Infrastructure

Upcoming I-45 Workshops by Michael Graves

The City and its technical team are gathering input to develop alternative designs and make recommendations to TXDOT and has developed an interactive map that can be accessed here. Please join Council Member Cisneros for the upcoming COH Planning Department Workshops on the IH-45 project. More info here. Additional workshops are being scheduled for late Sept./early Oct. (TBD).

Tuesday, 8/13/19, 6 pm - 7:30 pm, Optional intro at 5:40 pm
Harris County Dept. of Education, 6300 Irvington Blvd.
Accessible by METRO 79
Focus on Segment 2 & 3-North (I-610 to I-10 & I-10 to US-59)

Thursday, 8/15/19, 6 - 7:30 pm, Optional intro at 5:40 pm
Aldine Ninth Grade School, 10650 North Freeway
Accessible by METRO 56, 59, 99
Focus on Segment 1-North (Beltway 8 to N. Shepherd)

Saturday, 8/17/19, 10 am - 11:30 am, Optional intro at 9:40 am
Burrus Elementary School, 701 E. 33rd St.
Accessible by METRO 44 & 56
Focus on Segment 1-South (N. Shepherd to I-610)

Talking Trash with Rollout! Houston by Michael Graves

Not long ago someone commented on NextDoor that they were finally able to keep track of the city schedule for yard waste and heavy trash by watching the WHCA calendar right here on our website. This was completely unexpected! I didn’t think that anyone particularly made use of our calendar, except perhaps our own board members. All of our meetings are listed there.

I thought I’d share my technique for staying on top of the city’s rather confusing trash collection schedule; the Rollout! Houston app. A free smart phone app Rollout is available for both Apple and Android phones, also iPads.

Once installed you enter your zip code or allow the app to determine your location. It looks up the SWM schedule for that location, presenting it with a minimum of clutter or fuss. It’s dramatically simpler than using the COH website. You can instantly know what’s being collected this week, or to lookup the next time heavy trash or yard waste is being picked up.

Rollout! was created as part of a City of Houston Hackathon by Kenton Gray (@kentonue). Joel Cook helped with the design. Its creation dates back to when Annise Parker was mayor. I have found it to be a very reliable way to know when the trucks will be rolling through Woodland Heights.

If you have community events that you’d like added to our calendar, please email the details to communications@woodland-heights.org.

Infrastructure Corner by Michael Graves

The WHCA board would like to start a new feature providing periodic updates of infrastructure-related issues, both big and small, happening in and around the neighborhood. Infrastructure projects require both vision and funding. So we want to keep everyone informed of, not only what is going on, but how those projects are being funded. We’d also like to use this feature to invite feedback on infrastructure projects that you would like to see to improve the safety and enjoyment of our neighborhood. Email us at infrastructure@woodland-heights.org.

So what’s going on? Here are a few things . . .

Houston Ave & White Oak Intersection Nears Completion

If you haven’t seen it yet, the construction is almost finished at the intersection of Houston Ave and White Oak. The City removed the “slip road” connecting White Oak to Houston Ave, widened the sidewalks connecting Woodland Park to the White Oak Bayou Trail, and generally improved the pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure to make the intersection safer for all road users. There is even some green “kermit” striping for a bike lane. And, in case you were wondering, the clock tower is back in.

How was this project funded? It was primarily a combination of funds from Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone # 5—or TIRZ 5—and the Greater Northside Management District. For those who don’t know, a “TIRZ” is a political entity in the City limits that retains a portion of property taxes within its district. TIRZ 5 is called “Memorial Heights,” which primarily covers areas surrounding Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou. It does not cover our neighborhood, but it comes close. On the other hand, the Greater Northside Management District covers our neighborhood and most of the Heights East of Yale and South of North Main. It’s funded by a property tax on local commercial businesses.

You can find more information on TIRZ 5 at https://www.houstontx.gov/ecodev/tirz/5.html and on the Greater Northside Management District at http://www.greaternorthsidedistrict.org/home.shtml.

