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On 5/11/2018 at 0:01 PM, wilcal said:

 

That was a Midtown TIRZ rendering. I contacted them to ask if there was a timeline, funding, etc and they said no timeline and no funding at this point. Just something they would like to see. I specifically asked if it was something we could see with the new Harris County funds for this year and they said no. 

 

Edit: Also, Alabama reconstruction has been pushed to like '21 or '22 based on rebuild Houston funding website :(

 

If they wanted to do something more immediate, they could just do the area between Alabama and Elgin first.  Get appropriate variances and install bollards to block/limit vehicular access.  This area already sees a decent amount of pedestrian traffic and new developments have been pedestrian focused.  I think Ensemble theater is the only business that has a Main st focus vehicular access(valet).

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4 hours ago, cspwal said:

If the street is already low traffic, what are the benefits of closing it to vehicular traffic?

 

So pedestrians and bikers can use it without getting run over by cars.

 

We have no dedicated north/south bike lane, and this could run from the Museum District all of the way to the north edge of downtown. 

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6 hours ago, BeerNut said:

 

If they wanted to do something more immediate, they could just do the area between Alabama and Elgin first.  Get appropriate variances and install bollards to block/limit vehicular access.  This area already sees a decent amount of pedestrian traffic and new developments have been pedestrian focused.  I think Ensemble theater is the only business that has a Main st focus vehicular access(valet).

 

I think there is a church that has 1 or 2 Main-facing handicap spots that they use for dropoffs as well.

 

I went the whole route on google street view a year or so ago and I think the net loss of parking spaces is like 9ish for the entire run. There is a gas station that uses Main as it's major thoroughfare as well. Basically, a shockingly small amount of negative effect to close that much of a road through the heart of the urban core. 

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The traffic load is very light though.  I wouldn't walk around on it, but biking it is relatively relaxing, at least to me.  That's why I was questioning the need to close it to vehicular traffic, when cars are already incentiveized to stay off main.

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

The traffic load is very light though.  I wouldn't walk around on it, but biking it is relatively relaxing, at least to me.  That's why I was questioning the need to close it to vehicular traffic, when cars are already incentiveized to stay off main.

 

I actually don't feel comfortable biking on it because I think the only drivers that drive on Main are lost, and I don't want dumb drivers with no way to pass me safely being behind me. 

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On 5/15/2018 at 0:21 PM, ttuchris said:

Has anyone seen any more information on Tranquility Park being renovated?  In my opinion, it needs more help than Jones Plaza.  I walked through this park and around City Hall over the weekend on my way to The Hobby Center.  The sidewalks are narrow and in extremely bad shape.  It seems like City Hall is used enough to justify improving this area.  This website says the fountains have been closed since 2013.  Maybe something will happen after the Bagby redo.  

 

Tranquillity Park Fountain - September 9, 2013 - Until Further Notice
Due to mechanical repairs, the Tranquillity Park fountain basin has been drained and the tall "stacks" will not be operational for the duration of the project.

 

http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/closedrepair.html

 

The fountains were back on for a while last year. I even took some photos. Maybe I posted them here? I can't remember.

 

Come to think of it, I haven't seen them on since Harvey :(

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17 hours ago, samagon said:

 

The fountains were back on for a while last year. I even took some photos. Maybe I posted them here? I can't remember.

 

Come to think of it, I haven't seen them on since Harvey :(

 

The repairs to the parking garage underneath the fountains are proceeding at a glacial pace.  Lighting is still provided by strings of work lights, transient parking is flat rate paid on entry to people sitting at the entrances, contract parkers have hang tags, and of course everything needs a coat of paint.

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  • 6 months later...

Trying to get a copy of the actual presentation, but a few of my pics will have to do.

 

There were probably 10-20 regular citizens and 15-25 reps of associated companies (traffic, engineering, whatever).

 

https://i.imgur.com/nSUJxOr.jpg

First, they brought a 1:1 scale cross-section of Bagby so you could see just how wide each section is in relation to each other. Was actually pretty cool.

 

There weren't a ton of the changes from the renderings earlier this year, but this was a big one: 

https://i.imgur.com/DnePycV.jpg

 

Right above where it says library, there is a drive-through for a book drop. In the initial renderings, the bike lane was going to dogleg around the book drop, but now the driveway will cut through it and the sidewalk. I was.... befuddled as to how they can spend this much effort on reconfiguration but it was explained to me that the book drop links to an underground book processing area so it can't be moved. So that sucks big time.

 

https://i.imgur.com/azuXxOF.jpg

 

You can see how much the street will be reduced for cars. They ran the traffic numbers, and even projected traffic through 2040, and it was still fine. Shows how overdeveloped many of the streets are.

