FAQ: Mobility, Environmental and Urban Design and Cultural and Visual Improvements

Special Parking Area Application

Q: How will this help businesses in Montrose?
A: First, by allowing parking to be farther away from a business. The SPA allows greater flexibility and increased options through shared parking agreements and other creative choices aimed at making better use of current parking.

Second, the SPA allows the Montrose Management District to seek out partners to construct parking garages (or add additional parking to a proposed project) that add capacity to the area.

Third, the Montrose Management District will work with partner agencies to improve sidewalks, crosswalks and the overall pedestrian experience to further increase the likelihood that customers will walk as an alternative to driving.

Fourth, the District will coordinate with METRO to improve the experience of traveling into Montrose by transit as a means of further reducing parking demand.

Finally, the District will coordinate with surrounding neighborhoods to establish and initiate programs aimed at better addressing issues associated with business patrons that park in residential areas.

Q: Why aren’t more businesses included in the Special Parking Area application?
A: The initial concept was to create a Special Parking Area that matched the entire boundary of the Montrose Management District; however, it was determined that an initial boundary should start much smaller in order to be manageable.

The current SPA boundary was developed in coordination with City staff with a focus on the area near the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer. Upon designation of the SPA, the District will immediately begin preparation of an amendment that will include expansion of the parking area district.

Q: How will the District work with the neighborhoods to address issues associated with parking?
A: The District will coordinate directly with surrounding civic associations to determine options for analysis and implementation. Issues important to neighborhoods include: a way to accurately measure impact of the SPA; location of area parking garages; support for implementation of techniques such as residential parking permits, parking benefits area, or similar.

While the District does not technically have to report back to the City of Houston for two years, meetings with civic associations will begin immediately after approval of the application.

Q: Who initiated the Montrose Special Parking Area application?
A: The SPA was initiated by the Montrose Management District in an effort to address one of the most pressing issues for business owners in the area. Parking demand, in accordance with current code, is well more than double the current supply.

Q: What is the District doing about parking headaches?
A: With 2,364 businesses and approximately 29,000 residents, the Montrose District is an attractive and growing region. Along with this recognition, we will encounter issues related to parking and traffic. The District recently developed a Special Parking Area Application process which is intended to provide parking solutions appropriate to the unique character of Montrose and improve parking capacity for local businesses. Issues important to neighborhoods include: a way to accurately measure impact of the SPA; location of area parking garages; support for implementation of techniques such as residential parking permits, parking benefits area, or similar. For more information, contact Deputy Executive Director Josh Hawes – Jhawes@MontroseDistrict.org.

US 59 Overpass Bridge Lighting, Identification Marker & Esplanade Projects

Q: What makes this bridge lighting project different from the prior bridge lighting project?
A: Extensive effort has been put into addressing the quality of the lighting to be installed to ensure a better, longer lasting product.

The Bridge Lighting project will include Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights along the external and internal frame of each bridge. Downcast lights will also be added for effect.

Lighting will be linked to lighting installed in the Montrose ID Markers to allow for coordination between systems. For example, lighting can be adjusted to green to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day activities.

Q: How are locations for esplanades and identification markers selected? What progress can I expect to see happen this year?
A: The identification markers are intended to be located at critical intersections and points of entry into the Montrose District, taking into considerations such complications as obstructions, excessive expense for construction, or ownership. In 2016, the Montrose Management District will install an initial phase of 12-14 ID markers, depending upon final cost of the markers.

Q: Which of the esplanades does the District maintain?
A: The District maintains the esplanades on Montrose spanning Dallas to Richmond, Richmond esplanades from Yoakum to FM 527, Yoakum esplanades south of Richmond, and Lovett esplanades from Montrose to Taft.

Q: Does the District supply maintenance of the adopted esplanades (mowing, watering, weeding, etc.)?
A: Yes, the District provides mowing, weed eating around permanent objects, edging of the curbs, general litter pick up, and leaf blowing at approximately $2,000 per month.

Q: Do esplanade adoptees do anything other than have their name on the adopted sign?
A: When you adopt an esplanade from the City, you assume total responsibility for it, such as mowing, cleaning, planting, etc.

