What has been the hook in Culberson’s jaw to make him come to the table and put out this grandiose agreement with Gilbert Garcia?
In my estimation, that hook can only be coming from elements in his district wanting clarity on the rail-on-Richmond/Post Oak issue.
Afton Oaks once again, for better or for worse, dictates to the rest of METRO’s service area its light-rail policy.
Wanting clarity on the Richmond/Post Oak rail issue makes Culberson’s agreement this week not so surprising.
He simply wants new votes, and I don’t much blame him for that.
Another hook in Culberson’s jaw may be the rest of the Houston congressional delegation as well as elements in the Republican Party wanting the federal money-faucet to start going in earnest.
What this agreement does, I think, is codify, though not in law, a broad regional strategy for public transport as well as lay a foundation for future regional inter-government cooperation.
More importantly, the fast-tracking of the METRO Board composition change takes away from a future rogue Mayor of Houston the ability to completely stymie the process of mass-transit improvement, as Mayors Holcombe, Lanier, and White did with such effect.
It also gives a new perspective on Houston Mayor Lee Brown’s work in the late 1990s to bring light rail to our city.
However, this work also set a precedent for light rail that is at-grade and stops for red lights, the wisdom of which is to my mind still to be proven.
My friend, Wayne Ashley, in his blog is far-more effusive about this ‘Culberson-Garcia Accord’ than I.
Culberson could still be forced to go back on his word, and this year’s election for Mayor of Houston could produce a maverick with his own ideas about Houston mass-transit which include not so much cooperation with the County and Multi-Cities, which for Houston-area bus riders will not be a good thing.
Yes, I am very guarded about all of this.
If Culberson keeps his word and the next Mayor of Houston does not sabotage everything with a new rogue Board, the agreement between Culberson and Garcia could go down in history as one of the brilliant moments in the history of Houston mass-transit.
We shall see.