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Houston: The New River City?


bkjones98

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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.

Easy now, Tex! I'm not the contractor! :lol:

Seriously, Travis Street was the last street reconstructed, and the north end of Travis was the last section to be redone. They just finished paving in November. New light standards were installed after the repaving. Street signs are attached to the light standards. If you came up by Spaghetti Warehouse, you would have been at Travis and Commerce. This intersection is still getting final touches.

If you were not at that intersection, I don't know what the problem is.

BTW, Psy-Ops is military speak for Psychological Warfare (Operations), such as playing bad music at ear splitting levels, water boarding, Lynndie England photos, etc. :lol:

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Easy now, Tex! I'm not the contractor! :lol:

Seriously, Travis Street was the last street reconstructed, and the north end of Travis was the last section to be redone. They just finished paving in November. New light standards were installed after the repaving. Street signs are attached to the light standards. If you came up by Spaghetti Warehouse, you would have been at Travis and Commerce. This intersection is still getting final touches.

"Helga, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt." :D

The intersection which gave me fits probably was Travis @...Franklin? Congress? And compared to bigger problems in the world, this may be nit-picking. Yet, there's something discomfiting about being stranded on a patch of concrete in the middle of busy, unmarked streets - especially when traffic signals are placed in such a way that they're not visible to pedestrians. One begins to understand why Houston has such a dismal rate of pedestrian fatalities.

Keeping streets (and sidewalks) safe and passible is too often overlooked during street reconstruction. This isn't a matter of having to spend more money; it's about caring enough to plan intelligently.

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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.

To be fair, yesterday I went back to that stretch of Sesquicentennial Park behind the Wortham Center, and much of the silt that had covered the pavement has been cleaned up.

Wonder if they're reading this at City Hall? :D

If so, thanks. It looks a lot better.

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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.)

I have seen this before just passing by and I thought "Thats Odd" but now it just makes perfect sense. Well anyway thanks for the info.

Its nice to see the city fixing up Buffalo Bayou, I just hope that they acutally do most if not all of the projects they metioned on the BBP. It would make Dowtown great especially with the new park and the Houston Pavillions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Be a buddy to the bayou

Find out what the Buffalo Bayou Partnership is all about and how you can help preserve and revitalize this natural wonder. Come to the Bayou Buddies Happy Hour event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Alden Hotel's a+ Lounge, 1117 Prairie Street at San Jacinto, to view the works of bayou artists John Runnels and Mara Scrupe while enjoying appetizers and sleek drinks in an ultra-hip atmosphere. For more information, contact Trudi Smith.

In case anyone here wants to support their cause.

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As I'm no historian, I may be mistaken. But Allen's Landing does represent the site at which the Allen brothers docked their boat, got down on the ground, and said, "Hey! Let's cut down these trees and start building a city!"

It is literally the heart of the city. It's starting point. And every Houstonian should learn to recognize it as such. I hope that the city and state are able to make this site very attractive and educational.

Plus, I'd love to be able to jog from Eleanor Tinsley down to there and back. Anyone know if they are going to make-over the trails along the Bayou in Eleanor Tinsley Park (Allen Parkway/Memorial Drive area)? I'd also like a pedestrian bridge to cross over Memorial and enter the park (along where the railroad bridge used to be before Memorial Heights began being developed). I fear for my life every time I try to walk across Memorial Drive and the Bayou on the Studemont Bridge. Yikes!

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As I'm no historian, I may be mistaken. But Allen's Landing does represent the site at which the Allen brothers docked their boat, got down on the ground, and said, "Hey! Let's cut down these trees and start building a city!"

It is literally the heart of the city. It's starting point. And every Houstonian should learn to recognize it as such. I hope that the city and state are able to make this site very attractive and educational.

Plus, I'd love to be able to jog from Eleanor Tinsley down to there and back. Anyone know if they are going to make-over the trails along the Bayou in Eleanor Tinsley Park (Allen Parkway/Memorial Drive area)? I'd also like a pedestrian bridge to cross over Memorial and enter the park (along where the railroad bridge used to be before Memorial Heights began being developed). I fear for my life every time I try to walk across Memorial Drive and the Bayou on the Studemont Bridge. Yikes!

I too fear for my life crossing the Studemont bridge. According to Knudson and Associates(http://www.knudsonservices.com/services/public.asp), the management company in charge of the Memorial Heights TIRZ, they have tried to purchase the land abandoned by UP, but to no avail. I've written to UP asking what their plans were for that stretch of land, but got no response. I wish we could put some pressure on these companies to be good corporate citizens.

