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My buddies and I are looking to rent and found a place on the east side of Main in Midtown. The area still seems kind of shady. Are there still crime problems in this area? Obviously there are crime problems everywhere, but I would guess the west side of Midtown is much better.

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My buddies and I are looking to rent and found a place on the east side of Main in Midtown. The area still seems kind of shady. Are there still crime problems in this area? Obviously there are crime problems everywhere, but I would guess the west side of Midtown is much better.

It's really fairly safe. I've lived on the East side of Main (near Post Office on McGowan) for 3yrs now and it has improved quite a lot. I wouldn't let kids play outside unsupervised at night yet, but as an adult I wouldn't feel any more unsafe than the rest of Houston. I still take precautions such as setting my house alarm, keeping a 12ga handy, etc, but they're just precautions now and not necessary.

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not sure whether the crime stats would agree that the west side is much better. they both have crime.

it looks like the west side is divided into 2 beats. looking at 10h40 (east side plus west to milam) and 1a20.

here's the 10h40 data.

1.Narcotic Drug Laws (1,679 crimes)2.Burglary Of A Motor Vehicle (781 crimes)3.Robbery (513 crimes)4.Burglary (492 crimes)5.Auto Theft (425 crimes)6.Aggravated Assault (404 crimes)7.Driving While Intoxicated (323 crimes)8.Forcible Rape (36 crimes)9.Murder & Nonnegligent Manslaughter (7 crimes)10.Manslaughter By Negligence (0 crimes)

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not sure whether the crime stats would agree that the west side is much better. they both have crime.

it looks like the west side is divided into 2 beats. looking at 10h40 (east side plus west to milam) and 1a20.

here's the 10h40 data.

1.Narcotic Drug Laws (1,679 crimes)

2.Burglary Of A Motor Vehicle (781 crimes)

3.Robbery (513 crimes)

4.Burglary (492 crimes)

5.Auto Theft (425 crimes)

6.Aggravated Assault (404 crimes)

7.Driving While Intoxicated (323 crimes)

8.Forcible Rape (36 crimes)

9.Murder & Nonnegligent Manslaughter (7 crimes)

10.Manslaughter By Negligence (0 crimes)

Take that with a bit of salt, though. You have to remember you have about 5 bars, including 2 after hour clubs, that are in that area. So the DUI, Robbery, and some of the other crimes might be a bit skewed.

Then again, West Midtown has even more bars and such, so it is a hard call. But the two After Hours places might affect the numbers.

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My buddies and I are looking to rent and found a place on the east side of Main in Midtown. The area still seems kind of shady. Are there still crime problems in this area? Obviously there are crime problems everywhere, but I would guess the west side of Midtown is much better.

Get your pals together get in a car and take an evening cruise around the area you are questioning. You would be surprised what darkness brings. Night and day are well, like night and day. However if you feel confident and street smart enough to not be timid you will do fine. That blasted Greyhound bus station is still there and may be there along with cockroaches after the big bomb goes off it seems. That thing is what keeps people not wanting to be near MT or rather it doesnt help matters. Again, if your a tough guy you will do fine. Now take that slow drive let's say after 9:00PM ish, especially around weekends. Tell us what you see and experience. Take plenty of cash. :blink::) Oh yes, this is singles paradise if that makes it any better.

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Don't live anywhere within walking distance of The Greyhound station (unless your place is really secure). I have had two people try to pee on my car coming home (to downtown) near that station after 9pm. And there are allot of transients in certain areas (Main Street and also the underpases) at night in midtown.

During the day it is safe, I used the metrorail through there going to Herman Park and have never had a problem.

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The presence of the Greyhound bus station shows a lack of strong leadership and vision for the midtown/downtown area. There is a very noticeable lack of development in the blocks surrounding it. I know people who specifically avoid driving down Gray/Webster because they don't want to pass by the Greyhound station.

Once you get about 3 or 4 blocks away from the bus station, however, the area improves. I would have a hard time believing that crime is any worse on the east side of midtown unless your within a few blocks of the Greyhound station.

I've lived on the east side near McGowen for over 6 years and have never had any crime activity. My neighbors had a couple potted plants stolen a few years ago, but that's about the worst I've heard. The only thing about any part of Midtown is that you will be occasionally asked for change by a homeless person. This is an almost guaranteed when you stop at any gas station in Midtown.

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The presence of the Greyhound bus station shows a lack of strong leadership and vision for the midtown/downtown area.

What would a strong leader do with the bus station?

