Houston Resident Wants To Open Streets To Pedestrians

A Houston resident has started a petition drive in an effort to get the city to open up streets to pedestrians once a week.


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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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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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