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Houston Ave Safety Improvements


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7 hours ago, hindesky said:

Repaving Houston Ave. from Lubbock St. to almost to the rail road crossing. Repaving Center St. about 3 blocks west of Houston Ave. Repaving Lubbock about 3 blocks west of Houston Ave.

Just repaving or are there "real" safety improvements? 

(New pavement is nice, of course, but it also often leads to higher speeds...)

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2 minutes ago, 004n063 said:

Just repaving or are there "real" safety improvements? 

(New pavement is nice, of course, but it also often leads to higher speeds...)

No it will have pavement markings and traffic calming devices.

Parts of the link seems to have come back adding work to Washington Ave at Houston Ave.

https://www.houstontx.gov/council/h/infrastructure/COH-Rehab-Washington-at-Houston-Avenues.pdf

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They changed their tone real quick. The traffic data may not support the changes but there are reasons behind that. First, Houston Ave has never had high foot traffic for anything. Second, the road design is way to wide. Maybe 60 years ago it made sense but today it doesn't. And the city is simply going back and taking back space it wants to use for better things in the neighborhood. 

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Do they plan to do anything differently with the ramp that comes from Memorial and ends at a stop sign? I've always felt this is an awkward approach but perhaps you have to stop and turn to make sure you're not going to hit oncoming traffic.

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On 12/17/2023 at 2:21 PM, hindesky said:

I think the worshipers thought god would smite them if they were late for services. The truth probably is the church's hierarchy thought people wouldn't show up to tithe their salaries.

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I think when it comes to crossings like this, as people are coming from the freeway approaching Houston Ave, nice big signs saying SLOW DOWN PED CROSSING or whatever would help make drivers aware they are no longer on the freeway. Houston has a lot of "unique" intersections like this one where it would help. 

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9 hours ago, Triton said:

So..... ...... there are rumors that Mayor Whitmire's office is going to announce they are going to dismantle most of this project and just repave the roads. 

I remember reading an interview with him somewhere in which he described 8-foot sidewalks on Washington as "wasteful". I've had an uneasy feeling about him since then.

Turner was no Anne Hidalgo, but it did feel like the safe streets movement was finally starting to gain momentum under him. 

I do also remember reading something about Whitmire supporting a better bike connection to Memorial Park, but there really wasn't anything at all in his campaign about alternatives to cars. I don't feel like he takes transit, pedestrian, and bicyclist needs seriously.

But again, this is just a general uneasiness - I can't currently point to any specific policies or actions to legitimize that sense. 

Hoping Triton's wrong, though.

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2 hours ago, 004n063 said:

I remember reading an interview with him somewhere in which he described 8-foot sidewalks on Washington as "wasteful". I've had an uneasy feeling about him since then.

He may have used the eight-foot sidewalk quip in other interviews, but below is the one that traveled around Houston media that you may have read. 

I didn't interpret the comment as overtly pro-car. Rather, I believe he was trying to highlight the disparity between certain neighborhoods. Audio is in the story, too. 

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/shows/houston-matters/2023/10/24/467637/john-whitmire-says-as-mayor-he-would-focus-on-collaboration-re-prioritizing-houston-needs/

image.png.3b528fb531d357968774a8cef690cb25.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by JClark54
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3 hours ago, 004n063 said:

But again, this is just a general uneasiness - I can't currently point to any specific policies or actions to legitimize that sense. 

Is it my imagination or didn't @j_cuevas713 recently post that all the bike projects eliminating car lanes were put on hold by Whitmire?  That would align with the Houston Avenue speculation. 

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All I can say is that the anti-bike lane, anti-road-diet, and anti-safe street people have been flooding the mayor's email with request to get rid of all the improvements. If safer streets, bike lanes, and other multi modal improvements are important to you....if you like the Houston Ave improvement and similar projects, tell the Mayor. He might listen, he might not. But the only people who he is hearing from are those who hate it. Email the mayors office at mayor@houstontx.gov and share your support of these projects :). 

Edited by Justin Welling
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3 hours ago, JClark54 said:

He may have used the eight-foot sidewalk quip in other interviews, but below is the one that traveled around Houston media that you may have read. 

I didn't interpret the comment as overtly pro-car. Rather, I believe he was trying to highlight the disparity between certain neighborhoods. Audio is in the story, too. 

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/shows/houston-matters/2023/10/24/467637/john-whitmire-says-as-mayor-he-would-focus-on-collaboration-re-prioritizing-houston-needs/

image.png.3b528fb531d357968774a8cef690cb25.png

 

 

 

 

contextually that makes complete sense.

make sure everyone has the bare minimum to survive (or in this case, travel safely), and when that's done, then we can do more.

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8 hours ago, JClark54 said:

He may have used the eight-foot sidewalk quip in other interviews, but below is the one that traveled around Houston media that you may have read. 

I didn't interpret the comment as overtly pro-car. Rather, I believe he was trying to highlight the disparity between certain neighborhoods. Audio is in the story, too. 

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/shows/houston-matters/2023/10/24/467637/john-whitmire-says-as-mayor-he-would-focus-on-collaboration-re-prioritizing-houston-needs/

image.png.3b528fb531d357968774a8cef690cb25.png

 

 

 

 

Yes, that's the one. It made me uncomfortable.

The phrase "perfectly good three-foot sidewalk" doesn't belong in the English language, let alone anywhere near a conversation about Washington Ave.

It feels like he's pitting two underserved needs against each other, but with car streets it's "we need whole new slabs," not "why does San Jacinto need four lanes?"

