CITY WISHLIST FOR DAIRY ASHFORD: WIDER ROADWAY, HIGHER BAYOU BRIDGE
On city council’s agenda for tomorrow: a vote of support for widening Dairy Ashford Rd. from 2 to 3 lanes on each side between Westheimer and I-10. As part of the roadwork, the existing bridge across Buffalo Bayou would be rebuilt — potentially above 500-year floodplain level, though the city hasn’t decided yet. New, wider sidewalks are on the table, too. With the council’s blessing, Houston’s public works department would next submit an application for the project to the Houston Galveston Area Council, which could choose to help pay for it with state and federal money. [Houston City Council Agenda] Map: Houston City Council
The title of artist Joan Dodd’s new composition 88 Keys undersells it — it’s actually 275 keys, more than 3 times the amount found on a piano. Installation artists laid them down along the rounded east west side of Jones Hall over the weekend. Constructed from 900 pounds worth of temporary marking tape — the kind commonly used on highways — they now span the entire block of Louisiana between Texas Ave. and Capitol St.
That material choice means they can really take a pounding from anyone who feels like stomping out a silent melody with their feet while heading south to check out the Bank of America Center’s ongoing renovations. Or those lured in by the glow of the Lyric Center parking garage’s new lighting, pictured off in the distance below:
A weekend wanderer sends a few photos of the new sprouts now poking out of some recently beheaded trees alongside the Lyric Centre parking garage construction site on Smith St. It’s unclear exactly when the shortening occurred, though a shot taken of the site back in late October seems to show at least a few of the trees still tall enough to peek over the construction fencing:
Struggling to make themselves heard above the whoosh of traffic along the Washington Corridor, Better Houston’s Pedestrian Pete (a.k.a. one-time mayoral candidate Peter Brown) and visiting Harvard prof and city planner Peter Park take a very short stroll in this recently uploaded video. Their objective? To lament the guy wires, utility poles, and other hindrances for would-be pedestrians on the few feet of sidewalk they traverse in front of Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Buffalo Wild Wings in this strip center near Leverkuhn at 3939 Washington.
Thanks for your continued concrete vigilance, Swamplot pedestrians. The mysterious unpavednesses documented in this catalog of sidewalk lunch breaks in Hyde Park and North Montrose appear to have raised a couple of (tiny) red flags. On Welch St., at least. In case you’re updating your own dogwalking map, you’ll find these walkway gaps on (clockwise, from top left): Van Buren between Peden and Bomar; Welch between Waugh and Van Buren; West Pierce between Eberhard and Marconi; and Peden between Montrose and Van Buren.
Sure, send us anything: “I think I read in your blog recently that you wanted people to send you photos of blocked or unpassable sidewalks in Houston,” writes the reader who sent in these images. They show a tiny community garden — which appears to support its own utility pole — implanted in the sidewalk area on Ferndale St. just south of Westheimer, across the street from the River Oaks Plastic Surgery Center. The sidewalk break fits between 2712 Ferndale St. and its big brother next door, The Belle Meade at River Oaks condo building, at 2929 Westheimer.
A KINK IN THE PATH “Walking the sidewalks in the Heights is sometimes tricky,” quips the reader who sent in this pic of the year-or-so-old sidewalk in front of the year–or-so-old house at 919 Arlington St.: “This walk is built to the 5′-0″ standards currently in place where as the older walks are built at 4′. However the alignment was so off from the 2′ distance required from the property line location of the other residents’ walks. I could only assume that the developer was thinking that he could allow more room to park a car between the street and walk if he shifted it west two feet.” Photo: Swamplot inbox
Blogging machine Charles Kuffner returns to the scene of a Memorial Heights sidewalk he photographed 2 years ago, and finds it’s grown. The Ed Sacks Waste Paper Company building that stood at the non-intersection of Memorial and Studemont has been replaced by the 25-story Legacy at Memorial. That apartment tower opened recently, but the set of sidewalks that wraps around it is still under construction:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: BRING YOUR MUD BOOTS “There are too many high-speed arterials, especially outside the Loop, with no sidewalks. I was taking the bus to work for about a month earlier this year (I work in an office on the North beltway). There are bus stops there but no sidewalks. Speeds on the feeder road tend to be 45 to 50 mph. There are few pedestrians (for obvious reasons) but there are some; bus commuters like me, kids walking to school every day, etc. They will walk on muddy paths to avoid walking in the street. And bus riders with wheelchairs or strollers are simply SOL. I liked riding the bus, but not the sidewalk-free walk at the end of the ride.” [RWB, commenting on Where the Sidewalks End]