Citizens, leaders discuss Montgomery County mobility needs, highlight problems in Commissioners Precinct 2

Citizens, leaders discuss Montgomery County mobility needs, highlight problems in Commissioners Precinct 2

Image: Two great Republican leaders, left, State Representative Mark Keough who is running for County Judge, and right, conservative activist and Republican Precinct Chair Reagan Reed.

Conroe, August 18 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, posed an important question to several of Montgomery County’s citizens:

WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT INCOMPLETE OR UNSTARTED MOBILITY PROJECT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY AT THE PRESENT TIME? WHY?

Some of the answers this newspaper received follow. The answers are by Commissioners Precinct about which they discuss. Obviously, the greatest concerns pertain to Commissioner’s Precinct 2 where the County Commissioner, Charlie Riley, seems not to have taken care of business there for several years.

The Golden Hammer contacted all five members of the Commissioners Court. Only one of the five responded.

We saved the best answer for last.

Countywide Answers

Precinct 2 County Commissioner candidate and Conroe businessman Brian Dawson:

“The single most important incomplete mobility project in Montgomery County is a county wide mobility plan.  Any project specifically identified is either a guess or a pet project.  Having a county wide mobility plan will identify and prioritize projects throughout the county based on value and need, not the desires of special interests or elected officials.”

Melisa Miller, candidate for Montgomery County District Clerk:

Sitting in traffic is both a nuisance and a safety issue. I’m certain the Commissioners hear from many on Montgomery County mobility. But, beyond driving on Montgomery County roads safely, mobility is not a responsibility of the District Clerk, for which I’m a candidate. I continue to work on plans to reform the District Clerk’s office into a model of efficiency without injecting myself into the Commissioners’ responsibilities.

Senator Brandon Creighton:

“Montgomery County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas. We are fortunate that our infrastructure grows with us. The Texas Department of Transportation has recognized this and made significant investments into our growing community and as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I pay close attention to these issues. Currently, East Highway 105 is under consideration for expansion. SH 105 is a major east-to-west corridor that is an alternate route to Highway 90 and IH-10. State Highway 105 is one of the most traveled roadways in Montgomery County with as many as 43,000 commuters traveling the roadway daily, this is about 15.7 million a year. The safety of these drivers is of the utmost importance. The more than $150 million plan will rebuild SH 105 into a four-lane, divided road and alleviate traffic for local citizens as well as allow commercial traffic to move more smoothly. According to a 2012 TxDOT study, there were 538 traffic accidents between East Loop 336 in Conroe and Highway 59 in Cleveland between 2007 and 2009. Those accidents resulted in 16 fatalities and 378 injuries. This project will compliment the SH 105 bypass in Cleveland and Loop 336 and  allow for more fluid connection between IH-59 and IH-45.”
Local political activist Kevin “Chopped Liver” Williams:
“1) Despite the construction of 2 flyover ramps at I-45 & SH242, traffic is still a mess because the ramps are hardly being used due to high tolls. Solution is simple, cheap and quick:
REMOVE THE TOLLS and let MoCo drivers use THEIR ROAD!
Tolls are now $0.50 peak and $0.25off-peak, SUPER high for ramps under 1 mile in length. A compromise alternative would be to REDUCE the tolls to $0.25peak and $0 offpeak.
2) Steve Toth is right-on; all the roads surrounding The Woodlands need to be widened and better connected, since a large % of drivers on WP and RF are simply cutting through; let’s give them quicker, safer alternatives, by widening 2978, 1488, and SH242.
3) Commissioner James Noack is doing the very best -BY FAR – at improving mobility throughout Pct 3, so KEEP IT UP!
4) Complete an actual mobility plan, ASAP
5) Stop trying to expand & extend The Woodlands Parkway. Citizens have spoken VERY clearly on this and should be respected.”

“Commissioners Precinct 1

Conroe ISD President and County Treasurer candidate Melanie Pryor Bush:

“Right now my number one concern is keeping our students on our school buses safe! Mobility in Montgomery County is important in that regard. Anything that will help I’m for.”

Homebuilder Bobby Richard, Motik Builders:

“In my mind with the growth in Montgomery City proper, it’s the failure to start and complete the south loop of Lone Star Parkway.  With the school traffic, the opening of Kroger, McCoys Lumber etc and the main intersection of 149 and 105 being antiquated, it’s a disaster from 630 am to 830 am and from 230 to 400 pm.

