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Houston: The New River City?


bkjones98

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all this beautification is great, but.....it's still underneath freeways. someone should commission an artist to create an abstract forest of metal (preferably not shiny) forms wrapping around the freeway pillars and undulating from the underbelly of the freeway. light it in an interesting way and walla, the freeway is not just a freeway. B)

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all this beautification is great, but.....it's still underneath freeways. someone should commission an artist to create an abstract forest of metal (preferably not shiny) forms wrapping around the freeway pillars and undulating from the underbelly of the freeway. light it in an interesting way and walla, the freeway is not just a freeway. B)

Metal sounds nice, maybe some copper bands, but a potential hazard..? Or maybe some concrete stain, variations of green? I suppose TXDOT wouldn't go for climbing vines. Or, it could be said that the gray adds a stark juxtaposition to the scene.

Have the homeless discovered this place yet?...shhhhhhhh

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Metal sounds nice, maybe some copper bands, but a potential hazard..? Or maybe some concrete stain, variations of green? I suppose TXDOT wouldn't go for climbing vines. Or, it could be said that the gray adds a stark juxtaposition to the scene.

Have the homeless discovered this place yet?...shhhhhhhh

That is a really good idea, with the variations of green pillars on the freeways. Maybe some blue, too.

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no. the bayou will always flood. it has to be used in a temporary recreational fashion.

The Master Plan includes a lot of residential and mixed use development along the bayou along with flood control elements. The creation of the "Waterview District" north of Minute Maid is one of the highlights. How close will development be, it doesn't really say. Here's an exerpt from a 3 year old Texas Observer piece on the project. It portrays the Buffalo Bayou Partnership in a not-so rosy light. Full article is here.

"Another area of concern for skeptics is the flood-control proposal, which is a centerpiece of the Buffalo Bayou plan. Unlike San Antonio

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The Riverwalk in SA is not man made. It's the San Antonio River, which drains into the Gulf. The Horseshoe is the part where most of the river level developement is. The Horseshoe has dams that can close it off for floods and cleanings. When the dams are closed, the river flows exclusively through the only man made channel part of the river, which is not part of the Horseshoe.

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Thank you for the pictures Houstonian in Iraq. I see that you'are you back from Iraq.

yeah for now.... It's great to be back, been back for about 2 weeks now.

will have to leave Houston soon though :(

While I'm away y'all will help me keep my sanity by posting, so thanks ahead of time ;) .

In the mean time I will be ejoying Houston :D

Edited by Houstonian in Iraq
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yeah for now.... It's great to be back, been back for about 2 weeks now.

will have to leave Houston soon though :(

While I'm away y'all will help me keep my sanity by posting, so thanks ahead of time ;) .

In the mean time I will be ejoying Houston :D

Good to see you're enjoying your time off. Where are you going? Back to Hell on Earth, or just to your base?

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Good to see you're enjoying your time off. Where are you going? Back to Hell on Earth, or just to your base?

No, I'm not heading back to the sandbox anytime soon. Although last time I said that "they" were trying to send me back for a second time after being back in the states for a month so hope I haven't spoken too soon. <_<

I will be in Manchester(UK) until July or Aug........dagon nutty Brits ;)

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You mean metal sculpters? Like Dallas has had between Deep Ellum and Downtown for a couple of years now? :-P j/k

If I'm not mistaken, one of the primary reasons the San Antonio Riverwalk was built was to control flooding. Could this not be done to BB? I think not offering any type of business along the river is a bad idea. People aren't going to want to walk up and down 500 flights of stairs in the middle of August every time their kids want something to drink or need to pee.

Whatever the solution, I think the SA Riverwalk, using horses and packmules for construction, took less time.

Edited by danes75
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  • 2 weeks later...

My office looks down on Allen's Landing from about 600 feet above, and it is absolutely true that the water in both BB and White Oak Bayou reaches an attractive, deep green within a couple days of the end of rain. They turn muddy brown very quickly with an precipitation, though.

I believe the Sunset Coffee building won't be turned into anything useful anytime soon, but I have seen predestrian activity increase in the area greatly with the new UHDT building. I see canoes down there rarely but the fact that I have seen them at all has to mean something.

It is certainly ambitious to build all of this infrastructure around BB underneath the freeway, but the freeway is clearly the issue... gee, really surprising that it is tough to make an area attractive when you put about 20 lanes of concrete over 4-5 assymmetrical bridges with columns randomly penetrating the waterway below... <_< This is all clearly a long-term process and will continue as long as we are alive.

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Nice pics, soldier! And a pretty cool little bridge too, I might add. Is it open, or were you just doing a little recon? :P

Just a little recon. Had to dodge the high speed danger sign put there

to keep people out.

P1010220.jpg

I'm sure they're still going to spruce up the bridge and that segment of the bayou.

Here are a few more pictures of the area further down from the bridge right in front of Sabine lofts.

P1010216.jpg

P1010210.jpg

P1010218.jpg

P1010219.jpg

P1010222.jpg

They have even installed some of the lighting described in the buffalo bayou plan.

