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Posts Tagged ‘parking’

Making open data better

Some positive news. Houston leaders in the last year or so have cheered the promise of “civic hacking,” pushing to make the mountains of data the city collects accessible to tech enthusiasts capable of building programs to help citizens better understand and interact with their government. Two “hackathons” and a few dozen “app” ideas later, […]

The downside to downtown’s boom

More traffic, less parking, and lots of construction. Where have we heard those complaints before? Construction crews are clearing city blocks once dedicated to surface parking, readying the sites for multistory office buildings, hotels and residential towers. Adjacent sidewalks and traffic lanes are cordoned off, and two major downtown cross-streets are tied up with light […]

It takes time to park, too

The Atlantic Cities had an article a couple of weeks ago about light rail in Houston. It’s an overview written for people who aren’t from Houston, so other than the extremely high opinion of themselves of some rail opponents – who knew we needed Daphne Scarbrough’s permission for infrastructure projects in this town? – there […]

Enabling bike parking at restaurants

Good to see this effort is making progress. It has taken some time, but a community effort to add bike racks in the Heights is seeing results. Heights resident Mitch Cohen has placed two racks along 19th Street this year that can each store about 10 bikes and will continue raising money for more. “I […]

Medical Center mobility

The problems they face today pale in comparison to the problems they will face in the future. Already the world’s largest medical complex, the Texas Medical Center is poised to get much bigger, prompting a raft of ideas ranging from routine to grandiose for expanding traffic and parking capacity. Medical Center officials predict another 28 […]

Park and Ride parking

I have no problem with this. Park and ride buses are among the cheapest options for suburban commuters who work downtown, in part because Metro provides free parking. But just as new highways increasingly require drivers to pay tolls, officials are considering changes to the park and ride system that would shift more costs to […]

Good news and bad news on the Washington Avenue parking benefit district

As you may recall, a bit more than a year ago Council approved a plan to create a “parking benefit district” for the Washington Avenue corridor, which is a fancy way of saying they approved the installation of parking meters whose revenue would then be used to help pay for infrastructure improvements in the area, […]

Texas cities embracing bicycles

It’s a good thing. In Fort Worth, the mayor hosts occasional bicycle rides called “Rolling Town Halls.” The Dallas City Council could may soon require new businesses to set aside space for bicycle parking. Over in El Paso, officials are developing plans for a bike-share system, which is expected to be the fifth such program […]

Parking Panda

Interesting Parking Panda, an online parking reservation system, launches Tuesday in Houston and Dallas. The site’s already up and running, taking reservations for lots around many area venues, including Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center. The concept is pretty simple: Go online, find the parking lot you want, based on price and […]

Chron wonders where B-Cycle is going

Last week in an unsigned editorial, the Chron asked a provocative question about B-Cycle. Are bicycle rental programs supposed to be legitimate transportation or merely toys for urban bohemians? New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante revealed Friday that her city’s attempts to make bike share more affordable, such as distributing free helmets and subsidizing Citi […]

Making downtown parking easier

Makes sense. In downtown Houston, there are about 3,200 parking spaces on the street – and a whopping 5,800 signs drivers must decipher to use them without getting towed or ticketed. Aiming to fix this “confusing mishmash of signs,” as Mayor Annise Parker put it, City Council on Wednesday approved a $1.3 million contract with […]

The Washington Avenue parking benefit district is now operational

From CultureMap: It took a while, but nearly five months after Houston City Council approved the first citywide Parking Benefit District for the Washington Avenue corridor, the meters started charging at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The City of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department hopes to solve a handful of issues with the new parking system, including […]

Why we need flexibility in our parking regulations

Here’s the story of Coltivare. As many of you know, we are in the process of opening Coltivare, our interpretation of an Italian-inspired, American, neighborhood restaurant, at the corner of White Oak and Arlington Streets. Undoubtedly, one of the most unique aspects to Coltivare, is the potential to have a 3,000 square foot, fully-functioning vegetable […]

Another reason why bike parking matters

This comment of the day on Swamplot points out a salient fact about bike parking. In all honesty, I only ride my bike for fun with the family on the weekends. However, after a couple of very frustrating attempts to park around White Oak to go out to dinner, I recently rode my bike down […]

Who says you can’t park there?

This story about parking in Houston is kind of fluffy, but this was something I didn’t know: Smaller developments like strip centers along frontage roads are moving away from dedicating parking to certain tenants, Hernandez said, realizing that opening spaces for everyone helps move people in and out. “If there is anything, there is a […]

One size does not fit all, parking regulations department

This makes a lot of sense to me. A proposed rewrite of Houston’s off-street parking rules could allow some areas to alter the new requirements or ditch them altogether, part of what Mayor Annise Parker said is an effort to allow tailored solutions in this “city of neighborhoods.” City planners say the off-street parking ordinance, […]

City proposes bike parking alternatives

Nice. Bicycle advocates are cheering a city proposal that would give businesses an incentive to offer bike parking and would require some properties to provide it for the first time, saying the ideas mark a cultural shift in Houston. “This is a first for Houston and a sign of how our city is evolving,” Mayor […]