“The second mind-boggling item is that Kroger made the largest investment in the history of Montgomery Property and borders Lone Star Parkway and 105.  One week before grand opening, the powers that be decided to close Lone Star Parkway to replace and repair a half mile stretch along Kroger’s East entrance with a 6 month completion date.  They’ve had 2 years to do this.”

Developer Mark Dooley:

“Thank you for asking.  But I have not given this lot of thought as in my world here in Conroe with the completion of League Line from Hwy 75 to the Airport traffic seem to move pretty good. One of the largest problems  I see on a daily basis is the increased traffic load on McCaleb Rd. and Fish Creek thoroughfare, but they seem to be underway on solving this issue.”

Retired Dean of Education Annell Simcoe:

“The intersection of 2854 and 105 is a disaster.  With the opening of Kroger last week and Care Now Urgent Care scheduled to open August 29, both located at that intersection and with curb access to both off Lone Star Parkway, we have more disasters waiting to happen than we had without these new businesses at that intersection (it was bad before).

“And to add to this bundle of traffic, a new road is currently being cut through a subdivision off Lone Star to connect to Bois’Arc and to the intersection of Bois’Arc and Walden.”

Retired construction executive and transportation expert Dennis Hudgens:

“Coordinating lights to keep traffic going. Some areas do a great job. But other times if a little more effort was put into timing of traffic signals traffic could keep moving much better.”

Commissioners Precinct 2

State Representative and County Judge candidate Mark Keough:

“The most important incomplete mobility project is completing the widening of FM1488 to the West county line. There are three reasons that this should be prioritized.

“1. Timing: West county population growth has exploded and there is still time to get head of this growth . Because of the importance of this corridor, I am perplexed as to why this was not included in the 2015 road bond.

“2.  Traffic Flow: FM 1488 is the premiere transportation corridor for east to west mobility through a very large heavily populated area of the county. By widening the road, this will allow for a much smoother and efficient flow of traffic.

“3. Safety Because of the population growth, widening the road will change the dynamics of the corridor from being accident prone to a much safer roadway.

“While this is an important project there are many others that are equally important to the mobility of Montgomery County for the same reasons.. Unfortunately these projects have been given a very low priority or have been ignored all together due to a lack of planning  at the precinct level as well as county wide county wide. This can be accomplished through  cooperation of the county, state and federal partners.

“I hope this is helpful.”

Conroe attorney and candidate for 284th District Court Kristin Bays:

“Widening FM1488 from the Waller County line to Mostyn Manor is critical.  Magnolia has become an area of great development and expansion with a wonderful quality of life, but that will all come to a standstill if traffic continues to stand still.  FM1488 is a main thoroughfare which is currently just a two-lane undivided road.  Its congested traffic and safety issues have gotten the attention of TxDOT, which explained, ‘expanding FM 1488 to a four-lane divided roadway…[will] increase safety, relieve traffic congestion and…enhance connectivity.’  Enough said.”

Precinct 2 County Commissioner candidate, former 2-term Comal County Commissioner, and renowned author Gregory Parker:

“Given that there are only two main east-west roads in the county, 105 and 1488, and that significant growth that is taking place within precinct two, I have to say FM1488 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the single most important incomplete mobility projects in Montgomery County at the present time. Further, I would also add, with the significant growth in precinct two that is occurring, Carriage Hills Blvd and other county roads off of FM1488 have been notably forgotten and need attention.”

Sage Bill O’Sullivan:

“Easy. 1488 and the Mixmaster at 1774. It is the only other potential free East-West Road in the County to SH 105.”

Longtime civil engineer Ron Saikowski:

“Montgomery County is in dire need of more north-south and east-west Major Thoroughfares. Perhaps the most important road Project is the continuation of Woodlands Parkway to the West. This project will provide a much needed east-west thoroughfare between FM 1488 and FM 2920 in the densely populated southern portion of Montgomery County. Woodlands Parkway was designed to be such an east-west thoroughfare. The argument that Woodlands residents want to isolate themselves from the rest of Montgomery County shows snobbery, selfishness, and a desire to exclude access into The Woodlands which has ALWAYS been planned as a diverse community with connections to the world.”

