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The "To Do List" for the City of Houston


citykid09

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Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States has an abundance of problems. From the dated city streets (potholes), to the huge littering problem and the unattractiveness of many of the city's main corridors, many issues exist. So what do you want the next mayor and other city leaders to focus on?

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Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States has an abundance of problems. From the dated city streets (potholes), to the huge littering problem and the unattractiveness of many of the city's main corridors, many issues exist. So what do you want the next mayor and other city leaders to focus on?

BARC

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Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States has an abundance of problems. From the dated city streets (potholes), to the huge littering problem and the unattractiveness of many of the city's main corridors, many issues exist. So what do you want the next mayor and other city leaders to focus on?

Charging admission to outsiders who complain about us.

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Awareness of our issues and campaigns, public service announcements to stop bad habits (litter, etc.). Houston Proud of the 80's was lame, but basically a public awareness program, if properly executed, could get more people involved.

...and to ban negative posts of our fair city on HAIF. :P:lol:

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Judging by you guys responses, you don't like to face the truth. Houston does have a huge littering problem and problems with its streets among many other problems. Why wouldn't any city or its citizens want to cleanup and and improve even if its just a little bit.

Driving down I-45 North yesterday, and down some of the near by streets I realized that it was all just a big mess! Potholes for miles, trash lining the medians, sidewalk areas and parking lots, buildings covered in wave tin and chipped up paint. Whats with these make shift businesses plastering their signs over the signs of a business that was previously in that location and you can still see both? What that hell has Houston become? The American version of a 3rd world city? Its like there is no pride in the city and people just care about making money. And its not just I-45North, its just one of the worst, its pretty much the whole damn city! Where is all of the tax money going?

Edited by citykid09
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Driving down I-45 North yesterday, and down some of the near by streets I realized that it was all just a big mess! Potholes for miles, trash lining the medians, sidewalk areas and parking lots, buildings covered in wave tin and chipped up paint. Whats with these make shift businesses plastering their signs over the signs of a business that was previously in that location and you can still see both? What that hell has Houston become? The American version of a 3rd world city? Its like there is no pride in the city and people just care about making money. And its not just I-45North, its just one of the worst, its pretty much the whole damn city! Where is all of the tax money going?

FWIW, I have to cross three streets that are being repaved just to get out of my neighborhood. That's not counting the two that are already repaved, or the two slated to be repaved soon. I have no pothole complaints. I also drive up and down I-45 twice a day. The litter problem...except for the 18 wheeler treads that occasionally fall off the tires...is not nearly as bad as your overly dramatic post. I see the street cleaners out on a regular basis as well.

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I don't see any litter problems on the Katy Freeway and 45N has always been that way, but is definitely a lot better.

Though Citykid, the Houston expert, please do tell of the other freeways just like 45N.

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I don't see any litter problems on the Katy Freeway and 45N has always been that way, but is definitely a lot better.

Though Citykid, the Houston expert, please do tell of the other freeways just like 45N.

59 from (from 610 (really further back) all the way to Sugarland)

290

45 south (Gulf freeway)

I'm sure I could name more. Its not just freeways, its city streets as well.

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Sounds like one of our HAIFers has been visiting our lovely crackhouses on the North Side. Don't they have crackhouses in Bryan? Do you have to drive to Houston to feed your habit?

FWIW, I have to cross three streets that are being repaved just to get out of my neighborhood. That's not counting the two that are already repaved, or the two slated to be repaved soon. I have no pothole complaints. I also drive up and down I-45 twice a day. The litter problem...except for the 18 wheeler treads that occasionally fall off the tires...is not nearly as bad as your overly dramatic post. I see the street cleaners out on a regular basis as well.

Frankly, citykid, you have become nothing more than a troll. Every couple of days you start up a new thread with the same tired stuff. "Houston sux!" "Atlanta's great!" "Why can't you guys be like Dallas?" You add nothing to the discussion. Why don't you just go away? Really.

