Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Woodlands 2012 Spring Flea Market

The Woodlands Flea Market this Spring has been scheduled for March 24 at Town Center Parking Garage.

Time: 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Town Center Parking Garage
Contact: 281-210-3976

Tickets for booth spaces will go on sale Saturday, March 3, 2012, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Panther Creek Village Square (near the clock tower). Any booth tickets remaining after that date will be available at The Woodlands Township Service Center, 2801 Technology Forest Blvd, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Note the change of location of the service center since the last Fall Flea Market.
Map to Panther Creek Village Square
+ Map to Town Center Parking Garage 
+ Map to Township Service Center 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trash Cans in The Woodlands

You are most likely aware by now that we in The Woodlands Texas have a new contract with new services for trash and garbage curbside pickup. You are also aware that we have covenants where we promised to keep garbage cans out of sight except the night before our scheduled pickup until the evening of the pickup day. The issue is that some residents do not have a place to store the new cans away. Most residents have three garbage cans now. One for the garbage fill, one for recyclables and one for recycling yard materials (leaves, cuttings and tree branches). The community watchdogs for the covenants are the RDRC's (elected), overseen by the DSC (government appointed). Due to the storage issue, the DSC has decided to waive the watchdog reporting of trash cans until May 1, 2012. After that date, enforcement will commence once again.

Acceptable designs of screens is in the process of being defined. If residents install these shields to keep their cans out of public view, they need not apply for approval of the design. Otherwise, custom designed screens will require approval.    

Please wait to report trash can visibility issues until May, when the trash can reporting moratorium is lifted.

Houston Commute Resource

So you commute to Houston every day from The Woodlands! Maybe you want to have a link that shows the freeways  and major roads and the up-to-the-minute status of those roads, including the current traffic speed. You can even put it on your cell phone, but be safe in using it. The data is collected from various sorts and is intended to be current, so you can check before you go out the door whenever you are traveling to Houston.
 Current Houston Transit Road Conditions

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Woodlands Texas Wildflower Festival 2011

Development Company booth with butterfly nets

It is time to start planting wildflowers in Southeast Texas. Each year, we have the privilege to enjoy the Fall outdoors at this family event in The Woodlands, Texas. You never know who or what you will see here, but you do know that it will be enjoyable for all ages - the little tots to young teenagers and adults. It has three basic purposes - (1) an outdoor event for the Fall; (2) an opportunity for businesses and organizations to display their products and services; (3) encourage wildflowers in the community. Each year the Woodlands Development Company partners with other companies and residents to sponsor this and to plant wildflowers in The Woodlands.

I brought back about eight specifies of wildflowers to plant both in the garden and in a very sunny location in a nearby green area. Each package of seeds has the name of the company or organization who rented a tent booth and the name of the wildflower, with instructions for planting. One prominent booth was of the Township, to promote the new garbage pickup services which start February 1st, 2012. We will have a full sized garbage can for recyclables, like Austin Texas has, and we will no longer use plastic bags for plant refuse.  I am elated about these changes in garbage pickup. For plant material, we now will use either our own garbage cans or purchase recyclable bags made for leaves and twigs. Examples can be seen in the video. A complimentary bag was given to each household attending the festival.

Children walked away with butterfly nets and other little gadgets; adults walked away with a new garbage bag, brochures, business cards, and seeds among other items. Activities included face painting, with a long line of people waiting, juggling, various costumed characters, air machines,a petting zoo, horse rides, hula hoop contests, a wargame area, and a number of other activities for children. It was a great time for all, maybe a little warmer than we would have liked but not bad at all and certainly not what I would call HOT!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Flea Market in The Woodlands

It is that time again, when you dust off your stuff in the garage or storage and sell it, so you can have space for more stuff. Personally, I need the space for my car. You can find great bargains here also.