David Weber, longtime homebuilder and developer:

“1488 to Waller needs to be looked at. They are working on the bridge, but it is taking very long time.”

Preacher and retired insurance agent Dale Inman:

“While I do support ‘no more toll roads in Moco’, I would think that the Magnolia area has the most pressing mobility issues. I do not specifically have enough knowledge though as to respond to which projects there are most critical.”

MCHD Board member and renowned bail bonds lady:

“I travel up and down SH 105 and to a lesser degree, FM 2854.  Since 2854 (a 2-lane road) is the only alternative to 105 for east-west traffic between Montgomery and Conroe , I believe it would be beneficial to widen 2854 or add a middle turn lane.  I can’t imagine what traffic would look like in an evacuation situation if 105 was blocked and traffic had to be diverted to 2854.  McCaleb Road has been used as a major connecting road between 2854 and 105 for as long as I can remember, dating back to (at least) the early 80’s.  With the opening of the Fish Creek Thoroughfare bridge, traffic on McCaleb Road seems to have increased significantly.  There have been discussions and meetings about widening McCaleb road for years but the progress seems non-existent.  It appears as though they have marked property lines with survey stakes, but that’s it.  It’s a curvy, hilly, narrow 2-lane road and very dangerous, especially at night.  My mother lives on McCaleb road and she has had to replace more mailboxes than I can count due to people crashing into them.   You asked for a single project, but these two are necessarily tied together.  If McCaleb Road is widened, it will increase traffic on 2854.  If 2854 is widened, it will increase traffic on McCaleb Road.”

Longtime political activist and Republican leader Ginger Russell:

“To me the greatest ‘incomplete’ mobility issue in Montgomery County is FM 2978 which stares me in the face daily. Every evening traffic is at a standstill from Hardin Store Road to FM 1488. Getting out of my subdivision is a ‘suicide mission’ and a dangerous traffic hazard as I am not only watching for cars but those riding bikes.”

Homebuilder Bill Leigh of The Woodlands:

“I think the two biggest mobility projects that the county needs to get done are the extension of Woodlands Parkway over to 249 and the extension of the Hardy toll Road up to loop 336. Each will contribute significantly to the future of our county and its capability to grow into the future. Like most projects of this scale, an aggressive, forward-looking electorate Will be required to pass the related bond issues. Unfortunately, I believe that our community lacks the will to invest in its future.”

Commissioners Precinct 3

Former State Representative, District 15, and current candidate for the Republican nomination for that position Steve Toth:

“The Woodlands is located directly in the center of South County. It acts today as a clogged artery for North-South and East-West mobility. For residents of The Woodlands it was marketed as ‘Your Hometown’ but today it feels more like ‘Your Big City’. For people outside The Woodlands, traveling to it or through it is becoming a chore.

“The City of Montgomery and Conroe have loops around them to mitigate traffic and accommodate growth. It’s time that 99 (to the South), 45 and 242 (to the East), 1488 (to the North) and 2978 (to the West) were connected to ease traffic to and through The Woodlands.”

Realtor, Reserve Deputy Constable, and spiritual leader Ryan Hutson:

“It’s hard to pick just one, but an area that is of concern to me right now is the I-45 corridor between Spring Creek (Montgomery/Harris County line) and Hwy 242.  While this corridor encompasses multiple projects, I believe it is the most important due to the number of commuters that it impacts.

“According to TxDOT, over 230,000 cars/day traverse this section of roadway (northbound and southbound) and many of the existing ramps and interchanges were not designed to support current traffic volumes, which is evidenced by the congestion we are experiencing.

“For example, the flyover exit at I-45 and Woodlands Pkwy frequently causes vehicles to backup onto the I-45 northbound main lanes, which not only causes delays for exiting vehicles, but also delays for commuters on the main lanes of the freeway who are continuing to travel north.

“Additionally, the northbound entrance ramp onto I-45 at David Vetter Blvd (just south of Research Forest) has a short acceleration lane which frequently results in drivers entering the freeway at lower speeds and causing congestion.

“I-45 is a central and core arterial roadway for our County’s mobility, and is consequently where the densest concentrations of shopping, entertainment, and employment occur (shopping, entertainment, and employers tend to be the largest traffic and trip generators).  Therefore I believe it is important that our County give priority to projects that have the goal of relieving congestion along this corridor.”

Chris Grice, Amegy Bank lender, and Montgomery County Hospital District Board Treasurer:

“To me it is a tossup between Woodlands Parkway coming off I-45 through Grogans Mill  and Research Forest at I-45.

“If I had to choose one it would be Research Forest because of the traffic congestion both getting on and off the freeway during regular and peak hours. Throw in events at Woodforest Stadium and the traffic is horrible. The intersection has far out lived the capacity of traffic it was designed to handle. The city of Shenandoah and the county need to come to terms on an acceptable plan because the traffic situation is not getting any better.”

Former County HR Director Diane Bass:

“Certainly SH 242 (which I travel a lot) can become a zoo, but the toll road has helped.  The finishing of 242 to six lanes will help.  The southbound feeder road between SH 242 and Research Forest is usually exasperating.  I stay away from Rayford Road, but I understand that it is unbearable.”

Conservative and community activist Betty Anderson:

“The roads in Commissioner Pct. 3, east of I-45, are bulging with traffic.  There’s been a huge amount of new construction in this area during the past decade and in my opinion, our county taxes haven’t been appropriated towards east Pct. 3 according to their fair share of upgrades.  As a result, Rayford Road has not been able to handle the load well for a long time.  And too many accidents have taken place, with crazy curves & deep ditches (no shoulders) dropping off on either side of the road in some places.

“Another bad area, also east of I-45, is the Robinson Rd and Hanna Rd area.  There’s a railroad track involved there too.  This entire region is continuing to develop and expand and the lack of mobility is causing a huge problem here.

“We desperately need our County Commissioners to prioritize our Montgomery Co. road construction and implement a wise mobility plan.”

Real estate developer Rocky del Papa:

“I’m sure there are plenty. What I don’t understand is why the Township wants to restrict ingress and egress to The Woodlands when 80% of the usage is from residence. Would also like to know why they do not promote left lane for passing or turning on Woodlands pkw. Its aggravating weaving between cars going the same speed in all lanes.”

Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable:

“With as bad as traffic is in southern Montgomery county, I do not have a good suggestion based on an incomplete or unstated mobility project. I feel that our mobility has certainly been addressed and being currently worked on in the most needed areas, specifically the Rayford Rd. corridor. I have had discussions regarding the safety of a lot of roads within the precinct with Commissioner Noack and he has reacted by utilizing ‘curbed medians’ to stop people from cutting across high populated roadways in an effort to prevent accidents. Also, something that is working well for us in southern Montgomery county is the ‘flashing’ yellow light, which keeps traffic moving.

“At this time, with as difficult as it is to move around our area during peak traffic times, I feel like our local officials are doing their best to handle as expeditious as possible.”

Canvasback Construction President Daniel Barnes:

“I think they should complete the extension and possible widening of Woodlands parkway…..well overdue.”

Famous notary and beekeeping lobbyist Leesa Hyder:

“Research Forest between Grogans Mill and I-45 is the most congested part my limited travel in the county.  This 1 mile stretch will often add 20 minutes to the commute north between 5 and 6 p.m.  Oftentimes traffic on Research Forest backs up and blocks traffic at cross-streets Six Pines and Pinecroft. This mobility issue results in frustrated drivers and unsafe actions.

“Also, South East Loop 336 South between I-45 and FM 3083 during morning and evening commute times can be bumper to bumper for long stretches.  With several new subdivisions being developed on this stretch of road, I can’t image how Loop 336 will be able to carry this volume of traffic.”

Construction contractor Kevin Bayer:

“Well being it’s close to home and will affect my personal and business lifestyle I would say the extension of The Woodlands Parkway  would be top of my list. I feel this project is an attempt to push personal agenda and personal gain. Clearly stated by the lack of opposition by some of the elected officials. We as a comminity spoke but they don’t care to listen. I feel the money can be better spent to boost our already congested streets that flow through that area. Why add to it instead of improving what’s already established? This project has met with an overwhelming disapproval from the people it affects the most, the people of The Woodlands. The Woodlands has a home town feel and I think this is what attracts people to the area. Following through with a project like this strips the identity of the township. Creates more headache for the non-passer-by folks.”