Street cleaners? LOL...in 10 years here in Houston the only time I've seen street cleaners is in one of the parades downtown.

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R409.jpg

I'll vote for the candidate that I believe would make this happen. Lighted signage would do more for public safety than all the hauling of cars off the freeways and automated red light cameras combined. Unfortunately they represent a cost center not a revenue center.

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Being ugly can wait to be honest, there are infrastructure issues this city needs to address.

Pollution is out of control in this city. Not just in the air but also the water.

Getting rid of Metro for one and retooling the entire mass transit system. We are the 4th largest city in this country and we have a half-a$$ system.

Better cycling system for people who wish to ride to work (I know this is a very small minority, but hey you have to start somewhere). This city is large enough to have a very good size population of cyclists. Give some kind of incentive for businesses to have facilities for cyclists.

Correct roads with potholes. Not just fill them in; figure out what caused them in the first place in prone areas and correct the problem.

Tear down every condemned building and home unless it is of historical value, if so refurbish it.

Look into zoning laws again ! ! !

(This one is on a personal note since it is my neighborhood) Somehow revamp downtown. I am not sure if the city can afford to give some incentives for businesses to move into downtown, but that might help. A grocery store at least! -- Downtown Madison and Downtown Portland are good examples of what I am talking about.

As for "esthetics":

Our freeway systems are butt ugly, there has to be a way to make them look nicer. Plant plants/trees on the side of the freeways and in-between north and south, east and west bound lanes. This would do two things:

1) hide the adult video stores, abandoned car lots and "massage" parlors (this is really bad on 45 north) and

2) not slow down traffic when there is an accident on the other side of the freeway (people always slow down to watch). Dallas has some pretty nice freeways if I must say.

I don't really see the litter problem, but I rarely am outside of the loop, so maybe it is bad outside the loop.

Edited by Daniepwils
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Infrastructure, (esp. drainage projects) code enforcement, and overhaul of METRO. And in a perfect world, I would like to see much more money spent on public parks/ green belts and bikeways--but a lot of this can be accomplished in the context of infrastucture and drainage.

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Tell Gene Locke if he wins to build some hills, we're too dern flat to compete with Atlanta. :D

But seriously, I suppose this would go under infrastructure. When they repave a road, make them repave the intersections as well. It sucks to drive down a nicely paved road then get to an intersection and have the car nearly rattle apart before getting back on smooth pavement again. It just looks lazy as well.

Edited by JLWM8609
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You all complain too much.

If the next mayor will just take my advice and "Legalize It", you'll all forget all your problems...as well as forgetting where you were going with that story.

As RedScare pointed out, it's "good for asthma"...which means we can step back from costly pollution measures that could drive our prime industry out of town.

Also, goats love to play with it...so we could diversify our economic base with goat ranching.

Doctors smoke it. We'll keep expanding the TMC...with THC!

Once we legalize it, they will advertise it...look for all those hot NYC ad agencies will be heading for Downtown H-Town.

Only downside I foresee: it's good for umara composis.

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I think there needs to be more emphasis on putting recorded deed restrictions online. This information needs to be made available to the general public, as well as the city officials in code enforcement and plan review. Facilitating access to these documents would aid in enforcement, and it might prevent some of the misunderstandings that arise when uninformed owners attempt to make improvements that are in violation of their property restrictions.

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How about city sponsored design competitions? Juried by a mix of local professionals and elected officials. I'd start with the what to do with the Astrodome (although that is owned by the county). It would be interesting to see what the international community could do for Houston.

Edited by infinite_jim
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You all complain too much.

If the next mayor will just take my advice and "Legalize It", you'll all forget all your problems...as well as forgetting where you were going with that story.

As RedScare pointed out, it's "good for asthma"...which means we can step back from costly pollution measures that could drive our prime industry out of town.

Also, goats love to play with it...so we could diversify our economic base with goat ranching.

Doctors smoke it. We'll keep expanding the TMC...with THC!

