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Bagby Street Redo


REALaw

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I'm encouraged that the COH will finally examine its policies regarding requirements for parking spaces. For all Houston's talk about lack of zoning and the free market, this seems like one of the most intrusive, unnecessary forms of governmental interference.

Adequate parking is the business of residents, merchants and shoppers. It will sort itself out, without regulation.

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I'm encouraged that the COH will finally examine its policies regarding requirements for parking spaces. For all Houston's talk about lack of zoning and the free market, this seems like one of the most intrusive, unnecessary forms of governmental interference.

Adequate parking is the business of residents, merchants and shoppers. It will sort itself out, without regulation.

Amen, brother.

From the Sarnoff link:

A decade ago, planners and Midtown leaders envisioned a walkable urban neighborhood with a vibrant street scene supported by the nearby light-rail line. But this vision has been achieved only in fits and starts, in part because of city regulations that tend to promote suburban-style development patterns.

A new study of strategies for fulfilling Midtown's promise has just won an award from the Texas chapter of the American Planning Association. In its application for the award, the city defined the challenge this way:

Despite its prime location and the national phenomenon of reinvestment in urban areas, Midtown is a neighborhood that has only minimally succeeded in encouraging redevelopment and eliminating blight. Even before the current real estate recession, new development has been stagnant. There is a significant gap, especially around the light rail station, between land prices and the development costs for the many vacant lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. Additional planning challenges included a lack of city process for plan adoption, lack of conventional zoning tools, minimal capital investment, and a splintered property ownership patterns in the community.

All that said, I think the chances of changes for traffic calming or other 'walkability' measures are close to nil.

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All that said, I think the chances of changes for traffic calming or other 'walkability' measures are close to nil.

I reluctantly agree. It seems that the most walkable neighborhoods are the result of preservation, not retroactive measures (I'm thinking of neighborhoods in Manhattan, the French Quarter...)

Once cars have made inroads (pun intended) it's difficult if not impossible to restore the fabric of a community which once made an area pedestrian-friendly. Wish it wasn't so.

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  • 2 months later...

I reluctantly agree. It seems that the most walkable neighborhoods are the result of preservation, not retroactive measures (I'm thinking of neighborhoods in Manhattan, the French Quarter...)

Once cars have made inroads (pun intended) it's difficult if not impossible to restore the fabric of a community which once made an area pedestrian-friendly. Wish it wasn't so.

"Gray Street Pedestrian Enhancements

Right-of-way improvements along Gray Street from Hamilton to Brazos. Enhancements will include sidewalks, landscaping, street furniture, brick pavers, and accessibility ramps.

Bagby Street Reconstruction

Street reconstruction and utility upgrades on Bagby Street from St. Joseph Parkway to Tuam St. Project is currently in design phase with construction scheduled to start in 3Q2011."

Just some stuff from the Midtown website... not sure when the Gray Street Enhancements will start...

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"Gray Street Pedestrian Enhancements

Right-of-way improvements along Gray Street from Hamilton to Brazos. Enhancements will include sidewalks, landscaping, street furniture, brick pavers, and accessibility ramps.

Bagby Street Reconstruction

Street reconstruction and utility upgrades on Bagby Street from St. Joseph Parkway to Tuam St. Project is currently in design phase with construction scheduled to start in 3Q2011."

Just some stuff from the Midtown website... not sure when the Gray Street Enhancements will start...

The Gray Stret Pedestrian Enhancements are going to "probably" start within the next 6 months.

Also, Bagby Street Reconstruction will include some pedestrian enhancements as well as reworking the street itself.

Edited by DrLan34
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Awesome. Bagby might be in contention for one of the worst streets in the city.

I'd agree with that, I'm just wondering when it'll start? The odds are pretty good they're going to have to shut down the access from the feeder road for a few months. That would make some pedestrians in the area happy.

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I'd agree with that, I'm just wondering when it'll start? The odds are pretty good they're going to have to shut down the access from the feeder road for a few months. That would make some pedestrians in the area happy.

haha ya it will be interesting to see this area without any cars...

according to the website it will start in Q3 2011.

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  • 2 months later...

From the Midtown Calendar:

"Evening Board Meeting & Bagby St. Project Presentation

Location: Houston Community College-Central, The Learning Hub Science Building, 1300 – B Holman, Rm 100

Description: Join the Management District for the Quarterly Evening Board Meeting. This meeting will also include a presentation on the upcoming Bagby Street Reconstruction Project. You certainly don't miss this one!!

Start Date/Time: 05/04/2011 6:00 PM

Other Info: For more information, visit Midtown Houston. Parking is in the garage on LaBranch @ Holman. For more information, contact Katherine Mestousis at 713.526.7577 or kmestousis@houstonmidtown.com."

