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Update on Pearland Park & Ride


Pearland city officials are counting on a study by the Houston-Galveston Area Council to turn the idea of a Park & Ride in the city to reality.

Assistant City Manager Nick Finan said the study will look at a number of factors, including the location, cost, the parties that should be involved and the funding sources that could help get a Park & Ride off the ground.

No timetable has been set for completing the study, Finan said.

"It's a complicated issue," City Manager Bill Eisen said. "There are a lot of funding sources out there, and until we know more about them, it's hard to say if it's a definite thing that can happen or not."

This spring, Pearland officials received separate proposals from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County and a Texas-based consulting firm about starting a Park & Ride along Texas 288.

Metro's proposal initially would provide 400 parking spaces at Cinemark Cinema on Texas 288 south of FM 518 until a permanent parking structure is built, Eisen said.

The city would pay $500,000 a year for the temporary parking until a three-story parking structure is built that would accommodate 1,500 to 2,000 vehicles. After the structure is complete, the city would contribute $1.6 million a year under the plan.

The Goodman Corporation, a transportation and urban-planning firm, presented a short-term proposal that would provide 250 parking spaces at a to-be-determined existing site, Eisen said.

The corporation's long-term plan calls for construction of a permanent parking facility with 600 parking spaces.

After holding several workshop meetings on the issue, Pearland officials decided to take a step back to explore all the options.

"The Metro proposal would require a significant commitment of the city," City Councilwoman Felicia Kyle said. "It seems to be a financially challenged project."

Kyle said City Council needs feedback from Pearland residents "about what they would like to see or not to see."

City Councilman Kevin Cole also has concerns about the cost to the city of setting up and maintaining a Park & Ride.

Finan said the H-GAC study also would gauge how a Park & Ride in Pearland would fit into a "future holistic transportation system for the city."

"We wouldn't put it in a location that wouldn't benefit us in the future," he said.

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