A casual conversation that began at a METRO board workshop gathered a swell of protests after The Tribune published a story Aug. 7 detailing the local transportation agency’s suggested proposal to relocate the Kingwood Park and Ride closer to Hwy. 59 (ourtribune.com/community-2/trans-port/22361-metro-proposes-moving-kingwood-park-and-ride).

The story’s impact grew after residents learned of the idea and they flooded METRO with negative comments.

Houston City Councilmember Dave Martin, who represents Kingwood, shared the concerns with METRO CEO Tom Lambert and METRO Board Chair Carrin Patman.

On Aug. 23, Martin received a letter from Lambert which stated:

“In response to the Aug. 7 article in The Tribune entitled “Metro Proposes Moving Kingwood Park and Ride,” we want to follow up and clarify any misperception regarding the park and ride in Kingwood. During a METRO board workshop on July 19th, the option to build an additional park and ride closer to Highway 59 North and Kingwood Drive to improve service was discussed. This was one of several preliminary proposals deliberated to enhance park and rides throughout the METRO service area. Based on recent community input, our intent is to leave the existing park and ride in Kingwood in its current location. We would not build any community infrastructure without robust community input and we will continue to engage you and your constituents prior to advancing any new plans in your district.”

Martin later addressed METRO’s Lambert and Patman at the Houston City Council Transportation meeting, of which he is a member.

“The article [in The Tribune] caused a lot of angst in the community. They spoke. You listened. The positive feedback we got on that subject has been really good. Thank you for that,” Martin said.

He went on to say that relocating the Park and Ride to the front of Kingwood would mean putting 1,000 cars all trying to get to the Park and Ride on Kingwood Drive every day at 6:30 in the morning, the peak drive time. The thing about Kingwood Drive that folks may not know is that there are really only two major streets in the area of 70-80,000 people. Putting more cars there would have caused a major fiasco.

Patman replied, “Thank you for letting us know because we thought it was a good idea. But it turned out to be a bad idea.”

Cynthia Calvert
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A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.