The off-street parking debate

I believe the new offstreet parking requirements that have been proposed and are being debated are at least as big a deal as the Chapter 42 revisions. We really need to get this right. Under the new rules, some eateries – dessert shops, carryout restaurants – would need less parking, but requirements on most restaurants […]

And maybe we won’t need as much road capacity as we think, either

Felix Salmon writes about the possible implications of driverless cars. While I’ve generally been a fan of just about any alternative to the automobile, now I’m not so sure: I think that smart car technology is improving impressively, to the point at which it could be the most promising solution, especially in developed parts of […]

Ready or not, here comes Chapter 42

Changes are coming to Chapter 42, the section of Houston’s ordinances that deal with density and development, and to Chapter 26, the section on off-street parking for bars and restaurants and what have you. The revisions would allow neighborhoods to create special parking areas tailored to their needs, reduce parking requirements for historic buildings, allow […]

Council approves Washington Avenue parking benefit district

We’ll see how this works. The Houston City Council on Wednesday formed a special parking district along Washington Avenue, intended to ease the woes associated with the bustling corridor’s mix of bars, restaurants and residential streets. The plan will add parking meters on about 350 spaces along Washington, and will make it easier for residents […]

On the Parking Benefit District

A proposed ordinance to create a parking benefit district in the Washington Avenue corridor was on Council’s agenda this week, but it was tagged and will wait a week while everyone gets up to speed on it. District C Council member Ellen Cohen says the city has been working with business owners to come up […]

Washington Avenue parking

The city of Houston has been trying to tackle the problem of insufficient parking in the busy Washington Avenue entertainment corridor. What to do about Washington Avenue is Houston’s latest public policy discussion of what government’s role should be in growing business, in helping a fledgling business strip turn into a destination district. The players […]

More bike racks

The Chron notes that Houston is on the verge of becoming an actual bike-friendly city, and that we ought to recognize that and do something to help facilitate it. Notably, many downtown buildings lack accessible and visible bike racks. For those who live close enough, biking to downtown destinations, whether work or the Theater District, […]

One more thing about the Buffalo Bayou transformation

You saw Trudi Smith’s guest post about the transformation of Buffalo Bayou, which was recently kicked into high gear. There’s a point that needs to be addressed about the project and the lovely park that’s being built up, and the Chron discussed it in a recent editorial. How will people get there? And where will […]

Bike racks at restaurants

I wholeheartedly approve of this. On nice days, a 20-station bicycle rack stays mostly full outside Hay Merchant, a food-and-beer establishment located among a cramped string of restaurants on Westheimer near Montrose. When the rack is full, it means 20 people left vehicles at home and freed up parking outside the popular venue. The Hay […]

San Antonio B-Cycle keeps on growing

It’s very cool to watch. [B-cycle and city officials announced] plans to add three bicycle stations in April, at HemisView Village apartments, the San Antonio Housing Authority park on South Flores Street, and the 1221 Broadway apartments, said Cindi Snell, executive director of San Antonio B-cycle and co-owner of Bike World. That will bring the […]

Parking feedback

A couple of weeks ago I noted that the city is undergoing a review of its 1989 Off Street Parking ordinance. The idea is to recognize some changes in the real estate market, especially having to do with entertainment and retail development in denser areas and the issue of neighborhood streets being used as overflow […]

There’s an app for reporting handicapped parking space violators

In Austin, anyway. Ever see someone parked illegally and wanted to do something about it? Your chance might be coming. A new smartphone app could allow people in Austin to report illegal parking in spots reserved for people with disabilities. The City Council on Thursday will consider a resolution to link such an app to […]

New parking regulations

Hair Balls last week had a good discussion of a proposal by the city to revamp its 1989 Off Street Parking ordinance. Currently, bars — which are defined as having alcohol make up more than 75 percent of their sales — are required to provide ten off-street parking spaces per every 1,000 square feet of […]

That’s what I call double parking

Did you know that there were hydraulic parking lifts in use in Houston? I didn’t. District D Councilwoman Wanda Adams, who represents Midtown, attached an amendment to the city budget passed last month that requires the planning department to craft an ordinance in the next three months to regulate lifts. “When I saw the parking […]

Washington Avenue lite

That’s what someone thinks White Oak Drive is becoming. Is White Oak Drive becoming a cozier, more walkable version of nearby Washington Avenue as a restaurant-entertainment hub? One local real estate agent thinks so. White Oak is more concentrated with restaurants and bars in a much smaller area, said Jeff Trevino, a local commercial real […]

Valet parking

Do you love it or hate it? Whether one makes use of the service or not, valet parking has a spot in the Houston area’s landscape. The podiumlike stands with uniformed attendants sit like landmarks in front of hot night clubs, high-dollar stores and even joints that buzz on weeknights with regulars who would rather […]

What’s the deal with parking?

Andrew Burleson attended the first community meeting to discuss possible changes to the city’s parking requirements, and gives a report on what was discussed. He also has a nice discussion on the economics of parking, which one hopes will have some effect on the decisions that are made as a result of those community meetings. […]