Jump to content

Hermann Park needs a parking garage


Recommended Posts

With the growth of Houston and popularity of Hermann Park growing every day, traffic and parking at the main lot for the zoo is a nightmare and growing worse. Just the other day I witnessed two fights in the parking lot from people arguing over who gets the next open spot (with kids and everyone looking on).

 

This is one of Houston's true destinations for tourists as well, and the current parking (and irrate behaviour due to lack of) is pathetic and should be addressed. I know some may not like the idea of a garage and would prefer to keep the park as natural as possible, but it is a serious problem and you cannot expect visitors from out of town to ride the rail, figure out where they can park in a med center garage, etc. There is no worse image to visitors than coming to our zoo and seeing fights in the parking lot and driving in circles waiting for a car to leave.

 

Are there any long term plans to build a parking garage here? If not, who would be the responsible party for making this happen?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed this too - parking can be a disaster, especially on the weekends. Would have been nice to put in an underground garage under the new centennial gardens, similar to the garage under discovery green.

 

Once the gardens are finished it should open the parking back up to where people can street park in the neighborhood to the north and the walk over won't be as far.

 

Part of the problem is people are generally more willing to drive around for 20+ minutes for a parking spot rather than park slightly farther away and walk an extra 1/4 of a mile.

Edited by aarosurf
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed this too - parking can be a disaster, especially on the weekends. Would have been nice to put in an underground garage under the new centennial gardens, similar to the garage under discovery green.

 

Once the gardens are finished it should open the parking back up to where people can street park in the neighborhood to the north and the walk over won't be as far.

 

Part of the problem is people are generally more willing to drive around for 20+ minutes for a parking spot rather than park slightly farther away and walk an extra 1/4 of a mile.

 

Yep. I see that too. I usually just park a little further away, requiring an extra 3-4 minute walk but probably a time savings overall, since I don't have to wait for a line of cars to figure things out. Only on rare occasions do I have to find a spot much further away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Would have been nice to put in an underground garage under the new centennial gardens, similar to the garage under discovery green.

haha, when i saw the title of the topic this was my very first thought too.. though the Centennial Gardens arent very centrally located, they could of built a train stop (the Hermman Park mini train, not light rail) next to it or something. they definitely missed out on that opportunity. an above ground garage wouldnt look very nice unless they did some serious landscaping and had big bushy trees surrounding it and maybe vines growing over the exterior walls or something to hide the hulking mass of concrete.

Link to post
Share on other sites

true. TBH i completely forgot about that garage as i always park on the street or in front of the entrance when i go to HMoNS.. at least that garage is tucked into the structure of the museum. i was thinking more along the lines of them turning one of the zoo lots into an imposing garage in the middle of Hermann Park. i guess they could at least make the lots 2-3 stories without the structure sticking up above the tree line much. and like i said previously, vines covering the exterior of the garage would do wonders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the truth; people are LAZY.

 

There is plenty of parking at Hermann Park. There's the zoo lot, the golf lot, on-street parking, medical center garages, and museum district garages. There's also the easy option of parking anywhere in Midtown and taking the train. 

 

I find it amusing that people would rather circle in their cars for half an hour waiting for a spot rather than walk 10 minutes when their final destination is a f'in park.

 

Hermann Park is our city's crown jewel. We'll have spent around $100 million on the park/zoo/miller by the time this 100th birthday is done and you want to add a parking garage? 

 

No thanks. It's time to change our culture. Parking cannot continue to be a "right" in Central Houston.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the truth; people are LAZY.

 

There is plenty of parking at Hermann Park. There's the zoo lot, the golf lot, on-street parking, medical center garages, and museum district garages. There's also the easy option of parking anywhere in Midtown and taking the train. 

 

I find it amusing that people would rather circle in their cars for half an hour waiting for a spot rather than walk 10 minutes when their final destination is a f'in park.

 

Hermann Park is our city's crown jewel. We'll have spent around $100 million on the park/zoo/miller by the time this 100th birthday is done and you want to add a parking garage? 

 

No thanks. It's time to change our culture. Parking cannot continue to be a "right" in Central Houston.

 

I'm cool with a parking garage north of Hermann Drive in the context of more development of the Museum District. Hermann at Jackson looks good.

 

For within the park, here's a question: would you be for a parking garage if it meant a smaller overall footprint for parking by removing surface parking lots. The zoo could be expanded or just plain old fashioned green space for now. If you'd still oppose such a parking garage, how would you feel if several levels of it were below ground? Or all of it?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the truth; people are LAZY.

 

There is plenty of parking at Hermann Park. There's the zoo lot, the golf lot, on-street parking, medical center garages, and museum district garages. There's also the easy option of parking anywhere in Midtown and taking the train. 

 

I find it amusing that people would rather circle in their cars for half an hour waiting for a spot rather than walk 10 minutes when their final destination is a f'in park.

 

Hermann Park is our city's crown jewel. We'll have spent around $100 million on the park/zoo/miller by the time this 100th birthday is done and you want to add a parking garage? 

