Headlines: Houston’s Uncollected Trash; Still Texas Avenue After All These Years

Photo of Alva Graphics at Shepherd and Center: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

18 Comment

  • I’ve had my trash (and recycling) go uncollected several times. Let me tell you, it’s not because it didn’t get put out properly. The truck drivers just seem to skip my side of the street.

  • The Smithsonian article about Houston being the next great city was very positive (even though the author was robbed at gunpoint!) and they were talking about how there’s such balanced diversity here then mention that 78% of residents under 30 are non-anglo and the possibility of a class divide. Yeah, it’s like one of those IQ questions; if John’s city has 78% non-anglo, and x% of those are low education hispanics, how many generations does it take before the majority of John’s city’s residents are lower income? Someone do the math and tell me the mass of townhomes and high rises being built won’t turn ghetto in 30 years.

  • They skip our trash bins several times a year… usually they get one, but not the other(sitting side by side). Occasionally they’ll skip both.

    I love it when I call 311, wait on the line about 5 minutes, then explain the situation. Instead of calling the guy and telling him to go back since he F’d up, my complaint has to be “researched” by a Stupervisor to determine how it will be handled. Usually the bin will just sit out until next collection cycle because nobody from the CoH ever takes action.

    Yet they all want to retire at 110% of their full salary…

  • A couple of weeks ago I watched my neighbors’ can be picked up and dumped completely (can & contents)into the truck. Don’t even think the driver even realized (or cared).

  • “Someone do the math and tell me the mass of townhomes and high rises being built won’t turn ghetto in 30 years…”

    My bet is ghetto in about 12-15 years. Sooner if the bubble bursts real good.

  • Re: Ghetto comments; stated underlying assumptions thereof:

    Come on, y’all, Houston integrated its commercial establishments fifty years ago. This ain’t the same city it was even 25 years ago, during which time Fort Bend went from rice farms and white bread suburbs to being the most diverse county in the country.

    Get over it.

  • “Come on, y’all, Houston integrated its commercial establishments fifty years ago.
    …..Get over it.”

    You seem to have ignored the valid socioeconomic question and how it relates to future housing demand and higher-end housing supply and extracted a racist interpretation….which is unfortunately typical with these types of questions these days. Demographic and economics do have some statisical correlations.

    The article brought the point up of Houston’s 1)having a balanced diversity, which everyone loves to applaud and 2)having the possibility of an expanding economic class divide over time.

    So once the baby boomers and young professionals either die or move and the young and still unborn take over, who will live in the townhouses, Heights bungalows and other higher-end places? Will the Inner Loop become more like SF and Manhattan with rent control or maybe they’ll just be knocked down for affordable housing.

  • There are also some who believe that phrenology is valid – that one’s character can be divined by the bumps and valleys of the skull.

    The only table that an immigrant (or even more so an immigrant’s children or grandchildren) is automatically excluded from, is the one that belongs to the closed mind that can’t look beyond externalities.

    But if you want to hang onto the current equivalent of “No Irish Need Apply” then knock yourself out.

  • @Dana-X: while I think you raise some interesting points, your fault is to point to Houston as some negative outlier. The economic disparities are all over the US. Frankly, every city has these issues–if we go down, we are all going down together.

  • Thanks mollusk.
    The most significant divide is already here. In the 60s, a CEO received about 20 times the income of the average worker. Today, it’s about 273 times the average worker.

  • Dana-X, you need to do a time series analysis in order for your precious correlations to have predictive validity.

    Am I concerned about townhome ghettos? Yes. But it has more to do with having such fractured ownership and difficult-to-enforce deed restrictions. Maintenance and depreciation will be a problem. The effect of bad neighbors will be magnified as a result of higher densities. And the underlying value of the land may be threatened because it is so difficult to assemble land for a transition to a higher and better use.

  • It’s a shame we think so little of our non-Anglo population that we assume straightaway that education levels will stay stagnant for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for people who believe this stuff, there is no place to move. White Flight has no where to go. The suburbs are as brown as the inner city now.

  • White flight? …so quick to jump on a high horse and pre-judge…I’ve lived in a 95%+ hispanic nabe for quite awhile, speak fluent spanish and have plans to leave.I like it here. The people are very nice and decent and make the American born look rude and obnoxious by comparison.
    So perhaps that’s why I can make these points where others wouldn’t dare. Of the young people around me that I see, the high school dropout rate is high, very few go to college and so incomes are likely in the lower end. The girls marry young and have children fast. Immigrants, once legalized, often bring other family members over. How do I know that? I know many who have and I sponsored a non-family member’s green card a few years ago as a favor.

    So Houston will likely add many more lower income residents as a percentage of total population this century. Niche mentioned the increased density and aging of the inner loop townhomes. The Heights will lose a lot of baby boomers these next two decades.

    So I’m visualizing the future and it looks like a class-divided city compared to now and am wondering what that will look like in terms of real estate and neighborhoods. And I was just offering that up to hear what you all see.

  • Whoops…I meant “no plans to leave”…calm down!

  • Education is an investment in people…Houston should be fine if it manages to bring in more educational value (in terms of actual value, not necessarily dollar amounts) than it leaks.

    To do this there are three options: educate as best we can to the extent that we can keep them around, rely on transplants to overcome whatever failings the current educational system has, and/or take that leap of faith and issue educational bonds like there’s no tomorrow and hope it all works out.

  • Dana is right.

  • The Smithsonian article also talks about the high degree of income inequality in Houston, saying that though the metro area is one of the country’s most ethnically diverse, it is also the most income unequal. Part of the cause of that is probably the low education levels of many of our citizens. I strongly agree that something must be done to decrease the abnormally high drop out rate among hispanics here. Not obtaining at least a high school degree sentences a person to low wages for a lifetime.
    I disagree however with Dana’s premise that this will cause property values to plummet here. As long as the local economy retains pillars in the energy and biomedical fields, there will be a steady supply of people with the earning power to continue to afford homes that command prices well above the Houston median.

  • The plain truth is, if your culture wasn’t worth defending, you can’t blame others for filling the vacuum thus created.
    But your concern for the value of your home is so, so perfectly apposite, Dana-X. You’ve made me smile, and so I thank you, because despair is a very grave sin.