Comment of the Day Runner-Up: Taking a Fence

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: TAKING A FENCE “Having lived in a number of other cities around the country, I am continuously shocked by what contractors in this city get away with at construction sites. No fences around construction sites (the smaller ones, anyway), complete destruction of the public sidewalks until project completion, lack of protection for street trees, work taking place at 5:30 in the morning in residential neighborhoods, etc. A new home is being built in my neighborhood, and they broke some part of the water main across the street from their site and failed to fix it for a month while we had standing water in the middle of the sidewalk. This just seems to be part of Houston’s any-construction-is-better-than-no-construction-no-matter-what mentality. This type of behavior is disrespectful to neighbors and simply not tolerated in other cities.” [tracy, commenting on About Those “Early Morning” Concrete Pours]

7 Comment

  • Amen. The PUBLIC sidewalks at the SW corner of Washington/Sawyer have been offline for months as the contractor has expanded its turf, apparently without any challenge from the City.

  • We’ve had a similar issue all summer on our street. A new developer-built residence two doors down has spread mud all over the street, ruined the sidewalk, and created pools of standing water that have attracted hordes of mosquitoes.

    Calls to the developer have resulted in a “yeah? so?” response and nothing done.

    Until there’s considerable pressure put on public works and the building department at the City of Houston, this will not change. Their attitude is to shuffle their feet and hope the complaint goes away–maybe after three or four calls to higher and higher managers, something might get done. Additionally, the developer community will scream bloody murder if the city encroaches on their ability to cut corners and be lazy. I’ve lived in numerous cities, and I’ve never seen jobsites as messy and unkempt as those in Houston.

    Two residential projects near us don’t even have construction dumpsters–they just pile the waste, old lunch boxes, and other garbage at the front of the site. At one of these, the portable toilet has been lying on its side for a number of days.

  • Should have said “contractor” instead of “developer” throughout the last post.

  • You can actually call the HPD non-emergency line and, believe it or not, they will come out pretty quick and deal with it. I think that most citizens see orange cones and assume everything is official.
    I used to live on a culdesac with a lot of elderly folks. One day I came home from work and a city contractor crew had the entrance to my street completely blocked with broken concrete and construction vehicles. When I tried to pull in, they waved me off and wouldn’t answer my questions about when they’d be done. I called 311 who put me in touch with HPD. Within 10 minutes a cruiser showed up and they ticketed the work crew and had them clear the entrance. I didn’t mind the short walk to my house from my car one block over, but I was worried about a neighbor needing an ambulance. It wasn’t uncommon at that time.
    Then just last week, a landscaping crew had a busy right lane intersection blocked during rush hour near my office. Traffic was backed up for more than a mile with people trying to get around the crew’s truck and trailer. Once again, I called HPD and they came out right away. This week the same crew was out, but this time they had their truck in the office complex parking lot, not out in the street blocking traffic.

  • If only HPD spent more time making sure city work crews were behaving and less time shooting one-armed, one-legged men holding pens.

  • If a larger small construction site (1-5 acres) is creating a mess in the street like tracking lots of mud and storm water debris into the street you can call the TCEQ. Call the local office – 713-767-3500. Construction sites have a requirement to control that stuff and the TCEQ is happy to remind them.

  • Can someone answer me this: I live in a set of townhomes where only the two of eight are street-side, one of them being mine. There are a set of houses being built across the road from me. Recently, the ditch in front of my home was dug out and a part of the sidewalk was removed. They placed dirt back to restore the ditch and just put yellow tape around the small section of sidewalk effectively making the whole sidewalk unusable. 1) Should I expect the sidewalk to be repaired, and 2) will they resod the ditch since there was grass there before???