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What would make our city 'better'?

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 It is not just about prepared food. It's also (at least in Seattle) about local crafts, a farmer's market, a fish market, etc. It's kind of hard to describe unless you've been there.  

Edited by Fringe

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Nothing makes me want to come to a city quite like being banned from using a taxi on a major highway. That'll really boost the tourism industry.

wow you ride in a car?

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Don't get me wrong. We can improve downtown and it's cultural offerings, just not by offering up an imitative and derivative urban form. We should instead do what makes sense for us, given our climate, our neighborhoods, and our local culture. The downtown tunnels are a good example of that. It's not that the idea of tunnels are unique to our city, just that they make the most sense here, so we've taken them to a much further extent. We should promote them and make them more tourist-friendly.

We should also promote places such as the Bellaire corridor and make tourists slog down it to select from one of dozens of anonymous little Asiatic holes-in-the-wall if they want to experience Houston's culture. That kind of experience cannot be transplanted to a glorified food court. Dare I say...you'd miss out on 'half the fun.' ;)

but the blogger's friends wouldn't want to be categorized as you described them. rubbery tortillas and overly sweet margaritas seem to be the norm.

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1. Bury all overhead power lines. That more than anything lends Houston that third world country look.

2. Implement the Buffalo Bayou Plan.

3. Eliminate feeder roads and trench freeways wherever possible.

4. As the OP said, more public art and especially more fountains.

5. Do some work to improve the poor street paving.

6. Plant trees everywhere possible.

7. Where possible remove vehicle lanes and devote the space to on-street parking (dual benefits of "traffic calming" to make more pedestrian friendly, and reducing demand for surface lots.

8. Tear down the Pierce Elevated to connect downtown to the green space on the bayou, making it downtown's front lawn.

9. Buy up the Katy Prairie and promote it as a giant nature preserve.

10. If there is to be a large public monument, let it be The Spirit of Houston.

spirit_icon1.jpg

What a shame this proposal was never built.

I can dream, can't I?

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1. Bury all overhead power lines. That more than anything lends Houston that third world country look.

2. Implement the Buffalo Bayou Plan.

3. Eliminate feeder roads and trench freeways wherever possible.

4. As the OP said, more public art and especially more fountains.

5. Do some work to improve the poor street paving.

6. Plant trees everywhere possible.

7. Where possible remove vehicle lanes and devote the space to on-street parking (dual benefits of "traffic calming" to make more pedestrian friendly, and reducing demand for surface lots.

8. Tear down the Pierce Elevated to connect downtown to the green space on the bayou, making it downtown's front lawn.

9. Buy up the Katy Prairie and promote it as a giant nature preserve.

10. If there is to be a large public monument, let it be The Spirit of Houston.

spirit_icon1.jpg

What a shame this proposal was never built.

I can dream, can't I?

I like it all! I agree with everything! Where would the Peirce Elevated go? Underground?

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I like it all! I agree with everything! Where would the Peirce Elevated go? Underground?

Or else just tear it down. The city wouldn't collapse.

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More bike paths, better dual-mode transportation integration (bikes on trains during commute hours), a decent ramen place, a Gaza style wall built to wall off Katy and Woodlands from Houston and a targeted nuclear strike of Sugar Land.

Bike lanes should be a mandatory part of any new or retrograde construction projects on streets. I also agree with the dual-mode method for bikes/trains.

I'll go one step further and say rail along all major transportation routes (i.e. freeways). I45, I10 and 288 need rail lines substitutes into the city. I also think a cross-town route along Westheimer would be great, but that idea died (I think) with all the rail hoopla.

BTW, just what IS the status of rail. Seems like nothing is really happening with construction or am I just out of the loop?

No flamers please. These are just my suggestions and opinions since the question was asked.

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Or else just tear it down. The city wouldn't collapse.

Yeah, but the Peirce Elevated service a purpose. I agree, it seems out of place and it would improve the area if it was gone, but it have to be replaced somewhere. I think tunneling it would be best, or at least submerge it with street level streets crossing over it.

