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9 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Oh so this passed thru city council!? 

No - just planning commission thus far. City council will be a few months out. 

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This passed city council unanimously - pretty big step for Houston Urbanism.

This passed planning commission. The next stop will be city Council.  Some council members joined the call - they’ve been barraged by their constituents (mainly museum park) to try to delay this. I ex

I'm hoping that the Planning Department starts cranking out new Walkable Places and transit corridors as quickly as possible. Right now only the existing light rail lines, the uptown BRT, and the Univ

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On 6/5/2020 at 11:48 AM, Texasota said:

Bah. And that's worse than a surface lot up the property line (as can be built now without a variance) how exactly?

 

Look, I get wanting additional screening requirements for parking garages. There are plenty of additional standards I would love to see in the ordinance. But if this gets torpedoed *because* of concerns about garage screening, or garage screening gets used as an excuse, then that would be truly absurd. Not seeing the forest for the trees, cutting off nose to spite face etc. 

 

If you don't see how a multi-story unscreened parking garage is worse than a surface lot, I don't know how to explain it to you. But even if they are no worse, so what?  Surface parking lots will also be allowed under the new ordinance. So, again, we end up worse off. Currently we can have surface parking lots to the property line, but have means to fight back against unscreened parking garages. Under the ordinance, we have no means to fight either one.  Someone is indeed missing the forest for the trees and cutting ones nose off.

 

The world does not have to be binary.  It doesn't have to be a question of torpedoing the ordinance altogether or taking it as it is.  There is another alternative; we can take a little extra time and make the ordinance better.

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I have literally lived next door to parking garages. In multiple places. And yes, I prefer that to living next to a surface lot. 

 

Again, I'm all for advocating for your preferences, but I'm also a realist. Better rarely equals perfect. There is always something to criticize; something to fight for in the next round. 

 

*If* this results in a slight delay and the addition of garage screening, great. But I don't remotely trust Museum Park to accept that win and not then turn around and push for something new,.

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make up your mind please.

 

21 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

If you don't see how a multi-story unscreened parking garage is worse than a surface lot, I don't know how to explain it to you. But even if they are no worse, so what?  Surface parking lots will also be allowed under the new ordinance. So, again, we end up worse off. Currently we can have surface parking lots to the property line, but have means to fight back against unscreened parking garages. Under the ordinance, we have no means to fight either one.  Someone is indeed missing the forest for the trees and cutting ones nose off.

 

explains how things are binary.

 

21 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

The world does not have to be binary.  It doesn't have to be a question of torpedoing the ordinance altogether or taking it as it is.  There is another alternative; we can take a little extra time and make the ordinance better.

 

then says the world doesn't have to be binary.

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On 9/30/2019 at 10:56 AM, wilcal said:

Was reading through the Downtown District's board meeting report from August, and it mentioned that the city is still planning on passing a walkable place ordinance this fall. 

 

This came up because Downtown District/Midtown Redevelopment Authority did a "Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan" in 2014, and MRA didn't like the plan because it would have put restrictions on setbacks (min 25') on "thoroughfare and major collector streets". Downtown is exempted from those setbacks via city ordinance already. 

 

They are now revisiting this because they were looking at designating new MTFP amendments, but they're going to wait because Midtown would get frozen out on setback restrictions. 

 

If you want to read the full comments, it's on page 85 here: http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/Board Books/8-8-19_hdmd_board_book.pdf

 

So this on the agenda for the June 11th Midtown SN meeting.

  • The Planning Department’s proposed plan to reclassify LOCAL streets to MINOR COLLECTOR streets in Midtown, and add them to the Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP)

    • Peter Eccles – Houston Planning and Development Department

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1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

 

So this on the agenda for the June 11th Midtown SN meeting.

  • The Planning Department’s proposed plan to reclassify LOCAL streets to MINOR COLLECTOR streets in Midtown, and add them to the Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP)

    • Peter Eccles – Houston Planning and Development Department

 

I saw that. Unfortunately I don't think that I can watch the Midtown SNC on Thursday. Will be interesting to see what they plan to change. There are not currently any minor collectors designated in Midtown, except for Tuam ending at Bagby.

