COMMENT OF THE DAY: GETTING HOOKED IN TO THE HOUSTON UNDERGROUND “The condo where I live is connected to the tunnels. It makes it very easy [to get] to and from work, home for lunch, etc. And during the rush hours I don’t have to worry about avoiding cars, delivery trucks, and unsightly ‘street people’ hanging out around Main Street Square. I hope that many of these new residential developments downtown can be connected to the tunnel system.” [Walker, commenting on Comment of the Day: Fighting Tunnel Vision on Downtown’s Pedestrian Experience] Illustration: Lulu
My condo is across the street from a building connected to the tunnel system. I walk above ground everyday to work (unless it absolutely pouring rain) and never use the tunnels for lunch. It’s a depressing non-place and one of the major benefits to living and working downtown is being able to clear your mind during the commute walk while experiencing the wonderful architecture and street scene.
one man’s “street scene” is another man’s toilet
Walker, spiteful, et.al. – The more shelter you seek from aspects of the city you don’t like the less of a member of the community you are. Insularity and vacuous empathy might be proud themes for conservatives but they certainly aren’t noble characteristics.
Street people huh? Okay guy.
I”ll take “unsightly street people” over snobby mole people any day.
Are the tunnels not a unique aspect of the city?
Typical Eloi rookie mistake.
Methinks Walker was trying to get comment of the day.
Being an SJW must be so exhausting. I don’t need to circumnavigate mentally ill homeless people urinating on a street corner to know they exist or to feel empathy for their plight. I also don’t need to spend every waking moment contemplating my role in the community. Sometimes I just want lunch.
WHY HOUSTON STINKS & WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT: A MODEST PROPOSAL
Obviously, we can’t put the homeless into homes because that would offend our Southern values, and we can’t put them on plantations because we have no use for them there. What with huge chip-and-satellite-controlled machines working the fields now.
But that does not mean we can’t place a few Texas Outhouses or Pots of Gold in strategic locations to address the collateral issues of human waste. Their deployment could be adjusted as needed, based on sidewalk-by-sidewalk air quality readings. There’s gotta be an app for that. Sooner or later.
To be sure, the construction-zone latrines and nearby mud-pits may currently provide some interim relief, but they are only a temporary answer to the time-tested predictability of the incessant calls of nature.
Come to think of if, we have car-washes and dog-washes. Why can’t be we have some coin or token-operated outdoor bum washes, too? With pieces of tarp hung front and back to spare the faint-of-heart the visuals, as the olfactory situation is being addressed, and the bacteria accumulations are being abated? And if minimal standards of hygiene cannot be maintained based solely on the grateful cooperation of the target population, perhaps HPD or Sheriff’s deputies (with the able assistance of law-abiding carriers ready to discharge their civic duty as auxiliaries with pride and pizzazz), could round up the bums once a week and give them a good lathering, and a delousing, as needed, before putting them back on the streets;– once these seasoned city-dwellers are fit again to represent the Texas miracle to out-of-town visitors roaming the Downtown streets, wondering what that Houston-Inspired-buzz is all about.
City and County could set up a variable daily quota to optimize capacity utilization at the joint processing center based on established ebb-and-flow patterns of arrests and bookings over the course of 24-periods, and days in the week. A quick text message or tweet could go out to the volunteer auxiliaries as a signal that the nightly bum-hunt is on; once the night’s batch of DWI suspects have been processed and the pipeline is clear.
And while we are on the topic of more efficient utilization of public infrastructure, why not turn fire station parking lots into hygiene-assurance centers for the roaming segment of the population that does not even have a Metro bus shelter to call home. Round them up, hose them down, disinfect and perfume them, and then get them back on the street to put city and neighborhood walkability to the test. Let them set an example for those still struggling to get off their posteriors.
And give them a choice: Get cleaned up at the neighborhood fire station on a quickie basis, or go to jail for a more in-depth course of treatment to renew fitness to rejoin humanity: with full body inspection, including cavities, and removal of body hair to the extent it has evolved into a habitat for invasive species of the not so benign kind. And mandatory application of antiperspirant. In other words: The works.
If only the home-nots were given a meaningful choice on the matter of personal hygiene — a matter of dire public health import — if only they could relish the little joys of choosing between a Texas Outhouse (TM) or a Pot-O-Gold (TM); if only they were properly incentivized, they may yet see the light and return from Main Street and Midtown to the Mainstream. They would in great likelihood leave the business of marking city street corners to our canine contemporaries, who are – naturally – of much less concern to public health authorities. They have, after all, attendants in tow who pick up after them and clear-wrap their droppings.
— And become shining examples, and walking proof, that Houston gets it.