 

https://i.imgur.com/IIg62lS.jpg

 

Good cross-section of the eastern portion of Bagby. This will vary quite a bit as the street changes width. Underneath the bridge by Bayou Place, the street buffer is only a curb. As notated, the bike lane will be a full 12' wide including the buffers. They are using an octagonal tile that is aimed at riding on for the bike lane. The coloring is true to what they intend. I expressed concerns that there is enough delineation to keep pedestrians out of the bike track, but they expressed a desire to be able to utilize the space as more of a plaza during events.  The original rendering had yellow stripes in the bike lanes, which I prefer. 

I also asked about utilizing elements that offered protection between the car lane and the bike lane, but they wanted to focus on more unobtrusive (shorter) offerings. They don't want anyone sitting on the planters that might be in the buffer zone. 

 

Updated timeline: https://i.imgur.com/9Q5Iw1V.jpg

 

Pretty much the same as before. They said that they would have another meeting in the spring that would be between 90 and 100% plan completion. 

 

 

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On 12/10/2018 at 2:10 PM, wilcal said:

Trying to get a copy of the actual presentation, but a few of my pics will have to do.

 

There were probably 10-20 regular citizens and 15-25 reps of associated companies (traffic, engineering, whatever).

 

https://i.imgur.com/nSUJxOr.jpg

First, they brought a 1:1 scale cross-section of Bagby so you could see just how wide each section is in relation to each other. Was actually pretty cool.

 

There weren't a ton of the changes from the renderings earlier this year, but this was a big one: 

https://i.imgur.com/DnePycV.jpg

 

Right above where it says library, there is a drive-through for a book drop. In the initial renderings, the bike lane was going to dogleg around the book drop, but now the driveway will cut through it and the sidewalk. I was.... befuddled as to how they can spend this much effort on reconfiguration but it was explained to me that the book drop links to an underground book processing area so it can't be moved. So that sucks big time.

 

https://i.imgur.com/azuXxOF.jpg

 

You can see how much the street will be reduced for cars. They ran the traffic numbers, and even projected traffic through 2040, and it was still fine. Shows how overdeveloped many of the streets are.

 

https://i.imgur.com/IIg62lS.jpg

 

Good cross-section of the eastern portion of Bagby. This will vary quite a bit as the street changes width. Underneath the bridge by Bayou Place, the street buffer is only a curb. As notated, the bike lane will be a full 12' wide including the buffers. They are using an octagonal tile that is aimed at riding on for the bike lane. The coloring is true to what they intend. I expressed concerns that there is enough delineation to keep pedestrians out of the bike track, but they expressed a desire to be able to utilize the space as more of a plaza during events.  The original rendering had yellow stripes in the bike lanes, which I prefer. 

I also asked about utilizing elements that offered protection between the car lane and the bike lane, but they wanted to focus on more unobtrusive (shorter) offerings. They don't want anyone sitting on the planters that might be in the buffer zone. 

 

Updated timeline: https://i.imgur.com/9Q5Iw1V.jpg

 

Pretty much the same as before. They said that they would have another meeting in the spring that would be between 90 and 100% plan completion. 

 

 

 

Interesting. Thank you for your work.

 

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58 minutes ago, Twinsanity02 said:

On one of the slides it shows the old Post Office site and it says "potential detention". I suppose this refers to a detention pond. Anyone know?

 

Yes, I presume it refers to detention pond.  But I don't think they mean to indicate that the detention pond would replace the post office.  I think they have used a map from another source and it probably left the arrows off of the map, to the right.  On the North Houston Highway Improvement  Project maps, they indicate potential detention underneath the new freeways, to the north and across the railroad tracks from the Post Office site.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 3/19/2019 at 6:33 PM, Urbannizer said:

 

At the meeting in December, they said that they would have another public meeting this spring. I contacted them last week and they told me that it had not been scheduled yet. I would imagine design work is just about complete and that they'll show of finalized stuff.

 

I wonder what prompted this story to come out. It's been months since we had any real updates. 

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On 3/19/2019 at 6:33 PM, Urbannizer said:

 

Talked with the Downtown District's Director of Planning and she said that they are still working through 90% documents to get to the city and have no determined a first start date or construction length 😕 The original presentation from December started a June start date, and this article says fall. She said a few issues with infrastructure upgrades and phasing sequence with the city. 

 

Their original timeline was:

 

Feb 2019 90% plan submission.

April 2019 100% plan submission

May 2019 Contractor Procurement

June 2019-21 Construction

 

So if they are still working on 90% plan submission, then that's at least 2 months behind which does lean towards a fall start as reported in March.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Bagby Street Improvement update from the Downtown District Sept board meeting:

 

Quote

This capital project has been in design since May 2018 with 90% construction documents submitted to Houston Public Works (HPW) on July 26, 2019 and City-comments returned August 17, 2019. Staff has conducted client-review of the documents throughout August and provided final comments to consultant on September 3, 2019. Oneon-one stakeholder meetings were held during late August with the Aquarium, Bayou Place, Hobby Center, and the City team for City Hall sidewalk restoration. A final Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting will be held September 19, 2019. Permitting and contractor procurement will be conducted from September 19 through November 12, 2019, pending Authority Board acceptance of the bids and authorization of the general contractor’s agreement. Bagby Street reconstruction is currently estimated at two years in duration, with estimated start date of January 6, 2020 following the holidays.

