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Buffalo Bayou Master Plan


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15 minutes ago, Texasota said:

I sympathize with your skepticism and also worry that this will remain surface, but I do think there's room for a residential building there and think that would be the ideal use. What would have been better (from my perspective) would be if the Parks Board/BBP had purchased the lot and then put out an RFP for a building on it.

 

But I also don't really agree that "this really boils down to is, do you want a narrower park or a wider park along the bayou".  I want the park to be wide where there's a programmed benefit to that width and narrower where that width makes less sense. Given the wider sections between Caroline and Austin and Fannin and San Jacinto, plus the proximity of Allen's Landing and James Bute Park, I actually thinks it makes for a better, more interesting experience for the park to narrow here to make room for something else. As long as it's still wide enough to be useful and "something else" doesn't just stay a surface parking lot. 

 

I'll of course take a park over a parking lot in a heartbeat, but I think this lot is uniquely positioned to work well for a building (of some sort) despite its relative proximity to the bayou.

 

Shrug. I guess the Riverwalk in San Antonio is an example of where close commercial development makes the experience more interesting. I liked the original vision in the 2002 Master Plan where everything north of Commerce would be cleared out and you'd have a "Commerce Street Promenade," but that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

 

commerce-st.png

Edited by H-Town Man
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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Shrug. I guess the Riverwalk in San Antonio is an example of where close commercial development makes the experience more interesting. I liked the original vision in the 2002 Master Plan where everything north of Commerce would be cleared out and you'd have a "Commerce Street Promenade," but that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

 

commerce-st.png

 

That rendering is really throwing me off. The area around UHD looks like it's reversed like it's mirrored, but then Minute Maid Park is in the right place. My head hurts! 😄

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18 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Shrug. I guess the Riverwalk in San Antonio is an example of where close commercial development makes the experience more interesting. I liked the original vision in the 2002 Master Plan where everything north of Commerce would be cleared out and you'd have a "Commerce Street Promenade," but that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

 

commerce-st.png


According to the new East Sector Plan, there will be a promenade on the North Canal similar in appearance to what was depicted for the Commerce street promenade in the original Master plan. Interestingly the North Canal would give the warehouse district a riverfront. 

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23 minutes ago, Sunstar said:


According to the new East Sector Plan, there will be a promenade on the North Canal similar in appearance to what was depicted for the Commerce street promenade in the original Master plan. Interestingly the North Canal would give the warehouse district a riverfront. 

 

That's good. Both would be better.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmcusercontent.com

The USACE Buffalo Bayou & Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report Has Been Released 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston District, has released an Interim Feasibility Report for the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study to identify actions that can be taken to reduce flooding. Since Buffalo Bayou is an essential community asset that cuts through the heart of Houston and has a major impact on parks, it is imperative that you get involved in the process so that the best outcome can result.

To access the report, please click here

Here Is How You Can Help:

1. Please follow the instructions linked here to register and make plans to attend one of the information sessions to learn more:
       - Thursday, October 22nd from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
       - Monday, October 26th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

2. Please send comments (no later than November 2, 2020) to BBTRS@usace.army.mil or by mail to: 
USACE, Galveston District, ATTN: BBTRS
P.O. Box 1229
Galveston, TX, 77553

3. Please ask the USACE to extend the public comment period to December 31, 2020.

4. Please ask the USACE to release all models and data that USACE used or relied on to analyze the different alternatives and form the conclusions in the Interim Report.    


Thank you for your willingness to engage on an issue that is important to Houston Parks Board and to our broader community!
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15 hours ago, hindesky said:
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmcusercontent.com

The USACE Buffalo Bayou & Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report Has Been Released 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston District, has released an Interim Feasibility Report for the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study to identify actions that can be taken to reduce flooding. Since Buffalo Bayou is an essential community asset that cuts through the heart of Houston and has a major impact on parks, it is imperative that you get involved in the process so that the best outcome can result.

To access the report, please click here

Here Is How You Can Help:

1. Please follow the instructions linked here to register and make plans to attend one of the information sessions to learn more:
       - Thursday, October 22nd from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
       - Monday, October 26th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

2. Please send comments (no later than November 2, 2020) to BBTRS@usace.army.mil or by mail to: 
USACE, Galveston District, ATTN: BBTRS
P.O. Box 1229
Galveston, TX, 77553

3. Please ask the USACE to extend the public comment period to December 31, 2020.

4. Please ask the USACE to release all models and data that USACE used or relied on to analyze the different alternatives and form the conclusions in the Interim Report.    


