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Posts posted by rechlin

  1. 6 hours ago, BEES?! said:

    Real talk, has anyone here ever been ticketed for cycling on the sidewalks? 🤨

    If I had to choose between cycling in mixed traffic or cycling on sidewalks…it’s sidewalks for me, laws be damned. I’m sure a sympathetic HAIFer would be so kind as to help bail me out hahaha 😁

    About 7-8 years ago, I was (slowly) riding my bike for about 300 feet on the sidewalk downtown, just trying to get from the front door of my office to the parking garage entrance so I could park my bike (taking the street would mean either going the wrong way on a one-way or going all the way around the block), and a bicycle cop, who amusingly was also riding on the sidewalk, told me I was not allowed to ride on the sidewalk.  At another time, maybe a couple years before that, I was riding my bike on Edloe Street through Greenway Plaza and a cop told me I should ride on the sidewalk instead, even though that would have been illegal since it was a business district.  So no, I haven't been ticketed, but I've experienced both hypocrisy and incompetence from HPD on the matter.  In my more than 2 decades of living as an adult in Houston, both HPD, and HFD as well for that matter, have both disappointed me immensely.

  2. 1 hour ago, samagon said:

    actually, I thought you were right too (and you and I may have been right once upon a time, the ordinance was updated in 2021 specific for bicycles).

    I think the ordinance update was only to reference motorized scooters as well.  I don't think anything changed for cyclists.  See my previous comment with details showing the law is still indeed what we thought it was.

    That said, the law makes sense at a high level, because traditionally, riding a bike on a sidewalk is far more dangerous than riding on the street, because cars entering/exiting driveways are not expecting cyclists on the sidewalk.  Unfortunately, Houston drivers are so reckless that cycling on the street might actually be even more dangerous in our unusually awful situation -- we need the extra barrier of the curb to protect ourselves (and even that may not protect us from speeding cops who lose control and drive on the sidewalk).

    • Like 1
  3. 14 hours ago, august948 said:

    Actually, the city code says "No person shall ride a bicycle or motor assisted scooter upon a sidewalk within a business district. "

    The only reference I've found so far to a business district is the Central Business District, otherwise known as downtown.

    From § 45-2:


    Business district means the territory contiguous to and including a roadway when, within any 600 feet along such roadway, there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes which occupy 300 feet of frontage on one side or 300 feet collectively on both sides of the roadway.

    So unfortunately the law is still what I described.

    • Thanks 1
  4. Bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited in Houston in any area considered to be a "commercial area", which basically means an area with a lot of businesses around.  So not just Downtown, but also much of Uptown, the TMC, Greenway Plaza, most of Westheimer, and any other street with a block or so of continuous businesses.  So cyclists are forced onto major roads in these areas where motorists often are none-too-happy to see a cyclist taking "their road".

    In Houston, outside of residential neighborhoods, cyclists are generally required to be in the street, and when the lane is under 14 feet wide (which is most places, as standard lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide), they may (and honestly, for safety's sake, *should*) take the entire lane.

  5. 10 hours ago, editor said:

    Houston is only 186 years old.  There's no way anyone could possibly anticipate that live oaks would push up sidewalks.

    I don't think one follows the other.  In my neighborhood there are some absolutely enormous live oaks that were planted in the late 1930s.  Most people assume they are hundreds of years old but they are not.  So sidewalks have existed longer than many of the live oaks that are interfering with them.

  6. There are two houses on Bissonnet at the southeast corner of the intersection with Westchester that have been owned by St. Andrews Presbyterian Church for some time.  Apparently the church has been using them for child care services.


    The church is currently requesting zoning relief to have reduced setbacks and more impervious area on the front yard for these lots.  I wonder if they are planning to tear down these two old houses and replace them with a purpose-built facility?


  7. I wanted to like Finn Hall, I really did.  But their most interesting place (Mala Sichuan) quickly went downhill (switching to more American Chinese, which we don't need more of downtown) and then closed, and always the prices at all the vendors were too high, so I haven't eaten there in a long time now.  I'd rather spend $12 for lunch than $20.

