Story By: Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues
HOUSTON– The community had questions and Texas Department of Transportation had few answers to 200 attending a community meeting in the Acres Home community. The meeting was held to call TXDot to task on a $24 million project at I-45 at Shepherd and Little York that went forward without community input. Only two people gave feedback in 2011 before the project got underway. Residents expressed concerns about the closing of Millville and Rittenhouse streets, flooding and drainage issues and the increased traffic problems causing concern for school children crossing Shepherd Drive from two apartment complexes. State Senator John Whitmire and State Rep. Sylvester Turner, who also contended the project got by them, moderated the meeting and stood with residents demanding answers and drilling TXDOT for not properly communicating with them and leaving residents in the district out of the loop. TXDOT Representative Quincy Allen apologized to the crowd and promised not only to keep resident informed in the future, but also provide a place at the discussion table each week for updates on the project and to answer any questions that come up during the project. Turner said it is a case of taking something negative and creating a positive result.