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Yeah, but the Peirce Elevated service a purpose. I agree, it seems out of place and it would improve the area if it was gone, but it have to be replaced somewhere. I think tunneling it would be best, or at least submerge it with street level streets crossing over it.

It would be cool if "The Pierce" ran straight through downtown instead of around the western perimeter. Imagine whizzing straight past Wells Fargo tower at 70 mph.

Neat.

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Some good suggestions so far.

I'd add to them: Condemn and raze the mini-cities of crummy apartments on the southwest side. Re-develop the areas into single-family homes with mixed-use on the edges (retail, restaurants, etc.) The southwest side is composed either of areas out of most peoples' price range (Bellaire, Meyerland, West U... nice areas with good public schools), or ghetto-like areas composed primarily of apartments with terrible public schools and high crime. Not much in between. There are no options for middle-upper class families who are a highly educated, relatively affluent demographic, but looking to spend $300k on a home rather than $700k+. And people wonder why places like Sugar Land are so popular... this is one reason why.

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Some good suggestions so far.

I'd add to them: Condemn and raze the mini-cities of crummy apartments on the southwest side. Re-develop the areas into single-family homes with mixed-use on the edges (retail, restaurants, etc.) The southwest side is composed either of areas out of most peoples' price range (Bellaire, Meyerland, West U... nice areas with good public schools), or ghetto-like areas composed primarily of apartments with terrible public schools and high crime. Not much in between. There are no options for middle-upper class families who are a highly educated, relatively affluent demographic, but looking to spend $300k on a home rather than $700k+. And people wonder why places like Sugar Land are so popular... this is one reason why.

And where exactly should those residents go?

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No Metro.

Good. We can keep them all in one place. No public transport can work for teh poorz like an invisible fence does for a dog.
No apartments.
We can partition all those nice six bedroom houses. The apartment that gets the living room with the vaulted ceiling will obviously rent for the most money.
Not enough liquor stores or drug dealers.
They'll follow teh poorz wherever they go. Additionally, all the dry-cleaners will turn into laundromats, jewelry stores will turn into pawn shops and the TGIFridays will turn into an all-nude strip club.

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Yeah, but the Peirce Elevated service a purpose. I agree, it seems out of place and it would improve the area if it was gone, but it have to be replaced somewhere. I think tunneling it would be best, or at least submerge it with street level streets crossing over it.

I'm not so sure submerging the highways would be such a good idea. Unless you mean that literally...

TS_Allison_Texas_flooding.jpg

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  • Walkable cultural centers like a China Town, or a Little Italy.
  • Rapid transit
  • Less miles and miles of the same old strip centers filled with nail shops, cleaners, dollar store etc.
  • Less feeder roads. Place businesses along feeder roads in walkable business districts
  • Tree lined freeways
  • Dense walkable mixed use neighborhoods
  • A theme park NOW!
  • Major attractions downtown such as a huge NASA Activity center/museum. (be creative)
  • Houston's own Street version of Rodeo Drive, or 5th Ave.
  • Zoning!

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[The SE side - Threat or Menace?]

That's OK, such perceptions will keep the property values affordable for those of us who appreciate character.

If by "character" you mean "chickens in the front yard, goats out back, random gunshots, and trash in the street," then please count this girl as unappreciative.

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If by "character" you mean "chickens in the front yard, goats out back, random gunshots, and trash in the street," then please count this girl as unappreciative.

You may want to get out of Sugarland now before it turns into Liberia West.

Because it's coming, oh it's coming.

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You may want to get out of Sugarland now before it turns into Liberia West.

Because it's coming, oh it's coming.

A civil war? 

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I'm not so sure submerging the highways would be such a good idea. Unless you mean that literally...

Better a flooded freeway than your flooded living room. The water has to go somewhere.

You may want to get out of Sugarland now before it turns into Liberia West.

