Cristin Emshoff, an urban planner with Baxter & Woodman, presented an update on the master thoroughfare plan process during a second public meeting May 25.
In a nutshell
The master thoroughfare plan process kicked off in January, followed by a community open house in February to gather community input, according to the plan’s website. The plan’s purpose is to identify recommendations for the city’s transportation network, priorities for the community and potential funding sources for the projects, Emshoff said.
Quote of note
“The whole process of creating a master thoroughfare plan very much helps a community like Magnolia where we’re building out, we’re trying to add more road systems, [alleviate] traffic congestion and in general, the city can’t afford it on its own,” Emshoff said during the meeting.
A closer look
As part of the planning process, comments from Magnolia-area stakeholders were submitted via the plan’s website and at the first meeting in February. Emshoff said the planning team addressed the comments when drafting the project recommendations.
The draft recommendations shared May 25 include 43 projects grouped into six categories:
- Projects that could be done in coordination with Magnolia ISD, such as working with the district to provide internal circulation of vehicles on campus grounds as well as adding bicycle lanes and sidewalks to draw school pickup and drop-off traffic from the roadways
- Projects that could be done in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation, such as adding a traffic signal at Magnolia Ridge Boulevard and FM 1488 and building the Magnolia Relief Route
- Roadway maintenance of older, narrow roads that the city would budget for
- Roadway widening of Buddy Riley Boulevard that would be pursued in partnership with Montgomery County Precinct 2
- Studies, such as a drainage master plan and a trail study
- Road projects that would be funded by developers and include widening roads as new development comes along, such as new connections from Old Hockley Road to FM 1488
Representatives with Baxter & Woodman stressed during the meeting partnerships with other funding sources are needed to make these recommended projects become reality. The majority of projects would not be funded by the city, Emshoff said, as many recommendations regard TxDOT-managed roads, such as FM 1488, FM 1774 or FM 1486.
According to the meeting presentations, potential funding sources identified for the $1.6 billion in recommended projects include:
- Magnolia ISD
- Montgomery County Precinct 2
The next phase of the planning process includes generating a final report, which is expected to be presented to the city in June.