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Washington Avenue More Urban Than Midtown?


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Late arrival on this topic... I think the comparisons to FM1960 are rather poor. The street closest in existence to what Washington Ave could be is South Congress in Austin. Both are multi-lane spr

Sorry, didn't mean that I never look (I just look left and right then go). I meant that I don't have to look left, then right, then left, then crap here comes a car... then right, then left (you get

Wow, Texas Monthly does an article on Washington Avenue, and manages to overlook everything significant about Washington Avenue? How very Texas Monthly of them. Here's my Washington Avenue tour, hea

guess it depends on the definition of urban. I do like that several of the bars on Washington have their own identity which is better for longevity and results in better diversity. Less so in midtown.

hmmm...let's look at the diversity in pics on the right hand side. ;)

Edited by musicman
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guess it depends on the definition of urban. I do like that several of the bars on Washington have their own identity which is better for longevity and results in better diversity. Less so in midtown.

hmmm...let's look at the diversity in pics on the right hand side. ;)

The whole "urban chic" deal attracts a mostly educated/bohemian group, which still tend to be mostly white. I think that's changing slowly though.

All of those townhouses going in around Washington guarantee the street's maintaining the trend towards hipness for many years. Of course, if home prices get too expensive over there then it just becomes another expensive shopping zone and will lose some of it's "grit". The car lot days are definitely gone.

As for Midtown, I think that collectively there's just as much but it's spread out more over several streets whereas Rice Military only really has Washington as a major thoroughfare so the concentration gives it more of an instant effect which gives the area more visual definition.

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As for Midtown, I think that collectively there's just as much but it's spread out more over several streets whereas Rice Military only really has Washington as a major thoroughfare so the concentration gives it more of an instant effect which gives the area more visual definition.

Plus the Shepherd/Durham corridor. Heights/Yale possibly, to a much lesser extent.

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i've always considered those their own entities.

I do too, but the neat thing is it's all connecting and the same townhouses are going up on both sides of Washington from Houston Ave to the park. This is a huge hunk of Houston that has homogeneous housing and demographics AND a common boulevard that runs through it therefore, the place has the potential to develop into a Houston rarity; a district that doesn't shift personalities drastically within a mile or two.

Then watch, we'll all be moaning about how it all looks the same and how we miss the old cluster look.

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I do too, but the neat thing is it's all connecting and the same townhouses are going up on both sides of Washington from Houston Ave to the park.

let's just hope the shepherd/durham train overpass does not come to fruition otherwise that might be a step backwards.

Edited by musicman
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Is it really that hard to be more urban looking than midtown? Besides the Post property, most everything else in midtown, (the Perry townhomes, strip centers, CVS, etc), would look right at home in Ft. Bend County.
Too true. It's sad to see such a potentially great neighborhood being developed as an incongruous mess. The 002 article gives me more hope for the Washington corridor.
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i just hope they don't tear down too many of those old buildings on Washington.

i hope they rehab most of 'em for commercial and residential use...

i happen to really like washington's potential...if it weren't for that train line it'd be really good IMO.

i'd like to see all of washington lined to the curb with shops and restaurants etc with the parking lots in that back...all the way from downtown to westcott...and multi floor units so that there can be living space above the commercial development- not 10 floors or anything but 2-4 additional floors...

i really do not understand why houston developers never do this...

Edited by GhostDog
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i'd like to see all of washington lined to the curb with shops and restaurants etc with the parking lots in that back...all the way from downtown to westcott...

i really do not understand why houston developers never do this...

I'm not sure either unless it has to do with setbacks. A current example is the new strip center at Washington/Shep. I like the vague Googiesque design but I can't see why the bank had to have front parking. I suppose it's mostly just a case of the developers going with what is easiest for the motorist. Without the City somehow forcing the issue I would guess almost all new construction will be similar, except for townhouses that fill the lot. Only the old original structures will hug the street. Combine that with a lust for demolition and we can predict what Washington, Midtown, East End, Almeda etc will look like when renewed; suburbia. This is one example where a little City intervention in terms of streetscape design could really make a visual difference. But, that would go against the grain of everything Houston stands for .<_<

Speaking of the Wash/Shep strip center, the new tenant is Molina's Restaurant with a patio and soon Max's Wine Dive (still under construction).