Road Diet and Bike Lane on Houston Ave (White Oak to Spring Street)

Remember the temporary bike lane on Houston Ave during recent construction to I-45? Thanks to City Council Member Karla Cisneros, that bike lane has been made permanent. She used funds from City Council District H to reduce the lanes on Houston Ave between White Oak and Spring Street from four to two (i.e., a “road diet”), and to install protected bike lanes on both sides of the street. This can be a key “North/South” connector between the two bayou trails. They call the barriers “armadillos.”

Houston Ave Bike Lane.jpg

You can find more information about both of these projects from a local blogger: http://houstreets.com/2019/06/03/houston-ave-white-oak-dr-redesign-complete/

More B-Cycle Stations

On Wednesday, May 30, 2019, Houston B-Cycle installed two new stations in the Heights. The first is at 11th Street and Heights Blvd (Heights Central Station) and the second is at 7th and Yale (Heights Mercantile). That brings the total number of stations in the Heights to five (Woodland Park, Stude Park, Bobcat Teddy’s, Heights Central Station, and Heights Mercantile), with a number of additional stations just outside of our area.

You may ask why at these locations? Because these developers helped fund the stations. Houston B-Cycle is currently operating on a large grant that requires local funding for 50% of each station, which ranges from $10-20k. You can find the full map B-Cycle station map here: http://houston.bcycle.com/station-map. Where else would you like to see a B-Cycle station in our neighborhood?

That’s it for now. We’d love to hear from you about infrastructure projects you’d like to see in and around the neighborhood. And please let us know of current or future projects you hear about. Again, email us at infrastructure@woodland-heights.org.

Brad Snead
WHCA Director of Infrastructure

About the 11th Street "Road Diet" by Michael Graves

Did you miss the meeting at Hogg Middle School last night regarding 11th Street? Here's the latest!

Ian Hlavacek and Lauren Grove presented a proposal to reconfigure 11th street between Shepherd and Michaux. The proposal, called a 'Road Diet', has been shown to:

a) accommodate existing and future traffic
b) will not divert traffic to side streets
c) reduce traffic speed
d) decrease unsafe driving maneuvers like weaving
e) introduce a safe east-west bike route
f) improve safety for people walking along and crossing 11th
g) increase safety for people using the Nicholson Trail
h) serve cross streets and driveways effectively
i) could increase travel time for drivers up to 30 seconds

Here's an article with a video that helps demonstrate how road diets work: https://www.vox.com/2018/7/25/17593344/road-diets-lane-conversion-traffic-calming-explained-video

Note that this configuration will also allow for the installation of 'pedestrian refuges,' or islands, which will make pedestrian crossings easier and safer. The City has received many calls and emails over the years from our community advocating for a safer crossing at the Nicholson Trail crossing at 11th. This configuration will make these safer crossings available at other spots as well, especially those that serve our kids on foot and bikes going to school.

These refuges are also planned for Studewood. This article illustrates how pedestrian refuges work: http://pedbikesafe.org/PEDSAFE/countermeasures_detail.cfm?CM_NUM=19

Looking around our own neighborhood we have at least a few examples of four lanes reducing to two or three:

  • Studemont to Studewood as you travel north

  • Cavalcade to 20th

  • Waugh to Heights

To voice your comments:

  • ian.hlavacek@houstontx.gov

  • lauren.grove@houstontx.gov

  • jennifer.ostlind@houstontx.gov

Houston Bikeways 11th Street Public Meeting #2 by Michael Graves

5fcae4f3-120e-427a-868c-28337da3d160.png

Wednesday, May 8 from 6:30-8pm at Hogg Middle School is the City of Houston’s second public meeting to discuss proposed street safety improvements along 11th street between Shepherd St. and Michaux St. We encourage everyone to attend.

The Planning Department and Houston Public Works have decided to table proposed bikeways on Pecore and the western section of 11th from Shepherd to T.C. Jester/White Oak Bayou. We will discuss this decision in further detail at the May 8th meeting.

We will present an overview of the 11th Street proposal between Shepherd and Michaux, focusing on detailed information and design concepts for the corridor and intersections. We may also discuss alternative routes to Pecore – where no changes to traffic patterns or parking are proposed.

Pecore Street Houston Bike Plan by Michael Graves

Woodland Heights Neighbors—

As you may know, the City of Houston (COH) is modifying certain major connector streets around our neighborhood to: 1. increase vehicular, bike, and pedestrian safety; 2. increase connectivity; and 3. improve traffic flow.

As a part of the plan, COH has proposed a major update to 11th Street, extending from Timbergrove to the point where 11th meets Pecore at Michaux. The initial COH plan included Pecore too—removing all street parking and adding bike lanes on both sides from Michaux to Houston Avenue. However, COH has put the Pecore section of the plan on hold for now (but is still planning to implement the 11th Street section). We want to explain why.

The initial plan was to for 11th/Pecore to act as a major cross-Heights bike connector from Timbergrove to the Near Northside. Along 11th, bike lanes will be added to both sides, a turn lane in the center, and four lanes of traffic reduced to two. Refuge islands will also be added at major pedestrian/bike crossings, such as Nicholson. COH studies show that this will still accommodate the volume of traffic while increasing safety for pedestrians, bikers, and cars. Initially, the same modification was proposed for Pecore all the way to Houston Avenue, minus the center turn lane and removing all street parking.

After the plan was presented by COH planners at our general meeting on Tuesday, March 19, the WHCA Board heard from a number of neighbors who were concerned about the removal of parking on Pecore (as well as several who supported the plan). On Friday April 19, we sent the following letter to Mayor Turner, several city council members, and the COH planners in charge of the project:

“Dear Mayor Turner,

I am writing on behalf of the Woodland Heights Civic Association Board of Directors. We wanted to commend you for your efforts to make Houston a city which is safer and more friendly to cyclists. Although it is not in our Association footprint, we want to express our personal commendations for your effort to make the intersection at 11th Street and Nicholson Street safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

However, we are expressing our concern regarding the plan to remove all the street parking from Pecore Street. As you likely know, our Association is dominated by historic bungalows which commonly do not have wide driveways and two-car garages. By removing all the street parking from Pecore, the Associations residents living on that street would be put under undue hardship.”

Three hours later, we were notified by COH that they were “tabling the Pecore proposal…due to the many concerns [they] heard.” As an alternative, the east end of the 11th Street bike lanes would connect to a north-south bike route on Michaux, ending at Stude Park and the White Oak bike trail. This segment would not include dedicated bike lanes, but would add improved signage along the route and improve the intersection of Michaux and White Oak.

Subsequently, we heard from COH planners that they tabled the Pecore section not only because of concerns from residents, but because they don’t have an existing safe bike connection on the east side to connect to (presumably where Pecore meets Houston Ave). In the future, COH intends to pursue high-comfort bike lanes on Main Street. They may restart the conversation regarding Pecore at that time.

COH will have another public meeting at 7 pm on May 8 at Hogg Middle School to discuss 11th Street, Pecore, Michaux, and other future plans. We encourage Woodland Heights neighbors to attend.

As always, feel free to contact the WHCA Board if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks,

Matt Johnson
Director of Infrastructure
WHCA Board of Directors

Closures on 45 this weekend by Michael Graves

  1. IH 45 North Freeway Northbound Frontage Road between the IH 610 N. Loop and E. Tidwell: Alternate Lane(s) Closed Continuously between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. At least one lane will remain open at all times.

  2. IH 45 North Freeway Northbound Exit Ramp to Crosstimbers: Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. Detour via the IH 45 Northbound Main lanes to the Airline Dr. Exit. Exit Ramp; then follow the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. to the U-Turn at Airline. Follow the U-Turn at Airline to the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. Follow the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. to Crosstimbers St. Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Airline Exit Ramp closure and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

  3. IH 45 North Freeway Northbound Exit Ramp to Airline Dr.: Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. Detour via the IH 45 Northbound Mainlanes to the Tidwell Rd. Exit Ramp; then follow the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. to the U-Turn at E. Tidwell. Follow the U-Turn at E. Tidwell to the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd.. Follow the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. to Airline. Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Crosstimbers Exit Ramp closure and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

  4. IH 45 North Freeway Southbound Frontage Road. between E. Tidwell and the IH 610 N. Loop: Alternate Lane(s) Closed Continuously between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. At least one lane will remain open at all times.