 

No thanks. It's time to change our culture. Parking cannot continue to be a "right" in Central Houston.

 

I'd agree with you for those who tend to be couples/older families. However, most of the people parking at the zoo lot are families with multiple kids with multiple strollers, other junk to load up to bring with the kids, picnic supplies, etc. and visitors from out of town. If Houston were a city with true mass transit... then you'd have a point.

 

Yes, there are a lot of options nearby for parking... but no one knows about them unless you live nearby. For those visiting, there is no clear signage or indication of where there is public parking available and where it's at. Heck, even the Ben Taub parking garage (where people park at and walk across to the zoo entrance on the back side) has notices posted saying that the garage is to only be used for hospital visitors.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with you for those who tend to be couples/older families. However, most of the people parking at the zoo lot are families with multiple kids with multiple strollers, other junk to load up to bring with the kids, picnic supplies, etc. and visitors from out of town. If Houston were a city with true mass transit... then you'd have a point.

 

Yes, there are a lot of options nearby for parking... but no one knows about them unless you live nearby. For those visiting, there is no clear signage or indication of where there is public parking available and where it's at. Heck, even the Ben Taub parking garage (where people park at and walk across to the zoo entrance on the back side) has notices posted saying that the garage is to only be used for hospital visitors.

 

I think that explains it well. There are two types of people in this situation: those who need signs to tell them exactly where to park and those who just park. Some people need a signs leading them all the way from 288 telling them to park at on street parking in the museum district to go see a concert at Miller Outdoor. It's probably mostly a suburban/city divide, but not entirely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone think that more cars entering the park would be an enhancement?

 

Really, I'm thinking a garage more for having an organized system to park. Even if the number of spots stayed the same and they claimed more greenspace, I think having an organized "park here" and "lot full" type of system would make more sense than the free-for-all it currently is. It would probably generate enough money to pay for tons of enhancements to the park as well.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't think of a single city in which the signature park has a parking structure in the middle of it. Now, if someone wants to pony up to donate the $50 million it would take to eliminate all the surface parking and bury a 5 level all-underground garage in order to reclaim green space, then I would be all for it.

 

However, I'd personally rather see money going to replant the Miller Hill, build a new centennial garden, reforest the park, take care of the aging oaks, add public art, etc... 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The parking situation is pretty amazing at times. The police close down Hermann Drive at Cambridge often to prevent any more traffic from entering the park.

It sucks for those who load up the kids for a day at the park only to arrive at a massive traffic jam on MacGregor. But such is the price of popularity.

Even though I live 5 minutes from the park, if I'm not going to arrive before 10 am, I take the train from Fannin South. My little boy prefers the train trip anyways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

an above ground parking structure would be a slap in the face to what the park stands for.

this. the only way i could compromise is if it meant reducing the footprint of the current parking lots at the zoo for more green space or an expanded zoo, like someone else mentioned. and even then only if the garage is no higher than 2-3 levels (just shorter than the tops of the trees) and covered in ivy and lots of dense tall trees surrounding it, hiding the structure like they do buildings in The Woodlands. and it would be nice if the roof were a garden or at least grass to further hide the garage from the views of the highrises around the park.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a suggestion that some may agree to, others of course will not. There are several acres of Hermann Park land south of the zoo across Cambridge (McGregor, Outer Belt) that is really unused, except by Ben Taub emergency room smokers, and an old log cabin. The "Pioneer" cabin can be moved into the park somewhere, or to another location. The smokers can smoke in the middle of the street for all I care. The land sits idle, as a buffer between the Medical Center and the park. Why not let parking garages be the buffer. The garages could be connected to the park with wide pedestrian bridges over Cambridge. (The only problem would be keeping medical center employees from parking there during the day..........or maybe not)

Link to post
Share on other sites

What they also need is a generously large drop off point.

As it currently stands, you're blocking traffic that are trying to do the same thing and then becomes a traffic jam as it starts to interfere with people trying to find a parking spot.

I know there is a drop off point on the med center side, but it isn't clearly identified and looks abandoned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with you for those who tend to be couples/older families. However, most of the people parking at the zoo lot are families with multiple kids with multiple strollers, other junk to load up to bring with the kids, picnic supplies, etc. and visitors from out of town. If Houston were a city with true mass transit... then you'd have a point.

 

Yes, there are a lot of options nearby for parking... but no one knows about them unless you live nearby. For those visiting, there is no clear signage or indication of where there is public parking available and where it's at. Heck, even the Ben Taub parking garage (where people park at and walk across to the zoo entrance on the back side) has notices posted saying that the garage is to only be used for hospital visitors.

 

Well then, it sounds like a signage problem more than a missing parking garage problem.

Edited by kylejack
Link to post
Share on other sites

Man this is so true...and make 10 story garage...with a mural on all 4 sides and giant letters that say parking on top in Neon red lights....

you are either a good jokester or.. idk... im hoping that was a very sarcastic joke. a 10 story garage with neon lights? completely opposite of blending in with the park setting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...