Renowned band leader and political activist Rachael M. Jones:

“1) Woodlands Pkwy to I45S/Robinson Rd Cloverleaf going N (I think the bond is addressing this though), 2) 2978 widening, 3) Something that isn’t ever mentioned is widening 336 to 2 lanes each way. That’s the way I go to school and it’s a pain for it to be one lane. 4) Finishing widening Research Forest, 5) More turn lanes or better light sequencing on Research Forest and 242 turning left at 45 to go North.”

Commissioner Precinct 4

Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark:

“The widening of State Highway 242 is in process and unfinished but, in my opinion, that’s the most needed commuter mobility need in Montgomery County.”

Precinct 4 road and bridge crew:

“SH 242 is the roadway backup traffic in Precinct 4. We’re working hard everyday to pave residential roads and side streets.”

Political activist and ER nurse Paul Crowson:

“Well, for me it would be the intersection of FM 1314 at SH 242. Recent strange construction activity that has resulted in many more accidents near the approaches to that intersection are not an improvement at all. And our inquiries with the county and Tx-DOT fall on deaf mute entities. The county lies to us about it, Tx-DOT just will look at you condescending and arrogantly, actually glaring , this happens when we go to the Tx-DOT office in Conroe from which the design plans originate for this project. They want us to go away, …..after we pay taxes and tolls, they don’t want our input, only our shrinking dollars.”

Nerdy Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull:

“Per statistics class, I would say for me, that question is impossible to answer.

“As much as I appear to be all knowing and all seeing (I’m not), I don’t know enough about mobility on a county wide basis to identify the ‘single most important incomplete’ project in Montgomery County.

“Traffic is bad, of course, in many locations during rush hour.

“However, in the radius of travel that I see the worst traffic is east bound on SH 242 from I-45.  The narrowing from two lanes to one creates a terrible backup of traffic.




“To be fair, I have not traveled that way at the ‘bad time of day’ since the 99 toll road has opened.  It may be that alternate route for east/west bound traffic has offered significant relief.

Saving the best answer for last:

Conroe attorney and 284th District Court candidate Robert Rosenquist:

“While I think a mobility plan is vital because of Montgomery County’s continued growth, it does not fall under the purview of a District Judge. Honestly, the only mobility I’m worried about is cases moving through the 284th District Court in an efficient and expedient manner. I think it’s best to leave the vehicle mobility challenges to those qualified to handle them.”

Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull appears in the video which he presented to the Commissioners Court Budget Workshop on July 25, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioners Precinct 1

 

Conroe ISD President and County Treasurer candidate Melanie Pryor Bush:

 

“Right now my number one concern is keeping our students on our school buses safe! Mobility in Montgomery County is important in that regard. Anything that will help I’m for.”

 

 

Homebuilder Bobby Richard, Motik Builders:

 

“In my mind with the growth in Montgomery City proper, it’s the failure to start and complete the south loop of Lone Star Parkway.  With the school traffic, the opening of Kroger, McCoys Lumber etc and the main intersection of 149 and 105 being antiquated, it’s a disaster from 630 am to 830 am and from 230 to 400 pm.

 

“The second mind-boggling item is that Kroger made the largest investment in the history of Montgomery Property and borders Lone Star Parkway and 105.  One week before grand opening, the powers that be decided to close Lone Star Parkway to replace and repair a half mile stretch along Kroger’s East entrance with a 6 month completion date.  They’ve had 2 years to do this.”

 

Developer Mark Dooley:

 

“Thank you for asking.  But I have not given this lot of thought as in my world here in Conroe with the completion of League Line from Hwy 75 to the Airport traffic seem to move pretty good. One of the largest problems  I see on a daily basis is the increased traffic load on McCaleb Rd. and Fish Creek thoroughfare, but they seem to be underway on solving this issue.”

 

 

Retired Dean of Education Annell Simcoe:

 

“The intersection of 2854 and 105 is a disaster.  With the opening of Kroger last week and Care Now Urgent Care scheduled to open August 29, both located at that intersection and with curb access to both off Lone Star Parkway, we have more disasters waiting to happen than we had without these new businesses at that intersection (it was bad before).

