While it is certainly true that voters effectively ended the great Houston light rail expansion, it is clearly not true that they intended to do that when they mistakenly voted “For” Metro on Tuesday.
The confusion that all poll workers encountered about this issue was amazing, considering how passionate most voters were in their expressions of desire for more light rail and soon. Generally, they couldn’t believe that elected officials and Metro were putting the question to them in a way that would achieve the opposite effect they intended if they voted For.
You could look at the resulting vote and say, wow, 78% of people support Metro! But that would be as false as the Metro board and elected officials saying, “See, voters want roads, not transit.” Still, the point is clear that we really don’t know what the voters were saying.
Although Metro chairman Gilbert Garcia told the Chronicle on election night “You bet we are going to look at the next step for rail,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker, in the same article, quickly squashed that thought saying “We have been cannibalizing the bus system in order to support the light rail lines.” She will push for more “balance” between light rail and buses, the exact position of the people who opposed the 2003 Metro referendum and forced this absurd vote.
But there is still life in the movement for higher quality of life that enables people to live in walkable neighborhoods that are connected by transit, and you can be sure that transit advocates are not going away, not giving up.
So this website will remain active – and we will continue to build the pro-transit network through social media and community forums to find a way back to the quest for a sustainable, livable Houston. Keep the faith.
-David Crossley, president, Houston Tomorrow.