  5. IH 45 North Freeway Southbound Entrance Ramp from Airline: Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. Detour via the IH 45 Southbound frontage road to the Crosstimbers Entrance Ramp. Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Crosstimbers Exit Ramp, the Exit 52A Exit Ramp and the Crosstimbers entrance ramp closures and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

  6. IH 45 North Freeway Southbound Exit Ramp to Crosstimbers: Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. Detour via the IH 45 Southbound Main lanes to the Southbound Frontage Road (Exit 52A) Exit Ramp; follow the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. to the U-Turn. Follow the U-Turn at end of the frontage road to the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. Follow the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. to Crosstimbers. Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Southbound Entrance Ramp from Airline and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

  7. IH 45 North Freeway Southbound Exit Ramp to the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. (Exit 52A): Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. Detour via the IH 45 Southbound Main lanes to the W. Cavalcade Exit Ramp; then follow the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. to the U-Turn at W. Cavalcade. Follow the U-Turn to the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. Follow the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. to the next northbound entrance ramp. Follow the IH 45 Northbound Mainlanes to the E. Crosstimbers Exit. Turn Left, (West) on Crosstimbers and then turn Left, (South) on the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd.

    Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Southbound Exit Ramp to Crosstimbers closure and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

  8. IH 45 North Freeway Southbound Entrance Ramp from Crosstimbers: Total Closure between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and again between 8:00 PM on Friday, 04.12.19 and 5:00 AM on Monday, 04.15.19. . Detour via the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. to the U-Turn at end of frontage road; Follow the U-Turn to the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. Follow the IH 45 Northbound Frontage Rd. to Airline. Follow the U-Turn at Airline to the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd. Follow the IH 45 Southbound Frontage Rd to the entrance ramp from Airline. Please note that this ramp closure will alternate with the Southbound Entrance Ramp from Crosstimbers and that only one ramp will be closed at a time.

COH Presentation on Heights Area Street Safety Improvements by Michael Graves

The WHCA General Meeting on March 19th included a presentation about plans to change the configuration of 11th Street, Studewood and Pecore. This presentation helped to inspire an impressive turnout (62!) for the meeting, which was held in the library at Travis Elementary School. Since there are no doubt many others who would be interested in the details of this project, we recorded the meeting, to make it available here. The slides used in the presentation are also available in PDF format.

The decision to record this meeting was very last minute. The event was shot with a single camera, mostly focussed on the presenter. The video offered here was edited only to add the slides and whatever B-roll shots I could capture using my phone, once the Q&A was underway. It was not edited for content in any way.

Update on the Houston Ave - White Oak Drive Project by Michael Graves

The following was submitted by Pat Rutledge following a TIRZ-5 meeting the morning of February 28th.

Here is a brief overview of the current status of the Houston Ave. / White Oak Drive intersection redevelopment project.

Originally the project was scheduled for completion in late March 2019. Currently the completion is expected to delayed slightly and be completed by mid to late April 2019. Rain is responsible for some of the time delay but the greater culprit is the delay in removing the privately owned “telephone” poles: CenterPoint, AT&T, and AT&T Legacy, etc. However that work is now expected to begin and be completed the week of March 4th. After that is completed the remaining work will concentrate on the Woodland Heights Gateway at the north west corner of the intersection. Additionally the entire intersection will receive an asphalt overlay at the end.

This project is the first to meet the newly revised city guidelines for traffic safety and pedestrian walkability, i.e. the new mobility plan.

As an added enhancement City Council District H has funded an extension of the street level bike lane from the intersection south to intersect with the MKT Trail that crosses Houston Ave near Spring St.

The WHCA Clock Tower has been completely refurbished and is awaiting transport and installation into the Gateway as that part of the project is completed.

The most recent printed update on the project and the supervising company (Jones and Carter) is available for download here.

This tremendous improvement to the neighborhood will significantly beautify the south east entrance to the community while making pedestrian and bicycle use much safer.

Pat Rutledge
Friends of Woodland Park

Councilor Karla Cisneros on Trash & Recycling Collection by Michael Graves

This morning’s email newsletter from District H Councilor Karla Cisneros included the following letter:


January 17, 2019

Dear District H Constituents,

      As Council Member representing District H, I want to touch base with you all regarding the spike in missed and delayed waste pick up whether it be recycling or heavy trash. Please know that this spike is not isolated to your neighborhood or even just District H. This is a city-wide problem that has been happening for the last few months, and in an effort to achieve clarity, I have compiled below information regarding the delays and what the Solid Waste Department is doing to resume regularly scheduled recycling and heavy trash pickup.