 

Def of Minor Collectors:

 

Quote

Minor Collectors are public streets that accumulate traffic from local streets for distribution into a Major Thoroughfare or a Major Collector. A Minor Collector typically has residential uses, however it may also serve commercial or mixed uses. Minor Collectors typically collect traffic from residential uses or commercial uses and distribute to the Thoroughfare streets. These streets are typically shorter in length, however, may be longer in large single family residential developments. These streets typically serve pedestrian and bicycle routes. Goods movement is limited to local deliveries only. In developed areas, these streets may serve as a main street in mixed use areas

 

I'm not actually sure what changes when the streets are deemed a Minor Collector.

 

Here is the current map:

 

Solid purple: sufficient width transit corridor (lol, close Main St to cars)

 

Red: sufficient width major thoroughfare (lol, we took away one of the lanes of Gray for the bike lane this year, so also too big)

 

Blue: Sufficient width major collector.

 

 

 

dIQpoBt.png

 

Full size: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/transportation/MTFPMap/2019_MTFP_Map.pdf

 

And to read the policy statement about the MTFP system: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/transportation/docs_pdfs/2015_PolicyStatement.pdf

 

 

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26 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I saw that. Unfortunately I don't think that I can watch the Midtown SNC on Thursday. Will be interesting to see what they plan to change. There are not currently any minor collectors designated in Midtown, except for Tuam ending at Bagby.

 

Def of Minor Collectors:

 

 

I'm not actually sure what changes when the streets are deemed a Minor Collector.

 

Here is the current map:

 

Solid purple: sufficient width transit corridor (lol, close Main St to cars)

 

Red: sufficient width major thoroughfare (lol, we took away one of the lanes of Gray for the bike lane this year, so also too big)

 

Blue: Sufficient width major collector.

 

Full size: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/transportation/MTFPMap/2019_MTFP_Map.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

the bottom left of the map has a much more detailed version of the midtown grid 👍

 

Crawford and Fannin are the major thoroughfare for midtown N/S orientation

Elgin is a major thoroughfare and McGowen is a major collector for midtown E/W orientation

 

Brazos and Bagby are both listed as major collectors as well.

 

G4rv30V.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

So generalized comments from the meeting...

  • They going to ruin Museum Park and turn it into Midtown
  • Where will we park?
  • buffering, buffering, buffering
  • We're not anti density but we don't want our neighborhood to change

 

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2 hours ago, BeerNut said:

So generalized comments from the meeting...

  • They going to ruin Museum Park and turn it into Midtown
  • Where will we park?
  • buffering, buffering, buffering
  • We're not anti density but we don't want our neighborhood to change

 


It seems like the neighborhood forgets how many high density buildings it already has. Many more than midtown. 

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12 hours ago, BeerNut said:

So generalized comments from the meeting...

  • They going to ruin Museum Park and turn it into Midtown
  • Where will we park?
  • buffering, buffering, buffering
  • We're not anti density but we don't want our neighborhood to change

 

 

Did they seem to "get it" at all?

 

Even the guy running their petition said that it wasn't that they were against the changes, it was that they didn't know how it would affect their neighborhood. 

 

"Where will we park?"

 

So disingenuous. They have already put in a special parking application that's some borderline BS. 

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2 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

"Where will we park?"

 

So disingenuous. They have already put in a special parking application that's some borderline BS. 

 

this is my favorite.

 

obviously, you should have the same expectations of yourself as you do of others: you should have enough accommodation on your own property to satisfy your own parking needs!

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11 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

this is my favorite.

 

obviously, you should have the same expectations of yourself as you do of others: you should have enough accommodation on your own property to satisfy your own parking needs!

 

*clutches pearls*

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

this is my favorite.

 

obviously, you should have the same expectations of yourself as you do of others: you should have enough accommodation on your own property to satisfy your own parking needs!

 

There hasn't really been a parking issue this summer obviously because of COVID and the lack of people going to the park/zoo. Been plenty actually, outside of Lucille's lately (my god they are busy) and the area around Allen Harrison. 

