03/28/17 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE NO-BIKE-LANE BIKE PLAN Bike Rider“There’s even a more simple plan: Make the right lane 12 ft. (or more) and the left lane 10 ft. Don’t stripe new bike lanes or overly alter existing regulations. Don’t plan. Don’t get approvals. Don’t p/o motorists with the silly bike lanes that bikers fear and never use. We just need a little extra space for cars to pass us by. And: Motorists will like having buses and other heavy vehicles in the larger right-lane, too . . . you don’t even need signage.” [Chris M(2)., commenting on Comment of the Day: Houston’s New Bike Plan Is Just a Plan] Illustration: Lulu

03/27/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT IT TAKES TO LIVE NEXT TO THE FAST LANES Freeway Overpass Next to Building“The housing stock of the city has MANY luxury apartments located too close to comfort to a freeway. On I-10, the Sawyer Lofts’ north side [sits] right up on the freeway with some units being feet away from an exit ramp. Go further west and I-10 is lined with luxury apartments that look out at the freeway from a very uncomfortably close distance (basically two lanes away, plus a small setback). This is becoming a permanent fixture of the city. I’m not sure why anyone would voluntarily rent one of these, but the developers are banking on housing being in so short supply that someone will basically lose out when the music stops playing and there’s not a chair to sit in and they will be forced to rent one of these. I think that must be the game plan. Maybe they think if it’s common enough people will just subconsciously modify their lifestyle expectations in a big city to thinking its okay to live between 7 and 50 feet from one of the widest freeways in the world.” [Commenter7, commenting on The Downtown Apartments Caught Between a Freeway and a Curved Place] Illustration: Lulu

03/24/17 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S NEW BIKE PLAN IS JUST A PLAN Bike Lane“The plan is really just a recommendation of where to put lanes. The decision of actually putting in the bike lanes in a given spot will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, mainly as roads are rebuilt. Most of the money can come from TxDOT, TIGER, TIRZs, etc. It’s much easier to get that funding if you have a plan already in place. An example: Maybe your local CIP project involves tearing up a road and replacing it. Instead of repainting the road with the old 12-ft. wide lanes, maybe make them a reasonable 10-ft. wide and spray in a line for a bike lane. That’s a cheap addition to a project that doesn’t involve a lot of overhead that would normally come from a separate project to put in a new bike lane somewhere.” [Biker, commenting on Houston Bike Plan Up for a Vote Again This Morning Amid More California-ization Fears] Illustration: Lulu

03/23/17 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTONIANS WOULDN’T KNOW DENSITY IF IT PARKED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM Illustration of Oversized Parking LotThis is exactly what happens in every dense city. If you go to Brooklyn, you will see cars street-parked in front of the brownstones. Few of those cars belong to the resident of the brownstone immediately adjacent. They recognize that they don’t own the street parking in front of their residence. It’s an incredible waste of resources to require that those perfectly good parking spaces remain vacant, in favor of large separate parking structures.” [Heightsresident, commenting on Comment of the Day: How To Tilt The Zero-Sum Houston Transit GameIllustration: Lulu

03/22/17 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO TILT THE ZERO-SUM HOUSTON TRANSIT GAME parking-garage“‘The overlooked reason why cycling isn’t more popular is because driving and parking are far, far easier in Houston than in Amsterdam.’ You‘re right. So you know what would help increase the use of bikes? Allowing the market to determine the number of parking spaces. If [a business] gets it wrong and offers too few spots, they’ll suffer. But give them the choice. Right now business are required to supply tons of parking, making driving the dominant way people will always get from point A to point B. At least loosen up the regs in areas like Midtown and Montrose where we have a population that’s far more willing to walk, bike, skate, rail, etc. (or even Uber, which, while it puts cars on the road, lowers parking demand.)” [Cody, commenting on Houston Bike Plan Up for a Vote Again This Morning Amid More California-ization Fears] Photo: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/16/17 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR VERY OWN INNER LOOP TRAILER PARK, FOR FUN AND PROPERTY TAX CONTROL Former trailer park at W. 11th St. and Allston St.“Are there typically HOA restrictions against mobile homes inside the Loop? Like if someone’s sitting on a cleared-off lot and not wanting to build, could they just pull in 2 mobile homes and start renting out? Or would the neighborhood/city be pounding on the doors? Not sure such a thing is feasible with $400k lots, but if you had to demo a multifamily and still wanted to hold onto the property, sounds like [that] could potentially keep the tax value low while still bringing in rental income.” [joel, commenting on All That’s Left of the Heights Trailer Park Behind Eight Row Flint] Photo of cleared mobile home park on W. 11th St.: Swamplot inbox

03/15/17 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CHANGING TASTES AT THE CORNER OF MONTROSE AND WESTHEIMER Shopping Center at Westheimer Rd. at Montrose Blvd., Montrose, Houston, 77006“Dallas invading Houston with its bland ‘designer tacos’ made for yuppies. Right across from Austin’s Uchi, where the waitstaff tells you what you’re suppose to taste as you eat. I remember when you could get a blowjob for $20 in this neighborhood. This is sad.” [MW, commenting on Edge Realty Now Seeking To Fill Bright Orange Box with Neighbors for a Montrose Velvet Taco] Photo: Swamplot inbox