 

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That 10 million is just part of the 29 million dollars that this project is expected to spend to bring this to fruition.

The Downtown Redevelopment Authority is also giving 10 million, and Houston First Corp. is giving 5 million.

This is a great beginning to the new theater district master plan. I cant wait to see what they have in store for that 

part of downtown. They have the opportunity to really pull all of it together and make that part of downtown really special.

Now that the Historic district has become such an important area with all of the new residential thats been built,

or currently under construction, this will be a welcome improvement.

I also see more retail starting to pop up around the area. It's all heading in the right direction.

 

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Do we have an updated timeline on the Theater District Master plan?

 

There is actually quite a lot of green space that is under-utilized. I think if Houston First is smart, they will work in 1-3 residential towers in the area to make this an area that is constantly vibrant.

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33 minutes ago, Urbannizer said:

 

Another slight design change for the retail structure:

 

wyatt-square-performaning-arts-jones-lan

 

Before:

 

Jones-Plaza-Theater-Venue-Houston-Rios-C

 

I like the exposed wood joists better on the new design. Hopefully a snake doesn't slither off that roof and land on somebody as they're carrying their coffee outside. Or a mudslide after one of our major rain events.

 

 

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Kinda reminds me of the Dunlavy, with the open nature of the windows and the setting of the building. 

 

The amount of thought that went into that space as shown by the website is pretty astounding. Different parts of the area activated for different uses, and its almost like a smaller Miller outdoor theatre/discovery green.

 

Really cool.

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On 10/8/2019 at 11:39 AM, H-Town Man said:

 

I like the exposed wood joists better on the new design. Hopefully a snake doesn't slither off that roof and land on somebody as they're carrying their coffee outside. Or a mudslide after one of our major rain events.

 

 

 

They will have to add that thick parapet back. Other than that it looks like they got some feedback from a structural engineer and were like...yeah I think some lateral joists make sense.

 

Are they going to rename the park? or will this be something like "Lynn Wyatt Square For The Performing Arts at Jones Plaza"?
@Urbannizer

Edited by Luminare
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I just wish they could solve the flooding issues with that part of town. I think if they went ahead with the White Oak Bayou bypass over to the eastern side of town to connect with Buffalo Bayou they would help the western and northwestern side of downtown. I also believe that the county buidings that are built near Louisiana and Travis should be taken out as they constrict the flow of water through downtown. They are literally built to the waters edge leaving no room for excess drainage.

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16 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

They will have to add that thick parapet back. Other than that it looks like they got some feedback from a structural engineer and were like...yeah I think some lateral joists make sense.

 

Are they going to rename the park? or will this be something like "Lynn Wyatt Square For The Performing Arts at Jones Plaza"?
@Urbannizer

 

I think Houston Endowment should write them a check for $15 million with the memo line: "Name stays."

 

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3 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I think Houston Endowment should write them a check for $15 million with the memo line: "Name stays."

 

 

I'm still wondering what the black dude in the bottom right is point at in the sky...

 

5 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I just wish they could solve the flooding issues with that part of town. I think if they went ahead with the White Oak Bayou bypass over to the eastern side of town to connect with Buffalo Bayou they would help the western and northwestern side of downtown. I also believe that the county buidings that are built near Louisiana and Travis should be taken out as they constrict the flow of water through downtown. They are literally built to the waters edge leaving no room for excess drainage.

 

...maybe its the rising tide!

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September board meeting packet was put up. Only real new information is timeline and Phase breakdown of Bagby street construction: http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/190919_Bagby-Street_Stakeholder-Advisory-Committee_Presentation.pdf

 

Text is kind of small. Blue is 1Q20-2Q20. Green is 3Q20-4Q20. Purple is 1Q21-2Q21. Orange is 3Q21-4Q21.

 

There is some utility work in the southern half (left side of this pic) Bagby that will be completed in 2020. 

 

TZI0Guw.png

 

 

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Just noticed that they were originally planning to extend the cycle track onto Franklin and then wrap around to Congress, but that's been dropped. I emailed the Downtown District planner to see what happened. 

 

Edit: heard back already!

 

TLDR: Franklin bridge was hard to retrofit and they had to cut back due to budgetary reasons. There's still relatively decent access to Buffalo Bayou, so that's not a huge deal. 

Edited by wilcal
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  • 2 weeks later...

That’s one ugly park! Didn’t realize a park this bad could be designed in 2019. And, all I notice in the video are the cars. Feels like a freeway park with a couple of circles in the middle. Just bad. Gensler is the worst. 

Edited by TOMIKA!
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Yeah that park is going to hoooooot during the summer time. Unless they need all that space for discgolf, I don't really understand the thought behind having all that space and no significant landscape architecture. It screams "THIS IS BETTER THAN A PARKING LOT, RIGHT?" when in actuality, I don't know.

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