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About UtterlyUrban

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  1. Some well maintained pretty buildings get crushed flat but the fiasco known as the old Days Inn continues to stand ugly.
  2. Perhaps. But I don't think that we should conclude that a potential bankruptcy will be a chapter 7. It may be or it may be a chapter 11 (reorg) - in which case there may be a means by which Some Sears stores --- including our very own midtown location - remain open with new equity owners.
  3. Darn good looking 1995 Buick. (Or something!)
  4. http://houstonbikeplan.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/General_FAQ.pdf "The plan is only a guide" "routes may not be built" what bothers me about this whole whole process is that this "guide" is just that...... a guide....... BUT a number of our leaders at the City decided to talk to the media..... and then the media reports that Houston WILL BUILD 600 miles of bike paths (or whatever bullS**t that political crapthey want to say. Everybody feels good. Maybe something gets done. Maybe not. This is far more about politics than actually committing to build bike trails and at least a few of our elected officials went on record to say as much. Unfortunately, I don't believe that the mayor was one of them. so, now they City has a "guide" with no funding sources, no commitments, no timelines, and........ ok, great. We have a plan. Terrific. We can now all feel good. We have a guide that will guide us for some number of years into the future. Yeah!
  5. Here is one of serveral articles that I have read which clearly indicate that there is zero funding commitment. Here is one quote from that article: Quote: Among other reasons, Travis opposed the project because the city hasn’t designated specific funding sources. “If we’re going to do this, let’s just say: ‘Folks, we are going to set aside 10 million or 20 million and this is where it’s coming from’. Let’s do that, let’s be upfront and honest with people today and if we are not going to do that, then we don’t have a plan,” Travis said during the council’s debate about the project.......... ......Turner said the project doesn’t commit any city revenue, but noted that the federal government, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) are some potential sources of funding, as well as the City’s Management Districts and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, better known by the acronym TIRZ. end quote https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/03/23/192923/houston-city-council-approves-bike-plan-but-not-every-member-is-sold-on-the-project/ I believe that the truth of this plan is that itdoes not describe specific routes in some cases, does not address a significant number of issues, is unfunded and does not address future funding sources, does not commit the city to do anything, and does not commit to any timeline. It is therefore, more of a political document than a tactical one in my opinion: the city doesn't have to do anything, the politicians can make everybody feel good, and the press wraps it all up in stories like the one you quoted (which is factually wrong). This plan is the perfect political document for politicians to "prove" they are green without having to fund anything. And, from their view, that is a win-win, I would guess.
  6. I completely agree that the city needs a comprehensive bike plan. I said as much. What I also said was that this plan may not be it. From what I have read, this plan has been reported as "incomplete" and lacking all of the elements that a "robust" plan should have (as I outlined above). having a robust and polished , multi-decade plan is great. As I understand it, this plan is not that. It has been reported to have significant holes (like where some of the proposed paths would actually run). I have not read the plan. I have only read what has been reported about the plan. If it is true that the plan does not fully touch on all the items that I describe above then I continue to believe that it is not an especially viable or useful document. your link above supports my point. Is the city saying this? " According to the city, the plan will also add over 600 miles to the current 270 mile bike-way network. The city says it will put more than 80 percent of people and jobs within half a mile of a "comfort bikeway." Because, if it is, it is untrue. The plan will NOT "add over 600 miles"....... there is zero commitment from the city to add any of the miles. There is no funding mechanisms in place, no timelines, etc. The city is not committed, as I understand it, to do ANYTHING with this plan. Except, of course, tell the news how green the city is by approving a "plan"........
  7. Looks like the pool has been poured?
  8. While I am glad to see this, since the routes are not clearly defined in all cases and the funding is not committed in any way (as I understand it), this is little more than a "well, golly gee, we need to be 'green' so, lets approve a bike plan that isn't really a plan and commits the city to nothing........" I applaud the city (and other institutions) for the hard work that has gone into FUNDING and BUILDING real bike lanes/trails all over the city. The city, rightly, deserves a hearty "great job". What is needed is a comprehensive plan with defined lanes and costs and timelines and potential funding mechanisms (that would be optionally triggered in the future by the city in separate votes). From what i read, this plan is not that.
  9. 1) You can order a car right now, exactly tailored to your specs from all available options. It won't arrive in 2 weeks though. But that has zero to do with dealerships and everything to do with manufacturing. 2) inventories at dealerships are not on the car manufacturer's books. The inventory is carried by the dealer --- and there is a key reason for that...... Bob Lutz (no fan of Tesla, admittedly) does a fair job of explaining it here: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/. Try to look past his GM bias. 3) there is no reason that I can think of for the car brands to all want to share a common space. The LAST thing a retailer wants is to share space with competitors.
  10. And even fewer cities would allow historic structures to be bulldozed. welcome to Houston, Y'all. The city of "we don't care what it looks like as long as it meets fire code.
  11. My personal belief is that many smokers, in the US, where education about the dangers of smoking is EVERYWHERE, simply have an "I don't care" attitude. I truely think that the smokers who toss cigarettes from cars or onto the street or parkland is really just exhibiting the same tendencies that led them to begin to smoke to begin with. Personally, I would support a city ordinance that allowed a police officer to write a $1,000.00 ticket for anyone tossing a butt onto public spaces. A second offense would be $4,000.00. And warrants for arrests would be issued for failure to pay.
  12. I find it interesting that Eado seems to have continuous building but tosnhomes may have slowed down in midtown? Why?
  13. Are we sure it's a garage? Looks to me like that are starting to build a pyramid to bury Khufu right here in Houston! BIG tourist attraction, I think.
  14. Does this mean hammers will be pounding shortly? that would be great!!! Another empty building brought to life by a hotel!!! Now, if there was just some way to actually get hard good retail back to downtown........
  15. I am not a fan of "mega churches" for a litany of reasons that I won't go into here. But, this church is not a "mega" church. Yes, it is affiliated with one (i think) but this physical property can seat only 700. That is a good size and, frankly, I welcome a lively congregation of 700 folks coming to worship and engage in other activities at this location. I hope that it draws a lot of college students and families into downtown on a Sunday and I hope I find some of those very same folks at the brunch table next to me. My takeaway: "welcome to the neighborhood...."