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i'd like to see all of washington lined to the curb with shops and restaurants etc with the parking lots in that back...all the way from downtown to westcott...and multi floor units so that there can be living space above the commercial development- not 10 floors or anything but 2-4 additional floors...

i really do not understand why houston developers never do this...

The most significant reason is cost. The higher you go, the more expensive is each additional floor of residential units; the more expensive the units, the smaller is the market of prospective tenants and the more housing options are at their disposal. Also, configuring a residential building to have commercial space on the bottom may require special considerations that add to the cost of that space, making it less competitive with commercial space across the street.

Then there is the demand side. The hardest part of this is that properties like Post Midtown don't have an easy way for commercial tenants to take out the trash or restock their inventories, except by using the front entrance. So the design doesn't work as well for bulk goods retailers or restaurants, so if there happens to be a traditional strip center across the street with a vacant space, that's where many tenants will go first unless a discount is offered on the rents. Another problem on the demand side is that not everybody wants to live along a major commercial thoroughfare with commercial activity right underneath them. It is a niche market that appreciates that, and the size of that market is very hard to estimate...where that niche ends, rental concessions begin.

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  • 2 years later...

When I look @ Washington Ave it seems to be the closet thing we have to a more Urban-Historical Art-Deco type feel. I was actually thinking about leaving Houston until I discovered the area. In Dallas they have so many Urban areas for example the Dallas Design District. For Houston to be the most diverse city in the US as I have heard it seems to lack areas for artist like other major and not so major cities. I am a freelance photographer and designer currently looking for a loft-feel original brick building. I want the older look, and I am having a hard time finding that here.....I am going down to Washington Ave. to try to find something soon before it's all gone. If any of you have any ideas please let me know terrance.o.gilbert@gmail.com!

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When I look @ Washington Ave it seems to be the closet thing we have to a more Urban-Historical Art-Deco type feel. I was actually thinking about leaving Houston until I discovered the area. In Dallas they have so many Urban areas for example the Dallas Design District. For Houston to be the most diverse city in the US as I have heard it seems to lack areas for artist like other major and not so major cities. I am a freelance photographer and designer currently looking for a loft-feel original brick building. I want the older look, and I am having a hard time finding that here.....I am going down to Washington Ave. to try to find something soon before it's all gone. If any of you have any ideas please let me know terrance.o.gilbert@gmail.com!

don't even try here. Dallas is so much cooler and hip. So many more urban areas ... Feels just like NYC in some places. It has great art scene. Houston art scene and coolness only rivals Brownsville....

Try a little harder ....

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When I look @ Washington Ave it seems to be the closet thing we have to a more Urban-Historical Art-Deco type feel. I was actually thinking about leaving Houston until I discovered the area. In Dallas they have so many Urban areas for example the Dallas Design District. For Houston to be the most diverse city in the US as I have heard it seems to lack areas for artist like other major and not so major cities. I am a freelance photographer and designer currently looking for a loft-feel original brick building. I want the older look, and I am having a hard time finding that here.....I am going down to Washington Ave. to try to find something soon before it's all gone. If any of you have any ideas please let me know terrance.o.gilbert@gmail.com!

Houston has lots of urban areas with history. You need to explore town a lot more. As for the art deco style, I can think of lots of buildings in town that have it, but not a single one on Washington Avenue.

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don't even try here. Dallas is so much cooler and hip. So many more urban areas ... Feels just like NYC in some places. It has great art scene. Houston art scene and coolness only rivals Brownsville....

Try a little harder ....

This comment made me laugh so hard, I spit my coffee out....I am assuming you were kidding.

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Houston has lots of urban areas with history. You need to explore town a lot more. As for the art deco style, I can think of lots of buildings in town that have it, but not a single one on Washington Avenue.