Thank you for your willingness to engage on an issue that is important to Houston Parks Board and to our broader community!

Welp here we go. Is the canal finally happening?

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49 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Welp here we go. Is the canal finally happening?

 

Quote

North Canal through Downtown Houston bypass was dropped from consideration due to the City of Houston pursuing this on their own. Cost estimates for diversions ranged from $243,000,000 to $328,000,000.

 

From page 113. Ummm... wat?!? Since when does the city have a quarter billion to do this when the federal government would pay?

 

It's listed in the alternative 6 which is being listed as the "most cost effective structural plan" so it does sound like it's going to happen. 

 

I  may be reading this wrong, but the Alternative 8 Combo Plan which builds a cypress creek dam & reservoir and does the 49 miles of Buffalo Bayou improvements for $5 to $7 billion is the best bang for the buck?

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59 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

 

From page 113. Ummm... wat?!? Since when does the city have a quarter billion to do this when the federal government would pay?

 

 

Just because the City is handling the project doesn't mean the federal government is not paying for it.   I'm pretty sure the City is using federal funds for the North Canal project.

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We are pleased to announce the opening of Carmen Herrera's Estructuras Monumentales in Buffalo Bayou Park! This spectacular outdoor exhibition by one of the world's most important living artists features four newly-created sculptures that were first envisioned nearly five decades ago. Estructuras Monumentales is the 105-year-old Herrera's first public art exhibition in Houston and only the second time that these large scale works have been presented globally.

Organized in partnership with the New York City-based non-profit Public Art FundEstructuras Monumentales was first presented at Manhattan’s City Hall Park in 2019. This major survey exhibition offers Houston audiences a powerful and reflective experience that celebrates the full breadth of Herrera’s work in three dimensions. Concurrent with this exhibition is a showing of Herrera’s works at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Now through April 23, 2021, you can visit these vibrant, larger-than-life Estructuras at the Fondren Foundation Meadow in Buffalo Bayou Park (Allen Parkway a
t Gillette Street) along with the Park's permanent sculpture, Henry Moore's Spindle. The five sculptures together are reflective of our Artful Anniversary, the fifth anniversary of Buffalo Bayou Park!

 

3zfh1gV.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Going back through images, you can really see how good the Buffalo Bayou features the buildings, even in very narrow areas near downtown. So it would be even more impressive if the city continues these types of eastward development projects, where the waterways are wider (to handle huge ships, and lose the bank spillage issues).

 

In a way, it sort of reminds me of the River Spree in Berlin, Germany. You look at that cityscape, and can follow the entire length of the developments from the very narrow ends of the river to the very wide ends.

Edited by AnTonY
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So BBP doesn't like the Corps plan, but they don't say anything about what a better idea would look like.  Do they have an alternative??

 

Quote

Is there any explanation of how it is supposed to work to widen and deepen the channel to speed the outflow, but only do so to approximately Studemont, if I understand correctly?  Won't that create/add to huge flooding events in the Studemont-Shepherd area?

 

Part of the Corps plan relies on other work by the County / City which is already funded mainly the North Canal Bypass and the demo of derelict buildings along the bayou downtown.

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1 hour ago, tangledwoods said:

So BBP doesn't like the Corps plan, but they don't say anything about what a better idea would look like.  Do they have an alternative??

 

I think the alternative would be to keep Houston's most prominent scenic resource intact and accept the current frequency of flooding with some possible alternative improvements. They knew back in the 60's when they decided not to channel and pave the bayou that there was a tradeoff involved. Why these massive expenditure, horrendously ugly, good ol' boy plans keep getting proposed is a relevant question.

 

buffalo-bayou-improvement.png

 

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53 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I think the alternative would be to keep Houston's most prominent scenic resource intact and accept the current frequency of flooding with some possible alternative improvements. They knew back in the 60's when they decided not to channel and pave the bayou that there was a tradeoff involved. Why these massive expenditure, horrendously ugly, good ol' boy plans keep getting proposed is a relevant question.

 

buffalo-bayou-improvement.png

 

 

AMEN! I couldn't agree more. 

 

And, why is it that we humans always think that we are so much smarter than Mother Nature by relentlessly and arrogantly trying to "improve on nature's process" of dispersing flooding waters by cementing over and channeling waterways, when the natural soil we have and the natural vegetation in the yes, natural flood plains does a much better job in the long run? 

