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They can't be that bad. I mean, Metro didn't get rid of them in the East end and it ended looking just fine......

 

harrisburg-pole-06.jpg

 

That pisses me off so much -.- They obviously took the time to redo that entire street, but couldn't spend the extra money to bury the lines?! Now they will have to tear up the sidewalk again later....i hope they know that.

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I guess it's not THAT bad if the poles double as street lights.  

 

I'm pretty sure we're in the mess we're in w/ transportation and infrastructure because many of our officials' decisions were predicated by the statement "I guess it's not THAT bad if......".

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I'm pretty sure we're in the mess we're in w/ transportation and infrastructure because many of our officials' decisions were predicated by the statement "I guess it's not THAT bad if......".

 

Ah yes such a classic statement that destroys innovation or making any improvements. It goes hand in hand with the other great statement "Well because we have always done it this way...". Such amazing sources of inspiration -.- .....those lazy bums.

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"The request to replat the property from a commercial use to one that's unrestricted is expected to be taken up at the next Houston Planning Commission "

??!! Would it be too much to ask of the chronicle to mention in the article why this particular piece of land has land use restrictions??

Does anyone in this forum know how that came to be?

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I believe it has to do with the David Crocket subdivision behind it.  In that neighborhood they have strict guidelines.  Two stories on Virginia and Ferndale, and no town homes on Lake Street, which is why that still hasn't really developed.  Who wants a single family facing the car wash, Bed Bath/Beyond etc?

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I believe it has to do with the David Crocket subdivision behind it. In that neighborhood they have strict guidelines. Two stories on Virginia and Ferndale, and no town homes on Lake Street, which is why that still hasn't really developed. Who wants a single family facing the car wash, Bed Bath/Beyond etc?

Many neighborhoods have deed restrictions, like probably this one. However, changes to that are not voted by the Planning Commission, they need to be voted by the majority of residents. This land use restriction would seem to be imposed by the City, if they are the ones voting on it, but we all know there is no zoning in Houston. What's wrong with this picture?

--- THIS, is a a game-changer!

Edited by fernz
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That pisses me off so much -.- They obviously took the time to redo that entire street, but couldn't spend the extra money to bury the lines?! Now they will have to tear up the sidewalk again later....i hope they know that.

 

There actually don't appear to be any overhead wires in that picture.  It would appear these poles are street light poles serviced from buried wires.  I'm not an engineer, but I think it's pretty hard to bury street lights. 

 

If you want to be pissed off about something, be pissed off about the fact they left the poles in the middle of the frickin' sidewalk.

Edited by Houston19514
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Without a radical redesign, even with the Kirby Collection, Kirby will never be pedestrian friendly. I have taken walks down Kirby (I am usually the only pedestrian for several blocks), and have tried riding a bike down Kirby. Forget the bike, as traffic was too heavy to share the road, and I ended up riding on the sidewalk. (I have passed bicyclists on Alabama in my car, and they are very difficult to see or pass due to lane width and visibility). There are too many lanes of cars to comfortably walk or ride between 59 and Westheimer. The sidewalks feel too narrow and close to whizzing traffic and parking lots, plus there are many obstructions along the way. Dips and rises along the way due to driveways, and trees are in the path. On one Saturday I had to dodge at least 3 cars while walking on the sidewalk due to drivers pulling out from the lots straight into the sidewalk area without looking both ways. The presence of separate parking lots for each business discourages pedestrians since there is no need to walk, and there is really little to walk to as there is nothing between most lots. The setback of the businesses at Kirby and Alabama is also an issue as pedestrians must walk thru a sea of cars, on one side the parking lots' traffic, and the other side multiple lanes of vehicles on Kirby. Also the lack of street side storefront business entrances is an issue, since there is little to walk to other than walking around to a parking lot entrance. Kirby will not be a good pedestrian street unless there is traffic calming introduced by reducing the number of traffic lanes, providing better sidewalk design that is pedestrian friendly, lowering the speed limits, removing the driveways on Kirby, and increasing storefront and store entrance density on Kirby. I have heard Kirby called the new Post Oak, which his about right since that is not pedestrian friendly either. That said, I like the changes and new things on Kirby, but even with the hundreds of new apartments added few people actually walk at any given time of day.