I know people who specifically avoid driving down Gray/Webster because they don't want to pass by the Greyhound station.

I knew a guy that reached for his mace anytime a black person approached his car. He was a nutjob.

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Not sure how far down Main you are talking. I live right near Baldwin Park and the area is awesome. The large section of town homes around feels like a neighborhood in the middle of the city. Residents walk around a lot, and it's common to see medical professionals pushing kids in strollers. You will see homeless people... but they leave you alone and do their own thing. At night, you probably wouldn't want to go for a stroll, but that's pretty much a good rule of thumb for anywhere in the loop (although it seems like at night, I never see people walking in front of my house). In my opinion, I would think crime would be worse over in the parts of Midtown near the bars. Drunk people with money and impaired judgment seem like a prime target versus a house with an alarm system and a potentially armed resident.

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I know people who specifically avoid driving down Gray/Webster because they don't want to pass by the Greyhound station.

Please tell them that not driving by the Greyhound Station (especially during the day) is ridiculous. As long as the windows are up and the driver does not stare at people, there will be no problem. Now, if the person was on foot and AWAY from the front of the station (or at the front during night), aggressive panhandlers do try to target people.

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I think he meant a strong leader like Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Il. Not sure what a strong leader in a country with a Constitution would do.

Maybe. I thought of a strong leader like King Kong or The Incredible Hulk, and I imagined him lifting the bus station over his head and shaking it about.

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Notice that in my post, I said "leadership and vision", not leader. In other words, a real plan for how to develop midtown. There have been many missed opportunities, such as developing the superblock, enforcing rules so that sidewalks are wider, and spurring more development besides just hundreds of townhomes (one of which I live in <_< ). I think the Greyhound station is just another example of this. Moving it out of Midtown would accomplish a number of things:

1. The current location and surrounding blocks have huge potential for development. The bus station is holding the area back. Is expensive Midtown real-estate really the best location for a bus station? The people living in Midtown don't even use the station!

2. For the City of Houston, it would make much more economic sense for the city to incentivize Greyhound to move their station. The improved development would in turn improve the property tax value for the city.

3. Crime and blight would likely be reduced. The Greyhound station is a drop-off point for recently released prisoners, and a crossing point for many others looking to buy/sell drugs and engage in other nefarious activities. This discourages development, small businesses, and homeowners in Midtown and Downtown.

Convincing the Greyhound station owners to relocate has to be a part of any strategy for developing Midtown, and a major part of developing the north-Main part of Midtown. But politically, it presents a challenge, since nobody is going to want it in their backyard. That's why nothing has been done to date.

Heck, I'd be willing to donate a few bucks into a fund if it would help incentivize them to move out of the area. But again, who's going to take it? Who really wants a drop-off point for recently released prisoners in their neighborhood? Katy? Sugarland? Gulfgate Mall?

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What about the north side of downtown near the planned intermodal terminal? Wouldn't that make sense to be close to the terminal? And a lot of that land is ex industrial without as much residential (as far as I know). Just an idea...

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I think he meant a strong leader like Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Il. Not sure what a strong leader in a country with a Constitution would do.

You sure can stretch a comment to the point of ridiculousness! Are you saying only communists countries can have strong leadership and vision? Or, are you saying that Presidents like FDR, JFK, and Reagan were communists dictators? Last I checked, we had a constitution under those Presidents.

Oh, wait, what does this have to do with crime in east midtown? :wacko:

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What about the north side of downtown near the planned intermodal terminal? Wouldn't that make sense to be close to the terminal? And a lot of that land is ex industrial without as much residential (as far as I know). Just an idea...

I would vote for that. Putting it in an ex-industrial area also means that there won't be neighbors worried about their safety or property values decreasing along with the bus station. It needs to be somewhere where people don't want to stick around for a long time. The current location almost encourages people to loiter, with the McDonald's and the homeless camps nearby under the Pierce...

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Notice that in my post, I said "leadership and vision", not leader. In other words, a real plan for how to develop midtown. There have been many missed opportunities, such as developing the superblock, enforcing rules so that sidewalks are wider, and spurring more development besides just hundreds of townhomes (one of which I live in <_< ).

So you moved near the bus station and now you don't want to live near the bus station so you want a plan for moving the bus station near people who didn't chose to live near the bus station.

I think the Greyhound station is just another example of this. Moving it out of Midtown would accomplish a number of things:

1. The current location and surrounding blocks have huge potential for development. The bus station is holding the area back. Is expensive Midtown real-estate really the best location for a bus station? The people living in Midtown don't even use the station!

