Just a reminder that the Mayor’s meeting on the Ashby High Rise settlement will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 12, 2012 at Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd near Mandell.

Please be assured we had no hand in the planning of this meeting or that it was scheduled–whether by design or oversight–during  a week when many neighbors will be unable to attend because of spring break.  However, the best way to respond to this inconvenient schedule is for those who are in town to turn out in force to express your questions, comments and concerns to the Mayor and Council Member Ellen Cohen.  Their email addresses are included below.

Mayor@houstontx.gov
DistrictC@houstontx.gov

We have not seen the settlement and are relying only on what was described in the Mayor’s letter, but the concerns identified to date include:

1.    The 228 units is 18 more units than the 210 units that the City specified would result in an “unacceptable” traffic impact at Bissonnet and Shepherd.  The City justifies this increase by the developers’ promise to provide 2 shuttle bus trips/day to the Medical Center and loaner bikes, but the shuttle bus is unlikely to be used because of its infrequency and loaner bikes are unlikely to be used for commuting purposes.  As a result, the congestion on Bissonnet will almost certainly become significantly worse than it already is and sink to the “unacceptable” level that the City claimed it was committed to preventing.

2.    Allowing an exit onto Ashby virtually guarantees substantial “cut through” traffic in the neighborhood despite the promised “no left turn” policy, which we expect most residents of the project will simply ignore without consequence.

3.    The pedestrian plaza in front of the project has the effect of shoving the project southward on the lot so that the parking garage and mechanical room are as close as possible to the neighboring residences.  Why not instead have the project as close as possible to Bissonnet and provide a buffer at the back of the lot?

4.    Why is the City not taking advantage of the settlement to include reasonable mitigation measures to avoid the disruptions that will occur from the construction of the project, like limiting the developers’ ability to block Bissonnet or Ashby Streets?

Sign thefts and shenanigans

We have noticed that more and more signs are missing. And recently, many of our yard signs have been moved to the public right of way between the sidewalk and curb where it is illegal to post signs. If your sign has been moved, please move it to your side of the sidewalk to prevent it from being collected by city Sign Code enforcement personnel.

Thank you for your continued support.