Once we legalize it, they will advertise it...look for all those hot NYC ad agencies will be heading for Downtown H-Town.

Only downside I foresee: it's good for umara composis.

It sounds like everyone in this meandering thread is high.

You guys haven't been to LA...The freeways are ugly, dirty...etc. We need to get these "lights" timed properly...It took 6 mins to drive from one side of downtown to the other.

The downtown traffic lights worked well when the lights down a given street were synchronized. I used to be able to zig-zag through DT and only occasionally catch them red (usually when traffic was heavier). I would support going back to that system.

Judging by you guys responses, you don't like to face the truth. Houston does have a huge littering problem and problems with its streets among many other problems. Why wouldn't any city or its citizens want to cleanup and and improve even if its just a little bit.

Driving down I-45 North yesterday, and down some of the near by streets I realized that it was all just a big mess! Potholes for miles, trash lining the medians, sidewalk areas and parking lots, buildings covered in wave tin and chipped up paint. Whats with these make shift businesses plastering their signs over the signs of a business that was previously in that location and you can still see both? What that hell has Houston become? The American version of a 3rd world city? Its like there is no pride in the city and people just care about making money. And its not just I-45North, its just one of the worst, its pretty much the whole damn city! Where is all of the tax money going?

I'll agree that there are too many potholes and generally rough roads. I guess I haven't noticed the litter issue, but I don't venture outside the loop that often. From your description, it sounds like it's a bigger issue outside the core of the city.

Getting rid of Metro for one and retooling the entire mass transit system. We are the 4th largest city in this country and we have a half-a$$ system.

How is getting rid of the mass transit system going to improve mass transit?

Better cycling system for people who wish to ride to work (I know this is a very small minority, but hey you have to start somewhere). This city is large enough to have a very good size population of cyclists. Give some kind of incentive for businesses to have facilities for cyclists.

Yes, I would love to see more bike lanes. Although the thought isn't as enticing when it's 98 degrees.

Our freeway systems are butt ugly, there has to be a way to make them look nicer. Plant plants/trees on the side of the freeways and in-between north and south, east and west bound lanes. This would do two things:

1) hide the adult video stores, abandoned car lots and "massage" parlors (this is really bad on 45 north) and

2) not slow down traffic when there is an accident on the other side of the freeway (people always slow down to watch). Dallas has some pretty nice freeways if I must say.

Trees for Houston has done a commendable job sprucing up many of the freeway corridors. You can volunteer or donate money to help. http://www.treesforhouston.org/Plant/Volunteer/Index.aqf

Edited by barracuda
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Trees for Houston has done a commendable job sprucing up many of the freeway corridors. You can volunteer or donate money to help. http://www.treesforhouston.org/Plant/Volunteer/Index.aqf

Is it me or does it seem like the trees planet along the freeways aren't growing? They look about the same height as when they planted the years ago.

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Is it me or does it seem like the trees planet along the freeways aren't growing? They look about the same height as when they planted the years ago.

Possibly. I remember hearing some criticism against TxDOT for planting trees too closely, which in turn would not allow them to grow fully or something like that.

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Is it me or does it seem like the trees planet along the freeways aren't growing? They look about the same height as when they planted the years ago.

Where is this tree planet? I would much like to visit.

I think some groups are growing. The I-10 and 610W area I look forward to seeing in 10 years. There are some small areas coming up 288 that seem to be growing as well. Which ones are you referring to?

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Possibly. I remember hearing some criticism against TxDOT for planting trees too closely, which in turn would not allow them to grow fully or something like that.

I see this a lot in newly planted medians. Leaves me wondering if they don't want them to grow? Maybe limit the size so massive root systems don't tear up the roads later on.

But that might be giving too much credit where none is due, prolly just poor planning.

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I see this a lot in newly planted medians. Leaves me wondering if they don't want them to grow? Maybe limit the size so massive root systems don't tear up the roads later on.

But that might be giving too much credit where none is due, prolly just poor planning.

