Houston Press leads with an article critical of Houston’s new bus network. The article spends most of its time on the plight of Krystal Hersey and other residents of the Wesley Square apartment complex, on the south side near 610 and Cullen.
Per Houston Press, Krystal’s apartment is “0.3 miles” from the old #87 bus stop, which is “right outside the gate.” Now that the #87 has been eliminated, she must walk “about a half mile.” Thankfully, there is an easy fix to this problem which doesn’t require modifying Metro’s bus grid.
Here’s the situation as it existed a month ago. Wesley Square’s sole pedestrian access is via a gate off the main entrance drive, resulting in the following walk routes for transit users:
We can reasonably assume that Krystal Hersey lives near the back of the complex. With the former Route 87 stop on Calhoun deleted, her walk route to the Route 29 stop on Cullen is this:
That’s certainly a long walk. However, the issue is less that the bus stop is too far away and more than there is no break in the fence, so residents are cut off from the most direct walk route.
Adding a pedestrian access gate to the northwest corner of the complex would yield the following walk routes:
Because Krystal Hersey lives near the back of the complex, this new gate will give her a shorter walk to the bus than she had under the old network. Other residents will have a slightly longer walk; for the complex as a whole, things will be about the same.
A pedestrian gate, video camera monitoring and a short sidewalk connection ought to cost around $2000, installed. That’s less than it costs to run a single bus for two days (assuming a 14 hour service span). Multifamily owner/brokers* are generally pretty reasonable guys. Before it starts rejiggering the bus network, METRO ought to give them a call and see if they can’t work something out.