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The Houston Zoo was just named one of the top 9 zoo's in the U.S., by Travel & Leisure magazine.

Rhino holding plan review.

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:28 AM, cspwal said:

How about they replace the large surface lots that are mostly zoo parking with underground garages and put more park and zoo on top of them?

 

Underground garages in a large park would attract undesirables and would not appeal to many visitors.

 

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6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Underground garages in a large park would attract undesirables and would not appeal to many visitors.

 

How many underground garages have you heard of this problem? Most underground garages have private security guards. I've even been to the downtown public library, the mecca of homeless people wandering, and I've never seen one of them down there or heard of any problems in the underground parking garage there.

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8 hours ago, Triton said:

How many underground garages have you heard of this problem? Most underground garages have private security guards. I've even been to the downtown public library, the mecca of homeless people wandering, and I've never seen one of them down there or heard of any problems in the underground parking garage there.

 

How many underground garages have you heard of in large parks? Your second sentence answers your first. If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary. Downtown library is forced to go this route by their small land size.

 

I should note that "undesirables" in my earlier comment did not primarily mean "homeless." I am generally a pro-homeless person. 

 

I am also pro-underground garage (in high density, high traffic areas), fwiw.

 

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I imagine they would, in the long term if not the short term. They are on the small side for zoos. 

 

If so, one would think they would let that be known to the people in charge of Hermann Park master planning.  There is no hint of any desire to expand the Zoo in the Hermann Park Master Plan, and there doesn't seem to be anything about expansion in the Zoo's own 20-year master plan.

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

How many underground garages have you heard of in large parks? Your second sentence answers your first. If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary. Downtown library is forced to go this route by their small land size.

 

I should note that "undesirables" in my earlier comment did not primarily mean "homeless." I am generally a pro-homeless person. 

 

I am also pro-underground garage (in high density, high traffic areas), fwiw.

 

 

Boston Common and Grant Park come to mind. 

I think they already have security patrols in the existing surface parking lots.

Per your earlier post, the Zoo alone attracts 2.5 million visitors per year, plus the rest of the park including Miller Outdoor Theatre attract millions of visitors every year... sounds like a pretty high-traffic area.

 

FWIW, the Hermann Park Master Plan includes the transformation of the large surface parking lots in the Park Center into "a new play landscape built over and concealing a single-story at-grade parking garage. The project also creates new arrival landscapes for the Park, the zoo, and Miller Outdoor Theatre."

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

If so, one would think they would let that be known to the people in charge of Hermann Park master planning.  There is no hint of any desire to expand the Zoo in the Hermann Park Master Plan, and there doesn't seem to be anything about expansion in the Zoo's own 20-year master plan.

 

I guess the fact that the zoo doesn't come out and say "we would like to expand into the golf course" must mean that they are not ever interested in expanding. Because if they were interested in someday expanding, in the long term if not the short term, I am sure they would just come right out today and say it.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Boston Common and Grant Park come to mind. 

I think they already have security patrols in the existing surface parking lots.

Per your earlier post, the Zoo alone attracts 2.5 million visitors per year, plus the rest of the park including Miller Outdoor Theatre attract millions of visitors every year... sounds like a pretty high-traffic area.

 

FWIW, the Hermann Park Master Plan includes the transformation of the large surface parking lots in the Park Center into "a new play landscape built over and concealing a single-story at-grade parking garage. The project also creates new arrival landscapes for the Park, the zoo, and Miller Outdoor Theatre."

 

Still think a below-grade garage in Hermann Park wouldn't be appealing, but it sounds like they're making it at grade somehow.

 

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10 minutes ago, gmac said:

 

https://www.q-park.co.uk/en-gb/cities/london/park-lane/

 

It's in Europe, so it has to be a great idea! They do everything better there.

 

The three exceptions that have been cited seem if anything to prove the rule that underground garages are pretty rare in large parks. I think that a significant portion of park users would rather not unload the kids, the dog, and the cooler in an underground concrete cave and then carry them up an elevator or concrete stairwell to the surface. This could just be my outdated mindset. I also think that the people managing the park would rather not pay for the additional security. It is more likely to me that if the zoo ever expands, it will be into the golf course or the land to the east of Ben Taub. But maybe we will join the Chicagos and Londons of the world and build a vast underground garage.

 

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary.

 

 

That is a completely false statement. Private security can be found everywhere across town whether the property owners want it or not. I've been to parking garages across town for certain things related to CBRE, particularly areas like Memorial City and Katy where there is not any noticeable homeless population (except the guy with the bent leg at the Gessner/I10 intersection) and all of those parking garages have security. There aren't any high break in rates but they provide security for a sense of calm and safety for their customers and patients.

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1 minute ago, Triton said:

 

That is a completely false statement. Private security can be found everywhere across town whether the property owners want it or not. I've been to parking garages across town for certain things related to CBRE, particularly areas like Memorial City and Katy where there is not any noticeable homeless population (except the guy with the bent leg at the Gessner/I10 intersection) and all of those parking garages have security. There aren't any high break in rates but they provide security for a sense of calm and safety for their customers and patients.

 

Ok, it's completely false. I just don't care very much about this. I don't have any problem with an underground garage in Hermann Park, just don't think it will happen for reasons stated. You can have the last word if you want.

 

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I remember reading this a few years back. I’m glad I was able to locate the article. 

 

The Zoo does want to expand just not in its current area.

 

“And he wishes for a satellite zoo outside the city.

 

Already, more than 2.4 million guests visit the zoo annually.

 

"We do remarkably well with our 55 acres, but we need more space," he says. He mentions San Diego, which has a 100-acre zoo in the city and another 1,800 acres in the suburbs. "Think of a wild animal park - a safari park - that would allow for more conservation and more breeding."

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/New-Houston-Zoo-CEO-takes-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-6746267.php

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1 hour ago, Fortune said:

I remember reading this a few years back. I’m glad I was able to locate the article. 

 

The Zoo does want to expand just not in its current area.

 

“And he wishes for a satellite zoo outside the city.

 

Already, more than 2.4 million guests visit the zoo annually.

 

"We do remarkably well with our 55 acres, but we need more space," he says. He mentions San Diego, which has a 100-acre zoo in the city and another 1,800 acres in the suburbs. "Think of a wild animal park - a safari park - that would allow for more conservation and more breeding."

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/New-Houston-Zoo-CEO-takes-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-6746267.php

 

So we can put to bed the idea of expanding on to the golf course or elsewhere into Hermann Park

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On 9/9/2019 at 3:59 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

So we can put to bed the idea of expanding on to the golf course or elsewhere into Hermann Park

 

The quote clarifies that they need more space and it mentions that they would like a satellite park. It does not say that they wouldn't want to expand within Hermann Park if space were available. They are not going to come out and say, "We sure would like some of that golf course land." It would set off a political hornet's nest. 

 

There are really few institutions of any kind that would not want to acquire adjacent land if it were available. 

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