And to add to this bundle of traffic, a new road is currently being cut through a subdivision off Lone Star to connect to Bois’Arc and to the intersection of Bois’Arc and Walden.”

 

Retired construction executive and transportation expert Dennis Hudgens:

 

“Coordinating lights to keep traffic going. Some areas do a great job. But other times if a little more effort was put into timing of traffic signals traffic could keep moving much better.”

 

 

 

Commissioners Precinct 2

 

State Representative and County Judge candidate Mark Keough:

 

“The most important incomplete mobility project is completing the widening of FM1488 to the West county line. There are three reasons that this should be prioritized.

 

“1. Timing: West county population growth has exploded and there is still time to get head of this growth . Because of the importance of this corridor, I am perplexed as to why this was not included in the 2015 road bond.

 

“2.  Traffic Flow: FM 1488 is the premiere transportation corridor for east to west mobility through a very large heavily populated area of the county. By widening the road, this will allow for a much smoother and efficient flow of traffic.

 

“3. Safety Because of the population growth, widening the road will change the dynamics of the corridor from being accident prone to a much safer roadway.

 

“While this is an important project there are many others that are equally important to the mobility of Montgomery County for the same reasons.. Unfortunately these projects have been given a very low priority or have been ignored all together due to a lack of planning  at the precinct level as well as county wide county wide. This can be accomplished through  cooperation of the county, state and federal partners.

 

“I hope this is helpful.”

 

 

 

Conroe attorney and candidate for 284th District Court Kristin Bays:

 

“Widening FM1488 from the Waller County line to Mostyn Manor is critical.  Magnolia has become an area of great development and expansion with a wonderful quality of life, but that will all come to a standstill if traffic continues to stand still.  FM1488 is a main thoroughfare which is currently just a two-lane undivided road.  Its congested traffic and safety issues have gotten the attention of TxDOT, which explained, ‘expanding FM 1488 to a four-lane divided roadway…[will] increase safety, relieve traffic congestion and…enhance connectivity.’  Enough said.”

 

Precinct 2 County Commissioner candidate, former 2-term Comal County Commissioner, and renowned author Gregory Parker:

 

“Given that there are only two main east-west roads in the county, 105 and 1488, and that significant growth that is taking place within precinct two, I have to say FM1488 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the single most important incomplete mobility projects in Montgomery County at the present time. Further, I would also add, with the significant growth in precinct two that is occurring, Carriage Hills Blvd and other county roads off of FM1488 have been notably forgotten and need attention.”

 

 

 

Sage Bill O’Sullivan:

 

“Easy. 1488 and the Mixmaster at 1774. It is the only other potential free East-West Road in the County to SH 105.”

 

Longtime civil engineer Ron Saikowski:

 

“Montgomery County is in dire need of more north-south and east-west Major Thoroughfares. Perhaps the most important road Project is the continuation of Woodlands Parkway to the West. This project will provide a much needed east-west thoroughfare between FM 1488 and FM 2920 in the densely populated southern portion of Montgomery County. Woodlands Parkway was designed to be such an east-west thoroughfare. The argument that Woodlands residents want to isolate themselves from the rest of Montgomery County shows snobbery, selfishness, and a desire to exclude access into The Woodlands which has ALWAYS been planned as a diverse community with connections to the world.”

 

David Weber, longtime homebuilder and developer:

 

“1488 to Waller needs to be looked at. They are working on the bridge, but it is taking very long time.”

 

Preacher and retired insurance agent Dale Inman:

 

“While I do support ‘no more toll roads in Moco’, I would think that the Magnolia area has the most pressing mobility issues. I do not specifically have enough knowledge though as to respond to which projects there are most critical.”

 

MCHD Board member and renowned bail bonds lady:

 

“I travel up and down SH 105 and to a lesser degree, FM 2854.  Since 2854 (a 2-lane road) is the only alternative to 105 for east-west traffic between Montgomery and Conroe , I believe it would be beneficial to widen 2854 or add a middle turn lane.  I can’t imagine what traffic would look like in an evacuation situation if 105 was blocked and traffic had to be diverted to 2854.  McCaleb Road has been used as a major connecting road between 2854 and 105 for as long as I can remember, dating back to (at least) the early 80’s.  With the opening of the Fish Creek Thoroughfare bridge, traffic on McCaleb Road seems to have increased significantly.  There have been discussions and meetings about widening McCaleb road for years but the progress seems non-existent.  It appears as though they have marked property lines with survey stakes, but that’s it.  It’s a curvy, hilly, narrow 2-lane road and very dangerous, especially at night.  My mother lives on McCaleb road and she has had to replace more mailboxes than I can count due to people crashing into them.   You asked for a single project, but these two are necessarily tied together.  If McCaleb Road is widened, it will increase traffic on 2854.  If 2854 is widened, it will increase traffic on McCaleb Road.”

