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Posts Tagged ‘pedestrians’

Smoking ban extended to pedestrian plazas

I’m okay with this. Main Street Square is now a smoke-free zone following the City Council’s decision Wednesday to expand Houston’s smoking ban to pedestrian plazas, marking the latest effort from the Parker administration to curb lighting up in public places. The changes to the smoking ordinance are twofold: it expands the ban to Houston’s […]

Astrodome Park: The population isn’t the problem

Greg Wythe addresses one of the central questions about the proposed Astrodome Park in this comment that I thought was worth highlighting on the front page. As it turns out, there are a number of apartments situated to the east and north of the Dome. Checking Census data, the counts on the area “un-highlighted” in […]

Studemont Junction

Swamplot has an update and some pictures from the to-be-redeveloped Grocer’s Supply truck lot near Studemont and I-10, basically on the north doorstep of my neighborhood. SIGNS ARE UP at the soon-to-be-former Grocers Supply distribution center across Studemont from Kroger just south of I-10 announcing Studemont Junction, the name meant to bring some . . […]

Redefining residential streets

Streets are about more than just cars. Where the rubber will meet the road on this, as it were, is on busy residential streets like Dunlavy in Montrose, where new city planning codes will have an effect. Dunlavy is, at least in theory, a four-lane street between Allen Parkway and U.S. 59. Some drivers question […]

More on the Metro bus system reimagining

Christopher Andrews has a practical look at Metro’s reimagined bus network. Nearly two weeks ago METRO released the System Reimagining proposal, arguably the biggest service adjustment in METRO’s existence. METRO is currently welcoming feedback on the system. I hope most feedback will be positive, as the reimagined system should provide an opportunity for ridership for […]

Walk carefully

Texas cities are not so safe for pedestrians. Yeah, I’m as shocked as you are. Houston pedestrians better cross with care. The city is the seventh most dangerous in the nation for people on foot, according to a new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, a nonprofit that advocates for […]

The downtown lifestyle

Demand for residences in downtown Houston is up. For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies. The 34-year-old consultant left The Woodlands two years ago for a one-bedroom apartment in the Post Rice […]

First Sunday Streets seemed like a success

The weather was kinda lousy but there were plenty of people out on White Oak Street on Sunday. The city of Houston closed a 2.5 mile stretch of Quitman and White Oak to motor vehicles for four hours on Sunday, encouraging Houstonians to play in the street and explore their neighborhoods pushing strollers or riding […]

Street closings ahead

This ought to be interesting. Three busy Houston streets will shut down to vehicular traffic on selected Sunday afternoons in an effort to see if car-bound residents will walk, bike and explore each block rather than simply drive through. The program, called Open Streets, originated in Bogota, Colombia, more than 30 years ago and has […]

How to make the warehouse transition something to look forward to

I have four things to say about this. Houston developers plan to build a mixed-use project, including upscale apartments and retail, on a 15-acre tract close to downtown, replacing a large produce warehouse that’s occupied the space for decades. Capcor Partners and Kaplan Management bought the land this week from Grocers Supply, which has been […]

Drinking al fresco

From the Things You Might Not Have Realized department. “It is a commonly-held belief that it’s illegal to walk down the street drinking a beer in Texas. However, that is not always the case.” Those words, which we recently happened upon at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission website, sparked wary excitement. We’d always chafed under […]

Complete Streets coming

This is good to see. Houston, long ruled by the automobile, will give more consideration to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists in designing its streets and neighborhoods. Mayor Annise Parker on Thursday said she is drafting, with public works and planning officials, an executive order stating that the city will adhere to “complete streets” […]

On closing Main Street to cars downtown

Houston Tomorrow runs a post by Kyle Nielsen that he originally published in May advocating for more of Main Street downtown to be like Main Street Square, that is, closed to automotive traffic. What if we were to close Main Street to motor vehicle traffic and make it an exclusively pedestrian and bicycle corridor? It […]

More construction on Yale

It’s Alexan Heights II: Midrise Boogaloo. For residents near Yale and 6th street, Independence Day fireworks were nothing compared to the sparks flying when news of another proposed apartment complex came to light July 5. A heads-up notification from District C Council Member Ellen Cohen’s office to various residents, land use groups and neighborhood organizations […]

Chron favors Uptown transit plan

Good to see, and I think they make a decent point. We’re glad that Houston-area transportation officials have approved federal funds for an Uptown bus rapid transit (BRT) system. [...] But we’re struck by [Harris County Judge Ed] Emmett’s vote against the plan at the Galveston-Houston Area Council Transportation Policy Council. Emmett is no knee […]

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 […]

Heights-Northside Mobility Study

You might want to put this on your calendar. The area defined as the Heights-Northside study area bounded on the east by US 59, on the south by IH 10, and on the north and west by IH 610. The purpose of this study is to identify near and long range projects that promote better […]

Why does Midtown need a big box store?

