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…)

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…)

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…)

Reusing Historic Street Bricks

November 15, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Placemaking, Sidewalk Features

One of our Cotswold projects anticipated removing many old street bricks. We found bricks in many streets but the street where they were to be saved for reuse was also where we were removing unused old railroad tracks and placing the new water, waste water and storm water lines. But, we did not find enough bricks to rebuild the planned two blocks of Commerce Street either side of Main Street.CIMG6936.JPG

Looking back on that disappointment I now believe that was a blessing. Not that it was a bad idea but that we did not have the contract requirements in place to recreate a pavement equal to what our forefathers built. We also did not have a consistent brick source. We did plan plan to install the old bricks on a concrete slab to support the heavier vehicles of today. (more…)

Tree Wells in Sidewalks

September 13, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features

Downtown Houston has added over a 1000 trees in the sidewalks since the mid 1990’s. Various designs were used that were driven by cost concerns and by salesman’s claims. This post will address the locations where the sidewalk was built of concrete unit pavers. Other lessons learned about tree wells in sidewalks will be posted here in hopes they help you minimize maintenance cost.SettlementAtTree2.jpg