Green Space Plan for the

Greater Heights & Washington/Memorial Areas

 Index

Project Background

Workshop Participants

List of improvements identified during workshop

  • Woodland Heights
  • East Washington Area
  • Heights Area
  • West Washington Area
  • White Oak Bayou Area

Summary of Types of Improvements Identified

Possible Areas of Investigation by Committees

Implementation Action Plan

References

Appendix

Green Space Plan for the Greater Heights & Washington/Memorial Areas

Project Background

On Saturday January 18th, 2003, a group of residents and representatives of various civic and public organizations took part on a workshop to develop a Green Space Plan that covers the areas known as the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood and Washington/Memorial Super Neighborhood.  The workshop was hosted by the Houston Heights Association and was held at the historic Heights Fire Station.

The area included for the Green Space Plan improvements is bounded by: Loop 610 on the north, power line easement west of White Oak Bayou on the west, Memorial park and Memorial Drive on the south, I-45 on the east, and North Main on the northeast.  See area map below.

Printable Map

The Green Space Plan is a neighborhood initiated plan designed to identify neighborhood improvements related to quality of life elements such as: parks, pocket parks, pedestrian accessibility, streetscape, traffic and pedestrian safety, commercial streets, residential development, preservation of existing green spaces such as bayous, preservation and improvement of flood management areas, connectivity between residential and recreational areas/schools, preservation of natural and historical resources, identification of signature streets, street intersection, and others.

Workshop Participants (partial list)

  • Evelyn Shanley                         Bayou Preservation Association

  • Terry Hershey                          Bayou Preservation Association
  • Ben Gritzewsky                        First Ward Civic Club
  • Marci Pery                               First Ward Civic Club
  • Sue Hart
  • Maryellen Quarles
  • Catherine Pernot                      Gulf Coast Institute
  • Kathleen Jircik                         Hamilton Middle School PTA
  • David Higgins                           Houston Heights Association
  • Mike Easley                             Houston Heights Association
  • Alan & Diana Hopkins             Houston Heights Association
  • Kent Marsh                              Houston Heights Association
  • Kay Lockard                           Houston Heights Association
  • Anne Olson                              Houston Heights Association/Buffalo Bayou Partnership
  • Mike O’Brien                           Houston Homeowners Association
  • Karla Cisneros                         Houston Independent School District
  • Beto Bautista                            Houston Parks and Recreation Department
  • Officer A. Jasso                       Houston Police Department
  • Rene Martinez                          Norhill Historic District
  • Glenda Barrett                          The Park People
  • Linda Shead                             Trust for Public Land
  • Joel Reichek                             Rice Military Community Club/WOW/Old West End Association
  • Keiji Asakura                           SLA Studio Land
  • Andres Pulido                          SLA Studio Land
  • Paul Johnson                            SLA Studio Land
  • Tom Dornbusch                       Woodcrest Civic Club/WOW
  • Liz McMillin                             WOW
  • Bessie Stratton                         Washington Super Neighborhood
  • Juan Arriaga                             West End Civic Club
  • Fred Lazare                             White Oak Bayou Association
  • Jim Mackey                             White Oak Bayou Association
  • Nancy Wilcox                          White Oak Bayou Association
  • Margaret Dower                      Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  • Thaddeus Herrick                     Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  • Robert Proctor & Jill Whitten  Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  • Jennifer Ostlind                         Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  • Patricia Rincon Kallman            Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  • Gonzalo Camacho                    Woodland Heights Homeowners Association
  •  List of improvements identified during workshop

