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Why are there no sidewalks in Houston? 

Why are there no sidewalks in Houston

In the city of Houston, it’s not easy for pedestrians to get around. Sometimes it can be dangerous to even amble over casually to your favourite hair salon or barbershop

Why? Because there are no sidewalks. 

People without cars are often inconvenienced living in Houston for this reason. Let’s find out why this is the case.

Why are there no sidewalks in Houston? 

There are no sidewalks in Houston because older regulations did not require sidewalks to be built in the city’s original developmental design.

When the town was being developed in the 1830s, providing a space for pedestrians to walk in was not an issue that they had to consider.

Houston city was not designed with sidewalks for pedestrians. 

Since Houston city was not designed for pedestrians, the number of sidewalks you see in the city are scattered about. 

Even when there are sidewalks, they are unfortunately poorly maintained in most cases. Most of the sidewalks have been taken over by shrubs and trees.

Most of the sidewalks have been taken over by shrubs and trees

Are there sidewalks in Houston’s suburbs?

What about the suburbs of Houston, you might ask. Are they more pedestrian-friendly?

Unfortunately, Houston’s suburbs do not always have sidewalks. What determines whether a suburb has sidewalks or not is when a neighborhood was developed. 

If a neighborhood was developed within the last 40 years, then there may be sidewalks. Anything older will not have sidewalks, generally speaking.

However, note that the city of Houston only has sidewalks in places where existing ones were. Most older communities (ones older than 40 years) don’t have sidewalks because the developers didn’t require them when they were built. 

Therefore, if a neighborhood that was developed in the last 100 years didn’t have sidewalks, the city of Houston didn’t add any new ones. 

Do private property owners hold responsibility for sidewalks in Houston? 

The Houston municipal code clearly states that the responsibility for sidewalk maintenance belongs to private property owners. 

Furthermore, privately owned properties have to go through the permitting process through the planning department if they want to build sidewalks. 

As a result, people who own private properties are required to subdivide the lots and have to assign individual addresses. Because of this, these private homes would have to face the city street. 

Do private property owners hold responsibility for sidewalks in Houston

Is the city of Houston planning to make more sidewalks?

Houston’s city officials have been planning to add more sidewalks to the city for somet time now. With the city getting one of the worst records in the US for pedestrian traffic deaths, this has been in order for some time.

As such, new city regulations now require construction projects to add sidewalks. 

There are plenty of bike and walking trails in various Houston communities as well. These trails are sometimes even safer than sidewalks because of the separation from motors and vehicle traffic. 

Outside of the city limit, the developers of privately owned land are responsible for any sidewalk changes.

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