Thursday, January 03, 2013

Baker Road Extension Update January 2013

Baker Road is being extended across N. Main and Barkuloo Road all the way to Sjolander Road.  I live in the back of Chaparral Village and directly behind my house, the land has been defoliated and bulldozed to accommodate a giant detention/retention pond.  Since there is no stopping it, I am petitioning our City leaders and planners to make it attractive, rather than just another loss of habitat and something that is ugly.  The good news is they are listening and contrary to what is commonly assumed and written on the local Baytown Talk section of, which I routinely contribute to and mine for information.

The heavy use of our parks trails prove that developing walking, jogging, and biking trails around the cities bayou and various fingers of Goose Creek, along with micro trail systems will benefit the city and upgrade it to match newer developed areas. People need places to ride their bicycles, jog, and walk and although we have a good start and a very active Parks staff, we need more.  Here is the most recent email discussion and I started it off with a few questions.
Before the detention/retention pond clearing and after
While geocaching in most of the surrounding cities, I've noticed many of the detention ponds are are being reforested.  As you remember, I am very concerned about the giant pond being put in behind my house in .  It appears the State of Texas is planting trees everywhere along our highways.  I have a few comments and questions.

1.  I do not know what the future plan is concerning the detainment pond behind my house.
How deep will it be when completed?
What is the time frame concerning its completion?
Will it be replanted with trees? (bald cypress trees are natives and thrive in wet areas)
Will the city or county own it?
Will a trail be installed from Barkuloo Park to Jenkins Park utilizing the existing pipeline and future berm of the detainment pond?

2. Can the City petition the State to pick up the cost of the trees in and around Baytown?

3. Gene Green Park in Channelview has done remarkable things with a giant detainment pond there, using self-draining walls and buildings.  See photos.  Baytown Bert Marshall


The pond will be owned and maintained by the City.

The State only provides landscaping along their rights of way. We have applied for this landscaping and received some along Spur 330, at I-10 and Spur 300 and a joint project is underway along Hwy. 146 between Main and Garth. The financial pressures facing most governmental entities have hit funding for items like landscaping especially hard. We are on track to receive landscaping at Hwy. 146 and Spur 330 in 2015.

Bob Leiper   City Manager   City of Baytown


From Parks:

We plan to develop the detention/retention pond as a park.  We will have an area that will be designed similar to the East LL fields at the 10th street detention pond, which will be practice soccer/football/softball fields including a small parking area.  The extent of the development of the area depends on future funding.

We have also been looking at the possible extension of Barkuloo Park to Baker Road.  Not sure we could afford to square the park off with Barkuloo, but maybe get some access to Baker Road to help open up Barkuloo Park.

Dustin and I also plan to ask for MDD dollars in next year’s budget to redevelop Barkuloo and to remove the piles of dirt and glass that surround two sides of the park.

There is a trail planned to connect Barkuloo to the Baker Road Trail/sidewalk as part of the Road construction.  Hopefully we can figure out how to connect to Jenkins Park over the RR tracks.   Scott  Johnson


Bert, we have been doing some brainstorming related to Barkaloo Park.  What do you think the neighborhood would think about extending El Rancho Drive to the new Baker Road extension?  It would give homeowners at the back of Chaparral an additional entrance/exit and provide a new entrance to Barkaloo Park while opening the park up to more traffic instead of a dead end.  What are your thoughts?  Of course, this is just parks brainstorming, no funding, no land etc; we’re just bouncing ideas around.  Thanks, Scott Johnson


I think Councilman Bob Hoskins and the planner should go door to door and ask the folks that live here.  Then you will have your answer.  As for me, I like the fact that El Rancho and Buffalo Trl have limited access.  Scott, my wife summed up my feelings exactly when I told her the plans for the detention pond.  We have ball diamonds and soccer fields.  What this city needs is more hike and bike trails.  I would love to see that detention pond replanted with bald cypress trees galore and a hike/bike trail around it, connecting it too the existing trails in Jenkins park.  those trails are used heavily.  Today my wife and I were in Jenkins walking and even though it was 44 degrees and raining, people were walking, jogging and using the dog park.  Baytown Bert Marshall


Anonymous said...

No no NO to more ball fields. Every street u turn on is ball fields. What we need are the parks and trails to take children and adults to walk on. TREES NOT hideous ighr poles and concrete. NO to connecting the neighborhood . The park is all ready a gathering place at night of the wrong elements that don't live in the neighborhood. How would police plan to monitor the new traffic if it increases to more unless it becomes more visible to the traffic. But as a through passage no.

Anonymous said...

I never understood why we are a town with the most baseball fields per person than any other. And they aren't used half the year. We are on the water and only developed one area for fishing and that I consider on Bayway. Somewhere u think we would have some great lighted fishing piers, but no they want another baseball field? Talk about a rut. BP

Anonymous said...

Your blog is informative and you have your facts laid out for the city and county planners to consider. Barbara makes a good point, with so much waterline available it makes good sense to utilize it. It's not my place to comment on a area where I have no connections but we face the same problems in Cherokee county. Way too many playing fields for organized sports like baseball and soccer, not enough walks, trails and park areas for those who just want to enjoy the outdoors. A planned Riverwalk has not materialized and 85% of the population have no plans to join either a soccer or baseball team. Wish you the best on the reclamation pond project. Can you get your Master Gardeners involved? SW

Anonymous said...

I think Bert has a grand idea. I will purchase one tree to plant in the area and want to challenge my colleagues on Council to do the same. If all commit, then when we have the street grand opening, we can also ceremonially plant the trees on or around the detention area. Since I cannot e-mail the other Council members can you please forward the challenge please? We could possibly put this on the City of Baytown web site for other citizen contribution to plant trees on and around this area (just a thought).
Thanks,Bob Hoskins

Anonymous said...

Scott Johnson and Parks will coordinate a tree donation program for the project and the property. Thanks for the great ideas! Bob Leiper

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