Here’s a nice article about how Ruffino could be used to alleviate flooding along Keegans and Brays Bayou – the Ruffino Stormwater Detention Project. Go to the link — https://kinder.rice.edu/urbanedge/ruffino-hills-redevelopment-houston?mc_cid=36c207e1e5&mc_eid=1f8d97b6b4
Happy New Year, Y’all! Interested in birds? Here’s an activity in January on the Brays Oaks Trail —
Nature Trail Bird Walk
With Naturalist Mary Ann Beauchemin
Saturday, January 28, 8:30 to 9:30 am
Brays Oaks Trail to Keegans Bayou Wildlife Observation Bridge
Meet at the crosswalk entrance at approximately
9024 Willow Meadow Drive
Street Parking on Silkwood Drive, a block west of the crosswalk entrance.
Easy Concrete Trail, 1050 feet to the Bridge from the crosswalk entrance.
Bring water, binoculars and take photos.
Like us at https://www.facebook.com/NeighborhoodstotrailsSW
Anytime, use Self-guided app https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/keegans-bayou-trail
Do you wonder where pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries occur along Houston streets? Look at the link below.
Each year, the TXDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) accepts applications to provide 90% of the construction funding for projects to improve road safety. A portion of that program is for proposals that are targeted at locations where a fatality (K) or serious injury (A) occurred in the prior three calendar years. The map below shows the KA crashes involving pedestrians and pedalcyclists for 2019, 2020 and 2021. You can zoom in to your area of interest. A map relevant to the 4Q 2023 HSIP application window will be posted in 2Q 2023.
July 25, 2022 Here’s a great site that has resources for advocating for bike lanes and trails and rates cities for best biking locations. Could we get Houston to be one of those “best biking” cities? https://bikechampions.peopleforbikes.org/?eid=124637
July 13, 2022
So, Houstonia reported a story from ParkSleepFly showing the Houston ranked 3rd in the category of least sustainable cities for travel. ParkSleepFly measured things such as public transportation usage, pollution levels, congestion rates, sustainable hotels (get with it hospitality industry), and renewable energy use. Another reason to support Neighborhoods To Trails Southwest in our effort to advocate for safe, off-street trails! https://www.houstoniamag.com/travel-and-outdoors/2022/07/houston-ranks-least-sustainable-travel-destination
July 9 2022
So in a couple years, we’ll be able to ride to Bishop Fiorenza Park off of Dairy Ashford. Thanks Houston Parks Board and Bayou Greenways! https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5532d390fb234779b0b9286744d85a2f&extent=-10645520.5122%2C3461707.2345%2C-10630844.6028%2C3468529.2393%2C102100
July 7, 2022 How about getting your company to look into this idea of https://ridespot.org/ and companies encouraging their employees to ride to work, for fun, health, and better productivity! https://enterprise.ridespot.org/?eid=124540
July 6, 2022
Saw this poem on Facebook and thought I should share the link here. Nature can de-stress the soul! Enjoy the short poem. https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-peace-of-wild-things/?fbclid=IwAR0mPaViJroiHshMBHOFye8pzDgiVQ_nmPkbDETC4v45k2gHmp7M_6JIf60 Also enjoy a short clip of birds in the water at Keegans Bayou here — https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNeighborhoodstotrailsSW%2Fvideos%2F5173366552700946%2F&show_text=true&width=560&t=0
June 17, 2022
Good to hear that the Heights will get improvements on 11th Street bike trail, that the City of Houston is purchasing small-sized sweepers to clean protected bike lanes, and a small extension of trail along Buffalo Bayou and Allen’s Landing opened up! See https://cdn.jwplayer.com/previews/pZLNUSwY
https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/11th-street-turner-green-light-17240727.php?fbclid=IwAR0U1DicLtGLrotDAcYukx8HAZckBGaVc2T5D7eLPtVZgkr_rBeCpdUqsbQ for more info or BikeHouston at https://www.facebook.com/bikehouston?emci=9aa8ffa8-81ed-ec11-b47a-281878b83d8a&emdi=c2c687dc-a4ed-ec11-b47a-281878b83d8a&ceid=4673707 or Neighborhoods to Trails Southwest at https://www.facebook.com/NeighborhoodstotrailsSW/
A few of us joined Friends of Marian Park for a bike ride down Gessner to Westbrae Parkway to Brays Oaks Trail to Keegans Hike and Bike Trail to Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail. We had an escort of District J DRT officers to guide us at intersections @districtjpatrol.com. https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNeighborhoodstotrailsSW%2Fposts%2F1607664996270019&show_text=true&width=500
June is National Trails month! We encourage you to get out and enjoy the many trails around Houston, whether on foot or bike.
