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IronTiger

Most pedestrian unfriendly area in Houston?

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Topic title says it all, what's the most pedestrian unfriendly neighborhood in Houston? Before people start rattling off the usual suspects, I don't mean petty complaints, like "I don't like walking under bridges" or "Businesses are far too set back from the street", or anything that tends to mess with the "urban ideal", but truly troublesome areas. Narrow sidewalks next to fast roads (like, say, a non-ADA compliant width sidewalk or less next to a road with no ROW between the curb and private property), a lack of any sidewalks (and what's left isn't even, that is, even a mountain bike would have a difficult time), no crosswalks at stoplights, no curb cuts, et cetera.

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This is hilarious because I've then thinking about creating a "Most Pedestrian Friendly Area", or streets with the most Pedestrian life lol

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I would think Westheimer from 610 West Loop to Highway 6 would be the worst.  Vehicular traffic + the volume of major roads that cross it + narrow sidewalks in many parts = pedestrian nightmare

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The West Loop in general - no sidewalks, lots of fast traffic.  I once made the mistake of thinking I could walk from one building to its next door neighbor.  I ended up turning around and getting my car.

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I wouldn't say that.  Any neighborhood will be easily walkable provided it does not have Westheimer (or similar) roads running right down the middle of it.

 

Take the neighborhood between Rice - Bissonnet from Morningside - Main... of all that area mentioned only Rice and Bissonnet would be what I consider "unfriendly" towards pedestrians.  Even Main south of the Montrose Oval is pedestrian friendly with big sidewalks and plenty of room for walkers, the rest of that area is easily walkable and not at all a hazard to pedestrians.  Since most of Houston is low scale, single family homes in neighborhoods with big leafy trees (Houston proper) I would say much of it is much more walkable than most of us think.

Edited by arche_757
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Anything developed after 1960 (the year, not the road).

 

Watching anyone try to walk (regardless of sidewalks) outside of the beltway is pretty painful.

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99% of the city

That statement coming from a person who admits he rarely ventures outside the Inner Loop, this is pretty funny...and according to COH, only 15% of Houston's land is inside the loop. Yeah, I know you were exaggerating, but I have a feeling there are parts of the city you didn't know existed. Go out and explore...I guarantee you'll find some great places.

Edited by IronTiger

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A significant number of the outside the loop neighborhoods were built without any sidewalks at all - the only reason you don't get mown down walking in the street is because it's quiet, residential traffic.

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Anytime you have to walk along a road with a speed limit greater than 20-25 mph qualifies as the worst pedestrian place to be (especially on north-south feeder roads in Midtown and Downtown).

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A significant number of the outside the loop neighborhoods were built without any sidewalks at all - the only reason you don't get mown down walking in the street is because it's quiet, residential traffic.

 

Less traffic does tend to lend points to pedestrian friendliness. Sidewalks aren't always everything. I suppose another major factor is lighted areas. I can understand not wanting to walk under a bridge if it's poorly lit, but such a thing like that is easily solved.

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Another place where one takes life by the horns - at the exit to a downtown parking garage just before evening drive time, when people come flying out in hopes of getting ahead of traffic.

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That statement coming from a person who admits he rarely ventures outside the Inner Loop, this is pretty funny...and according to COH, only 15% of Houston's land is inside the loop. Yeah, I know you were exaggerating, but I have a feeling there are parts of the city you didn't know existed. Go out and explore...I guarantee you'll find some great places.

I've been all around houston. Sunny side, fifth ward, Jensen, gulfton, third ward before gentrification, places you wouldn't go if someone paid you. Leave your talking points to college station.

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Any major thoroughfare in unincorporated Harris County. The County doesn't believe in pedestrians.

Ever try to walk down Grant Road from say, Spring-Cypress to Louetta?

It's not a very safe or welcoming area for pedestrians. You've got to have your head on a swivel on those major thoroughfares out in the County.

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You're not in houston.

 

I do not live in the city of Houston.  However, I do live in the Houston-Sugarland-The Woodlands MSA, so yes, I am in Houston.

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I believe this topic started as a question on the most unfriendly areas in the City of Houston, not metro area.  We all know unincorporated areas of Harris County would probably take the cake if the Metropolitan area were being discussed.

