Petition calls for safer pedestrian access to The Woodlands

August 28, 2018

The Woodlands has started an online petition asking for community support for a crosswalk from the 40th Street trolley portal to the cemetery gates across Woodland Avenue.

The upcoming opening of the Trolley Portal Gardens has renewed interest in figuring out a way to make crossing Woodland Avenue safer for pedestrians. The Woodlands estimates that some 45,000 people visited the grounds last year, including about 4,000 in one day during the Go West! Craft Fest (see tweet and video below), many coming on foot across Woodland Avenue. 

“Without any lights or stop signs, there isn’t anything to slow cars from 39th to 42nd Street,” the petition reads. “For that reason, cars tend to speed down this stretch.”

Specifically, The Woodlands is asking for:

• A safe way to cross Woodland Ave from the Trolley Portal
• A way to slow cars
• Prevent illegal U-turns
• Install loading zones for those dropping off/picking up passengers

The petition is addressed to Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and renews calls for a crosswalk voiced during public meetings on the portal renovations in March 2016.

11 Comments For This Post

  1. contrarian cancerian Says:

    I’ve NEVER had a problem crossing Woodland Ave into The Woodlands, but then again, I grew up in University City and know how to navigate urban infrastructures.

  2. Jena Says:

    A cross walk AND a light to stop traffic with a camera to clock sped. People drive way too fast on that road. I’ll sign

  3. Mike Lynch Says:

    They’ll have a more business there if they keep things dangerous!


  4. contrarian cancerian Says:

    @ Jena – How about just prohibiting traffic altogether. Let’s do what Penn did when it took over a public street (Locust Street) and incorporated it into their campus. Why bother having this track of land? Let’s ban it from all traffic except the trolley, we can make it an open-air park incorporating it in with the cemetery, oops, The Woodlands. I hate cars! Until I have to travel.

  5. bw Says:

    great idea, maybe it will give the trolleys easier ingress/egress to the portal too

  6. James Says:

    You are going to have to give people access to Baltimore Ave as they come up from I-76. Banning traffic will only hold up even more traffic. What is needed is the installation of traffic islands to give pedestrians a place to stay on until the light changes to let them cross plus longer time to cross over by timing lights and the pedestrian seconds counter. Taht wokuld help slow down speeders. There is no need for red light or speed cameras as traffic can navigate its way smoothly.

  7. lou Says:

    Contrarian Cancerian
    I don’t know what you are trying to argue by saying you grew up in university city. I grew up in the city and it doesn’t make me any less likely to get hit by a speeding car or trolley. I go running in the Woodlands every day so I know this intersection well and it is a total mess with cars speeding to get onto the 76 and trolleys merging (especially during rush hour). I don’t know why a crosswalk bothers you so much, as there is a huge difference between a cross-walk and closing the entire street off to traffic (which nobody is seriously proposing).Yes, there is a possibility that a motorist may have to wait a few seconds every now and then for a pedestrian but isn’t that worth it if it saves even a single person from getting hit by a car? I don’t understand the moral calculus of some people when they make comments like yours ” I’ve NEVER had a problem crossing Woodland Ave into The Woodlands.” I too have never been hit by a car at that spot, but I can totally see how it could easily happen there and isn’t understanding the possible risk for others (such as children, disabled or elderly who need more time to cross a busy street) an important part about living in a city?

  8. contrarian cancerian Says:

    My issue is that every time there’s an issue with pedestrians or bikes, the answer always has to do with discouraging people from driving by creating traffic congestion. Just look at the intersection of 38th (University Ave)/Baltimore/Woodland. It’s a nightmare, largely thanks to Penn reorganizing the flow of traffic. This creates a trickle-down effect leading to more anxiety for drivers. I speculate it’s partially the plan, make driving more frustrating for the driver so they won’t drive, which is regressive and returning us to a less developed state.

    There’s a light at the corner for people to cross, and there’s a stop sign at the Chester Ave/Woodland Ave merge for people to cross. Why must people cross or walk in the street without regard for approaching traffic, then blame the motorist for not adhering to the law?

    Regarding my reason for stating that I grew up ‘in this neighborhood’; there are so many people who live here now, mostly transient types, they bring their customs and impose them on us. Sometimes, it’s good, sometimes it’s not. This idea of making the city more suburban, in the end, manages to make the city more like the places these ones have escaped, the utterly boring suburbia.

    Oh and btw. I walk the cemetery every evening w/my dog. I cross the light at Baltimore & Woodland.

  9. lou Says:

    Well it’s nice to know that you are also a frequent visitor to Woodlands-but the question remains Contrarian- how does a simple crosswalk deter drivers from driving? And don’t get me wrong- I have to drive a lot for work, so I know it’s annoying to have to stop so much but that’s fairly typical for city driving. And sure there are stop lights further down Baltimore avenue but that won’t help people crossign over from the trolley stop; and my question still stands: is it not better to have a crosswalk there and possibly delay drivers (such as myself) a few seconds every now and then if it saves a few lives or even a single life over the next twenty years? Besides the biggest problem with this stretch of road is not pedestrians or bikers but the fact that drivers tend to swerve and speed around trolleys when they are at a stop or slowing down to merge; hopefully a stop sign can cut down on such erratic driving. And I’m not sure how making cities more pedestrian friendly will make them more like the suburbs, which are notoriously car-centric and dangerous for pedestrians.

  10. contrarian cancerian Says:

    How does a simple crosswalk deter drivers from driving?
    The majority of people who cross at the entrance of the cemetery are going into The Woodlands. The majority of the traffic that travels that street, progresses through onto the VA, expressway, etc. I feel it going to inconvienence 100% of drivers, to provide access for so few people. When there are events in the cemetery, perhaps some temporary measure can be installed during the hours when the entertainment event is in progress. Of all the suggestions, I prefer to leave it as is and instead install an island for people to stand as they traverse.

    Your comment about the city vs suburbs is well taken. I don’t know much about the suburbs having never lived there. In my opinion, the suburbs appear perfectly designed so nothing is left to chance, there are speed bumps, and crosswalk signs that flash, even crosswalks that double as speed bumps. But perhaps you’re right, maybe cities are more pedestrian friendly than suburbs.

    Lou, you once again talk about saving lives (not that there has been a risk of life), how about answering this question: Why must people cross or walk in the street without regard for approaching traffic, then blame the motorist for not adhering to the law?

  11. Bill H Says:

    >>> my issue is … discouraging people from driving by creating traffic congestion …. I speculate it’s partially the plan …

    EXACTLY. Then when everybody’s trapped helpless at home, we extract the precious bodily fluids.

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