Two community groups in northwest Harris County have set out to improve communication and better connect residents and business owners along the heavily traveled and developed FM 1960 corridor.
Earlier this year, the Cypress Creek Parkway CommUNITY formed with the intent of connecting all the neighborhoods along the roadway after organizer Elizabeth Davis realized the subdivisions around hers were dealing with similar issues and challenges.
"I started looking more outside of our neighborhood and noticed things like empty buildings, empty lots and ugly signage, and it was concerning," she said. "I thought if all the neighborhoods along the corridor got together, I bet we could solve all of what's going on out here, and it would benefit our neighborhoods."
Members of the Cypress Creek Parkway CommUNITY group are focused on getting in touch with utility districts and other organizations along FM 1960 and identifying the main issues along the corridor such as litter, bandit signs and low-income housing.
"We want to learn about programs in existence and implement them in this corridor," Davis said. "Signage is also a very big distraction from the roadway. I think it's grown and grown so fast that there's just been no control."
Another community-led group, Renaissance 1960 is a nonprofit organization that the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce helped spin off several years ago to focus solely on the FM 1960 corridor.
"The biggest issue is changing the reputation of the Northwest Houston area and branding it so it can grow in a positive way," said Larry Lipton, organizer with the Cypress Creek Parkway CommUNITY group and board member of Renaissance 1960.
In the last two years, this group has been connecting property owners at the Kuykendahl and FM 1960 intersection and brought them together to explore forming a property owner's association.
"We were able to work to get the designs created for landscaping and signage, and we feel like it can move quickly once the POA is formed and they have a governing board," said Barbara Thomason, president of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce. "The thought is that if that corner is successful, then either the whole concept could be replicated along the corridor, or the boundaries could expand as the property owners desire."
The biggest challenge for organizers along the 1960 corridor like Davis has been letting people know these groups exist and getting others to participate.
"I see a lot of great things happening on 1960," Davis said. "We have lots of building going on and people are remodeling older structures. We want to jump on that bandwagon and help things along."