The Kirby Street Trees Are Officially Toast

Street Trees on Kirby Dr. Between Richmond and Westheimer

At last — maybe now we’ll actually be able to see the store signs on Kirby between Richmond and Westheimer:

TIRZ President Buddy Bailey said the new high-rise oaks, which can reach a height of 40 feet, “grow straight up and straight down,” which will reduce problems with root systems and underground infrastructure.

The plan calls for the exiting 135 trees to be replaced with 148 trees.

“We will match the old trees caliper for caliper,” he said.

5 Comment

  • This isn’t as bad as the news media and trees for houston was making it.

    If they are matching caliper to the existing trees, that takes some of the waiting time out. Also, the trees they are planting are a better fit to the corridor especially long term. There are tons of boulevards in Houston were the oak trees alone have created pavement problems. They can be fixed, but newer varieties now can prevent the problem.

  • Sadly, Mr. Bailey’s comment is totally false. They are not matching the trees “caliper for caliper”. In fact, they are cutting down 1,371 caliper inches of trees and replacing only 731.5 inches. This is taken directly from their lanscape plans, so either Mr. Bailey is very bad at math or he is dishonest in his assertion. Ultimately, the fact remains that for the entire length of this flood control project, the street is only being widened in this partucular section.

  • If we are going to nitpick, this project is not a flood control project. This project is a CIP project for the city of Houston in conjunction with the Upper Kirby District.

    The existing trees were planted with no regard of the existing conditions. This project will remove overhead power lines and provide a streetscape where we won’t have to live with mangled trees in the future. The reality is that the area will get a more cohesively streetscape with proper planting of new trees.

    Also, the complaints of the fact that the project will not improve or add traffic capacity is bad argument. This project was never meant to do any traffic improvement other than provide a slightly larger (safer) traffic lane. The storm sewer improvements will require complete removal of the several lanes of traffic. While this is occurring, the district and the city might as well rebuild the street in a proper way.

    I’m all for saving and planting new trees, but to me this campaign against this street project is a little over done.

  • I agree with your description of the project; the TIRZ has, however, in the press and in their meetings,consistently described this project as one of flood control and traffic improvement; I therefore accede to their vocabulary.

    If the streets must be rebuilt “in a proper way”, should not the rest of Kirby undergoing similar projects meet the same standards? By your logic, if this section of Kirby is “right”, the rest must necessarily be “wrong”.

  • And it is.

    Kirby from San Felipe to Allen Parkway has been completed.

    Rice Village Area to Brays Bayou has been Completed.

    US 59 to Rice Village is in it’s early stages.

    Westheimer to US 59 will is part of the current project discussed in this topic.

    South of Brays Bayou to I-610 has been completed.

    The only portion left is from Westheimer to San Felipe….

    In the time frame and scale of the street, the city has moved quite fast on this project.