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  • 2 weeks later...

n33nna.jpg

Let's not forget ol' #2, the Brays. I think a lot of Houstonians have never seen how wide our bayous become as they approach the ship channel. There are a few really nice spots for residential development eventually along the banks east of 45. This is looking west toward the Forest Hill bridge with an old neighborhood off to the right. That bridge is going to be replaced as part of the Project Brays flood control plan.

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I glanced over last night from Allen Parkway and it looked like there was blue lighting along the bayou path around the Pierce Elevated. Has anyone seen that?

The footbridge looks close to completion. It like the idea, but the placement seems off. It goes from the back of the Hobby Center garage to the underside underneath the freeway. It seems like a more exposed location would have worked better.

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I glanced over last night from Allen Parkway and it looked like there was blue lighting along the bayou path around the Pierce Elevated. Has anyone seen that?

The footbridge looks close to completion. It like the idea, but the placement seems off. It goes from the back of the Hobby Center garage to the underside underneath the freeway. It seems like a more exposed location would have worked better.

Glad to hear about the blue lighting. The Buffalo Bayou Master Plan includes an extensive and interesting lighting plan (part of the Lighting and Public Art Master Plan). The blue lighting you report sounds like the first stages of the master plan being put into effect.

http://www.buffalobayou.org/lighting.html

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The past week I have been watching them plant squares of grass along this area.

Wonder how that will hold up after the next big storm?

I was thinking exactly what you were on this one. It is beautiful now, but . . . when we get that next 8 inches of rain in three hours ..... I would think they would wash away. Even the lighting is down next to the water in the flood zone.

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Here's what I saw.

311xInlineGallery.jpg

GLOW IN THE PARK: Architect Stephen Korns and the firm L'Observatoire have been commissioned to create the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade.

Feb. 3, 2006, 11:02AM

Let there be enlightenment downtown

Promenade project part of Buffalo Bayou redevelopment plan

By PATRICIA C. JOHNSON

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Q: What is 189 feet long, 10 feet wide and glows?

A: The Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, a light installation that is part of the $15 million plan for a new 23-acre park.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership has commissioned architect Stephen Korns and the firm L'Observatoire to create a pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment on the bayou, where a new pedestrian bridge connects the Hobby Center to Theater District Parking Lot C at Capitol and Rusk streets.

As described, the trail, bridge and landscape lights "will change from white to blue and back according to the 29-day lunar cycle. An LED orb above the trail lights will change on a daily basis. All lights will be white on the day of a full moon and blue during the new moon."

Nine portals by Houston artist John Runnels will anchor access points from the street to the bayou, and both sides of the pedestrian bridge will be landscaped with native plants.

The full article

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Here's what I saw.

311xInlineGallery.jpg

The full article

That looks great!

I would think that a white light during a new moon and a blue light during a full moon makes more sense. That is, you would think that you would want the trail more illuminated when there is no moon. Of course, the dark light does "reflect" the darkness of a new moon. What was I talking about?

Edited by bkjones98
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If you look on buffalobayou.org's website under the tab "Master Plan" you can see how they plan on reinforcing the banks of the bayou which will make the water a more greenish color (the brown is because of the mud and dirt erosions from the sides that constantly mix with the water)...and there will be canals constructed..one north canal connecting White Oak and Buffalo Bayou just upstream from the McKee Street bridge and a south canal connecting the Elysian Viaduct part of the bayou to a more downstream area...all of this will relieve flooding...they are already offering pontoon boat tours for a cheap price along the already developed part of the bayou.

What I think they should do is line the arches of the Main Street Bridge with clear globe lights to make it stand out more and add some patio restaurants and clubs all along the bayou downtown....granted they make the changes to fix the flooding problem...it can be done...who knows...I sure wish Bush Gardens would open a jungle-like amusement park right along the bayou outside of downtown!! Just imagine a huge looping crazy coaster whipping along the banks of the bayou!

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Anyone have any idea when the blue lights will be turned on for good every night? I've driven down there a lot recently...I've seen the lights that have been installed, but I haven't ever seen them on...

The article linked above says that "The grand opening is planned for May 20." I'm guessing that might be when the lighting will be turned on for good every night.

