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58 minutes ago, cityliving said:

I think this would have made a great site for a neighborhood park instead.

 

If only our city spent on parks and rec like other major cities :( We spend like something 10% per capita that Chicago does. 

 

Obviously, I definitely agree.

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54 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Source?

Chicago literally is the personification of corruption with most of those expenditures going to public employee salaries. There are literally municipal tree trimmers who earn over 105,000 a year, so amount "spent" doesn't necessarily correlate with the quality of their parks.

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Source?

 

I believe it was Mitchell Silver's Kinder Institute presentation back in March. 

 

I know it's hard to do direct comparison because of large county parks budget here, but 2019 CoH Parks budget was $77 million and Chicago was $465 million, so it's about 16% more on a raw basis. 

 

We're also really bad on the distribution of parks and the average distance of a park to each resident. 

 

1 hour ago, iah77 said:

Chicago literally is the personification of corruption with most of those expenditures going to public employee salaries. There are literally municipal tree trimmers who earn over 105,000 a year, so amount "spent" doesn't necessarily correlate with the quality of their parks.

 

We're still 3X as large and have 1/2 as many parks. I'm not an expert on the quality of those parks (we do have some excellent ones) but park space in Houston is severely lacking for a huge portion of residents. 

 

21 hours ago, Squirrel said:

Wonder why they thought it was a good time to start now...

 

Also there is a recent heated thread on the midtown nextdoor with some angry neighbors lol

 I got invited to a private discussion group about ways to try to combat it and they kicked me out when I basically said that ship sailed years ago. 

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2 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

I believe it was Mitchell Silver's Kinder Institute presentation back in March. 

 

I know it's hard to do direct comparison because of large county parks budget here, but 2019 CoH Parks budget was $77 million and Chicago was $465 million, so it's about 16% more on a raw basis. 

 

We're also really bad on the distribution of parks and the average distance of a park to each resident. 

 

 

We're still 3X as large and have 1/2 as many parks. I'm not an expert on the quality of those parks (we do have some excellent ones) but park space in Houston is severely lacking for a huge portion of residents. 

 

 I got invited to a private discussion group about ways to try to combat it and they kicked me out when I basically said that ship sailed years ago. 

 

parkland-per-person-us.png

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According the Trust for Public Lands, Houston has 53,134 acres of park (23.4 acres per 1,000 residents) within the city limits Chicago has 12, 917 acres (4.7 acres per 1,000 residents).

 

In number of parks, Chicago has 2.8 parks per 10,000 residents, Houston has 2.6 per 10,000.

 

TPL also measures the percentage of residents within 1/2 mile of a park. On that measure we don't do as well (as was mentioned above).  In the linked 2016 study, we are only at 48%.  It would be interesting to see an update on this; Presumably all of the bayou greenways being developed will bring a bunch more of our residents within that 1/2 mile (and will also further our strength in acres per capita.)

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15 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

 

 

I just looked up the data source for that infographic, and well... it's wrong. 

This is what they are using to calculate for Houston in their 2010 report:

 

image.png.c42b0fae6c8d1289e5f5c5441c16f262.png

 

They are counting the entirety of the Fort Bend County Park system, yet as far as I can tell, none of it is in the CoH. They are then dividing just the CoH population across all of this park land which is outside of the City of Houston. 

 

Also, nearly 10,000 of the Houston Parks land is Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Yes, it's technically part of Houston Parks, but it's c'mon. George Bush Park is 8,000 of Harris County's Park space. 

 

The same group gives a Park walk score, and Chicago has 98% of residents living within a 10 minute walk of a park where Houston only has 61%

 

I mean, look at these two comparisons!!

 

https://www.tpl.org/city/houston-texas

 

https://www.tpl.org/city/chicago-illinois

 

 

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27 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I just looked up the data source for that infographic, and well... it's wrong. 

This is what they are using to calculate for Houston in their 2010 report:

 

image.png.c42b0fae6c8d1289e5f5c5441c16f262.png

 

They are counting the entirety of the Fort Bend County Park system, yet as far as I can tell, none of it is in the CoH. They are then dividing just the CoH population across all of this park land which is outside of the City of Houston. 

 

Also, nearly 10,000 of the Houston Parks land is Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Yes, it's technically part of Houston Parks, but it's c'mon. George Bush Park is 8,000 of Harris County's Park space. 

 

The same group gives a Park walk score, and Chicago has 98% of residents living within a 10 minute walk of a park where Houston only has 61%

 

I mean, look at these two comparisons!!