Actually, they just redid one at Washington and Shepherd. The old grocery store. But, I agree, if you can't find the old look, you aren't trying hard enough. Try the near north and east sides.

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Actually, they just redid one at Washington and Shepherd. The old grocery store. But, I agree, if you can't find the old look, you aren't trying hard enough. Try the near north and east sides.

Yeah, that's a good one. Even still, that's the only one.

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Yeah, that's a good one. Even still, that's the only one.

Not picking on you, but there is also the old art deco fire station a couple of blocks east of there, waiting to be cleaned up. I still agree that Washington is not Houston's art deco mecca. Even W. Gray has more examples.

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Is it really that hard to be more urban looking than midtown? Besides the Post property, most everything else in midtown, (the Perry townhomes, strip centers, CVS, etc), would look right at home in Ft. Bend County.

Amen. I moved into midtown January 2000 (Jefferson Midtown, then renamed Amli) and moved out in May 2004. It went from there being nothing there other than the Spec's to a few interesting bars and restaurants to suddenly an -ut-of-place-suburban-looking-strip-mall sprawl in that time. Very sad end to what had great potential.

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^ X2. I still live in Midtown, but I've pretty much given up hope that it will really change.

That's not to say it's all bad -- it's incredibly convenient to anything inside the loop as well as the airports...by car. But I don't expect it will ever become the truly walkable mixed-use neighborhood I had hoped it would.

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How come you can say Rice Military is more urban than Midtown? There are no sideways in the whole neighborhood.. Where's the closest supermarket? is it the Kroger in W Gray? and what's up with the train passing right by the neighbors backyards? Not worth mentioning that the train makes sure that everybody wakes up when he passes by.

I think that all the developers went to Rice Military because the prices of the lots in Midtown were becoming more expensive.. and yes, I like some of the restaurants/bars on Washington, but I dont think that it is more urban than Midtown, give me a break!

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Well, the city is performing construction on the train tracks to make them all Quiet Zones (work has already begun), which would prevent the trains from sounding their horns when they cross. (Think Highland Village train tracks)

Also, I define urban as people walking from place to place, which I think Washington will actually force the issue, as there is absolutely NO parking along the streets (they are still open gutters in most places).

Midtown is yesterday and Washington is here today. Midtown has the disadvantage of being pushed up against Third Ward, but Washington seems to be surrounded by decently developed areas and Memorial Park.

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^ X2. I still live in Midtown, but I've pretty much given up hope that it will really change.

That's not to say it's all bad -- it's incredibly convenient to anything inside the loop as well as the airports...by car. But I don't expect it will ever become the truly walkable mixed-use neighborhood I had hoped it would.

I think a lot of people hoped that Midtown would turn out that way, but I doubt it was ever really in the cards. The easiest and cheapest thing the city could have done to make it walkable would have been to add diagonal parking on the streets in the area to take out lanes of traffic. This would have slowed traffic and drastically reduced the need for surface lots, thereby encouraging walking and more dense building. The best place to see this in action is the section of Westheimer east of Shepherd. All that said, Midtown is a lot better shape now than it was 12 years ago before redevelopment began.

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Also, I define urban as people walking from place to place...

Midtown is yesterday and Washington is here today. Midtown has the disadvantage of being pushed up against Third Ward, but Washington seems to be surrounded by decently developed areas and Memorial Park.

I disagree with your view regarding Midtown vs Washington. My wife and I almost bought a place last year along Washington, but went with Midtown instead. We first rented in the Washington area for a year, but got sick of it for several reasons.

1. Train Noise (but that sounds like it might become a non-issue)

2. Trains themselves (I got so sick of always having to wait for those stupid trains to drive by)

3. Non pedestrian friendly (I ride my bike a lot, and even though Washington has bike lanes, I almost got clipped several times on it. Also, there are no other major arteries to get around the neighborhood other than Washington. Sort of reminded me of FM 1960).

4. Industrial

We went with Midtown because...