The Woodlands Fall Flea Market will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2011, from 7 to 10 a.m., in the Town Center Parking Garage. The garage is located at the southwest corner of Six Pines Drive and Lake Robbins, adjacent to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Tickets are available at The Woodlands Township Service Center, 2201 Lake Woodlands Drive, directly across the street from The Woodlands United Methodist Church, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The flea market is a cooperative event with all The Woodlands’ villages participating. The fees for sellers are $50 per booth space, $100 for a vehicle and trailer. There is no fee for buyers. Any proceeds over cost are funneled back into the community in the form of scholarships, grants and other village association projects.

The Woodlands covenants and deed restrictions do not permit garage sales on residential properties. The flea market provides a means for The Woodlands residents to sell unwanted household goods twice each year, in the Spring and in the Fall. Bargain hunters who buy pre-owned items keep them out of the landfill and lessen their impact on the environment. Buying “recycled” products also preserves the natural resources that are used in the manufacturing of these items.

For booth space information, please call Larry Faith at 281-681-0036. For general information, please call the flea market information line at 281-210-3976 or Pamela Woods at 281-210-3900.

Monday, June 27, 2011

July 4th in The Woodlands 2011

The Woodlands Texas will have its July 4th festivities this year as always, and it just gets better every year. This year we are in a drought that takes away the fireworks show, but everything else will be conducted as planned. This is the first time the fireworks show has been cancelled since its inception, about 35 years ago.

Fireworks are prohibited in The Woodlands. They are also banned in Harris County and Montgomery County this year. This will be strictly enforced by law enforcement in both counties. If someone is selling or firing fireworks in either county, please report them to your local law enforcement agency. We are under an extreme fire warning and signs are posted all over The Woodlands to this effect.

This is the main event, other than the fireworks. This year’s 4th of July Parade will be on Monday, July 4th. The parade route is approximately 1.3 miles and will begin and end at The Woodlands United Methodist Church on Lake Woodlands Dr.. The parade dates back to the 1970’s. It is organized by an all volunteer group. Last year, the parade had approximately 145 entries and 2,000 to 3,000 participants. This year the committee anticipates 20,000 to 25,000 attending. Roads will of course be closed during the parade.

Before the parade starts, Darrel the Fire Juggler, Uncle Sam, Clowns, Spiderman, Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob, stilt walker, balloonist, magician and many more interesting characters will mingle with the crowd. The Woodlands Concert Band will perform from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. in Market Street’s Central Park. They will play the National Anthem to signify the start of the parade.

We’re honored to have Kevin Saunders, Paralympian and Stacy Brown, Special Olympian, as this year’s 4th of July Parade Co-Grand Marshals.

The judges’ stand will be located on the balcony in Market Street across from Central Park, along with the announcers, Nick Wolda, VP Marketing and Public Affairs for The Woodlands Township and Ramon Torres. Two DJ Booths will be located along the route.

Between 7:30 am and 10:30 am on July 4, 2011 all or portions of roads in the parade route will be closed. The 1.3 mile route begins and ends at The Woodlands United Methodist Church from Lake Woodlands, right on Grogan’s Mill, left on Lake Robbins, through Market Street, left on Lake Woodlands and ending at the church.

Senior and Physically Challenged Tent: A tent will be set up in front of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Lake Robbins Drive for senior citizens and the physically challenged to obtain respite from the summer heat.

Parking is available in numerous lots along the parade route in The Woodlands Town Center. Please note, if you park in Market Street and also in some of the other parking areas, you will not be able to leave until the parade is over unless there is an emergency.

BANDASTIC! Annual Marching Band Scholarship Program
What’s a parade without marching bands? To entice bands to march in the parade, the South County 4th of July Committee is hosting the Annual Marching Band Scholarship Program. The committee invites high school and college marching bands throughout the region to participate in the scholarship program. Each band will receive a minimum of $2,000 for their participation. Included this year are: Willis High School, The Woodlands High School, College Park High School and Oak Ridge high school bands!

