge includes a through lane in each direction, a left turn lane, a U-Turn lane and an expanded 10 foot sidewalk for pedestrians and cyclists. The total construction cost estimate for the bridge is about $4.8 million with the city of Houston contributing toward the cost of the sidewalk enhancement. This is progress!

FY 2021 City of Houston Budget Passes Unanimously as does my Bandit Sign Amendment

Our city budget is one of the most important policy instruments of our local government. On Wednesday, June 10th, the Houston City Council unanimously approved the FY 2021 budget which begins July 1, 2020.

During our budget discussion I introduced my budget amendment to deter the numerous amount of bandit signs being placed in our communities. I am happy to announce the amendment passed unanimously and we can now seek civil penalties for repeat offenders up to $1000 per sign.

We are spending thousands of dollars each month to remove these signs each day. The culprits who continue to put these signs out, were not deterred by the current $300-$500 fine associated with the Class C misdemeanor. It is my hope that this additional measure will help to discourage predatory businesses from continuing to trash up our neighborhoods and blocking our drains. We need to be able to asses a higher fine to these repeat offenders, who totally disregard our city ordinance and continue placing these signs in the city right of ways, on telephone poles and in the esplanades. I appreciate Mayor Turner and each of my council colleagues for their support as we work to keep not only District K clean, but the entire city.

Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee Meeting Info

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meets to review matters relating to: Houston Police, Houston Fire, Houston Emergency Center, EMS, Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security, and Municipal Courts.

The next scheduled Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee will meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 25th via Microsoft Teams. The agenda is attached and will be posted online: https://www.houstontx.gov/council/committees/publicsafety.html. The presentation materials will be posted on the web page as soon as they are available.

The committee meeting will be streamed on HTV or can be watched online via the public-access link: https://bit.ly/PSHS52520

To sign up for public comment, members of the public must fill out the online form at https://bit.ly/37Pgljy before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24. We hope you are available to participate in the meeting to have your concerns addressed. If you are unable to participate, please send any comments to [email protected].