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Posts posted by SaintCyr

  1. Just to clarify, there was a strong push to NOT have them put the feeders in. The mayor and the city pushed back because they didnt want the $8M in "free" fed money to dissappear to another project outside of Houston. There was even a statement from the HHA stating the opposition.

    according to an official of a local neighborhood assoc, lots of the residents (don't know if "lots" is a majority or not) of the Heights and the gentrifying Washinton Ave area near Heights and Yale had wanted feeder roads for easier I10 access for themselves.

    ironically, TxDOT's decision to build the feeders they said they wanted made a 25 acre plot inaccessible from the current fwy attractive to Walmart, and now those same residents are battling to keep Walmart out.

    as grandma tried to tell you, be careful what you wish for...

  2. It could be the start of the reconstruction of 11th... I'm not sure of all the details but do remember seeing the plans when we were going through the Yale reconstruction debacle (which ended with them going to retop the road again and reassess in 2016(I think?)) . Someone else can chime in and add more, or this might give you a start to see if the construction is starting for 11th.


  3. This is not groundbreaking news, but the percentages may surprise you. In Houston, 2/3 of all reported property crimes are thefts, dwarfing burglary and auto theft. And, it is no surprise that both retailers and local governments make it easier for shoppers to access retail stores, as retailers profit from increased sales, and local governments gain additional tax revenue from sales taxes and property taxes paid by retailers. With that increased access, both paying customers and thieves have an easier time getting to the store. This is not news. And, it is not unique to big box retail. ALL retail stores draw thieves. It is human nature. But, it does not necessarily make residents less physically safe.

    I agree with all you have said. My only arguement/concern was not whether we were less physically safe but rather the response times and use of those emergency resources would be comprimised by opening any bigbox store therefore causing the use of those resources to be allocated to commercial areas dealing with theft rather than the current scenerio of them patrolling the area. As I said before I havent dug into this but would be interested to see if someone has done some research on the relationship.

  4. That study doesn't in any way suggest that the criminals aren't from the area, in fact it suggests the opposite based on the fact that the types of living establishments (single family versus multi/apartment) in the area have a direct effect on the crime rate. In fact, according to your study we should be just as worried about building more schools as we are more businesses, since crime goes up significantly near schools, and "since offenders are typically school age, the existence of a middle or high school on a segment represents a gathering of potentially motivated offenders and increases the risk of property crime to the area".

    So if you want to minimize the parking lot crime, according to your study, tear down a few schools (kids steal things), get rid of the apartments (poor people steal things), and fight the I-10 feeder and added exit (accessible places get more crime for obvious reasons).

    I didn't specify that study, if you would reread my post I said this particular one I posted the link to was one that LED to the information I referred to. I still cannot find the one that does tie through traffic to the crime rate. You are targetting me as a part of the opposition, yet I never picked sides. I was simply trying to clarify and bring more light to the situation as a whole so people could make an educated decision.

    Now, you have just contradicted yourself... I guess all neighborhood criminals would be jumping on and off I-10 stealing stuff so they can take the next exit and double back to their home??? Also, I think you mis-interpretted the information. They study suggests that if it is mostly home-owners in and area rather than renters (apartments included) or commercial buildings, there is a heightened awareness and people are more likely to watch for crime, therefore lowering the crime rate. Please explain how this supports the "opposite" of saying through traffic raises crime rate? Does it say definitively that people who live in those arpartments are robbing eachother?

    Please do some research and carefully read others posts before attacking and stating "facts"...

  5. I have never seen a study suggesting this, and I'm in the business.

    Look at the study I posted above, it suggests that. Not saying it is the end all be all but still some sound logic and information worth looking at.

    If a store opens on your block where a vacant field previously existed, Theft will rise exponentially from 0. Is the neighborhood less safe? From the data, it appears so. In actuality, it is no less safe than before, as your neighbors are the ones committing the theft, and they live nearby already. It is the same neighborhood, but the retail store is a magnet for shoplifting.

