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11th Street Bike Lanes


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Apologies if there is already a thread somewhere, but I could not find it.  File this under "we can never have nice things" in the Heights.  Just as the 11th street renovations were set to move forward, a very astroturf-ish looking group pops up at the last minute to throw sand in the gears.  This is reminiscent of those who opposed the hike and bike trail because they feared criminals on bicycles ravaging the Heights.  

 

https://www.theleadernews.com/city_government/houston-mayor-to-take-closer-look-at-bikeway-plan-for-11th-street/article_04dbaf28-cba7-11ec-bd01-bf96d09c318f.html

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On 5/6/2022 at 11:01 AM, emmanume said:


https://www.change.org/p/support-a-safer-11th-street-in-the-heights
 

a petition went live today for those who support the 11th St redesign 

While I generally support the idea of petitions, has a change.org petition ever changed anything in the history of ever?  They always seem to end up being nothing more than an echo chamber of people on the internet doing the absolute minimum possible to support a cause. 

Signing something at change.org seems to be the equivalent of changing your social media avatar to whatever the trendy causes célèbres demands, without actually accomplishing anything. 

See also: "Raising awareness."

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7 minutes ago, editor said:

While I generally support the idea of petitions, has a change.org petition ever changed anything in the history of ever?  They always seem to end up being nothing more than an echo chamber of people on the internet doing the absolute minimum possible to support a cause. 

Signing something at change.org seems to be the equivalent of changing your social media avatar to whatever the trendy causes célèbres demands, without actually accomplishing anything. 

See also: "Raising awareness."

no this doesn't really change anything, from my understanding the decision at this point is only in the hands of the mayor

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The mayor put a pause on something that was for all intents an purposes a closed issue, done deal back in February. Pretty sure the pause wouldn’t have happened without the combination of their change.org petition, and the letters of opposition these people sent to the city. 
 

The opposition has 1,683 signatures and the proponents have 898 currently.  It’s  easy enough to sign even if it feels like change.org has never had any effect on anything.

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Rebuttal article in the Leader.  A bit too academic for my tastes, but our neighborhood is full of advanced degrees.  One point they missed is that Studewood has new pedestrian islands that have effectively taken away the middle land as a passing lane and everything is fine on that side of the Heights.  

 

https://www.theleadernews.com/opinion/heights-residents-support-citys-plan-for-11th-street/article_19b17abc-d15c-11ec-a130-a79a93089238.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

What is the procedure for parking on this street? Some blocks have a no parking on this block sign posted, so blocks have a no parking between 7-9am and 4-6pm except Sundays sign, and other blocks have no signs at all. Is it legal to park on the blocks with no signs? 

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Apparently, bike lanes, road diets, etc. are on the list of things that right wingers like to lose their s--- about.  The opponents of the 11th st changes got the mayor to go out and look at the street first hand.  The central argument now seems to be that it will cause massive traffic jams which will send people cutting through the neighborhoods.  But restricting traffic is a feature not a bug.  People who are racing down 11th st. are generally people who are using the street as a cut through to avoid traffic on I-10 or 610.  If you make it more difficult to drive fast on 11st st, people will stop using it as a cut through street.  That will reduce traffic for everybody.  

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Sylvester-Turner-went-to-look-at-11th-Street-17199053.php#photo-22522841

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You think people use 11th Street to avoid I10 and 610?  That's absurd.  These changes to 11th, along with the planned changes to White Oak will absolutely change traffic patterns into the neighborhood.  Brace yourself for more speed bumps on interior streets.

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11 hours ago, steve1363 said:

You think people use 11th Street to avoid I10 and 610?  That's absurd.  These changes to 11th, along with the planned changes to White Oak will absolutely change traffic patterns into the neighborhood.  Brace yourself for more speed bumps on interior streets.

Yes, drivers do actually use 11th to avoid I-10. Every time I-10 has a bad issue, 11th is packed. I live off of 11th, and have some idea of what happens. The may take 11th out to Hempstead to get to 290, or take 11th to get to Shepherd. It just depends on the issue and the time of day.

