WHAT ARE THE BEST SWAMPLOT COMMENTS YOU’VE EVER READ (OR MADE)? Here’s another request for longtime readers: Help us identify the greatest reader comments ever posted on Swamplot! Why is your help needed? A whopping 133,000 or so reader comments appeared on this site over the course of 12 years, making it tough to find all the gems. Fortunately, Swamplot’s regular Comment of the Day feature highlighted some of the best (all 1,500 or so of them, over the course of 12 years). But a lot of great comments missed their day in the spotlight for various reasons — often because too many other great choices came in on the same day. For many, absorbing the comments and back-and-forth from our diverse readership was the whole point of reading Swamplot. Can you help us surface the best, to help show why? Add your links to the comments section below, or send us your picks privately, in an email. We hope to create a more definitive list from what you gather. Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE GREAT MONTROSE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ROUTE THINNING “The Fairview bus route replaced the streetcar line and operated for decades. Thirty years ago a significant number of people in Montrose relied on public transportation. As demographics changed, METRO decided that ridership didn’t justify some routes through Montrose. In addition to Fairview, they also eliminated the University (Hawthorne) and Alabama (actually W. Alabama) routes. It’s surprising how much of a difference there is between walking one or two blocks vs. five or more to the closest bus stop. I agree that a revived Fairview line would be convenient, and a trolley would be great. The question is, will residents of $500k townhomes willingly commit to giving up their cars? I wish they would, and think they won’t.” [Big Tex, commenting on Houston’s Vanished and Current Middle-of-the-Road Rail Networks, Close Up and Personal] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: CURRENT HOUSTON AIR SMELL RATINGS, MINUS THE COFFEE PERFUME “It seems like it’s getting worse. 4 out of 7 mornings when it used to be maybe 2 out of 7. I wonder if it’s because the east downtown coffee plant has been shutdown, no longer masking the more harsher notes.” [Jeff, commenting on The Houston Hurricane Pollution-Sniffing NASA Flight That Never Took Off] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE WATER WILL ALWAYS COME AND MOVE STUFF AROUND “I hope these detention pools make a difference but I doubt they will: Less likely since the rooted greenery is being removed. Flood events will always tear up a riverbed and its plants. The best thing to do is to let the vegetation grow up until the next flood event — that’s the cheapest most efficient tactic. If a future flood event takes people’s back yards away then that’s just tough for those homeowners. In spots, Buffalo Bayou is a lovely, primeval place to take a canoe trip. In spots it’s a trash heap. It’s always interesting though!” [movocelot, commenting on New Overflow Pools Coming To Clear Out Trees, Anthills from the South Side of Buffalo Bayou] Illustration: Lulu
Evidently, those plans to put another car dealership across 59 from the existing 7-story Audi Central Houston won’t be panning out since the land where it would’ve gone is now up for sale. A newly-erected sign at the corner of the Greenbriar and the Southwest Fwy. feeder road advertises its availability.
A group connected to Sonic Automotive bought the property — which stretches all the way east to Shepherd Dr. — in January 2017. When news orgs got wind that it’d changed hands, Sonic’s executive vice prez Jeff Dyke told them he’d have more info on what the dealership would end up looking like near the end of the year. The parcel’s 2.4-acre size prompted at least one guess that’d the plans — like those Sonic implemented across the street — would involve something tall.
Amidst all the hubbub, it’s been business as usual at Stahlman. It’s entering its 59th year at 4007 Greenbriar Dr.