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  • 1 month later...
Here's another view of the lights at night. bayoubluelights.jpgI can't wait to see how the city will respond to it come May,

Why can't all of Downtown have that lighting? If not on the skyscrapers, at least on the streets? Wouldn't people feel more safe at night with bright lights like that? Think about how much safer Buffalo Bayou looks with those lights as well.

I also heard Houston wants to deter any homeless from living on Downtown Houston streets, and deter crime. Those lights I think could help deter that. Holla back...

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Why can't all of Downtown have that lighting? If not on the skyscrapers, at least on the streets? Wouldn't people feel more safe at night with bright lights like that? Think about how much safer Buffalo Bayou looks with those lights as well.

I also heard Houston wants to deter any homeless from living on Downtown Houston streets, and deter crime. Those lights I think could help deter that. Holla back...

I think that is actually part of the overall plan. Not sure if or when it might become reality. Check it out.

Buffalo Bayou Lighting Plan

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Not only is lighting a big part of the Buffalo Bayou Plan, but opening up the Bayou is integral to it's success as well. The long-range plan involves removing or combining several of the bridges that currently obscure or hide the bayou from sight, and restrict the flow of water during heavy rains. The dual bridges at San Jacinto and Fannin would be replaced with one more open structure. Additionally, the conglomeration of bridges at Travis, Milam, Louisana, Smith, and Franklin would be redesigned to reroute the streets into 2 or 3 attractive overpasses that would open up the bayou and integrate it into the streetscape. This will make it more attractive, and, along with the improved lighting, make it feel safer. The connection to the street will encourage development of the riverbank to further highlight the bayou.

Clearly, rebuilding all of these bridges is some of the most expensive work to be done on the bayou, so it will take awhile, but once it is completed, I would expect a big leap in awareness and interest and use of the bayou. Until then, the current projects will show the potential, but probably not dramatically increase the usage of the bayou.

Edited by RedScare
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311xInlineGallery.jpg

bayoubluelights.jpg

I thought the lighting ( that they already had in place) was just supposed to be under the Sabine Street bridge.... this second picture looks like another bridge closer into downtown. Are they planning on having lights under every bridge including the freeways in this area ?

Now that I've previewed both pics side by side..... That 2nd bridge with the bridge right behind it looks like the 2 of the freeway overpasses..... actually, that second picture looks like it was taken from ontop the Sabine street bridge.

Okay... I guess I thought wrong.... apparently they have lighting in place on multiple bridges already.

Good Stuff !!

Sabine.jpg

Also.. since we're on the topic of the bridges in the area....

I don't know where I picked up on this rumour...

but its my understanding that one idea they are ( or were ) tossing around for this whole buffalo bayou project is tunneling 45 under the bayou, under the greenbelt, and have it pop back up south of allen parkway at Dallas to connect back into what we have now.

I guess the reasoning behind this was to visually connect Sam Houston Park, and Elenor Tinsley Park so that basically this huge front green lawn going up to downtown doesnt have a few ugly bridges in the way.....

However, seeing the proposed lighting plan on the Partnerships website.. and how extensive it is.. and seeing what can be done with the bridges... I'm guessing they scratched the tunnel idea... if there ever was one.

Edited by Highway6
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I thought the lighting ( that they already had in place) was just supposed to be under the Sabine Street bridge.... this second picture looks like another bridge closer into downtown. Are they planning on having lights under every bridge including the freeways in this area ?

Now that I've previewed both pics side by side..... That 2nd bridge with the bridge right behind it looks like the 2 of the freeway overpasses..... actually, that second picture looks like it was taken from ontop the Sabine street bridge.

Okay... I guess I thought wrong.... apparently they have lighting in place on multiple bridges already.

Good Stuff !!

Sabine.jpg

Also.. since we're on the topic of the bridges in the area....

I don't know where I picked up on this rumour...

but its my understanding that one idea they are ( or were ) tossing around for this whole buffalo bayou project is tunneling 45 under the bayou, under the greenbelt, and have it pop back up south of allen parkway at Dallas to connect back into what we have now.

I guess the reasoning behind this was to visually connect Sam Houston Park, and Elenor Tinsley Park so that basically this huge front green lawn going up to downtown doesnt have a few ugly bridges in the way.....

However, seeing the proposed lighting plan on the Partnerships website.. and how extensive it is.. I'm guessign they scratched the tunnel idea... if there ever was one.

