Comment of the Day Runner-Up: How To Kill the Grid in the East End

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: HOW TO KILL THE GRID IN THE EAST END “What happened when the quiet zone went in in the First Ward? Every street got closed. Holly, Goliad, Hickory, Johnson, Colorado, Sabine, Silver, Henderson, all gone. The neighborhood was cut in two. The grid died, leaving something that looks like the cul-de-sacs-and-thoroughfares of the ’burbs. Now, Cullen could probably use an underpass. Sampson/York too. But what’s gonna happen in the East End when stuff gets value engineered out? Nance: gone. Commerce: gone. McKinney: gone. Milby: gone. Leeland: quite possibly gone. All those little side streets you like to ride your bike or walk your dog on because there’s low traffic, these will all be severed. And for what? So UP can operate remote-controlled locomotives? This is not a positive development.” [Jeff Davis, commenting on Headlines: Waiting for Trains in the East End; Waiting for Dunkin’ Donuts in Montrose]

8 Comment

  • Your argument has merit. However if you are talking a continuous grid from downtown to, say, Eastwood, well that grid was psychologically severed when 59 was elevated, and physically severed when the GRB was built. Leeland definitely wouldn’t be closed (the report says it shouldn’t be), and McKinney has so little traffic that it is effectively off the grid.

  • Neighborhoods and community groups pushed for quiet zones. A result of quiet zones is to eliminate risk by closing minor streets.

    Unless the groups that demanded to have a quiet zone will want to come up with money for proper signals to reduce risk, streets will have to b closed.

  • something to note is that I heard that many parcels of the land east of 59 is on 99 year leases to the Helmsley trust. It was leased after WWII so say 1946 and these leases are intact until 2045 and it prevents development. With that being said, maybe this is why 59 east side is underdeveloped and its just not that people are afraid of the people that walk the streets in this area.

  • Why does only connectivity to Downtown matter?

    The whole point of a grid is that the *local streets* go through. If anything that doesn’t run for five miles “doesn’t count” then by that definition Cinco Ranch is also a grid.

    Milby carries 5,000 cars between Navigation and the IH-45 feeder, and is currently scheduled to be closed. That’s madness.

  • Benny,

    How do you know about the Helmsley trust land leases? Just curious.

  • JeffDavis, your statement regarding the volume and route of traffic is inaccurate and imprecise.

    A traffic count applies only to one cross-section of a road. It is impossible to infer the origin or destination of traffic from the analysis of a single cross-section of a road that is extensively connected to other roads.

    Reference the traffic counts located at this site:

    You will see that the traffic count for Milby at the West Belt Subdivision tracks is only 2,450 vpd. Clearly it is impossible that twice that volume of traffic transits between Navigation to the north and I-45 to the south.

    By my observations, most of the traffic on Milby is local, for instance to cut over from a major thoroughfare into the neighborhood. Lockwood is a better north-south corridor and if a grade-separation is completed at York/Sampson, then that thoroughfare will be even better than Lockwood…and it would exist only 850 feet from Milby.

    A more astute criticism may deal with the flow of commercial truck traffic through neighborhoods given the possibility of street closures and tight turns and clearance issues created by new light rail corridors. But then again…quiet zones and improved mobility may change the highest and best use of those industrial sites, rendering it a moot concern.

  • @ LRS, realtor Reggie Bowman told me about 10 years ago that Helmsley trust had 99 year leased and built warehouses on the parcels on that east side.

  • A ground lease does not prevent a property from being sold; its just that a prospective buyer must negotiate terms that are favorable to both the owner and the leaseholder, as well as the buyer’s capital sources. It’s a bit more technical, but not impossible.