    • Like 3
  8. I've done the Air New Zealand flight from Houston in coach.  It's really not that bad, but I've been on some other long non-stops in coach too so maybe I'm used to it (Houston-Beijing, Houston-Dubai, Newark-Mumbai).  They had an unusual option where 2 people could buy 3 coach seats in select rows and basically get a lie-flat bed for two out of it, which I've not seen on any other airline.  I didn't do that (I was flying solo), but if I went again I'd probably take advantage of that for the 15 hour flight, if they are still doing it.

  9. On 6/17/2022 at 12:40 PM, wilcal said:

    How do you keep a rail in place if you are tunneling underneath it at this width?

    Would they build a temporary bridge over the chasm to keep it going?

    I just don't understand how they would keep it open if the first thing is to start removing utilities and dirt and the last thing is the build the new track, you know?

    I've seen underpasses built under active rail lines before, with minimal service interruption.  I would assume (hope?) that TxDOT would do the same here.

  10. There is an elevator facing Phoenicia that is open to get up to the Shops level.  Note that the adjacent stairs there do not work -- the door is inexplicably locked at the Shops level so you'll have to walk all the way back down again and then take the elevator if you make the same mistake as I made of trying the steps.

    Unfortunately the Fulbright tower is also under renovation now, so you can't use the escalators there to get up to the Shops level either.  There's an elevator in the far back of that also, which seems to be the only way I found to get up.

    Access to the Shops is just really terrible now, but there are at least two elevators to get to them.

    • Like 3
  11. The "hot" area for bars and clubs in Houston seems to move periodically, I guess as people get bored with an area and want to move to the new "trendy" area.  Over the decades it has been Main Street, Midtown, Richmond Ave, and Washington Ave, some multiple times.  I've never been a club person so I don't know which of those is hot at present; maybe nothing is hot right now with so much lost to COVID.  I agree that this area of Main would perhaps be the best place for an evening entertainment district to just remain indefinitely, but some patrons can be finicky and don't want to go to a place that isn't up-and-coming anymore.

  12. Cars already can't be stored on the street; they have to be moved every 24 hours or be towed, per Houston city ordinance.  This means that any residence (including garage apartments) already needs off-street parking if the residents want to own cars, because you can't realistically move your parked car every single day.

  13. 4 hours ago, Avian said:

    A sign for a new Cooking Girl location appeared here as they have been gearing to open up. I’m super excited to have one so close 

    The Sichuan takeover of Montrose continues, bad news for Montrose Chinese across the street though.

    Sichuan food is good, but it's too bad that's the only Chinese cuisine that seems to be spreading.  Last year the only Jiangsu (population: 80 million) restaurant that I knew of in Chinatown closed, and the only good examples of Shaanxi (population: 40 million) food that I could find have closed too.  China has dozens of different cuisines, and I'm glad we have more than just American Chinese and Cantonese food here, but it's a bit boring that we have at least half a dozen Sichuan restaurants near me in the west half of the loop but few from elsewhere.

  14. 3 hours ago, BeerNut said:

    Should tax based on weight as heavier vehicles cause more wear.  

    Wear on roads increases by the CUBE (not just square) of the increase in weight, so I really don't understand why vehicle registration fees aren't more affected by the weight of the vehicle.  Fees should go up by the cube of the increase in weight.  For toll roads (to keep this topical...), they go by axles, which helps but is still a poor proxy since an extra axle can actually reduce wear.  Maybe weight divided by number of wheels, since more wheels/axles distributes the weight better to reduce wear.

    I think that, for example, vehicle registration on a 6000 pound SUV should be 2*2*2 = 8 times the registration fee of a 3000 pound subcompact car, for example, to account for the increase in wear on roads.  Similarly, the registration fee of a 5000 pound electric large sedan should be 1.25*1.25*1.25 = 1.95 times the registration fee of a 4000 pound regular non-electric large sedan.

    • Like 3
  15. I have no idea why they did the website switch, because the new txdot.gov/nhhip.html site is a convoluted mess, which requires way too much clicking and scrolling, compared to the much more friendly ih45northandmore.com site.

    Fortunately, it does seem most/all of the old information is still on the new site, even if it's not easy to find.  Just go here and click "Show All" below "Newsletters" and you can find the documents:


    If you still want to use the old site, it's on the Wayback Machine:


    • Like 5
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