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s3mh

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s3mh last won the day on January 10 2013

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  1. The only streets where left turns have been restricted are Heights, Allston, Dorothy and Nicholson. Restricting a left turn on Heights was overdue as people waiting to make a left turn would often block traffic and cars would end up blocking Heights because there is so little room in the middle of Heights Blvd. As for the other streets, they are all close to Shep or Yale. It is not like you have to drive an extra mile to get to those streets. You either turn early and drive down a block and back or turn from Yale or Shep on to 10th or 12th.
  2. Definitely time to start emailing the mayor and Abby Kamin. I think Whitmire thinks he will be able to just rip out the bike lanes and people will get over it. He is in ask for forgiveness, not permission mode. And as for his crack about enforcing speed limits, etc., we have been there and done that. They put up a radar detection sign and had HPD out writing tickets. It was like fighting against the tide and did nothing.
  3. Nick Wong headed up UB Preserv. It was outstanding. This new restaurant should be good.
  4. This actually is an argument that shows the opposition is more deeply moored in the politics than in any real motivation on balancing bike/pedestrian access in the Heights with the need for people to drive their Land Rovers a half mile to go to a restaurant. When I moved to the Heights, we had two coffee shops (Cricket's and Antidote). There are now a dozen, not even counting Starbucks. Since then, the neighborhood has added about 10,000 multifamily units, townhome farms, and lots of retail. Many on here have complained about parking minimums and noted that they were mostly a product of complaints by near by residents about people using street parking on their streets and were not necessary because density in the Heights makes it possible to walk or bike to retail development. So, then why in the world would you put in a bike path on a street that has no retail development and keep 11th street as a death trap for anyone who dares to cross it from the north or south? The whole point of bike and pedestrian access is to allow people to have access to the retail areas in the Heights so we can keep expanding retail without having issues with parking. A bike lane on 14th does nothing to improve bike access to retail in the Heights.
  5. There were multiple versions of the redesign that were done in order to address complaints before the final plan was put into place. And that goes back to my long post about the motivations. I believe that a good bit of the opposition is driven by political ideology and not any real concern about traffic and public safety. They just want to score a win against the libs and see this as a chance win one for the (insert right wing Trump equivalent to the "gipper").
  6. I am calling these people out because they are not coming at this in good faith and with public safety in mind. They are motivated by right wing social media, podcasts, websites, etc. and target the soft underbellies of local politics so they can feel empowered and like they got a win. Very little difference between the people going after bike lanes motivated on conspiracy theories about 15 minute cities and those infiltrating school boards to ban books based on a Victorian era standard of decency. People need to know where these people are coming from and that they can be highly organized and very determined so we don't sit on our hands and just think that these issues will work themselves out for the best.
  7. I have no direct knowledge of anyone's political leanings, but my "walks like a duck" instinct tell me that there are a good number of 11th street opponents who are coming at this not from any genuine concern about traffic and public safety, but are acting on right wing conspiracy theories over 15 minute cities and project zero. The right wing conspiracy theory is that projects that are intended to make communities more bike and pedestrian friendly are just the beginning of extensive government control over people's movements to the point of a China-like society with CCTV monitoring of everyone and social credit scores. Ultimately, the conspiracy theory is that 15 minute cities are just the beginning of a plan to imprison people. This conspiracy theory has gone as far as spawning waves of tik toks and social media posts where people claim that the Texas panhandle fires were the result of Amarillo, Texas adopting a "comprehensive plan", which they believe is code for 15 minute cities planning and eventually having George Soros imprison everyone. Of course, that is the far right extreme. Most opponents of 11ht street who are on the right are just coming at this from the usual culture war perspective of any effort to promote biking and pedestrian access being a misguided leftist way of saving the environment by unnecessarily burdening people driving their F250s to their office downtown (if they can fit in the garage). This just becomes even more apparent when you look at the arguments being made. There are basically three main talking points. Traffic on 11th street is now bad. Emergency vehicles can't get through. Traffic is spilling over to neighborhood streets. These are familiar arguments because they have been advanced by people who are concerned about the lack of zoning and overdevelopment that hurts the existing residential neighborhoods. The right wing response to that has always been "tough sh#t." If you do not want traffic, move to the burbs. Many neighborhoods have complained about people parking on their narrow streets for near by commercial development that then makes it hard for emergency vehicles to get through. And the city does nothing about it. But now that those externalities are the result of a project that benefits pedestrians and cyclists (and not private profits), suddenly those impacts are a burden that no one should bear and the improvements cannot be ripped out soon enough. Point is that everyone in the Heights has been taking one for the team with increased traffic, on street parking spillover from commercial development and issue with emergency vehicle access (which is probably the least of the problems for 11th street as 14th st is also an emergency corridor) in order to build more apartments and retail development, etc. in the neighborhood. If you are going to through a fit over those externalities, then you cannot also wag your finger at everyone else and squawk "Houston has no zoning" when those issues are raised about private development.
  8. I live a few blocks away from 11th street on the west side of Heights Blvd. I walk, run, bike and drive around this area all the time and have been doing so since I moved into the neighborhood 15 years ago. There has been no noticeable change in cut through traffic as a result of the changes on 11th street. If you take W 8th instead of 11th, you are not saving any time as you hit multiple stop signs and have to weave back over to Shep. There has always been more traffic W 8th versus W9 or 10 because there is a school and church on that street and a lot more traffic coming through MKT. There is also a busy daycare on Rutland. But the lion share goes to MKT.
  9. They are moving to Post HTX. No idea what will happen to the building on Rutland.
  10. Best restaurant news in the Heights in years. Magnol is amazing. I have been hoping that they would move to the Heights for years.
  11. The realtor on the first floor is also moving out. I would guess that the first floor space could be put back together into a single restaurant space like it was when it was Heights General Store.
  12. For the next three years, whenever a neighborhood has an urgent infrastructure need, they should go to city council and ask Whitmire to get it done. Then, when Whitmire tells them that there is a lengthy public improvement process with a lot of projects already in line, the neighborhood can then say "yeah, but what about Houston Ave?" The speed at which this is getting done is nothing more than a political favor with one set of constituents in the city getting to cut the line over others. Quitmire is going to set himself up for a tough reelection fight in 3 years if he is just going to give out goodies to connected constituents for the next three years.
  13. The main point of the 11th street redesign was not just to put in bike lanes. It was to make it possible for pedestrians and cyclists to cross 11th street without having to frogger through 4 lanes of people going 45 mph trying to cut through the Heights to avoid highway traffic jams. Bike lanes on 14th would not have done anything to help with that. Thus, the 14th street suggestion was not really a serious answer to the problems on 11th street and was clearly just an attempt by opponents to claim that they are on the side of bike improvements when they really aren't.
  14. s3mh

    METRORail Turns 20

    In the Houston world of make believe, the high speed rail between Houston and Dallas would have a station somewhere around the 610/Hemstead Rd. area and then a light rail line would connect to downtown either via the existing rail line that we all get stuck behind around Center St. and Heights or a line that would go down Washington Ave. It might actually not be make believe given that Lizzie Fletcher took Culberson's seat and might actually get fed dollars instead of opposing it. But G. Abbott would probably get the legislature to pass a ban on local governments building light rail lines just to own the libs.
  15. Ok. Now add a circle for commercial real estate developers.
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