I've noticed the trees along 45 S and Cullen the same size...not enough nutrition can stunt their growth.

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Where is this tree planet? I would much like to visit.

I think some groups are growing. The I-10 and 610W area I look forward to seeing in 10 years. There are some small areas coming up 288 that seem to be growing as well. Which ones are you referring to?

LOL! My bad, I didn't realize I miss spelled it.

On another note, guess who called my house today here in Bryan/College Station? It was Houston Mayor Bill White's Daughter. I think it was a prerecorded message, but it said that her father would be in Bryan/College Station today for the Texas Steak & Reds Festival. It also said something else, but I didn't pay attention. I will have to hit the answering machine again to see what it says.

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Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States has an abundance of problems. From the dated city streets (potholes), to the huge littering problem and the unattractiveness of many of the city's main corridors, many issues exist. So what do you want the next mayor and other city leaders to focus on?

I will try some relatively simple but serious answers:

1 - Clean freeway shoulders and medians more often - nothing to me says "welcome to Houston" more than seeing a dead animal in various states of decay over several days or weeks along the freeway (288, 610S, 45S)

2 - Clean city and neighborhood streets to the curb/gutter - or make property owners liable (ha, that'll work) - I drive along Binz by the museums and there is one property that rolls out onto an otherwise clean street like the hanging gardens

3 - Sidewalks - it is insane that major thoroughfares and bus routes have bad/no sidewalks - try taking a walk down Richmond between Shepherd and Montrose - at least downtown is doing better - also, why is it that sidewalks are allowed to "dead end" during construction projects - where is the hapless pedestrian to go? Sidewalks need to be considered in the same way that roadways are - I know this isn't in Houston, but I regularly see visitors staying at the motels struggle to walk/bike along Bay Area Blvd

4 - At least get the flooding under control on main thoroughfares (Richmond by Greenway, for example, or Montrose and Alabama) to include better drainage and regularly cleaning storm drains (see #2)

5 - Get commuter rail going asap

6 - Clean and fix the bike paths and trails - my first reaction when I see a bike route sign is to go another direction - they are either on horrible roads for biking (Westpark?? NASA Rd 1??), or are poorly maintained to the point of danger to a bicyclist (Dallas, Commonwealth, pretty much any of them)

7 - When are the buildings by the bus station going to be fixed/torn down/or taken over by the city? How can 10-20 years go by with buildings in that condition?

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I will try some relatively simple but serious answers:

1 - Clean freeway shoulders and medians more often - nothing to me says "welcome to Houston" more than seeing a dead animal in various states of decay over several days or weeks along the freeway (288, 610S, 45S)

2 - Clean city and neighborhood streets to the curb/gutter - or make property owners liable (ha, that'll work) - I drive along Binz by the museums and there is one property that rolls out onto an otherwise clean street like the hanging gardens

3 - Sidewalks - it is insane that major thoroughfares and bus routes have bad/no sidewalks - try taking a walk down Richmond between Shepherd and Montrose - at least downtown is doing better - also, why is it that sidewalks are allowed to "dead end" during construction projects - where is the hapless pedestrian to go? Sidewalks need to be considered in the same way that roadways are - I know this isn't in Houston, but I regularly see visitors staying at the motels struggle to walk/bike along Bay Area Blvd

4 - At least get the flooding under control on main thoroughfares (Richmond by Greenway, for example, or Montrose and Alabama) to include better drainage and regularly cleaning storm drains (see #2)

5 - Get commuter rail going asap

6 - Clean and fix the bike paths and trails - my first reaction when I see a bike route sign is to go another direction - they are either on horrible roads for biking (Westpark?? NASA Rd 1??), or are poorly maintained to the point of danger to a bicyclist (Dallas, Commonwealth, pretty much any of them)

7 - When are the buildings by the bus station going to be fixed/torn down/or taken over by the city? How can 10-20 years go by with buildings in that condition?

