A Swamplot reader offers a trade: A few photos of the retention ponds going in north of White Oak Bayou where 6th St. was blocked between Yale and Shepherd (above and below) — in exchange for more details on the park that’s apparently planned for that location, including a scheduled completion date for the construction. “I have no ‘official’ information, only old data and hearsay,” reports the reader. Which includes this map dating from 2010:
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
Harris County Housing Authority interim CEO Tom McCasland takes a visitor from Portland along the path of the bike trail he hopes will soon connect Downtown Houston seamlessly to the city’s northwestern suburbs. From Georgia’s Market downtown they head out the MKT Trail into the Heights, which dead ends near the Shepherd-Durham overpasses. “The lot turned into a truck path, which ended at a decrepit railroad bridge. We took a sharp right down a singletrack path along the edge of the bayou far below us,” writes Elly Blue, who’s been touring U.S. cities to assess their bikeability. McCasland, an advocate for expanding Houston bikeways, tells the Houston Press‘s John Nova Lomax that “part of the city’s latest grand biking plan is to dynamite [that burned-out bridge] and rebuild it as a bike/pedestrian thoroughfare. The trail will then continue along White Oak Bayou’s banks and connect with the existing trail that begins at West 11th and TC Jester and heads north through Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest and all the way up to Acres Homes.”
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
Looks like that Charting Buffalo (as in Buffalo and Lower White Oak Bayous) draft report might not have gone over so well. A popup note shown to first-time visitors to the project’s website, posted just last Friday, dryly notes the entire report has been pulled — only 2 days after it first went out for community feedback: “In light of compelling issues regarding the presentation of certain concepts in the Charting Buffalo draft report, the Harris County Flood Control District is in the process of modifying the report. The District is suspending the report’s distribution, review period and all scheduled community meetings until further notice,” it reads. The feedback period for the report, intended to form the foundation of a master plan for reducing flood damage along the entire Buffalo Bayou and lower White Oak watersheds from the Barker Reservoir to the Ship Channel Turning Basin, was originally scheduled to extend until April 1. Possible flashpoint: the “more than 40 options for reducing flooding risks and damages” spelled out in the report. The Charting Buffalo project was the flood control district’s response to a City of Houston request to “provide land” for stormwater detention.
Map of Study Area: Charting Buffalo
Seen floating past Thelma Dr. in Woodland Heights late yesterday.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT HAPPENED AT 301 STUDEWOOD “Tried to get Parks Board to purchase for years but they wouldnt go above $200k. They upped their offer to $600k in September of 2010, while property was under contract with restaurant group out of Austin which has 12 operating establishments in Texas.
Up against about the 8th round of foreclosure with a hard money lender who wasnt satisfied with his usurious rates of 21%+ per annum over three years and under pressure, lender ended up taking the property — taking a parks board offer and walking away with another $60k+ on top. Restaurant group pissed, owner still picking up pieces/dealing with lawsuits that should have been avoided. Restaurant group needed 30 more days, Parks would have taken 60. Lender would give no more time for either.
Should have filed for bankruptcy to stall the foreclosure and let deal transact but family was on last leg….after paying about $60-75k over 9 months to avoid repeated postings for foreclosure, as well as the ridiculous interest rates over the previous two years.
Lender also decided against paying the commission he promised for bringing the Parks Board deal. Real swell guy.
My apologies for the eyesore signs, maybe I will go reface them and at least get free advertising out of the deal.
Parks Board has no plans yet but turned down two offers in January from a Developer with backing out of the Mayors office. Demonstration housing. First offer they turned down was $800k, not sure about second offer but I can confirm it was turned down as well.
In regards to Parks, I had made some traction with GHORBA for an off-road bike park like they have in Austin, The topography, etc. would be rather perfect for that. Not sure where everyone is on the deal but I dont believe it is Parks highest priority at the moment. I will check in with everyone and let you know.” [JE, commenting on This is Woods. Park Is Not Available Right Now. May I Help You?] Photo: LoopNet
THE MISSING LINK IN THE BIKE TRAIL FROM OAK FOREST TO DOWNTOWN After surveying a stretch of land mostly along White Oak Bayou from 11th St. to Lawrence Park, Chronicle blogger Martin Hajovsky says he doesn’t see any traffic problems that would stand in the way of a connection between the Katy/MKT hike-and-bike trail and the White Oak Bayou trail. A bayou-side hookup, which would create a continuous off-road path from Downtown to Oak Forest, is just one segment of grander bayou bikepath plans contained in the Bayou Greenway Initiative, which the Houston Parks Board is working on piece by piece. Adding the longer chunk planned along White Oak Bayou north of the current trail would extend the Downtown route all the way to Jersey Village. [Home in the Heights, via Off the Kuff; previously on Swamplot] Proposed Bayou Greenway map: Houston Parks Board
On Tuesday night, Houston’s first and only bayou movie barge docked at Guadalupe Park off Navigation for the first of 2 “sneak peek” video performances on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. On the opposite shoreline, a few cargo trains and a motorcade of dirt bikes rumbled past, but the night was clear and mosquito-free, show and boat organizer Bree Edwards claims. Plus, she says: The solar-powered cinema setup on the Tex Hex worked flawlessly. Her pix of the scene:
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHY HOUSTON NEEDS THAT NEW WALMART BY THE BAYOU “With all this rain, surely pollutants are leeching out from the soils of this brownfield site and flowing into White Oak Bayou. If there were a Wal-Mart here, the surface would be impermeable with only trace amounts of leaked motor oil contaminating the bayou. And as a kayaker that enjoys high water, that means less cancer for me!” [TheNiche, commenting on Only a Little Off Target: Walmart Heading Right Between Washington Ave and the Heights]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: KICKIN’ BACK AT THE I-10 AND STUDEWOOD BAYOU LOUNGE “Park or Strip Club? You make the call!! Before this gets out of hand, please rest assured that all attempts have been made to the Houston Parks Board, Annise Parker, Bill White, Ed Gonzalez, Greater Houston Offroad Bike Association and the list goes on and on. I have been working for 2.5 years to make this a public-use site. I urge ‘you people’ to, instead of defacing property, get the facts first and please take this up with the “Parks and Woods” people you speak of. Make it happen. Therefore, go at it: *City of Houston* -CouncilMember Ed Gonzalez – 832.393.3003 -Mayor Annise Parker – 713.837.0311 *Houston Parks Board* -Exec. Director Roksan Okan-Vick – 713.942.8500 -Chairman Tom Bacon – 713.533.5860 -Whatever does happen with the site, I can ASSURE you that it will be in good taste and a benefit to this great City of ours….as long as I have anything to do with it. Feel free to email me with thoughts, suggestions….or with money! -Now that I am done pursuing greenspace, I am leaning towards a nice place to sit on a deck and relax with a toddy, look at the skyline from the best angle imagineable. Perhaps walk down the bike trail in the AM, grab a cup of coffee and read my paper . . . Ohhhh there will be plenty of trees left on site since I will need a place to mount my hammock. How does that sound to ‘you people’??” [JEzer, commenting on This is Woods. Park Is Not Available Right Now. May I Help You?]
What is it with the signage for Metro Realty Group properties? It’s attracted gentrifying Shepherd Jesus over by Center St.; and (as commenter Nord noted yesterday) this bit of snarky graffiti in the woods by White Oak Bayou at the Studewood overpass, just north of I-10.
Oh, and it looks like there’s more to say on the other side:
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY