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  1. Sure. But master plans are rarely developed to their original specifications.
  2. Houston's arranged like a giant spider's web, with nodes that developed at the intersection of transportation corridors (primarily the freeway system). To produce an effective rapid transit structure, what's primarily important is connecting those nodes (with commuter rail/bus). Once you're at those nodes, lower-intensity forms of transit like buses, light rail, full subways, or cars at park-and-rides (where densest) can take you through that "last mile". It's better to think of Houston as a region of interconnected cities (Downtown, Uptown/Greenway, Medical Center, Westchase, Energy Corridor, Willowbrook, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Kingwood/Humble etc), rather than a single city itself. Each one of these "cities" have their own transportation flows that nevertheless interact with one another. The trick is trusting these "cities" to handle their local flows while coordinating the regional flow, something that Metro has struggled with in the past.
  3. No doubt there will be park land on the south side of Memorial, along with the area adjacent to Spotts Park, but I'd be shocked if the northwest side weren't developed. It's already isolated from the rest of the Buffalo Bayou Park system, and would be one of the most prime plots of land for a residential tower.
  4. I'd say that would be the perfect spot for a SPUI. Only question is if you keep running Waugh over Memorial, or elevate Memorial, keeping Waugh at surface level and facilitating development in the areas freed up by the removal of the outside ramps.
  5. Obnoxiously suburban, but having a Nordstrom Rack there will be nice.
  6. Rail actually works quite well in multicentric municipalities. Tokyo and London are two that come to mind. The key is to have plenty of lines that connect nodes outside the historic city center. Our freeway system is essentially designed with this in mind, so the corridors are there. The difficult part is having the infrastructure in place to connect you to the rail stations. You would have to drastically rework the Metro system to prioritize bus service that carries people to the rail stations, and that is quite the political fight to be had.
  7. Lets face some hard facts here: 1. Taxpayers do not like spending money on the poor and disabled. This is especially true in a Republican-dominated state 2. If transit solely serves these populations, they will forever be underfunded, as the vast majority of taxpayers will not feel like stakeholders 3. Your goals will inevitably lead to them not being fulfilled 4. Higher-end services like metros and commuter trains lead to more overall transit funding, including that which serves your preferred population, as more people consider themselves stakeholders in the system Life isn't fair, but systems can be developed that combat the inequities. However, as long as transit remains ghettoized, this will never occur with mobility.
  8. Automobiles and buses are also 19th Century technology. Your point is meaningless.
  9. Truth is, outside of the very center of cities, people tend to see transit as inherently un-Texan. Wide open spaces, every man with his own horse, all that. Figuring out how to change that is the tricky part.
  10. The cost will be recouped by the tax revenue from those developments that would likely not have been built next to Main Street if it were not for the train line. People simply do not see a bus line as an amenity.
  11. New schematics on the ih45northandmore site. Things I noticed: 1. Tunnel cross sections are not to scale. Cut should be no deeper than 30 ft. 2. 45 will remain closer to ground level through the 10-59 interchange.
  12. I went to the soft opening last night. Really cool vibe, and the cocktails are good.
  13. It would likely also require takings of the Star of Hope Men's Center, along with the Canal Place apartments. For a project with such controversy over takings already, this is a likely non-starter. Great idea, but feasibility can be a pain. I've been pretty opposed to the skeptics on here, but I will say this - TxDOT has been very selective on the angles they are using to present the project. Selective to the point of being misleading, perhaps. The 45-10-59 interchange will be a massive, imposing piece of infrastructure, and yet there have been few mock-ups portraying it. The most recent models make it look as if 45 will not be above ground level at that point. I hope the next set of schematics have more vertical information included.
  14. Well, if my numbers are right, you'd have to elevate Canal by 10 feet just to get to freeway level, and then another 16-18 feet to get to standard clearance. It would take some engineering to get the job done.
  15. The Canal Street connector is a good idea. It's also one that's pretty easy to see in the schematics. As such, my guess is that it's not there on account of highway geometry. Elevating out of the tunnel requires a safe grade to maintain visibility and prevent slowdowns from drivers being unable to see more than a few hundred feet in front of them. This is particularly important going into a massive interchange where two of the roadways will be engaging in a hard turn. The engineers know better than I do, but it appears that the crown of the road will be 56' below grade by GRB, per last year's schematics. The Dallas High Five tops out at 140 ft, and I would expect the 45 lanes to be of similar height when turning. So, there's 196 ft of elevation in ~4,200 ft if the rise starts from Commerce, or ~3,600 if it starts from Canal. Starting at Commerce would give you a 4.6% grade - steep, but not excessively so, and allows for good sight lines. Canal, on the other hand, would require a 5.4% grade. This is steep enough to usually be restricted to hilly or mountainous areas, and close to the Interstate design maximum of 6%. Along with this, there's the issue of vertical clearance in the depressed section once the cap is built. If the rise must start at Commerce for geometry's sake, and the clearance is 18 feet including fans, there is no way to construct a cap over Canal that will not interfere with the roadway - the rise over the 590 feet between Commerce and Canal would be 28 feet. TL;DR: the numbers don't work for a cap over Canal, IMO.