METRO Bus Rapid Transit Project Update
METRO is planning a project to add a high speed bus rapid transit line between the Northwest Transit Center at 290 & I-10 extending to the rail lines downtown. This project is funded and will proceed. Cottage Grove Civic Association, with input from association members, supports this project and has been actively involved in shaping it through public comment periods. There are minimal impacts to our neighborhood, since the project is along the south side of I-10 and the right of way impacts are much smaller than if it were on the north side.
Today (Jan 20, 2022), METRO held a public meeting to present their final recommendations to the METRO board so the project can be approved and move forward. This project impacts Cottage Grove because the transit is elevated, so it will be visually seen from homes along the freeway, and it also has the potential to increase our neighborhood's access to high speed rail.
Here is a slide from their presentation on the goals of the project and its pathway through the city:
METRO has identified 3 stops in the I-10 corridor: Memorial Park, Shepherd/Durham, and Studemont. The Memorial Park stop was added after a period of public comment where we advocated for either a Memorial Park or TC Jester stop. Here are the renderings of the stops:
Once the project is formally approved, there will be environmental studies that will occur to ensure any potential impacts are hopefully mitigated. We want to be sure that noise does not impact our community.
METRO is working with TxDOT and Memorial Park to try and make these stations as walkable as possible, so they are looking at coordinating with walking and biking path projects (like the one planned for our neighborhood by Cottage Grove Park!).
An important question in this meeting asked by Drew, our Civic Association Vice President, was if TxDOT will be proceeding with their managed lanes project in concert with METRO. We do not support the TxDOT project because it will majorly impact our neighborhood and even encroach onto our park! The great news is that METRO is proceeding with their project independent of TxDOT and mentioned TxDOT is pursuing an at-grade option for their project. While we don't support any TxDOT managed lanes option, this is good news that they won't be collaborating with METRO on a raised deck - that's the worst of the worst scenario.
Even though this project design is happening now for the METRO bus rapid transit project, it takes a long time for a project of this size to come to fruition! Design will continue through Q1 of 2024, and construction will start in Q4 2023, to be completed at the end of 2026/early 2027. Cottage Grove Civic Association will continue to monitor the project's progress and engage where we can to ensure we advocate for our neighborhood along the way!