Staff Editorial

Wal-Mart not welcome, says Heights community

The non-profit organization Responsible Urban Development for Houston is asking Houstonians to prepare for increased traffic jams as they try to encourage the city to fix existing traffic problems in the I-10 and Heights Blvd. area before further crippling the area’s highways with a behemoth box of retail, otherwise known as Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart treats neighborhoods like competitive eating champion Joey Chesnut treats hot dogs — he just devours them without any regard for the feelings of the hot dog, and makes quite a bit of money doing it.

Wal-Mart is out to put one of their supercenters on every inch of American soil. And while that’s fine if they can afford to fund that conquest, it’s not OK for them to disrupt neighborhoods and exacerbate existing problems in communities where they aren’t welcome.

Forget about all of the arguments against Wal-Mart in documentaries like “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.” RUDH has published on its website,, several studies about the reasons why or why not a Wal-Mart would be a good idea for the Heights. Its two most recent studies take on the anticipated economic effects and how adding the retail giant will hurt an already bad traffic situation.The site claims that the new IH-10/Yale St. intersection is already failing and that the Yale St. Bridge cannot support 18-wheelers.

RUDH also examines why adding a large retail center is usually a good idea, like would its addition benefit under-served markets and does it “provide substantial, otherwise unobtainable enhancements.” The answer to both is no.

Another important question is does adding a Wal-Mart really bring in more revenue, or does it just transfer revenues from other smaller stores to Wal-Mart instead.

The community is against welcoming the retail giant, and without any obvious and compelling reasons to disagree with them, we believe Wal-Mart should pack up and try its hand in the next town.


  • The developer's Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) states that the main intersection serving this gigantic Walmart will FAIL even before the store is built. What's that mean in developer-speak? "It's already broken so Walmart traffic won't make a difference! And, BTW, we're not paying to fix it, either." Oh and let's not forget, their TIA totally forgot to mention that the historic Yale St. bridge between the IH-10 and the site isn't capable of handling loaded 18-wheelers. Uh, woops? Sorry your bridge collapsed! Where is CM Gonzalez in all of this? Lunching with the Mayor, apparently, cause he ain't helping his constituents.

  • VotingHimOut – good point! What HAS Ed Gonzalez done except suck up to the Mayor? C'mon, Ed, do the job you were elected to do – support your constituents! The TIA is a joke!

  • I have been following this whole story and am stunned, ABSOLUTELY STUNNED, at the City's complete disregard for it's citizens. Are we not voters and tax payers? This is a disgrace. I voted for Ed and the Mayor but not again. No way, no how. I thought Mayor Parker would work for our neighborhoods and all she has done is let us down.

  • I think it's great to see TDC make a statement about this. As college students, you can help shape the face of the City you want to have a life in. Thank you for standing up with the community. You'll be great leaders someday— and God knows we're in need of some replacements in this city right now!

  • The bottom line is that there is really nothing the city and county can do about it other than make sure Wal-mart sticks with the current law. Wal-mart has a right to build there. This is still America. The best way to fight Wal-Mart is with your pocketbooks.

    • This is not true. Communities have fought Wal-Mart before — I believe it was in California — and they won. Wal-Mart can be defeated, but it will take a real effort.

  • Carey, it's up to the citizens to make the city make Walmart follow the current law.

    The Mayor has already broken a promise to the citizens to have a Walmart Operating Agreement completed by the end of last year. Last week at City Council, the Mayor's response when asked about the Walmart Operating Agreement was that there is no update. She hasn't even begun working on something that was due last semester.

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