Houston Downtown Tunnel System

Posted on April 8, 2009

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One of my favorite things about Houston is the underground pedestrian tunnel system. It is about 6 miles long and connects 95 city blocks. Many of the big buildings downtown have stairs leading down to the tunnels, so it is easy to pop up to street level right where you need to be. The tunnels are great when the weather is simply too wet or hot to wander outside. I do not understand why more cities did not have the foresight to include this sort of public work in the master plan.

The tunnels were clearly built in many stages over the years as they change as you walk along. Sometimes they pop up above street level, but mostly they seem to go from one building basement to another. There are maps around so you do not get lost in the maze.

The tunnels are open every day from 6am to 6pm. Since many parking garages are connected to the tunnels, it is entirely possible that some people never need to go outside.

In the tunnels you can find a variety of stores, including banks, barbers, convenience stores, wireless phones, and coffee shops. Most of the buildings that are connected to the tunnels have some sort of food court that is down in the tunnels, so many food options are available.

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