Comment of the Day: Policing the Streets of Rice Military with Big Rocks

COMMENT OF THE DAY: POLICING THE STREETS OF RICE MILITARY WITH BIG ROCKS “I live on a street that is just wide enough for a car and a half to pass each other on the road, so inevitably someone has to drive on the grass or in the ditch. I happen to live on the side that has the grass section of ROW. For the past 2 years that I have lived there I have not once seen the city come by and mow that section or repair the ruts that someone has left behind. Since I live in Rice Military I don’t have the pleasure of having CURBS like Montrose, so I have boulders set in place to keep the drunks from parking on the sidewalk and that still happens on a biweekly basis. On our street we have legal No Parking signs and there will be cars parked there and I have seen cops drive by and do nothing. I guess it’s not worth the time, and I guess the city doesn’t need the revenue.” [Tejas, commenting on How To Spot a Fake ‘No Parking’ Sign]

12 Comment

  • Just in regards to maintaining the grass, from the City’s PWE website:
    “(1)The Street & Drainage Division schedules mowing along major thoroughfares once a year. Property owner’s are responsible for weeds on their property all the way to the street or curb line, including any roadside ditches, on all sides of the property. Alleys and unimproved rights-of-way are the responsibility of the abutting property owner.”

    This is standard in all cities. You have to do the same with sidewalks. I just had to replaced damaged segments in front my house out-of-pocket.

  • It sounds as though there is a bit of Montrose envy, you know with those CURBS and what not. Where I live in Montrose, I don’t wait on the city to come mow my easement, nor is it a realistic expectation for the city to tend to the easement. In fact I believe that the property owner bears some responsiblity for the maintenance of the easement. It is really ashame to see how the Rice military area was destroyed by all of the townhomes, c’est la vie.

  • rice military destroyed by townhomes, please, did you hang out around there 10yrs ago? if anything the ‘trose has been ruined by t’homes, but such is the beauty of living through growth and increasing density.

    original statement could be re-worded to say they don’t have the pleasure of living in an area that paid to have curb infrastructure installed a long time ago though. not sure i appreciate the implication of how’s it stated now and using it as justification for creating a blatant health and safety issue for drivers and the immediate community. congrats on that though.

  • Just watch out with those boulders. If they are big enough to stop a car and someone crashes into them you can get sued.
    You can’t have structures in that easement and an un-movable boulder may be argued as such.

  • i wonder what he’d say if the city came and fined him to hilt for his “boulders” on city property..seriously, everyone knows Rice Military doesn’t have curbs, get real. If you chose to buy there expect your yard to be trenched or build a curb at your expense, but to put boulders on taxpayer land is the hilt of hypocracy

  • hmmmm…. I live in the Montrose area and our streets are in terrible condition. Living near the Chocolate Bar on W Alabama, we get their customers parking on our street and putting ruts in the grass, since there is no curb. The curbs that are in the neighborhood are broken and is very poor condition… Its strange that the City claims it has a scoring system and replaces streets and curbs that are in the worse condition first….From what I see, streets and curbs in more well to do areas, such as River Oaks, South Hampton, etc are replaced before streets in worse condition….

  • I think you should call the city and find out the number of the tow truck company that is supposed to tow illegally parked vehicles in your area. call them when you see people illegally parked. Personally, I’d not install boulders, cause seeing drunk people put their car in a ditch sounds kind of funny to me and it would make a great blog.
    Twitter feed #parkedinaditch
    That or plant some vegetation, oleander, if it has the chance to grow will surely keep people from wanting to park there.

  • UrbanNomad-

    We are in an argument right now with the COH over the sidewalk in front of our house. They tore it out 6yrs ago to put in a new water main connection then when they replaced it they failed to install/compact base material and the concrete has sunk.

    They tell me that is not the case, but I didn’t get my civil engineering PE from a box of crackerjacks. But yeah, The City ROW, but your responsibility.

  • MarkH. The scoring system is relatively new. They haven’t had time to repair all of the roads that have scored such that they are set to be repaired. What you’re seeing in River Oaks and other neighborhoods is the remnants of the old system, which was complaint based and where it paid to have connected people in your neighborhood.
    As far as parking goes. I only foresee things getting worse for neighborhoods like Montrose and Rice Military. There is a movement to limit parking at local businesses. The reasoning is that by providing less parking, you save green space and force people onto transit. But the reality in Houston is that you still have a lot of people who live outside these neighborhoods, and who drive in to go to shop and eat. They’re going to park somewhere. We’ll see if the new Washington Avenue Corridor parking district helps matters, but I’m not sure it will. What they really need is a public parking garage and a jitney from the garage to local businesses.