Because it's coming, oh it's coming.

Probably not so much Liberia West as Missouri City, but yeah...the slow march of entropy continues.

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Better a flooded freeway than your flooded living room. The water has to go somewhere.

That's an interesting idea. Put all the highways below grade and then use them as spillways in the event of major flooding? Not sure anyone would go for it, but still an interesting idea.

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A civil war?

I was thinking more along the lines of chickens, goats, gunshots and trash, but if a civil war just so happens to happen, then yeah, that too.

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What we need is a giant glass dome that keeps the entire inner loop at 72 degrees year round. If the original residents of Riverside Terrace were correct, lack of air conditioning promotes crime :rolleyes:, so this will lower crime within the domed area. It will also need some kickass racing stripes going down the sides of it, racing stripes make everything cool! :lol:

Edited by JLWM8609

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Does anybody remember the plan to build a series of flood canals throughout Houston? This was to be in addition to existing bayous. The idea was that they would be constructed such that they would increase property values/development nearby and also help alleviate flood concerns. There was a Chronicle article about this that I like to post every year or two but I can't find it anymore.

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I don't want to see Sugar Land become a low-income wasteland, but I think Sugar Land could use some downgrading. Not so much that it's no longer nice, but more to the extent bringing it closer to the blue-collar sugar-manufacturing land it once was. Waco has the Mars candy factories, though...

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That's an interesting idea. Put all the highways below grade and then use them as spillways in the event of major flooding? Not sure anyone would go for it, but still an interesting idea.

It's been policy for decades. That's the primary reason that so many of our freeways are submerged, particularly I-10 and SH 288. And for new subdivisions, the stormwater detention capacity that is created by grading the land to make streets flood can allow developers to cut back on detention ponds by half or more.

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I don't want to see Sugar Land become a low-income wasteland, but I think Sugar Land could use some downgrading. Not so much that it's no longer nice, but more to the extent bringing it closer to the blue-collar sugar-manufacturing land it once was. Waco has the Mars candy factories, though...

Same could be said about Bellaire, West U and several other areas. 

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Does anyone think its possible the city could do away with feeder roads one day

I don't know, but I think that it would be a good idea though. It would clear the blight. I think the I-10 widening helped to clear out a lot of the old strip centers along that freeway.

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I don't know, but I think that it would be a good idea though. It would clear the blight. I think the I-10 widening helped to clear out a lot of the old strip centers along that freeway.

It's a terrible idea. With only cloverleafs and flyovers (and limited ones at that), it would be difficult to exit and enter the freeway. Miss an exit and you're doomed. Things along the freeway have no access to anything, and instead of thriving with commercial and whatnot, everything withers. Land value drops along the freeway, and the city becomes rather unattractive. See: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, other areas like that

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I don't know, but I think that it would be a good idea though. It would clear the blight. I think the I-10 widening helped to clear out a lot of the old strip centers along that freeway.

It looks no better now. What with the new Home Depot compound, and the acres of beige crap surrounding the HEB at Bunker Hill. The old and tatty was just replaced with new and ugly. And a lot more of it. And what's with that sad multi-color little place over on the south side of the freeway across from Ikea? It's been empty for a few years now.

I do agree that feeder road development Texas-style looks like ass. It's so nice to get out of state where the highways are at least bordered by green and you have to do a exit loop or two before you're assaulted by shopping center generica.

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my friend had a lot he bought for 185k and sold to txdot for 2 million. i guess blight is lucrative.

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It's a terrible idea. With only cloverleafs and flyovers (and limited ones at that), it would be difficult to exit and enter the freeway. Miss an exit and you're doomed. Things along the freeway have no access to anything, and instead of thriving with commercial and whatnot, everything withers. Land value drops along the freeway, and the city becomes rather unattractive. See: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, other areas like that

That seems to overstate things a tad. People in the rest of the US, and what I've seen of the world for that matter, seem to get by without feeders. You're not 'doomed' if you miss an exit. Every lunkhead knows to go to get off the next exit and return.

