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Houston City Council to Vote on Installation of Informational Kiosks


thedistrict84

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Houston City Council to Vote on Plan for Installation of Information Kiosks - 5/5/2021

Not sure how I feel about this plan. These kiosks seem very large and look as though they could block sizable portions of sidewalks or disrupt any businesses near where they may be installed. Not to mention, it feels like something one step closer to Minority Report-style targeted advertising. 

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Since everyone seems to be walking around staring at his or her i-phone do we really need information kiosks? Besides, those distracted pedestrians will probably walk right into the stationary kiosks then want to sue the City for putting them there. 🙂

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2 hours ago, trymahjong said:

At Council meeting, councilwoman Kamin asked why Houston couldn’t  have a trial program as Dallas did.....?

....mayor replied no, absolutely no!
 

why?

Maybe some goodies have already changed hands behind the scenes?

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On 5/7/2021 at 7:09 AM, trymahjong said:

It could have been Alcorn that posed this question.

 

 

The question was not posed and the Mayor did not give any such response.  Kamin mentioned that a couple other cities have done trial programs, but did not direct a question to the Mayor on the topic and the Mayor did not respond to her mentioning of trial programs.  Also, Kamin allowed as to how the Houston program does, in effect, include a trial program, as there is a pause for reevaluation after 30 [IIRC] kiosks are installed. 

Edited by Houston19514
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On 5/5/2021 at 7:29 AM, Specwriter said:

Since everyone seems to be walking around staring at his or her i-phone do we really need information kiosks? Besides, those distracted pedestrians will probably walk right into the stationary kiosks then want to sue the City for putting them there. 🙂

Or they'll be riding one of those rental scooters when they collide into it. I see more of them downtown now since vehicle and pedestrian traffic is lighter.

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On 5/7/2021 at 9:58 AM, Houston19514 said:

The question was not posed and the Mayor didn't not give any such response.  Kamin mentioned that a couple other cities have done trial programs, but did not direct a question to the Mayor on the topic and the Mayor did not respond to her mentioning of trial programs.  Also, Kamin allowed as to how the Houston program does, in effect, include a trial program, as there is a pause for reevaluation after 30 [IIRC] kiosks are installed. 

Oh my mea culpa

i will take you at your word that you reviewed every word of the council meeting.

There are those of us that stream those  council meetings and take notes. At some instances, a conversation with our 90 year old Mother ( who quarantines  with me) must be maintained at the same time one tries to take notes of the council procedures. At really special instances, ones grandchildren might have been dropped offunexpectantly  ( both parents got 2nd vaccine and had bad reaction) during the HTV council live stream meeting. When that happens, one try’s to listen and take notes, or try to go over what one thinks was said and tries to jot that down. Or one happens to notice a big frown or shaking of head or rolled eyes during a conversation thread by council members and jots that down. But the Grandkids and the elderly mother  both vie for attention as one are glancing at the council meeting streaming on TV. 
That is a lot of information that is meaningless I guess; until you are called out twice for info you got wrong. So what can we garner from that?  Wellllllll That there are people like me that try to stay “current” on a particular subject that has importance to them. People like me who are still quarantine  and not going to inperson meetings. So still try to get information while other things are going on in the household. 
 

afterall that- please let me say thank you for garnering the council information. This kiosk thing is a huge issue to me and my neighbors as we live close to Westheimer and Montrose and have a fatalistic view that a kiosk placement is in our future. Thank you for the correction— The integrity of the information about this issue is important. 
Yup - wanting to contribute to an intelligent conversation  thread online about,  anticipating that will make me feel more connected during a time of isolation. 
 

 

uitiosam colit ego sum

 

 

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On 5/4/2021 at 10:20 AM, thedistrict84 said:

Houston City Council to Vote on Plan for Installation of Information Kiosks - 5/5/2021

Not sure how I feel about this plan. These kiosks seem very large and look as though they could block sizable portions of sidewalks or disrupt any businesses near where they may be installed. Not to mention, it feels like something one step closer to Minority Report-style targeted advertising. 

If the sidewalk is too narrow, then the city needs to widen it. Plus I highly doubt these will be going in areas with sidewalks that are only 3 feet. I personally think these are going to be great. We need more eye catching, pedestrian friendly things like this. 

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On 6/23/2021 at 1:14 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

If the sidewalk is too narrow, then the city needs to widen it. Plus I highly doubt these will be going in areas with sidewalks that are only 3 feet. I personally think these are going to be great. We need more eye catching, pedestrian friendly things like this. 

Is there any new developments on this issue ?

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22 hours ago, Blue Dogs said:

Is there any new developments on this issue ?

https://abc13.com/digital-kiosk-houston-billboards-city-council-vote/10584483/

 

Those that voted against the kiosks and were in favor of an app and QR codes fail to realize that when you want someone to come to your city, you don't want them stuck on their phones in your city about your city. I'd rather have visitors interacting and looking at our city. 

