Occasional Post contributor Aaron Day gives his reaction to an urban renovation initiative proposed for his hometown
As Texas City plans to progress its large amount of rural land lying between I-45 and SH-146, it’s easy to forget the already developed area that lies to the east of the state highway.
With the city seeking to modernize and provide a more welcoming environment, there are specific areas within the city that are in need of improvement.
Fortunately, Texas City has been selected by Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Livable Center advisory committee to help make our city’s advancement possible.
The Livable Centers program focuses on working cities wishing to develop themselves and making them more family and environment friendly by providing more options for people to walk or ride a bicycle.
This is achieved not only by laying out more sidewalks and bike trails but by renovating underdeveloped areas and creating a more attractive infrastructure.
Having worked with city hall and seeking feedback on the matter from the various communities of Texas City in a Livable Centers study, the committee presented its recommendations to the public at the Doyle Center on Monday.
The study identified nine recommendations:
1. Creating a functional signage network allowing people to identify which district they’re in;
2. Generating a civic-oriented atmosphere around the municipal core;
3. Continuing to expand on the development of Sixth Street
4. Generating an appealing recreation-oriented regional destination that employs the Texas City dike and Galveston Bay to attract tourists as well as residents;
5. Creating a comfortable sidewalk network that connects neighborhoods to activity centers, schools, parks, public-transport facilities and other destinations of interest;
6. Expanding upon the existing bike facilities to develop a comfortable trial and cycle network that connects neighborhoods to activity centers, parks and other destinations of interest;
7. Increasing access to transit facilities through comfortable pedestrian amenities and way-finding signage, as well as coordinating with Connect Transit to increase public-transport service availability and connectivity within the study areas;
8. Creating a “main street” feel along Ninth Avenue that serves the nearby economic, social, civic and cultural activities and moves people safely using a variety of travel modes, including biking, walking, driving and public transport; and
9. Revitalizing housing and optimizing land use.
The people who have lived in Texas City their whole life know its special qualities and the strength of its communities. Unfortunately, though, such benefits of living here are not known by residents of the cities that surround us.
By making the improvements outlined during Monday’s presentation, Texas City can further its development and become a place that people want to visit, not merely pass by en route to somewhere else.
The public were out in force for Monday’s presentation. Photos by Gene Schwartz