P1010208.jpg

P1010213.jpg

P1010224.jpg

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Just a little recon. Had to dodge the high speed danger sign put there

to keep people out.

P1010220.jpg

Way to put that Ranger training to good use. :P

Man, those are some nice pics. I wish I could get my lawn to look like that. I know you can't really make a freeway overpass disappear, but I wish they would paint them forest green to make them blend in a bit.

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I went down there yesterday with my son. We came in from the Eleanor Tinsley side as parking elsewhere was difficult. The stairs leading down to the western end of the walkway, southern side of the bayou (walkways are being built on the other side as well, just not opened yet) drop down to a cool old concrete storm drain, that must date to the 20s or so, with a stepped waterfall effect. Unfortunately, the street litter comes down through there so that will be another reminder of being in the city, along with the roar of the freeway overhead.

I saw a guy flyfishing and a sign read "Alligator habitat, keep all pets leashed" :lol: . There were workers near the bridge so we weren't as bold as HiI. The landscaping was nice and, once completed and extended, will be a great low-key addition to Houston.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to have a book that showed the original parks plan for all the Houston area bayous. It showed how they were all lined with boulevards like White Oak is with the Jesters, etc...with no development in the flood plains and no concrete channeling. When we were kids, White Oak was natural and it was a great place to be a kid-plenty of wildlfe, trees, vines, fireflys, horned toads, etc...then the concrete came and it was all gone.

Anyway-back to the book. It's ironic but it was in my parent's then-new home in Arbor Oaks-built in a flood plain...guess where the book is now :angry:

If anyone knows of this book, I'd appreciate any info.

B)

[as an aside, Arbor Oaks is between W. Little York and Inwood Forest, off of Antoine. It is an excellent example of how our tax dollars are spent due to the unbridled development of lands located in flood plains. There are abhout 10 homes left due to Allison. FEMA finally bought them out. You and I paid for it.]

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Metal sounds nice, maybe some copper bands, but a potential hazard..? Or maybe some concrete stain, variations of green? I suppose TXDOT wouldn't go for climbing vines. Or, it could be said that the gray adds a stark juxtaposition to the scene.

Have the homeless discovered this place yet?...shhhhhhhh

You put copper up and it will be stolen in no time.

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I went down there yesterday with my son. We came in from the Eleanor Tinsley side as parking elsewhere was difficult. The stairs leading down to the western end of the walkway, southern side of the bayou (walkways are being built on the other side as well, just not opened yet) drop down to a cool old concrete storm drain, that must date to the 20s or so, with a stepped waterfall effect. Unfortunately, the street litter comes down through there so that will be another reminder of being in the city, along with the roar of the freeway overhead.

I saw a guy flyfishing and a sign read "Alligator habitat, keep all pets leashed" :lol: . There were workers near the bridge so we weren't as bold as HiI. The landscaping was nice and, once completed and extended, will be a great low-key addition to Houston.

Well I always keep my alligator on a leash when down there.

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Nope, it's permanent. There's an article about it in today's Chronicle.

Pedestrian bridge to access hike, bike trails

Pathway over Buffalo Bayou to link downtown destinations

By TOM MANNING

Chronicle Correspondent

Construction is under way on a pedestrian bridge that crosses Buffalo Bayou and links the Hobby Center and other downtown locations with new walking and biking trails along the bayou.

The 189-foot bridge, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, is a key component of the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, a project undertaken by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the city of Houston that will open up a 23-acre segment of the Bayou Walk to more biking and jogging.

With new walking and biking trails being installed along the bayou downtown, the pedestrian bridge will allow people easier access from downtown to the new trails, and to parking and residential areas near the bayou.

Construction on the bridge, which was designed by SWA Group, began last month.

Link to full article

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I like what they are doing to Buffalo Bayou thusfar. I hope they keep up the good work and end up completing the whole 2025 plan. I think although SA river walk will always be the SA river walk, I think that Houston has the chance to create something grand. I really really want them to complete this propossed project. If what the say is correct it will releive some of the flooding problems they have downtown.(I.E yesterdays flash floods) If any one has any updated info on any of the projects they propossed I would like to know.

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hmmm.... well i'm glad they put such great attention to asthetics and detail into the bridge. :-\ looks like a train trestle

For those who thought that "that's it", in the article it further mentions:

By TOM MANNING

Chronicle Correspondent

The bridge is supported by two sets of steel columns on each side of the bayou, and will be lit along the handrail and from above, making the entire structure glow in the evening and provide a safer environment for those who walk it at night.

"What's there right now is the basic structural truss, and the handrails that are going to be used are being built now," Shanley said. "So the raw structure is up, but the lighting and some of the other aspects of it won't be done until the end of the year."

.......so let's wait and see :ph34r:

Edited by Houstonian in Iraq
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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I took a walk along Buffalo Bayou, starting at Allen's Landing. I took the light rail downtown, and (in my imagination) was showing a hypothetical visitor how much has been accomplished in that area. And I ran into something so odd that I need someone to confirm that, maybe, I'm not going crazy.