 

The funny thing is that since I've gotten here about 3 years ago, the neighborhood has gotten younger but the level of wealth is greater (just based on cars driven, the fact that it doesn't seem like the kids of the new neighbors go to MacGregor Elementary, the price of the homes bought, etc). And most of the new people are obviously docs/nurses. The Allen Harrison apartments are going to start at near 2k a room for smaller rooms. The point I'm trying to make is that through sheer price of the rent/lease/mortgages alone, they are already not midtown. But with walkable places and the development it could spur, they are uniquely positioned to benefit from giving access to the funner aspects of Midtown/Downtown, while providing homes very close to the Med Center for those people. I mean hell, before Covid started I would see golf carts from the Med Center dropping off/picking people up from their homes since its so close. So much potential here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is finally going in front of Council on Wednesday. Deadline to register to call is tomorrow at 5 PM. I would encourage everyone that pro urbanism to call in, as the NIMBY's always have an outsized showing:

 

 

To speak remotely at the Walkable Places Hearing on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
•    All speakers must register in advance (Tuesday July 21st, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.). The hearing is posted to begin at 9:00 a.m. but may begin a little later.
•    If you did not register in advance, you will not be recognized to speak. 
•    To sign up to speak, please call the City Secretary’s Office at 832-393-1100. 
o    If you need translation services, please notify staff when registering. 
•    You will need to call in prior to the start of the meeting.  The number to call is: (936) 755-1521; Conference ID# 499 723 543#.

Options for watching the meeting:
•    HTV: https://www.houstontx.gov/htv/index.html
•    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/HoustonTelevision/videos/
 

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Just received this message from the Museum Park Folks:

 

The Planning Department is set to present the Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development ordinances to City Council tomorrow, July 21, 2:00 p.m. (public session).  This hearing will likely be followed by Council’s vote on the ordinances July 29.

MPNA is asking that Museum Park be omitted from the TOD for at least a year to allow our stakeholders to fully understand the impact of the proposed ordinances, while also pursuing possible Walkable Places designation and buffering ordinances to protect our current residents from light/noise pollution.  Buffering is critical to the quality of life our neighbors enjoy. While TOD ordinances are designed to encourage development of dense housing in the neighborhood, we currently have no protections in place to mitigate the impact of light and noise typically associated with high-rise developments.

To review more detailed concerns raised by MPSN and MPNA, see May 22 News Posting located on MPNA website.

You can reach out to the Mayor and Council Members to express your opinion regarding TOD.  Attached you will find a sample letter for that purpose.  Contact information for the Mayor’s Office and Council Members is listed below.

A grass-roots effort spearheaded by Dale Furrow and Barbara McGuffey earlier submitted a petition to the Planning Commission.  You can access that website containing detailed information and a history of efforts by MPSN/MPNA and residents here.
 

Mayor:

Sylvestor.Turner@houstontx.gov

City of Houston Council Members:

District A                      Amy Peck                                        districta@houstontx.gov

District B                     Jerry Davis                                       districtb@houstontx.gov

District C                     Abbie Kamin                                     districtc@houstontx.gov

District D                     Carolyn Evans-Shabazz                   districtd@houstontx.gov

District E                     Dave Martin                                       districte@houstontx.gov

District F                     Tiffany Thomas                                  districtf@houstontx.gov

District G                     Greg Davis                                        districtg@houstontx.gov

District H                     Karla Cisneros                                  districth@houstontx.gov

District I                       Robert Gallegos                                districti@houstontx.gov

District J                      Edward Pollard                                  districtj@houstontx.gov

District K                     Marthat Castex-Tatum                       districtk@houstontx.gov

At Large 1                   Mike Knox                                          atlarge1@houstontx.gov

At Large 2                   David Robinson                                 atlarge2@houstontx.gov

At Large 3                   Michael Kubosh                                 atlarge3@houstontx.gov

At Large 4                   Letitia Plummer                                 atlarge4@houstontx.gov

At Large 5                   Sallie Alcorn                                       atlarge5@houstontx.gov

                       

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It sounds like the museum park people are all reading from the same general thing. Also, whats hilarious is that the people against it are generally old, so they have been having technical difficulties apparently using a conference call system, lmao. I spoke momentarily, but I'll follow up with Shabazz, I was super disappointed with her comments. So bad. Should I include some of the other council members?

 

MPNA does some very good things for the neighborhood, but they really don't talk for all of us. 

