I just attended a neighborhood meeting with representatives from the city, local residents along Westheimer, and a lot of local business owners. There are a few currents in this discussion that I think might be based on assumptions about the issue on which I'd like to add my perspective.
First, some posters seem to frame this as a conflict of interest between Midtown/Montrose and the broader interests of Houston's commuters. My neighbors and I are all against the removal of these traffic flows. The roads, entrances, and exits that they are talking about removing are all important options for those of us who live here. With more construction looming on Elgin, it will only become more important to keep as many paths open as possible. As the area grows more dense, as it is doing and ought to, removal of transportation works sounds like the wrong direction to us. We are on the same side as Houston's commuters. We still can't figure out where this idea came from, but it seems to be driven now by our neighbors on Courtland and other nearby residents who rightly think a park sounds nice but don't use these roads all the time.
Second, the proposal is not a park. It's proponents don't even have the chutzpah to call it a park. It's two slivers of green space which might or might not be more appealing to walk past than the tuft of trees currently between Brazos and Bagby. The area can be beautified without shutting off access.
Third, there is nothing about the proposal that makes the area more "walkable". Green spaces are nice, but what gives a neighborhood its walkability is the range of amenities within walking distance. The restaurants and nightlife give character to the area and the availability of stores, pharmacies, laundries, etc. make it easy to live there. Anything that puts additional pressure on local businesses stifles the growth of more amenities to accommodate more residents, and could even threaten existing ones. The speed control measures in those proposals are not necessary on those streets that have plenty of traffic signals.