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11 hours ago, steve1363 said:

You think people use 11th Street to avoid I10 and 610?  That's absurd.  These changes to 11th, along with the planned changes to White Oak will absolutely change traffic patterns into the neighborhood.  Brace yourself for more speed bumps on interior streets.

Just want to know whether the people who are losing their sh#t over the possibility of a few extra cars coming down their street are the same people who shout down anyone complaining about the impact of restaurants and bars on residential streets.  

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I wouldn't know, and not sure why you have to be so disrespectful?

Why is it wrong to be concerned about additional traffic on an interior residential street?

It's ok for people to have different points of view.  I'm apparently in the minority here on this forum and that is fine by me.

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4 hours ago, steve1363 said:

I wouldn't know, and not sure why you have to be so disrespectful?

Why is it wrong to be concerned about additional traffic on an interior residential street?

It's ok for people to have different points of view.  I'm apparently in the minority here on this forum and that is fine by me.

Disrespectful?  You should have seen this place 10 years ago.  And what is really disrespectful is trying to stop a much needed community improvement that can possibly save lives just because it may have a slightly negative impact on your particular property.  Everyone in the Heights has had to take one for the team when it comes to development.  When I moved in, I had a back yard that was all trees in every direction.  With the exception of my yard, all the trees have been taken down and replaced with humper house additions that now use my backyard as a detention pond.  The dry area is gone.  Development is just going to keep roaring through the neighborhood.  This is the one thing that will actually benefit the community instead of the guy with the biggest bag of money.  We all give a little to gain a little in the Heights. 

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6 hours ago, steve1363 said:

I wouldn't know, and not sure why you have to be so disrespectful?

Why is it wrong to be concerned about additional traffic on an interior residential street?

It's ok for people to have different points of view.  I'm apparently in the minority here on this forum and that is fine by me.

I don't think it's wrong to be concerned but at the same time it's important to note that the city is getting very dense. The Heights is no longer this outer dwelling suburb it was 100 years ago. At some critical point, moving by car is going to be more of a burden. And if we don't build infrastructure to support moving all modes of transit, everyone loses. The bigger point is that 11th was overbuilt to begin with. The Federal Highway Commission are the one's who randomly pointed that out, not the COH or entities associated with the city. The city simply agreed with the recommendation. So for them to point it out tells me that if 11th had been built correctly to begin with, you would never notice the change. The even bigger problem is people are impatient. Your concern is based off personal experience of impatient drivers, possibly yourself included. That impatience stems from having additional lanes and enabling people to speed, costing everyone else in terms of safety for the sake of "convenience." So when you have roughly 20 thoroughfares all designed the same way, you have a ton of impatient drivers, moving at high rates of speed all with this false idea of convenience. 11th is simply dangerous, there's no other way to put it. It was built with no forethought in terms of growth and pedestrians. I always give this small example. I'm a huge sports fan, and any time a team rebuilds, they begin with a single piece (player) that they can build around to change the culture of the team or organization. The same idea applies here. In order for a real culture shift to occur, and for people to be conscientious of those around them, we have to continue adding pieces to change the culture. This is a vital piece to the puzzle, and it clearly shows with the amount of backlash this has received. These are the growing pains necessary for positive change. I sure as hell want a Houston where my kids can bike safely and not have to take "side streets." 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2022 at 10:02 PM, steve1363 said:

You think people use 11th Street to avoid I10 and 610?  That's absurd.  These changes to 11th, along with the planned changes to White Oak will absolutely change traffic patterns into the neighborhood.  Brace yourself for more speed bumps on interior streets.

As a Heights resident, I occasionally use 11th St instead of I-10 whenever Google tells me it's faster (basically if I-10 is at a standstill). If 11th St didn't move a high volume of cars at high speeds, the algorithm would send me a different way, either to 14th, 20th, or around on I-610.

EDIT: removed speculative statement

Edited by Arboosto
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One of the intermediate plans for this, which was only scrapped within the last year or so, that was sprung on most people would have shut down all left turns except in a couple locations.  It would have meant that everyone traveling west on 11th and needing to get to the south half of the neighborhood and everyone travelling east trying to get to the north half, would be funneled into only like two entrances, so if you lived like on Rutland within a block of 11th, half the neighborhood would be forced to drive by your house.

I think many that I've seen discuss this are frustrated that this is being sold as "bike lanes" and not with bike lanes being the excuse to justify removing car lanes.  Anyone in that lives or has every lived in the neighborhood knows that bike lanes on 11th does'nt really make sense compared to the existing network as it exists right now.  There is already an off street E/W path for cyclists just 4 blocks to the south.  In addition, 3 blocks to the north is an ideal wide, quiet E/W street at 14th which is ideal for adding a new E/W bike lane that is in the heart of the neighborhood rather than being so close to the already existing E/W path at roughly 7th street.  In addition, 14th is already a shared car/cyclist lanes east of Heights Blvd to Micheaux.  Anybody with a brain who felt like bike lanes were needed would add them on 14th.

It seems to me the real argument for road diet is about safety, but that message isn't getting to the people who are mad. They just hear that lanes they use probably every day are going to be closed, and then they hear that they wont be able to turn left into their neighborhood anymore (I think/hope this concern was mostly fixed), all for bike lanes that would make way more sense on a different quieter street that would connect many of the same existing trails in the bike plan that isn't duplicating another path just a half mile away.

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I'm sure to the city it's not as much of a slam dunk (in addition to not contributing to their road diet plans) because they'd have to actually spend some money improving installing curbs and covering drains on 14th west of Ashland.

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53 minutes ago, JJxvi said:

One of the intermediate plans for this, which was only scrapped within the last year or so, that was sprung on most people would have shut down all left turns except in a couple locations.  It would have meant that everyone traveling west on 11th and needing to get to the south half of the neighborhood and everyone travelling east trying to get to the north half, would be funneled into only like two entrances, so if you lived like on Rutland within a block of 11th, half the neighborhood would be forced to drive by your house.

I think many that I've seen discuss this are frustrated that this is being sold as "bike lanes" and not with bike lanes being the excuse to justify removing car lanes.  Anyone in that lives or has every lived in the neighborhood knows that bike lanes on 11th does'nt really make sense compared to the existing network as it exists right now.  There is already an off street E/W path for cyclists just 4 blocks to the south.  In addition, 3 blocks to the north is an ideal wide, quiet E/W street at 14th which is ideal for adding a new E/W bike lane that is in the heart of the neighborhood rather than being so close to the already existing E/W path at roughly 7th street.  In addition, 14th is already a shared car/cyclist lanes east of Heights Blvd to Micheaux.  Anybody with a brain who felt like bike lanes were needed would add them on 14th.

It seems to me the real argument for road diet is about safety, but that message isn't getting to the people who are mad. They just hear that lanes they use probably every day are going to be closed, and then they hear that they wont be able to turn left into their neighborhood anymore (I think/hope this concern was mostly fixed), all for bike lanes that would make way more sense on a different quieter street that would connect many of the same existing trails in the bike plan that isn't duplicating another path just a half mile away.

I wouldn't say "anybody with a brain" when pushing an opinion. The idea that bike lanes should be on quieter streets is Stone Age and backwards thinking. The whole point of these bike lanes is to allow civilians to travel around their community in multiple ways, not just up and down residential streets like the ones you mentioned. Bikes and pedestrians should have equal access on streets with businesses/stores. By your logic, all (if not most) bike lanes in Europe and big US cities were created without a brain lol. 

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1 hour ago, Amlaham said:

I wouldn't say "anybody with a brain" when pushing an opinion. The idea that bike lanes should be on quieter streets is Stone Age and backwards thinking. The whole point of these bike lanes is to allow civilians to travel around their community in multiple ways, not just up and down residential streets like the ones you mentioned. Bikes and pedestrians should have equal access on streets with businesses/stores. By your logic, all (if not most) bike lanes in Europe and big US cities were created without a brain lol. 

Most of the opposition to this is from people that are already in walking distance to 11th, in my experience, not people who need access to streets with businesses and stores.  
 

