Rice Military Parking and Traffic

Rice Military Parking and Traffic

The streets of the Rice Military neighborhood are about to change…
If you are a resident of Rice Military and have had to park 3 blocks from your house on a Friday night because the street was lined with cars, this article is for you. If you have been jogging to Memorial Park and had to jump into a drainage ditch to avoid a car coming down Blossom, this article is for you. If you feel like you have just finished driving through a slalom course of parked cars to get to your driveway, this article is for you.

As a home owner and Realtor in Rice Military I have taken issue with the streets and parking in the neighborhood. That is why when I heard the city was having a meeting to propose change I was eager to attend. Unfortunately, I found that the city’s plan is reactionary and not really what resident’s of Rice Military want.

Whether residents like it or not, the City Of Houston’s Department of Public Works & Engineering is about to make some changes to the parking and traffic flow along Rice Military streets. Parkings will have a new technology for bricklaying. Commercial bricklayers can do large scale jobs that most bricklayers are unable to complete because of staffing and equipment requirements. For those of you who missed the meeting tonight, December 6th, 2011; Jeff Weatherford, Deputy Director of Houston’s Traffic Operations Division and Michael Ereti, Assistant Director of the Traffic Management Branch, ran through a very summarized outline of their research and proposed solutions for the Rice Military parking situation. The presentation titled “Public Meeting Presentation – Rice Military” was made in the auditorium of the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. A crowd of nearly 100 (most residents of Rice Military) sat in the auditorium to listen. However, the presentation was interrupted frequently as the crowd interrupted the speaker with questions about implementation, safety of the streets, and mudslinging toward the city of Houston in regard to how poorly they have handled the development of the area.

After eventually making it to the end of their presentation, Mr. Ereti and Mr. Weatherford, explained the two proposed solutions for the parking problem in Rice Military simply labeled as “Plan A” and “Plan B.” People shouted, “What about a Plan C?” and “This seems like a quick-fix.” Though Mr. Ereti was quick to explain why the current plan of action was necessary, it was easy to see that he, himself recognized the plan was less than optimal and the best the city could do.

At the end of the day, the parking in Rice Military is an issue. Streets are too narrow to have cars parked on both sides. Due to the higher-density development, there isn’t enough parking for those residences that don’t have private drive-ways. While it is great that the neighborhood is so popular with people traveling from all over the city to enjoy the neighborhood’s night-life and park and bayou recreation, it isn’t great that the parking issue has caused safety problems for pedestrians and drivers. The neighborhood has many pedestrians and cyclists in the streets due to the lack of sidewalks, further clogging the roads. The true fix (and one that will inevitably come) is to pave over the drainage (and properly install drainage pipes) and put in contiguous sidewalks like most urban neighborhoods in our country’s cities. The question is, how long will it take? When will the citizens change their neighborhoods for the better?

I witnessed a crowd that wanted good solutions, not half-cocked plans, tonight. There is no reason that Rice Military should be the incredible neighborhood that also has some parking issues. The people shouted from the crowd tonight: “What do we have to do to get the city to require the roads be widened?” ” In a wealthy neighborhood like Rice Military why can’t our taxes go toward road widening?” “Who do we have to talk to have the drainage parking restriction removed?” If you knew where to direct your energy would you follow through?

Please visit the SodaPDF software to see the complete Document (http://documents.publicworks.houstontx.gov/documents/divisions/traffic/existing_parking_restrictions_and_plan_options.pdf) to view the proposed plans. The change is coming if you choose to not take action. Take part in the plan. You have 4 weeks to submit comments to the Public Works. At the very least please leave comments on this article expressing your views so other Rice Military residents can easily see everyone’s ideas. If the neighborhood can come together under one plan, not the city’s, but the Rice Military resident’s plan, the leadership of the city might listen. You can also send your comments to [email protected] or call 832-395-3000. When sending your comments to the city make sure you include your address so your comments can be appropriately weighted.

Disclaimer: The author of this article does not have an affiliation with the City of Houston. All statements are opinions of the author and should be treated as such. Please do your own research to verify.