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http://www.houstonmidtown.com/midtown.cfm?a=cms,c,66

"Bagby Street Reconstruction Project Presentation & Midtown Management District Evening Board Meeting

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Katherine Mestousis, 713-526-7577, ext 114

Kmestousis@houstonmidtown.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Houston, TX. April 18, 2011 - The Midtown Management District is hosting its Quarterly Evening Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. This meeting also includes a presentation on the proposed Bagby Street Reconstruction Project.

The proposed Bagby Street project includes the reconstruction of Bagby Street from St. Joseph to Tuam including public utility upgrades. The goal of the project is to provide an enhanced pedestrian environment and an improved vehicular connection for southbound traffic through Midtown. The Midtown Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ #2, Walter P. Moore and Design Workshop will host the presentation and accept public comments from residents and stakeholders.

The meeting will be held at Houston Community College-Central Campus in the Learning Hub Science Building at 1300 – B Holman, Houston, TX 77002. Please look for the visibly posted Midtown banner at the entrance of the Learning Hub Science Building. Free parking is available in the HCC Parking Garage on La Branch Street or street side parking.

Evening meetings provide all Midtown businesses, property owners, residents and visitors who cannot attend the day time meetings the opportunity to stay involved and gain information on key Midtown projects. Guests are invited to discuss community concerns and provide guidance in finding proactive solutions. This meeting, as are all Midtown meetings, is open to the public.

We strongly encourage all Midtowners and those who are considering moving to Midtown to attend and take advantage of the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the day to day operations of your public improvement district.

The Midtown Management District is located at the Houston Technology Center at 410 Pierce St., Suite 355, Houston, TX 77002. For more information, visit Midtown on the web at www.houstonmidtown.com or connect with Midtown on Facebook and Twitter. To get all the latest news about Midtown sign up for the eNewsletter."

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can't come soon enough, decided to ride the scooter down bagby the other day. I probably looked like a crazy person weaving from one small pothole to the next, in an effort to avoid the really big potholes.

But in reality, you were just showing off your skillz at weaving, weren't you? :)

Seriously though, I can't wait for that street to be done. I wouldn't be surprised I lost part of my suspension because of this street.

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.ultimatem...ect-to-be-green

"In addition to improving the pedestrian experience through Midtown with well-placed wider sidewalks, including a shaded boardwalk between Gray and Hadley, the Bagby Street design includes a series of rain gardens, special street-side landscaping features that will help filter storm water runoff, Daza said."

"Preliminary engineering for the project was completed last month, and construction, expected to take one year, could begin in September."

"Estimated to cost $12 million, the project will rebuild Bagby with two southbound lanes and turn bays at Pierce, Gray, and Webster, providing parallel parking on both sides and using bulb-outs to aid pedestrian crossings. The design allows for a third lane to be added to accommodate future traffic volumes."

"bulb-outs" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curb_extension

Edited by DrLan34
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and using bulb-outs to aid pedestrian crossings.

"bulb-outs" - http://en.wikipedia..../Curb_extension

This will be great for car traffic as well trying to cross, cars park all the way up to the intersections making it impossible for drivers trying to cross to see oncoming traffic and making it a game of chance whether you make it across the street. I specifically use McGowen when I'd much rather use MclHenny, or Bremond to get across bagby for this very reason.

Should be interesting to see when complete.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

small presentation... not much

http://www.houstontx...op/01_Bagby.pdf

From your source:

"Future volumes can be accommodated in three through lanes"

"Bagby will be designed so that a third lane can be added if volumes

warrant it in the future"

For all the talk here about walkability, it's interesting to see that they are at least leaving the option open for later expansion for more cars.

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From your source:

"Future volumes can be accommodated in three through lanes"

"Bagby will be designed so that a third lane can be added if volumes

warrant it in the future"

For all the talk here about walkability, it's interesting to see that they are at least leaving the option open for later expansion for more cars.

the way it reads is that it will remain with curb parking on both sides, all they'll do is make parking illegal on one side, or the other to accommodate the 3rd lane, or at least, this would be most logical.

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From what I remember of the presentation, there would be parking on one side that could be eliminated one day in favor of an additional traffic lane if needed. The bulb-outs at key intersections would help people cross the road still. In other words, instead of walking across three lanes of traffic it would "bulb out" to having to cross two.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's what I received in the mail....

Construction will soon begin to completely resurface Bagby St from St Joseph Pkwy to Tuam, including one block east and one block west of Bagby on Pierce. The project is scheduled to last 12-15 months (depending on weather and other factors, and will be the first "Greenroad" in Texas. In addition to the resurfacing, there will be substantial utility upgrades (water, storm sewer, and waste water) as well as the modernization of traffic signals at four (4) intersections. The area will also be made more pedestrian friendly and will have sustainable landscaping and hardscaping. Lastly, there will be several "bulb outs" created to help manage traffic and on-street parking.

