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IronTiger last won the day on December 5 2014

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  1. Amazon HQ2

    The "loudest voice" in this case are actually the ones who think we should Houston should have an East Coast-style commuter train system when more sensible heads know that the cost/benefit is very little. Anytime Katy Freeway is mentioned I always roll my eyes because there's so much misinformation about it. First, it was TxDOT that bought the line (from 610 to Katy, at least, I don't know if they were involved in the Inner Loop portion at all), not METRO. The only reason METRO was even involved in the Katy Freeway was because of the federal funding used to build the original HOV lane (which the rebuild would've replaced), and decided to pour money into over-engineering Katy Tollway to potentially be used as a rail corridor, even though HCTRA and TxDOT would be unlikely to let it go. Yet no one brings up this incredible waste of money as to why there's not more rail, blaming Culberson is more politically convenient. Additionally, thinking an elevated rail (especially downtown) would've been feasible post-ADA is laughable.
  2. I accepted a job in Houston so I'll be moving down there in a few weeks or less. The question is, I won't be making a ton of money (about $13.6/hr.) and I know I got denied at a lot of places when I was working part-time a few years ago. Now, with rental history and a better, more stable job, I feel like I could make it work but I've also got Harvey working against me, and I know a lot of apartment complexes in Houston are still out of commission. I'll be working in the Inner Loop but I think it would be cheaper if I tried to go for more suburban apartments. What do you suggest?
  3. 628 E 11th St

    But the Heights is naturally densifying just because of market forces. Also, "parking requires as much infrastructure as a two-story building" is objectively wrong (little to no electricity being wired, maybe a storm sewer but no water connections, no gas, etc.). More restrictive development won't cure the "parking lot problem", either. If you want to see what I mean, go to Historic Aerials or Google Earth and type "368 Fell Street, San Francisco, CA". Navigate back to the early 1990s. There's a row of parking lots in a diagonal pattern stretching about seven blocks northeast. With the land value in San Francisco, Hayes Valley being relatively nice or at least nice enough to attract new construction, and with everything else being developed with hardly any surface parking, all that would become buildings again, right? Wrong. In 2008, after more than 15 years (including a better economy) those parking lots still reigned, and most of the recent development was done in the last five years. Reason being S.F. is notorious for being hard to develop in, so much so that it was actually cheaper to let them stay as parking lots for decades despite lost tax revenue. Start requiring nonsense like "no parking in front" and you'll start seeing existing parking lots stick around a lot longer, but they won't be free or usable.
  4. Because of a lack of engineering. Have you noticed older roads that haven't been touched since at least the 1980s will flood even at even brief but intense rainfall events?
  5. Amazon HQ2

    Because I got in a lot of pointless arguments with Slick Vik which dealt with almost the same talking points and more recently a discussion regarding the Galveston rail (especially if the argument was both "before its time" and "instant economy just add rail"). Also, I noticed that you changed your argument ("add rail" -> "more density" to "more density" -> "need rail").
  6. Amazon HQ2

    Not this again. I'm not going to break down everything but... - A lot of the Inner Loop has densified in the last 10 years without rail - Traditional METRORail wouldn't have worked at all outside the Inner Loop, Dallas-style commuter hybrid rail would struggle to gain ridership due to the slow speed, and either way the street-running rail system would be dog slow - Even as it is, the Red Line is highly successful but it takes nearly an hour to go from Northline to Fannin (52 minutes according to METRO's schedule) whereas the equivalent drive is about 20 minutes in non-peak freeway times
  7. Amazon HQ2

    It does make me think why Amazon was even looking for large A-class cities to begin with (Houston, Philadelphia, NYC, Chicago, etc.), which already have big problems with housing prices, homelessness, and traffic. That's why I think they should be looking for B-class cities that have good connections with A-class cities but aren't connected, like Pittsburgh, places in Ohio, etc. (I would consider Detroit and Austin to be B-class but not good candidates but different reasons).
  8. 628 E 11th St

    Yeah, but what actually matters more to you, what local residents want out of their community, or your idea of a master-planned community? Like what Houston19514 already said, I have nothing against the latter (several unbroken blocks of shops and buildings would be nice) but do be honest with yourself instead of hiding behind buzzwords.
  9. Houston 1967 street view question

    If it's facing north (roughly) and paralleling the Gulf Freeway, why does there seem to be an elevated freeway in the background? The half-cloverleafs wouldn't have existed at the time. Or that just a big building?
  10. 628 E 11th St

    While regulations may have to do with the lack of redevelopment, wouldn't the type of development you're suggesting (no setbacks, no front parking lot) make things less likely to develop in most cases? The reason why its undeveloped is lack of demand. If the Houston Heights had some sort of merchants association, they would probably push one way or another on what to do with it. And if a parking variance is defeated by Heights residents, isn't that the point of "people oriented development"?
  11. 628 E 11th St

    I don't think we'll ever see super-narrow corridors like that in the U.S. that are actual buildings like that (ADA restrictions, fire code, just general construction--most of those narrow roads are the result of dense city construction from hundreds of years ago, and historically density was a bad thing. Poverty, disease, all that. Bringing this topic around back to Houston, I think that the main Heights retail district should adopt NU principles moving forward because it is also something that NU always is but no one addresses--it's relatively upscale. Before anyone starts suggesting tearing out parking lots for aesthetic reasons, 317 West 19th would have to redeveloped--seems it's basically been a scrapyard storage area for years.
  12. 628 E 11th St

    But the old buildings downtown weren't built because of restrictions, they were built because they DIDN'T have all sorts of restrictions. (On that note, I found a very interesting article about how 40% of Manhattan's buildings are grandfathered into the zoning code due to some violation or another that couldn't be done today including setbacks and height, and one of the things noted that a "New New York" would be less dense--link). I imagine the same would be for Philadelphia and others. The "designed for cars/designed for people" are just NU buzzwords, and I'm not going to dissect everything here but closing off 19th Street would literally make it a shopping mall.
  13. 628 E 11th St

    That's just not true. Every time I read anything regarding "walkability" or anything related to New Urbanism, they abandon all pragmatism and anything that doesn't "look right" in favor of some unrealistic ideal. Under NU, cars are bad, freeways are bad, all buildings must have zero set-back, public transportation is the past, the present, and the future (Elon Musk be damned), on-street parking should be discouraged, and the end result ends up being so artificial that it resembles an outdoor shopping mall (like, say, The Domain in Austin) rather than a real city.
  14. Houston 1967 street view question

    Based on the freeway, at least one other cross street, and the road length I want to say Pierce and Brazos.
  15. Houston 1967 street view question

    It seems to be one of the streets around downtown, very narrow (three lanes, no dedicated parking). Were any EaDo or Midtown roads converted back into two way?