 

Longtime political activist and Republican leader Ginger Russell:

 

“To me the greatest ‘incomplete’ mobility issue in Montgomery County is FM 2978 which stares me in the face daily. Every evening traffic is at a standstill from Hardin Store Road to FM 1488. Getting out of my subdivision is a ‘suicide mission’ and a dangerous traffic hazard as I am not only watching for cars but those riding bikes.”

 

Commissioners Precinct 3

 

Former State Representative, District 15, and current candidate for the Republican nomination for that position Steve Toth:

 

“The Woodlands is located directly in the center of South County. It acts today as a clogged artery for North-South and East-West mobility. For residents of The Woodlands it was marketed as ‘Your Hometown’ but today it feels more like ‘Your Big City’. For people outside The Woodlands, traveling to it or through it is becoming a chore.

 

“The City of Montgomery and Conroe have loops around them to mitigate traffic and accommodate growth. It’s time that 99 (to the South), 45 and 242 (to the East), 1488 (to the North) and 2978 (to the West) were connected to ease traffic to and through The Woodlands.”

 

Realtor, Reserve Deputy Constable, and spiritual leader Ryan Hutson:

 

“It’s hard to pick just one, but an area that is of concern to me right now is the I-45 corridor between Spring Creek (Montgomery/Harris County line) and Hwy 242.  While this corridor encompasses multiple projects, I believe it is the most important due to the number of commuters that it impacts.

 

“According to TxDOT, over 230,000 cars/day traverse this section of roadway (northbound and southbound) and many of the existing ramps and interchanges were not designed to support current traffic volumes, which is evidenced by the congestion we are experiencing.

 

“For example, the flyover exit at I-45 and Woodlands Pkwy frequently causes vehicles to backup onto the I-45 northbound main lanes, which not only causes delays for exiting vehicles, but also delays for commuters on the main lanes of the freeway who are continuing to travel north.

 

“Additionally, the northbound entrance ramp onto I-45 at David Vetter Blvd (just south of Research Forest) has a short acceleration lane which frequently results in drivers entering the freeway at lower speeds and causing congestion.

 

“I-45 is a central and core arterial roadway for our County’s mobility, and is consequently where the densest concentrations of shopping, entertainment, and employment occur (shopping, entertainment, and employers tend to be the largest traffic and trip generators).  Therefore I believe it is important that our County give priority to projects that have the goal of relieving congestion along this corridor.”

 

Chris Grice, Amegy Bank lender, and Montgomery County Hospital District Board Treasurer:

 

“To me it is a tossup between Woodlands Parkway coming off I-45 through Grogans Mill  and Research Forest at I-45.

 

If I had to choose one it would be Research Forest because of the traffic congestion both getting on and off the freeway during regular and peak hours. Throw in events at Woodforest Stadium and the traffic is horrible. The intersection has far out lived the capacity of traffic it was designed to handle. The city of Shenandoah and the county need to come to terms on an acceptable plan because the traffic situation is not getting any better.”

 

Former County HR Director Diane Bass:

“Certainly SH 242 (which I travel a lot) can become a zoo, but the toll road has helped.  The finishing of 242 to six lanes will help.  The southbound feeder road between SH 242 and Research Forest is usually exasperating.  I stay away from Rayford Road, but I understand that it is unbearable.”

 

Conservative and community activist Betty Anderson:

 

“The roads in Commissioner Pct. 3, east of I-45, are bulging with traffic.  There’s been a huge amount of new construction in this area during the past decade and in my opinion, our county taxes haven’t been appropriated towards east Pct. 3 according to their fair share of upgrades.  As a result, Rayford Road has not been able to handle the load well for a long time.  And too many accidents have taken place, with crazy curves & deep ditches (no shoulders) dropping off on either side of the road in some places.

