Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Upper Kirby

As Kirby Drive -between US 59 and Westheimer- is torn up for new stormwater drains, a plan to rebuild it as a wider street also means a smaller pedestrian realm.

This widening necessitates removing about 200 trees. Many citizens at an Upper Kirby District TIRZ meeting wanting to save the trees were also vehement about wanting better and safer walkability - and slower cars.

No one opposed construction of a 72-inch storm sewer under Kirby to improve area drainage.

The concerns centered on plans to add a 14-foot median and widen the three lanes of Kirby, now about 9 1/2 feet wide, to 11 feet to comply with city of Houston requirements.

The result — narrower sidewalks and fewer mature trees on both sides of the street — met strong opposition.

Mack Fowler, president of the board of Trees for Houston, maintained that the drainage project could be accomplished without widening Kirby.

City Councilman Peter Brown, who attended Saturday's meeting, said he supports the latest efforts to improve drainage along Kirby.

Before leaving home for the meeting, however, Brown said his granddaughter told him: "You have to do something to save the trees."

Read more:
*Houston Strategies
* Houston Chronicle
*Citizens Transportation Commission
* Upper Kirby District

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