The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, October 23 – On the motion and urging of Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court finally approved – by a 5 to 0 vote – a proposal to edit the Major Thoroughfare Plan for Montgomery County. The vote permits the County government to coordinate major road plans countywide.
Although The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, firmly believes that less government spending is always the best source of freedom, if government must spend money, government should take care and plan how it is to make the expenditures. Noack has sought a revision to the Major Thoroughfare Plan for many years.
In particular, there are three major roads which remain on the Major Thoroughfare plan map of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC), the regional road planning agency which distributes federal and state highway funds, which clearly go against the wishes of Montgomery County citizens. First and foremost, thanks to the obstinance of disgraced former County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley, the Woodlands Parkway Extension (WPX) remains not the Major Thoroughfare Plan map, even though Montgomery County voters soundly rejected that proposal in 2015.
Additionally, there is an extension of Gosling Road northward right through the W.G. Jones State Forest, which County residents have made clear they do not want. Third, there is an extension of Branch Crossing Road in The Woodlands northward at least too F.M. 1488, also a very unpopular road proposal.
Riley said during the meeting, “I have no intention of building Gosling road extending north…It’s no way that will ever be done.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts said, I’m a stay in my own lane kind of guy. I’m not going to get in anyone else’s business,” meaning that he w0uld not interfere with road projects in other Commissioner Precincts.
Noack, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, however, urged Countywide planning particularly given the growth Montgomery County is experiencing.
Representatives of the County Engineer’s Office made clear that Montgomery County could edit and amend the Major Thoroughfare Plan but the changes would still require approval of the full HGAC Transportation Policy Council.
The Commissioners Court will consider a contract with Brown and Gay Engineers, the engineeringfirm Noack has recommended for providing the professional services for the amendment to the Montgomery County portion of the HGAC Plan.
“I’m excited that the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to revise the Major Thoroughfare Plan. It’s a major step forward for the Commissioners Court and the County government,” Noack said in a brief interview with this newspaper.