This excerpt is from the most recent City newsletter, The Boulevard:
- Group C Phase II: Streets, Drainage and Sidewalks project – There are five street blocks identified in this project. Three of the street blocks are adjacent to the HEB area and will have wide sidewalks, landscaping, trees, irrigation, streetlights, and on‐street parking. A waterline was added to this project after identification in the condition assessment for Proposition Three. Construction is estimated to begin this fall.
We may need the upgraded drainage and decent streets after all the concrete trucks for HEB. But why the angled parking and fancy lamp posts that will actually block access to business parking lots?
One rumor is that this is being done at the behest of HEB to add parking spaces for their employees, though HEB apparently isn’t happy about this either. But otherwise why make this drastic change in this location? Why deliberately narrow a commercial street that will see higher traffic usage?
What’s not mentioned is that this project is estimated to cost a minimum of $4.1 million dollars with no breakdown for the cost of the Spruce and Fifth Streets portion. The 5100 Spruce St portion faces the delivery area and the rear of the HEB store and the plan will narrow both blocks of Spruce St from 60 feet to 25 feet (Correction: recent drawings show the new width is 34 feet, in three 11 foot lanes.) The Fifth St portion will cause the same problems along the west side of the HEB store. This change will harm businesses along all three affected blocks.
Here are the plans for the HEB, take a look at the rear view on Spruce, showing a 60 foot right-of-way: http://swamplot.com/a-look-around-h-e-bs-planned-double-decker-parking-lot-and-single-story-store-in-bellaire/2016-08-29/
And the Spruce_St&Fifth_Considerations on March 19, 2018
Drive down Spruce Street when you leave Jax, picture the proposed parking and the narrow lanes. What do you think, is this the right thing to do for Bellaire? Are our longtime businesses no longer relevant or deserving of our support? And if the City has this kind of money to spend why do we constantly need to go into more debt through bond issues every few years?
City Council appears to be on board with this. Email your thoughts to the Mayor and City Council via firstname.lastname@example.org