GALVESTON — A proposal to redesign a major city corridor will be before the city’s Industrial Development Corp. this morning.

The corporation, which controls spending of the city’s 4B sales tax funds, will consider awarding $275,000 to a project that would design a “walkable streetscape” on 27th Street between Broadway and Seawall Boulevard.

“In discussions with the city of Galveston, it is our understanding that 27th Street needs to be designed to allow for a walkable streetscape,” wrote Sean Rooney, director of the civil division of PBK, the engineering firm bidding to design the project, in a letter outlining the proposal.

“In addition to re-striping the street to allow for on-street parking, bicycles and two lanes to traffic, the streetscape should have an aesthetic and functional design that is focused on accommodating pedestrians.”

Rooney wrote that the city intends to spend up to $1 million on street improvements for the project.

The money asked for in today’s proposal would go toward developing a master plan for the area, as well as some immediate sidewalk construction work near Kermit Courville Stadium.

It is unclear which of the corporation’s four dedicated silos — individual pots of money set aside for parks, beaches, infrastructure and economic development — the $275,000 would come out of.

The corridor projects have been pushed by interim City Manager Brian Maxwell since the beginning of his tenure as a way to bring needed rehabilitation to parts of the city. Maxwell has indicated that if the 27th Street project is successful that other neglected corridors, such as 45th Street, could receive similar improvements.

If approved by the Industrial Development Corp., the project will be sent to the City Council for final approval.

At a glance

WHAT: Galveston Industrial Development Corp. meeting

WHEN: 9 a.m. today

WHERE: City Hall, 823 Rosenberg Ave., in Galveston

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or

(6) comments

Jim Casey

27th Street is ideal as a direct walk and bicycle route from the Strand district to the Seawall. It doesn't have the fast traffic or parked vehicles that can be problems on other streets. It was resurfaced a few years ago. It just needs striping for bicycle lanes, and sidewalks.

I ride my bike there all the time, without striping.

Most other north-south streets are either too busy or not continuous. 51st is good. 43rd would be if it were resurfaced—as it is now, it is one of the roughest streets in town..

- Jim

Kevin Martin

Good luck with that. First, you need to clean all the crack heads and bums that frequent that area. All they are going to do is tear it up. Once you do that, you might have something.

Jim Casey

This kind of comment would not merit a response except that you would think you "won."

I live in the Kempner Park neighborhood. I enjoy it. While there are a few people with alternative or self-destructive lifestyles, there are not many snobs or bigots.

I'm going to repeat what I have said before now: There's a big six-lane interstate that goes to the Houston airports, and from there you can go anywhere in the world that you like better.

BTW, I am not afraid to be known by my real name. I am James Casey. I live at 3202 Avenue O.

- Jim

Steve Fouga

Jim, you live on one of the Island's best streets! Absolutely beautiful, and the one I think typifies the best of Galveston. We were almost neighbors, as I nearly bought the yellow house catacorner across 32nd a few years ago.

To your comment about 51st, it is a primo north-south corridor, as it goes (by a different name) all the way to Seawolf Park to the north, and almost to Seawall on the south. University would be another good candidate, as would 14th. A few easy-to-negotiate north-south corridors might revolutionize tourist traffic on the Island. My parents visited Galveston almost weekly for 25 years of retirement, and had never seen Kempner Park, Cedar Lawn, Red Light, or Denver Court until I moved here and showed them. The had simply stuck to the east-west thoroughfares and 61st because they were easy. Any walking was done on Seawall Blvd or Downtown.

Jim Casey

"We were almost neighbors, as I nearly bought the yellow house catacorner across 32nd a few years ago."

That house (2127 Ave. O) was a bit run-down in the 1990s, when we moved here. It has been extensively remodeled, and has sold for a pretty good price several times since. It's in the $300,000 range now.

I wouldn't want to pay to get it painted, though.

We were lucky to buy into a shabby neighborhood that was on its way up. I passed up that kind of opportunity in the past, elsewhere.

As for 6th Street, it is not a good bicycle route. It has no parking lane—in other words, it is curb-to-curb moving vehicles—and the pavement is a bit rough. 8th is much better for bicycles.

That said, I would not avoid any street in Galveston during the day if I wanted to go there. I'm not thrilled by Avenue S, Stewart, and a few others because of the traffic, bad pavement, or narrow lanes. I know how to get around them (Q, for example). I've ridden everywhere from East Beach to Pirates Cove, and Port Bolivar to Crystal Beach.

- Jim

Kevin Martin

BTW "JIm", I'm a 3rd generation BOI and that area always has, and always will be full of crackheads and bums. Truth hurts....[wink]

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