Sep 5, 2008

stop the train horns in houston's district h

i live in what you would call a transitional neighborhood in in central houston's 'west end'. for many, many years, the west end has been primarily industrial, with a few working-class cottage and bungalow homes sprinkled throughout. in recent years, with higher gas prices and renewed interest in 'urban living', our little area, along several other neighborhoods along the washington / memorial park corridor (super neighborhood 22) have experienced tremendous growth, and property values have soared despite the mortgage crisis, which has lead to even more development of new homes, businesses, complexes and mid-rises.

as much as i love my neighborhood and the fact that we are located within walking/biking distance of excellent entertainment venues, restaurants, shopping and houston's largest green space, memorial park, unfortunately we have not seen our new and higher tax dollars reinvested back into the community, and we continue to experience problems that are not only aesthetic but also safety-related, such as open storm drain ditches, narrow streets and cracked pavement, no curbs, and low-hanging power/telephone lines, among others. but by far, the *biggest* nuisance is the train. we have a union-pacific railroad line that runs parallel to washington ave and the train horns are incredibly irritating, particularly when the horn blows 24/7/365 at exceedingly high decibel levels.

so rather than sitting on our butts and complaining, my neighbor louann and i have decided to do something about the issue: we have started a campaign to stop the train horns in houston's district h by urging all residents in the area to email mayor bill white at with the specific request to create a quiet zone for our area. we've already taken the first step in the campaign by mailing out a circular that we composed ourselves to all area residents. we’ve received tons of feedback from residents, some with very good suggestions and others who have started campaigns in the past and want to coordinate efforts to keep the momentum going.

we’ve also started a blog to keep everyone in the loop and post updates:

if you know anybody in 77007 or simply want to share your thoughts, please post a comment on either blog. we need all the help we can get to get this grassroots effort off the ground!