Construction started yesterday near Scout Square....

Edited by HoustonMidtown
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the way it reads is that it will remain with curb parking on both sides, all they'll do is make parking illegal on one side, or the other to accommodate the 3rd lane, or at least, this would be most logical.

If they want to encourage pedestrians they should have angled parking on both sides of the streets instead of planning to ban parking on one side if an additional car traffic lane is desired.

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I live on the South End of Bagby so hopefully 6 months of construction is all we will have to deal with. Just drove by on way home for lunch - they definetly have started next to Scout Square. Flaggers present, concrete dividers in place, looks like they will be doing West side first, then probably switch over to East heading north. Can't happen fast enough but should be nice once completed.

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  • 3 months later...

coming home is like a game each day, trying to figure out what lane on w gray and bagby will be closed.

but they seem to be doing an efficient job, it'll be worth it.

LOL -- isn't that the truth....while they were redoing Pierce (where the entrance to my parking garage is)....it was a daily guess as to how I was going to get home....including going the wrong way down Pierce for a couple days....but they worked fast and it's so much better now...

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LOL -- isn't that the truth....while they were redoing Pierce (where the entrance to my parking garage is)....it was a daily guess as to how I was going to get home....including going the wrong way down Pierce for a couple days....but they worked fast and it's so much better now...

No joke, they FLEW on the Pierce redo, though they didn't have to deal with the excavation for utility upgrades that they do on Bagby. Seemed like every night I walked my dogs through there they had another 4 or 5 sections paved.

Good work so far, and the contractor is nearing McGowen on Bagby already.

Edited by TonyM
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  • 2 weeks later...

innerlooped has some bad news on this http://innerlooped.c...news-for-bagby/

Email response from PWE Director, 6/21/2012:

Thank you for writing with your concern. Unfortunately, the anonymously offered blog entry is highly inaccurate. The Public Works and Engineering Dept has recently addressed project issues to the entity responsible for the project, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority in conjunction with TIRZ 2, regarding the conformance of the already constructed and proposed improvements with the City’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan. These issues can be readily addressed by the project’s sponsor with minor revisions to the project. With such revisions the project can conform with the Plan and yet provide for vehicular mobility, pedestrian mobility, and use of street space for parking, overall still fulfilling the project purpose. Such revisions need not be cause for delay, reconstruction, or significant additional expenditures.

We appreciate your interest in these public improvements and thank you for sending your thoughts.
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How is it "highly inaccurate" when he's saying that Bagby will be brought in compliance with “the City’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan”? The plans had been approved (we've all seen the renderings for awhile now) and the "minor revisions" are actually major to property owners and Midtown. Basically, he's saying he wants to turn Bagby into a major thoroughfare with "minor revisions" to a project that had already been approved and has been under construction for awhile.

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This is the problem with the way they do planning in Houston. The planners are less interested in creating a neighborhood than in insuring traffic flow for commuters, which is why self-sufficient neighborhoods don't exist.

Besides, why does Bagby need to be a thoroughfare? Smith is two blocks over.

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Besides, why does Bagby need to be a thoroughfare? Smith is two blocks over.

It probably has something to do with the fact that Bagby feeds directly into the Spur 527 mainlanes down at Elgin/Westheimer. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20-30 years, TxDOT decides to extend 527 to I-45 when it comes time to reconstruct the Pierce Elevated and the 288/59 dual freeways.

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How is it "highly inaccurate" when he's saying that Bagby will be brought in compliance with “the City’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan”? The plans had been approved (we've all seen the renderings for awhile now) and the "minor revisions" are actually major to property owners and Midtown. Basically, he's saying he wants to turn Bagby into a major thoroughfare with "minor revisions" to a project that had already been approved and has been under construction for awhile.

Dude, just bringing it in compliance with the Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan does NOT mean they plan to make it a major thoroughfare. In fact, Bagby is listed on the MTFP as a Collector street.

Edited by Houston19514
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  • 7 months later...

I did not like it when they shut Bagby down because that was the way I would go home when coming in from the north. Now that is is essentially complete I regret they did not leave it closed for cars exiting 45S.  Going down to Smith just isn't that big of a deal and there is the offsetting value that it takes me by Spec's.

 

Htx

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I did not like it when they shut Bagby down because that was the way I would go home when coming in from the north. Now that is is essentially complete I regret they did not leave it closed for cars exiting 45S. Going down to Smith just isn't that big of a deal and there is the offsetting value that it takes me by Spec's.

Htx

At first they said they'd close one lane for pedestrians but essentially there's no change above ground except some laughable trees that were planted in.

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