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zaphod

City Council election 2014

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Who will you be voting for and why?

 

I ask because I feel like very little information on the candidates is available online and I don't follow council closely enough to decide.

 

That said, I already know I will vote Blanche Brick over Gabriel Periera.  I don't think his opinion that the town relies on student tax dollars but doesn't provide them services they use is going to result in anything good. The future of College Station is not just in undergrad education, but in A&M creating a cluster of companies and professionals who want a good place to live.  You also have fellow students who might have families(like the girl I work with who has kids and is getting her masters) and those families use parks and want safe neighborhoods.  He is also a college republican; council is supposed to be non-partisan not just officially but also in spirit. Don't want that cancer in city hall. Finally, whose tax dollars exactly? You mean parents' money? lol. NEXT.

 

Then there is the other challenger race, between Schultz and Harvell. The incumbent has a nice resume, the challenger seems like an unknown but has experience with the CVB. The official Zaphod endorsement will have to go to Schultz because her work with the Biomedical corridor exemplifies the direction I want this city to go. But good on Harvell for actually participating in local politics, we can't have unchallenged seats every single election.

Edited by zaphod

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Engineering, and Biomedical is the future of not only A&M, but Bryan, College Station. Particularly people that embrace the New Urbanism trend that has been growing college station is definitely something to look for in candidates. Those who are part of the status quo or those who continue to see Bryan, College Station as just that small town away from major cities.....need to simply leave. Nice to see someone bring these types of concerns into this forum though. I haven't been at A&M in awhile, but that whole area has the chance to really set a broad reaching national trend as far as University cities/towns are concerned.

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Engineering, and Biomedical is the future of not only A&M, but Bryan, College Station. Particularly people that embrace the New Urbanism trend that has been growing college station is definitely something to look for in candidates. Those who are part of the status quo or those who continue to see Bryan, College Station as just that small town away from major cities.....need to simply leave. Nice to see someone bring these types of concerns into this forum though. I haven't been at A&M in awhile, but that whole area has the chance to really set a broad reaching national trend as far as University cities/towns are concerned.

 

I personally am not a fan of New Urbanism as it stands (that's not to say there aren't some good ideas to take away from that), and especially not the types of people that tend to follow it (mostly talking in terms of the anti-car/mass transit fetishists--I'm not saying that all the NU people subscribe to that idea, but it's a dangerous philosophy).

 

Nor do I expect College Station to stay the same: it's going to continue to grow, and places like Hearne and Navasota are going to be the small town/suburb hybrids to it.

 

The big question is whether the "Houstonization" of the town is a good thing or a detrimental one.

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* by the way, "mass transit fetishists" was supposed to be hyperbole, in case you didn't catch that

 

Although speaking of mass transit, there needs to be a connecting highway (at least ROW and a smaller road for it) between 47 and FM 60 and Highway 40 and Wellborn Road.

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I don't really think any of this discussion on urban planning is really relevant to the current council race. But in any case its not about forcing that sort of planning on the community, rather the city simply allows it through LESS restrictive zoning classifications and the private development industry delivers based on measurable demand.  Over time the area around Northgate is becoming more of a walkable environment and maybe in the future new infill around Eastgate, southside, and along University drive will also create that vibe. IIRC They can do this because we now allow more multi story, more street fronting, less parking, more mixed uses, etc, than we used to before the first Northgate specific zoning classification was made way back; I dunno, you were the one who has a lot more experience with City Hall than I do.

 

But all that is besides the point.

 

I was thinking more along the lines of not cutting funds to build parks, bike trails, and other amenities that are attractive to middle class newcomers. They are one side of the equation, the other being the jobs they will fill as more companies move here. The two go hand in hand.

 

I took the comments made by Pereira in his interview with the Battalion to sort of mean he'd be in favor of cutting property taxes at the expense of community projects because he feels that transient undergraduate students and the absentee landlords who rent them housing have no need for those things. My point is that transient students are not the future of this town.

 

Also local people have a right to a city that works for them.

 

But he is the only polarizing candidate. As far as Schultz's work with the biocorridor and medical district, I think at the end of the day that is a mostly econ dev type project, less of a physical planning one. It seems the growth around the HSC is private, master planned communities. I don't see the city literally building out a district by itself, rather it enables the creation of one by being amenable to zoning and comprehensive transport plan changes while making the necessary tax deals.

 

Although speaking of mass transit, there needs to be a connecting highway (at least ROW and a smaller road for it) between 47 and FM 60 and Highway 40 and Wellborn Road.

 

 
This would be great. It's so hard to imagine this happening now because of all the "country estate" growth between the edge of town and the river.
 
Alternatively, I don't understand why 40 terminates into Wellborn road in a T-intersection.
 
Instead, "Wellborn Road" should be continuous with 40 and FM 2154 would branch off of the curve. Instead of the configuration as it is now, the contiguous wellborn-40 would be divided in preparation for an eventual overpass and the intersection would be signallized like the one at Barron. 
 
I understand that right now there might be more traffic on Wellborn road going to well, Wellborn, but in the future if the two effectively form a leg of a kind of non-freeway westside bypass(that also connects to 30 on the eastside), that will change. What we have is almost like a Austin Loop 360 type situation.
 
Also I wonder if 40 and 6 would ever accomodate direct connector flyovers
Edited by zaphod

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Student rental housing is killing neighborhoods and "gentrifying" others. There needs to be a limit to how much of the city is considered "student housing".

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The Biomedical Corridor isn't well-positioned for the highways it's near. FM 2818 can't really become a full freeway due to the awkwardness of the interchange at FM 2818 and Wellborn, and the student apartments along it make things worse, and with Mission Ranch filling in the remaining part of the northwest section of Rock Prairie and Holleman, that area's going to fill up more. Therefore, a highway needs to be placed to connect Highway 40 (and the Medical Corridor, by extension) with Highway 47. What does this have to do with the city council? They need to push west, not south, to control development in that area. I imagine a highway running over parts of North Graham and North Dowling would do the trick (assuming some ROW demolition and re-connecting roads). 

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