 

We always seem to fail miserably (everywhere in the World) when we build in say well established and well known flood zones.  I'm hoping that mitigating and reversing this sort of bad way of thinking, man made problem is high on the list of things to be done in the future to lessen flooding around this gigantic, extremely populated Metropolis, that continues to grow by leaps and bounds in both infrastructure and population.  All for very good and very positive reasons.

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2 minutes ago, ArtNsf said:

 

AMEN! I couldn't agree more. 

 

And, why is it that we humans always think that we are so much smarter than Mother Nature by relentlessly and arrogantly trying to "improve on nature's process" of dispersing flooding waters by cementing over and channeling waterways, when the natural soil we have and the natural vegetation in the yes, natural flood plains does a much better job in the long run? 

 

We always seem to fail miserably (everywhere in the World) when we build in say well established and well known flood zones.  I'm hoping that mitigating and reversing this sort of bad way of thinking, man made problem is high on the list of things to be done in the future to lessen flooding around this gigantic, extremely populated Metropolis, that continues to grow by leaps and bounds in both infrastructure and population.  All for very good and very positive reasons.

 

Well, I wouldn't go that far. The Netherlands is a miracle of engineering, and most cities have benefitted from swamp drainage and flood mitigation. Downtown Houston used to flood much worse before they built the reservoirs, Galveston would be gone by now if not for the seawall, Austin used to regularly see downtown flood up to the level of 7th Street before they built a bunch of dams along the Colorado, downtown Dallas had massive flooding before they rerouted the Trinity River, San Antonio was able to build a riverwalk by bypassing that section of the river, etc., etc.

 

But yes, there have been a lot of ugly and harmful projects.

 

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1 minute ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Well, I wouldn't go that far. The Netherlands is a miracle of engineering, and most cities have benefitted from swamp drainage and flood mitigation. Downtown Houston used to flood much worse before they built the reservoirs, Galveston would be gone by now if not for the seawall, Austin used to regularly see downtown flood up to the level of 7th Street before they built a bunch of dams along the Colorado, downtown Dallas had massive flooding before they rerouted the Trinity River, San Antonio was able to build a riverwalk by bypassing that section of the river, etc., etc.

 

But yes, there have been a lot of ugly and harmful projects.

 

 

I understand what you are saying.  However, what I didn't make clear, is that what I'm saying applies (from my perspective since the "damage" is already done worldwide, with yes, many successes, and also many failures) to FUTURE city planning world wide, especially given the fact that human population is continuing to rise exponentially, thus further reducing available, sustainable, livable land masses that future human populations might want to live on.  Yes, "they" are making more land, naturally and man made, but it is minuscule in comparison to how our present society is depleting resources, ground water and healthy lands.  For me, it all comes down to "let's please not foul our own nests any more than we already have" since this is our only home and it doesn't appear we'll be moving to another planet to use and abuse anytime soon.

 

I do applaud some of the wonderful achievements of the Army Corp of Engineers over the decades, here in Houston and elsewhere, and I'm not saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  But, obviously, what they want to do to the bayou all the way up to Studemont, is going to cause big problems in our extremely beautiful new BBP and all it has to offer and the beautiful slow meandering natural river known as Buffalo Bayou.  So, it's just a single issue I'm taking up with them on and not an over all damnation of the USACE in any way.  Sorry if i failed to make that clear. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

^^
The Houston Endowment has awarded a $10 million grant to help launch the Tony Moran Park, Japhet Creek and Turkey Bend Wharf projects along BBP’s eastern sector plan. The money also will go towards stabilizing the banks on the bayou to preserve trail connections and prevent further erosion (I can hear the pile drivers as I type).  There is design work on going for the Park(Van Valkenburgh) , the Creek (Asakura Robinson) and The Wharf, which the grant is likely to spite further investment/grant interest in.  Final design proposals for these projects are expected next summer. 

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What’s next for Buffalo Bayou? $10 million grant accelerates master plan's 3 key projects

Photo of Molly Glentzer
Molly Glentzer Dec. 9, 2020 Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 10:49 a.m.

 

On sunny days this time of year, the charms of Tony Marron Park are many: Plentiful green space and trees, a playground, a path along the bayou with a view toward downtown. With or without a pandemic, neighborhood havens like this are important to the health and well-being of those who live nearby, maybe within walking or biking distance.

But Tony Marron Park does not have nearly the bells and whistles of green spaces in more affluent parts of the city, such as Buffalo Bayou Park and Memorial Park’s new Eastern Glades. Yet.

