Seeking '20-Minute Neighborhood' Status in Texas

The neighborhood of Montrose in Houston has undertaken a self-funded study to assess the facts on the ground about walkability in the neighborhood.

August 7, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Houston, Texas

Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock

"In Montrose [Houston], despite being considered one of the most walkable areas in the city, almost 30% of the sidewalks are in poor condition, rendering 6 out of every 10 blocks potentially impassable to someone in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller," reports Matt Dullin.

Dullin is sharing findings from "a nine-month, first-of-its-kind study backed by the Montrose Tax-Increment Reinvestment Zone," which charts a path to new levels of walkability and pedestrian friendliness in the neighborhood. The goal is the "20-minute neighborhood" that is becoming a more popular idea in some U.S. cities.

"The plan outlines a road map to make Montrose a '20-minute neighborhood,' where a high quality of life is possible for residents without ever having to hop into a car, said Geoff Carleton, senior principal for Traffic Engineers Inc., which led the study with Gauge Engineering," as reported by the article.

"The study identifies over $40 million in potential projects, most of which will involve partnerships between the TIRZ, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the city of Houston and Harris County. The study also contemplates other programs to encourage homeowners and developers to make sidewalk improvements with the possibility of rebates," adds Dullin for more detail. 

The news about Montrose's efforts to plan a more walkable neighborhood is supplemented by the big news that the entire city of Houston adopted this week an ambitious plan for new development in parts of the city to devote more priority to pedestrians, and spend less effort devoted to the car-centric plans of the past. 

Unlike much of the city of Houston, Montrose has a reputation as a pedestrian-friendly. Local stakeholders and experts cited by Dullin, however, say that the state of repair of the sidewalks in the neighborhood render much of the neighborhood's pedestrian infrastructure as useless for many users.

Friday, July 31, 2020 in Community Impact Newspaper

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

State Capital of Utah

Affordable Housing Proposal Faces Backlash in Salt Lake City

A public hearing last week revealed widespread opposition to a plan to loosen density and height limits and reduce parking requirements to encourage more developers to build affordable housing.

34 minutes ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

1 hour ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

2 hours ago - KUT

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.