Edited by arche_757

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Orlando just built a rail line that is longer than all of ours combined.

 

So?  In 50 years which Metro area will have more transit options (excluding Disney) Orlando or Houston?

I'm putting all of my money on Houston.  We have an inept transit agency + a booming population that will demand options as we site mired in traffic from one end of town to the other.

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So? In 50 years which Metro area will have more transit options (excluding Disney) Orlando or Houston?

I'm putting all of my money on Houston. We have an inept transit agency + a booming population that will demand options as we site mired in traffic from one end of town to the other.

Orlando's will be 60 miles soon. I see no expansion past this year based on current politicians.

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You're correct.  But in the long run Houston will have a bigger system.  Eventually the masses will demand something, and local politicos who don't listen will not be in office very long.  The "good old boys" while still around, are slowly being replaced.  The rest of us just have to bide our time.

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You said it yourself

Good grief. You'll find every opportunity to bash Houston because it's not like other cities, and then suddenly switch sides and discredit anyone else's opinion because "they don't live in Houston", all in the same thread. Good grief.  <_<

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Orlando just built a rail line that is longer than all of ours combined.

 

...that runs once every 150 minutes during midday and not at all after 10pm or on weekends. Not something that makes me the slightest bit envious. Ten bucks says its ridership (free fare period not withstanding) never surpasses the Katy Freeway Park & Rides, currently about 6,500 boardings a day.

 

Perhaps the most important criterion for pedestrian friendliness is distance between safe places to cross the street. Crossing the street is where people get injured and killed. Think 249 inside the beltway where there have been multiple fatalities in the past year.

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...that runs once every 150 minutes during midday and not at all after 10pm or on weekends. Not something that makes me the slightest bit envious. Ten bucks says its ridership (free fare period not withstanding) never surpasses the Katy Freeway Park & Rides, currently about 6,500 boardings a day.

Perhaps the most important criterion for pedestrian friendliness is distance between safe places to cross the street. Crossing the street is where people get injured and killed. Think 249 inside the beltway where there have been multiple fatalities in the past year.

We will see; when done it will be 60+ miles. Our park and rides run only once an hour midday and not at all on the weekends. In addition they are subject to speed of the HOV lanes which in some corridors is not nearly as fast as expected.

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We will see; when done it will be 60+ miles. Our park and rides run only once an hour midday and not at all on the weekends. In addition they are subject to speed of the HOV lanes which in some corridors is not nearly as fast as expected.

 

Actually the transit time for Orlando rail is slower than park and ride.  Orlando travel time is 63 minutes to go 31 miles.  Park and Ride from Grand Parkway to Downtown is 48 minutes to go 27 miles.

 

- Apologies for the off-topic

Edited by livincinco

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Actually the transit time for Orlando rail is slower than park and ride. Orlando travel time is 63 minutes to go 31 miles. Park and Ride from Grand Parkway to Downtown is 48 minutes to go 27 miles.

- Apologies for the off-topic

That's the ideal situation. HOV lanes are subject to congestion and random incidents as well more often than you would think.

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I'm going to go with Northshore.  Parts of the main thoroughfares (Normanday, Woodforest) have no sidewalks at all, and people have to just walk in the grass.  It's on the Northeast side, but is kind of like Southwest Houston in that it has a high percentage of residents that live in aparments, many of which don't have cars.  The roads are ridiculously busy, and careless drivers are never looking for pedestrians. At least with Montrose, Midtown, and many areas inside the loop, people encounter cyclists and pedestrians enough to at least be ready for the possibility of encountering one.  But in Northshore, cars are just likely to mow you down. 

Edited by totheskies

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Hmmmmmm

Are you asking for specifics?

When we park across the street from Katz then try to use the painted cross walk to get to Katz-- we always get a heart racing dash, since the cars go so fast or the traffic has backed up to Stanford and when we try to thread our way thru-- the light changes.

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I actually did cross the street at Westheimer to get to Katz. I ate there a few years ago, but I honestly don't remember it being TOO traumatic.

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A significant number of the outside the loop neighborhoods were built without any sidewalks at all - the only reason you don't get mown down walking in the street is because it's quiet, residential traffic.

