Road to a More Mobile Westchase

Westchase District has launched its latest mobility study with the aid of more than 20 community leaders who will meet over the next six months to review mobility conditions in Westchase and make recommendations for future improvements.The group includes representatives of the City of Houston, Alief ISD, Houston METRO, Houston Police Department, Harris County Toll Road Authority, Ft. Bend County, Houston-Galveston Area Council, as well as area employers, property owners and neighborhoods.

Since its inception, Westchase District has been at the forefront of mobility improvements in west Houston. Its first mobility plan was undertaken in 2001. In 2011, the District’s Pedestrian/Transit Access Master Plan added to the wealth of research and planning that has occurred to keep the Westchase area a highly mobile area.

“These plans don’t just sit on a shelf and gather dust,” noted Projects VP Irma Sanchez. “We use the data we gather and the ideas that are generated to make proposals to the various governmental agencies empowered to make these improvements for us. The property owners, business owners and residents of Westchase District are the beneficiaries of that effort.”

Westchase District engaged Traffic Engineers Inc. to conduct the latest study in December of 2015. Since then TEI’s project team has been conducting research and evaluating existing conditions. The first meeting of the steering committee was held March 8th to gather input from area stakeholders.

TEI will further refine the project goals based on the input from the steering committee, conduct focus groups and develop an interactive web page that will allow for additional community input. The 10-month project will be finalized in October.

“We’re looking at everything from tollroads to interstates to major city streets and feeder streets,” added Sanchez. “We’re also looking at transit service, bike lanes, sidewalks and other pedestrian access features.”

“The streets are ribbons of real estate that we have to use more efficiently,” observed Amar Mohite from the City of Houston planning department, one of the steering committee members.

The study area covers more than just the 2,800 acres of Westchase District. The study is focused on a 3,600 acre area that stretches from Kirkwood to Westerland and from south of Bellaire to north of Buffalo Bayou.