More Opportunities for Public Comment Coming This Month
by Dorothy Puch Lillig
Nearly 100 Spring Branch District residents and business owners gathered in September at The Branch pub and eatery to enjoy bites and beverages — and to hear about plans for the Spring Branch Trail Project, one of “7 Projects to Follow” in SBMD.
The regional 11-mile trail corridor was presented in seven segments illustrating the type of trail, the destinations it would serve, the opinion of probable cost, and partners to consider for implementation. Large boards presenting these trail segments were spaced throughout the room for people to get a closer look and to provide comments and ask questions of staff.
“The input received by the meeting attendees was largely positive and in support of the overall project. Most attendees expressed excitement for having a trail in the Spring Branch area and support it wholeheartedly. There were less than a handful of the 90+ meeting participants who were opposed to the trail by virtue of flood-related concerns and safety,” said Chelsea Young of TEI, the firm working on the effort led by the Spring Branch Management District in partnership with the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
Young said attendees expressed their support, interest, concerns and other comments through sticky notes placed on the large board presentations of the segmented trail and also spoke with consultant team members and SBMD staff.
The public feedback and information received at the public meeting will be summarized in a report for the Spring Branch Trail Study Report that will be viewable and open for public comments later this month. The public comments will be shared with the SBMD staff and board members and will be considered when decided on which trail segments to implement in the near future.
Community members can give input now by submitting a message through the Spring Branch Management District’s website contact form here: https://sbmd.org/contact/
The design of the first phase of the Spring Branch Trail is almost finished and construction will begin in early 2020. It is “Segment 5” from the Spring Branch Trail study and is being led by the SBMD and Houston Parks Board for implementation. The segment will hopefully be completed by summer of 2021, Young said.
The first phase of the Spring Branch Trail will connect Blalock Road to Wirt Road within a CenterPoint easement, connecting Buffalo Creek Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, and Landrum Middle School with safe crossings and neighborhood access points.
Once the Spring Branch Trail report has been finalized by the end of 2019, the SBMD will use that report to pursue the next phases of implementation by coordinating with appropriate partners, securing funding, and then initiating full design for future construction.
The project presents opportunities for a continuous regional trail connecting the Addicks Reservoir through Spring Branch, to the White Oak Bayou along off-street CenterPoint easements and some on-street protected biking and walking locations where utilizing the easement is not feasible. These connections will reach beyond the Addicks Reservoir and White Oak Bayou into the Energy Corridor and into downtown via the White Oak Bayou trail.
Timing for full 11-mile trail implementation could take ten years but pieces of it could be implemented sooner, Young said.
Read more about “7 Projects to Follow” here: https://sbmd.org/7projectstofollow/.