Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Corners finger pointing

As of yesterday afternoon, they are "fixing" some of the mess at League City's infamous Five Corners intersection (post category here), specifically at FM 518 and FM 270.
The previous S-curve lane divider has been torn out and reconfigured to (drum roll, please!) actually follow the traffic lanes.

This is an iconic Five Corners photo to be sure, with traffic shown as characteristically backed up in my rear view mirror.  
This is what the original construction looked like a few weeks ago.  I wonder would they have fixed it if I had not complained and published this picture??  Never doubt the fact that every voice counts.   
However, this work does not change the overall Five Corners situation, which I (and others) believe is being worsened by all that concrete.  
The barriers are worsening congestion.  Note the black truck can't even fit into the now-overly-short left turn lane FM 518 EB to FM 270 NB. Photo taken yesterday.  
Nobody has stepped forward to explain to the public why stuff like this makes sense.  Photo taken yesterday.  
A reader from the east side of League City emailed me and told me that she complained about this project to Mayor Paulissen.  She sent me a copy of his email reply to her which read, "I just talked with staff this morning about this. This is a TxDot project and we have to work with them."  

But if you remember from this previous post of mine, when I complained to TxDOT, they replied by tweeting, "This project was initiated by @LeagueCityTX".  

So this appears to be a classic political response.  For those of you accessing this post on small mobile devices, the sub-caption reads "No one EVER admits to a (brain) fart."

Base image courtesy of Cheezburger.  
A classic political response of buck-passing.  In response to this, I said to my husband, "Well, look on the bright side - neither one of them is trying to blow smoke up our tailpipes by telling us that this project is a GOOD thing.  Maybe we can work with that as a starting point."

I encourage each and every one of you to email or call both Paulissen and TxDOT.  I believe the TxDOT project number is 097603100 and here is the general contact page for TxDOT Houston District (the easiest way to get to them is via @TxDOTHoustonPIO if you use Twitter).  

But all this bemoaning of concrete belies a larger issue:  

With or without a concrete Band-Aid, they still, after all these years, have not fixed Five Corners the way it needs to be fixed in order to serve the people of League City.  

Who are all these League City residents and where are they when we need them?!

Unfortunately on the issue of Five Corners, we've had a lack of continuity leading to a loss of momentum in public pressure.  Welcome to League City, Texas because that's the story of our collective lives.

Photo courtesy of Bay Area Citizen from this September 24, 2010 article describing a public meeting on mobility solutions for Five Corners.  
Did you know that Seabrook and Kemah are slated to receive TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS for improvements to FM 146?!  

Wrap your head around this:  Seabrook and Kemah, combined population 14,314 (2010 Census), will get $200 million to fix their main TxDOT-related mobility problem.  League City, population 84,112 (2010 Census per Google) is apparently getting diddly squat to fix its main mobility problem, namely Five Corners.  

Yes, I know that more people than live in Seabrook and Kemah drive on FM 146.  But League City has literally tens of thousands of people whose lives are negatively impacted by Five Corners on a daily basis.  And yet somehow we cannot get a couple of million bucks worth of solution for this thing.

What is the cause of this?  Really really bad political representation?  If more people would start hounding the decision-makers, maybe we'd get some answers to that.  
Description of the FM 146 improvements screengrabbed from this Bay Area Houston Magazine report.  I'll have more to say about this later.  

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