Mayor expands historic preservation, air pollution initiativesMayor White recently announced that he wants to expand both his historic preservation and air pollution initatives, actually combining them in a new direction. In his own words:
"As most Houstonians know, we've lost a lot of our precious historical structures over the years to redevelopment. I've recently taken steps to try and strengthen our historic preservation incentives while still respecting property owners. I've also recently started an initiative to further cut toxic air pollution in Houston, particularly from industy in the eastside ship-channel area. But several constituents have pointed out to me, very validly, 'Isn't air pollution an integral part of Houston's history? Won't we lose some of our historical character if we clean up the air? What will happen to those awesome multi-color rainbow sunrises over refinery row?'Some other details from the announcement: the zone has also been perfectly aligned so 225 eastbound drivers should still see spectacular technicolor sunrises, truly one of Houston's greatest sights, exciting for the whole (sleepy) family. As a matter of fact, the visitor's bureau has agreed to add "Scenic 225" to its tourists maps, with tips on best viewing and smelling. In a related note, the Safe Clear program will be dramatically beefed-up along 225 to handle expected accident increases from tourists staring into the sun while driving.
To answer such concerns, I've hammered out a joint agreement with the mayors of Baytown and Pasadena to designate a cross-municipality "industrial air preservation zone," where companies who prefer not to cut toxic emissions like benzene will be given the option instead to rollback their emissions to historic levels, and where current and future generations of Houstonians will be able to visit and say, 'Wow, so this is what east Houston used to smell like? My grandfather always told stories, but I didn't believe him!' "
A formal ribbon-cutting event is planned for the zone, as soon as John Travolta of Pasadena-filmed "Urban Cowboy" fame can be scheduled to attend and verify, after taking a deep, hacking breath, "Yep, that's the same air we breathed while filming in 1979-80!"
Hope you enjoyed this year's April Fools post, which has now become quite the high-pressure annual event for your friendly local blogger, but writers' block hasn't stopped me so far. You might also enjoy these from previous years:
- 2006: Metro settles Universities/Westpark/Richmond rail alignment
- 2005: Houston embraces "New Weather Urbanism"