OST/South Union residents successfully advocate for traffic calming measures in high traffic areas

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HOUSTON – OST/South Union residents are celebrating after approval was given to install speed cushions in high traffic areas.

Three years ago, OST/South Union residents walked the streets of their community to gather support for the City of Houston’s Speed Control Program. With support from the OST/South Union Health Improvement Partnership (OHIP), residents identified some of the most unsafe streets in the community. Next, residents collected signatures to request speed cushions to help control the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.

Residents learned that the project was placed on the city’s waiting list, but OHIP staff discovered that there was an ordinance in place that would stall the request. Residents continued to communicate with city staff to request updates and in April 2021, it became clear that the ordinance would need to be modified to acknowledge the absence of speed reduction measures as a public health issue.

DREAM 77021 members learned about the speed cushion initiative and then partnered with OHIP to increase the number of residents engaging with local leaders to change the ordinance. With support from Houston City Council Member District D, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, and Chief of Staff Steven James, an ordinance that would’ve delayed the installation project was pushed through.

Supporters said the victory is a true example of how OST/South Union residents have advocated to address inferior conditions in their community.

“We applaud the efforts of the residents who have engaged in policy level change,” said District D.

Phase 1 of construction began on Sept.13 and is anticipated to end by Oct. 13. The project, known as Work Authorization No.16, will be executed by DG Medina Contractors.