1 - Interstate Highways are owned and operated by TxDOT. Maintanance of the interstates, including mowing of grass, planting of trees, and picking of litter is the responsibility of TxDOT, no matter how many times HAIF posters complain about the City.

2 - Residents and business owners are responsible for cleaning the gutters and ditches in front of their property. If the debris is too large, the City will clean it if the resident calls 311.

Sidewalks on Richmond will be repaved concurrent with the METRO University Line extension. To repave the sidewalks prior to the street reconstruction is a waste of valuable tax dollars. Other sidewalks are being installed on a painfully slow schedule, or concurrently with street reconstruction, or required with certain new construction (this is why some sidewalks 'dead end').

4 - Both the City and the County are spendings tens of millions of dollars annually in a comprehensive flood control system upgrade. In fact, the County has its own taxing mechanism for funding flood control. In spite of the fact that flood control falls largely to the County and the US Army Corps of Engineers, the City has improved its flood control so much that it resulted in an upgrade in the City's flood insurance rating last year.

http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/20080129.html

There is also a timely article about Houston flood control efforts in the Chronicle...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/6486933.html

5 - Harris County and METRO are already working on this. Houston has no obligation to provide transit for suburban residents.

6 - Agree that bike paths and trails are not maintained as well as they should be.

7 - As long as the buildings are not a danger to the public, there is little that any city can do to force destruction of a building, especially for aesthetic reasons. This is as it should be. Would you really want to be ordered to tear down your house because the City thought it was ugly?

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Something should be done about Bagby St in Midtown immediately. The potholes and dips are verging on insanity. No more filling holes in...the entire street needs replacement.

I totally agree. Why is every other north-south street of Midtown in good condition, except Bagby? Also, fix or replace that light at McGowan/Bagby. It's always getting out of synch, long cycling, stuck or blinking.

This is largely a residential street now. Don't they deserve better?

I noticed they were grinding down Bissonnet, near Ashby, prepping for new black top. This street was nowhere near the shape of Bagby. Do we have a double standard here?

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1 - Interstate Highways are owned and operated by TxDOT. Maintanance of the interstates, including mowing of grass, planting of trees, and picking of litter is the responsibility of TxDOT, no matter how many times HAIF posters complain about the City.

OK, so then perhaps the City can work with TxDOT to improve the maintenance of interstates within the city limits. Are our government's required to throw up their hands (so to speak) and give up.

2 - Residents and business owners are responsible for cleaning the gutters and ditches in front of their property. If the debris is too large, the City will clean it if the resident calls 311.

So debris on a PUBLIC road shall be left indefinitely on PUBLIC property? If the owner's are responsible, then give them time to clean it, and if they don't bill them for the cleanup. With responsibility should come accountability.

3 - Sidewalks on Richmond will be repaved concurrent with the METRO University Line extension. To repave the sidewalks prior to the street reconstruction is a waste of valuable tax dollars. Other sidewalks are being installed on a painfully slow schedule, or concurrently with street reconstruction, or required with certain new construction (this is why some sidewalks 'dead end').

Great. So for 4 years there is essentially no sidewalk on a public road. So, then, why not apply the same logic to all road repairs - close a lane for a few years because it will eventually be replaced and repaved. What a waste of tax dollars fixing potholes, etc. Basically, I can't buy that excuse, especially as the cost per mile of sidewalk is relatively low compared to roadways, and the benefit to pedestrians, the handicapped, children, etc in safety and convenience is huge.

4 - Both the City and the County are spendings tens of millions of dollars annually in a comprehensive flood control system upgrade. In fact, the County has its own taxing mechanism for funding flood control. In spite of the fact that flood control falls largely to the County and the US Army Corps of Engineers, the City has improved its flood control so much that it resulted in an upgrade in the City's flood insurance rating last year.

http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/20080129.html

There is also a timely article about Houston flood control efforts in the Chronicle...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/6486933.html

I agree that flood control of the bayou system is improving, but I was referring more to localized street flooding due to poor local drainage and blocked storm drains.