What is causing the delays?

  • The City’s fleet of recycling trucks is aging and many sustained damage during Hurricane Harvey. This has led to equipment downtime as the trucks are repaired.

  • Many homeowners’ garbage and recycling bins were washed away during Hurricane Harvey, creating a backlog of delivery of the new bins.

  • Solid Waste is experiencing an increase in volume, typical for this time of year, further contributing to delays.

  • Solid Waste needs new truck mechanics and experienced CDL drivers, of which there are few, due to the nation-wide skilled labor shortage.

What is the City doing to help?

  • At the end of the summer, Solid Waste will receive 69 new trucks.

  • City Council voted to approve a recycling collections contract with a private vendor and a rental contract for extra manual collection garbage trucks while we wait for the new trucks to come in this summer. 

  • While there is a hiring freeze for most City of Houston departments, Solid Waste is exempt so that they may hire desperately needed trucks drivers and mechanics. To apply, visit this website.

  • Solid Waste has staff working overtime on weekends in an effort to get back on schedule.

  • Mayor Turner’s team is tracking all missed and delayed pickups personally by remaining in communication with Solid Waste, 311 operators, and Council Members.

  • The Solid Waste Department’s Facebook page updates information on daily routes being picked up each day.

  • Regularly-scheduled pickups are projected to resume ~60 days.

What can residents do?

  • Solid Waste is encouraging residents to take advantage of the six neighborhood depositories in the city. For more information on locations and requirements please visit this website.

  • If your bin is not picked up on your regularly-scheduled day, please report the situation first to 311 and then to my office by calling 832-393-3003. My office will coordinate with the Solid Waste department as well as the Mayor’s office to track and resolve the issue.

  • Continue to follow social media and the Solid Waste website for updates on when your neighborhood’s pickup will take place.

I understand that this situation is not only inconvenient, but frustrating. My staff and I have been tracking this issue for months and continue to vigilantly advocate for the constituents of District H. We are here to make your communications with the City of Houston more efficient and more transparent, so please do not hesitate to call my office with your issues, be they Solid Waste related or otherwise.

Sincerely,

Karla Cisneros

Council Member, District H

Adopt a Drain, Name a Drain, Prevent Flooding! by Michael Graves

Houston's Adopt-A-Drain program launched April 2018 and upgrades have been unveiled recently, including the naming feature. The program allows the community to help prevent future flooding and keeps neighborhood storm drains clean. As Adopt-A-Drain partners, program participants are asked to keep their drain clear by cleaning it at least 4x/year (especially before it rains). Click here for info.

Greater Northside Management District (GNMD) & UH Urban Design Workshop by Michael Graves

Greater Northside Management District (GNMD) would like to invite you to our Urban Design Workshop with the University of Houston - Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) on November 9, 2018, at 12 PM at BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South Street. The purpose of this Urban Design Workshop is to develop the strategic vision and place-based urban design strategies for opportunity areas related to connectivity, identity, and economic development for the District. We are excited to receive a design standard toolkit for the District designed by CDRC composed from stakeholder workshops.

Please RSVP to info@greaternorthsidedistrict.org for lunch count.

Greater Northside Urban Design Workshop
Greater Northside Management District/Community Design Resource Center
November 9, 2018, at 12PM
Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South Street

It’s time to get real about sustainable transportation by Michael Graves

By now, you’ve probably seen the Houston BCycle station at Woodland Park. What you might not realize is that the station connects our historic neighborhood to a public transit system with 65 other bike share stations across Houston.

090_Fudgelump_Bcycle_Web.jpg

Anyone can pick up a bike from our Woodland Park station and ride to nearby places like Bobcat Teddy’s, Sabine Bridge, and Market Square Park. When you arrive at your destination, you simply dock the bike and go about your day until you need to ride again. (Round-trip rides are permitted as well.)

You can take as many hour-long rides as you’d like for just $9 per month. It’s even cheaper if you’re a student or staff member at a local university–those pursuing and providing higher education pay just $25 per semester for full access. Memberships are not available at the stations; you have to visit the BCycle website or download the mobile app to sign up.