If the real-estate is expensive despite the presence of the bus station, maybe you should keep it there. Otherwise, you could be pushed out like the people who used to live there (and probably used to use the bus station more than the current residents).

2. For the City of Houston, it would make much more economic sense for the city to incentivize Greyhound to move their station. The improved development would in turn improve the property tax value for the city.

By decreasing the property taxes somewhere else?

3. Crime and blight would likely be reduced. The Greyhound station is a drop-off point for recently released prisoners, and a crossing point for many others looking to buy/sell drugs and engage in other nefarious activities. This discourages development, small businesses, and homeowners in Midtown and Downtown.

But it doesn't discourage development enough to let poor people live there.

Convincing the Greyhound station owners to relocate has to be a part of any strategy for developing Midtown, and a major part of developing the north-Main part of Midtown. But politically, it presents a challenge, since nobody is going to want it in their backyard. That's why nothing has been done to date.

Why should midtown development be favored over any other possible location for the bus station (aside from the fact that you live there)?

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So you moved near the bus station and now you don't want to live near the bus station so you want a plan for moving the bus station near people who didn't chose to live near the bus station.

No, as stated I do not live near the bus station, I live near McGowen (and Jackson). But as with any sensible person, I would like to see less blight in the the core of my city, and I would enjoy having more restaurants and other amenities in Midtown/DT.

If the real-estate is expensive despite the presence of the bus station, maybe you should keep it there. Otherwise, you could be pushed out like the people who used to live there (and probably used to use the bus station more than the current residents).

The real estate is expensive despite the bus station. All land inside the loop has become more expensive for a variety of reasons.

By decreasing the property taxes somewhere else?

Um, did you even read my post? I'm pretty sure I pointed out that nobody else wants it. Would you release prisoners in a swanky River Oaks neighborhood? No, but I guess it's okay to do it in Midtown, huh? Because it's pre-existing, right? So, nothing can ever change or develop just because it's already there. Gee, where would Houston be today if that was the case!

But it doesn't discourage development enough to let poor people live there.

Ok, so what is your point?

Why should midtown development be favored over any other possible location for the bus station (aside from the fact that you live there)?

Nobody said it should be favored. But it shouldn't be prohibited by crime and blight either. Midtown does have much potential being in the center of the city. Development and property values naturally tend to increase in the center of cities due to proximity to jobs, entertainment venues, etc.

To your second argument, do the safety and concerns of the majority of citizens in a neighborhood count for nothing? Are you saying that, as a Midtown taxpayer, I should have no say in what happens in Midtown?

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yes, its called gentrification.

People throw around words like gentrification (and 'liberal') when they have no real argument. Gentrification is not a bad thing. Ideally, the whole city should be gentrified. The issue is raising the poor up along with the property values, or, at least, giving them an affordable place to live.

There are no poor people living near the bus station, with the exception of homeless that camp out under the Pierce. There are only parking lots, some businesses, and middle-class properties. So, nobody is being displaced if the area is gentrified.

Edited by barracuda
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i agree. move it to the a bad part of town

And what part of town would you suggest?

Property values will determine what will happen with the station, but Greyhound will probably be located there unless they are offered a substantial offer and can find a piece of land that will be profitable and centrally located relatively to where it is now.

Would that mean you also want to push out the Mexican Bus line next door away? From what I've seen they have been very proactive when it comes to keeping the trash off their property and is a relative paradise to what is going on across the street.

Perhaps you (Midtown residents) would be better off pressuring the company to increase its security and contributing to the Constable patrols in the area.

If Greyhound were to clean up the area, contribute or pay for additional security for a certain range of its station, would that be suitable for you or are you just adament that the station needs to go at all costs?

The relocation will probably be fought tooth and nail by whatever neighborhood it is interested in. This is Greyhound's 2nd location (in my memory) and a company of this nature is not likely to move because a couple of hundred neighbors don't like its patrons.

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Perhaps you (Midtown residents) would be better off pressuring the company to increase its security and contributing to the Constable patrols in the area.
bingo. there are laws on the books now that could be enforced. seems last time hpd tried, wayne dolcefino had a field day with officers double dipping. Edited by musicman
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which part of town

Where the intermodla terminal is planned for, as VicMan said in the post you quoted. That's at N. Main & Burnett, according to Metro's web site.

But it could be any "bad part of town". They are all candidates for gentrification. Rich folks love a bargain.

