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#1 2009-06-04 02:50:10

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

"Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

The Chron's Mike Snyder has the exciting details:

The city’s urban transit corridors ordinance, which it began developing in June 2006, is expected to be considered by the City Council in July. It would offer incentives for developers in six light rail corridors to include a 15-foot “pedestrian realm” with broad, unobstructed sidewalks and other features intended to create appealing, walkable environments.

The new development created under this ordinance will become part of the daily lives of more than 160,000 people the Metropolitan Transit Authority expects to be riding its trains by 2030. Within the next five years, the agency plans to add five new rail lines to the Main Street line it opened on Jan. 1, 2004.

The impact of the ordinance will depend on developers’ willingness to comply with its mostly voluntary standards. Those who agree to create the pedestrian zone will automatically be exempt from rules requiring buildings to be set back a specified distance from the street, giving them more space to build revenue-generating offices, homes or shops.

The ordinance is more limited than steps recommended by the city’s consultants and by the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit real estate organization, to promote transit-oriented development.

Officials in the city planning department, which drafted the ordinance in consultation with community leaders, real estate professionals and the general public, described it as a first step toward changing a development culture that’s long been focused on the automobile rather than on trains or pedestrians.

Imagine where we'd be today if our culture had been pedestrian/mass transit-focused instead of automobile-focused for the past 100 years.  But hey, by 2030 METRO expects 160,000 people to be riding the Danger Trains (and you know how good METRO is with projections), so this seems well worth the effort, right?



Link to post:  http://www.bloghouston.net/item/7668

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#2 2009-06-04 07:15:15

Royko
Member
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1,752

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

The Progressives set the stage for the meltdown, then exploited the opportunity to convert the American system to Marxism.  Over the past 30+ years they infiltrated the schools and courts, dumbing down two generations to the point they are "sheeple" and the politically correct courts are enabling the "thought police."

Again, when I die, I want to be buried near a METREAUX tram platform so that future generations might be reminded of one who fought for Liberty and property rights as they ride their CHICOM-built bicycles to the Utopian tram so as to ride to Fidel Castro Park for the Party-mandated every Sunday Obama-for-life rally.


"I'll keep my God, my liberty, my guns,
and my meager earnings; whereas,
you can keep "THE CHANGE!"

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#3 2009-06-05 07:07:07

Royko
Member
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1,752

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

I have received a couple of email messages, where the perception is that the COH will require that the developer "give" 15 feet of frontage for this transit corridor scheme.

No developer will willingly "give" 15 feet of frontage.  It is lunacy for the bureaucrats to believe the developers will "give" this frontage without generous taxpayer-subsidized incentives.

If the developers are prevented from getting a permit if they do not "give" the extra 15-feet, then it is "Inverse Condemnation" at best, and likely institutionalized extortion "The Chicago Way."

There was a need for a set-back, and if the City waives the requirement, then set-backs are not deemed necessary.  The developers will fight this, and end up not "giving" the 15 feet, and end up increasing the usable area of the site anyway.  They typically are not as dumb as bureaucrats.

Last edited by Royko (2009-06-05 07:12:02)


"I'll keep my God, my liberty, my guns,
and my meager earnings; whereas,
you can keep "THE CHANGE!"

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#4 2009-06-05 07:28:56

kjb434
Member
From: Cottage Grove - Houston
Registered: 2007-07-23
Posts: 630

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

Royko,

The reality is that this 15-foot rule isn't anything unusual even in our region.

Developers are compelled to "give" right of way to roads all the time in order to have their plats approved.  Many communities will even require the developer to build a full boulevard section of road so the city our county won't have too (even if the road is a dead end and won't serve the development).

It doesn't make it right, but it is not out of the norm.

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#5 2009-06-05 20:19:56

Royko
Member
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1,752

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

kjb434,

First, giving a paved street r-o-w, built to county standards, is one thing; being forced too comply with unproductive Socialist "Smart Growth" central planning is quite another.


"I'll keep my God, my liberty, my guns,
and my meager earnings; whereas,
you can keep "THE CHANGE!"

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#6 2009-06-07 06:41:14

Neal Meyer
Member
From: Houston
Registered: 2005-12-19
Posts: 686
Website

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

Anne,

I am reading the new Parsons contract with Metro as part of my weekend reading. Look for the gory details shortly.

Neal


It's one thing to read or listen to what people say they want. It is far more important however to watch what people actually do. That is when you can make a judgment as to what it is that people really value and what is genuinely important to them.

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#7 2009-06-14 08:16:19

Kevin
Administrator
From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,928

Re: "Pedestrial realms" to be considered by Council

Will the group also come up with a set of initiatives to modify Houston weather, so it will be more walking friendly and less air-conditioner-oriented?

Mike Snyder doesn't seem to have covered that part, but it seems that would be much more effective!

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