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Ped-Friendly Proposal for Houston’s Downtown Convention Center
“Representatives of Houston First Corp. are proposing to transform the area around the George R. Brown Convention Center into a landscaped and more walkable pedestrian-friendly city center, with more retail and less car traffic, in time for the city to host the NFL's marquee game three years from now,” according to an article by David Kaplan.
Fans of road diets will like the new plans, which call for “opening up the center's look by replacing the front walls with paned glass that allows dramatic views; adding restaurant and retail space and shaded places for people to sit at ground level; and reducing Avenida de las Americas that runs in front to three lanes from eight.”
The project would be funded by Houston First, “the quasi-governmental agency that owns the Hilton Americas Houston and manages more than 10 city-owned buildings including the convention center.” Driving the proposals are the city's plans to host the 2017 Super Bowl (the area could handle an estimated 100,000 “revelers” in the proposed iteration), but the changes are intended to have a long-term impact.