Edited by memebag
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bingo. there are laws on the books now that could be enforced. seems last time hpd tried, wayne dolcefino had a field day with officers double dipping.

If Greyhound could keep crime and loitering down and clean up their property, it wouldn't be a big issue. But it seems more like a Greyhound issue than an HPD issue. The El Expresso bus station seems clean and well managed in comparison. Greyhound just doesn't seem interested in maintaining and monitoring their property. It shouldn't be HPD's responsibility to clean up the Greyhound property.

Where the intermodla terminal is planned for, as VicMan said in the post you quoted. That's at N. Main & Burnett, according to Metro's web site.

The N. Main & Burnett block is adjacent to the rail tracks north of DT. Is that the line that Amtrak uses? I know they have a line to San Antonio and to Beaumont and Louisiana. Seems like that would be a reasonable place for a bus station as well as a light rain connection.

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If Greyhound could keep crime and loitering down and clean up their property, it wouldn't be a big issue. But it seems more like a Greyhound issue than an HPD issue. The El Expresso bus station seems clean and well managed in comparison. Greyhound just doesn't seem interested in maintaining and monitoring their property. It shouldn't be HPD's responsibility to clean up the Greyhound property.

last time i was in midtown, i didn't see the crime happening on greyhound property. but did see the panhandling in midtown, homeless under the pierce, male prostitution on mcgowan, thieves stealing landscaping sprinkler equipment, etc. yes greyhound can do what they can on their property but they have no authority to deal with the problem everywhere else in midtown.

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last time i was in midtown, i didn't see the crime happening on greyhound property. but did see the panhandling in midtown, homeless under the pierce, male prostitution on mcgowan, thieves stealing landscaping sprinkler equipment, etc. yes greyhound can do what they can on their property but they have no authority to deal with the problem everywhere else in midtown.

I live in Midtown. I've also seen drug dealing and plenty of panhandling, usually at the major intersections and often at gas stations.

The Greyhound property is also a nexus for these activities. I've seen what look like drug deals, people walking right out into traffic, and plenty of other odd behavior on that block, which I can only imagine is due to drug use or mental conditions that require professional help. Those that don't live in Midtown may not care much about the problem, but as a resident I do.

I think it's unlikely that HPD can monitor every street corner in the city. But targeting specific problem areas (like the Greyhound property) seems like an effective and manageable strategy.

Edited by barracuda
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Metro has designed the intermodal terminal with space to accommodate Greyhound and the international buses, but hasn't even spoken to Greyhound.

"However, Wilson indicated Friday that a North Side Intermodal Terminal may have to wait. He said Metro plans to build the North line through the site, reroute some streets and leave parcels of land open for development, which could include a terminal."

Chron, 4/7/08

www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2008_4544958

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I think it's unlikely that HPD can monitor every street corner in the city. But targeting specific problem areas (like the Greyhound property) seems like an effective and manageable strategy.

seems is a BIG word in this instance.

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seems is a BIG word in this instance.

That is a VAGUE sentence fragment.

My point is that HPD has a limited number of officers, so it's not possible for HPD to constantly police every corner of Midtown. But they can work with business owners to focus their attention on the problem areas. It seems logical to me that you fix the problem areas before the non-problem areas. I'm not sure what your point is.

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My point is that HPD has a limited number of officers, so it's not possible for HPD to constantly police every corner of Midtown. But they can work with business owners to focus their attention on the problem areas. It seems logical to me that you fix the problem areas before the non-problem areas. I'm not sure what your point is.

I was trying to say that perhaps if you can get the neighbors to convince greyhound into footing the bill for constables that would concentrate on a 3 block radius around the station then that would severely curtail a number of problems. I'm sure they would enjoy Metro Police for backup.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The presence of the Greyhound bus station shows a lack of strong leadership and vision for the midtown/downtown area. There is a very noticeable lack of development in the blocks surrounding it. I know people who specifically avoid driving down Gray/Webster because they don't want to pass by the Greyhound station.

Once you get about 3 or 4 blocks away from the bus station, however, the area improves. I would have a hard time believing that crime is any worse on the east side of midtown unless your within a few blocks of the Greyhound station.

I've lived on the east side near McGowen for over 6 years and have never had any crime activity. My neighbors had a couple potted plants stolen a few years ago, but that's about the worst I've heard. The only thing about any part of Midtown is that you will be occasionally asked for change by a homeless person. This is an almost guaranteed when you stop at any gas station in Midtown.

Well said. I've always pointed out that our leadership is blundering at best.

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