     Woodland Heights Area

    • Bayland Avenue – Protect trees, sidewalk improvements
    • Studewood Street – Take an active role in implementing more trees and landscape during the planned roadway reconstruction.  Develop neighborhood entries similar to Voss Rd south of I-10.
    • I-45 – Greening of highway
    • Woodland Park – Area between south of Woodland Park has to be reverted to green space.  Development of residential homes in this area should be discouraged.
    • Houston Avenue – Green space on the southeast corner of Houston Ave. and White Oak is a new city park and needs to be cleaned.
    • The area under the I-45 and I-10 interchange should be opened for recreational areas, canoeing, boardwalks, and retention areas.
    • Houston Avenue – Intersection with White Oak should be turned into a roundabout and the clock maintained as a landmark.
    • Houston Avenue – Intersection with Wrightwood, area located on the northeast corner should be purchased and turned into a community center.
    • For Sale Properties – Identified location at: northeast corner of Wrightwood and Houston Avenue; south of Woodland Park between Wrightwood and White Oak streets (already under contract to build a residential home); and two properties east of Houston Ave. and south edge of I-10.
    • Hike and bike trail – The proposed hike & bike facility will be located along old railroad track on Spring Street.
    • Houston Avenue – Implement a trolley and make avenue pedestrian friendly.
    • White Oak Bayou – Preserve natural areas and enhance them with trails, bird watching, etc.
    • White Oak Bayou trails – Extend trails east.
    • White Oak Bayou – Enhance flood control capacity.  Plant more trees.
    • How do we influence apartment developers?
    • Provide safe access to Buffalo Bayou.
    • Studewood Street – Area located on the west side of Studewood, north of I-10 and right bank of White Oak Bayou should be a public park.  Who owns this property?
    • New apartments north side of I-10 and east of Oxford Street has to be integrated with green space.
    • White Oak Blvd. – Turn into a commercial district and enhanced.
    • Studewood Street – Streetscape enhancements
    • 11th Street – West of Norhill turned in commercial district and enhanced
    • Norhill Esplanade – Enhanced
    • Area City Parks – Enhanced (Proctor Plaza, school parks, north of Browning Elementary)
    • Watson Street – Streetscape improvements
    • Watson Street – Sidewalk and trees on west side of 2300 block, next to bridge.
    • North Main Street – Streetscape improvements.
    • North Main Street – Intersection with 20th Street and Studewood improved and include roundabout.
    • Neighborhood Street Enhancements – Houston and White Oak, Studewood and White Oak, Studewood south of White Oak, White Oak and Usener, Houston and I-45 by North Main, and North Main Street and I-45.

    East Washington Area

    • Washington – Intersection improvements with Heights Blvd., roundabout.
    • Washington – Streetscape improvements, trees,
    • Heights Blvd. – Planting of esplanade between I-10 and Washington
    • Yale St. – Northwest corner of Yale and Washington develop transit hub, hi-rise retail and park.
    • Washington – Northeast corner with Studewood, develop a central market grocery store.
    • Meditation Park – Historic African American cemetery off Wichmann Street.  To be maintained, protected from private encroachment, make it accessible to public & increase green space.
    • Sawyer and Oliver streets to become green corridors
    • Silver Street – pedestrian friendly and streetscape
    • Area southeast corner of I-10 and Sawyer - East of Alamo Street and west of railroad spur be developed into park and connect it to White Oak Bayou.
    • Crockett Elementary School – Park on the north side
    • First Ward Area – Identify potential pocket parks.
    • Houston Avenue – Historic Fire Station at intersection of Houston and Spring Street.
    • Houston Avenue – Intersection with Spring Street, northeast corner property is for sale.  Identified as a potential park.
    • Houston Avenue – Trolley connecting recreational areas and parks.
    • Old Jeff Davis Hospital and Historic Cemetery – Create an “arts village” with studios and retail space.
    • Washington Avenue – Intersection with Houston, southeast corner identified as potential transit station with sidewalk cafes, pedestrian connections to trains, residential and commercial mid-rise development, and light rail.
    • Houston Avenue – East side south of Crockett Street a historic commercial landmark with pedestrian corridor and street parking on west side of Houston.
    • Bingham Street – Enhance pocket park, streetscape, pedestrian friendly
    • Johnson & Colorado Streets – pedestrian friendly streets and streetscape
    • Brock Elementary School – More park space on block south of school
    • Winter Street – Intersection with Johnson, northwest corner, develop a water park.
    • Maintain narrow streets through out the area.
    • Improve open space under I-10 and I-45.
    • Washington Avenue – Off Union and White streets pocket park.