 

They cited some things like Light and Noise and Buffering that I have no no idea what they are talking about. The neighborhood is quiet, and honestly kind of too dark at night. I deal with the noise of the Allen Harrison development but their construction manager has a number of us on an email list and has been working with us on things the immediate neighbors would like to see. Great. MPNA comes off as anti-development which is whatever, but it felt like they were are pointing to the Southmore as a buffering problem...bro the Southmore is a great development and to me anchors that part of the neighborhood along with the Asia Society Center. Property values for people people around the Southmore are far most stable than the people near 59 and the intersection of 59/Almeda (trust me, I've been looking at other neighborhood house values for multiple years). The trees and esplanade by them is the best kept one on Caroline outside of the two by the park. Also, there are maybe 15 homes near the Southmore? The Southmore even employs its own constable, which MPNA has been trying to do for the neighborhood but hasn't been able to get the cash together for. Museum District people are lucky, they've gotten some high end development that gives them density other neighborhoods don't have without the negative externalities some may believe comes with such development.  

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40 minutes ago, X.R. said:

It sounds like the museum park people are all reading from the same general thing. Also, whats hilarious is that the people against it are generally old, so they have been having technical difficulties apparently using a conference call system, lmao. I spoke momentarily, but I'll follow up with Shabazz, I was super disappointed with her comments. So bad. Should I include some of the other council members?

 

MPNA does some very good things for the neighborhood, but they really don't talk for all of us. 

 

They cited some things like Light and Noise and Buffering that I have no no idea what they are talking about. The neighborhood is quiet, and honestly kind of too dark at night. I deal with the noise of the Allen Harrison development but their construction manager has a number of us on an email list and has been working with us on things the immediate neighbors would like to see. Great. MPNA comes off as anti-development which is whatever, but it felt like they were are pointing to the Southmore as a buffering problem...bro the Southmore is a great development and to me anchors that part of the neighborhood along with the Asia Society Center. Property values for people people around the Southmore are far most stable than the people near 59 and the intersection of 59/Almeda (trust me, I've been looking at other neighborhood house values for multiple years). The trees and esplanade by them is the best kept one on Caroline outside of the two by the park. Also, there are maybe 15 homes near the Southmore? The Southmore even employs its own constable, which MPNA has been trying to do for the neighborhood but hasn't been able to get the cash together for. Museum District people are lucky, they've gotten some high end development that gives them density other neighborhoods don't have without the negative externalities some may believe comes with such development.  

 

Yeah, there was some pretty clear misniformation/misunderstanding for most of the Museum Park people. They act like this is going to cause more development around them, but it really won't, mainly just on the main transit corridor. And most of the neighborhood is exempt from regulations too. I don't get it.

It feels like they were just being obstinate because they weren't getting what they wanted out of wholly separate buffering ordinances. Which this isn't meant to touch, so why are they trying to just stop it in its tracks? Seems silly to me. As always, the anti-prop people are drastically overrepresented. I couldn't speak because I couldn't connect in the city's number, it kept dropping.

On the bright side, it seemed like the Mayor and most of the Councillors were in favor of the proposal. Does anyone know how exactly voting works on the city council? Do they need a simple majority, or super majority? Does the mayor have any powers voting for or against the proposal?

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I was pleasantly surprised at how many people called in support of the ordinance.

 

It's unfortunate that the MPNA/MPSN can make a claim on how the entire neighborhood feels. Most of the residential neighborhood isn't really even included in the TOD ordinance given that Museum Park really has only one true light rail station. Whatever development that comes with the TOD will only improve the neighborhood (sidewalks, curbs, storefronts, trees) and hopefully help get rid of the big surface parking lots.

 

I applaud the mayor for wanting to push this through without delays. I feel much better about the outcome knowing he's fully on board.

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This is exciting for the city as a whole. I like the idea of making them exempt for a year so they can get their ish together on what's going on. 

On 7/22/2020 at 2:58 PM, HNathoo said:

I was pleasantly surprised at how many people called in support of the ordinance.

 

It's unfortunate that the MPNA/MPSN can make a claim on how the entire neighborhood feels. Most of the residential neighborhood isn't really even included in the TOD ordinance given that Museum Park really has only one true light rail station. Whatever development that comes with the TOD will only improve the neighborhood (sidewalks, curbs, storefronts, trees) and hopefully help get rid of the big surface parking lots.

 

I applaud the mayor for wanting to push this through without delays. I feel much better about the outcome knowing he's fully on board.

People are ready for change. 

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So, I haven't heard anything else on this, but I thought the vote was supposed to be this week. Anyone know when we'll hear if it all got approved? Still confused on how exactly the city council votes and such.

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1 hour ago, HouTXRanger said:

So, I haven't heard anything else on this, but I thought the vote was supposed to be this week. Anyone know when we'll hear if it all got approved? Still confused on how exactly the city council votes and such.