 

“Another bad area, also east of I-45, is the Robinson Rd and Hanna Rd area.  There’s a railroad track involved there too.  This entire region is continuing to develop and expand and the lack of mobility is causing a huge problem here.

 

“We desperately need our County Commissioners to prioritize our Montgomery Co. road construction and implement a wise mobility plan.”

 

Real estate developer Rocky del Papa:

“I’m sure there are plenty. What I don’t understand is why the Township wants to restrict ingress and egress to The Woodlands when 80% of the usage is from residence. Would also like to know why they do not promote left lane for passing or turning on Woodlands pkw. Its aggravating weaving between cars going the same speed in all lanes.”

 

Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable:

 

“With as bad as traffic is in southern Montgomery county, I do not have a good suggestion based on an incomplete or unstated mobility project. I feel that our mobility has certainly been addressed and being currently worked on in the most needed areas, specifically the Rayford Rd. corridor. I have had discussions regarding the safety of a lot of roads within the precinct with Commissioner Noack and he has reacted by utilizing ‘curbed medians’ to stop people from cutting across high populated roadways in an effort to prevent accidents. Also, something that is working well for us in southern Montgomery county is the ‘flashing’ yellow light, which keeps traffic moving.

 

“At this time, with as difficult as it is to move around our area during peak traffic times, I feel like our local officials are doing their best to handle as expeditious as possible.”

 

Canvasback Construction President Daniel Barnes:

 

“I think they should complete the extension and possible widening of Woodlands parkway…..well overdue.”

 

Famous notary and beekeeping lobbyist Leesa Hyder:

 

“Research Forest between Grogans Mill and I-45 is the most congested part my limited travel in the county.  This 1 mile stretch will often add 20 minutes to the commute north between 5 and 6 p.m.  Oftentimes traffic on Research Forest backs up and blocks traffic at cross-streets Six Pines and Pinecroft. This mobility issue results in frustrated drivers and unsafe actions.

“Also, South East Loop 336 South between I-45 and FM 3083 during morning and evening commute times can be bumper to bumper for long stretches.  With several new subdivisions being developed on this stretch of road, I can’t image how Loop 336 will be able to carry this volume of traffic.”

 

Construction contractor Kevin Bayer:

“Well being its close to home and will affect my personal and business lifestyle I would say the extension of The Woodlands Parkway  would be top of my list. I feel this project is an attempt to push personal agenda and personal gain. Clearly stated by the lack of opposition by some of the elected officials. We as a comminity spoke but they don’t care to listen. I feel the money can be better spent to boost our already congested streets that flow through that area. Why add to it instead of improving what’s already established? This project has met with an overwhelming disapproval from the people it affects the most, the people of The Woodlands. The Woodlands has a home town feel and I think this is what attracts people to the area. Following through with a project like this strips the identity of the township. Creates more headache for the non-passer-by folks.”

 

Precinct 4

 

Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark:

 

“The widening of State Highway 242 is in process and unfinished but, in my opinion, that’s the most needed commuter mobility need in Montgomery County.”

 

Precinct 4 road and bridge crew:

 

“SH 242 is the roadway backup traffic in Precinct 4. We’re working hard everyday to pave residential roads and side streets.”

 

Political activist and ER nurse Paul Crowson:

 

“Well, for me it would be the intersection of FM 1314 at SH 242. Recent strange construction activity that has resulted in many more accidents near the approaches to that intersection are not an improvement at all. And our inquiries with the county and Tx-DOT fall on deaf mute entities. The county lies to us about it, Tx-DOT just will look at you condescending and arrogantly, actually glaring , this happens when we go to the Tx-DOT office in Conroe from which the design plans originate for this project. They want us to go away, …..after we pay taxes and tolls, they don’t want our input, only our shrinking dollars.”

 

Saving the best answer for last:

 

Conroe attorney and 284th District Court candidate Robert Rosenquist:

 

“While I think a mobility plan is vital because of Montgomery County’s continued growth, it does not fall under the purview of a District Judge. Honestly, the only mobility I’m worried about is cases moving through the 284th District Court in an efficient and expedient manner. I think it’s best to leave the vehicle mobility challenges to those qualified to handle them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login