 

https://www.tpl.org/city/houston-texas

 

https://www.tpl.org/city/chicago-illinois

 

 

 

So, let's say your presumption is correct and none of Ft Bend County's parkland is in the Houston city limits and we subtract 2,023 acres from the total.  

 

I believe Lake Houston Wilderness Park is more like 5,000 acres, not 10,000.  So even if we remove the Ft Bend acres, Lake Houston Wilderness Park and George Bush Park, that still leaves Houston with 35,609 acres compared to Chicago's 12,917.

 

And see my subsequent post, above

Edited by Houston19514
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29 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

Also, nearly 10,000 of the Houston Parks land is Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Yes, it's technically part of Houston Parks, but it's c'mon. George Bush Park is 8,000 of Harris County's Park space. 

 

 

You're right, those are cheap ways of inflating the numbers. Unfortunately this has become about as meaningless as "Houston has the second largest Theater District behind New York!"

 

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4 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

I believe it was Mitchell Silver's Kinder Institute presentation back in March. 

 

I know it's hard to do direct comparison because of large county parks budget here, but 2019 CoH Parks budget was $77 million and Chicago was $465 million, so it's about 16% more on a raw basis. 

 

 

FWIW, the information I can find shows a total Houston Parks & Recreation Dept budget in 2019 of about $92.5 Million.  The $77 Million is close to the "General Budget" number, but that does not comprise the entire P&R Budget.

 

 

Edited by Houston19514
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IMO proximity to parks within walking distance is an awkward measure because it doesn't reflect differences in how citizens get around, what kind of parks programming and features they actually want/need, and differences in the quality of parks.

 

Chicago is a traditionally urban city and so it stands to reason they should have more small neighborhood parks that give people access to ample areas of grass and trees for activities they would otherwise miss while living in a rowhouse or apartment. And Chicago is also the kind of city where many residents would and could walk to such a park.

 

A lot of Houston is annexed suburban sprawl or suburban style apartment complexes. People who live in these areas thus have access to large private yards, cul-de-sacs, private HOA amenities, apartment complex amenities and green spaces, etc. So not only is the need for small neighborhood "grass and trees" parks greatly diminished, but because of the lower population density and limited walkability of these areas it would be harder to provide raw geographic coverage and also actually achieve the goal of these places being accessible on foot. Also the County runs a lot of parks and there are lots of MUD amenities that aren't being counted. And there's initiatives where school playgrounds and sports fields get double use for community programming and recreation leagues. And there's private sports parks. When you put it all together, the stats are skewed I think.

 

I think if there was a analysis done on parks needs and accessibility, what you'd find is that older neighborhoods in the city proper aren't that different from Chicago. There's parks all over the place and recreation and sports facilities and community centers in most established areas inside the Beltway that are in the COH or one of the other traditional municipalities(Pasadena, Bellaire, etc)

 

The deficiency I think would not even be in the City of Houston at all but rather in unincorporated Harris County. There are areas of poor infrastructure that are also mostly low income in the Northwest and Northeast. There's also similarly low income "rural urban" areas. Also many of the new-build sprawl housing developments(detached homes built for rental purposes by remote investors, that will quickly depreciate and become workforce housing) have zero built-in parks.

 

I would like to see outlying areas have more parks facilities that fill the gaps that would exist in such places. For example, contiguous hike and bike trails to compensate for streets and roads being pretty terrible for that. In areas with lots of working families with children a multipurpose gym and rec center that the YMCA could operate would be appreciated by these citizens I am sure. Also there are relatively few public swimming pools that don't require a costly membership to access located on the northern side of the metro, a county pool would be a big attraction. People generally like dog parks as they are a place to get out and be outside. In all case these things would be more centralized and would be accessed mostly via driving or by public transit(bus routes) and would be most effective if they drew from a wide area rather than trying to be neighborhood focused just to boost a stat.

 

Sorry for the wall of text, I was really bored at work today and kind of daydreamed about this question for longer than normal.

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21 hours ago, wilcal said:

Any thoughts on the legality of them posting no parking signs - construction worker parking only signs on the fence around all sides of the site? 

 

So many signs hold no legal power and are just to scare people into submission. Like those "stay back 200ft, not responsible form broken windows" on dump trucks are total BS. 

 

With that said I have no idea lol

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:13 PM, wilcal said:

Any thoughts on the legality of them posting no parking signs - construction worker parking only signs on the fence around all sides of the site? 

 

Update: not legal. They have a permit for a lane closure on Dennis for construction material delivery,  but they aren't allowed to restrict public street parking just so that they have a place to park. 

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