Now I like this Idea alot. It looks nice. :rolleyes:

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Not only is lighting a big part of the Buffalo Bayou Plan, but opening up the Bayou is integral to it's success as well. The long-range plan involves removing or combining several of the bridges that currently obscure or hide the bayou from sight, and restrict the flow of water during heavy rains. The dual bridges at San Jacinto and Fannin would be replaced with one more open structure. Additionally, the conglomeration of bridges at Travis, Milam, Louisana, Smith, and Franklin would be redesigned to reroute the streets into 2 or 3 attractive overpasses that would open up the bayou and integrate it into the streetscape. This will make it more attractive, and, along with the improved lighting, make it feel safer. The connection to the street will encourage development of the riverbank to further highlight the bayou.
but its my understanding that one idea they are ( or were ) tossing around for this whole buffalo bayou project is tunneling 45 under the bayou, under the greenbelt, and have it pop back up south of allen parkway at Dallas to connect back into what we have now.

Can I ask what the sources for these were? The only thing I ever saw about removing the Pierce Elevated bridges over the bayou was in a rendering from the Buffalo Bayou Plan that they put together to show how nice it would look.

Personally, I think it would be great to see some of the bayou bridges removed. Lighting or not, the bayou isn't going to work as a park area in an area where it is covered by so many bridges.

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Can I ask what the sources for these were? The only thing I ever saw about removing the Pierce Elevated bridges over the bayou was in a rendering from the Buffalo Bayou Plan that they put together to show how nice it would look.

Personally, I think it would be great to see some of the bayou bridges removed. Lighting or not, the bayou isn't going to work as a park area in an area where it is covered by so many bridges.

I think originally I may have heard of the idea from this forum.

However, i googled the idea and this is what I found.

One such proposal is from the

Citizens Transportation Coalition

There is also mention of it on the Buffalo Bayou Partnership's site. However, it sounds like it was a proposal that didnt even survive long enough to be studied.

tunnel.jpg

I-45 Redesign at Sam Houston Park: Redesigning I-45 in the region of Sam

Houston Park offers an opportunity to significantly enhance Houston

Edited by Highway6
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The I-45 tunnel idea gets tossed about every so often, whenever rerouting I-45 is discussed. Hwy 6's link is one example.

As for my quote about removing downtown bridges, it is contained in the Buffalo Bayou Parnership's master plan, which Hwy 6 also linked to. It is located in the section that discusses relocating the Post Office and building some kind of park or amphitheater there. They would redo the grid around the bayou to have fewer crossings.

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I think originally I may have heard of the idea from this forum.

However, i googled the idea and this is what I found.

One such proposal is from the

Citizens Transportation Coalition

There is also mention of it on the Buffalo Bayou Partnership's site.

tunnel.jpg

I-45 Redesign at Sam Houston Park: Redesigning I-45 in the region of Sam

Houston Park offers an opportunity to significantly enhance Houston

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Thanks! That would be beautiful if they would do it.

tunnel.jpg

It is beautiful.. Probably because its so different then what we're used to seeing, it seems even that much more appealing. That rendering really accentuates the Sabine Street Lofts as THE place to live.

Anyways.. even if the tunnel idea is completely dead.. having seen the lighting and bridge proposal spelled out some.. i think if that part of the bayou plan would come to fruition, it could be just as appealing.

Edited by Highway6
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This is a list of bridges to be eliminated, moved or reconstructed, according to the BBP Plan:

B. Consolidated Bridge Crossings

1. Elysian Viaduct crossing of Buffalo Bayou relocated

2. Fannin Bridge eliminated

3. Smith and Louisiana bridge crossings eliminated

4. Bridge crossings at Milam and Travis reconstructed to create new

"Signature Bridge"

5. Franklin, Congress, and Commerce Street bridges eliminated

6. Houston Belt and Terminal railroad bridge near Jensen reconstructed

7. South Pacific railroad bridge rebuilt as new bridge for new Allen

Avenue extension to Runnels along existing railroad ROW

8. San Jacinto and McKee bridge substructure improvements completed

9. Preston Street bridge rebuilt

10. Capitol, Bagby/ Memorial Drive East bridges reconstructed

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This is a list of bridges to be eliminated, moved or reconstructed, according to the BBP Plan:

B. Consolidated Bridge Crossings

1. Elysian Viaduct crossing of Buffalo Bayou relocated

2. Fannin Bridge eliminated

3. Smith and Louisiana bridge crossings eliminated

4. Bridge crossings at Milam and Travis reconstructed to create new

"Signature Bridge"

5. Franklin, Congress, and Commerce Street bridges eliminated

6. Houston Belt and Terminal railroad bridge near Jensen reconstructed

7. South Pacific railroad bridge rebuilt as new bridge for new Allen

Avenue extension to Runnels along existing railroad ROW

8. San Jacinto and McKee bridge substructure improvements completed

9. Preston Street bridge rebuilt

10. Capitol, Bagby/ Memorial Drive East bridges reconstructed

Ok, interesting... almost all on the north & northeast side.