 

It's expected to be on the 8/5/2020 agenda. Please e-mail the mayor and council members expressing your support.

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32 minutes ago, HNathoo said:

This passed city council unanimously - pretty big step for Houston Urbanism.

 

Big win. Emailed the council members after meeting, I'm hoping they received enough support post meeting for them to feel comfortable with their votes. Mayor Turner being such a stalwart in defense of the ordinance probably had a huge impact. 

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This is huge. Well now we can expect denser development. I'm excited to see what we start to get the next 3 to 5 years. I bet you major thoroughfares like Richmond and Montrose are going to change dramatically. 

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I'm hoping that the Planning Department starts cranking out new Walkable Places and transit corridors as quickly as possible. Right now only the existing light rail lines, the uptown BRT, and the University BRT will be designated as corridors. They need to add every planned BRT line, Light rail extension, BOOST line, and any other high frequency bus line immediately. The 82 (lower Westheimer) needs to be a transit corridor yesterday. 

 

And then, for the first round of walkable places:

  • Washington Corridor
  • All of Montrose
  • W 19th St
  • White Oak
  • Yale
  • Shepherd
  • Durham
  • Rice Village
  • EaDo
  • N Main

...and lots of other places

 

 

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

This is huge. Well now we can expect denser development. I'm excited to see what we start to get the next 3 to 5 years. I bet you major thoroughfares like Richmond and Montrose are going to change dramatically. 

 

I very honestly would add the areas around the current rail lines to those two streets. Midtown, just by the buildings that are already there, give a glimpse of what the rail corridors could end up looking like, specifically that area by the Continental Club and a few streets north. All that land around Wheeler (that Rice/Mann don't already own) and south of it, the land south of TMC going to NRG, and the area going southeast of the soccer stadium can finally have development that makes sense and not just random smatterings of...whatever. 

 

 

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Taking inspiration from Luminare, I decided to map where the new walkable places form-based code will go into affect by parcel, rather than just which streets are impacted. I think that shows the real extent, even just of these first three walkable places + the existing transit corridors, a lot better.

 

Warning: this is *very* rough. I prioritized speed over precision, because these shapes get real complicated and determining current parcel boundaries is time consuming. 

 

Very much a work in progress: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1Bqs-VU-wmzU1J2JeTbp9MsLBNM2LGSWv&usp=sharing

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27 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Taking inspiration from Luminare, I decided to map where the new walkable places form-based code will go into affect by parcel, rather than just which streets are impacted. I think that shows the real extent, even just of these first three walkable places + the existing transit corridors, a lot better.

 

Warning: this is *very* rough. I prioritized speed over precision, because these shapes get real complicated and determining current parcel boundaries is time consuming. 

 

Very much a work in progress: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1Bqs-VU-wmzU1J2JeTbp9MsLBNM2LGSWv&usp=sharing

Very nice! I hope the Montrose TIRZ applies for Walkable Places designation soon, it'll really improve all the development they're trying to do on Westheimer (like the place that just bought the old Half Price Books stripcenter)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/5/2020 at 4:00 PM, Texasota said:

I'm hoping that the Planning Department starts cranking out new Walkable Places and transit corridors as quickly as possible. Right now only the existing light rail lines, the uptown BRT, and the University BRT will be designated as corridors. They need to add every planned BRT line, Light rail extension, BOOST line, and any other high frequency bus line immediately. The 82 (lower Westheimer) needs to be a transit corridor yesterday. 

 

And then, for the first round of walkable places:

  • Washington Corridor
  • All of Montrose
  • W 19th St
  • White Oak
  • Yale
  • Shepherd
  • Durham
  • Rice Village
  • EaDo
  • N Main

...and lots of other places

 

 

 

I think it'll be very interesting to see how the first WP corridors will go. TOD is all automatic, but WP can be petitioned by the city OR by the property owners. Also, WP designation still has to be approved by City Council. It also appears that WP corridors can be as small as one road segment. Would hate to see a single block opting out or something silly like that.

 

I think that I read that some areas have already requested WP applications, but that they aren't done yet. 

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Given that the ordinance doesn't go into effect into October, I'm hoping we start hearing about additional walkable places after that.

 

As to to the Transit Corridors - they are not exactly automatic. One element of the updated ordinance is that it give the Planning Director the authority to designate transit corridors. Once they're designated, primary/secondary street designation kicks in based on proximity to stops/stations.