I think most in the neighborhood would reach that conclusion because i think its really that clear. Please pull up the bike map. Look at it, and tell me where you would best link up and provide the maximum east/west and north/south utility and do it most safely and with the least amount of disruption to the neighborhood considering the paths and lanes that already exist.

i dont think bike lanes or fewer car lanes will be the end of the world, but Im not surprised people are concerned. I think most people would assume that if there needed to be bike lanes east/west that they would put forward 14th and 20th, very few 11th, particularly people who live west of yale

https://houstonbikeplan.org/houston-bike-plan-map/

I also not sure I would consider 11th a major commercial street. I guess theres more things on it than there used to be but it is in no way like Shepherd or Durham or white oak or 20th, etc. It’s not a destination commercial street even now, way more people view it as a road thats needed to get somewhere and thats why people are concerned about changes being made to it with an unknown (to them) effect.

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2 hours ago, JJxvi said:

One of the intermediate plans for this, which was only scrapped within the last year or so, that was sprung on most people would have shut down all left turns except in a couple locations.  It would have meant that everyone traveling west on 11th and needing to get to the south half of the neighborhood and everyone travelling east trying to get to the north half, would be funneled into only like two entrances, so if you lived like on Rutland within a block of 11th, half the neighborhood would be forced to drive by your house.

I think many that I've seen discuss this are frustrated that this is being sold as "bike lanes" and not with bike lanes being the excuse to justify removing car lanes.  Anyone in that lives or has every lived in the neighborhood knows that bike lanes on 11th does'nt really make sense compared to the existing network as it exists right now.  There is already an off street E/W path for cyclists just 4 blocks to the south.  In addition, 3 blocks to the north is an ideal wide, quiet E/W street at 14th which is ideal for adding a new E/W bike lane that is in the heart of the neighborhood rather than being so close to the already existing E/W path at roughly 7th street.  In addition, 14th is already a shared car/cyclist lanes east of Heights Blvd to Micheaux.  Anybody with a brain who felt like bike lanes were needed would add them on 14th.

It seems to me the real argument for road diet is about safety, but that message isn't getting to the people who are mad. They just hear that lanes they use probably every day are going to be closed, and then they hear that they wont be able to turn left into their neighborhood anymore (I think/hope this concern was mostly fixed), all for bike lanes that would make way more sense on a different quieter street that would connect many of the same existing trails in the bike plan that isn't duplicating another path just a half mile away.

Does anyone else have a problem with how crappy some of the city's "safety" interventions look? The way they just build curbs looks horrible and I think people would be more receptive if it did not look so bad. The one they did by Rice drives me crazy and the space has accumulated a lot of tree waste since now it cannot be cleaned easily. In other cities they tend to raise the area and landscape it so it actually looks better than before. 

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3 hours ago, JJxvi said:

One of the intermediate plans for this, which was only scrapped within the last year or so, that was sprung on most people would have shut down all left turns except in a couple locations.  It would have meant that everyone traveling west on 11th and needing to get to the south half of the neighborhood and everyone travelling east trying to get to the north half, would be funneled into only like two entrances, so if you lived like on Rutland within a block of 11th, half the neighborhood would be forced to drive by your house.

I think many that I've seen discuss this are frustrated that this is being sold as "bike lanes" and not with bike lanes being the excuse to justify removing car lanes.  Anyone in that lives or has every lived in the neighborhood knows that bike lanes on 11th does'nt really make sense compared to the existing network as it exists right now.  There is already an off street E/W path for cyclists just 4 blocks to the south.  In addition, 3 blocks to the north is an ideal wide, quiet E/W street at 14th which is ideal for adding a new E/W bike lane that is in the heart of the neighborhood rather than being so close to the already existing E/W path at roughly 7th street.  In addition, 14th is already a shared car/cyclist lanes east of Heights Blvd to Micheaux.  Anybody with a brain who felt like bike lanes were needed would add them on 14th.

It seems to me the real argument for road diet is about safety, but that message isn't getting to the people who are mad. They just hear that lanes they use probably every day are going to be closed, and then they hear that they wont be able to turn left into their neighborhood anymore (I think/hope this concern was mostly fixed), all for bike lanes that would make way more sense on a different quieter street that would connect many of the same existing trails in the bike plan that isn't duplicating another path just a half mile away.

