Some against new Walmart in Heights

HOUSTON - A new Walmart in the Heights opens Friday, but there is still strong resistance from some residents.

There are residents who fear the big box store will run small businesses out of the area and increase crime.  Linda Thomas worries about her safety as she walks around her neighborhood because of the extra traffic on the roads. 

"They're going to, like, honk their horn and run over us," Thomas said.

Another point of concern is the Yale Street Bridge which used to allow vehicles up to 8,000 pounds. 

Sgt. Teresa Curry with the Houston Police Department's truck enforcement unit said now the limit has been lowered to 3,000 pounds, so many common SUVs like the Honda Odyssey, trucks like the Ford F150 and some minivans could be ticketed for taking that popular route to the new store. 

Curry said there are alternative routes, including the Heights Boulevard Bridge that will not be much of an inconvenience.

J.R. Rosales agrees and hopes his auto paint store will thrive being near a new Walmart.  "I feel like they can really help this community in getting you know more traffic in," said Rosales.  "It will help our business as well because I feel like they're going to be able to refer to Tasco Auto Color if they ever need anything."

Walmart officials said that is a part of their plan to coexist with small businesses and help make the Heights a safe place to shop and live.  

"You'll see a lot of small businesses and franchisees opening around the store taking advantage of the economic development and traffic that we'll be bringing," said Walmart spokesman Daniel Morales.

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