Rethinking Galveston’s Public Housing Plan; Beltway 8 Delivery


Photo of Brays Bayou: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • So your “artist” is actually a “partner” Why am I not surprised. Now I know why my suggestion of using Art students from Rice and UH as guest artists went nowhere. The site could have helped new artists get noticed and added something cool to the site. Typically the suggestion went nowhere. This site could be so much better but so many great suggestions by commenters have fallen on deaf ears at the site. It was a unique site 5 years ago, but now it’s stagnated and has not improved in years. I hope the new regime is allowed autonomy to make some real changes in the layout, the way ads are covering the site (total turnoff), the way comments are moderated (allow self correction and stop playing favorites, have rules for everyone not just some), the way artists are chosen needs to change (maybe have LuLu paint the exterior of your offices and stay off that site for a while, I’m tired of her Gramma Moses), and to create an atmosphere where swamplot regulars feel they have a say in the site,

  • The average price for a house in Humble is now $24,300? What a steal! ;-)

  • Nothing says Houston more than having Gallery Furniture and the Grand Parkway as the two geographic reference points for a new high-end steakhouse.

  • $2000 on furniture?
    That’s a dining room table, save the chairs.

  • Rice Military driving…
    I’ve often felt that residential streets anywhere in the city the speed limit should be 20mph. last time I checked, the point behind school speed limit zones was because there are children present. last time I also checked neighborhoods, there are children present there as well. Only, they dart out from behind parked cars, there isn’t a crossing guard, and other things that make it especially dangerous to drive 30mph on residential streets.
    Rice military in particular, those roads are so tiny, no improved shoulders, maybe a 15mph limit is in order there.
    I wish this city would spend the money doing what they do in Holland for neighborhood streets. Look up ‘woonerf’. It really wouldn’t be that hard to implement. A lot of residential streets would probably become one way, shoulders (hell, just use planters) that reach out in the street to indicate roadside parking, would switch from side to side so drivers are encouraged to slow down on their own.
    But who am I kidding, this country will never spend money to help neighborhood streets be safer when it can spend billions to continue making our military bigger.

  • Toasty, maybe what the City of Houston should have done 50 years ago was to expand these tiny residential streets to the margins of the right of way, and then curbed and guttered them like every other city in Texas did. Instead they just annexed areas that were poor and left the streets to suffer through benign neglect. Of course if they tried to curb and gutter all the streets today, it would probably cost billions that we don’t have. Your 15 mph suggestion is ludicrous, heck, horse drawn carriages traveled at that speed!

  • Shannon, that reads “Swamplot Illustrator and HER business partner,” not “Swamplot’s illustrator and business partner.” Whatever you’re implying, as usual, is incoherent, self-important rambling.

  • 15 mph in a residential area is ludicrous?
    I wonder if you’ve ever even read about it?
    There’s plenty otherwise that you can read. the short story though? aged 5-9 the LEADING cause of death among children is being hit by a car. so yeah, we spend millions (maybe even billions?) trying to prevent diseases, and stop people from smoking, and all sorts of other things, but make a person travel 15-20 mph in a residential area where it may actually save some lives, and well, that’s insane talk!
    you do realize the difference in drive times between 20mph and 30mph for the couple hundred yards a person does through residential areas is about negligible? So yeah, how about you consider going slower in residential areas, no matter if a horse and buggy may overtake you, the point is child safety.

  • Toasty: Teach your kids to stay out of the street. Roads are for cars.

  • Shady Heightser writes: “Your 15 mph suggestion is ludicrous, heck, horse drawn carriages traveled at that speed!”

    In fact, the Rice Military/West End neighborhoods were established when horses and wagons far outnumbered motor vehicles, and when single-family homes occupied each lot. The dimensions of the streets reflect this. Unfortunately, today the density creates more on-street parking that blocks visibility, and some residents think driving at 35-40 mph between stop signs is acceptable.

  • Toasty, I can understand your reasoning in that striking a child with a vehicle can be many peoples biggest fears when driving in residential areas, but where are you getting your statistics for this? The latest data available by CDC shows pedestrian incidents coming in as the 8th leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for 5-9yr olds (18), but is far far below that of more common incidents such as motor vehicle crashes (342), drownings (116), fire/burns(87) and firearms (48). It is also well below that of biological reasons such as malignant neoplasms (467), congenital anomalies (187), homicide (125) and many others.
    Additionally, do you have data to support the assumption that there’s a high level of child pedestrian incidents in residential areas? I’m familiar with most all pedestrian incidents occurring along major thoroughfares and intersections and not in residential. The map below only shows fatalities which may not be an accurate picture as fatalities will be much more likely in higher speed zones as you’ve noted:
    Lower speed limits help reduce probability of fatality, but they don’t address visibility which is typically the largest factor involved. The problem we run into is if the intention is to truly cut back on pedestrian incidents then you’d probably show much greater return on value increasing visibility and lowering speed limits along major commercial thoroughfares than residential areas.

  • joel, thanks for the info. the article I referenced was from 2011, and I misread, in that article, it said that it was the 3rd.
    either way, 3rd, 8th, it’s something that can easily be reduced even farther by better managing our roads and how all forms of traffic interact with each other. making these super skinny streets of rice military one way, putting in slower speed limits, and introducing some other calming features would greatly increase safety and potentially reduce the use of these neighborhood streets as through roads. If it’s the residents of these neighborhoods complaining of safety issues, they should welcome any and all changes that would increase safety.
    I opened it up to say that all residential streets should have reduced speed limits (and introduce other methods to keep drivers going slow), cause hey, it’s good to be safer all around. realistically, what is the loss if the speed limit in a neighborhood is 20 instead of 30? I’m struggling to imagine a neighborhood that has a distance that you would have to travel in a residential area for more than a mile to get to a home. So even if you do have to travel a mile to get to a home within a residential area, you’re adding a single minute on your travel time going from 30 mph to 20 mph. More than likely though, a person travels less than half a mile in an actual residential area so it will be even less time that they are hindered by a reduced speed limit.
    That is, unless they are using the neighborhood to skip lights on major thoroughfares, which I could not care less if those people are slowed down to a 5 mph speed limit, residential areas should not be used as a ‘cut through’ to make a commute faster.

  • Leading cause of death for children getting hit my cars is just the free market talking. The free market will adapt and create pillows on the front of cars that gently nudge the children out of the way at 30 mph. Anyone who wants to reduce the speed limit in their neighborhood is a communist. Regulation of speed limits is against my freedom. Roads are for cars. Children should stay indoors 100 percent of the day.

  • Every time there are calls for decreasing speed limits, people justify it by sharing their observations of others grossly exceeding current speed limits. The logical answer for that is to enforce existing speed limits, not to lower them even further, only to have the same non-existent level of enforcement. I have NEVER seen an HPD officer using radar in my residential neighborhood or ticketing speeders. Most traffic on my street stays below 30 because there are stop signs on either end of my block. However, there are occasional cars travelling too fast, and I would love for HPD to enforce the current 30 mph speed limit. Changing it to anything else will have 0 effect on traffic unless there is more enforcement.

  • 100 percent right Dave. You see, when a car hits a child, THAT’s already against the law. If the police would just enforce the EXISTING laws regarding running over children with cars — Its only Logical. I have NEVER seen an HPD officer, leap in front of a car to stop it from hitting someone. Most traffic on my street don’t hit people because they follow existing traffic laws. However, there are occasional cars travelling over, through, and under people/children, and I would love for HPD to enforce the existing law stopping them from doing that. Changing any law to mitigate will have 0 effect on people getting hit by cars unless there is more enforcement.