- H-E-B To Demolish Store, Build New One in Its Place in Texas City’s Palmer Shopping Center [Galveston County Daily News ($)]
- Dunkin’ Donuts Opening 16th Houston-Area Store, a Baskin-Robbins Combo, in Conroe Today [Prime Property]
- Montrose Residents Petition City To Repair Chipped, Broken or Missing Sidewalks [Click2Houston]
- Mobility Study Seeks Fixes for Traffic Congestion in The Woodlands [The Woodlands]
- TxDOT Hearing Public Comments Through Next Monday on Proposal for Taller Billboards [Houston Public Media]
- This Year’s Bumper Crop of Seaweed ‘Within Normal Range‘ [Houston Chronicle ($)]
- Houston Fire Department Starts Using Drone for Arson Division [Click2Houston]
- ‘No Limits’ Campaign Hosting Public Meetings This Week [Houston: The City With No Limits via Houston Strategies; previously on Swamplot]
Photo of Leo Tanguma’s “The Rebirth of Our Nationality” on Canal St.: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool
I walk around wondering if I’ll turn my ankle on Kathy Whitmire’s freeways. Montrose residents have every right to demand a fix for the horrendous sidewalk situation we find ourselves in.
If Montrose residents get their sidewalks fixed for free, every neighborhood in town will want the same and I don’t blame them.
Are Montrose folks more entitled than anyone else in Houston? Why in the world should they NOT have to follow the rules?
Well, the critical issue is a misunderstanding of who is responsible for sidewalks. If Montrose residents want sidewalks they have to personally pay for sidewalks to be put in or repaired. If you are lucky enough to get the city to completely rebuild your street, then they’ll put in sidewalks as part of the process, but otherwise its up to you and your neighbors to pay for sidewalks if you want them.
major props to the Montrose Sidewalks Coalition. the city has an absolute responsibility to uphold and enforce the city ordinances on it’s books which is ensuring that sidewalks are safe, accessible and maintained by the owners. as a driver there’s no excuse for me to have to dodge old people and baby strollers in the middle of the street and dangers involved to all parties are offensive.
this isn’t about getting the city to fix the sidewalks, it’s about the city enforcing it’s own ordinance and having montrosians fix their own sidewalks. these are millionaires, not poor folks. peoploe on here balk all the time about new developments and yet it’s these eveil profit-seeking developers that appear to be the ones most concerned for the safety of their neighbors with adequate sidewalks.
every single day you’ll find prius patrol’s driving all through these neighborhoods doing inspections and not once have I ever seen one of these city money-makers pull over and identify dangerous sidewalks, intersections with cars parked to the edges preventing any visibility or anything related to the safety of citizens. that’s a truly missed opportunity there.
Montrose needs sidewalks more than most neighborhoods. It has very narrow streets, lots of the residents walk (to work, for fitness, you name it), and is an extremely busy area with lunatic drivers. It gets old people complaining that this area gets this but my area didn’t, etc—well, maybe their area needed it more than you. I remember when I lived on Yorktown and had to use that extremely crowded Jungmann Library on Westheimer, it was the only one for an area that was very well read. I remember the Librarian telling me they had just had to build a huge new library in like the 5 th Ward and that you could hear crickets because nobody ever came in and used it, but still heaven forbid not everyone has equal access to neighborhood libraries –it reminds me of this sidewalk issue and the earlier comment about if you get not I want one!, whether i need it or not
Hopefully the new Texas City HEB will actually have public restrooms. ??
How much did HFD’s new toy cost us?
We called the city 311 about the sidewalk in front of our house. They closed the case same day with the note about sidewalks are your own problem. I raised the issue higher to my city council person who got them to send a human out. I actually talked to the guy and explained the issue (sidewalk sunk due to poor compaction of the base following waterline work – I’m a licensed civil engineer). He agreed that they normally give people the “it’s your problem” due to uplift from trees not sinking. COH eventually came back saying they had no record of water main work on our street and thus it is still not their problem.
The COH will fight tooth and nail to keep from doing sidewalk work, as Karma says, if they fix one they fix them all.
As an aside, the comments on that article on Click 2, are so offensively bad it makes me mad they are not moderating them.
Almost every neighborhood in Montrose ( including mine) has a civic association or is under the umbrella of one. Why not try and fix the problem within your own neighborhood rather than complain to COH who can’t even fix a pothole correctly? If it is the property owners responsibility, go to them first. Any fix on the city’s part sets a bad precedent.
I’d like to see a trade off on the billboard issue. Let them do bigger billboards, but also increase the fees they need to pay on those billboards. Then earmark the money to our State Parks system.
Also on the billboards: they should have some state designation for scenic roads (I couldn’t find one with a quick Google Search), and billboards should be banned altogether on those roads.
I live in Montrose and walk around quite often. while the sidewalks are not the best (okay, in some areas they downright suck), I don’t find them that difficult to walk around on.
I walk around quite often (almost every day), often with my 2 year old daughter. Again, while they’re not the best, I just assumed it was the trade-off for no income tax.
And while it’s up to the property owners to fix, I don’t think that’s the most economical way to go about it. Most owners won’t do it and the net spent for each owner to try to take care of their own just doesn’t make sense. As much as I don’t like property taxes (or taxes in general), it would be better to charge a one time property tax tack-on that would cover the cost of the city to come and do it. Even with the inefficiency of the city doing the work, it has to be cheaper than each owner trying to do it on their own (which, besides being expensive, won’t ever happen)
Shannon is right. Montrose is “different” than most ares in terms of needing sidewalks. The biggest difference is its by far the most walkable area of Houston. And the city gets a lot of play off the popularity of Montrose and the resturants and life around this area. So people actually USE the sidewalks more than most other areas and it’s in the city’s best interest to have them in good shape.
JT is also right. In Westmoreland and other subdivisions of Montrose, we have very active civic groups. It wouldn’t take much work for someone to just get this done. Have some bids, petition the neighborhood, and just do it. Waiting for the city, or trying to get them to do it, is a lost cause. We got gas lamps installed in Westmoreland via work by our civic group.
joel, you’re using my “Prius Patrol” without permission. But I’ll let it go :)
When I was a Super Neighborhood President, I learned all about sidewalks. In general, they are the responsibility of the adjacent property owners – UNLESS they are adjacent to or on a heavily traveled route to a school. Then the City of Houston will build them as part of their Safe Sidewalk Program (SSP). They also have a deal where if PWE digs up a sidewalk or driveway curb cut for any reason, they will replace it – like juancarlos said. But that’s kind of a given. (If they didn’t, they’d be real douches).
That being the case, if Montrose residents are begging the City for better sidewalks, they’re probably barking up the wrong tree. I wonder if it would be better to get together with commercial and multifamily owners in the area, and lobby the Management District to do it. The Montrose District has funding, unlike the Civic Clubs and Super Neighborhoods, and they also have the project management skill to get this sort of thing done. And if I’m a business or apartment owner who pays an assessment, I want something in return; a new sidewalk for my customers would be nice.
Why aren’t sidewalks considered basic public infrastructure and paid for by the city, like roads, where needed?
Montrosians have the money, why should they need the city to help? I repaired my own driveway and sidewalk. Step up people.