1. Pedestrian Friendly (Walking around Midtown is very easy and fast with the grid layout. I can walk anywhere in ten minutes. Plus, I can safely ride my bike anywhere. I ride down La Branch to Herman Park in 8 minutes. When I have kids, we can safely go on bike rides to the Children's Museum).

2. Location (Even though 3rd ward is on the other side of 288... which is starting to see development... we are close to the Museum district, Med Center, Montrose, and Downtown).

3. Metro Rail

4. Parks (Yes, Memorial is near Washington... but we have Herman nearby, and I'm right next to Baldwin)

5. The mixture of restaurants/clubs/grocery stores/churches/businesses/etc.

6. Grid layout where the roads actually tie into surrounding neighborhoods (As the neighborhood grows, it will actually be able to handle tons of people moving in and out of the place. I worry Washington could eventually become like FM 1960 as more growth occurs).

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Washington Avenue will never...ever...be like FM 1960. The parcels are way too small to accommodate large retail centers anchored by big box retailers that have vast parking requirements. That area will attract more retail; most of the east/west traffic in that neighborhood gets funneled along Washington, it helps the traffic count, and the traffic count supports more retail. That's good. It contributes to the vibrancy of the area and makes the redevelopment of those warehouses into dense residential neighborhoods more viable.

Washington Avenue's strengths are what holds back Midtown, though, especially considering the diffused traffic along a grid and the very small parcel sizes.

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Washington Avenue will never...ever...be like FM 1960. The parcels are way too small to accommodate large retail centers anchored by big box retailers that have vast parking requirements. That area will attract more retail; most of the east/west traffic in that neighborhood gets funneled along Washington, it helps the traffic count, and the traffic count supports more retail. That's good. It contributes to the vibrancy of the area and makes the redevelopment of those warehouses into dense residential neighborhoods more viable.

Washington Avenue's strengths are what holds back Midtown, though, especially considering the diffused traffic along a grid and the very small parcel sizes.

I'm not saying it will be like 1960 exactly in terms of retail centers, etc. However, as more development occurs, the more crowded Washington Avenue will become. There is no other major way to really get around the area. To the north, you have I-10 and an incomplete feeder road because of the bayou. To the south, you have Memorial Drive and only certain roads that will let you get access to it for certain directions you wish to travel. Washington Avenue is setup so that everything pretty much gets dumped out onto it... just like 1960. When my wife and I lived there, we couldn't walk anywhere other than a couple blocks. Most of the time we were forced to drive out onto Washington to get where we needed to go...just like 1960. Also, Midtown's grid is tied into downtown's...allowing for the easy flow of traffic between areas. The layout in and of itself will allow for it to develop (over time) to be more than Washington Avenue can ever hope to be (where there are only TWO major ways to access downtown... Washington and Memorial).

As for parcel sizes, I believe that's one of Midtown's strengths in terms of allowing for the eventual development of a truly urban center. The size of Midtown's blocks will allow for very dense residential and retail centers... all in close proximity.

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Midtown has rail. Washington won't for at least a decade.

This has been another installment of easy answers to contentious questions.

Actually Washington does have rail: the aforementioned freight rail.

This has been another installment of easy rebuttals to misinformed posters.

Edited by longhornguy
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Midtown has rail. Washington won't for at least a decade.

This has been another installment of easy answers to contentious questions.

Light rail didn't exactly go over well for Main Street. Since it was introduced, many of the existing businesses failed and have not been replaced, meanwhile development in Midtown has tended to be more vibrant just a couple blocks east or west of light rail, and has even been more intensive across 288 than it is along the light rail corridor.

Washington Avenue would seem to be a good candidate for light rail on the face of it, except that the road is fairly narrow to begin with and has no good alternatives for drivers to use. It's like the Harrisburg corridor but without Canal or Polk Streets. It would be ideal, I think, if light rail were installed down Center Street.

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I'm not saying it will be like 1960 exactly in terms of retail centers, etc. However, as more development occurs, the more crowded Washington Avenue will become. There is no other major way to really get around the area.

That's precisely what I'm saying, except that I'm concluding that the crowded effect will be good for business and encourage more activity. That's Washington Avenue's strength, not its weakness.