    I agree with everything you said in the above post. Except the point quoted... On vacant lots there is actually a HIGHER crime rate than if the lot were developed and used. So the development could possibly then decrease the crime rate ( I think this is a double win because violent crimes are more likely on vacant lots, need to verify tho) which is a good thing.

    The only point that I would argue is a negative for the community in regards to crime is that it displaces emergency resources that might be utilized elsewhere in the community. Now that being said, if it brought enough revenue to the city that they would increase said emergency services to a higher capacity this point would be a non-issue. I don't think this is the case how-ever, just my gut feeling. Haven't looked that far into it.

    In regards to the Walmart... I won't shop there but thats just my opinion. I am still out on how I feel about it "invading" our neighborhood... Is it better than the past Heights Park or whatever it was called? No, maybe not. Is it better than vacant lots that seem to be a haven for vandalism and vagrants. Yes. This is always the catch with land development.

    I think Walmart is smarter than people think when they look at store placement and what the future hold. They know that the only way to keep profits up is cheap labor and cheap transportation, both of which are slowly going away... Wouldn't doubt it if they chose the location (over other nearby locations) for the nearby rail so to keep costs VERY low, as shipment by train is lower than by truck... This is a whole different arguement, which I have found is not well recieved, so I will leave it.

  6. Out of curiosity, was this study Walmart specific or did it include the massive parking lots of all big box retailers? If the latter, I wonder how it compares to the crime stats of the Sawyer Target. A Walmart on Yale will likely draw the same criminal element as that Target, so what you see there will likely be repeated at Walmart.

    It was not walmart specific, it was a general big box retailer study with some definition around "big box" which from what I remember focussed on the square footage and offerings of retail stores. I know that Supercenters and SuperTargets were figured in this particular study. I'd also be curious to see the stats from the new target. I think I might have it at home, will try and dig it out later today.

    EDIT: Found something I read that lead me to the research last year.... http://www.ncsociolo...day/raleigh.htm

    The part of praticular interest. (Keep in mind I found this when researching why we should NOT have I-10 feeders and on/off ramps)

    " A total of 63% of the variance in property crime is explained when all accessibility and opportunity variables are entered into the equation. Opportunity and accessibility measures are very strong predictors for such a small unit of analysis. By explaining a large proportion of the variance in property crime, at a small level of aggregation, we are able to demonstrate that crime is a nonrandom event and is very predictable.

    This research has established not only that crime patterns exist, but that crime is more often found in accessible areas with commercial land use. Shopping centers, storage places, schools, service stations, and restaurants tend to attract criminals along with legitimate customers to the area. Hence, commercial centers are good for both business and crime. The type of residential land use also has an effect on property crime. The more housing units on a street segment, the greater the property crime risk. Additionally, street segments without a predominance of owner occupancy are more likely to be victimized. The implications of this research are important in being able to identify "hot spot" areas. If certain areas or even certain places of a city are considered "hot spots" then efforts should be taken towards making these areas less criminogenic by reducing accessibility opportunity and/or increasing guardianship factors. "

    • Like 2
  7. And if the parking lot is full of crime, that's your neighbors - and they're already here. It's not like Walmart includes petty thieves in their development plan.

    This isn't really true, research show that most of the crime is "passing through" and not in the neighborhood itself. I can't find the study I read last year in regards to crime, traffic and big box retail stores but the findings were not good. Basically said that the through traffic increase of the area and increased "targets" thats the store attracted made crime rates go up. This was doublely felt by the community because local response times went up and more law enforcement was needed in that area and pulled from neighborhoods, etc...

    Following up on the negative tick comment... Where I too disagree with someone giving negative ticks for fundamental view differences and being vindictive. I've followed Niche for a long time and where most comments are intelligent and express opinions with out offense to anyone, (painting a taget on my back here) some comments of late have bordered personal attacks and have had prejudice undertones. Honestly I don't see them as anything but a gauge on the majority opinion of the board, not really a personal right or wrong scale. I mean what happens if you get too many bad ticks? Banishment? If thats the case then I need to find another board.

