Comment of the Day Runner-Up: Downtown’s Horse Pee Problem

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: DOWNTOWN’S HORSE PEE PROBLEM “If the streets smell like pee it is because of the horse cops. Seriously, walking down Main Street is like walking through a barn, and it isn’t the fault of the homeless — it is the dang horses. Why do we need horse cops anyways? Can’t cops get around on bike, or scooter, or something that doesn’t leave piles of poop in the middle of the street?” [Evan7257, commenting on Bringing the Streets Downtown Right into the Lobbies]

17 Comment

  • Costs us the taxpayers over $40k a year to keep an officer on horseback, very inefficient and expensive. Tradition or otherwise they are all but useless.

  • Don’t fool yourself, the homeless do treat downtown as an outdoor bathroom. The horses do leave piles of excrement on Main, but the homeless leave their own piles around downtown. On my daily walk to school (southern end of downtown) I see the same maintenance people hosing down doorways and sidewalks. When I have to go in early, before they’ve had a chance to clean, there are things and puddles in those doorways that should not be there. Also, something needs to be done about the ungodly smell coming from the storm drains near school. I don’t know what causes it, but it’s pretty bad. No wonder people don’t really like coming downtown.

  • My understanding of cops on horses is it gives the officers a higher view and therefore a better perspective on what’s going on.

  • My dad is retired hpd. I believe the main benefit to horse patrol is crowd control.

  • It is amazing how thin skinned Houstonians are when it comes to downtown. Ever been to Chicago? Boston? NY? San Fran? Seattle? Washington DC? Smeladephia . . . err I mean Philadephia? Compared to most major cities in the US, Houston’s downtown is immaculate. Sure, there are homeless people and cops on horses. But if you are expecting to find a larger version of The Woodlands Town Center, you do not understand the challenges of cramming tens of thousands of people in a few city blocks.

  • Old School I’m with you – downtown needs one thing more residents.

    1. Quit complaining
    2. Have you ever been to NOLA? It smells like S&*T.
    3. Who cares where the urine came from.
    4. More residents will clean up downtown.

    Downtown is so fresh and so clean for real!


  • Why are people afraid of bums? 99% of them won’t hurt you and will just ask you for a few bucks. I feel more threatened from the fake, wannabe thugs in Katy. And for those who believe downtown is dead, have y’all been around Market Square Park? New restaurants and bars popping up. Try downtown one Friday evening. Or y’all can stay in the burbs and eat at chili’s…

  • for reals, haters can hate all day, but Houston is still one of the cleanest metro’s i encounter. partly because it’s mostly unused, but i’ll take the positive anyway the way come.

  • I live, work, and go to school downtown and I love it. But there’s definitely room for improvement in the homeless department. The new places at Market Square are cool and I think will help get people back downtown. But it is annoying to get hit up for change on my way home every day. Its so bad that Frank’s has a sign outside the front that tells people not to give the homeless money. I’m sure most cities are like this, but I don’t remember the streets of New York or Boston looking like a scene from the Walking Dead at night. I agree that more residential/restaurant/bar scene downtown will fix some of the problem, hope to see that happen sooner rather than later.

  • Jessie is right, cops on horseback are most useful for crowd control. I don’t really understand the justification for their deployment on a day-to-day basis. Seems like motorcycle cops would be better-suited to the task.

  • I like the horses and the cops who ride them. They are about the only thing in downtown I do like. And they are great for crowd control.

  • New Orleans is where people who get out of prison go to celebrate. Downtown Houston is where people who get out of prison go to live. Both smell like urine and have transients walking aimlessly looking for something to eat, drink, steal, smoke, mooch, or f@#k

  • Alex: you are right; there are homeless in all cities. What makes Houston stand out is the fact that the homeless outnumber the people who actually live downtown. So, whereas there is a high likelihood of encountering someone in our downtown, you won’t for instance see them loitering around the ‘nice’ residential parts of say, Chicago, San Fran, etc. In those cities, there are also many more transit and shelter options, so the homeless tend to be more spread out.

  • I frequently see mounted police downtown doing sticker checks at intersections. I think they’re a cute little addition to downtown, and would rather not have cops on motorcycles or segways or whatever.

  • As some one who has been “pulled over” by one of those horse cops downtown I would be ok with seeing them go. I got a ticket for an expired (2 months!) inspection sticker at an intersection downtown last fall.

  • BL- I wouldn’t be so trusting of bums if I were you. Don’t forget, they have nothing to lose.

  • Houston is clean? I’ve always been struck by how much litter there is here. I’ve never seen so many people throwing crap out their car windows or just dumping it on the ground as I have here.

    As for the horses… if I have to clean up after my dog, I think HPD should be cleaning up after the horses.