Change is coming. Maybe even within two or three years. Houston Endowment announced this week that it has awarded a $10 million grant to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership to accelerate three key projects of a master plan for the bayou’s east sector that will spread the green space wealth.

 

While the master plan is only about a year old, the ideas behind it have been the stuff of dreams for at least a decade. The gift is a catalyst “to give people confidence that this is going to get done, and get done soon,” says Houston Endowment president and CEO Ann Stern.

 

It’s also a prelude to a capital campaign — likely launching next year — that will transform Tony Marron Park, Japhet Creek and a wharf at Turkey Bend into signature destinations. Three design teams are already on the job, creating more specific blueprints, so other potential donors can see more precisely what their millions will support.

“You need planning money on the front end, and sometimes those dollars are the hardest to get,” Stern says. “We think we will see a lot of the other funding come rather quickly.”

Also by Molly Glentzer: What’s in the Buffalo Bayou East master plan

 

Chosen by a selection committee of Partnership board members and stakeholders, most of the signature project designers already have an impressive track record of work at other Houston parks.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is collaborating with Houston’s Natalye Appel Architects on the redesign of the city-owned Tony Marron Park, aiming to create a more vibrant central green space and recreational anchor for the East End and Second Ward. With adjacent land acquired by the Partnership, the park will grow from 19 to about 40 acres.

Asakura Robinson is designing a nature trail along Japhet Creek, a nearly-disappeared tributary just across the bayou from Tony Marron Park. That project will connect Fifth Ward residents to the waterfront. Reed Hilderbrand and Boston’s NADAA (intentionally selected as a new player) are designing a new concert and event venue at Turkey Bend that will repurpose docks and a warehouse.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership president and CEO Anne Olson expects to see completed designs from each team by next summer.

 

The big gift also provides monies to stabilize bayou banks and repair existing trail links, acquire more land, begin phase 1 site improvements at Japhet Creek and add a community engagement manager to the Partnership’s staff.

 

Those things are just as important as designing destinations, Olson says. “The great thing is that this part of the bayou doesn’t flood, but the banks are really steep, and there was a lot of erosion during Hurricane Harvey. And the price of land has escalated so much since we began. Once we identify a target it is usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Buffalo-Bayou-10-million-endowment-gift-houston-tx-15785475.php

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https://www.houstoniamag.com/travel-and-outdoors/2020/12/buffalo-bayou-east-sector-10-million-grant-2020

 

IT’S GOING TO BE A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON FOR BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP. The nonprofit organization, which conceptualized and maintains the landmark Buffalo Bayou Park, has just received a $10 million grant from the Houston Endowment to help bring its next big act, the Buffalo Bayou East Sector, to life. 

The highly-anticipated East Sector is one of the biggest park projects in the United States, and once completed, it is expected to transform the waterfront and green spaces of Fifth and Second wards and the surrounding neighborhoods over the next 20 years. The BBP’s master plan calls for the construction of 40 miles of hike and bike trails; 200 acres of new and refreshed park space; seven boat launches; seven new pedestrian bridges; and day trip-worthy recreational and cultural destinations, including industrial relics repurposed into gardens, adventure parks, event spaces, and perhaps even a swimming hole in Tony Marron Park. The plan is to also create bikeways and “green fingers” that will connect the neighborhoods to each other, as well as back downtown and Buffalo Bayou Park. (There will sadly not be one long contiguous waterfront trail à la Buffalo Bayou Park, but, on the plus side, there could be a water taxi). 

 

“The grant from Houston Endowment is another exciting step forward in the creation of a more equitable city for all Houstonians,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement issued after the grant was announced. “We are grateful to both Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Houston Endowment not only for their inclusive vision of a better Houston, but their commitment to making it a reality.”

While the East Sector project will ultimately require hundreds of millions of dollars to fully implement over the next two decades, the $10 million grant will help fund several key efforts right away, including:

  • Designing key destinations centered around Fifth Ward, Second Ward, and Magnolia Park in the Greater East End.
  • Beginning of infrastructure work to stabilize the bayou banks as well as repair existing trail links in the area.
  • Land acquisition efforts for future parks and trail connections.
  • Phase 1 site improvements at Japhet Creek to include trails, interpretive signage, site furnishings, and landscaping.
  • Expand BBP’s organizational capacity, including hiring a full-time Community Engagement Manager.
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