The long awaited bike path/running trail is finally coming to Idylwood but they’ve slipped in something else we were not expecting. A parking lot down in the corner of MacGregor at Sylvan.
I’ve set up a meeting with the Houston Parks Board (HPB) on Wednesday that myself, some board members, a rep from Carol Alvarado’s office, and a rep from James Rodriguez’s office will attend. Due to the space limitations, that’s about all they can hold. But we still want to hear from you or to be more precise, I want the HPB to hear from you.
Here’s why I believe this is a very bad idea:
1. A parking lot in Idylwood is NOT needed. There is ample PUBLIC parking at Mason Park and MacGregor Park on either side of our neighborhood. Additionally, MacGregor is a wide street so if someone needs to park to access the bike path, there is plenty up parking along MacGregor. It is completely inappropriate to put a public parking lot for non-residents in a 100% residential neighborhood.
2. While Spurlock Park is a pretty park that is fairly well maintained, we still have problems with individuals using drugs/alcohol in the park (I’ve seen needles on the ground and definitely empty bottles and cans), having sex in the park (we had our share of condoms particularly along MacGregor), dumping animals in the park (many of us have ended up adopting or trying to help these animals). Recently. law enforcement has looked at installing cameras at neighboring properties to keep an eye on the park. The area of the proposed parking lot in not in a visible area. The proposed parking lot will give non residents another place to do all the negative things that happen at Spurlock Park.
3. The area of the proposed parking lot had been a trouble spot for many years. Non residents regularly dumped trash, tree debris, tires, mattresses in this area. Metal posts were installed years ago to block this area but people would just drive around them. Residents from the adjacent Brookdale Village apartments would also drive across the green space to access the apartments along the bayou. Finally after the bayou was reconstructed and many trees were planted in the area, all of that has stopped and we now have an attractive green space. The parking lot would clear that green space, giving easy access to the apartments and dumping once again.
4. Idylwood has a committee which has been studying the traffic flow in and around Idylwood to try to make sure we are not negatively impacted when Wal-Mart opens. We do everything we can to try to prevent as many non-residents as we can from driving through our neighborhood. Putting a PUBLIC parking lot in Idylwood is an invitation for non-residents to come into our neighborhood.
5. Non-residents are often not respectful about their speed through neighborhoods. An increase in traffic means an increase in danger to pedestrians and our pets.
6. We have volunteers who patrol our neighborhood watching out for signs of trouble. Thieves like to break into homes during the day when homeowners are at work. The Crime Watch Patrol alerts law enforcement if they see suspicious vehicles, individuals or activities at a residents home. Residents are given stickers with an “i” to place on their cars (if you don’t have one, they will be available at National Night Out) so they are easily identifiable as Idylwood residents. A public parking lot will increase the non-residents in our neighborhood.
7. This link contains the promotional campaign for the bond initiative that was on the November ballot last year. It passed. That’s great. Connecting the green spaces and creating the trails is something Houston has needed. BUT this video mentions many times the words GREEN SPACE. In Idylwood they want to remove a green space to create a parking lot. That’s the opposite of what I voted for.
So please, let’s here from you. You can send me an email and I will pass it on. Or you can contact all your local reps to let them know that this is not okay with you.
I am opposed to the installation of a public parking lot by the Houston Parks Board in conjunction with HCFCD on MacGregor in the Idylwood residential neighborhood.
Feel free to use any of the above wording.
(BTW, the Houston Parks Board has said this lot has been part of the plan all along and we should have spoken up sooner. No one I’ve spoken to who had seen renderings of the trail recall a parking lot in Idylwood ever being mentioned.)
- Jen Solis (Houston Parks Board)
- Jen is the individual we are meeting with.
- Councilmember James Rodriguez
- James is the rep who will be present at the Wednesday meeting
- State Representative Carol Alvarado
- Representative Alvarado’s Chief of Staff, Crystal Ford
- Crystal will be present at the meeting.
- Senator Rodney Ellis
- Senator Ellis’ Houston liason, Ashley San Miguel
- Ashley is seen in the video
- Councilmember Ed Gonzales
- Councilman Gonzales is seen in the video