This story is about a forthcoming six-acre “superblock” being developed in Midtown, and about Midtown’s rise as a successful residential/entertainment area. What caught my eye was this bit at the end: Still, Midtown has yet to see any significant new retail, retail broker Ed Page said, referring to big-box stores like Target, TJ Maxx and […]

Ashby everywhere

Nancy Sarnoff notes a trend. Homeowners in the Memorial area held a meeting last month in the lobby of a nearby medical office building to discuss what to do about a large apartment complex being planned in their neighborhood. They said the project – and other new developments in the area – would lead to […]

Hang up and walk

We all know that texting and other smartphone tomfoolery while driving is a bad idea. Turns out that texting while walking isn’t so safe, either. On city streets, in suburban parking lots and in shopping centers, there is usually someone strolling while talking on a phone, texting with his head down, listening to music, or […]

Buffalo Bayou begins its makeover

This is going to be great. The jogging and biking trails that wind through Buffalo Bayou Park west of downtown are about to get a bit more circuitous as a $55 million effort to transform the area into an iconic green space for Houston begins in earnest this month. [...] The Harris County Flood Control […]

Take the train to your dining destination

Katharine Shilcutt writes about how she gets to some of her favorite restaurants. When owner Staci Davis decided on a location for her restaurant, Radical Eats, one thing was extremely important to her above all: Davis wanted her vegan paradise to have access to the new Metro light rail North Line that’s currently being built along Fulton. When […]

Petition for safer walking and biking

From Marty Hajovsky: Stephanie Riceman with the Heights Kids Group, a 900-strong (at least) group of families in and around the greater Houston Heights, has put together an interesting online petition that says as much about how many new families there are in the Heights as it does about the need to make streets safer for bike riders […]

Benchmarking biking and walking

Via Dallas Transportation, here’s a ginormous comprehensive report on the way we walk and bike in 2012, the 2012 Bicycling and Walking in the United States Benchmark Report, by the Alliance for Biking and Walking. It’s a 200+ page PDF file, so be prepared to spend some time on it. Here’s some overview information about […]

On getting to walkable urbanism

This story about neighborhood opposition to the Kroger 380 agreement doesn’t quite get at what I think are the key issues that need to be discussed. [O]pponents of both the Wal-Mart and Kroger deals say suburban-style big-box stores don’t fit a widely-held urban vision for Washington Avenue Corridor. They’d like to see more incentives offered […]

If fixing the streets is easy, then tell us how to do it

Lisa Gray writes about a guy who thinks Houston’s streets could be much more user friendly if only we tried a little harder to make them be. “Houston’s streets behave like alleys,” Nathan Norris shouted to the 20 or so people who followed him like ducklings, single file, on Jackson Hill Street’s skinny sidewalk. Norris […]

TPC splits the difference

Bike advocates get a partial victory as the Transportation Policy Council voted to keep the last $12.8 million of unallocated federal funds on alternate mode projects instead of redirecting it towards roads. “Whatever we do in this room is supposed to be representative of our regional values and needs,” said Harris County Public Infrastructure Department […]

Today’s the day for the TIP

That postponed Transportation Policy Council meeting to determine how to allocate unprogrammed federal transportation funds happens today. A proposal before the regional Transportation Policy Council last month could have clawed back $12.8 million in funding set aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects and directed those dollars to road and freight rail work. At the urging […]

HGAC hearing on TIP

From Houston Tomorrow: The Houston – Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council will host a public hearing to discuss citizen priorities for the use of discretionary funds in the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program on March 25, 2011 at 8:45am at the H-GAC building in the 2nd Floor Conference room at 3555 Timmons. The Technical Advisory […]

TPC delays vote on TIP

Houston Tomorrow: The Houston-Galveston Area Council’sTransportation Policy Council (TPC) unanimously voted on Friday morning to delay by thirty days its vote on a full $79.8 million allocation of unprogrammed federal transportation funds toward Mobility – roadway and freight rail – projects and a reallocation of $12.8 million from already committed pedestrian, bicycle, and Livable Centers […]

More on H-GAC and the TIP

I received some feedback from Judge Ed Emmett’s office regarding this post about H-GAC’s Friday Transportation Policy Council (TPC) meeting, at which funding in the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) will be discussed and voted on. There’s some context missing from what Houston Tomorrow and Bike Houston wrote about this. Let me start by pointing […]

Why aren’t we investing more in non-road transportation?

Houston Tomorrow has some disturbing news. A proposal to limit bike, pedestrian, and livability funding in the 2011 Transportation Improvement Program will come before the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council (TPC) this Friday, February 25, at a public meeting in the H-GAC building at 3555 Timmons on the 2nd floor in Conference Room A. The proposal […]

Sugar Land contemplates its transportation options

Via Houston Tomorrow, here’s an interesting story about how Sugar Land is thinking about the effect of the planned baseball stadium and Imperial Sugar Mill redevelopment on traffic. Both projects mean this older part of Sugar Land is likely to become much more popular, making it ripe for heavy congestion. This is something local resident […]

Carless in Dallas

Meet Patrick Kennedy, the best-known non-driving person in Dallas. Kennedy moved to Dallas in 2002, after growing up in Pennsylvania and earning a landscape architecture degree at Penn State University. After living in parts of East Dallas and Uptown, he decided to give up his Toyota Corolla and move downtown in 2008. He moved into […]