Photo by Dawn McGee

Heights-Area Walmart: The Invented Traffic Jam Wasn't Exactly Hellish

It's tough to say whether this weekend's "Carnage" protest in the Heights was a success or failure, but we can say for certain, it happened.

Here are a couple conflicting accounts.

From the Stop the Heights Walmart Facebook page:

CARnage WAS GREAT!! It took us over 35 minutes to drive from 18th, around the site & back to 11th at Heights! We hit 2 trains - going south and north. Our CARnage cyclists passed us. What does that tell you? TRAFFIC IMPACTS WILL BE HUGE!!

But this is from commenter CandacitaBonita on a previous Hair Balls post about the event:

I was on Yale yesterday and I saw no protest, no excessive traffic, not a hint that a protest was about to occur or had occurred. Nada. Nothing.

Neither of those, of course, give us a definitive answer, but Hair Balls did have a photographer on the site, and in her photos we certainly didn't see any long line of cars jamming up traffic near the Walmart site.

Nick Urbano, president of Responsible Urban Development for Houston, tells Hair Balls that about 100 cars, give or take 20 (HPD said 80), participated in the protest. And if the crowd seemed a little thin, it probably was.

"We never wanted it to be a parade," Urbano says.

The group of cars started out together but things like other cars, stop signs, and two trains along the route, Urbano says, broke up the caravan.

"We caused a few headaches for people trying to get to the site," Urbano says. "I think it was extremely effective, and it was fun."

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