Reacting to concerned residents, officials of the city of West University Place have asked officials of Metro to attend a West U City Council meeting to discuss a proposed new Weslayan bus route .
“We have asked representatives of Metro to come and answer questions that have been raised by residents,” said Maura Leon Barber, Director of Communications for the city of West U.
E-mails and flyers about the Weslayan bus route proposal have been circulating in the city for the last few days, with many residents concerned that the narrow street would become clogged with traffic and pollution.
Weslayan is just two lanes wide between Bellaire Blvd. and Bissonnet St., and homes in West U line the narrow street. Metro’s proposed route #48 would run down Weslayan, as part of a route between the West Loop transit center and the Northwest transit center.
“I think there was a resident who put out some flyers, and those were distributed on the front doors of several homes. So we have had some feedback,” Barber said.
The exact date for the meeting with Metro officials has not been set, and it’s not likely that there is enough time for them appear Monday at the council’s next regularly scheduled meeting, Barber said.
The Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority has been redesigning its bus service for more than a year. A proposed 5-year draft plan — called the Draft Reimagined Network Plan — was unveiled by Metro in early May.
Metro has already held three public hearings and will hold 13 more hearings on the bus route changes. Metro wants public feedback, before the Metro board reviews the proposed changes and considers whether to approve them. After board approval, the new bus plan could begin next summer.
West U resident John Cutrer, who lives right off Weslayan, said he has been circulating a letter about the Metro bus plan since attending a Metro public hearing a few weeks ago. That meeting was held at the Multipurpose Service Center on W. Gray.
“Since I live off Weslayan, I already see the traffic stacked up well in excess of three blocks at rush hour. With a bus stopping every two blocks, it would just become a nightmare,” Cutrer said.
“Mostly, I’ve just been going door-to-door with this letter and asking people to give their feedback,” Cutrer said.
Cutrer said that Metro’s redesigned bus system “looks like a much better plan regionwide.I’m not a traffic engineer, but this plan is probably a big improvement over what Metro has now.”
A real estate developer, Cutrer recently moved to West U.
However, Cutrer said he thinks Metro “has done a pretty lousy job of making this public. This really has not been very well publicized.”
So, Cutrer said he decided to inform his neighbors about Metro’s proposed route #48, which would travel from the West Loop transit center, down Stella Link, through Weslayan and eventually end up at its Northwest transit center.
“I do know a lot of them (neighbors) have spoken with Metro, or responded on Metro’s web page,” Cutrer said. Since the rest of the hearings “are not really that convenient” to West U residents, Cutrer said he is glad to know that the city of West U is trying to set up a local meeting.
“Getting someone from Metro there will be really helpful,” Cutrer said.
Cutrer said Metro could re-route the proposed plan to Buffalo Speedway, which has four lanes of traffic and homes that are set back farther from the street.
“I am pleased that people are doing what they need to do,” Cutrer said. “Metro has been very upfront that they want comments on their draft plan, and that changes can be made. I am pleased that people are being vocal about it. Because It could really affect us.”
Residents who are interested in Metro’s draft plan, who want to see the schedule of public hearings, or who wish to comment on the plan, can do so at www.transitsystemreimagining.com.