A Kink in the Path

A KINK IN THE PATH “Walking the sidewalks in the Heights is sometimes tricky,” quips the reader who sent in this pic of the year-or-so-old sidewalk in front of the year–or-so-old house at 919 Arlington St.: “This walk is built to the 5′-0″ standards currently in place where as the older walks are built at 4′. However the alignment was so off from the 2′ distance required from the property line location of the other residents’ walks. I could only assume that the developer was thinking that he could allow more room to park a car between the street and walk if he shifted it west two feet.” Photo: Swamplot inbox

22 Comment

  • Sort of suprising that a city inspector allowed this to happen.

  • @UG – nope not surprising at all – wait till you see the drainage travesties I and my neighbors are experiencing….

  • The real kink in the path is the destruction of the Heights’ drainage system by filling in the ditches for head in parking between the street and the sidewalk. City Legal says the parking pads are illegal and now the City checks on the driveway permits it issues. If the driveway doesn’t extend onto your property, its an illegal parking pad and the City red tags it. Parallel parking is state law and city code and head in parking is illegal. Park on your own property and quit destroying the Heights drainage system.

  • If a builder would do something like this out front, pray tell what surprises are hidden in the walls, slab, etc., the more I think about it, who would buy the house?

  • Sorry, rant here – Heights sidewalks (at least in our area) are, bar none, the worst, most dangerous and most poorly maintained that I have ever seen. Is there some weird Houston city ordinance that makes them solely the responsibility of the property owners? We haven’t seen a single one being repaired by the city – what are we missing? Aaargh. Ok, better now.

  • @Sholehvar – you are correct, the city does not pay for sidewalk maintenance in front of private property, unless the damage was directly caused by something that city workers did. Natural buckling and cracking due to age, earth movement, or tree roots? Sorry bub, you want it fixed you pay for it yourself. Oh and don’t try just removing it completely and putting in landscaping, since once there is a public sidewalk there, it must remain as such. I was shocked to learn this 10 years ago when I called the city to repair the walk in front of my Heights house.

  • Actually the city does fix sidewalks as is obvious from riding around the heights. The just finished redoing almost the entire sidewalk on Pecore (they left a few spaces areas that weren’t damaged). I see several blocks where this seems to be going on. if you are on a through street with any traffic at all, I think if your sidewalk is truly in terrible shape there is a good chance they will replace it.

    Although the heights sidewalks are far from perfect, claiming them as the worst in the city is a complete fabrication. I longboard all over houston, and i can promise you that the Heights sidewalks are freaking gems compared to other areas of town.

  • @UG – huh – thanks – didn’t know that. Guess folks aren’t even required to have sidewalks at all in some places. We’re not using a stroller anymore but it would be tough if we were. Must be impossible in spots for folks in wheelchairs. Love to know (and help) if anybody is doing something about the situation.

  • I’d like to know if anyone is doing anything about blocked sidewalks. You can’t walk down a sidewalk in Studes Second because of all the cars parked over the sidewalks.

  • @UG-good example of this is in 6th ward, where Lubbock Street and some others have been dug up (for what i don’t know), into the sidewalks. They are now making good headway on replacing all the sidewalks with really nice brick ones, not just on Lubbock but all over the neighborhood. I think some of the sidewalks are even new (there weren’t any before).

  • Cars blocking sidewalks is a big issue. I recently had to walk off the curb since a car was blocking the sidewalk and had a nasty fall. The gentleman in the car was nice enought to get out and check on me. I was not in the best of moods! Call the Parking Management Department to get someone out there to start ticketing.

  • Well, the city totally forgot to finish fixing the final block between Calumet and Binz (off Caroline). They added handicap/stroller-friendly ramps on all the other blocks and then left one block all mangled due to oaks pushing up the concrete back and forth. It forces me to walk on the street with my babies in tow since it’s too much of a pain to traverse with our stroller. Unfortunately, there’s only a decrepit old building and parking lot on one side, so there’s no hope of them fixing it.

  • @Di, sorry for your fall. At least the guilty person was concerned about you. Sometimes Parking Mgmt comes thru here and writes tickets. The problem is with the City. We need curbs and gutters in the Heights to stop people from parking on the city easements or bar ditches. But the City just cries poor. Meanwhile, strollers and wheel chairs can’t get down sidewalks and neighbors have accidents like the one you had. Totally unacceptable.

  • In Alden Place they put power poles in the middle of the sidewalk, and then to add to the mess add a new metro stop right behind said light pole. Makes bicycling a real joy..

  • At $10,000 to replace my sidewalk, I am just going to leave it messed up. I don’t know who said that the city takes care of sidewalks in front of private homes but that isn’t true. Then if you do want to fix it, they make you put in a wider sidewalk than all the others making it look out of place.

  • I had a broken sidewalk in front of my property on Colquitt, it was broken into four or five pieces used a long steel bar, lifted them up to where they were all level, filled in underneath, I then had a level sidewalk, not real pretty, but functioned just fine.

  • @Amanda

    It’s my understanding that the brick sidewalks were initiated by the 6th Ward TIRZ. And I agree – they look good!

  • Because some in my neighborhood, don’t fix their own sidewalks, a lot of residents walk on the street.

  • Caneco, the sidewalk replacement on Pecore is part of the City’s efforts to install good sidewalks near schools. It is not necessarily related to the thoroughfare.

  • In my neighborhood we have very decent sidewalks.

    Walkers, joggers and moms with strollers still use the street.

    My complaint is with the moms. They like to walk two or three abreast in the direction of traffic. They get so busy talking, they cannot hear a car so said car has to swerve around them.

    Accident waiting to happen.

  • Has anybody reported this to Code Enforcement? It may not be too late to get it corrected, but it will take persistence to get Code Enforcement to act.

  • Stroller moms have some sort of force field around them that makes them impervious to cars. Unfortunately, they also believe that the force field emanates from their cell phones, making them difficult to deal with when they drive.