Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia shared updates on everything from the Port of Houston to local road projects during a Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership webinar Oct. 5.

Garcia, who spoke about things he is concentrating on before the 2021 Texas legislative session, said both the Johnson Space Center and the Port of Houston are amenities unique to Precinct 2.

“So those are always on the forefront of my mind,” he said.

Garcia is committed to widening and deepening the port, a move that would allow more ships to move in the port. Already other ports are trying to take business away from the “economic juggernaut” that is the Port of Houston, Garcia said.

“Too many other ports around the area are chomping at the bit to get our business, and I won’t have it,” he said.

Equally as important is improving roadways to make sure freight can travel across the land efficiently. Garcia is taking a look at semitrailer truck bottlenecks that occur on the Beltway 8 bridge and along I-10 in addition to other roads in the precinct, he said.

“We gotta get that freight moving,” Garcia said. “Time is money.”

One way the county is looking to address such work is by using money from Harris County toll roads to fund infrastructure projects for commercial freight into and out of the port, he said.

On a smaller scale, Precinct 2 is in the midst of widening El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake. Garcia said the project is going smoothly with no recent problems to report.

“As far as I know, it’s moving along nicely,” he said. “I know the community is excited about it.”

Garcia also spoke about the rising homelessness problem. With evictions happening, the homeless population may increase in a city where thousands of homeless people already congregate downtown, in parks and under freeways, Garcia said.

“We cannot allow that to turn into permanent or chronic homelessness,” he said of recent evictions.

Harris County and Houston have partnered to pour $65 million into creating a strategy to solve the homelessness crisis. The plan includes addressing mental health needs, providing temporary housing and ensuring Harris County jail inmates released do not end up back on the streets and cycle back into the jail, Garcia said.

“This is important because it impacts the quality of life in communities,” he said. “We can do better, and we will do better.”