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Transportation Bond Funding Divides Suburban County in Texas

It's a case of the haves vs. the have-nots in transportation spending for a rapidly growing suburban area of Houston.
September 29, 2015, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Matthew Tresaugue reports on the political debate in Montgomery County, located just north of Houston, prior to the November 3 election, when voters will decide on a $280 million bond for funding new and improved roadways.

At the center of the brewing controversy is The Woodlands, a township that helped defeat a larger version of the bond in an election four months ago. "After urging county leaders to try again on the coming ballot, the township's governing board has come out against the revised bond measure, saying that the package is tainted because it was put together in negotiations outside public view," reports Tresaugue.

The decision to rescind its support for the new bond measure has driven a wedge between the township and the county. Meanwhile new development is quickly coming online throughout the county, following a trend led by The Woodlands. Tresaugue explains the land use pressures at work in the county:

"With The Woodlands nearing build-out, new housing developments are sprouting across south Montgomery County. The mobility needs east of The Woodlands are especially acute, according to a new analysis by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, a regional planning body. Within the next five years, the fast-growing area needs at least $207 million to improve and widen nine roadways to keep traffic moving, the draft report concluded."

The article goes on to detail some of the specific road projects targeted by plans, and the funding package provided by the bond measure, for the unincorporated neighborhoods east of the Woodlands.

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, September 26, 2015 in Houston Chronicle
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