Houston Resident Wants To Open Streets To Pedestrians

Raj Mankad points to the recent Kinder Houston Area Survey which shows over 50 percent of Harris County residents would like to have a more urban lifestyle.

Mankad edits Cite Magazine for the Rice Design Alliance.  Inspired by activities in other cities, he's started an online petition asking that the city close down a busy street once a week to create a family-friendly pedestrian walk. 

Mankad envisions a place where people can get out of their cars and interact with the neighborhood.

"We have some wonderful moments of public life at Hermann Park or Discovery Green. We need more of that."

Mankad hopes to launch a grass-roots effort to create walks that highlight the city's architecture, culture, and natural environment.

But in a car-centered city like Houston, shutting down a street for a pedestrian walk would require some careful planning.

"In order to get to this place to walk many people would be driving, so the cars have to go somewhere. And they would have to be accommodated in a way that wouldn't really disrupt the neighbors."

A spokeswoman for the city of Houston says they don't have enough information yet to comment, but she adds citizens have the right to petition under the city charter.

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