    Just my .02

    • Like 1
  8. 14th and Yale during off-peak hours. That way all the people driving 50 and 60 mph should be able to hit 75 mph with out much worry b4 they hit 11th or 19th. Kidding of course, I do wish people would slow down but don't see the need for a light at 14th and Yale after peak... Maybe during peak too, I've never seen it during the day so can't make that call.

  9. Well of course RedScare (and I) (and CleaningLadyInCleveland) (and heightsyankee) (and 20thStreetDad) are in the minority. It wouldn't be quirky if Realtors advertised it to their mouthbreathing clientele. It'd just be another lame amenity.

    You also wouldn't dare emphasize the random crowing of neighborhood roosters, the gritty urbanity of derelict brick warehouses, the local gang of nutria, a dive bar within stumbling distance of home (or the taco stand along the way), the neighbor that decorates art cars, or the delighted laughter of immigrant children playing outdoors (because their parents, your neighbors, can't afford to buy them video games).

    You must live near 12th and Yale... I think you just described my neighbors and the random noises we hear throughout the week... You can add my wife and I to missing the distant train horn. I understand it would be different if it were in my backyard but still going to miss it. Now if we could just find that dive bar within stumbling distance...


  10. I have modest three bedroom Montrose bungalow that sustained no damage in either Allison, Rita nor Ike, and for which I have never a claim since moving in nine years ago. My latest policy premium from State Farm arrived yesterday and was a 20% increase over last year's, which was itself up 20% from the previous year. Now I tend towards loyalty in these matters and have been a State Farm policy holder for over 12 years (counts for little apparently), but this is getting out of hand, my agent won't return my calls of protest so, enough is enough, I'm shopping around. Anyone have any recommendations? GEICO? All-State?

    I got popped with that increase when Ike came through. I switched to Amica.... they have been awesome. I suggest giving them a shot, the 4 guys i work with and my boss have all switched over in the last 3 years.

  11. They do. Have you read the chron lately? I think their reporters barely made it out of middle school.

    At least they distinguish that there are neighborhoods in the loop... Talk to people from Katy or Woodlands, they consider everything inside 610 loop as "downtown".

  12. Are there any other such programs like this for other parts of Houston? Like.. south side, east end, or the like?

    It's something the Houston Heights Assoc. put together... It can be implemented anywhere with a willing civic association and enough cash. Send them an email, I'm sure they would be happy to share the info with you.

  13. Over half of the homes on my block have new numbers and half are still pending. Every one of the 2010 numbers is identical to 2009. It appears that your feelings may not be in tune. Look for a number to come in identical to last year, unless your 2009 was a steal, in which case they may try to equalize with the rest of the block.

    Ditto. Mine went up $28. I can handle that w/o protesting.

  14. Ok all we need some helpful advice on something we hope to beautify our house as well as dressup/disguise a neighborhood eyesore (at least from one side)....

    So just to give you an idea of what we are trying to do. We are building a wire fence along the front of our house and want to plant a VERY well behaved evergreen vine along it to not only be good looking but also dampen the sounds of traffic along the street (I live on Yale)... The well behaved piece is important here as I don't want huge vines taking over the sidewalk and the front yard, just a nice looking vine to knock down some of the sound from the street.

    In addition to this we are putting a trellis (10 foot 4x4s and wire strung at every foot) along the ENTIRE north side of our property to hide a 9-10 foot multicolored sheet metal fence and also to stop the traffic noise from being amplified. This is where I would like to get creative and don't mind a vine that isnt as well behaved... I'd like to get something in there that is evergreen just to knock down the sound BUT also would love to have several different vines all intertwined that bloom at different times of the year to create some sort of mask not only from our house but also from the street. I am open to ALL possibilities!

    Just some additional info... The front fence is full shade as it's under a live oak tree and the north side of the property is partial shade to full shade. Once the vine gets to 8-10 feet tall though it would be full sun. Let me know your thought or questions because I will be planting in the next 2-3 weeks! Thanks in advance for all your help! Hopefully when this time comes around next year you all will be able to see the results!



  15. I will be going through the trash to pull out all my yard crap thanks to the new COH rules. Need to stop at Home Depot and buy the special yard waste bags... Grrrr.