    Heights Area

    • Pedestrian and bike access to Washington via Patterson trolley
    • White Oak Bayou – Trail to TC Jester bike trail.
    • 7th Street – linear park, nature center and fitness trail from Heights Blvd. to White Oak Bayou.
    • Trolley loop – Yale Street, 7th Street, Shepherd and 20th Street continue east on 20th to North Main Street and south on North Main Street towards downtown. Option to connect to I-10 and Washington.
    • Shepherd – Southeast block of Shepherd and 11th Street has potential for redevelopment
    • Love Elementary – connect to future hike and bike trails on Nicholson Street.
    • Transit connection at 18th Street with trolley and hike and bike trail.
    • 18th and 19th Streets – from Shepherd to Heights Blvd. enhance for commercial and pedestrian friendly streetscape.
    • 18th and 19th Streets – Bike racks for retail access.
    • 19th Street – West of Shepherd, enhance for commercial and pedestrians.
    • Yale & 20th – Northwest block to be developed into a neighborhood park and transit node.
    • Harvard Street – Northeast corner of 20th Street and across from Hamilton Middle School, develop a park.
    • Harvard Street – Between 20th and 22nd streets to be developed into a pedestrian friendly street with bike lanes.
    • 22nd Street – Between Yale and North Main Street (Metro transit station) developed into a pedestrian friendly street.
    • Reagan High School – Provide a north-south pedestrian access that allows through pedestrian access at proposed street closure.
    • Need more neighborhood parks.
    • 15.5th and 16th – New park west of Beall Street
    • Connect Heights Blvd. to park on 12th and Yale.  Pedestrian friendly 12th Street.
    • Hamilton Middle School S.P.A.R.K. Park, Master Plan

    West Washington Area

    • Washington Avenue – Pedestrian friendly, streetscape, enhancements all the way to I-10.
    • Washington Avenue – Intersection improvements at Heights Blvd., E. Bonner, Shepherd, Durham, TC Jester, and Bridsall.
    • Streetscape improvements and pedestrian friendly: Westcott, Arnot, Birdsall, T.C. Jester, Detering, Feagan, Patterson, Bonner, Jackson Hill, and Yale.
    • Washington Ave. – Residential development north side between Thompson and Bonner streets.
    • Spence Park – New linear east west park between Patterson and Bonner streets, south of Spence Street.
    • Arabelle Street Park – Connect proposed hike and bike trails to park located north of I-10 at Arabelle Street.
    • Stevenson Elementary – Connect school to White Oak Bayou trails and proposed hike & bike trails along railroad.
    • Patterson Street – Connect Patterson to Nicholson street over I-10 for pedestrian and bicycle use.
    • Washington Ave. - Reinerman Street Park located west of Reinerman Street and between Washington and Julian.
    • Washington at T.C. Jester – Retail space located on south side of Washington at the intersection with T.C. Jester.
    • Shepherd & Durham – Art park in front of church south of Blossom Street.
    • Washington & McDonald – Green space area.
    • Memorial Park Connectivity – From Washington and Westcott to Memorial Loop Drive via: Memorial Park north entrance, Arnot Street, Westcott Street, and Memorial Drive.
    • Washington Ave. to Memorial Drive Connectivity – Via enhancement of following streets: Detering, Shepherd, Durham, Patterson, Jackson Hill, and Heights Blvd.
    • Washington Ave. to I-10/Heights Connectivity – Via enhancement of following streets: Washington Ave., Bridsall, T.C. Jester, Durham, Shepherd, Patterson, Bonner, Yale and Heights Blvd.
    • East West Connectivity – Memorial Drive, Feagan, Washington Ave., and hike and bike at railroad tracks.

    White Oak Bayou Area

    • MKT Railroad right of way – Create linear parks, bike routes, detention facilities, links to neighborhoods, new bridge at crossing of White Oak Bayou, and connect to proposed hike and bike facilities.
    • White Oak Bayou / MKT Railroad / T.C. Jester Park – Develop park east of T.C. Jester and trails on the west side of White Oak Bayou.
    • Little Thicket Park – Hike and bike trail connecting Little Thicket Park to Memorial Park using existing electric power right of way.  Connect trail to White Oak Bayou trails, Jaycee Park, and MKT RR linear parks.  Design pedestrian access under 610.
    • 12th Street – Streetscape, street enhancement, on street bike lanes, connectivity to White Oak Bayou trails, and improve safety of 12th Street intersection at T.C. Jester, possibly to White Oak Bayou with bridge.
    • White Oak Bayou – Increase number of trees along bayou; improve connectivity with 14th Street, 20th Street, electric power easement, and Boy Scouts facility; connect to Wortham Island and T.C. Jester Park; address channel erosion between 43rd and 34th streets.
    • Industrial Area (bounded by Hempstead Highway west, 11th Street north, T.C. Jester east and MKT railroad tracks south) – Influence new development based on quality of life, visual quality, ecological function, pedestrian/bike friendly, and performance standards.
    • Sinclair Elementary School area – Develop a nature education center at HISD property.
    • Ella Blvd. – Connect with White Oak Bayou, create node park with fountain, trees, and tables.
    • East White Oak Bayou Bank (between 14th and 20th streets) – Develop K-Mart into detention/recreational facility.  Investigate other low areas as potential recreational and detention facilities.  Plant more trees.  Check TIRZ improvements to street.
    • TIRZ Boundary – Check limits of TIRZ.
    • Harris County Flood Control District – Check with district for future improvements to White Oak Bayou.
     Summary of Types of Improvements Identified
    • White Oak Bayou and large parks
    • Small neighborhood parks, linear parks, pocket parks
    • On street bike lanes and trails
    • Pedestrian access to schools, commercial areas, and recreational areas
    • Historic landmarks
    • Street improvements