Once you’ve got your membership activated, you’ll find that short trips that used to be a hassle in a car are now fun bike adventures. You’ll start to become increasingly familiar with the station map as you plan each upcoming bike share expedition. You’ll find incredible value in skipping traffic and parking hassles while enjoying a much more intimate view of the city.

Last year, a record 142,257 rides were taken throughout the system, replacing nearly a million pounds of carbon emissions. As a local nonprofit-run organization, Houston BCycle is looking to continue to offer affordable transportation that improves the health of riders and the environment alike.

Fresh off of City Council’s approval, Houston BCycle will be growing even further into the Heights in the coming year, along with major expansions at Texas Medical Center, University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, and Texas Southern University.

Let’s keep Houston rolling and start seeing our city on two wheels.

- Henry Morris, Houston Bike Share

The City Wants Public Input About Crosswalks on Studewood by Michael Graves

On August 14th our Greater Heights Super Neighborhood Council met with the City of Houston’s traffic engineer Ian Hlavacek to discuss the crosswalk situations at key hike and bike trail crossings, as well as two Studewood crossings at Merrill and 8th. The Studewood crosswalks
are especially important to the Woodland Heights because they keep our neighborhoods connected with each other, enable us to reach businesses across Studewood like Antidote and Sonoma without driving (and contributing to parking congestion), and make it safe for middle school students on the other side of Studewood to walk to school at Hogg.

While Mr. Hlavacek acknowledged the need for these crosswalks to be made safer and more accessible, he would like community input on how we would like for this to happen. Cost is an issue, but when we have a plan in place we could make it happen when the funding becomes available.

Please send your thoughts to:
Ian Hlavacek, P.E. | Supervising Engineer
Houston Public Works | Transportation & Drainage Operations
Ian.Hlavacek@houstontx.gov

FWP: The Fabulous Fireflies by Michael Graves

The Friends of Woodland Park are very proud of the recent installation of Dylan Conner’s remarkable Firefly Field sculpture in Woodland Park. In all respects it has exceeded our lofty expectations. And we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the many donors who contributed so this goal could become a reality.

FIREFLY_IMAGE.jpg

We realize the caution tape around the sculpture bases is less than attractive and hardly ideal, but by the August 18th weekend the base of the landscape garden (along with its moss rock edging) will be installed. So be sure and come by to witness the evolution of this park project.

After that, what remains is the installation of mulch (soon after), and the planting of the native grasses once Autumn arrives. And we could definitely use your assistance with both these tasks. Please visit our website for details or monitor our Facebook page and Nextdoorpostings for the dates and times for these projects. Neither will take very long if we have a group of enthusiastic volunteers helping us.

Additionally, be sure and circle Friday November 2nd 6-9 PM on your calendar for the formal dedication of our sculpture. Our celebration event: “Illumination of Firefly Field by Dylan Conner”, will be a memorable and fun evening for the whole family. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for details.

If you appreciate the successful completion of this amazing project and you value our community spirit and wish to show your support for local art and artists, one way to do so is through a donation to FWP specifically for the future care of Firefly Field. Your tax deductible donation (FWP is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are deductible within stated IRS rules & guidelines) can be specifically earmarked for the perpetual care of this new  community landmark.

Please consider supporting local art and artists with your gift to keep the Fireflies and their landscape garden in a first class condition.

- Pat Rutledge, Friends of Woodland Park

August Voting for the Harris County Flood Bond Program by Michael Graves

On the anniversary of Harvey, Houstonians have the opportunity to decide to vote for or against a 2.5 billion dollar flood control project which would cover drainage improvements, upgraded warning systems, infrastructure repairs, home buyouts, and the construction of more detention basins. The cost of these projects would mean a property tax increase of no more than 1.4% if the bond passes. The proposed flood projects are targeted at various watersheds located across the “bayou city”. Community comments and suggestions are still being accepted. To read more about the bond proposal, check out the Harris County Flood District website at https://www.hcfcd.org/bond-program/ .
 
Early voting begins August 8-21 and the election will be held on Saturday, August 25. To determine more about places and times to vote, consult www.harrisvotes.com . Please consider weighing in on this important issue.