  • yeah, comparing curbs in the ‘trose to RO and SH whom basically fund all of our city council members isn’t the best comparison. although they can be quite bad in-town here i think if you travel around more places to the likes of south park or 3rd ward and you’ll see area in much worse condition.

    all things considered though, there still is no parking issue in Houston. i know of no other city with a similar population size where having to park a block from your house or more than 100 yards from a storefront is considered a travesty. the intent of no zoning is to allow the mix of commercial/residential and that’s exactly what we get. nothing wrong with the streets being packed with cars, that’s how it’s supposed to be. the issue is the main thoroughfares in the ‘trose don’t work effectively and push a lot of through traffic onto the neighborhood streets where the speed limits should be more tempered.

    can’t wait for them to start tearing up shepheard later this year, going to be beautiful.

  • One could always put up a fake fire hydrant in front of your house ;)

  • There are truly some interesting comments posted on this and the thread’s predecessor thread. Some of the comments are well thought out, and some are as abjectly foolish as one could expect. Chastising homeowners for buying in Rice Military just makes the accuser look stupid and misinformed. No, Rice Military doesn’t resemble a zoned, deed restricted suburban homogenous hood. There are very diverse types of dwellings that have been built in Rice Military over the years. Some of them are very well built, and others are very poorly built that will be problematic to either the owner or perhaps neighbors eventually. Just over the weekend, I was talking with my general contractor buddy/neighbor about some new construction going in a block away where the builder is putting up the cheapest crap they can put there, and they’ll have contracts on them before they’re done because there’s squat for inventory here right now. There are also really nice ones also being built a block away too. That’s one of the interesting things about Rice Military, not everything is exactly the same. I happen to like the ditches instead of curbs. However, with ditches, comes responsibility to maintain them if you want the easement to be attractive. With that in mind, I’ve improved the appearance, and the drainage functionality of my ditches. I also understand that I do not own the property that encompasses the ditch. I get favorable comments on it all the time, one from a neighbor architect walking by yesterday. I have no problem with neighbors or their guests parking in front of my house. They generally are going to respect the surroundings of their neighbors. On the other hand, bar patrons? Not so much. Do they legally have a right to park in front of my house? Yes they do if we don’t have resident only parking permits. I’m not necessarily in favor of the way the RPP is set up, but at least it provides homeowners some relief from the bar drunks damaging the property responsible homeowners take care of, and it helps to somewhat remove the drunken/disorderly patrons from the immediate vicinity. As far as the rocks people will resort to putting at the edge of streets…. they resort to this because they get tired of uncaring drivers repeatedly damaging the property they are responsible for maintaining. After enough repeated damage, people take matters into their own hands. What most of all of this boils down to is what is wrong with much of society today…. personal responsibility, or the lack thereof. People are taking responsibility for the property they are responsible for, even if its their legal property. Then, when bar patrons want to avoid paying parking lot fees, they peruse the adjacent hood for parking spots with little regard to the condition of place they parked at when they’re done using it…. ie. no personal responsibility. The old streets that the city allowed builders to repopulate, are no where’s near wide enough for vehicle parking and emergency vehicle passage. I had the common sense and foresight to make sure I have a garage and adequate driveway parking. Many neighboring homeowners and renters do not. That is not necessarily my problem, but it is a problem. The way I see it, the bars have created a problem that did not exist prior to them finding a way to derive significant income from locating in an area that is convenient and has become popular. The city has not adequately addressed the parking issues effectively as of yet in regards to the detrimental effects bar traffic has had on neighborhoods like Rice Military. I personally don’t hold out a lot of hope that the Parking Benefits District will really accomplish much other than create another way for an additional fiscal drain upon area citizens. One last thing, one commenter responded to someone criticizing the type of residences that have been built in Rice Military that replaced what had been here. With the exception of some of the bungalows, the vast majority of the houses here were utter crap. I know, I’ve lived in the area for over 30 years. Rice Military is a far cry better off with the dwellings that have been constructed here recently than what was here in the past by a long shot.