“Wallisville Reimagined” Encourages Participation From Residents

By David Taylor
North Channel Star

North Shore residents turned out to voice their opinion in the process to re-envision the Wallisville Road corridor on Friday, Aug. 4, at the Harris County Cultural Arts Center. The four-hour come-and-go meeting invited participants to participate in Pct. 2 Adrian Garcia’s Revive2Thrive community revitalization initiative particularly focused on Wallisville Road from Maxey Road to Uvalde.

“We’re going to do improvements on the corridor, but we want to get input from the community on what they want,” said Sonia Cantu, capital improvements manager for Pct. 2. “We don’t want to tell you what you need, we want your feedback before we provide the design.”

That design, she said, included everything from pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic with lighting, amenities, traffic signals, and safety.

“We’re taking the whole corridor and looking at how it affects all types of users in the community,” Cantu said.

Amanda Marshall, PE, CFM, ENV SP and assistant director of capital projects for Pct. 2 said this was part of their five-year capital improvements plan.

“This project was identified as part of the North Shore Community Plan and we’re here to listen tonight to the residents to see what they want to see on Wallisville—how they use it, experience it, and what they would like to see in the future,” she said. “We don’t have anything in mind yet. We want to hear what people want.”

One of the questions was a sidewalk on Normandy that ended about 10 feet short of the road.

“We have a signal project going on right now at Normandy and Wallisville where we’ll build the ramps to connect with the sidewalk for wheelchairs and is ADA compliant,” she said.

Cantu said part of the reasoning for leaving it temporarily relates to the number of accidents at that intersection.

“We want to look in depth to find a safer alternative, so we didn’t want to put in the ramps and then have to tear them back out again and waste taxpayer money,” she said. “Once we figure out the safety issue, that will be completed as well.”

Mahmoud Salehi, P.E. and vice president for Cobb, Fendley, and Associates said the intersection is pretty tight with little right-of-way with gas lines and additional infrastructure.

“It would have to be a signalized intersection with a push button APS,” he described it. An APS is an Accessible Pedestrian Signal, a pedestrian push button that communicates when to cross the street in a non-visual manner, such as audible tones, speech messages, and vibrating surfaces.

Marhall said the project is in the study phase and it will take approximately one year to complete.

“Then we’ll develop a perception for the road and once that’s approved by the precinct and the community, we’ll go into a design phase that joins the contractor for construction,” she said.

Construction isn’t expected to begin for another four to five years.

The money comes from the 2022 $1.2 billion bond that is split between the precincts. Precinct 2 received an allocation of $294 million that includes parks, public safety, roadway projects, and drainage.

“We’re doing studies all over the precinct and once we’re done, we’ll take a look at the whole picture and see where to invest our dollars,” Marshall said.

All photos by David Taylor