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80,000 people and growing!



Holy all that is sacred! We now have over 80,000 warm bodies to bump into every time we swagger across town! That extra 15,000 from 1980 days sure makes a difference and if my predictions are correct, we are going to see a whole lot more people (and each one of them will try to be on Garth Road at the same time) in the next 4 years. It’s guestimated that at least 20,000 more cruise into the city during the day by undisclosed secret sources which I alone (and probably Jim Finlay) am privy to.

The good news is the City is planning to 6-lane Garth Road and then it will only be about as crowded as it is right now. I want to applaud the city planners in that they are really making a go of getting more roads and connecting parking lots so those of us who like to avoid all of that, can get around a bit better. Of course you have to factor in the parking lot missile cars.

By the time most of are reading this column, the SPAC (the Imagine Baytown People) will be huddled over a huge stack of surveys trying our level best to make a recommendation to the city of what we, the citizens want here in the next 5 years. Now this subject has came up numerous times in social media about it not meaning a danged thing and no one will listen and it confuses and yes, angers me a bit when I have to stress just the opposite.

This ain’t Washington DC honey where they ask for input and then do what they danged well please. This is small town big town Baytown and they, our city council want to know what the citizens want and have given everyone ample time to state those desires.

When Nick Woolery told me the Mayor wanted me on this committee, I made it clear that my biggest concern was family amenities and making Baytown a better place to raise kiddos and nothing has changed in that department. I care very little about new stores, motels, storage facilities, car washes, etc, etc. I want more places to take kids and get out doors and enjoy life here.

We need better and more unique Parks, like the one in the Heights called Donavan Park.  People drive miles to take their children there and it’s free. We don’t need more cookie cutter parks, which look the same as all the other ones in Anytown, USA. Geeze, let’s use our imagination on this. We have waterways that are not being developed and we have a lot of them. We need to push the wide sidewalk plans where cyclists can ride their bikes around the city and shed some of the fat that we get from the many new restaurants.

Captain Jerry Jones of the Cedar Bayou Friends is doing his part in planning the second annual Cedar Bayou Voyager event on October 15th and has enlisted the help of Southeast Texas Geocachers (under the expert assistance of Army Colonel (Ret.) Lee Ann Adams.  Of course I will be there representing the Texas Geocaching Association.  Jerry and I go all the way back to the Vietnam War when were both stationed on the same base.

Calypso Cove just about breaks even money wise (according to my other secret sources) and based on how many people use it, I think we need a second one on the north side of I-10 and no, not on Garth road! These water parks are awesome and if you haven’t taken your kiddos to one, try it and see.  I counted 4 lifeguards the last time I was there and all of them were taking their job seriously.

We need more businesses and clubs organizing quarterly Adopt a Site programs to give back to the community and help their members and employees bend over and remove litter. Hey, don a shirt with your business name on it and go down a street and see if that doesn’t advertise your business like no other way. Eleanor Albon will hug you until you are blue in the face, I promise. I enjoy her hugs every time I see her.

Kathy Nelson and her husband are putting Keep Baytown Beautiful on the map with their Beautiful Business of the Week award program and I salute the pair. That is a lot of work to scout out these places, take time for a photo Op, and then go back and retrieve the sign.

Litter abatement is a real problem here as everywhere and the reason for it is many people still believe throwing trash out the window of their car is a good way to keep the inside clean. I ran a test one week on Blue Heron Parkway and each day for one week at close to the same location, I picked up a Nature Valley Granola bar wrapper.  Now I don’t know how long it took that person to eat it after they left home, but they were very consistent in when it went out the window.

I can’t prove it, but I suspect this person has never participated in a single trash bash in their entire life.  Am I a trash bash expert?  No, but here it is nearly August and I have been in one every month this year.

Texas Avenue is coming along as is the Yepez Vineyard and Baytown is making strides to get a geocaching Geotour under the expert eye of Anna Enderli, so we are making progress.  Now, if we can only get the naysayers to see some sunshine and offer suggestions over criticisms, we will be well on our way to making Baytown a city on the move.
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Comments

Anonymous said…

Dear Bert,

I loved your article in today's Sun. Sounds like a lot of good changes are being planned for our fair city!

Thanks, also, for the shout out for Adopt-A-Site and Beautiful Business. We need all the advertising and support we can get!

I hope the jerk that tosses the granola bar wrapper reads your article. You know, if you can get a license number, you can report it to www.dontmesswithtexas.org
. Scroll down to "Report a Litterer" on the left. They send a letter and car trash bag. However, I've picked up one of those trash bags in a ditch on Cedar Bayou Lynchburg!!! Ya just can't get through to some knuckleheads!

Read to give a huge hug or two to one of my favorite people!

Eleanor
Anonymous said…
BAM: Outstanding!
Anonymous said…
KN: Thank you so much for your support. I think you are the only one besides Garry who realizes how much work and time a simple sign at a business takes. If you have any suggestions, let me know. I have a hard time on 146 north. Thanks for your support.
Anonymous said…
Hello Bert,

Thank you for the article in the Sun with input on the October kayak event.
I appreciate your support.

Jerry L. Jones
Anonymous said…
Mimsy: 3 cheers!
Bryan said…
Excellent, glad Baytown is planning for the future. I'm bumping the sidewalks. It's sad that there are no consistent sidewalks along Garth road...especially the busier north part from Baker to I-10. As a bicycle rider I'd love to see bycycle lanes but if we can get wide sidewalks that would work great. I know that riding on the road is legal and I've done this on Garth a few times early in the morning but it is just too busy and intimidating during the busier times. It's a but intimidating in a car!

I agree with Bert lets develop our outdoor places! Parks, sidewalks and waterways.

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