March 10, 2008
Memorial Heights update

Got this last week and forgot to post about it. From SuperNeighborhood 22, an update on the Archstone Memorial Heights situation:

The TIRZ 5 (Memorial/Heights) Board will meet on Tuesday, March 11 at 2:00PM. The meeting location is changed from the Memorial Heights Archstone apartments' Media Room to a larger venue at the United Way Building, room E/F, at 50 Waugh Drive. A new public comment opportunity has been added to the meeting's agenda. Members of the public who wish to speak may sign in prior to the meeting. After being acknowledged by the Chair, the Board will hear individual comments limited to approximately 3 minutes each.

Superneighborhood 22 continues to collect input from the community about Archstone's intention to seek abandonment of the Court Street and Spaceway Park rights-of-way.

Please e-mail comments to: [email protected]

Results to date: 90% opposed to the abandonment of Court Street.

It is the opinion of the SN22 Council that attractively landscaped large splitter islands with mature trees add unique character and a sense of place to our urban streetscape - qualities that should be preserved and encouraged along Washington Avenue, and that are consistent with the precedent set by the Washington on Westcott (WOW) Roundabout design. Splitter islands enhance pedestrian mobility in active mixed-use areas by enabling safer pedestrian crossings of the entire intersection.

The Court Street turn lane offers emergency vehicles from HFD Station 6 a shorter southbound path than a standardized intersection at this location would. Drivers are able to make right turns even when a Metro bus is serving passengers at the transit stop. This right turn access works effectively to lessen congestion at the intersection, and the landscaped island provides a shaded refuge for both transit users and pedestrians.

SN22 requested that COH/PWE/Traffic & Transportation evaluate the safety of the Court Street turn lane and install appropriate signage to eliminate confusion and misdirection of traffic. Two communications several weeks apart were received from T&T's Deputy Director, Ray Chong, informing us first; that funds had been allocated to resolve the problems; and second, that a consultant has been engaged to redesign the intersection. As yet we have been unable to determine if Mr. Chong refers to the same consultant engaged by Archstone to provide a redesign for the intersection. If that is the case, the public property will be abandoned and incorporated into Archstone's private 28.10 acre re-development.

At the February TIRZ 5 meeting Archstone stated the intent to move the abandonment request forward for approval by the COH Joint Referral Committee.

I think this abandonment is a bad idea. If you agree, and if you can attend this meeting so as to express that, please do so. Thanks.

UPDATE: See the On the Spot blog for a resident's view of what's happening at Archstone Memorial Heights.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 10, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston

At my blog, I have started posting some details on what may be the last day for parts of Archstone's complex. I have been a tenant there since 2004, and can offer a unique inside perspective as to how some of the residents found out about this project (the management has been less than forthcoming on the subject)

On The Spot Blog

Posted by: Michael W. Jones on March 10, 2008 9:17 PM
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