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ToryGattis

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Everything posted by ToryGattis

  1. I'm not an expert on intersection design, but it seems much improved to me and much safer for bikers and pedestrians.
  2. Because I'm pretty sure that's about the last thing the Downtown Management District wants it to become. But also experiences in Chicago and elsewhere have shown that low-income towers are hard to keep secure and can become crime hotspots. Lower-rise options work much better and lead to healthier low and mixed-income communities. It needs to become student housing for Rice, UH, UH Downtown, or even Baylor Medical School (probably private serving all of the above). It's right on rail lines to all of those.
  3. Chronicle story: Houston engineers designed a Spur 527 plan bicyclists loved. Commuters drove it into the ground. Dug Begley April 17, 2020 Updated: April 17, 2020 4:37 p.m. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Houston-engineers-designed-a-Spur-527-plan-15208732.php?utm_campaign=CMS Sharing Tools (Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral#photo-19310860
  4. Houston Public Works withdraws Brazos Street bridge revamp plans Houston Public Works has pulled proposals to permanently close the Brazos Street bridge and implement new pedestrian features around a corridor threaded between the Montrose area and Midtown. β€œPlease be advised that the Houston Public Works Department along with Mayor Turner has made the decision to resume the project with the original design,” reads a Public Works notice sent to stakeholders on April 2. https://communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/transportation/2020/04/02/houston-public-works-withdraws-brazos-street-bridge-revamp-plans/
  5. It looks like the decision was made to fix the bridge and re-open it, although no official word yet. https://twitter.com/HOUstreets/status/1245726272367493123
  6. Giant Midtown Park is literally 4 blocks from this corner πŸ™„
  7. Update: Opposition seems to be mobilizing. New website has appeared as well as opposing signage. https://stopbagbyclosure.com/
  8. @BeerNut after the Mayor's health emergency declaration today, can you confirm whether or not this event is still happening? The website doesn't look like it's regularly updated.
  9. Definitely "hey I have an idea". The impact assessment and community feedback is what they're doing now. They've done the traffic study, but I don't think they have a real handle on the economic impact.
  10. Jeff from the City said that Bill Fulton of the Kinder Institute at Rice reached out to get them to look at other options rather than just replace the bridge.
  11. At the business owners meeting, Jeff from the City said they were specifically trying to avoid one or two giant public meetings because it's hard to make those productive. Most people never get a chance to speak. They wanted to do a series of smaller neighborhood meetings instead where more people could give their perspective. I suspect that also makes it easier to summarize and bring to the Mayor: he can just say which groups were pro or con. I'm curious what the tenor will be at the Midtown Super Neighborhood meeting tomorrow.
  12. So how would you characterize the overall opinion of the crowd pro and con? Or the proportions of the split?
  13. I've seen that first-hand in my Midtown neighborhood. When Oakmont opened at Baldwin and Pierce, a block back from the main drags of Bagby and West Gray, I thought it would boom. Very cool multi-story bar and patio that had a lot of money sunk into it - like a smaller Axelrad. But it's been dead, and the only reason I can see is because it's not along any of the main drags through Midtown. It's way cooler than Front Porch or Belle Station along West Gray, but those places are packed and it's dead, even though it's only a block away!
  14. As a former McKinsey management consultant, I know enough to know that these types of companies have very sophisticated models to determine where they build new locations and what the forecast sales will be. It's way too big of an investment not to. And I do think they have tried to get the word out. I live a fair distance away, but they mailed me very substantial coupons when they opened. I suspect the local residential draw zone is small (Midtown + museum district + part of Neartown, third ward has small customer base, and go much further west and residents will go to the Waugh or Kirby locations), so they were counting on pass-through traffic stopping in, the same as Specs. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Specs was their inspiration for choosing that location.
  15. Well, they have opened hundreds of stores and have a pretty sophisticated dataset to predict sales based on neighborhood, access, and competition. I don't think their projections are the issue here. They weren't counting on the freeway exit directly into their parking garage being closed.
  16. I just know that both the regional and store managers were at the meeting and they said it was performing very significantly below expectations.
  17. Actually I do live in Midtown, but like most Midtown folks, I avoid Elgin/Westheimer whenever possible. And I'm pretty sure to see it going down Bagby you'd have to haul your head 90+ degrees to the left and look carefully. It doesn't help that it has an apartment stack on top of it, so people just glancing assume its just an apartment building (not what they're used to seeing for a grocery store). I'm just saying I regularly run into folks that aren't aware of it. I only knew about it and sought it out from reading CultureMap stories online.
  18. Programming not only costs money, it's based on having some sort of event space and/or stage. This will be a thin linear park with a bike trail. I just don't know how you would program that.
  19. I think its the lack of visibility more than the convenience. People just aren't aware it's there since the Brazos exit has been closed for so long. If you use Bagby southbound and Louisiana northbound you'd never see it. It would probably have done better if it had been open a long while before Brazos closed so the customer base had built up. Then people would make the adjustment. But I still don't see any realistic way the park doesn't become a homeless camp. The city is stretched thin with limited tools as it is, and the police would prefer to ignore it. Also Brazos northbound. Specs owner said business is off 20+% since Brazos closed.
  20. I was a little surprised at first too, but it makes sense if you think about it. Google Maps and Waze route many thousands of people daily up and down Brazos and Bagby between the spur and 45. Those people see Whole Foods/CVS/Specs/etc. and think "yeah, I need to stop to pick something up". If they don't see it, they don't stop, and they don't see it if they are on Louisiana or Milam. Location and visibility are everything for most retail.
  21. Just came from the meeting at the Midtown Authority inside Houston Exponential. About 50 hopping mad business owners who have made major investments between Bagby and Brazos and are seeing their business drop dramatically, including Specs. Managers from the new Whole Foods were there as well and were not happy. Their customer traffic is way below expectations (no Brazos feed right now), and they think it will completely collapse if they get a homeless camp across the street. Jeff Weatherford from the City admitted the homeless risk but said a mitigation plan would be put in place - the room was not convinced. Some of the business/property owners have already collected 800+ petition letter signatures calling for the bridge to be reopened, and they expect to collect more. Jeff committed to keeping comments open until March 26, with a decision by the Mayor expected by the end of March. They will summarize all comments submitted to BuildForward@houstontx.gov or www.buildhoustonforward.org , Reference Brazos Bridge WBS No. N-320445-0006-4 I'll re-link to my own thoughts on my blog here.
  22. Thank you. I found their agenda on Facebook, but it doesn't mention the bridge at all?
  23. Do you have the details or a link on the Cherryhurst meeting?
  24. Consensus by the end of February with no announced public events I can find?! How is that going to work?! If you come across a public event, please post it here - thanks.
  25. You can email 'Buildforward@houstontx.gov' 'Jeffrey.weatherford@houstontx.gov' 'districtc@houstontx.gov' and reference Project N-320445-0006
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