59 at Greenbriar
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT DRIVE-BY SIGHTSEERS STAND TO LOSE WITHOUT MEMORIAL DR. “Open space in an urban context can be experienced in a positive way while in a car, and for many people who do not have time to dally, this is the only positive urban experience that they are likely to have on a regular basis. The idea of a ‘parkway’ is not inherently evil. And yes, it requires land, and yes, urban land is a precious thing . . . but when it generates both appreciation and a sheer volume of use, that is justified on more than simply a utilitarian basis.” [TheNiche, commenting on Comment of the Day: Swapping Out Memorial Dr.’s Speedway Setup for Something Worth Walking] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: SWAPPING OUT MEMORIAL DR.’S SPEEDWAY SETUP FOR SOMETHING WORTH WALKING
“Remove the freeway configuration of Memorial Dr. from Shepherd to Downtown. An urban street is all that is needed here since this mid-century design was prior to I-10 and was the original route for Katy-bound suburbanites. The bayou is now the destination — not a place to flee at break-neck speeds. Besides, the freeway configuration is useless as it ends prior to Memorial Park. The configuration has exceeded its useful life and is actually in very poor condition. Reasonable thought to an improved alternative is preferred and hopefully includes more park space.” [El Chico, commenting on Plucking the Cloverleafs off Waugh Dr. at Memorial So Extra Park Space Can Take Their Place] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S POPULATION FORECAST DOESN’T ACCOUNT FOR THE WEATHER
“These studies always miss the boat on the climate change; I’d be surprised if population growth in Houston and the surrounding area hasn’t plateaued and maybe even begun to decrease by 2040. Let me put it this way: If even the most conservative projections are correct, I wouldn’t want to be living here then. If you think the flooding and the summer temperatures are bad now . . .” [Christian, commenting on Houston’s Population Will Break 10M by 2040, Says METRO Study] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE HOUSTON’S PARKING MATH DOESN’T QUITE ADD UP
“Is it typical for a municipality to use GFA (Gross Floor Area) to calculate parking requirements for businesses? Would Net Floor Area be more accurate and eliminate this debate? Gross Floor Area calculations includes things like mechanical rooms, bathrooms, hallways, storage areas, and refrigeration while Net Floor Area excludes those areas and could be considered the actual space where a business actually accommodates customers and staff. In Houston a business owner must provide a parking space for its water heater, toilets, air handler, and inventory. A little dramatic yes, but I’m not oversimplifying.” [Steskal, commenting on Here’s Everywhere Off-Street Parking Requirements Will No Longer Apply If City Council Says So] Illustration: Lulu
Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday.
What happens after the last burrito is wrapped:
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
COMMENT OF THE DAY: A HIDDEN MEMORIAL DR. DOG SPOT MEETS ITS END
“I always liked to go to that site with the dog in the winter; not sure why, but because of the slope, mixed with the cold air, it made me feel that I was not in Houston. It was not a well known location unless you lived in the neighborhood, though I did not. Others also played with their dogs there. Another cool hidden spot bites the dust.” [Montrose Resident, commenting on Alexan Memorial Apartments Are Heading to Rice Military] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: DEMOLITION FOR A BETTER FUTURE
“When we do not preserve our past, we are able to have a wide open future. A future with more efficient, ecologically congruent buildings. Buildings with modern HVAC, windows, flood control. Tearing down old cool looking buildings is just that. We lose cool looking buildings from another time. I personally live in a renovated old house, and before that lived in another cool-looking old house. I preserved each. I don’t think renovating/preserving has anything to do with the future of either location. So, while the Deco style is great and would be fantastic if someone saw the residual value, it’s not crucial to anything. The market has spoken. If they build an unappealing, out-of-touch new building — the buy side will also speak, and not reward the owner with their business. This is how the world should work. Forcing a property owner through regulation to appreciate the styling of yesteryear is anti-productive. I have a heart a for gray area on this when it comes to public buildings. Then it is owned by the public, and needs to be considered more broadly on how the tax-paying public feels about the continued use/retention of a historic or interesting-looking, dated building. Think City Hall.” [Bo Darley, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Fannin Flames] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: NOT THE ONLY BURGER JOINT OFF 20TH ST.
“Really needed another burger option in that area. So within a couple minutes drive of each other there will now be The Burger Joint, Balls Out Burger, Hubcap, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Becks Prime, Christian’s Tailgate, Whataburger, Cedar Creek, and all the other fast food options.” [DL, commenting on Blank Abel Motors Sign Now Directing N. Shepherd Traffic to Its Burger Joint Replacement] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: EAST END POWER GRID COULDN’T HANDLE THE HEAT
“There was a blackout in my area, East End of Downtown, that night (July 23, 2018). We were without power for nearly 2 hours. Per a neighbor, CenterPoint relayed that over 900 homes were without power. There wasn’t a light on within visibility. Suddenly there was silence, except for my scream of ‘Nooooo!’ that apparently was heard all the way down the block. I called CenterPoint, whose automated message stated ‘A power outage has been reported in your area. The estimated time for repair is 11:45pm.’ Power was indeed restored at about that time, though can’t say that we enjoyed the heat through the wait.” [Corbin Dodge, commenting on Texas Electric Customers Are on a Record-Breaking Power Usage Spree] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: A BLANK CANVAS ON TRAVIS AND COMMERCE
“In the meantime, can someone please put a mural on that god-awful concrete wall on the parking garage behind it? It really ruins taking shots of downtown from that angle now.” [Triton, commenting on Injury Lawyers Give Up Waterlogged Abraham Watkins Building’s Ground Floor for Good, Parking Garage Filler Now Slated To Replace Them] Illustration: Lulu