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On 1/29/2024 at 8:16 PM, Triton said:

So..... lol..... there are rumors that Mayor Whitmire's office is going to announce they are going to dismantle most of this project and just repave the roads. 

 This rumor might be turning into fact. Trinity Lutheran Church has been notified that the median and other improvements will be removed, per Whitmire's office. Let's see what actually happens. Sorry to spread the bad news yall.

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7 minutes ago, Triton said:

 This rumor might be turning into fact. Trinity Lutheran Church has been notified that the median and other improvements will be removed, per Whitmire's office. Let's see what actually happens. Sorry to spread the bad news yall.

Are you sure? Council member Castillo just said he was going to fight it. 

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14 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

All I can say is that the anti-bike lane, anti-road-diet, and anti-safe street people have been flooding the mayor's email with request to get rid of all the improvements. If safer streets, bike lanes, and other multi modal improvements are important to you....if you like the Houston Ave improvement and similar projects, tell the Mayor. He might listen, he might not. But the only people who he is hearing from are those who hate it. Email the mayors office at mayor@houstontx.gov and share your support of these projects :). 

I can't emphasize what Justin just said enough. Whitmire is the type of Mayor that wants data and input. If you're not giving him any input, he'll side with the naysayers who are. Take the time to write the Mayor a quick email in support of these improvements. And CC everyone here:

districtc@houstontx.gov,
districtb@houstontx.gov,
districta@houstontx.gov,
districtd@houstontx.gov,
districth@houstontx.gov,
districtg@houstontx.gov,
districtf@houstontx.gov,
districte@houstontx.gov,
districti@houstontx.gov,
districtj@houstontx.gov,
districtk@houstontx.gov,
atlarge1@houstontx.gov,
atlarge2@houstontx.gov,
atlarge3@houstontx.gov,
atlarge4@houstontx.gov,
atlarge5@houstontx.gov

I made it easy to copy & paste

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10 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Are you sure? Council member Castillo just said he was going to fight it. 

I mean they are two different offices so sure? I wasn't 100% on the first rumor but the person who told me made it sound like it was common knowledge within the mayor's office that this project would be redone. Then, the church confirmed in a Facebook group that the mayor's office had contacted their senior leadership and said the median would be removed and the street repaved. Sounded like the new curb ramps and other smaller improvements would remain.

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16 hours ago, 004n063 said:

Yes, that's the one. It made me uncomfortable.

The phrase "perfectly good three-foot sidewalk" doesn't belong in the English language, let alone anywhere near a conversation about Washington Ave.

It feels like he's pitting two underserved needs against each other, but with car streets it's "we need whole new slabs," not "why does San Jacinto need four lanes?"

the point I think wasn't that 3' sidewalks are perfectly good. the point, in the context of the statement, was "this area already has something, this area has nothing at all, let's get everyone to a place where we at least have something, and then we can get to upgrading the places with something already"

in an imaginary scenario (which maps to real life), you have 2 areas, one has sidewalks that conform to a historic minimum standard. the other area has nothing at all. is it better:

1. leave the area without sidewalks to still not have sidewalks, and upgrade the existing area with sidewalks to have better sidewalks.

2. leave the area that already has sidewalks alone, and add sidewalks to the area without any sidewalks at all.

that's the crux of what he said, getting hung up on the phrasing of 'perfectly good 3' sidewalks' is pearl clutching and ignoring the broader message, which is, let's serve the completely unserved, before we give those who have something already, extra.

it'll be great if we can have both, I think budgets have something to do with that.

now, if he goes in and walks the minimum sidewalk width ordinance from 5' to 3', then we can start wringing our hands, or clutching our pearls. 

essentially, let's make sure everyone has a plate of food before we start going back for seconds.

Edited by samagon
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52 minutes ago, samagon said:

the point I think wasn't that 3' sidewalks are perfectly good. the point, in the context of the statement, was "this area already has something, this area has nothing at all, let's get everyone to a place where we at least have something, and then we can get to upgrading the places with something already"

in an imaginary scenario (which maps to real life), you have 2 areas, one has sidewalks that conform to a historic minimum standard. the other area has nothing at all. is it better:

1. leave the area without sidewalks to still not have sidewalks, and upgrade the existing area with sidewalks to have better sidewalks.

2. leave the area that already has sidewalks alone, and add sidewalks to the area without any sidewalks at all.

that's the crux of what he said, getting hung up on the phrasing of 'perfectly good 3' sidewalks' is pearl clutching and ignoring the broader message, which is, let's serve the completely unserved, before we give those who have something already, extra.

it'll be great if we can have both, I think budgets have something to do with that.

now, if he goes in and walks the minimum sidewalk width ordinance from 5' to 3', then we can start wringing our hands, or clutching our pearls. 

essentially, let's make sure everyone has a plate of food before we start going back for seconds.

Yes, exactly.   It's not that hard to understand.   As I've said before Whitmire is a practical man.

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1 hour ago, steve1363 said:

Yes, exactly.   It's not that hard to understand.   As I've said before Whitmire is a practical man.

I understood it that way as well BUT...

Whitmire needs to understand, this isn't the same Houston he grew up in. His entire campaign messaging revolved around the Houston he knew growing up. Things have drastically changed and we see that with the 4 lane mini highways that leave Downtown. Midtown was rural in his time, not completely but it wasn't the inner city it is today. Plus he grew up in an era when highway infrastructure was exploding. So in many ways he knows no different. Even though his parents grew up in a dense urban Houston. 

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