See these arguments regurgitated here just shows how the opposition to this is really just throwing anything at the wall because they are against left leaning urban projects like this just as a matter of political identity.  No left turns would just mean that people would have to take 14th and go an extra block or two or go south of 11th and cut over on 8, 9 or 10th (which people already do).  And to the extent people would use the streets that allowed left turns, would that mean an extra 20,000 vehicles a day?  Of course not.  It might mean maybe a dozen or two dozen more vehicles a day.  

The whole point of a bike lane along 11th is to make it easier to access shops and restaurants on bike.  11th st has over a dozen restaurants and lots of shops between Shep and Studewood (with more on the way).  There is nothing on 14th st.  And anyone who actually cycles in the Heights knows that the last place you want to be riding is by Heights High due to student drivers, buses and traffic during school events.  And 11th st would not duplicate the MKT hike and bike path.  11th st would offer cyclist only paths and pedestrians would be able to use the side walk.  MKT is shared and gets very busy with walkers.    

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14th east of Heights Blvd (ie by Heights High) already has a bike lane according to the map I linked, that's part of the reason why it seems like it would be the logical continuation of the path to connect from Heights Blvd to Shepherd.

 

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Yeah, worrying about how you’ll be able to turn into the neighborhood or whether more cars will be forced down your side streets, critical planks in the right wing political identity.

Build your strawmen at someone else’s expense.  These arent political operatives trying to keep the cyclists down, they are nimby’s that drive cars.  They dont want bike lanes because they dont use them and they think building them might be a disruption to them… kinda like how people who dont go to WalMart’s dont want Walmart’s built near them.

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I am not sure how this devolved into a struggle session against crazy 'right wingers.' There are many Houstonians who, with good reason, oppose top-down efforts to reduce roadway access. City and County leadership have utopian visions of removing cars and reducing road ways at taxpayer expense...we can have a debate on whether that's a good idea or not.  This isn't a vast right-wing conspiracy.

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Limiting left turns to a few streets doesn't make sense to me. The blocks are very short along the street and a lot of people live between 11th and 10th or 12th streets who wouldn't be able to turn left to go home from a certain direction. 

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In 2021, they found out that the ROW width between Yale and Shepherd was too narrow for their plans to have 3 traffic lanes (left turn in middle).  So the plan was changed to eliminate all left's in that space except at Lawrence and Rutland which they announced around Novermber, I think of last year.  This was about the time that "Just as the 11th street renovations were set to move forward, a very astroturf-ish looking group pops up at the last minute to throw sand in the gears." as described in the original post.

I think (hope) that they went back on much of that part of the plan, but that was what stirred up the hornets nest.  Many people living in the area also remember that several years ago they repaved 11th street in this area, and to do so lefts were blocked and it was reduced to a single lane each way and people waiting to turn where lefts did exist were backed up into long lines that blocked all traffic while the car waiting to turn at the front of the line had to yield to oncoming traffic.  It was bad, and so many now believe that that driving nightmare is starting over again except this time permanently.
 

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10 hours ago, TacoDog said:

Limiting left turns to a few streets doesn't make sense to me. The blocks are very short along the street and a lot of people live between 11th and 10th or 12th streets who wouldn't be able to turn left to go home from a certain direction. 

Are they not able to go home from another direction?  How is this different than living on a one-way street, or on a cul-de-sac?  You just get used to driving a different way.

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It would cause some minor issues, primarily on Yale, as more cars need to stop and yield to turn left at intersections where unlike 11th there is no signal, but I agree, there are ways to get home and avoid 11th unless you live right on 11th it mostly just spreads 11th streets traffic to what are quieter residential streets now. It also leads to more people from Durham having to make the jaunt across four lanes of Shepherd highway traffic when coming back to the hood from the north (and honestly I think many people already do this, or use 14th where there is a light, because the grocery traffic on 11th is already a pain). In the long run, I think Shepherd and Durham are also planned for road diets as well, so who knows what that looks like in the future though.

The problem with no turns, is that there will still be a significant number of people trying to turn (whether outside traffic or through unfamiliarity or traffic trying to reach a restaurant on this section, etc), so it definitely would create weird new thru traffic of people who now have to turn or  try to make U-turns on Rutland and Lawrence. In addition only two turns increases the chances of lines forming because multiple people are yielding to oncoming and making the turn (whereas if you can turn left at every intersection, its unlikely to be more than one car at any particular turn) and since there is only one through traffic lane each way, traffic will be at a standstill in heavy traffic periods IMO waiting for people in front of them to turn when the left turn lanes back up. That's basically what it was like when 11th was under construction when I lived in the area.