I guess that a bigger problem with feeders than generating ugly sprawl is that they could contribute to freeway traffic. The interstates were intended to facilitate longer trips, not local commutes and shopping trips. By letting vast amounts of development accumulate along freeways, feeders drag in more traffic than would otherwise be the case. I'd rather development be spread along arterial roads.

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That seems to overstate things a tad. People in the rest of the US, and what I've seen of the world for that matter, seem to get by without feeders. You're not 'doomed' if you miss an exit. Every lunkhead knows to go to get off the next exit and return.

I guess that a bigger problem with feeders than generating ugly sprawl is that they could contribute to freeway traffic. The interstates were intended to facilitate longer trips, not local commutes and shopping trips. By letting vast amounts of development accumulate along freeways, feeders drag in more traffic than would otherwise be the case. I'd rather development be spread along arterial roads.

I agree, the only place in town where I don't think the feeder roads look so bad is the uptown area.

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I agree, the only place in town where I don't think the feeder roads look so bad is the uptown area.

I think the only road that needs extensive feeders is the beltway.

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I think the only road that needs extensive feeders is the beltway.

Be careful with that present tense. There's a big legacy issue to contend with. See, back in the 50's and 60's when the interstate system was initially being planned and constructed, feeder roads were immensely popular among rural property owners whose tracts of land were getting divided up by highway ROWs. State law guarantees access to real property, even if that means that the owner of a neighboring tract has to allocate some of his land as an easement to his neighbor, so it wasn't even just the people along the ROW that were affected, but their neighbors. And for the person whose property was divided up, if there weren't any feeders, it may have been necessary to drive for a long, LONG circuitous ways for that person to transit between one side of his tract and the other. Bear in mind, of course, that interstate crossings are few and far in between in many parts of the state. So there was originally a reasonable problem, and the solution itself was not unreasonable.

So we got feeder roads. Early on. The thing about interstates, though, is that they blur the line between rural and urban environments. That wasn't really understood back then. Feeder roads ended up pulling double duty as the landscape around them transitioned. And since state law still guarantees access, many properties that now count the feeder road as their sole method of access would no doubt just use the state-owned ROW as a means of access even if the feeders were dismantled. And in a vast number of cases, they'd have every right to do so.

So for the most part, we're stuck with feeder roads. Whether you think they look like ass...or whether you don't care about the ugly because you're too busy being a sane and responsible driver to notice it, like me.

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1. More gunshops

2. Wrestling stadium

3. Less of the undesirables

4. More roosters

3. Licensed red light district

4. Figure 8 derby

5. Relaxation of zoning for singlewides

6. Vigilante patrols

7. Legal cockfights

8. coffee houses with legal strange herbs

9. Less of the undesirables

10. Increased Border Patrol presence

11. Free concrete blocks for restoring vehicles

12. Triple play movie theaters with 50 cents popcorn and drinks

13. Less of the undesirables

14. More feral cats to police the rat population

15. Free one way tickets to Mexico City

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1. More gunshops

2. Wrestling stadium

3. Less of the undesirables

4. More roosters

3. Licensed red light district

4. Figure 8 derby

5. Relaxation of zoning for singlewides

6. Vigilante patrols

7. Legal cockfights

8. coffee houses with legal strange herbs

9. Less of the undesirables

10. Increased Border Patrol presence

11. Free concrete blocks for restoring vehicles

12. Triple play movie theaters with 50 cents popcorn and drinks

13. Less of the undesirables

14. More feral cats to police the rat population

15. Free one way tickets to Mexico City

Have my prayers been answered? Vines, is that you? :wub: Come back, T.V.!

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[quote name='TheNiche' date='Wednesday, Marc

ok, that didn't work. I think I'm done trying to use HAIF at work until they upgrade us from this farkin fossilized IE 6 dinosaur.