When my wife and I lived there, we couldn't walk anywhere other than a couple blocks. Most of the time we were forced to drive out onto Washington to get where we needed to go...just like 1960.

The sidewalks and other pedestrian infrastructure does need to be worked on. I agree with you there.

But to the extent that Washington or Center Street are good candidates for future transit, the fact that they are corridors actually helps a lot. Light rail on Main Street in Midtown doesn't actually serve most of Midtown; it only serves handful of blocks at a time near where there are stops. Light rail along a corridor would more effectively serve a greater percentage of businesses within that neighborhood.

As for parcel sizes, I believe that's one of Midtown's strengths in terms of allowing for the eventual development of a truly urban center. The size of Midtown's blocks will allow for very dense residential and retail centers... all in close proximity.

Take it from a former developer: small parcel size kills a pro forma for new construction really quick and retards the rate of growth of a neighborhood. Washington Avenue has to contend with the same problem, only somewhat less severe because there are a greater number of large parcels where there used to be industrial properties.

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Midtown has rail. Washington won't for at least a decade.

This has been another installment of easy answers to contentious questions.

I think W. Dallas is overall a better route for LRT. Me personally I'm in favor of leaving Wash Ave. alone in favor of other corridors that are wider and which could probably use the development more.

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Take it from a former developer: small parcel size kills a pro forma for new construction really quick and retards the rate of growth of a neighborhood. Washington Avenue has to contend with the same problem, only somewhat less severe because there are a greater number of large parcels where there used to be industrial properties.

Sorry, I misunderstood you. I didn't realize you were saying that Midtown had small blocks. I was arguing that Midtown has large lots (aren't the blocks in Midtown the same size as those that house skyscrapers downtown?)

Washington does have some larger chunks of land... but those are leading to a more suburban type of development (i.e. Target, Pet's Mart, Chili's, etc.) and this thread is about which is more urban.

As for Metro Rail and the businesses failing along it... the problem right now is that Midtown has not yet filled in (Midtown is still fairly young). However, the infrastructure is now in place, but it will just take some time. For example, Camden Travis is being built close to the McGowen station. More and more clubs are starting to occupy the middle part of Midtown too. Slowly, but surely, Midtown will fill in. Also, we have the superblock at the McGowen stop (next to Camden Travis) that Camden and the city are supposedly planning something big for.

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Sorry, I misunderstood you. I didn't realize you were saying that Midtown had small blocks. I was arguing that Midtown has large lots (aren't the blocks in Midtown the same size as those that house skyscrapers downtown?)

Washington does have some larger chunks of land... but those are leading to a more suburban type of development (i.e. Target, Pet's Mart, Chili's, etc.) and this thread is about which is more urban.

As for Metro Rail and the businesses failing along it... the problem right now is that Midtown has not yet filled in (Midtown is still fairly young). However, the infrastructure is now in place, but it will just take some time. For example, Camden Travis is being built close to the McGowen station. More and more clubs are starting to occupy the middle part of Midtown too. Slowly, but surely, Midtown will fill in. Also, we have the superblock at the McGowen stop (next to Camden Travis) that Camden and the city are supposedly planning something big for.

The problem isn't block size, it's fractured ownership parcel by parcel.

Target is off of I-10, not Washington Avenue. And the nearest Petsmart is on Shepherd well away from that neighborhood, and in a very urbane shopping center.

If apartments and clubs are a measure of progress, Washington Avenue is already light years ahead of Main Street in Midtown.

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Target is off of I-10, not Washington Avenue. And the nearest Petsmart is on Shepherd well away from that neighborhood, and in a very urbane shopping center.

If apartments and clubs are a measure of progress, Washington Avenue is already light years ahead of Main Street in Midtown.

They are building a Petsmart in the parking lot across from the Target. I know it's off of I-10, but I still consider it part of the Washington corridor (just like all those people in town homes north of the tracks consider themselves part of the corridor too).

