The Woodlands Township discussed possible methods to address resident concerns surrounding increased traffic and road noise along major roadways, such as Research Forest Drive and Kuykendahl Road, during its Aug. 23 meeting.

The background

Residents spoke about increased road noise and traffic issues surrounding the neighborhoods that sit along major roadways in The Woodlands. Chief Operations Officer Chris Nunes provided a report to the board Aug. 23 regarding whether the township had any authority to address concerns on behalf of residents.

What are the options?

Nunes said the township has minimal room to provide additional traffic control or noise reduction due to the fact roadways in the township are managed by the county or state. While the township does have right of way authority to plant trees, which provide a natural noise buffer, it cannot make improvements on private property or within county or state jurisdiction without approval.

The township put $1 million toward additional reforestation efforts during the Aug. 22 budget workshop for fiscal year 2023-24, but work will not begin until next year on planting, officials said.

What they’re saying

“This is a very challenging issue from a number of different aspects,” Nunes said. “No. 1, and first and foremost, The Woodlands Township does not have responsibility for the care and maintenance of the roadway system in the community. So we do not have ordinance-making ability to address some of the residents' concerns. We don't have the ability to say what can and cannot go on roads.”

“I think there are a lot of good points in here that can be taken on as residential opportunities. ... Is it possible to thicken the area in the reserve, and can they raise their fencing?” board Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs said.

Nunes said the township would look into the issue raised by Sekula-Gibbs.