Residents on both sides of the debate surrounding the project and possible street closure say they believe some of the biggest issues are traffic and parking, but Houston Deputy Director of Public Works Andy Icken says it shouldn't be a problem.
"Not to say the traffic in Rice Village isn't a difficult situation for people to navigate," but, he said, Sonoma and the closing of Bolsover should not make it worse.
"The analysis we have done would say there is no substantial impact by that development on traffic in the area with the closing of the street," Icken said. "While the facility looks large, these studies said there is no measurable change on traffic in the area."
Bill Faloon, a Southampton resident who lives in the 1800 block of Albans and works in the 2400 block of Times, said he is opposed to the street closure. He is concerned with the increased traffic and the parking problem he believes the project will create.
"We have nothing against Appelt or Lamesa or improving the Village," Faloon said. "What we have a problem with is improving the Village at our expense and purchasing a street we can't afford to put a value on.
"You have 10 streets in the Village and several years ago we lost Amherst," Faloon said. "Now we want to do it again and lose another 10 percent."
"The developer has said on record numerous times that they will build this project with or without the closure of Bolsover," he said.
"I am not against progress, I am not against developers building whatever they want to build within the city code without taking our street," Faloon said.
"The biggest problem in the Village is navigable streets and thoroughfares," he said. "You can have all the parking in the world, but if you can't get to it what good is the parking?"
I'm agnostic on the question of Bolsover. In the grand scheme of things, it's not going to make much difference. But until there's a viable non-automotive solution for getting to and from the Rice Village area, the rest of this discussion is in angels-dancing-on-a-pinhead territory. Fix that, and the rest will be much easier to deal with.Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 11, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston