Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar West Oaks Mall Lockout; Bayou Trails Coming to Google Street View

290 at 610

Photo of 290 at 610: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


18 Comment

  • I do not think that lowering the downtown speed limit to 25 mph will do much of anything, so long as downtown streets remain as they are currently – wide, with generous lane widths and counts, engineered for open straightaways that encourage high speed.

    Adding traffic calming/beautification elements would do far more to lower the average speed of downtown traffic than arbitrarily lowering the limit.

  • RE: I Love This Bar

    And nothing of value was lost. I feel for the employees who are now out of a job, but the whole concept was a disaster from the beginning. Delayed opening, the recent news of unpaid contractors, and – of course – they’re behind on rent.

    Such is life.

  • Are people really speeding downtown? I don’t drive there much, but when I do the cars seem to be obeying the speed limits for the most part. Is there any objective data on this?

  • Losing los dos, hurts.. That place was a gem, but alas Douchington Avenue is still somewhat trendy..

  • The 25 mph speed limit would apply to all of Houston where the 30 mph limit is the default if not otherwise posted, not just downtown. There are many residential and mixed use neighborhoods in Houston that have the 30 mph default right now.

  • TMR and memebag: I understand that simply lowering the speed limit may not automatically save lives, but it could certainly help in the future as downtown continues to have increased residential and commercial activity. And, I am not suggesting that major streets outside of downtown have their speed limit lowered; it’s just interesting to view the statistics and studies about survival of crashes that I referenced.

    There are certainly larger issues of civics, driver responsibility, pedestrian responsibility, and city design and purpose. It’s easy to speed when streets are designed with large widths and few traffic calming measures. I referenced downtown due to the fact that it’s where I spend most of my time, and experience speeding cars (moving much faster than the 30 mph limit) as a pedestrian.

  • Re: Speed limits, downtown is fine, people are limited by the signals anyway. residential neighborhoods on the other hand. those should be dropped to 20, or lower.

  • I believe the speed limit nationwide should be lowered to 5 mph on all roads everywhere. Statistics show that even fewer fatalities and accidents occur at that speed than at 25. Or better yet, let’s just make it 0, then one will ever get hurt again!

  • I live on commonwealth. I wouldn’t mind them lowering the speed limit there and on Waugh. Too many people make the curve around The Flat and then gun it down the straightaway. Or at least add a speed bump or two.

  • There is speeding downtown, but that is generally not the biggest safety issue. That is reserved for the red light runners. The “regular” downtown pedestrians know to check, sometimes half a block away, for cars racing to get through an intersection even after their light has been red – not yellow, not changing – for two or three seconds.

  • Leave the speed limit as is, kneejerkers. There is no magic fix.

  • I find it hard to imagine how much excessive speeding can be done Downtown because most of the east-west streets do not have synchronized traffic signals so one stops at almost every block. The North-South streets are sequenced at 25-30 MPH to catch a rolling green light. Going 40 puts you at a stop light in every block.
    Why not aggressively enforce jaywalking and cyclists violating the law instead?

  • I hope they raise the speed limit. Everytime I go to the inner loop, my blood pressure rises as a function of my proximity to the the city center. Coincidentally my ability to slow down decreases as well. All too often, I’m breaking 100 mph by the time I get downtown. Luckily I drive a lifted Humvee (from 1991!) with all-wheel drive, 8 miles to the gallon, and the ability to drive over anything liberal—including hippy metro trains.

  • If the speed limit is 30 and the average speed of traffic is 40 or 45, the solution is not to drop it to 25.

    Instead, add successive geometric elements (bulb-outs, street trees, bike lanes, speed tables, art, etc) until the 85th percentile has dropped to 30. Then, and only then, re-assess whether further reductions are necessary. Trying to use white-and-black signs as a blunt force instrument to change behavior (i) rarely works, and (ii) disproportionately impacts the sort of people whom the police are more likely to pull over already.

    If the concern is Downtown, simply change the signal timing. Right now the signals on all of our North-South streets are set at 30mph, but there’s no rule that says the timing has to be set at the limit. Downtown Portland (OR) runs its signals at a very-slow 12 to 18 mph, which gives equal priority to East-West and North-South traffic.

    A similar signal timing scheme applied to Houston’s larger block sizes could run at 15mph (with a 60s cycle length) or 20mph (with a 45s cycle length). It’s somewhat annoying for drivers, but the slower speeds on North-South streets are balanced out by better progression and throughput on East-West streets. No ugly signs or rule changes – just reprogram a few dozen controllers.

  • I was in los docs amigos yesterday. The waitress said the owner is actively looking to move the resturaunt to the heights area. Apparently the owner of amigos had finally convinced the owner of the property to sell to her on Washington a few years ago, then he passed away. The people who inherited the property refused to sell.

  • James January 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm
    I live on commonwealth. I wouldn’t mind them lowering the speed limit there and on Waugh. Too many people make the curve around The Flat and then gun it down the straightaway. Or at least add a speed bump or two.

    My comment is that Commonwealth doesn’t need speed bumps since the various potholes and bad patch jobs already do a fierce number on any car that dares drive down it. If the traffic is light, I weave across lanes so that I can hopefully drive on decent pavement in that area.

  • Re: Downtown speed limits. Downtown needs speed limit signs, even just at offramps and other gateways into the area. The 30mph rule may be city ordinance, but most people are simply not aware of it. About the comparison to NYC’s policy change, I would want to see more data before I draw conclusions about the extent of efficacy. The policy change may have been accompanied by an increase in publicity or law enforcement activity or something else; or the data may have been affected by seasonal or inclement weather or something else that would have affected the amount of pedestrian and cyclist activity.

    Re: Houston economy. The forecasts for 2015 are all too rosy. There is nothing that should lead anybody to believe that the OPEC core countries will reverse course and constrain oil supply (with the one exception being if oil prices fall dramatically further, which is also no good), and there is also no reason to be especially optimistic about global demand growth for oil or most commodities in general. By contrast, there is significant risk of at least one financial crisis event in Europe, Japan, or China and it would likely spread to the other regions; in that event, global energy demand should be expected to erode even further, oil prices would tumble further, and actually that would hurt crack spreads and the downstream sector too. In that case, Houston busts hard. It is much easier to conceive of downside risks in this economic environment than it is to conceive of upside opportunities. I’m thinking that its better to be long USD in 2015 so that one is ready to snap up and reposition distressed assets in 2016.

  • Christopher Andrews: Do you have anything other than anecdotal evidence that speeding is a problem downtown? My anecdotal evidence is that it isn’t a problem, but we all know anecdotal evidence should be ignored. As others here have said, the traffic lights at every intersection prevent high speeds downtown. And if they aren’t, they could be re-timed to do so. But first we need to know how fast people are really driving downtown.