It just shows some of the nearsightedness by the city at times. In all honesty, not many people are going to have a random app from another city on their phone. Most people won't even take the time to search and download it.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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On 9/14/2021 at 2:24 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

https://abc13.com/digital-kiosk-houston-billboards-city-council-vote/10584483/

 

Those that voted against the kiosks and were in favor of an app and QR codes fail to realize that when you want someone to come to your city, you don't want them stuck on their phones in your city about your city. I'd rather have visitors interacting and looking at our city. 

It just shows some of the nearsightedness by the city at times. In all honesty, not many people are going to have a random app from another city on their phone. Most people won't even take the time to search and download it.

Now what could possibly go wrong ?

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This will be a new service to the city and we will gain money from it, not lose money from it. As long as they are not obstructing pedestrians and bicycles from moving along the sidewalks, I don’t mind a little “clutter” and I don’t mind the right of way being amended to include non-transportation amenities, I think that positions our city to use our right of ways for a larger variety of services.

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I worry about the noise level.

yes- I did anticipate that living in Montrose, with all the bars and restaurants and traffic noise— might give me a noisier environment than most. But fair is fair- NO WANTS TO LIVE  WITH EXTREME VOLUME AT 3AM-

COH  noise ordinances were put in place so neighborhoods had a chance of keeping noise levels somewhat in control.

I haven’t heard what the noise level will be with these things…..so I worry out how loud these things are going to be.

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3 hours ago, trymahjong said:

I worry about the noise level.

yes- I did anticipate that living in Montrose, with all the bars and restaurants and traffic noise— might give me a noisier environment than most. But fair is fair- NO WANTS TO LIVE  WITH EXTREME VOLUME AT 3AM-

COH  noise ordinances were put in place so neighborhoods had a chance of keeping noise levels somewhat in control.

I haven’t heard what the noise level will be with these things…..so I worry out how loud these things are going to be.

I don't think the kiosks will even have speakers. In any event, I see no reason they wouldn't be subject to the city's noise ordinance.

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17 hours ago, trymahjong said:

Hmmmmmm

The kiosks we’re part of agenda discussion at Montrose TIRZ…………….yes,everyone there got the idea  each kiosk has a speaker inside.

Since everyone there got that idea, did anyone there ask any questions about the sound they are concerned will be projecting from the kiosks?  Seems like an opportune moment to address those concerns.  Or, did anyone send a follow-up question to the IKC SmartCity rep (who gave out her direct email address) asking to address this very worrying question?

It turns out getting an answer to this concern was extraordinarily easy.  I emailed the company late last night and they already responded this morning. 

"The only speaker on the kiosk is for the Emergency Call Button, which is only activated when pressed and allows for two-way communication between the user and the local police. Otherwise, the kiosks do not emit any noise."

 

Edited by Houston19514
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Oh my I reached out to Sallie Acorns office and received similar reply.


- The only speaker on the kiosk is for the Emergency Call Button, which is only activated when pressed and allows for two-way communication between the user and the local police. Otherwise, the kiosks do not emit any noise.
- As stated above, there will not be any music played from the kiosks, or any other noise.
 

I am so glad to settle this

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On 1/12/2022 at 12:38 PM, trymahjong said:

Oh my I reached out to Sallie Acorns office and received similar reply.


- The only speaker on the kiosk is for the Emergency Call Button, which is only activated when pressed and allows for two-way communication between the user and the local police. Otherwise, the kiosks do not emit any noise.
- As stated above, there will not be any music played from the kiosks, or any other noise.
 

I am so glad to settle this

Now that's intriguing to find out. 

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15 hours ago, trymahjong said:

Not sure of timeline but I verified one kiosk will installed on Westheimer at Stanford.

From: Anna Baerman <abaerman@ikesmartcity.com>
Date: January 12, 2022 at 11:33:00 AM CST
To: s.         <trymahjong@yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: From S.       Avondale resident
 
Hi S

Thank you for reaching out! There is not a kiosk planned for the intersection of Westheimer & Montrose -- the 2 closest IKE locations are at Westheimer & Waughcrest and Westheimer & Stanford. Answers to your questions below:

- The only speaker on the kiosk is for the Emergency Call Button, which is only activated when pressed and allows for two-way communication between the user and the local police. Otherwise, the kiosks do not emit any noise.
- As stated above, there will not be any music played from the kiosks, or any other noise. 

Please let me know if you need anything else, or have further questions!

Thanks,
Anna
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17 hours ago, august948 said:

And to think all this time I thought Houston was a big, actual city.  Silly me...😛

I get what he's saying though lol. We are decades overdue for tech like this throughout the city. The open invitation it offers to street life is immeasurable. 

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On 3/3/2022 at 1:07 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I get what he's saying though lol. We are decades overdue for tech like this throughout the city. The open invitation it offers to street life is immeasurable. 

For those of us who don't have the same enthusiasm or vision for this project that you have, can you elaborate a bit more?

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On 3/10/2022 at 12:22 PM, editor said:

For those of us who don't have the same enthusiasm or vision for this project that you have, can you elaborate a bit more?

