MEDIA ADVISORY: Community Advocates Call for Reevaluation of Hardy Downtown Connector Project in Houston

Project fails to consider recent demographic changes, transportation trends, and environmental challenges

Houston, TX – A coalition of community organizations, residents, and environmental advocates are organizing a blockwalk on Saturday, March 9 at 10:30 am, starting at Earl Henderson Park located at 4250 Elysian St., Houston, 77009. The aim is to raise awareness about the proposed Hardy Downtown Connector and to elevate community concerns about the project’s reliance on outdated data and its potential to exacerbate community division and environmental issues in Houston and Harris County.

The Hardy Downtown Connector, as currently planned, is a new four-lane highway proposed next to homes, churches, businesses, and parks in Near Northside, including the location of the meet-up, Earl Henderson Park. If the project proceeds as planned, it will further disrupt community cohesion and exacerbate environmental challenges in the Near Northside area.

Critics of the project highlight that the existing plans, promising park and trail improvements, mask the core issue: a partly elevated and trenched highway that will inevitably lead to increased traffic, noise, and air pollution, including carbon emissions, that cannot be effectively mitigated. This approach overlooks recent TxDOT data showing stagnant or reduced driving demands and fails to consider the area’s significant residential and infrastructural developments since the early 2000s.

Advocates are calling on HCTRA and the Harris County Commissioner’s Court to postpone the project until the corridor can be comprehensively re-studied. Advocates also want genuine community engagement from HCTRA that is fully transparent about the highway component of the project and that explores alternative transportation solutions that genuinely serve the needs and preferences of the Near Northside residents and nearby communities that will be directly impacted by the building of this new highway.

This project represents a pivotal moment for Harris County to pioneer a transformative infrastructure project that heals rather than divides. The coalition urges reimagining the Hardy and Elysian streets as vibrant neighborhood boulevards and exploring innovative solutions like Bus Rapid Transit or Greenways, especially considering the upcoming 2026 World Cup.

The blockwalk is a call to action and a plea for visionary leadership that prioritizes sustainable urban development, community cohesion, and environmental justice instead of expanding car lanes that do not alleviate congestion. The organizers invite all concerned citizens to join this crucial awareness-raising effort to ensure that the Hardy Downtown Connector becomes a project that unites and uplifts the community, setting a precedent for thoughtful urban planning in Houston and beyond.


Media contact: Riikka Pohjankoski, [email protected], 713 589 7079

About Air Alliance Houston
Air Alliance Houston is a non-profit organization working to reduce the public health impacts of air pollution and advance environmental justice through applied research, education, and advocacy. For more information and resources, please visit

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