The Woodways and the Westheimers

THE WOODWAYS AND THE WESTHEIMERS “I sometimes think that Woodway is made nicer by the fact that Westheimer exists. There are certainly numerous suburbs and exurbs where the Westheimers look like Woodways. Oh, there’s retail, but it’s set back from the street, perhaps behind a tree buffer, with tasteful monument signage out front. I’ve always found such environments to be stifling. It’s so obviously contrived. All-night, six- and eight-lane arterials are SUPPOSED to have large illuminated signs. They’re SUPPOSED to have ratty businesses alongside the nice ones. Every suburb has a Target and a ratty convenience store. Westheimer has a Target and twenty ratty convenience stores, plus ’24 hours video and news.’ I’ve never been in there, but its existence tells me that this strip is whatever it wants to be. This holds true of Woodway. It’s not a pure residential drive; there is retail, much of it even with tasteful signage. The signage follows from the road – Westheimer has large signs because it’s big and straight and a larger sign means higher visibility. Put up a larger sign on Woodway and it’d just be obscured by trees. Some people think of Westheimer (and other streets like it) as ugly. I don’t, but I understand where they’re coming from. Perhaps if they wanted to do something about it, they should plant trees instead of making rules about commercial signage. Proactive versus restrictive. Woodway is a nice drive because it was built to very nice design standards (10′ median with staggered trees) and because the people who own stores and homes along Woodway want to keep it pleasant. And so it is.” [Keep Houston Houston]

6 Comment

  • AMEN!

    Kirby used to be nice because of the existence of S. Shepherd. But somebody forgot that line of thought.

  • The Houston Strategies Blog also featured Keep Houston Houston.

    I for love the Keep Houston Houston website. I really get sick of such constant harsh criticism of our city when there so much more that is good about it.

    It’s like that old metaphor: You can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • what is the website address for Keep Houston Houston?

  • @Emme: You can find it by clicking on the link in the post.

  • I’m sorry, but when I read “Houston is a city of skyscrapers” in the original posting, I just had to laugh. Houston is a city of sprawl and suburbs. A lot of sprawl, often quite ugly. A handful of sky scrapers in the fourth largest US city does not make us a city of skyscrapers. Ha!

  • Yeah, yeah,

    Sprawl bad!
    Sprawl ugly!
    Get rid of the blow up monkeys!
    Developers bad! Developers bad!

    That’s the how point of the Keep Houston Houston site. It’s for the majority of people that actually love this city and don’t bitch and moan about things like sprawl. The reality is there is nothing the city of Houston can do to prevent sprawl. In the end, any enactment of strict zoning would push suburban development beyond Houston’s reach through the use of the ETJ (which suburbia has already reach).

    Also, many people love living in the suburban areas and want to have nothing to do with the inner core of the city. I’m not one of those peope, but I at least respect the CHOICE of others to live out where ever they like.