Walking from the Preston stop to Allen's Landing is a piece of cake. And it's an attractive little park. Well, not unattractive. Many smaller cities would be happy to have such an attraction in their downtowns. I was the only one there. The homeless have become bored with the place, apparently. Thank goodness for the ducks...but even they were napping.

So I thought, let's head west. I wanted to show my imaginary friend the new walkway over Buffalo Bayou, and how much progress has been made in tying the whole walkway together. Good thing my imaginary friend is a patient sort. At the Main Street bridge, the path abruptly ends, and one either can trudge back up to street level, or take a muddy, possibly illegal path through private parking lots along some of the most desolate landscape that can be imagined. A corpse or two wouldn't have been unexpected; in fact, I'm sure that it's my sheer lack of observation that prevented me from finding one.

Somewhere behind the Spaghetti Warehouse, I gave up, and my imaginary friend asked why we were heading back to street level. I explained that we are making progress, and not to be such a delicate flower.

Street level, as it turns out, is no picnic either. Intersections are not marked by street signs, and often lack pedestrian crossing signals. Since I was determined to follow the south bank of Buffalo Bayou as closely as possible, my imaginary friend and I had to do quite a lot of zigging and zagging. Eventually, we had to go as far south as Commerce Street, and found our way back to the bayou somewhere around the new Bayou Place II (Cordish) project. Some of the new construction is impressive, but the walkways were covered with bayou silt.

Now here's the bizarre part; you can get back to the bayou walkway somewhere west of Smith Street, on a path straight out of "Through The Looking-Glass". And at the bottom, there's an overlook, next to a bridge. And I swear to God - and my imaginary friend will bear me out on this - they have a speaker system to repel bums.

At first, I just thought man, someone's got an awfully loud 18 wheeler, and he ought to be issued a ticket. Then I noticed that the sound didn't change; it just repeated. After a minute or so, the source could be traced to somewhere below the bridge; apparently there's a speaker mounted under there to provide this sound. I walked a couple of hundred feet away; the sound stopped. I walked back again; it resumed.

So my imaginary friend was impressed by at least one aspect of the new Buffalo Bayou walkway. "Damn!," he said "you have some strange priorities in your city!"

(If you think I'm making this up, go there for yourself; south side of Buffalo Bayou, west of Smith Street.)

Edit:

My imaginary friend thinks that maybe this is an artistic statement, rather than a practical way to discourage the homeless from snoozing under the bridge. He might be right. Sometimes it's the newcomers who understand the mystery and potential of this city.

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I don't know about the speakers either. As far as the area behind Spaghetti Warehouse I'm not to sure about, but as far as your tour I would of started at the UHD station and gone downstairs. Right there is where the trail stop/starts on that side. From there you can only go west towards the aqurium. It's still being worked on between the Hobby Theater and Sabine lofts. If you go past the Sabine loft you'll end up I believe at Eleanor Tinsley Park right off of Allen Parkway. That park/parks(not sure if there is more than one) will lead to Shephard Dr. all together that's about 4 miles of bayou/park trail.

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Buffalo Bayou hike, bike, pedestrian trails and leisure sidewalks and bridge are a great beginning for what can be a very unique place. Kudos to those who have made it happen thus far; and kudos for those who are working behind the scenes to make this a very viable and attractive waterfront. We work with what we have. :rolleyes:

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I believe your imaginary friend is correct. I think the sound is an art installation. (Art may not be exactly the right word, but I think it's part of the plan of interesting and entertaining features. I believe there is also a button you can push somewhere along the trails that will cause a "bubble" of air to gurgle up from the bottom of the bayou.)

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I believe your imaginary friend is correct. I think the sound is an art installation. (Art may not be exactly the right word, but I think it's part of the plan of interesting and entertaining features. I believe there is also a button you can push somewhere along the trails that will cause a "bubble" of air to gurgle up from the bottom of the bayou.)

Now I'm really curious to see what those speakers might be.

The bayou burp is a bit away from where dbigtex56 said he/she was at.

It's on Preston St(could be wrong) the little red button is on the bridge near the Wortham Center.

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Don't know about the speakers...sounds a bit like psy-ops. But, the bridge area and Travis Street next to Spaghetti Warehouse are still under construction. Street signs, etc., are the last things installed.

Forgive me, I'm unfamiliar with the term 'psy-ops'. Could you elaborate?

"Street signs, etc., are the last things installed."

Last things, indeed! I'm not talking about signs relating to the bayou walkway itself, but to conventional street signs in the area. I'd like to tell you which intersections lack these signs but, since there were no signs to tell me where I was... <_<

Another area which is currently overlooked is routine maintenance of the completed walkways. Long stretches of recently built walkways adjacent to the bayou are ankle-deep in silt. How long has it been since the bayou flooded, anyway? Several weeks, at a minimum.

I think keeping them clear would be a good project for those who've been sentenced to perform community service.

btw, KHOU-TV had a progress report on the bayou walkway last night. They reported that the stretch between Wortham Center and Allen's Landing will be the next phase built.

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