    Possible Areas of Investigation by Committees

    • Development of neighborhood design standards
    • Identification and contact with regulatory agencies that affect neighborhood quality of life and values
    • Identification and contact potential partners (organizations, businesses, individuals)
    • Identify funding sources
    • Identify potential sources of labor for neighborhood improvement projects.

    Implementation Action Plan

    1. Development of Concept Plan and Workshop (executed)

    2. Review of Concept Plan Meeting

                Additional comments

                Changes/modifications

                Develop design standards

                Identify plan gaps

    3. Final Concept Plan Meeting

                Implementation strategies

                Funding sources

                Project priorities

                Taking ownership

                Part of Blueprint Houston

    4. City Presentation

                City Super Neighborhood

                City Planning Director Bob Litke

                City Council Presentation

    References

    Neighborhood Development Plans (Samples)

    - Link to pdf files with sample of an area wide bicycle plan http://www.region.halifax.ns.ca/cycling/bikeplan.html

    - Link to pdf files for the Houston Near North Side development plan http://www.ci.houston.tx.us/departme/planning/projects/north_side/near_north_side_revitalization.pdf

    Samples of Neighborhood Development Strategies and Transit Elements

    - Dallas McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, not for profit transit organization that runs a trolley system. http://www.mata.org

    - Guidelines for sustainable development http://www.ccicenter.org/publications/gsd4/index.html

    - An English view on neighborhood development http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/

    - Fannie Mae Foundation affordable housing http://www.fanniemaefoundation.org/

    - Location efficient mortgage program http://www.locationefficiency.com/

    - Smart Growth America http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/

     Web Pages for Local Organizations and Potential Partners

    http://www.theoldwestend.org/design.html

    http://www.wowroundabout.org/

    http://www.downtownhistoricdistrict.org/

    http://www.bayoupreservation.org/pages/welcome.html

    http://qolhouston.org/

    http://www.avenuecdc.org/

    http://buffalobayou.org/

    http://www.heightschamber.com/

    http://www.tpl.org/

    http://www.trin.net/

    http://www.woodland-heights.org/

    http://bikehouston.org/index.php

    http://www.houstonendowment.org/

    http://www.hpbinc.org/

    http://saferoutestexas.org/

    http://www.transtexas.org/

     APPENDIX A

    Hamilton Middle School

    S.P.A.R.K.S Park Master Plan


    APPENDIX B

    West 11th Street Park Master Plan

    2400 West 11th Street

    Houston, Texas 77008

    Background

    This unique property is one of the largest stands of uncut native trees inside the 610 Loop. The site contains approximately 1,800 trees, including some of the tallest in the city.  It is a haven for herons and hawks, owls and butterflies, squirrels and crayfish.  This land is an inner-loop wildlife habitat.

    Originally owned by the Hogg Foundation, this property was conveyed to the University of Texas over fifty years ago, under a deed that restricted its use to “educational, benevolent and public purposes.”  It was subsequently sold to the Houston Independent School District. The land has been a de facto park since the surrounding neighborhood was developed in the 1950s. Some residents, who played here as kids thirty years ago, are now raising families in the same area. When HISD announced tentative plans to build a new campus for the High School for Performing and Visual Arts on this property several years ago, more than 1,000 adult residents of the Timbergrove Manor neighborhood (nearly 90% of the residents contacted) signed a petition calling on HISD to preserve this small piece of wilderness in the heart of their community.

    Entire document can be found at LINK