 

I *think* that's why the University line transit corridor only has secondary streets - it's based on proposed/planned station locations, but those could change for the final build.

 

So right now, the only transit corridors are the existing light rail lines, the new uptown BRT, and the planned University BRT between Uptown and UH. 

 

What I would love to see is all planned light rail extensions, BRT lines, *and* high frequency bus/BOOST lines made transit corridors as well. Some of those have final station locations, but for those that don't they could take the University line approach and just do secondary streets until final stations are decided on.

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10 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Given that the ordinance doesn't go into effect into October, I'm hoping we start hearing about additional walkable places after that.

 

As to to the Transit Corridors - they are not exactly automatic. One element of the updated ordinance is that it give the Planning Director the authority to designate transit corridors. Once they're designated, primary/secondary street designation kicks in based on proximity to stops/stations.

 

I *think* that's why the University line transit corridor only has secondary streets - it's based on proposed/planned station locations, but those could change for the final build.

 

So right now, the only transit corridors are the existing light rail lines, the new uptown BRT, and the planned University BRT between Uptown and UH. 

 

What I would love to see is all planned light rail extensions, BRT lines, *and* high frequency bus/BOOST lines made transit corridors as well. Some of those have final station locations, but for those that don't they could take the University line approach and just do secondary streets until final stations are decided on.

 

Ok, so I was confused about this. Talked with someone that was involved with the process, and they said that the secondary streets for University Line were added in now but the primary streets wouldn't start until the BRT stations are actually built and that there were no immediate plans to have any additional transit corridors designated at this time. Secondary TOD rules are opt-in, so by doing it this way, they aren't forcing anyone to do anything, but allowing new development to make changes since the BRT plan is gonna happen.

 

I initially suggested (ok, complained) that Westheimer with the 82 service, and thousands of riders/day should qualify under TOD as well as the new BOOST lines and was basically told no. I think they are still pretty worried about rocking the boat with city council and land owners and they need to continue to make incremental steps at this time. Remember Climate Action Plan recommends eliminating all parking minimums by 2030 inside at least 610. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the planning department's platting update email:

 

Quote
Effective October 1, 2020, the Planning and Development Department will provide applications for Walkable Places Plan (WPP), TOD amendments, Special Parking Area (SPAs), modification of sidewalks and pedestrian realm standards.
  • All sidewalk permits will be regulated by the Planning and Development Department. Sidewalks widths will be determined by the (WPP) or by the TOD street classification. Under these requirements, sidewalk widths will vary from 5’ to 10’. Applicants may also apply for a waiver of the modification of the sidewalk standards; application fee is $1,144.
  • All modification of existing buildings within a WPP and TOD Streets will be routed to the Planning Department for review. Developers will be guided to provide a pedestrian area that will incorporate a wider sidewalk, safety buffer, and enhanced landscaping. These new requirements will increase the buildable area of developments by reducing the building line along the street and reducing the number of parking spaces required by the code.
With or without establishing a WPP, developers will have the option to create a Special Parking Area (SPA) for any small neighborhood in Houston. The SPA process has been amended and simplified to assist developers with high parking demands.

 

Nothing we didn't already know, except that it's interesting that applicants can try to get a waiver on the sidewalk requirements. 

 

Also will be interesting to see how many SPAs are requested/granted. It was a mega PITA before, so hopefully it's actually easier now. 

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11 hours ago, wilcal said:

From the planning department's platting update email:

 

 

Nothing we didn't already know, except that it's interesting that applicants can try to get a waiver on the sidewalk requirements. 

 

Also will be interesting to see how many SPAs are requested/granted. It was a mega PITA before, so hopefully it's actually easier now. 

Is this in place for areas that could be exceptions to the 5’ minimum? Like an area where the placing a 5’ sidewalk seems unnecessary

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I really don't think that's the idea, but where would less than a 5' sidewalk be preferable? A shared street/woonerf? Otherwise, if you are going to have separate sidewalks, 5' really does need to be the minimum.

 

I would really hope exceptions are only made for the buffer zones between the clear sidewalk and the curb, and *only* if there's just not enough space (like on Harrisburg) because the street was widened but there are still a few 0' lot line buildings. Ultimately I want to see the lane narrowed and some of that clawed back for pedestrians of course.

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