NTMP Poll Results by Michael Graves

This just in today....

Dear NTC Members,

Thank you all for your input and assistance in this project. It has been a long journey, but we are near the end.

Below is a summary of the comments that we received from the public meeting in April.

NTMP-Poll-June.PNG

After reviewing the comments, our director has decided that the City will either accept the test speed cushions as they currently are in the neighborhood or remove them entirely.  To help make this final decision, we will be sending out a survey to the 52 residents who indicated ‘support with modification’. The survey will inform them that we do not intend to make any modification and they will be given the option to either support or oppose the test cushions as installed. Then the project will be closed out. If desirable, residents can submit a new NTMP application in 3 years.

Regards,

Khang Nguyen, P.E., PTOE | Assistant Director
City of Houston | Houston Public Works | Transportation & Drainage Operations
611 Walker Street, 5th Floor | Houston, TX 77002 | 832-395-3008
Khang.Nguyen@houstontx.gov

What's Wrong With This Picture? by Michael Graves

The other day I was walking my dogs down the street. It was morning. It was a Thursday so the trash bins were out for collection. Along our path we noticed a bag of yard trimmings with a bright green tag. I'd never seen this tag before so I looked to see what it said. 

What a bright green tag!

What a bright green tag!

"The City of Houston is no longer accepting petroleum-based (plastic) bags for curbside collection of yard trimmings. These lawn items must be placed in City-Approved Compostable Bags. In addition, materials such as paper, plastic and other trash may not be placed in the compostable bags with yard trimmings. Small twigs and branches do not have to be bagged as long as they are in bundles less than 4 feet in length, less than 18 inches in diameter, weigh less than 50 pounds, and must be tied up with string." 

For more information, please call 3-1-1 or visit www.houstonsolidwaste.org
City of Houston Code of Ordinances Chapter 39 -76


There you have it. The bag was tagged, but not collected, because it was not one of the approved, green, compostable bags. You know the sort...the ones that seem to start to decompose as soon as they get a little damp.

WH Residents Get Houston BCycle Discount! by Michael Graves

Have you ever wondered about the red bikes at the corner of Woodland Park? Houston BCycle is offering Woodland Heights residents a membership and access the bikes for just $6.00 a month!

Red bikes in a row_Courtesy of Houston Bike Share.jpg

While the Woodland Park station connects you directly to the nearby Buffalo Bayou trails, your membership also allows you to access all other Houston BCycle stations across Houston! As a member, you will be able take unlimited 60-minute rides throughout Houston's entire 56-station network (check out their full station map here).

With each BCycle trip, you contribute to building a healthy, sustainable, eco-friendly transit and recreational option for our city. We encourage you to sign up and participate in this transformation!

To activate your discounted Houston BCycle membership, click here, and use these promotional codes:

  • $6.00 Monthly Membership code: FWPNWD9
  • $66.00 Annual Membership code: FWPFG9S

Lastly, Houston BCycle recommends downloading the BCycle app if you end up purchasing a membership. The app will show you an updated map of all the stations and allow you to check out bikes with ease.

Yard/Tree Waste Collection Resumes January 2, 2018 by Michael Graves

In coordination with its Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program, the Solid Waste Management Department will restart its Yard/Tree Waste Collection and Recycling Program on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. 

Yard/Tree Waste will be collected on residents’ normal garbage collection day. Customers are reminded that yard waste should be properly placed at the curb in city approved recycling bags, or if tree/branch trimmings, they should be bundled and/or tied in lengths not greater than 36 inches. Material not properly prepared for ease of collection will be tagged and left at the curb for the customer’s proper preparation. 

For further instructions on how to prepare yard waste for ease of collection, visit the Solid Waste Management website at www.houstonsolidwaste.org  

What is Tree Waste?

“Clean” wood waste such as tree limbs, branches, and stumps. Lumber, furniture, and treated wood will NOT be accepted. 

What is Yard Trimmings?

Yard Trimmings, grass clippings, small branches and leaves. They must be in city-approved compostable bags. 

For more information about SWMD and its services, visit  at www.houstonsolidwaste.org, “LIKE” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste, follow us on Twitter @HoustonTrash, or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Helpline. 

About the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department

The Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) provides solid waste services to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.