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Goatman79

"Old" North Shepherd Dr. abandoned portion near 38th St.

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I was hoping someone who knows the older parts of Houston (such as Heights, River Oaks) could shed some light on something for me.

 

I hunt for abandoned roads and old right-of-ways in the primarily west side of Houston, and I recently took notice of one on North Shepherd Dr. between 34th and 38th St., near the Garden Oaks Theater.  On either side of the North Shepherd main drag where the underpass goes beneath the railroad corridor, there are two old right-of-ways surrounding the main road at ground level.

   These old right of ways have been closed off for a long time, but they are very unusual.  Even the oldest aerial imagery I could find shows both the main lanes of North Shepherd, and the little side street up at ground level.  Were the two built in conjunction?  Or did the outer roads pre-date the current right of way that dips below the railroad?  I would love to learn more about this bizarre configuration.

 

 

 

 

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A colleague lives near that site, and has since he was born. His mother still lives in the house his parents bought in 1939. According to my colleague, the residents of that area used the ground level ROW until the railroad redid the tracks, and eliminated the level crossings, forcing everyone to use the underpass.

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Ah, that actually would make sense.  I wondered why they would bother to build the ground level roads at a diamond shape if there wasn't already a main underpass in place.  I thought it would be quite beneficial for local residents to have those ground level roads just for whipping around the corner while the heavy traffic passed by harmlessly below.  If the railroad is really the one to close off those surface streets that was kind of a mean thing to do.  Any idea when that happened?

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From Google Earth, I would GUESS sometime between 1989 and 1995. Own experiences, though--railroads are the ones close down crossings usually...

- In College Station, there's a problem brewing because the railroad wants to cut two railroad crossings heavily used by people in the southern rural subdivisions. The "compromise" is to build a new crossing a bit farther north, but even that is ineffective as the reason why the two are closing is a siding is to be built, and trains would be slower around the siding.

- I remember a news story in Brenham, TX where UP actually wanted to PAY the city if they could get rid of W. Vulcan Street's crossing (but that kinda made sense at the time since there were 5 grade crossings within a quarter mile span)

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