I, Robert Muhammad, am the self appointed, self directed, self recognized Chairman of the unofficial, unauthorized, unfunded Houston 2020 Summer Olympics Committee.
Houston, Texas is a non-zoned, free market, developer friendly city that has no comprehensive plan to speak of. Getting the development community to work together toward a common vision is like trying to herd cats. Its hard to stop what you are doing when your short term interests are so lucritive, even though your long term prosperity is in jeopardy. What is needed is a unifying cause or goal. I don't believe anything less than a man on the moon by the end of next decade challenge will do.
Daniel Burham, co-author of the Chicago Plan of 1909 said: "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die.”
In order to prepare to host the Olympics we need a plan. That plan needs to be big! It should include some of the following ideas:
·We need a first class integrated, multi modal, mass transit system which includes light rail, commuter rail and high speed rail connecting Houston, Dallas, Austin/San Antonio (a Texas Triangle not a T-Bone). Madrid is bidding for the 2016 Olympics. They have a regional transportation authority, a consortium to do the construction and Madrid Metro Operates the system.
We can build and operate such a system if we don't siphon off another $2.7 billion dollars from our mass transit system under the guise of general mobility over the next 10 years. For instance, there are nearly 10,000 bus stops in the MTA system with only 2,200 bus shelters. That’s criminal in this heat! Don’t blame Metro, it’s not running the deficit, the city and county are plugging their deficit with mass transit money.
We need a minimum $2 billion dollar investment in our storm water and waste water system. $50 million a year is not going to suffice given our rate of projected growth over the next 30 years.
We have to build and upgrade millions of square feet of housing, hotel, and activities facilities inside the 610 Loop (U of H, TSU, Rice, Stadiums). This build out left behind after the Olympics will make our city a much better place. The planned olympic villages can be converted to mixed income, mixed use workforce housing.
Where there is no vision the people perish: Proverbs 29:18
A vision without people shall perish: Rev. Kirby John Caldwell
A vision without a plan is a hallucination: Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk