Houston’s Pothole Progress; Reagan HS Name Staying for Now


Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


12 Comment

  • If I remember correctly, probably some time before Swamplot went into its long coma, I told everyone how to fix the Reagan name issue at minimal cost and inconvenience. Don’t make me repeat myself!

  • We need to rename Houston because Sam stole all that land from the Mexicans and thats racist. In fact we owe them reparations – lets just give it all back.

  • Re potholes: They’re just shoveling gravel into them, right? They aren’t really going to fix them. And the gravel won’t stay in the potholes, but will spread all over the street and chip my car’s paint and make me fall off my bike. Right?

  • “Fixing” is such a rash word, Memebag. “Closing the work order” is longer, but a lot more accurate. They’re closing work orders on potholes within 24 hours. Actually fixing the potholes with a lasting solution – maybe not so much.
    The real thing for me is the parking. “If you build it they will come,” certainly seems to pertain to parking. But unlike the smoking analogy in the article, there are a whole lot of things that aren’t related to parking or roads that push people into their cars. In an ideal world, of course we would all live comfortably in housing we can afford, within walking distance of (or a quick transit ride from) work, quality schools if we have kids, and all the daily necessities. But we don’t live in an ideal world. In many cases there are neighborhoods that might fit the bill – walking distance to work and quality schools and all the daily necessities – but we can’t afford housing there. Or there are neighborhoods we can afford but that miss one or two critical items on the list (close to work but has lousy schools or is a good desert). The real issue, then, isn’t that the parking is putting us in our cars. Underlying urban problems are doing that. A surplus of parking is at best just keeping people from carpooling or using existing transit. So while reducing parking might help a little when it comes to gettin people out of their cars, tackling the really tough urban problems is what’s really going to make a big difference.

  • The potholes are filled with BS, a far more entertaining substance.

  • I noticed some fresh asphalt this morning in the pot hole in front of Shell on Polk in the East End, smooth ride, very nice way to start the day!

  • @Toby I don’t know if you know your Texas history, but you should appreciate that Sam Houston basically threw up his hands in disgust at the idea of Texas joining the Confederacy and basically decided to retire from politics forever because of it. Houston was one of the loudest voices in Texas against joining the Confederacy.
    And we didn’t steal land from the Mexicans. We won it fair and square. Just like the confederacy lost. I honestly will never understand why people think we should venerate confederate generals and whatnot. Especially here in Houston. They were on the wrong side of a war that they then proceded to lose. And don’t give me any of that southern pride crap some people associate with it. I’ve lived my whole life in this state and if the only thing you can be proud of here is our involvement in an idiotic war defending evil ideas then I think you’ve missed a lot of what our state has to offer.

  • Houston was not big on naming things after confederate figures until the 1920s. The late 19th century schools were not named for confederate figures (Harvard, Travis, Allen, Cage, etc.). But in 1920s, the Texas Legislature segregated schools and there was a lot of racial tension in Houston with the Klan coming to town. Suddenly, Houston goes on a confederate naming spree with new schools (Reagan, Lee, Jackson, Lanier, etc) while opening Jack Yates High School as a “colored” only school. At the time, the message of the school names was loud and clear.

  • I have a similar theory than ZAW on the parking issue. Yes, of course parking causes driving, but driving causes parking, too. You can also say that suburbs cause driving, but that driving causes suburbs. These are non-linear relationships, unlike the link between smoking and cancer where cancer does not also cause smoking. There is not a strong analogy here.

    If you want a strong analogy to the field of biology, it is between two entities that are in a symbiotic relationship that re-order how those entities perceive and value each other and how they live. Humans and house pets, something like that. But if you view it through that lens then what is good and what is bad becomes kind of difficult to pin down, and maybe there isn’t any good or bad. Its much easier for propaganda value to say that lung cancer = bad and to try to imply that all of the human motivations that may lead to it are also bad.

  • I don’t have a problem with any single pothole. I do have problems with what I would call “pot-streets” that are nearly impassible due to hundreds of consecutive craters, dips and patches that make travelling literally painful. I don’t see how dumping some wet asphalt or gravel into one hole is going to rectify entire streets that need to be completely re-constructed.

  • @TheNiche: Biology has words to describe the relationship between parking and driving. “Arms race” and “co-evolution” fit pretty well. If you find a creature that has evolved to devote a lot of its energy to producing toxins, you’ll find some other creature that has evolved to survive those toxins. The two are in an arms race with each other, and have co-evolved these capabilities. One becomes a little more toxic, the other becomes a little more immune to that toxin. Other organisms can’t invade that relationship because they aren’t toxic enough or immune enough.
    From this perspective, large parking lots and heavy reliance on cars can be seen as Houston’s defense mechanism. Houston is immune to walkability because driving and parking have co-evolved to such extremes here. There’s no stable strategy to provide a path from where we are to where the new urbanists want to be.

  • I’d rather walk in a car-oriented environment than drive in a pedestrian-oriented one. Circling for 30+ minutes to find parking sucks and is a waste of time. OTOH, car-oriented environments tend to place destinations further apart, allowing walkers/runners/cyclists to get some exercise as we run our errands.

    Oh, but one doesn’t have to drive in a pedestrian-oriented environment, does he? He can walk, cycle, or partake of public transport? In the best of circumstances, yes, but the density required for public transport to work on a schedule sufficient to approximate the convenience of driving usually means that all but the very wealthy live in shoeboxes. At the end of the day, plenty of folks (and, I’d estimate, a vast majority of Houstonians) want freestanding houses and yards.