Edited by RocketSci
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Without a radical redesign, even with the Kirby Collection, Kirby will never be pedestrian friendly. I have taken walks down Kirby (I am usually the only pedestrian for several blocks), and have tried riding a bike down Kirby. Forget the bike, as traffic was too heavy to share the road, and I ended up riding on the sidewalk. (I have passed bicyclists on Alabama in my car, and they are very difficult to see or pass due to lane width and visibility). There are too many lanes of cars to comfortably walk or ride between 59 and Westheimer. The sidewalks feel too narrow and close to whizzing traffic and parking lots, plus there are many obstructions along the way. Dips and rises along the way due to driveways, and trees are in the path. On one Saturday I had to dodge at least 3 cars while walking on the sidewalk due to drivers pulling out from the lots straight into the sidewalk area without looking both ways. The presence of separate parking lots for each business discourages pedestrians since there is no need to walk, and there is really little to walk to as there is nothing between most lots. The setback of the businesses at Kirby and Alabama is also an issue as pedestrians must walk thru a sea of cars, on one side the parking lots' traffic, and the other side multiple lanes of vehicles on Kirby. Also the lack of street side storefront business entrances is an issue, since there is little to walk to other than walking around to a parking lot entrance. Kirby will not be a good pedestrian street unless there is traffic calming introduced by reducing the number of traffic lanes, providing better sidewalk design that is pedestrian friendly, lowering the speed limits, removing the driveways on Kirby, and increasing storefront and store entrance density on Kirby. I have heard Kirby called the new Post Oak, which his about right since that is not pedestrian friendly either. That said, I like the changes and new things on Kirby, but even with the hundreds of new apartments added few people actually walk at any given time of day.

 

Lets hope all of those problems go away with new street redevelopments since the city has said that (I think) all new major thoroughfare redos will be redone as complete streets.

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Eh, I've never been convinced by that argument. For one thing, Houston is actually extremely pleasant for at least half of the year.

 

For another, there are cities with extreme (and extended) winters that are considered pedestrian-friendly, and I would say a bad winter is worse than our worst summer.

We don't have to deal with any of the safety issues like half-refrozen snow turning into ice covering sidewalks that winter entails. I would also take a 105 degree day over a -20 degree day for comfort.

 

I do think that not enough attention is paid to shade here though. If every sidewalk was covered it would make a *huge* difference in the summer. That's actually how downtown was originally built, but even most of the remaining buildings have had their balconies/awnings removed. Imagine if every block downtown were like the sidewalk around the Rice Hotel or the Texaco building.

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ugh, so many of the same excuses we have heard for years so nobody has to invest money into their own communities -.- Simply pathetic. If the only argument someone ever has is "Well it doesn't effect me so why should I help", "It's toO hot outside", "Well because its the way we have always done it", "Houston is not pedestrian friendly so why are we even trying to make it so", I suggest you take these counter productive arguments somewhere else because that's not how you improve a city or create a healthy dialogue and I will certainly debate any of that nonsense.

 

hmmm maybe here is a good idea, why don't we continue the dialogue with how we could actually "design" a streetscape for Houston that works with our climate. Maybe one that has both trees and man made solar shading devices separate from the buildings themselves? Are we going to be the generation of city dwellers that take the easy route from our cities own problems or will people actually take the opportunities in front of them and actually grab them by the balls and use as a wonderful opportunity to design something truly Houston.

 

Maybe we should create thread called "pessimists corner" where people can gripe and complain stuff. I don't know just an idea, because some of the comments simply don't belong here. 

Edited by Luminare
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That "it's hot in Houston" is so tired. I have lived in Baltimore and it was just as hot, just as humid, and we walked 1-2 miles to go to a restuarant because the parking was so bad. NYC you can walk as far. Same with Chicago. And they are hot in the summer, and when you go to a restuarant they charge for tea refills! 5 years ago in Houston you never saw a pedestrian. Now you see them and bicyclists everywhere. It's great to go out and eat and walk it off. An added bonus is you are more connected to the city when you walk and see the houses, businesses etc.

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Yep. Yep. Especially downtown. I was driving by the other day and it was around Lunch time. People everywhere. Yeah not the streets are packed or anything, but wow is it a huge difference from even just a few years ago. You got more people going to the local parks especially the Bayou. I work around Greenway Plaza and there are always people walking in that area to go to lunch. Of course it would be even better if most the areas were more walkable and there wasn't so much surface parking taking so much of the front areas of the lots. 

 

The killer here when it comes to weather is always the humidity and while others certainly have it, we are most certainly famous for it. I think it simply comes to the fact that this entire city has been relatively spoiled due to A/C and cars with A/C so the people aren't properly acclimated to the weather. I think it's definitely improving though. There will always be A/C and cars and no one I think has a problem with that, but a city should be pedestrian dominate first and cars second.  

