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Keep Houston Press Free
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East End Doesn't "Explode" Metro

An e-mail was circulating around the East End this week, urging residents and business owners come Wednesday night to "an explosive meeting that will change the course of light rail in Houston."

How "explosive" things got is a bit debatable, but East Enders let Metro know they are plenty pissed about the agency's plans for their neighborhood.

Metro is looking at putting in a six-lane bridge and a large bus-repair center in the East End; Julio del Carpio of the Harrisburg Merchant Association says 40 or so businesses would be eliminated by the plans.

Del Carpio is the one who promised explosives; he tells Hair Balls that things didn't quite get that heated.

"The community expressed their concerns," he says. "So far Metro's been saying 'Yeah, we'll consider those concerns' and nothing's been happening."

Nothing much changed last night, he said. Metro officials listened, nodded, promised to take into consideration what they heard.

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Perhaps more helpful for the residents was the chance to provide letters from U.S. Rep. Gene Green and Harris County commissioner Sylvia Garcia opposing both projects.

Earlier this month the residents along Wheeler Avenue won a battle with Metro over the placing of a proposed light-rail line.

East Enders can only hope the agency remains in a giving mood.

-- Richard Connelly

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