5 - Harris County and METRO are already working on this. Houston has no obligation to provide transit for suburban residents.

Houston as a city will benefit thru increasing the density of its daytime population thru mass transit and decreasing the need to maintain its road and hiway infrastructure by reduced cars.

6 - Agree that bike paths and trails are not maintained as well as they should be.

7 - As long as the buildings are not a danger to the public, there is little that any city can do to force destruction of a building, especially for aesthetic reasons. This is as it should be. Would you really want to be ordered to tear down your house because the City thought it was ugly?

So, broken windows, access to transients, etc don't represent a danger to pedestrians, or the public? Are there no building codes? Fire hazards? We're not talking just ugly buildings, but vacant and abandoned buildings. Houston is not an isolated country village - why is it ok to leave a gutted burned out building as-is for months on end (I45 feeder just south of downtown)? Ugly I don't like, but I will deal with it, but really there oughta be a law that vacant properties require some level of security and maintenance.

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Rocksci :rolleyes:

I'm not sure which burned building you are speaking of on I-45 S. There was a construction site down that way that was under construction recently. It caught on fire and people were killed. If it's that one, then it's probably due to investigations and insurance purposes.

I do agree that the city needs to find a way to force the hand of those owning the Savoy(s), Days Inn/Holiday and Central Bank. Red may be able to enlighten us on the legal ramifications, though.

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What should our next Mayor concentrate on?

Lots of things.

1: CRIME! We need better policing. A few things I wish they'd do:

`

It was reported today that homocides were down significantly. Theft was up, but we can chalk that up to the economy, it's a national trend.

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Rocksci :rolleyes:

I'm not sure which burned building you are speaking of on I-45 S. There was a construction site down that way that was under construction recently. It caught on fire and people were killed. If it's that one, then it's probably due to investigations and insurance purposes.

I do agree that the city needs to find a way to force the hand of those owning the Savoy(s), Days Inn/Holiday and Central Bank. Red may be able to enlighten us on the legal ramifications, though.

NPW Furniture and Supply at Pierce and Bastrop - burned and half collapsed for more than 6 months just before the southbound onramp to 45 - basically every visitor leaving downtown toward Hobby passes this building.

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What should our next Mayor concentrate on?

Lots of things. In order of importance (and I've put exclamation points after the most important ones.)

1: FIGHT CRIME! We need better policing. A few things I wish they'd do in HPD:

- If they can't afford the $12k signing bonuses, they should:

- Recruit experienced cops from other big cities by matching salaries, advertising Houston's low-cost of living and stronger-than-most economy, and offering job placement for officers spouses.

- Offer free rent in low-cost apartment complexes for young rookie cops.

- Establish 'micro-beats' that cover only one or two subdivisions - where cops and residents really get to know each other.

2: IMPROVE EDUCATION! We need to fix all the schools here in Houston.

- The Mayor needs to work with HISD and other districts to get them to improve. If the districts won't cooperate, he should play hardball (like New York mayor Bloomberg did).

- The Mayor should push for a big, alternative school for kids who cause trouble in mainstream schools, but aren't so criminal that they need to be in TYC lockup.

3: IMPROVE TRANSIT!

- The Mayor has to take the same approach with METRO and TXDoT that he takes with the schools. Work with them is the first option. If they won't cooperate, play hardball.

4: GO AFTER NUISANCE PROPERTIES and replace them.

- Unlicensed SOBs, "Pain Clinics", and Hot Sheet Motels don't serve this City. Parks do. It's time to crank up the legal department, fire up the bulldozers, and plant some trees!

- Houston also has a surplus of crimeridden slum apartments, and a shortage of safe, accessible housing for law abiding poor people. Our next Mayor needs to pull strings and get developers to replace slums with good low-cost housing. (To his credit, Bill White started to do this in his last term - but it took him 4 years to wake up to reality on it).