    Why not start a compost? They have those "quick composters" that do a pretty good job... I used a few old pallets and built a couple of slow compost piles. We throw leaves and kitchen scraps in there. When it comes to branches we usually bury them in the bottom of the compost and they dissappear in 3 months or so. Seems to me this would be the cheaper route in the long run.


  16. So they are named Jus Mac but they will spend money on advertising to make the point that they are NOT Jus Mac? That is counter-intuitive at best.

    I predicted the demise of McCain's Market after my first visit there.

    I know I'll get hammered on this one but... I don't see "Noodle Houses" or "Pizza Joints" having this issue. What about Souper Salad? Seems to me it's pretty successful and sustainable. I don't see them spending money on advertising to show the fact that they have sandwiches as well to bring in business.

    I'm also a bit confused how your prediction of the downfall of McCain's Market supports your point that Jus' Mac is a dumb idea? Your statement also implies that you would have to be a patron of the establishment in subject to predict its downfall, which would then lead me to believe you would discover that it isn't just Mac n Cheese. Quite the pickle we are in here.

    Where it wouldn't be my first choice in business, I wouldn't venture to predict its downfall just off the name alone.

  17. Too narrow a niche. Dumb idea.

    I've been instructed to post this per the wife.

    "Open your mind, my dear “Dumb Idea” friend. Mac n’ cheese is anything but narrow. Have you ever thought of what’s in most of Italian food dishes? Pasta, cheese, sauce…. Hmmmm… sounds a bit like the ingredients to your Plain Jane mac n’ cheese. I dare you to put on your creativity cap for a sec, and think about all the wonderful variations there could be to this fine traditional dish. Perhaps some pancetta could spice up your oversized macaroni noodles, or a different type of cheese beyond the powder and/or Velveeta (try Gouda, Grueyere, or a nice Alfredo sauce), or they might even be able to add …gasp?!... VEGETABLES?!!!

    I invite you to give it a whirl. You may be surprised what others can do to open your closed minded taste buds. I’d truly hate to see you miss out…."

    Mrs. D

    • Like 1
  18. I'm not sure. I didn't see those posts, but it appears there may be another parrallel thread. Either way the listing does not include an improvement. It specifically denotes "cleared". The house was moved one lot north. The question might be who wants to buy a cute house next to a strip center?

    It won't last long with the hole in the top. Ever seen what rain and bugs can do to the inside of a home?

  19. Where are they commuting from that they would need to get on the train to get to work? Are people driving to predetermined parking points to park and board the train north of the medical center?

    My wife rides the bus (line 50) from the Heights to the Light Rail... She works at TCH. It saves us around $500 a month we would normally have to be spending...

    $200.00 Car Payment

    $100.00 Parking

    $100.00 Insurance

    $ 50.00 Gas

    $-85.00 Tickets for bus and light rail (TCH has a Q-Card they put $87 on each month for her).

    This way is actually faster for her than driving by about 10 minutes due to traffic. My 0.02 cents.

  20. Additionally... All of our signals have the ability to blink red. All of our intersections that involve rail have the ability to read when the train is coming.

    With these two facts, why do we not have these intersections going overboard to warn when the trains are coming. Seems going from solid red to blinking red would be appropriate when a train is coming.

    I agree with you for the most part BUT... blinking red signals mean stop and go, essentially the same thing as a stop sign. I agree that there needs to be better indication of red lights for those of lower intelligence but we need to becareful not to confuse them with other already known signals.

  21. A lot of intersections along the rail line now go "all red" for traffic when a train passes through. It was the solution to cars making illegal left turns in front of trains.

    James beat me to it. Also, if you notice there is another light that looks like a vertical bar or a horizontal bar, those are the signals for the train, they don't use the red yellow green traffic lights.

  22. Anyone know where I can look for my home in old photos or abstracts? I recently bought Houston Heights, Images of America by Anne Sloan and saw that there are homes very very close to me that are featured which gives me small hope that mine might be somewhere as well. Also, I am originally from Eureka Springs and they actually have an architectural archive that has a lot of photos or abstracts of the homes when they were first built. Can anyone help me out with this?



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