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You know the city requires 2 parking spots for a single family home because they say its needed because in Houston you have to drive everywhere you go. There are also so many parking spot requirments for each business. If the people in charge would undrestand that THIS requirement, poorly planned streets (only for vehicles not pedestrians, bikes, etc) and no shade tree requirement is the reason that Houston is being held off as a walkbale city, not heat and humidity.

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If nothing else just the fact that this has become a discussion worthy of the paper and other public forums is a move in the right direction.

As the density levels go up and more retail and service related projects get developed I'm sure we'll see a larger segment of the inner loop community on foot and bicycles. Now that the city has adopted a livable street plan to be developed with all segments of mobility included in the plans for new street construction you'll see even more focus on this kind of growth. 

Obviously it wont happen soon enough and some parts of town will never see it, but areas of the Heights, Montrose and the village will be the first due to the density levels and the wonderful canopy of trees that already exists in much of this area.

Ever since David and Jay Crossley's group started fighting for walkable streets it seems like there has been a new momentum developing and thru their tireless fight they were one of the reasons the Mayor went with the new street plans for future construction. 

In watching them work it is obvious that with more attention focused on this situation more has been accomplished. 

I highly recommend anyone really interested in making these dreams become reality to get more involved in letter writing, speaking before city council,and getting active in Houston Tomorrow. It will make a difference. The squeaky wheel always get the grease!

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Yep. Yep. Especially downtown. I was driving by the other day and it was around Lunch time. People everywhere. Yeah not the streets are packed or anything, but wow is it a huge difference from even just a few years ago. You got more people going to the local parks especially the Bayou. I work around Greenway Plaza and there are always people walking in that area to go to lunch. Of course it would be even better if most the areas were more walkable and there wasn't so much surface parking taking so much of the front areas of the lots. 

 

The killer here when it comes to weather is always the humidity and while others certainly have it, we are most certainly famous for it. I think it simply comes to the fact that this entire city has been relatively spoiled due to A/C and cars with A/C so the people aren't properly acclimated to the weather. I think it's definitely improving though. There will always be A/C and cars and no one I think has a problem with that, but a city should be pedestrian dominate first and cars second.  

I agree, its really a cultural thing. We've been so spoiled to having A/C that we fail to really enjoy the weather. I mean even on really nice days, people have their windows rolled up, and I'm like "WTH!?" Even with all that, we are only crazy hot for like 3 months out of the year. The rest of the year is actually really nice for us. I don't mind the heat, I'm use to the humidity. It's when I go further north like dallas, that the heat stings more and I'm not use to that at all.

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I mean I think its pretty safe to say the variance will be approved for a development as nice as this

 

along with the fact that both bars are closing with one of them saying they are going to be in the second level of the new building. Cafe Express has been handing out flyers about them leaving there building.....so very safe to say that it will pass. More like a formality at this point.

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oh no!

oh yes!

I am worried about this having pretty big delays, and I wonder what's going on behind the scenes here. I believe the intention is there for this to be built, but I rather see this start up next month opposed to in3 years

Edited by Avossos
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Looks like someone working for the COH didnt receive there bribe

Have we figured out what the concern is? I am curious what needs more investigating...

Also - I wonder if they will build both towers at the same time.

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I doubt this is all that unusual. Relax, everyone.

According to the article in the chronicle (consider the source), the developers are asking the city for changes in land-use restrictions. Considering there are generally no land-use restrictions in Houston, I would say this is a highly unusual case.

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Didn't this happen with the Hine's Market Square project, when it came up for review with the historic district review board a few months ago?

When you've been around for a while you never take anything for granted. Thats why I questioned someone earlier this post about taking a vote on Thursday. This property has been a hotbed for legal issues and I'm sure the people in this neighborhood won't go down without a fight.

Just like the cosmo guy. Now he's a real piece of work. I want to live in a urban setting as long as I can delegate what gets built around me. 

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Glad that this is going through. I thought it would eventually meaning we should see boots on the ground within the month to start the demo. My guess for the hold up was that there was a restriction on the property because at one point one of the bars was a funeral home. Idk if that makes any difference, but it's possible maybe there was a specific restriction put into place because of the lands former use?

 

Another one is the fact that they had to fuse a bunch of properties together to form a large block.

 

I'm just taking a guess, but honestly who cares at this point. Lets get that crane up!

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According to the article in the chronicle (consider the source), the developers are asking the city for changes in land-use restrictions. Considering there are generally no land-use restrictions in Houston, I would say this is a highly unusual case.

There are countless land-use restrictions in Houston, and under Bill White and Parker, those restrictions have jumped in number.   This is not unusual, much less "highly unusual", at all.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The Kirby Collection By Thor Equities

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