5: STREAMLINE CITY DEPARTMENTS AND ORDINANCES.

- There are at least half a dozen City departments that send inspectors out to buildings, for example. There should be just one.

- Our City code is frought with stupid laws like the one that required bicycles to be registered. They should all suffer the same fate as the bicycle ordinance.

6: ESTABLISH SENSITIVE GROWTH; NOT ZONING for the City of Houston.

- Listen more to neighborhoods. Require public hearings as part of the permit process for certain buildings. (I'd include any building that qualifies as a high-rise or has an H (Hazardous) occupancy under the Building Code).

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NPW Furniture and Supply at Pierce and Bastrop - burned and half collapsed for more than 6 months just before the southbound onramp to 45 - basically every visitor leaving downtown toward Hobby passes this building.

Well, they need to tear that !@# down. Not sure of the reason, but I'm sure legalities are a big part. Let's get moving on this.

I went by Gallery Furniture on I-45N this weekend. At least the burned warehouse is behind the showroom and is not affecting the aesthetics of the scenic North Frwy. :lol:

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Yes, I apologize. I managed to post prematurely.

No worries. Just looking for a cheap laugh.

However, I think it is worth noting that many of the complaints of what "Houston" should be doing are not the fault of the actual City Of Houston, or are being addressed, albeit not as quickly as some would like. My point about the landscaping and perceived litter on the freeways is a prime example. No mayor in Houston's history has been as proactive toward pollution, litter and the environment as Bill White, yet some posters with a general anti-city or anti-government stance blame "Houston for not doing anything. The fact is, the trees that ARE being planted alongside the freeways are only there due to the City's pressuring of TxDOT to devote more time and money to beautification of the freeways. TxDOT literally changed their funding formula several years back to devote more money to freeway landscaping, because of the City of Houston's pressure. Yet, rather than get credit for this, most of the posts...indeed the entire point of this thread...is to blame the City of Houston and its mayor for not doing enough. Maybe it is not sexy to blame a state transportation agency that is going broke for this problem, but in fact, that broke state agency IS the problem. Same goes for mass transit and flood control.

And then there is the little things like litter on the streets and localized flooding. The City instituted the 311 system specifically for non-emergency situations such as these. Those, like me, who use 311 find it generally to be useful. Yet, it doesn't work if the residents do not call. Why should the mayor be blamed for large debris in the road, or a blocked drain when the residents are too damned lazy to pick up the phone and dial three lousy numbers? Seriously! My block has had the ditches cleaned out twice in the last 3 years due to residents calling 311 (it really didn't even need cleaning). It does work when residents call. A self-reliant populace can get great services at a good cost if they pick up the phone. But, expecting the City to hire dozens of extra employees to simply drive around looking for problems that the residents should be calling about is wasteful spending...and if a mayoral hopeful suggested doing so I would vote against them.

My city is not perfect. In the 10 years that I have lived inside the loop, the trash was missed maybe half a dozen times. But, every time they missed it, they sent someone to fix it when I called. I can live with that. I can also live with the fact that HPD is forced to deal with the results of its hiring practises of 20 years ago. When you double your force within a few years, and the full retirement date is 20 years later, you can expect a mass of retirements 20 years later. I do not blame Mayor White for Mayor Lanier's hiring practices. That's just the way it is. However, I do applaud the City for increasing the size of the force in spite of these issues.

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And then there is the little things like litter on the streets and localized flooding. The City instituted the 311 system specifically for non-emergency situations such as these. Those, like me, who use 311 find it generally to be useful. Yet, it doesn't work if the residents do not call. Why should the mayor be blamed for large debris in the road, or a blocked drain when the residents are too damned lazy to pick up the phone and dial three lousy numbers? Seriously! My block has had the ditches cleaned out twice in the last 3 years due to residents calling 311 (it really didn't even need cleaning). It does work when residents call. A self-reliant populace can get great services at a good cost if they pick up the phone.

As a city resident, do you think the COH does enough to promote it?

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