September 20, 2007
I have a great appreciation for concerns about improvements along Kirby Drive and the effect on trees and green space. I personally built my home configured in a way to save the trees. I understand that most Houstonians like trees. We want people's input about the Kirby plan, but we also want them to understand the balance we are trying to strike.
The Kirby project has several goals. They include: (1) drainage improvements in an area experiencing flooding; (2) mobility and traffic safety in an area of great population growth; (3) promoting neighborhood retail choices, in a pedestrian friendly environment; and (4) green space, including trees. I believe the volunteer Upper Kirby TIRZ board and consultants have worked in good faith for several years to develop a plan to balance those goals.
I have asked Council Member Anne Clutterbuck and our Department of Public Works to help forge a consensus. She pays attention to detail and is analytical and is open-minded and listens to people. That is what she is doing now.
I urge people to deal with the TIRZ board directly and Council Member Clutterbuck. I also urge them to assume the people with whom they are dealing value our community, and its quality of life, every bit as much as you do. All citizens share our desire to keep traffic moving safely.
I have discussed this issue at length with various professionals in the City, and we are examining the green space, pedestrian space, landscaping and trees before and after the drainage improvements are made along Kirby.