Commissioner Briones partners with Council Member Edward Pollard, TIRZ No. 1 to complete crucial sidewalk in Southwest Houston

13 Dec, 23

Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones, City of Houston Council Member Edward Pollard, St. George Place Redevelopment Authority/Tax Increment Investment Zone 1, and community partners celebrated the completion of a sidewalk project crucial to hike-and-bike mobility in a dense portion of southwest Houston.

The project blazed a north-south walkway along the Bering Ditch in a patch of southwest Houston known for a compact collection of public schools, apartment complexes, workplaces and shops.

A pre-COVID survey indicated that about 2,000 people used the pathway every weekday before the sidewalk was built. Now they no longer have to travel over mud, holes, patches choked with weeds and other hazards.
Tax Increment Reinvestment District 1 developed the project, which was funded with its tax increment dollars as well as money from Briones' and Pollard's offices.

“TIRZ 1 handled development of the project, but the follow-through shows what can be done when local government agencies work together for the public good,” said TIRZ Chairman Frank Donnelly III.

“As a mother and former teacher, I am grateful that the newly completed sidewalks along the Bering Ditch will serve as a safe pathway for the many children who use it to get to school,” Briones said. “The residents of this area have long-awaited serious upgrades that will improve their safety and quality of life. Harris County Precinct 4’s new partnership with the City of Houston in TIRZ #1 in St. George Place will ensure more of the community’s hard-earned tax dollars are reinvested into economic development and infrastructure projects that directly serve the neighborhood.”

The need for the sidewalk project was not fully recognized" until the TIRZ stood up and saw it as an issue and made it a priority,” Pollard said.

He ensured that speed bumps were placed on Beverly Hill and Skyline streets, parts of which pass over the ditch project.

“This area is starting to have a facelift,” he said of the southwest neighborhoods that include Wisdom High School, Pilgrim Academy, businesses and a cluster of apartment complexes. “It starts with the community advocating” for positive change.