 

The other reason you don't get mown down is that those same neighborhoods are usually built with only one or two thru streets.  All those cul-de-sac roads that urban planners complain about also make it quieter traffic-wise.

 

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I've been all around houston. Sunny side, fifth ward, Jensen, gulfton, third ward before gentrification, places you wouldn't go if someone paid you. Leave your talking points to college station.

 

Aren't all those places inside or very near the loop?

 

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Hmmmmmm

Are you asking for specifics?

When we park across the street from Katz then try to use the painted cross walk to get to Katz-- we always get a heart racing dash, since the cars go so fast or the traffic has backed up to Stanford and when we try to thread our way thru-- the light changes.

 

Katz's is a bad spot because of the zig-zag Westheimer does there.  You can't see the cars coming and they can't see you.

 

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The sidewalks in my neighborhood are great, but I suppose it's politically incorrect to say that.

 

The sidewalks in my area are pretty good, too, and I am inside the city limits.

 

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I would think Westheimer from 610 West Loop to Highway 6 would be the worst.  Vehicular traffic + the volume of major roads that cross it + narrow sidewalks in many parts = pedestrian nightmare

 

Westheimer outside the loop is no big deal to cross.  There are plenty of stop lights and well marked crosswalks as well as sidewalks on both sides.  I cross Westheimer on foot or on bicycle frequently and see others do the same every day.  It's no big deal.

 

I'm not sure who is doing the construction (Harris County maybe?), but they are in the process of building nice, wide sidewalks west of Eldridge all the way to Hwy 6.  Once that's done, you will be able to walk on the sidewalk from west of West Oaks Mall all the way to downtown.  Factor in cutting through George Bush Park on it's hike and bike trails and you can get all the way to the far side of Cinco Ranch.

 

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Once that's done, you will be able to walk on the sidewalk from west of West Oaks Mall all the way to downtown.  Factor in cutting through George Bush Park on it's hike and bike trails and you can get all the way to the far side of Cinco Ranch.

 

 

Why stop at downtown, you'll be able to commute on foot from westoaks mall all the way to UH on sidewalks!

 

Don't plan on going any farther though, cause that's where it all falls apart. Once elgin turns to go under spur 5 and 45 the sidewalk ends, of course (there's a nice rut of mud where the sidewalk should be though), it picks back up on lockwood and goes on for years. 

 

I wonder, once this sidewalk is completed, could this be the longest unbroken sidewalk in Houston, perhaps even Texas, or possibly even in the world? (he asks, only partially tongue in cheek). 

 

Oh, in case anyone was wondering, Google maps says it will take 6 hours and 15 minutes to walk from west oaks mall to UH. If you choose to go for metro though, it cuts the journey down to just over 2 hours, convenient!

Edited by samagon

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Google has the Walk at a very slow pace.

And the Inner Loop is only 15% of Houston's land by area (~20% population)

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Why stop at downtown, you'll be able to commute on foot from westoaks mall all the way to UH on sidewalks!

 

Don't plan on going any farther though, cause that's where it all falls apart. Once elgin turns to go under spur 5 and 45 the sidewalk ends, of course (there's a nice rut of mud where the sidewalk should be though), it picks back up on lockwood and goes on for years. 

 

I wonder, once this sidewalk is completed, could this be the longest unbroken sidewalk in Houston, perhaps even Texas, or possibly even in the world? (he asks, only partially tongue in cheek). 

 

Actually, I had this in mind as I wrote that post...

 

http://www.houstonpress.com/2006-10-12/news/the-sole-of-houston/

 

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Perhaps somewhat ironically, despite there being LRT in the area, the region just south of the med center along Braeswood is particularly bad. Missing sidewalks, fallen down fences (looking at you, Flood Control District) burnt out street lights and relatively long distances between lights.

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Perhaps somewhat ironically, despite there being LRT in the area, the region just south of the med center along Braeswood is particularly bad. Missing sidewalks, fallen down fences (looking at you, Flood Control District) burnt out street lights and relatively long distances between lights.

Another good way to tell is to look at the barriers and curbs. If the trees and lamp posts are all smashed from reckless drivers, it's a good indication that this is a potentially dangerous route to be on. I've walked that area and aside from crossing the vast parking lots (preferable to the sidewalks) it's a no man's land (but I walked off my Smashburger). 

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