As for apartments and clubs, I don't know how you can compare Washington with Midtown. Yes, there isn't much along Main St. yet, but Midtown goes a lot further out than Main Street. At night, it is jam packed with people walking from club to club and back to their apartments. When I lived along Washington... it was impossible for me to walk from my apartment to a club/store/etc.

This thread is about Washington vs Midtown in terms of which place is/will be more "urban". I listed earlier why my wife and I didn't like Washington Avenue. I still view Washington Avenue as an inner loop early version of a mini FM 1960. Instead of neighborhoods of houses along it... you have mini neighborhoods of townhouses. Instead of large strip malls facing it, you have smaller strip malls. Then, everything dumps out onto one long road. Walking along it (or biking) is next to impossible. Getting around requires getting in the car. Yes, Washington might have the appearance of being busy because it forces everyone to cram along one very long road (and businesses do like that)... but that doesn't make it urban. The model works right now because there isn't a ton of people living along Washington. The more Washington grows, the more congested it will become. Midtown, on the other hand, has the capacity and layout to handle future growth and provide for a truly urban, walkable neighborhood in the future.

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They are building a Petsmart in the parking lot across from the Target. I know it's off of I-10, but I still consider it part of the Washington corridor (just like all those people in town homes north of the tracks consider themselves part of the corridor too).

As for apartments and clubs, I don't know how you can compare Washington with Midtown. Yes, there isn't much along Main St. yet, but Midtown goes a lot further out than Main Street. At night, it is jam packed with people walking from club to club and back to their apartments. When I lived along Washington... it was impossible for me to walk from my apartment to a club/store/etc.

This thread is about Washington vs Midtown in terms of which place is/will be more "urban". I listed earlier why my wife and I didn't like Washington Avenue. I still view Washington Avenue as an inner loop early version of a mini FM 1960. Instead of neighborhoods of houses along it... you have mini neighborhoods of townhouses. Instead of large strip malls facing it, you have smaller strip malls. Then, everything dumps out onto one long road. Walking along it (or biking) is next to impossible. Getting around requires getting in the car. Yes, Washington might have the appearance of being busy because it forces everyone to cram along one very long road (and businesses do like that)... but that doesn't make it urban. The model works right now because there isn't a ton of people living along Washington. The more Washington grows, the more congested it will become. Midtown, on the other hand, has the capacity and layout to handle future growth and provide for a truly urban, walkable neighborhood in the future.

By that definition, you're comparing Midtown to an area that's about three times its size.

I'd argue that both places have "the capacity and layout to handle future growth and provide for a truly urban, walkable neighborhood in the future." But since the Washington Avenue Corridor is bigger, has larger parcel sizes that can better accommodate higher densities, and higher traffic counts that will encourage new retail businesses, it'll win out.

Midtown would make a better urban environment if you assumed away all of the financial and legal constraints that hinder development, but that's not realistic.

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Getting rid of the one-way streets would help the process along. Overall I think it's too soon to give up hope for midtown.

I would think that one-way streets would make an area MORE walkable, not less. It certainly makes it safer walking across a street when you only have to contend with traffic coming from one direction. Manhattan is all about walking, and it is also mostly one-way streets except for some of the main avenues.

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I would think that one-way streets would make an area MORE walkable, not less. It certainly makes it safer walking across a street when you only have to contend with traffic coming from one direction.

It sure should but when you have to contend with valets from the Reef driving cars the wrong way on Travis, don't let your guard down!

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I would think that one-way streets would make an area MORE walkable, not less. It certainly makes it safer walking across a street when you only have to contend with traffic coming from one direction.

I would be very surprised if converting midtown to two-way streets made it less walkable. I think "walkable" might not be the word I want to use in this context. Maybe "pedestrian-oriented" or "pedestrian friendly."

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I would think that one-way streets would make an area MORE walkable, not less. It certainly makes it safer walking across a street when you only have to contend with traffic coming from one direction. Manhattan is all about walking, and it is also mostly one-way streets except for some of the main avenues.

I love the one-way streets in Midtown. It is a lot easier not having to look left and right everywhere you go (when driving or walking). I sure hope they never make it two-ways.

