Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

The New Avenida de las Americas

May 09, 2017 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Misc Urban Infrastructure, Sidewalk Features, Sidewalk Fountains, Special Surfaces

Avenida de las Americas (ADLA) was originally to be a major north-south boulevard on the east side of downtown but is now a street only seven blocks long and can never be longer. Why? The best place for the new stadium for the Astros Baseball team (known as Minute Maid Park) was the old passenger rail station yard and that blocked the northern expansion of ADLA. Not many years later the search for the best place to locate a new multi-purpose arena was found and hence the Toyota Center blocked the southern expansion of ADLA. (more…)

Parking Configurations for a Person with Disabilities

May 07, 2012 By: Tom Davis Category: Parking

rI was sent a very insightful email with reasons why one parking configuration, angle-in, has advantages to those with disabilities over the more common parallel style. Everyone that works on improving the streets and street scape struggle with getting the required slopes, widths and surface textures in the right places. We also include handicap parking spaces where we can and too often it is a parallel space adapted to meet the dimensions.  When I received an email with the pros and cons for a parking style I realized after all these years I still did not totally anticipate the experience of a person with disabilities. I offer it here as I believe it may help others. (more…)

Green embedded in a security wall

April 23, 2011 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features

Irrigated planter bed built into security wall with iron fence panels reused from the original fence.On the day after earth day I want to share a well done high-security wall that was built to nurture slivers of green space in a location where soon there will be none. The photo shows the location and how nicely the planting space fits into the wall without taking up precious sidewalk width. (more…)

Alternative to the White Line

April 02, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Parking, Placemaking

Buttons.JPGNote – This is a followup article to Trees in the Parking Lane on Dallas St and Leaves Stamped in Concrete.

There is another thing we tried in the Dallas St. project to give it a special urban identity. The traffic engineers–correctly applying the requirements of the traffic control manual–said there had to be a continuous white line between the parking lane (with the trees) and the lane of moving traffic. We have enough of the unappealing look of chipped, ragged thermoplastic stripping and the fading painted stripes. Besides, that is so typical and this street needed to have its own character–like many others in downtown Houston–but with a limited budget. (more…)

Trees in a Parking Lane on Dallas Street

February 21, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Parking

Planter Beds–Seperating Pedestrians from Parking Lots

December 27, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features

Downtown Houston has a lot of room to grow into the parking lots–even in the “high-rise” district. CIMG8562.JPGThe condition of the lots is almost totally at the discretion of the parking lot owners and their operating company if they have one. Most are kept ok but the drawback is the bleak, barren space that blends too easily with the public/pedestrian area; i.e. the sidewalk. At night the darker lots with cars next to the sidewalk worry some walkers that someone could be hiding in the shadows of the cars. Even though downtown Houston has the lowest crime rate in the City that is not much comfort for the pedestrian at night. (more…)