League City aims to beautify Main Street with medians

(Courtesy Fotolia)
(Courtesy Fotolia)

(Courtesy Fotolia)

Despite concerns from local business owners, League City officials hope in the coming months to revitalize Main Street by overlaying it with new asphalt and installing landscaped medians in place of its shared center turn lanes.

About six months ago, the Texas Department of Transportation told the city it would be overlaying Main Street with new asphalt from just east of I-45 to just west of FM 270 around March 2021. That is when League City officials proposed installing medians, which could be the beginning of other improvements for the road.

“The median is to draw attention to we’re doing something; we’re making improvements here,” said David Hoover, director of planning and development.

Officials believe Main Street needs a breath of fresh air to make it attractive to residents and visitors. By installing medians and landscaping them with grass and trees, the area will become more desirable and safer, Hoover said.

Most of Main Street between I-45 and FM 270 includes a shared center turn lane. Generally, more vehicle crashes happen on roads with such lanes, though they do allow easier access to businesses because residents can turn at any point from either direction, Hoover said.

Over 10 years ago, the city proposed installing medians, and Main Street business owners shot it down, saying it would lead to closures because motorists would not be willing to make U-turns or navigate Main Street differently to reach their businesses.

“The primary concerns are people are fearful that if we do something to cause people to alter their routines, they won’t do it,” Hoover said. “That’s just unrealistic.”

In the decade since League City did not install medians, Main Street and its businesses have still suffered, Hoover said.

Businesses have closed; no new businesses have opened; residents do not walk Main Street; and the road is deteriorating. Meanwhile, areas of the city with medians are seeing new businesses because they “look successful,” he said.

While owners of businesses along Main Street do not oppose beautifying the city, they have concerns medians would hurt their businesses.

Lynn Davis of Clear Creek Orthodontics, which is just off Main Street, spoke at an Oct. 27 League City City Council meeting. Representing eight other business owners along Main Street, Davis expressed concerns with the medians being installed.

“To us, it is a main project [that affects] our businesses that has had an effect on these people who run these businesses,” he said. “It’s very concerning to us.”

League City officials believe medians will attract, not deter, potential customers. Officials do not want businesses to fail at the expense of installing medians, Hoover said.

“That’s like throwing money away,” he said. “We really do understand the fear and the concern that the people do have, ... especially on the heels of all this COVID[-19] stuff.”

As a bonus, the $6 million worth of work would be free. TxDOT has enough money to do the asphalt overlay and install medians along Main Street and landscape existing medians on several other roads without charging League City anything, Hoover said.

“The best thing about is it’s free,” he said.

League City City Council voted Nov. 10 to establish an ad hoc committee of Main Street business owners to involve them in the decision-making process.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



Eric Williams started as superintendent Jan. 18. (Courtesy of Clear Creek ISD)
Eric Williams concludes first week as Clear Creek ISD superintendent

Williams plans to spend his first months on the job discovering how the district can sustain and build on its quality of education.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.

More than 3,200 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Galveston County since Jan. 6. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Galveston County adds 38 COVID-19 deaths in 2 weeks

Nearly 30% of the total county coronavirus cases are considered active as of Jan. 20.

The fried egg burger ($13) is an 8 oz. beef burger on a brioche bun topped with a fried egg, bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions, served with fries.
J. Henry’s Draught House + Kitchen: Family-style eatery offers rotating craft beer selection with crowd-pleasing dishes

When Clear Lake residents visit J. Henry’s Draught House + Kitchen, they can find a beverage to their liking whether they are craft beer aficionados or novices.

19 businesses that opened in the Bay Area in 2020

Here are businesses that opened in the Bay Area in 2020.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.