HOUSTON In a city with nearly two million cars, encouraging Houstonians to walk isn t always easy. But that s exactly the idea behind SundayStreetsHTX.
Sunday Streets Houston will help people see the city at a different speed and from a different perspective, said MayorAnnise Parker.
On Sunday April 6, Houston will close White Oak Drive to traffic and open the streets to pedestrians and cyclists between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
It ll be the firstSundayStreetsHTX event, which will take place on a different street the first Sunday of the month.
On May 4, the city will closeWestheimer between Yoakum and Hazard. On June 1, the program moves to Washington Avenue betweenStudemont and Milam.
If successful, city leaders say other Sunday afternoon street closures could take place around Houston.
I think it s a great idea, said White Oak restaurant owner Travis Adair. You are going to get people out on the streets, they will get exposed tobusinesses along the route, it s another way for us to get exposed to people we don t know.
But not everyone is excited about the closures.KHOU 11 sFacebook page filled up with comments from people who weren t fans of the idea.
This is going to cause nothing but frustration and aggravation for people trying to navigate and park in Houston, posted Elizabeth Skaggs.
Mayor Parker says residents should give the Sunday streets program a chance.
There may be drivers that have to do a detour and complain, said Parker. We invite them to park their cars and get out and see what s going on, on these Sunday streets.
Parker says similar open streets events have worked well in other cities.
The first program started in Bogota, Columbia over 30 years ago.
Houston officials say there are 200 similar open street initiatives worldwide, including events in San Antonio, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Portland, New York and Los Angeles.