Uptown TIRZ Board to Meet: Is the Closed Woodway Not-A-Boat Launch on the Agenda?

Feb. 24, 2015

Is anybody really planning to build handrails or a parking lot to make our $1.36 million once-upon-a-time boat launch in Memorial Park “safe” for the public to use again?

We’ll find out Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the regular meeting of the board of the Uptown Development Authority/ TIRZ 16, which is supposed to be funding further improvements (with our tax money) to the site reconstructed  last year on Buffalo Bayou at Woodway. Project planners somehow forgot to include those user-friendly details when they designed the new drainage outfall “erosion control” project, according to the TIRZ and city parks department.

However, the new not-a-boat launch, with its long sloping ramp, looks perfectly usable to a lot of people, despite usually being covered in mud. But the city parks department says no, it’s not safe and the parking isn’t exactly right, so the area remains closed even after construction was completed about a year ago.

The board meeting of the Uptown TIRZ/Development Authority takes place Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in Suite 1700, 1980 Post Oak Boulevard.

Notice of TIRZ 16/Uptown Development Authority board meeting posted on City Hall bulletin board.

Notice of TIRZ 16/Uptown Development Authority board meeting posted on City Hall bulletin board.

An official Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddling Trail takeout, the formerly wooded ravine in what’s known as the Old Archery Range west of Loop 610 has been closed to the public for almost two years while trees were cleared, slopes dug out, and a massive outfall installed. The landscaped, irrigated project, described by the TIRZ as a drainage and “erosion control” project, was completed almost a year ago but the curtained, heavy-duty fence and gate remain locked.

SWA Group did the landscaping and AECOM the engineering design.

The once-a-boat-launch is the closest official public access for paddlers to float down Buffalo Bayou through the historic nature area that the City of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District plan to destroy. Known as the Memorial Park Demonstration Project, the $6 million proposal to bulldoze the riparian forest, dredge and channelize this relatively untouched stretch of bayou has the support of the Bayou Preservation Association, the Memorial Park Conservancy, and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

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2 thoughts on “Uptown TIRZ Board to Meet: Is the Closed Woodway Not-A-Boat Launch on the Agenda?”

  1. Nancy E. Lewis says:

    I used to enjoy going to play at archery in the Old Archery Range. Going up and down the hilly, wooded course that had preplaced targets and “tee-off” steps for target shooting. It was the best kept secret in town. I learned about the course in a national archery magazine, where it was listed as a good urban archery range. Like so many things in H-town, it became “Go Figure”?!, when it was blocked to public access, back in the day. Onward thru the fog!

    1. Yes, though access to the ugly outfall that now serves as a boat launch has been resolved, it’s never been clear why they continue to claim the remaining woods in the Old Archery Range are closed to the public. Up until recently, a number of the archery targets were still there. A lot of trees are not.

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