The East End District is a unique business and residential community that offers significant throughput corridors accommodating freight rail movement and commercial and general motorist traffic. Four railroads converge as part of a complex commodity flow that also creates mobility challenges for those that live, work or travel through the area.
As a community effort to address those challenges, the East End District will develop and implement a comprehensive strategy focusing on public safety, quality of life, and mobility.
Key initiatives will include:
- data collection and analysis to evaluate emergency service impacts,
- analyze railroad movement,
- Compile complaints against the railroad, and
- Address other concerns related to railroad operations.
The collected data will support opportunities for engineering improvements, rail safety education, and enforcement.
The comprehensive strategy effort will be led by Jack C. Hanagriff, a recently appointed Railroad Safety and Mobility Coordinator at the East End District. Hanagriff is a veteran of the Houston Police Department with a wealth of knowledge in infrastructure protection, transportation, community engagement, and safety. He will also become an advocate, address issues through all levels of government, and represent the East End community in meetings with railroad personnel.
The president of the East End District, Veronica Chapa Gorczynski, will also play a direct role in the new efforts. Commissioners Court at Harris County recently appointed her to the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Rail District, a government entity created by Harris County, the City of Houston, and Fort Bend County to enhance the economic benefits of rail by increasing mobility, access, and quality of life in the Houston area. In her new role, she is expected to increase advocacy efforts on behalf of the East End community.
According to Chapa Gorczynski, “the convergence of train, vehicle, and people regularly impact public safety, quality of life and mobility throughout the district. The amount of railroad activity and complexity justifies the need for a liaison that promotes railroad safety and mobility for the district.”