STC to host forum on rail mass transit in the Valley on Oct. 1

South Texas College's History Department and Futuro McAllen, a citizens' organization dedicated to quality-of-life issues in McAllen, is hosting a forum on Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. titled "An Introduction to Rail Mass Transportation in McAllen" in the Rainbow Room of the STC's Pecan Campus Library, located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd.

Local architect Sam Garcia will make a presentation to inform and educate Rio Grande Valley residents about the value of adopting rail mass transit in the McAllen/Edinburg area. The forum is open to the public.

The proposed track starts at McAllen Miller Airport, continuing north through downtown McAllen, then along Bicentennial Blvd with stops at half-mile intervals. Each stop forms a unique node of mid-rise developments where people can live, work, and play. These pedestrian-friendly nodes will drive vertical growth in the city, expand the tax base and create new opportunities for business, tourism, urban living, arts, and entertainment. The line extends to Edinburg, stopping at the County Courthouse complex and The University of Texas-Pan American, making it a very different type of commuter school.

Historically, the Valley as we know it only came to be through the expansion of the railroad. Laying down tracks brought prosperity, diversity, and capital to the area. In a very real way, rail mass transit is in the Valley's DNA. The public is invited to examine how a future system might line up, where rail connections make sense, and why rail can serve as the catalyst for the next hundred years of growth and development in this part of the world.

Garcia is a licensed architect with the McAllen firm of Rike, Ogden, Figueroa and Allex. He earned his degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked at architecture and urban planning organizations in Boston, San Francisco, Austin, Corpus Christi, and Madrid, Spain.

For more information contact Garcia at 512-680-8360 or srg125@gmail.com.