...or whether you don't care about the ugly because you're too busy being a sane and responsible driver to notice it, like me.

hahahahahaha! You're just seeing if we're paying attention, right? We all know you're eating a chili dog and texting. :D

Edited by crunchtastic

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1. More gunshops

2. Wrestling stadium

3. Less of the undesirables

4. More roosters

3. Licensed red light district

4. Figure 8 derby

5. Relaxation of zoning for singlewides

6. Vigilante patrols

7. Legal cockfights

8. coffee houses with legal strange herbs

9. Less of the undesirables

10. Increased Border Patrol presence

11. Free concrete blocks for restoring vehicles

12. Triple play movie theaters with 50 cents popcorn and drinks

13. Less of the undesirables

14. More feral cats to police the rat population

15. Free one way tickets to Mexico City

You forgot public executions.  :rolleyes:

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You know what I hate is the oversized flagpoles and flags off the side of the freeways usually at car dealerships

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Be careful with that present tense. There's a big legacy issue to contend with. See, back in the 50's and 60's when the interstate system was initially being planned and constructed, feeder roads were immensely popular among rural property owners whose tracts of land were getting divided up by highway ROWs. State law guarantees access to real property, even if that means that the owner of a neighboring tract has to allocate some of his land as an easement to his neighbor, so it wasn't even just the people along the ROW that were affected, but their neighbors. And for the person whose property was divided up, if there weren't any feeders, it may have been necessary to drive for a long, LONG circuitous ways for that person to transit between one side of his tract and the other. Bear in mind, of course, that interstate crossings are few and far in between in many parts of the state. So there was originally a reasonable problem, and the solution itself was not unreasonable.

So we got feeder roads. Early on. The thing about interstates, though, is that they blur the line between rural and urban environments. That wasn't really understood back then. Feeder roads ended up pulling double duty as the landscape around them transitioned. And since state law still guarantees access, many properties that now count the feeder road as their sole method of access would no doubt just use the state-owned ROW as a means of access even if the feeders were dismantled. And in a vast number of cases, they'd have every right to do so.

So for the most part, we're stuck with feeder roads. Whether you think they look like ass...or whether you don't care about the ugly because you're too busy being a sane and responsible driver to notice it, like me.

sounds like someone wants to be in charge of the textbook curriculum

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And where exactly should those residents go?

That's not really my problem. Just like it's not their problem when working middle class families can't afford to live inside of the Loop to be near their jobs (at least where the public schools are all good.)

This was just a suggestion to make Houston better. Take it or leave it.

Sugar Land, the land of milk and honey, where we pride ourselves on not having any housing for the poors.

No one in Sugar Land "prides" themselves on that. This is a free country, people can live where they want and no one should get a free pass just so they can have a Sugar Land address; there's affordable housing in nearby Houston and Rosenberg already.

But hey, if some of you have it out for Sugar Land and want to see it decline like Spring ISD did... fine! I guess you must like sprawl, because that will just encourage it further (families will just flee for Richmond/Fulshear, just as families flee Spring ISD for The Woodlands and Cypress)! As a last resort, people will flee to Austin. If you think this is good for Houston, I don't think you have Houston's interests in mind.

Cities need to be able to attract young, educated, successful, ambitious people and families. Sugar Land and Austin do just that. Maybe Houston could learn something from these cities. (I'm not trying to dog Houston; I love Houston and participate here because I do.)

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That's not really my problem. Just like it's not their problem when working middle class families can't afford to live inside of the Loop to be near their jobs (at least where the public schools are all good.)

This was just a suggestion to make Houston better. Take it or leave it.

No one in Sugar Land "prides" themselves on that. This is a free country, people can live where they want and no one should get a free pass just so they can have a Sugar Land address; there's affordable housing in nearby Houston

Not if you have your way and bulldoze it.

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Not if you have your way and bulldoze it.

77083 is nowhere near Gulfton, Sharpstown, etc. Which were the areas I was talking about originally.

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