This BBP Plan though.... Aren't the chances of it being followed 100% slim ? I thought of it more as just a guide for mostly developers (surrounding land) and somewhat for the city (bayou proper).

Obviously some work on the bayou is taking place already... but howmuch of the BBPs plan, some of the bigger items, like canals and bridges, has actually been studied and deemed feasible.

I guess my question is.. the BBPs plan is a dream... how are we to determine, and the city to determine, what parts of this dream are going to be realized ?

Edited by Highway6
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This BBP Plan though.... Aren't the chances of it being followed 100% slim ? I thought of it more as just a guide for mostly developers (surrounding land) and somewhat for the city (bayou proper).

Obviously some work on the bayou is taking place already... but howmuch of the BBPs plan, some of the bigger items, like canals and bridges, has actually been studied and deemed feasible.

I guess my question is.. the BBPs plan is a dream... how are we to determine, and the city to determine, what parts of this dream are going to be realized ?

*sound of a nail being hit right on the head*

It is really just a guide. The only way for it to happen would be for the city to come down with some vision and put some legal teeth into it. Beyond that it just gets down to hoping that it will all somehow happen spontaneously.

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*sound of a nail being hit right on the head*

It is really just a guide. The only way for it to happen would be for the city to come down with some vision and put some legal teeth into it. Beyond that it just gets down to hoping that it will all somehow happen spontaneously.

Ok... Well.. but as for the list of bridges coming down or being renovated.... thats not a developer thing, thats a city thing. This BBP proposal has been out for awhile...

When will the city look at it, and decide which big parts, bridges and canals, will be done.

Was the BBP put together at the requst of the city.. is it a city entity ? Can the City choose to just mostly ignore it ? Now that there is this well thought out proposal... what is the next step ? How does the partnership lobby the city to implement it? Or are they already ? How do we know what, if any, the city has already flagged for future go-ahead.

Is there a City website highlighting reaction/decisions/implmentation of such a plan ?

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Was the BBP put together at the requst of the city.. is it a city entity ? Can the City choose to just mostly ignore it ? Now that there is this well thought out proposal... what is the next step ? How does the partnership lobby the city to implement it? Or are they already ? How do we know what, if any, the city has already flagged for future go-ahead.

Is there a City website highlighting reaction/decisions/implmentation of such a plan ?

How about emailing the BBP. I'm sure they'll be able to answer your questions on how far they have progress in fullfilling their plan

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For those interested...

There is a free forum tonight at MFA.

Also, since this is a RDA sponsored event, I'm guessing there will be opportunities there to sign up for RDA and to attend the Bayou Home Tour this weekend... for those interested.

Civic Forum

In conjunction with the Houses on the Bayou Tour, Rice Design Alliance presents a civic forum on the history of Buffalo Bayou and the engineering that has and will continue to affect the preservation or destruction of the natural habitat and valuable community resource. Two tour homeowners will describe their experiences of living on the bayou and how they foresee its future.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m. at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Panelists:

Susan Keeton

Landscape Historian; Chair emeritus of The Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Kevin Shanley

President, SWA Group; past president of the Bayou Preservation Association

Two Tour Homeowners

Brown Auditorium, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1001 Bissonnet (Enter via the Main Street Door)

Parking at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is available for $3 in the museum garage located at the corner of Binz and Fannin.

Edited by Highway6
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Went down to the bayou today.

P1010248.jpg

It appears that the bridge is still being worked on becuase it's still blocked off. I think that those support thingies will have lights in them

P1010243.jpg

It would look nice if they could grow ivy on the concrete surfaces like the freeway pillars

P1010256.jpg

Overall the landscaping is coming along great. Yeah it won't be another river walk like San Antonio which is cool because it's not suppose to be. It does make a great park for walking, biking, just taking it is easey and ejoying the outdoors while still being in the city center.

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