03/22/17 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO TILT THE ZERO-SUM HOUSTON TRANSIT GAME parking-garage“‘The overlooked reason why cycling isn’t more popular is because driving and parking are far, far easier in Houston than in Amsterdam.’ You‘re right. So you know what would help increase the use of bikes? Allowing the market to determine the number of parking spaces. If [a business] gets it wrong and offers too few spots, they’ll suffer. But give them the choice. Right now business are required to supply tons of parking, making driving the dominant way people will always get from point A to point B. At least loosen up the regs in areas like Midtown and Montrose where we have a population that’s far more willing to walk, bike, skate, rail, etc. (or even Uber, which, while it puts cars on the road, lowers parking demand.)” [Cody, commenting on Houston Bike Plan Up for a Vote Again This Morning Amid More California-ization Fears] Photo: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/16/17 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR VERY OWN INNER LOOP TRAILER PARK, FOR FUN AND PROPERTY TAX CONTROL Former trailer park at W. 11th St. and Allston St.“Are there typically HOA restrictions against mobile homes inside the Loop? Like if someone’s sitting on a cleared-off lot and not wanting to build, could they just pull in 2 mobile homes and start renting out? Or would the neighborhood/city be pounding on the doors? Not sure such a thing is feasible with $400k lots, but if you had to demo a multifamily and still wanted to hold onto the property, sounds like [that] could potentially keep the tax value low while still bringing in rental income.” [joel, commenting on All That’s Left of the Heights Trailer Park Behind Eight Row Flint] Photo of cleared mobile home park on W. 11th St.: Swamplot inbox

03/15/17 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CHANGING TASTES AT THE CORNER OF MONTROSE AND WESTHEIMER Shopping Center at Westheimer Rd. at Montrose Blvd., Montrose, Houston, 77006“Dallas invading Houston with its bland ‘designer tacos’ made for yuppies. Right across from Austin’s Uchi, where the waitstaff tells you what you’re suppose to taste as you eat. I remember when you could get a blowjob for $20 in this neighborhood. This is sad.” [MW, commenting on Edge Realty Now Seeking To Fill Bright Orange Box with Neighbors for a Montrose Velvet Taco] Photo: Swamplot inbox

03/13/17 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ACTS OF PREEMPTIVE CALIFORNIA-IZATION IN THE HOUSTON SUBURBS Summit Oaks neighborhood with Houston street names, Denton, TX, 76210“Someone ought to do a subdivision in Katy/Fulshear and name the streets Crenshaw, Imperial, Valley View, etc. Would (i) be humorous and (ii) help keep the California transplants outside Beltway 8. Win-win.” [Purple City, commenting on The Denton Suburban Roadways Quietly Impersonating West Houston’s Iconic Streets] Photo of Houston street names in Denton, TX: Lauren Meyers

03/10/17 5:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR WEEKEND HEIGHTS-CREEP FORECAST Future Yale Marketplace site at Yale St. and 610 Loop, Garden Oaks/Independence Heights, Houston, 77018“Garden Oaks and Oak Forest are [already] part of The Heights (the same way they are calling Spring Branch ‘Memorial’, and a lot of long time residents were angry that new residents called Northside Village ‘Tampico Heights’). I have bad news for the purists out there: if you live in Cottage Grove, Independence Heights, Shady Acres, Brooke Smith, Timbergrove/Lazybrook, those areas are now part of The Heights [as well].  . . . These hoods that have the 365 stores are gonna get more pricey and popular, since they are close to Downtown.” [Dj, commenting on Whole Foods’s 365 Garden Oaks Spot Now Emptied of Neff Rental Rentals] Rendering of 365 Garden Oaks: Boucher Design Group

03/09/17 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: RENOVATABILITY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER 2 Memorial Point Ln., Piney Point, TX 77024“When we were home shopping in the Memorial Villages area, we considered several homes that were marketed as ‘Lot Value Only/No Showings of the House’. What I discovered was: 1) A buyer is a buyer. Any professional listing agent who is doing right by his client will be happy to show a home’s interior to a qualified buyer. (If he/she wants to renovate the house, that’s his/her business). 2) What is considered ‘lot value’ in Memorial Villages can be quite livable, even moderately luxurious, by ‘normal’ standards, including mine.” [Grant, commenting on Piney Point Home Listing Photo of the Day: Let It Slide] Photo of 2 Memorial Point Ln.: HAR

03/08/17 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BOOTSTRAPPING INNOVATION WHILE GIVING UT THE BOOT UT Houston Campus Site, Buffalo Lakes, Houston“It’s absolutely surreal to see these extraordinarily non-innovative approaches to becoming an innovation hub. Does anyone really think ‘being innovative’ is a status that one can inherit, or subcontract out, or buy like a product? . . . Also, I can’t help but wonder how much of this push for innovation was based on an expectation of that UT grad-student center being built. It would seem Houston’s last chance to be an actual center for innovation walked out the door along with that project.” [justaswell, commenting on Houston’s Innovation Problem; Sneak Peek at The Carter Penthouses] Conceptual rendering of cancelled UT Houston campus: UT System

03/07/17 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO EITHER ELIMINATE OR WILDLY EXACERBATE THE HOUSTON TRAFFIC JAMS OF THE FUTURE Cars in Traffic“Once people figure out that it’s cheaper to keep the autonomous cars on the road rather than storing them in parking garages, and that having them circle the block at a very low rate of speed in perpetuity keeps them in a ready state – ready to zoom off to pick up passengers and bring in income while the owner is at work – then, and only then, will Houston residents know the true meaning of ‘gridlock’ and immediately wish that legitimate mass transportation alternatives had been built long ago.” [justaswell, commenting on Comment of the Day: Holding Out for that Younger, Sexier Mass Transit Option We Haven’t Met YetIllustration: Lulu

03/06/17 12:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOLDING OUT FOR THAT YOUNGER, SEXIER MASS TRANSIT OPTION WE HAVEN’T MET YET Freeways“Great. As I spend the next few years in grinding traffic, I can take comfort in knowing that no new mass commuting options will be initiated in our region, because we are waiting on futuristic autonomous cars to solve all of our problems. People will give up the comfort of their own private transportation for the luxury of riding in a glorified Uber (but without a driver to keep it clean or compensate for navigation errors). From an urban planning perspective, that’s like meeting a beautiful woman with a great personality but never asking her out because you are just certain that if you ever meet Kate Upton, she will find you infinitely attractive and satisfy you forever.” [Shmoo, commenting on Comment of the Day: Wait, So ‘Keep Adding Freeways’ Was the Long-Term Fix?Illustration: Lulu

03/02/17 3:45pm

FACEBOOK COMMENT OF THE DAY: CARL SANDBURG ON GROCERY STORE AESTHETICS Signage at Kroger, 239 W. 20th St., Houston Heights, Houston, 77008“Pile the carts high at Auchan and Weingarten. / Shovel them under and let me work— / I am the beige. I cover all. / And pile them high at Globe / And pile them high at Sage and Gemco / Shovel them under and let me work. / Two years, ten years, and shoppers ask the manager: / What place is this?/ Where are we now? / I am the beige. Let me work.” [Jerry Wright on Swamplot’s Facebook page, commenting on Secretly Preserved Weingarten History Quickly Erased from Side of Weingarten-Owned Heights Kroger; original poem here] Photo of briefly revealed Weingarten’s signage at W. 20th St. Kroger: Chris Barnes

Facebook Comment of the Day
03/02/17 12:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WAIT, SO ‘KEEP ADDING FREEWAYS’ WAS THE LONG-TERM FIX? loops“The Chronicle article made a fairly big deal out of the following H-GAC quote: ‘Future growth and the resulting travel is expected to surpass our ability to meet regional mobility needs by relying solely on increased roadway capacity.’ I question the significance of this excerpt. Is that not the case at the present time? Has that ever not been the case?” [TheNiche, commenting on Houston #1 in Sublease Office Space; Downtown Getting a WeWork] Illustration: Lulu

02/28/17 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO BUILD ON THE EIGHTH WONDER’S EMERGENCY HOUSING LEGACY Astrodome“We’ve already got a built structure that has housed people in distress before. We are already paying millions of dollars a year in upkeep for a useless building. Showers, bathrooms, food prep, these services all already exist in this space. We’ve got a round peg, let’s just fit it into the round hole: The Astrodome is the perfect building to house our homeless!” [toasty, commenting on Mansion Flats Reincarnated; What a Homeless Campground Might Cost; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Astrodome: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

02/27/17 1:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ON HAVING YOUR ART DECO STRIP CENTER AND EATING IT, TOO River Oaks Shopping Center highrise plan, Houston, 77019“’Everybody wants walkability, but nobody wants density’ is the urban-planning equivalent of ‘everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.’” [Angostura, commenting on Where Weingarten Plans To Stab That 30-Story Residential Highrise into the River Oaks Shopping Center] Site plan of future highrise development: Weingarten Realty

02/22/17 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT’S GONE AND WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ON LOUISIANA ST. Demolition of 517 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002“I just stumbled upon this today (having moved away from Houston in the early 90s.) Kind of breaks my heart to see it gone, having been the maître d’ and sommelier there in the late 80s and early 90s. . . . I still have dreams of a hidden cellar beyond the famous cellar downstairs.” [Kevin Metivier, commenting on Those 2 Century-Old Louisiana St. Buildings Being Demolished Now for Lancaster Hotel Parking] Photo of 517 Louisiana demolition: Jack Miller

02/15/17 5:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE THE RUNOFF TAX FLOWS MATTERS LESS THAN COLLECTING IT City of Houston Public Works Project Map“Just collecting the tax on impermeable surfaces is valuable on its own. It makes landowners think twice about creating (or even keeping) flood-worsening pavement. Where the money goes sort of morally determines whether the fee is a form of legally-imposed direct responsibility for flood costs, or just pure financial disincentive that helps the city with flood costs or whatever else — it would be better with the spending restriction, but I’ll gladly take either one.” [Sid, commenting on City Loses Latest Appeal on 2010 Drainage Fee ElectionMap of past, ongoing, and planned drainage and street projects: ReBuild Houston interactive map