September 3, 2017

Debris Piles and Traffic Bring About New Concerns

As if our messy situation weren’t bad enough, it’s now becoming even worse with a steady influx of scavengers and onlookers, and the additional traffic they create, particularly in hardest-hit Southdale.  We’ve been getting lots of questions, so I take this opportunity to share and address these concerns with a broader audience.

Some amount of scavenging is to be expected.  It’s not illegal per se, but we’re concerned about it because many residents are reporting that scavengers are rummaging through their belongings at the curb and leaving an even bigger mess behind.  In some cases they’re opening and dumping bags out in yards and in the streets to pick through their contents, and not bothering to clean up again after themselves.  If you observe this kind of activity, don’t hesitate to call the Bellaire Police at (713) 668-0487.  We’ve got officers on patrol who will respond.  See also Chief Holloway’s suggestions, which he sent out this morning.

Debris removal is still on schedule to begin this coming week.  That puts us well ahead of the game, especially as small cities throughout our area are in need of those same contract services.  Meanwhile, the City’s regular solid waste collection has resumed.  It’s very slow going, not only because of the extremely high volume, but also because of all the traffic and parked cars on the residential streets they’re trying to get to.  We’ve got all hands on deck; in addition to the solid waste crews a whole bunch of other city employees (among them the City Manager and HR Director) have been out driving every pickup truck in our fleet helping to collect garbage bags.  An added benefit of using pickup trucks is that they can get down the east-west residential streets more easily than the garbage trucks can.  They’re working through the weekend to get the job done, and the normal solid waste schedule will resume on Tuesday.

With cars and contractors’ trucks lining both sides of every street in Southdale, traffic is a real challenge.  In response, BPD officers are patrolling the neighborhood on bicycles.  They’re directing traffic as needs arise and are better able to get around in responding to calls for service.  Please help them by avoiding that and other heavily congested areas if you don’t need to be there.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we’re working hard to serve you.