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Brian0123...just curious, where'd you live when you were off of Washington Ave?

When I lived off Wash. Ave in 06&07, only a CERTAIN portion of the area was walkable(but I can't say that the entire corridor is walkable) in regards to food, bars, etc...however there are a lot more wine/bars/eateries there now, so anything is possible depending on how close you live to that cluster (East of TC jester...West of Yale/Heights) places.

Midtown definitely has the upper hand when considering that everything isn't on one street...But has the growth rate slowed in Midtown? that's where Wash Ave has the upper hand. IMO, you just can't compare Washington Ave to Midtown (and it's grid)...2 totally different areas.

I'm under the impression that Wash Ave will grow more into an area similar to Rice Village or W.11th (but w/o the West Univ./Heights influence)

Edited by sowanome
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I love the one-way streets in Midtown. It is a lot easier not having to look left and right everywhere you go (when driving or walking). I sure hope they never make it two-ways.

You should ALWAYS look both ways. Cars may only come from one direction, but pedestrians come from both ways, as do vagrants on bicycles.

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You should ALWAYS look both ways. Cars may only come from one direction, but pedestrians come from both ways, as do vagrants on bicycles.

Sorry, didn't mean that I never look (I just look left and right then go). I meant that I don't have to look left, then right, then left, then crap here comes a car... then right, then left (you get my point). I've actually seen a vagrant hit by a car pulling out because the driver failed to look for him driving the wrong way.

Brian0123...just curious, where'd you live when you were off of Washington Ave?

When I lived off Wash. Ave in 06&07, only a CERTAIN portion of the area was walkable(but I can't say that the entire corridor is walkable) in regards to food, bars, etc...however there are a lot more wine/bars/eateries there now, so anything is possible depending on how close you live to that cluster (East of TC jester...West of Yale/Heights) places.

Midtown definitely has the upper hand when considering that everything isn't on one street...But has the growth rate slowed in Midtown? that's where Wash Ave has the upper hand. IMO, you just can't compare Washington Ave to Midtown (and it's grid)...2 totally different areas.

I'm under the impression that Wash Ave will grow more into an area similar to Rice Village or W.11th (but w/o the West Univ./Heights influence)

I lived at Memorial Heights Dr. and Washington (near the CVS)... so I was out of the zone that you mentioned. I agree that it's hard to compare Washington Ave to Midtown. And yes, I agree with you that Washington Ave will probably end up being like Rice Village (although a little more stretched out). Some places will be walkable, but your car will still be required. The only problem that they will have later on is that unlike Rice Village (which is a grid, with major roads nearby)... Washington Ave will have just Washington Ave (hence my 1960 comparison).

As for Midtown, I wouldn't say that growth has slowed at all. Yes, townhouse development has stopped because land values have shot up. However, apartment and condo construction continues. Also, they are building more bars/clubs as we speak (even on the east side). The San Jose Medical Clinic has started construction on their new big building too.

Also, keep in mind that Midtown has not been "Midtown" for very long. It has come a very long way in a short amount of time. Midtown is at a point in it's development where construction projects are requiring a lot more $$$ and financing than just redoing an old building along Washington. For example, here is one example of a project that will happen once banks start lending again.

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And yes, I agree with you that Washington Ave will probably end up being like Rice Village (although a little more stretched out). Some places will be walkable, but your car will still be required.

What's wrong with the bus? You do like transit, don't you? And for getting around on the Washington Avenue Corridor, it's actually a reasonably efficient form of transportation.

Also, keep in mind that Midtown has not been "Midtown" for very long. It has come a very long way in a short amount of time. Midtown is at a point in it's development where construction projects are requiring a lot more $$$ and financing than just redoing an old building along Washington. For example, here is one example of a project that will happen once banks start lending again.

As a former developer who has investigated building big projects in both neighborhoods, I beg to differ. Washington emerged after Midtown and has has turned around faster; both neighborhoods require big money to continue to evolve; neither neighborhood has a shortage of old buildings on small parcels that are suitable for adaptive reuse.

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