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18 hours ago, JJxvi said:

Yeah, worrying about how you’ll be able to turn into the neighborhood or whether more cars will be forced down your side streets, critical planks in the right wing political identity.

Build your strawmen at someone else’s expense.  These arent political operatives trying to keep the cyclists down, they are nimby’s that drive cars.  They dont want bike lanes because they dont use them and they think building them might be a disruption to them… kinda like how people who dont go to WalMart’s dont want Walmart’s built near them.

If you didn't live under a rock, you would know that opposing road diets and bike lanes has been a favorite cause for conservatives.  Talk radio hosts in LA went nuts over its "Vision Zero" plans for bike lanes and road diets and lead an opposition "movement" (the opposition to these things is usually very astroturfed with mostly businesses leading the way over lost parking spaces).  Conservative think tanks went nuts over Federal proposals to use highway funds for local road diet and bike lane projects.  

And your own biases are pretty clear as you give these people a free pass for throwing up what are clearly pretextual arguments about traffic while throwing a fit over any argument that WalMart and other crappy development might have negative impacts.  

https://www.wsj.com/articles/vision-zero-a-road-diet-fad-is-proving-to-be-deadly-11547853472

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-08/when-a-bike-lane-battle-goes-nuclear

 

https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/2021-03/PA-913.pdf

 

 

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s3 - it is true many 'Conservatives' oppose such efforts to intentionally limit roadways to car traffic, as you highlighted above. That WSJ oped you cited casts an opinion that road diets are ill-conceived, counter-productive projects that make ordinary peoples' lives worse...that may be a 'Conservative' view point, but it's also defensible, rational, and supported by at least some facts. Bike lanes aren't inherently bad, but there are trade-offs to removing miles and miles of roadway that are used by the vast majority of people for car traffic. Acknowledging and weighing the trade-offs...sounds like a good place to start. 

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3 hours ago, Heights88 said:

s3 - it is true many 'Conservatives' oppose such efforts to intentionally limit roadways to car traffic, as you highlighted above. That WSJ oped you cited casts an opinion that road diets are ill-conceived, counter-productive projects that make ordinary peoples' lives worse...that may be a 'Conservative' view point, but it's also defensible, rational, and supported by at least some facts. Bike lanes aren't inherently bad, but there are trade-offs to removing miles and miles of roadway that are used by the vast majority of people for car traffic. Acknowledging and weighing the trade-offs...sounds like a good place to start. 

That is not what was happening with this project.  This project had been in the planning stages for a few years with multiple community meetings where planners heard community concerns and made changes to the project in response.  Then, at the eleventh hour (pun intended), a very astroturf looking group popped up and started throwing everything at the wall to see if anything stuck.  This group was looking to burn it down, not discuss balancing trade offs.  People who stood by while the dry area was lost and all sorts of development went in suddenly were rocked to their core at the idea of a few extra cars going up their street.  I know a right wing freak out when I see one.  This was definitely one.  

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I dunno who all went and showed up to the meetings in the past 7 or 8 months or all of the meetings before that or whatever, I'm not really invested in the thing. I just used to live on Nicholson, and know many people who live just off of 11th and go to some of the businesses there.  The people I know who mentioned this to me were just people talking about it in conversation, I know a couple people who said they went to like a meeting at Berryhill in February because they felt blindsided about what the city was actually doing, I got the impression mostly that people (the ones who I've had conversations about this with) were fine about the idea of striping some bike lanes and especially in doing something about the Nicholson crossing, but couldn't believe it when they found out the extent of the changes would be made to the traffic pattern.

