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METRO delaying vote on new East End overpass, a project residents have voiced opposition to

Residents claim METRO didn't do enough Spanish-language outreach about the project in a predominantly Hispanic community.

HOUSTON — METRO is delaying a vote on a new bus-only overpass that would replace a green median on the East End.

It's a project many residents voiced their opposition to during a METRO board meeting Thursday. 

"METRO is proposing an unwanted, unsightly divide," one resident said. 

"It could break down the fabric of our community right down the center," another resident said. 

The overpass would replace a median that stretches from McKinney Street to Brady Street to bypass the trains. 

The feature would actually be apart of a bigger project called the METRORapid University Corridor Project. The goal of the project is to connect the city from Westchase Park & Ride to the Tidwell Transit Center.

Residents say the bridge would divide their neighborhood and reduce the walkability of the area. They also criticized METRO for not doing enough Spanish-language outreach in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood.

"Meeting notices were sent late, often after a meeting date, or in languages residents don’t speak," one resident said.

METRO claims it sent out mailers in four different languages but online, the latest information could only be found in English.

Local, state and even federal elected officials have too voiced their concerns, asking METRO to look at all of its options. 

"The real fear is that what is being considered would harm this historic neighborhood," said Houston City Council member Robert Gallegos. 

"Overpasses tend to be divisive and tend to separate communities even further," said Commissioner Adrian Garcia, "Our black and brown communities have too much of that."

In addition to delaying the vote, METRO has decided to speak to residents to get their opinions about the bus-only overpass. 

Those meetings will begin as early as next week.

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