Friday, June 13, 2008

THE CITY OF BROWNSVILLE NEEDS TO CONSIDER TAX INCENTIVES TO PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT AWAY FROM US 77

Brownsville’s traffic is rapidly becoming a problem. For many in Brownsville it is already a problem, but in reality compared to major cities we do not have a problem. This does not mean now is not the time to address the problem. While in the past I was accustomed to shooting down Boca Chica to get on US 77, I now know during the day to expect a lot of traffic. From the airport to US 77 is about 12 minutes. Once I get on 77 it takes me an additional 22 minutes to the VA clinic in Harlingen. The slow part of the trip is Brownsville.

In the past those responsible for planning the cross roads with US 77 did a good job - no complaint there -really where else would you put an additional cross road to relieve traffic. Those responsible for planning and the city commission need to start thinking in terms of tax incentives to promote development, especially commercial development, away from US 77. I rarely if ever head towards US 77 - It is not worth the hassle. I know just about every back road and shortcut in Brownsville - but apparently so does everyone else. Even the back ways around US 77 have become near parking lots during times of the day.

48 (South Padre Highway) has plenty of room for development. This is an area wherein the city should be promoting development. I know there is new development in the 4 corners area. This is good. Although the section between Price Rd. and Boca Chica on 48 has become a nightmare. Further up towards Walmart there is plenty of land for development. 511 should be a major target of development.

Even in Southmost there is major underdevelopment. Part of the problem is perception. HEB apparently believes only people who eat meat scraps live in Southmost. The HEB on Southmost is as worthless as a dead horse at Beaumont race track. They never have anything I want. We really need a new grocery store in Southmost.

My point is, the city needs to consider tax incentives or other measures to encourage development away from US 77 as a means to relieve the traffic congestion. Now is the time to consider such measures, and not once Boca Chica or the other cross roads which cross US 77 become parking lots.

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