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Posts Tagged ‘sidewalks’

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 […]

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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Montrose/Studemont walkability update

Back in 2008, I put together a photo essay on density and walkability in Montrose, in particular on Montrose/Studemont between West Gray and Washington. It included this photo, taken in front of what was then the old Ed Sacks Waste Paper site: Well, the Sacks site is gone, and in its place is a new […]

Streetcars on Washington Avenue?

Some big things may be coming to Washington Avenue. Super Neighborhood 22 — a council of civic clubs in the Washington Ave. corridor — will hold a meeting May 24 to discuss its proposed master plan for transportation in the area. To deal with increasing development, density and congestion, the neighborhood envisions a streetcar on […]

H-GAC Livable Centers Study of the Ensemble/HCC Station Area in Midtown

Tomorrow night at 7 PM at the Trinity Episcopal Church located at 1015 Holman Street at Main (map) is a public meeting for the H-GAC Livable Centers Study of the Ensemble/HCC Station area in Midtown. You can click on the flyer for the details, but the basic idea is to figure out how to enable […]

It’s hard out here on a pedestrian

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to learn that Houston is not a good city for pedestrians, at least from a safety perspective. Houston ranked eighth on a new list of the most dangerous urban areas for pedestrians. And the hundreds of deaths and injuries to pedestrians can’t all be written off as […]

Seven sidewalk sins

Sid Burgess presents seven examples of how to be pedestrian-unfriendly. How many of them have you seen in the Houston area? I can say I’ve seen all seven. Thanks to neoHouston for the link.

More from neoHouston on the new transit corridors ordinance

Andrew Burleson, also known as neoHouston, was quoted in the Chron story on the new transit corridors ordinance. They only used a few words from him, however, and we all know he had more to say on the topic than that. Fortunately, he has a platform for expressing all those other words, and he used […]

Transit corridors ordinance approved

It’s not all that it could have been, but it’s a start. Passengers stepping off trains in Houston’s expanding light rail network will be more likely to encounter walkable environments and interesting destinations because of action taken Wednesday by the City Council, city officials and transit advocates said. The council unanimously approved changes in development […]

The streetscape for the Universities line

RichmondRail.org has a suggestion for Metro. For the coming light rail line to be a true asset to our neighborhoods, the streets leading to the transit stations must accommodate pedestrians more safely and comfortably than is typical for Houston streets outside downtown. If enacted, the proposed transit corridor ordinance (aka the Urban Corridor ordinance, which […]

Cy-Fair parents want their school buses

Parents in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District react with dismay to cutbacks in school bus service. “I implore you, please reconsider these routes,” said parent Rachel Gerhardt. “Some are hazardous. My main concern is that my child gets to and from school safely. I don’t want to just hope. I want to know they got […]

Peter Brown’s traffic plan

Today I want to take a closer look at Peter Brown’s traffic plan, the highlights of which you can see here, with the longer and more detail-filled form here (PDF). My thoughts: – As with Annise Parker’s crimefighting plan, I am in general agreement with Brown’s priorities, and believe there is or would be general […]

How to do (and not do) urban streets

neoHouston says: One of the big problems in development today, in particular in the area of city planning, is distinguishing between good urban infill and mediocre urban infill. At first glance the two may look very similar, but they are not. Good urban infill has a great interface, like what you see in the photo […]

Design guide versus transit corridors ordinance

Not sure what to make of this just yet. Fallout from the long-dormant Ashby high-rise development emerged Wednesday as a potential obstacle to the city’s effort to promote walkable, urban-style development along Metro’s planned light-rail lines. Neighborhood opposition to the Ashby project, a planned 23-story mixed-use tower whose developers continue to await a permit almost […]

Neighborhood concerns about the transit corridors ordinance

I think most people who choose to live in Houston’s urban core would agree that density is a good thing as a general rule. Density done in a half-assed way, which has been Houston’s trademark, not so much. Density hasn’t been kind to Cottage Grove, a small neighborhood with narrow streets, few sidewalks, poor drainage […]

Will the Alabama Bookstop be spared the wrecking ball?

A commenter at Swamplot, who claims to have inside information, has the following to say about the River Oaks Shopping Center and the Alabama Bookstop. 1. Barnes and Noble owns Bookstop. They are closing it to move to the new location at ROSC. 2. Weingarten has no intent of demolishing the Alabama Theater. They have […]

Where that new transit corridors ordinance came from

Christof takes another look at the proposed urban transit corridors ordinance, and asks a simple question. Days after the City of Houston’s draft corridor urban corridors ordinance was released, Houstonians For Responsible Growth – a developer group that generally opposes any new building regulations – endorsed the new ordinance. Why would developers be so enthusiastic about a new […]

More on the urban transit corridors ordinance

I mentioned last week that the city was getting set to do an overhaul of its planning codes. In particular, there’s a proposed transit corridor ordinance that is up for public discussion on Thursday and a City Council vote in July. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but had heard some early feedback […]

Enabling pedestrians

I don’t know how big a deal this is likely to be, but it’s nice to be talking about it. More than five years after inaugurating its light rail system, Houston is taking its first, tentative steps to make it safer and more convenient for passengers to walk from train stations to homes, shops and […]

What next for Wilshire Village?

Nancy Sarnoff runs an obituary for the Wilshire Village apartments, which are slated for demolition now that they have been officially declared a fire hazard. A historic Inner Loop apartment complex, once slated for a high-rise redevelopment, was shut down last week after city officials ordered residents to vacate the property. [...] The complex is […]

Houston Have Your Say 2.0

So last year I got to serve as an on-the-spot blogger for KUHF’s production of Houston Have Your Say, which was about immigration. I blogged some of it at Kuff’s World and some of it at a blog that was set up for the show. Tonight I’ll be back in the KUHF studios along with […]

More on streetcars and sidewalks

Andrew Burleson had a couple of good posts last week that followed up on Christof’s streetcar suggestions and my post about a KIrby light rail line. Here they are: West Gray Streetcar, in which he takes Christof’s concept for a streetcar line on West Gray and runs with it, and Will and Won’t, which gets […]