I get the impression that the people invested in this and the city pretty much spent 5 years talking with only the neighborhood associations and so they feel like they did everything they needed to get input from residents, but the reality is that talking to the Greater Heights Association is not the same as being transparent with all of the people who live there.  Its more akin to the "but the plans were on display, why didn't you speak up!" conversation from the beginning of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Maybe that's an indictment more on the neighborhood groups and how they operate than it is of the City of Houston. I don't know

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7 minutes ago, JJxvi said:

I dunno who all went and showed up to the meetings in the past 7 or 8 months or all of the meetings before that or whatever, I'm not really invested in the thing. I just used to live on Nicholson, and know many people who live just off of 11th and go to some of the businesses there.  The people I know who mentioned this to me were just people talking about it in conversation, I know a couple people who said they went to like a meeting at Berryhill in February because they felt blindsided about what the city was actually doing, I got the impression mostly that people (the ones who I've had conversations about this with) were fine about the idea of striping some bike lanes and especially in doing something about the Nicholson crossing, but couldn't believe it when they found out the extent of the changes would be made to the traffic pattern.

I get the impression that the people invested in this and the city pretty much spent 5 years talking with only the neighborhood associations and so they feel like they did everything they needed to get input from residents, but the reality is that talking to the Greater Heights Association is not the same as being transparent with all of the people who live there.  Its more akin to the "but the plans were on display, why didn't you speak up!" conversation from the beginning of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Maybe that's an indictment more on the neighborhood groups and how they operate than it is of the City of Houston. I don't know

I’ve lived in Woodland Heights for over 25 years.  I’ve seen a lot of changes.  I only found out about this specific project because someone put a Flyer on my gate advising about the changes to White Oak (installing a bike “island” and eliminating left turns on Michaux.). If drivers can’t turn left off White Oak where do you think they will go?  Probably 6 1/2 street.  The stupidity of the city infuriates me.  

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This will obviously push traffic into neighborhood streets which is where the real danger lies. A man was just killed by a car on a neighborhood street because non existent sidewalks pushed him onto the street. The city should focus on widening neighborhood streets (so they are in compliance with their own fire code) and adding sidewalks if they were really concerned about improving safety. 

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23 hours ago, steve1363 said:

I only found out about this specific project because someone put a Flyer on my gate advising about the changes to White Oak

You may want to choose new places to get your news.  This has been all over the newspaper forever.

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On 6/15/2022 at 9:22 AM, editor said:

Are they not able to go home from another direction?  How is this different than living on a one-way street, or on a cul-de-sac?  You just get used to driving a different way.

I would have to go 2 more exits on 610 to go back around just to turn right instead of left. I could also take 610 in the other direction and loop all the way around Houston, going farther doesn't make sense. The difference between one way streets and this set up is you can go one block over to make a left turn, whereas here you would have to go several blocks to the one intersection its allowed. Then you will have everyone else doing the same, creating traffic that doesn't exist now.

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I agree with the opposition in that some of these designs going forward that reduce the number of lanes are not ideal. However, in the massively car centric culture we have in this city, we can afford to make decisions that make environments more inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists at the expense of drivers.

We have many many years to undo the damage that our city has endured from a car centric culture. People will get used to the 11th street turns. I’m very sure everyone will find a way to get home. And once they do, they'll go on a walk and they’ll enjoy the calmer streetscape on 11th street 

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On 6/16/2022 at 5:57 PM, editor said:

You may want to choose new places to get your news.  This has been all over the newspaper forever.

If by the newspaper you mean “The Leader” then I guess you may be right.  Admittedly I usually chuck The Leader into the recycle bin.  A topic on HAIF was begun in November 2021 entitled “11th St. Bikeway.”  That topic was then superseded by the current one on 5/6/22.  Nevertheless this is water under the bridge.  It’s obvious this action caught many residents by surprise.

The opposition has 1,683 signatures and the proponents have 898 currently

“We do feel that the mayor is being very fair. He’s looking into this,” said Heights resident Sylvia Blair, who spoke at Tuesday’s city council meeting and opposes the bikeway plan. “He said, ‘I had no idea that people were against this.’”

Yes, mayor, many people were against it.  Just as Big Tex Storage was not the end of the world we will survive this too.  Let’s hope the proponents of this “road diet” avail themselves of their new bike lanes and interior neighborhood vehicular traffic is not greatly altered.  That would be a true win-win for people who live in the neighborhood.

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  • The title was changed to 11th Street Bike Lanes

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