The temperature is usually in the 90s on the 4th of July. The committee urges all volunteers and spectators to drink plenty of water before and during the parade. This is the information is courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital. Probably 1/2 gallon per person is sufficient to drink during the parade. The parade cannot provide water so please bring your own.

Drink plenty of cool water, even more than you think you need, when the weather is hot and humid. (High humidity makes heat injuries more likely, because perspiration does not evaporate from the skin as quickly; this causes the body to cool down more slowly.) Water is best; fruit and vegetable juices are also recommended.

Drink at least a gallon of liquid a day (about 16 glasses) when the outside temperature is above 90 degrees and you are not in air-conditioned surroundings. This may mean drinking as much as 1 1/2 times as much liquid as your thirst signals you to drink.

There remains opportunities to volunteer to assist with the parade.

July 4th Committee’s website:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Woodlands Parkway and Gosling intersection

Sometimes, an intersection is just not designed well. In fact, an intersection can be downright dangerous. This is the case of The Woodlands Parkway and Gosling. It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind this design, except it is to keep traffic flowing without regard to the safety of the pedestrian. Let's see what we are talking about.
Facing north from the south side of the parkway
We are supposed to be a master planned community where pedestrians are provided amenities with safety. During the development of this intersection, something went awry. Walk with me north on Gosling as many in our neighborhood do, to the Panther Creek Shopping Center on the parkway. The shopping center is about three blocks from the homes on the southern side of the Woodlands Pkwy. As we walk along the pathway, we arrive at the intersection above. Automobiles are turning right. The drivers must look to their left to directly merge with the oncoming traffic, because this turn lane has no ramp to it on the parkway. As a result, it is easy to rear-end the car in front of you as you make this right turn. It is also easy to hit a pedestrian in the marked crossing directly in front of us in this photo.

For the pedestrian, the first challenge is to cross the turn lane to get to the button to request a crossing. The right turn lane is not regulated in any way by that pedestrian button on the pole. A pedestrian is on his own to cross that lane.
Crossing six lanes of traffic
Now as we stand on the little island and face to the north, we wait for the pedestrian signal to turn green and give us the number of seconds we are allowed to be in the intersection. This is a challenge also. We feel vulnerable to oncoming traffic from our left.

Now we are nervously watching out for the cars coming at us from the west. One lane is to turn right onto Gosling and the other for traffic to dart a few feet from our feet. This is the pedestrian island. So the light changes and we are cleared to go. We cross. But wait. When we reach the other side, the reverse configuration requires us to watch for traffic turning right from the east onto Gosling. The speed of the turning automobiles is not necessarily slow either!

So we finish our crossing after the cars are allowed to interrupt our crossing. The drivers often assume they have the right of way even though we are in the cross walk.

Coming back with a bag of groceries or other goodies, we now must perform the same crossing in reverse.

Oncoming traffic towards the pedestrian turning just in time
First we cross the turn lane to get to the island requesting a crossing towards the south. Now on the island we are confronted with autos coming straight at us and then turning. We press the button. Hurry up! Cars fly by us and more turn into the lane. We hope everyone is paying attention.
Traffic whizzing by as we wait
The wind of the autos moving at 45-60 mph shake our bodies. Sometimes there is even a honk as a driver is nervous about us being so close to the cars as they move by us at high velocity. That makes us even more nervous. Finally, we cross the six lanes to the other island and then cross the other turning lane. Whew, we made it safely once more. A kid on the bicycle passes by us to cross. I am thinking, I bet he is quicker than us and is able to more confidently cross the 8 lanes. Ah ... maybe not.
Those cars can make anyone nervous, pushing their wall of wind.

The commissioner has been asked to look at this intersection to see how it can be made safer. What has happened to the hometown feel anyway? It feels more like a amusement park arcade with the noise, hustle and bustle, not exactly a country setting anymore.  Although I have not attempted the Kuykendahl crossing for a while, I suspect it is designed the same. Perhaps it is not used much by pedestrians.