Q: How much does it cost to adopt an esplanade?
A: The initial cost included planning, planting, improvements, irrigations systems, and other improvements are part of what the District assumed responsibility for when it took over the esplanades. Cost depends on the size of the agreement with the adopter. Some only cover one esplanade, some may cover dozens.
Map of District ImprovementsDownload a Map of District Improvements

Bike Rack Program

Q: How can I request a bike rack for my business?
A: You can request a bike rack by going online to www.montrosedistrict.org/bike and submitting a Rack Request Form. Prior to installation, a signed waiver by the property owner is required saying that the racks will not be moved.

Q: Are there costs associated with making a request?
A: The District offers to supply and install bicycle racks to eligible commercial property owners free of charge. In order to be considered eligible for the program, applicants must have a location for the racks, on concrete, outside of the public right of way. A waiver must be signed by the property owner (not the tenant or owner of a business).

Q: How long does it take to get a bike rack?
A: Please allow up to two weeks for a response from the Montrose Management District. If the site is selected, representatives with the Management District will schedule a time to review the preferred site at the place of business. If possible, we ask that the applicant provide a copy of any property survey or other documentation proving the desired bike rack location is out of the public right of way.

Application or completion of a waiver does not guarantee the installation of any bike racks. The Montrose Management District will consider visibility, proximity to other racks, and likelihood of use, district wide demand, and overall project budget when deciding on installations.

Complete installation generally takes between three to four months.

Q: I have a bike rack and it was damaged. Who do I call to report and have it repaired?
A: Call the Montrose Management District at 713-724-3862 to report any damage. District representatives will schedule a time to assess the damage. While each situation is unique and depending on use, the District will determine if the rack should be repaired or replaced.

Q: How much does the program cost the district annually?
A: The costs associated run approximately $25,000 per year.

Street Sweeping Program

Q: Which streets are swept?
A: Montrose Boulevard, Westheimer Road, Shepherd Drive, Richmond Avenue, West Alabama Street, West Dallas Street, and all the bike lanes within the District.

Q: How often are the streets swept?
A: The main lanes and bike lanes are swept twice a month.

Q: Why isn’t my street a part of the program?
A: The District added street sweeping to the main corridors of Montrose as a visual enhancement to the area. Regular street sweeping program is for principal streets.

Q: How can I get my street added to the program?
A: You can put your request in writing to the District and the Mobility and Visual Improvements Committee will take it under consideration. If approved, the request then goes to the Board of Directors for final approval.

Q: How much dirt and debris is removed when sweeping Montrose?
A: About 15 cubic yards of dirt and debris while sweeping Montrose.

Q: How many curb miles does the district sweep each year?
2013 – 1,455.2 miles
2014 – 1,471.2 miles
2015 – 1,674.4 miles

Q: Why does the dirt go all over the street?
A: The trucks come around twice; once to sweep the curbs and next to sweep the streets. It might look like they’re sweeping the curb dirt into the street but they come back around a second time to pick up the street dirt. Once the truck gets full, drivers take it to the main yard to dump, 4 cubic yard drop. They will always return to finish the job.

Q: What is the reason the street sweepers are on Montrose in the middle of the afternoon instead of overnight?
A: They work daylight shifts as it can be dangerous at night.  Company is very safety and environmentally conscious.

Q: Mid-afternoon doesn’t seem like the smartest time to do the work.
A: They sweep Montrose District during non-rush hours on Tuesday or Wednesday. Rush hour is purposely avoided, which is most of the day in Houston. More people get upset if swept during rush hour – it doesn’t matter what time of day it is on Westheimer, it’s always crazy.

Q: Overhanging tree limbs hide my business sign. The city won’t help – will you please trim the trees?
A: Ultimately, this is the responsibility of the landlord or property owner. However, formal complaints can be filed with the City of Houston using the 3-1-1 website link. A case number is assigned and the City will update you on the progress.

District provided services such as safety patrols by off-duty HPD officers, graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, maintenance of esplanades, among other services outlined in the Districts’ Assessment Plan, that are supplemental to services provided by the City of Houston, had been reduced in Mid-November and ceased completely as of December 11. The District had to cease the services due to unpaid assessments from some of the commercial property owners within the District. Delinquent assessments for 2016 and prior years are being collected for services that were delivered in 2017. The current lawsuit status does not affect the collection of delinquent assessments due for 2016 and prior years for services rendered for calendar year 2017. Please direct questions regarding the cessation of services to Executive Director, Ben Brewer at BBrewer@MontroseDistrict.org. We are committed to helping our neighborhood remain the safe, vibrant and attractive place to live and do business and would like to hear from you on how we can continue to work together in this effort.