Heights Walmart critics use 'mobile protest' to demonstrate traffic impact

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by Katherine Whaley / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 31 at 11:04 AM

HEIGHTS, Texas -- Protestors looking to stop a Walmart proposed for the Heights area took to the streets Saturday morning to demonstrate the impact the store would have on traffic. 

About 100 neighborhood residents lined up in cars to caravan from Yale and 18th streets to Yale and Koehler, where the 152,000 square-foot Walmart would be built.   

"Basically today, we are trying to send a sample, a very small sample of the estimated traffic the Walmart is going to bring to this neighborhood," said resident Viula Torgerso.

The organization Responsible Urban Development for Houston believes the store would bring an additional 22,000 drivers to the area each day, changing the landscape of the area and worsening traffic.

"If this is 100 cars, and they’re expecting 22,000, obviously our streets can’t handle this," resident Stephanie Silvano explained.

Not everyone living in the Height is opposed to the idea, however. Traffic or not, resident Ron Wilson said he’d like the convenience of having a one-stop shop in the neighborhood.

"I am good with it," Wilson said. "It’s only like three or four blocks from where I live."

Resident Richard Orozco agreed, saying it would boost the economy and open up more jobs for Houstonians.

"As many people that are looking for work right now, seems like not too bad of an idea," Orozco said.

The City of Houston approved tax incentives in September for the developer, Ainbinder Heights LLC, and if plans move forward, the store would be set to open in early 2010.

Nonetheless, groups like Responsible Urban Development for Houston and Stop Heights Walmart plan to have more demonstrations going forward. 

 

 

 

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