New Buffalo Bayou Bridge Will Encourage Tolerance of Houston

The newly revealed design for that $7 million pedestrian bridge over Buffalo Bayou near Montrose makes a brilliant metaphor for the appeal of this city, no? From a distance, it doesn’t seem like Houston is really . . . “passable,” either! But once you’re looking at it up close . . . sure, it’s all right: You can make it through. An excellent message to send prospective Houston tourists! Plus: Wasn’t that how the Houston Ship Channel got started too?

Official name of this Memorial Heights TIRZ project: The Tolerance Bridge. Perfect!


The design unveiling at yesterday’s City Council meeting found a few council members a bit leery of that hill-like thing in the middle — they were assured that figuring out how to keep skateboarders off of it is a “prime directive” for the design team.

22 Comment

  • I have the fun of hydraulically analyzing this beast!

    When I got the schematics electronically, I really thought the crap on top of the center span was errors in the files I received. It looks even worse from these renderings.

    An architecturally pleasing structure could have been designed. This isn’t it to me personally. Couldn’t they make a mini suspension or cable stayed style bridge. It would have been quite pleasing and much better at not impacting flood waters.

    The bridge will serve an important need though. Currently, Montrose/Studemont across Buffalo Bayou has lots of pedestrian traffic hanging on to the rails while traffic passes nearby. Having this bridge next to it will direct them away from the vehicular bridge.

    A major issue of the current layout will be making sure it doesn’t negatively affect the flood waters of Buffalo Bayou.

  • Didn’t the guys from “Jackass” build one of these for a stunt?

  • I am all for more pedestrian bridges in Houston, although I would argue that streets that currently have no sidewalks whatsoever, or that have impassable sigewalks, should receive higher priority.

    That said, “The Tolerance Bridge”? Sure tolerance is important. It’s nice to live in a city where there isn’t open warfare between different races, ethnicities, religions, etc. But of all the virtues one could celebrate, tolerance has to be the weakest, wimpiest virtue of all. It basically says, “I acknowledge your right to exist.” Not exactly “Love thy neighbor,” is it?

    Love–now that is a virtue worth celebrating! Why don’t they call it The Love Bridge — or better yet, La Puente de Amor.

  • woohoo for promoting tolerance between the warring joggers of Allen Parkway and Memorial.

    stupid name.

  • And all there dogs! I’ve seen more people walking there dog over the road bridge than anywhere else.

    Of course they have good reason, there’s a dog part at Allen Parkway!

  • How about let’s tolerate stupid ugly wastes of taxpayer money when the current administration won’t even deal with the municipal employee pension shortfall.

  • I agree CK.

    So far, the only work I performed on the project was some initial investigation hydraulically.

    The work was done for the TIRZ. In being a TIRZ project, I though it would use only the money the TIRZ gets allocated through increased commercial property taxes, but it seems the city was all too willing to through money at it.

    If it was just the TIRZ, I wouldn’t have much issue since the money is directly benefiting the spenders. I wouldn’t want my tax money spent on this project if I say live in Westbury or Westchase.

  • What better way to highlight the natural beauty of the lush green buffalo bayou than to build a gigantic twisted mash of rebar and concrete right over it. Can’t they just build something functional and low-impact, visually? Now that, I could TOLERATE.

  • Oogly. Put up something more riverine and less freeway-like in design. And “tolerance” is nothing to be proud of, let alone to celebrate. Ugh ugh ugh.

  • Not only is it ugly now, it looks like it will become a graffiti magnet!

  • kjb434, that is not a dog park on Allen Parkway. It is a public park that inconsiderate dog owners have taken over to run their illegally leash-free dogs in.

    Sure, before there were any dog parks in the city, there was at least an excuse for them to run their dogs there. But now there are plenty of legitimate, official, fenced dog parks, even some near the trendy inside-the-Loop neighborhoods.

    Lest you think I am an evil dog-hater, I am quite the opposite. I am a dog lover, owned by two furry beasts who love to frolic in this city’s many fenced dog parks. We’ve been to Danny Jackson (Westpark), Maxie Rd, Dunlavy Park, Millie Bush, and the new one on Highway 6 opposite the farm and ranch club at Bear Creek. We have never run loose along Allen Parkway. I would never forgive myself if one of my dogs were to be running loose and decided to take a swim in the alligator-infested waters of Buffalo Bayou or to sprint across Allen Parkway or Studemont.

  • this is hideous.. does anyone know who designed this so that i can email them and let them know.

  • Bring on the magnetized graffiti! Beautification.

  • “Tolerance” bridge? Tolerance, meaning what? What is meant by “encouraging tolerance of Houston”? I’m not a skateboarder, but if a prime directive is how to keep skateboarders off of it, how is that “tolerance”? I’m confused, but this is about something in Houston, so, well… you know… And I’m and very happy ex-Houstonite.

  • The German artists that dreamed this up know more about tolerance than we do, and how to physically depict such tolerance.

    Instead of encouraging our own culture by supporting our own artists and architects, we decide to go elsewhere.

    Build bridges of tolerance expanding from the 3rd Ward to River Oaks.

  • WTF? who cares about skateboarders? Keeping skaters off of the bridge was a “prime directive” for the design team….that is ridiculous if skaters want to skate on the bridge let them. Who or what are they hurting? At least they are out engaging the city and not sitting on there butts playing Xbox and eating mayonnaise with a spoon.

  • THe arches over Post Oak looked pretty ugly at first, but now they look great. It just takes some getting used to.

    They should name the bridge: “Tolerance, the Joe Campos Torres Bridge”. I think it is near where the police threw him in the river and said they wanted to “see a wetback” swim. It seems we haven’t learned anything from that. Intolerance abounds.

    But I digress.

  • This design is truly ugly. OK – I understand the economics behind the fact that developers can build horribly inappropriate buildings all over our neighborhoods, and I’m OK with that. But this is a public space. We need some kind of commission or panel or ANYONE with an ounce of design sense to say ‘No’.
    Does anyone know how I as a citizen can protest the decision to build this thing?
    I love the idea of a bridge but really…. this? Really? Hasn’t anyone looked at Calatrava?

  • PS – I’m not sure that German architects are the authority on tolerance………….

  • Only one word can describe this,” waste of money honey”. Since its there I personally think it SHOULD be named in rememberance of Joe Torres. Why hasn’t there been any respect towards that? The next time they have an IDEA they should consider doing a rememberance of the wrong doings of hpd. Waste some of your good money on that !

  • I don’t like it. And why is the number goal for the tolerance bridge to not tolerate skateboarders?

  • Josie, you’re a bit late to the party.
    But it was fun to revisit this proposal:
    omg like some kind of nightmare! compared to the awesome bridge which was actually constructed.