Feedback sought for official Metro plan

Metro has approved plans to construct rail lines that will connect the UH campus to surrounding areas.

UH President Renu Khator and the Student Government Association will comment on any possible alternatives and concerns that the UH community may have.

“Metro has presented its plans for the rails and the SGA is giving feedback as to what will be most beneficial to the UH community,” SGA President Kenneth Fomunung said. “It’s Metro’s expertise. The UH community is just offering its input.”

Metro has also provided a forum where UH students and faculty can voice their concerns and opinions.

“Metro set up a public forum where they gave a presentation on each of the rail lines,” Fomunung said. “They also plan to set up a Web site where the UH community can post questions too.”

Khator will serve as the spokesperson for UH during the discussions with Metro about the rail lines.

“President Khator will be directly involved and have the final say on all negotiations between the UH community and Metro,” Fomunung said. “Once construction begins, Metro officials will monitor the entire project with the approval of President Khator.”

Metro’s rail lines will connect some of Houston’s most populated areas to the campus.

The Southeast Corridor will be a six-mile line with 10 stations that include a stop at Calhoun Road and Wheeler Street.

The second line will be the University Corridor, which will consist of an 11-mile route from the Hillcroft Transit Center to the campus of Texas Southern University. The rail will include 19 stops.

The Metro light rail system at UH is strongly supported by the SGA, presuming that it will ease traffic for commuters.

“The UH community can use rails to and from the Galleria and Downtown areas,” Fomunung said. “The rails provide a great alternative to students without their own private transportation. Anything that will make commuting to campus easier for students and faculty is something that the UH community welcomes.”

Some concerns the plans have raised are for setting up stations that will not provide direct access to the main areas of the UH campus, particularly the station at Scott and Cleburne Street. The designated areas are not the most heavily populated on campus.

In addition, the tail of this route would block parking areas and could create problems for students living on campus such as in apartments at Cullen Oaks and Cambridge Oaks.

The problems that will occur during the construction of the rail lines include safety issues and increased traffic.

Safety is a primary concern for students with disabilities. All Metro projects must satisfy all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Athletic Department has also expressed concern that the rail lines will cut into athletic fields.

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