03/13/17 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ACTS OF PREEMPTIVE CALIFORNIA-IZATION IN THE HOUSTON SUBURBS Summit Oaks neighborhood with Houston street names, Denton, TX, 76210“Someone ought to do a subdivision in Katy/Fulshear and name the streets Crenshaw, Imperial, Valley View, etc. Would (i) be humorous and (ii) help keep the California transplants outside Beltway 8. Win-win.” [Purple City, commenting on The Denton Suburban Roadways Quietly Impersonating West Houston’s Iconic Streets] Photo of Houston street names in Denton, TX: Lauren Meyers

03/10/17 5:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR WEEKEND HEIGHTS-CREEP FORECAST Future Yale Marketplace site at Yale St. and 610 Loop, Garden Oaks/Independence Heights, Houston, 77018“Garden Oaks and Oak Forest are [already] part of The Heights (the same way they are calling Spring Branch ‘Memorial’, and a lot of long time residents were angry that new residents called Northside Village ‘Tampico Heights’). I have bad news for the purists out there: if you live in Cottage Grove, Independence Heights, Shady Acres, Brooke Smith, Timbergrove/Lazybrook, those areas are now part of The Heights [as well].  . . . These hoods that have the 365 stores are gonna get more pricey and popular, since they are close to Downtown.” [Dj, commenting on Whole Foods’s 365 Garden Oaks Spot Now Emptied of Neff Rental Rentals] Rendering of 365 Garden Oaks: Boucher Design Group

03/09/17 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: RENOVATABILITY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER 2 Memorial Point Ln., Piney Point, TX 77024“When we were home shopping in the Memorial Villages area, we considered several homes that were marketed as ‘Lot Value Only/No Showings of the House’. What I discovered was: 1) A buyer is a buyer. Any professional listing agent who is doing right by his client will be happy to show a home’s interior to a qualified buyer. (If he/she wants to renovate the house, that’s his/her business). 2) What is considered ‘lot value’ in Memorial Villages can be quite livable, even moderately luxurious, by ‘normal’ standards, including mine.” [Grant, commenting on Piney Point Home Listing Photo of the Day: Let It Slide] Photo of 2 Memorial Point Ln.: HAR

03/08/17 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BOOTSTRAPPING INNOVATION WHILE GIVING UT THE BOOT UT Houston Campus Site, Buffalo Lakes, Houston“It’s absolutely surreal to see these extraordinarily non-innovative approaches to becoming an innovation hub. Does anyone really think ‘being innovative’ is a status that one can inherit, or subcontract out, or buy like a product? . . . Also, I can’t help but wonder how much of this push for innovation was based on an expectation of that UT grad-student center being built. It would seem Houston’s last chance to be an actual center for innovation walked out the door along with that project.” [justaswell, commenting on Houston’s Innovation Problem; Sneak Peek at The Carter Penthouses] Conceptual rendering of cancelled UT Houston campus: UT System

03/07/17 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO EITHER ELIMINATE OR WILDLY EXACERBATE THE HOUSTON TRAFFIC JAMS OF THE FUTURE Cars in Traffic“Once people figure out that it’s cheaper to keep the autonomous cars on the road rather than storing them in parking garages, and that having them circle the block at a very low rate of speed in perpetuity keeps them in a ready state – ready to zoom off to pick up passengers and bring in income while the owner is at work – then, and only then, will Houston residents know the true meaning of ‘gridlock’ and immediately wish that legitimate mass transportation alternatives had been built long ago.” [justaswell, commenting on Comment of the Day: Holding Out for that Younger, Sexier Mass Transit Option We Haven’t Met YetIllustration: Lulu

03/06/17 12:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOLDING OUT FOR THAT YOUNGER, SEXIER MASS TRANSIT OPTION WE HAVEN’T MET YET Freeways“Great. As I spend the next few years in grinding traffic, I can take comfort in knowing that no new mass commuting options will be initiated in our region, because we are waiting on futuristic autonomous cars to solve all of our problems. People will give up the comfort of their own private transportation for the luxury of riding in a glorified Uber (but without a driver to keep it clean or compensate for navigation errors). From an urban planning perspective, that’s like meeting a beautiful woman with a great personality but never asking her out because you are just certain that if you ever meet Kate Upton, she will find you infinitely attractive and satisfy you forever.” [Shmoo, commenting on Comment of the Day: Wait, So ‘Keep Adding Freeways’ Was the Long-Term Fix?Illustration: Lulu

03/02/17 3:45pm

FACEBOOK COMMENT OF THE DAY: CARL SANDBURG ON GROCERY STORE AESTHETICS Signage at Kroger, 239 W. 20th St., Houston Heights, Houston, 77008“Pile the carts high at Auchan and Weingarten. / Shovel them under and let me work— / I am the beige. I cover all. / And pile them high at Globe / And pile them high at Sage and Gemco / Shovel them under and let me work. / Two years, ten years, and shoppers ask the manager: / What place is this?/ Where are we now? / I am the beige. Let me work.” [Jerry Wright on Swamplot’s Facebook page, commenting on Secretly Preserved Weingarten History Quickly Erased from Side of Weingarten-Owned Heights Kroger; original poem here] Photo of briefly revealed Weingarten’s signage at W. 20th St. Kroger: Chris Barnes

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