Here’s one of our volunteers who advocates for a trail down Renwick Blvd to connect to Brays Bayou. There is a wide greenway along the boulevard that could connect from Beechnut to Braeswood and provide a linear park area for apartment and single-family residents.
April 26, 2022
One of our trail leaders advocated for street markings at North Braeswood and Endicott. Thought I’d share a couple photos of her work.
March 18, 2022 Entry from one of our members
I took a jog on a beautiful day in February from my house to the Brays Bayou trail. I really enjoy this grassy easement area of South Rice Blvd. adjacent to a small bayou channel that leads to the larger body of the Brays Bayou. The wildlife in this urban setting is always astonishing. I watched a beautiful blue heron fly by, land near the water, then depart gracefully as I drew nearer. When I reached the intersection of South Rice and North Braeswood, it was great to see the progress happening with the bridge/bayou construction by Harris County Flood Control District. Not only is this a flood control improvement project, the mobility and intersection improvements will be significantly better than what was here before. The old intersection was extremely confusing, wide, and very unsafe for all. The updated intersections, narrower bridge, wider sidewalks, and other improvements will make things less confusing to both drivers and people walking/biking along and across the bayou. With any major construction project like this, there are usually detours and/or temporary paths created to still accomodate people walking or biking. I appreciate the temporary asphalt trail directing me around the construction mess. Unfortunately, one signficant link to the Brays Bayou trail had a large stop sign deterring trailgoers from continuing along logically. I figured out a way around the stop sign, but had to walk through some mud directly adjacent to the eastbound traffic lanes along North Braeswood Blvd. Fortunately, I found another handy temporary asphalt trail that led me to the Brays Bayou trail. All in all, I love living near places to walk, bike, and ride my bike! I look forward to the construction being done and to have full, clear access to the bayou again.
A quick transit note, too: METRO’s route 68 stops along North Braeswood and is directly adjacent to the bayou greenway trail along Brays Bayou. I would absolutely love to see a sidewalk/path and other safety improvements near this stop, allowing people to utilize both transit and the trail to move around more smoothly. As it is today, this stop seems like an island that could use some love. (Pictures will be added soon).
Editors addendum: I’d like to give a shout out to our member Dan who has his own blog, both informative and rather funny at times. Enjoy the link here Thoughts from Huntington Place (dannagel1.blogspot.com)
February 24, 2022
Did you know it is a Class A Misdemeanor if a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, bicyclist, motor-assisted scooter, etc., within the area of a crosswalk! Slow down at intersections and bayou crossings and let pedestrians and others using the trails go first! https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/SB01055I.htm
Story from our member, Dan February 16, 2022
I came upon a large flock of Black Bottomed Whistling Ducks last month, in the most unlikely place. Keegans Bayou, between Wilcrest and US 59. The trail is dirt, the bayou is littered with partially submerged shopping carts, and the scenic back drop is the backs of a small strip center. Yet, here were a large flock of ducks! I recognize them as the ones you can spot all spring with their ducklings, trying to find their way to the bayou, because momma laid her eggs in my neighborhood without looking to see where the water is. I stop here to apologize for not having a picture; I took a video that is too long to upload, and my tech savvy won’t let me edit a few frames. Anyways, the ducks have moved on, but I expect them back this Spring. When you see them leading their families along the bayou, don’t marvel too much at the size of the family. Momma could be leading 24 ducklings – They are not all hers! Right out of Dr Seuss, other Whistling Ducks are apt to lay their eggs in a nest that is already occupied! Apparently, Duck-ologists (I made that up) have documented a nest of 100 eggs. I don’t have my source, but talk to our friend Google for more info. A nice thing about this part of Keegans Trail, in the South East corner of Alief, is the lush tree cover from which you can marvel at God’s creatures. Don’t bother the campers who live under the freeway, they have never bothered me.