I'm a motion/graphic designer, and I deal with aesthetics and how stuff "feels" all day long. That's the basis of my job basically. These kiosks add some vibrancy to the streetscape. The pedestrian realm is only as inviting as you make it. For example, compare a 3ft sidewalk to a 10ft sidewalk. While a 3ft sidewalk is "walkable" and will get you from point A to point B, it's not necessarily inviting. Sure it's accessible but that's it. A 10ft sidewalk "feels" intentional. It feel's like "Hey they made this for me to walk." I said this on another post a while back, what makes cities like SF or Chicago so vibrant at street level isn't just the population density but it's the added layers of activity over the years to each neighborhood. These kiosks are another layer added to the neighborhood. The more layers and activity we add the more vibrant the neighborhood becomes. A common quote you hear people say is, "There's nothing a new coat of paint can't fix." And the point of that statement is that it takes a simple adjustment to make something better and more aesthetically appealing. The best part of these kiosks is the city doesn't pay a cent. On the tech side it shows we give a damn, because for visitors perception is everything, especially if they are trying to navigate the city. Someone said, "Well you have a phone that does the same thing." And while that's true, the point is for people to engage and interact with the city, not be stuck on their phone. Also I can travel to Chicago on my phone and never step on a plane, but did I really experience Chicago? We need people to experience Houston in order to remove the poor perceptions of this city. This is a step in that direction. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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IMG_5226.jpeg

OK, because of the above, I'm finally convinced these are a good thing. Hopefully they'll be maintained.

I just wish the slides would change at a slower rate.  There isn't time to read the ad/PSA before the next one comes along.  We don't all have the attention span of a cracked-out squirrel.

 

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On 7/9/2022 at 2:01 PM, editor said:

IMG_5226.jpeg

OK, because of the above, I'm finally convinced these are a good thing. Hopefully they'll be maintained.

I just wish the slides would change at a slower rate.  There isn't time to read the ad/PSA before the next one comes along.  We don't all have the attention span of a cracked-out squirrel.

 

When were these things built ? Under the White or Parker administrations ?

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Just now, Blue Dogs said:

When were these things built ? Under the White or Parker administrations ?

They went in a few months ago.  So they're Turner era, but I don't know if planning started back in a different administration.

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On 9/1/2022 at 3:49 PM, editor said:

They went in a few months ago.  So they're Turner era, but I don't know if planning started back in a different administration.

Big question is whether they get dismantled under a new administration 🤔 ?

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On 9/24/2022 at 2:02 PM, Blue Dogs said:

Big question is whether they get dismantled under a new administration 🤔 ?

Probably not dismantled.  Probably just neglected until they don't work anymore, and then they'll just sit in the public way and embarrass us in front of visitors.

Like almost all of the fountains in the downtown "Costwald District," and the ones at Main Street Square, and Sesquicentennial Park, and...

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13 hours ago, JLWM8609 said:

Did it work? Are we a World Class city now?

Also, how long until one of these gets hacked to display pornography?

The hacking sounds like a great assignment for the coding club at a high school.

As an alternative to porn, how about the Eye of Sauron, with comments like "I'm watching you"? Let's start creating some paranoia!

with hair disheveled: Eye of Sauron Cake | Lord of the rings, Eyes  wallpaper, Middle earth

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On 10/1/2022 at 2:48 PM, editor said:

Probably not dismantled.  Probably just neglected until they don't work anymore, and then they'll just sit in the public way and embarrass us in front of visitors.

Like almost all of the fountains in the downtown "Costwald District," and the ones at Main Street Square, and Sesquicentennial Park, and...

You’ve made this claim about the “Cotswald” [sic] fountains before.  It was false then and it is false now.

Main Street Square Fountain repairs are in process.  I believe the Downtown District approved funding for the repairs ($65,000) at their most recent board meeting.

Edited by Houston19514
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On 10/2/2022 at 11:35 AM, Houston19514 said:

Main Street Square Fountain repairs are in process.  I believe the Downtown District approved funding for the repairs ($65,000) at their most recent board meeting.

Yes, I think you are correct! I’m really happy to hear that they’ll be getting some TLC. They’re pretty neat and a fun little bit of placemaking for downtown!

On 7/9/2022 at 2:01 PM, editor said:

IMG_5226.jpeg

OK, because of the above, I'm finally convinced these are a good thing. Hopefully they'll be maintained.

I just wish the slides would change at a slower rate.  There isn't time to read the ad/PSA before the next one comes along.  We don't all have the attention span of a cracked-out squirrel.

 

That is a really good point. With the speed that our weather can get bad and rain conditions can turn into flood conditions, this is an important addition.

 

I’m biased against LED screens personally (They’re painful to look at for me). I’d have loved to see some kickass e-ink displays, since they’re way easier on the eyes and draw way less power IIRC. Plus they’re easier to read in sunlight. Alas, there’s not a lot of good tech to make them vibrantly colored and flashy (the colors sort of look washed out and dull at the moment) so that will just have to be my little pipe dream.

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