For some quick photos and video about the Black Bottomed Whistling Ducks, see The Cornell Lab, All about Birds website found at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck/id# Have you noticed any on your bayou journeys around Houston lately?
January 25, 2022
It’s been a while since we’ve added anything here but this interesting Letter to the Editor in Houston Chronicle’s January 25th, 2022 edition bears mentioning! A nice description of the uniqueness found on Keegans Bayou Hike and Bike nature trail. One of the rare trails within the city boundaries of Houston where folks can find themselves actually feeling close to nature and yet taking in the cultural sites along the way! By the way, did you know you will pass a historical cemetery? Riceville Cemetery is right along the trail! https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/letters/article/Opinion-I-d-rather-go-hiking-or-do-laundry-16801329.php
October 22, 2021
Although not associated with our advocacy work, we are pleased to see better street crossings at Endicott and North Braeswood. Many pedestrians, bicyclists, and runners cross at this intersection. Neighborhoods to trails believe a Hawk light, alerting drivers to stop at this intersection when needed would improve the safety even more.
November 20, 2020
Today, Friday, on a warm November afternoon an intrepid NTTSW group got together to walk the Westbury Neighborhood trail along the HCFCD D-130 referred to as the Kinder West trail. We started at Atwell where we were greeted with a bench, picnic table and wings. At Burdine we enjoyed Noreen Heards Native prairie plantings. We continued along the nicely mowed wide bank, maintained by volunteer mower “boots on the ground” Allen Potvin. The newly opened trailhead on Oasis was a joy to see and walk through after both the encroaching houses moved their fences.
Then we came to the intersection of West Bellfort and Chimney Rock where the crossing is challenged in that it takes so many light cycles to cross. We all agreed a diagonal crosswalk would be a brilliant addition to that corner.
We walked all the way down to the weir structure across the WIllow Waterhole Bayou itself. Travelled down the banks of Dog Lake to cross over to Ricecrest and walk the new recently completed woodland trail and met up again at the Scout gazebo. The group then crossed S Willow and proceeded up the WW Bayou trail constructed of crushed granite. They then travelled the south bank of the WWB to Chimney Rock encountering some trash and graffiti but able to make it to Chimney Rock. Uneven and some muddy water with flies. Then walked Burdine to West Bellfort And stayed on the sidewalk rather than taking the Burdine easement which is fenced at West Bellfort. It was a beautiful day spent visiting and walking with friends.
November 19, 2018
Took a lovely tour around Willow Waterhole (5300 Dryad, Houston) Saturday. It is truly a gem in southwest Houston. Six ponds, paved, and crushed granite trails make it accessible to all. Birds, bridges, little hills, signage, and natural trail make it a must see for all Houstonians. Neighborhoods to Trails Southwest advocate for safe, off-road hike and bike trails to reach sites such as these.
Next City reporting on the city of Milwaukee says that its “efforts to make the city more bike and pedestrian–friendly are paying off.” One way they are seeing the results in on more people “moseying around” the neighborhood and more outdoor seating at restaurants. Part of the city’s efforts included rebuilding certain areas with wider sidewalks and adding bike racks. They’ve also added “traffic-calming measures” which slows motorists down. An advocacy group called MilWalkee Walks found that pedestrian deaths have been increasing, especially in low income areas. As Neighborhoods to Trails advocate for hike and bike paths, we must explore what other communities have successfully done to improve walkability and bicycling safety, especially as we look to get our residents across dangerous intersections in southwest Houston.
A true gem for all of us in southwest Houston to enjoy. Thank you for sharing.