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lithiumaneurysm last won the day on June 21 2016

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About lithiumaneurysm

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    Rice University

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  1. lithiumaneurysm

    Two lots on Bissonnet and Howard

    I live right next to these lots. A new driveway off of Newcastle was added to the western one a couple of months ago, and I've seen trucks parked in the grass every now and then, but otherwise no activity.
  2. lithiumaneurysm

    347 W 20th

    Seriously. Off-street parking will remain a mainstay in Houston in the absence of parking requirements—new developments in Downtown are still consistently accompanied by parking. But removing these requirements will at least give small businesses a fighting chance to participate in urban development alongside big developers, instead of being pushed out of the game by onerous parking requirements that mandate they double their land purchases just to construct a private lot. It's completely absurd that we push the enormous cost of supplying parking entirely onto private landowners via legal mandate. It's an authoritarian solution to a problem best solved by the market, and it's particularly egregious in a country like the U.S. which (often smartly) prioritizes market solutions and private property rights. Minimum parking requirements also act against Houston's own interests. The city's annexation days are over—the only way to grow property tax revenue is through developing existing land. Every unwarranted parking lot created by these requirements neutralizes land which could otherwise be productive and reduces the city's tax revenue per unit area.
  3. lithiumaneurysm

    Medical Center Crossing at 1709 Dryden (Medical Towers)

    Great to see more food options and GFR opening up in the Med Center. When I was at Rice, the Chipotle and Subway in this building were the only walking-distance food options open in the evening. Halal Guys, Roti, and Mod Pizza are awesome adds.
  4. lithiumaneurysm


    This is such an old and lame meme. Really, I can buy the more rational arguments that rail is too expensive, not appropriate for most places in Houston, etc. but just calling it old is so out of touch with reality it renders the rest of your comment irrelevant. If rail is a 19th century technology, then someone explain why the most technologically advanced nations (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Western Europe) all have such extensive and wildly successful high-speed rail systems. East Asian countries in particular have been at the forefront of all the high-tech breakthroughs of the last 50 years and they've been building more rail, not less. China is literally exporting high-speed rail systems to tens of millions of people in Southeast Asia and Africa as part of their grand geopolitical strategy. Seriously. Imagine being more concerned with ideology than practical solutions for problems that have been solved time and time again in other cities around the world. Houston may not have a population density or layout appropriate for an extensive rail system, but at least be honest with yourself that it's a relevant and widely adopted technology that is essential to the functioning of the world's most modern cities.
  5. lithiumaneurysm


    Rail isn't some luxury item that cities buy as a present for their residents. It is (or should be) part of a toolbox of urban transportation solutions, to be used on highly trafficked corridors where cars aren't getting the job done. Here's the throughput of a single 10-foot lane based on transportation mode: Because cars require so much space to operate and often only carry one person, they have a very low throughput. Bus and rail lines are extremely effective when the terminus of the line is a compact, highly popular destination. That's why our Park and Ride system is so much more efficient than driving for commuters heading downtown. It's able to transport many times the number of people without becoming congested on highly-trafficked corridors (the freeways) to a compact, walkable destination (the CBD). The low throughput of our freeway system exhibits itself every day during rush hour(s), when roadways which only have the capacity to move a few thousand people in an hour without congestion are suddenly packed with tens of thousands. There is no evidence that building rail makes cities more expensive. Los Angeles has become expensive despite being the eternal stereotype of a car city. What does make cities expensive is unmet demand, both for housing and transportation. If Houston wants to avoid the costliness and congestion of L.A., we need to keep building as much housing as possible, and we need to keep an open mind to implementing higher-capacity modes of transportation, like BRT and rail, where they have been proven to work elsewhere.
  6. lithiumaneurysm

    Montrose Gardens--20 stories w/ GFR

    If a lot on a major thoroughfare in one of the densest and most walkable areas in Houston isn't a logical place to put a multifamily tower, I don't know what is. The only way it could be more appropriate is if it were on a rail line and had less parking. I have faith the city will not buckle to NIMBYs when reviewing this development. The only way Houston can become truly walkable is by developing the right urban context. We can have TIRZs funnel as much money as they want into complete streets with fancy brick paving, but all of that means nothing if our urban environment is still a no-man's-land of parking lots, empty fields, and blank walls. This kind of development is a sign of a healthy city. The only successful places are ones which are adaptable. Houston shouldn't shoot itself in the foot to appease people who want to keep it static.
  7. lithiumaneurysm

    1002 Westheimer

    That's a really odd rendering—doesn't seem to be set anywhere near Montrose. The building in the background on the left is a Pollo Tropical restaurant.
  8. lithiumaneurysm

    319 (?) 19th

    Absolutely agree. The city should be doing everything in its power to preserve this streetscape, which is an extreme rarity in Houston. I'm cautiously optimistic since the Planning Commission has been getting a little more progressive each year, and the Walkable Places Committee is dedicated to looking into these ordinance issues.
  9. The Fulton/San Jac connection wasn't constructed alongside the other Hardy Yards improvements due to objections from Union Pacific. That's why the Main Street tunnel was shortened and a new intersection with Burnett was created instead. Not sure if it'll be attempted in the future but it seems very difficult politically, as most things are with the railroads. Source: have had some exposure to the project at work
  10. lithiumaneurysm

    The Hamilton Apartments, Extreme South CBD

    Via reddit:
  11. lithiumaneurysm

    West Memorial / Energy Corridor

    The Domain Memorial rental townhome community at Memorial Drive and Nottingham Oaks Trail is just finishing up, and the street presence along the neighborhood-facing edges is incredible. It's really transformed this street (Thicket Lane) and makes the entire area more walkable and attractive. This part of the Energy Corridor has a WalkScore in the mid 70s so there's a ton of potential for further improvement. I think this development is a great example of the positive impact our relaxed housing density policy is making, even in the city's furthest reaches.
  12. lithiumaneurysm

    The Victoria (829 Yale St.) 8-Story Residential Building

    No, it's boundless greenfield suburban development that exacerbates our flooding problems. The relentless expansion of the White Oak Bayou floodplain into the Heights isn't because of development in the Heights – it's because of what's happening all the way past Beltway 8. Blaming a single high-density building for exacerbating flooding is like claiming the Ashby high-rise creates traffic – the effect is negligible, and ironically, the development in question is part of the solution, not the problem.
  13. lithiumaneurysm

    Market Square Tower: 40-Story High-Rise for Downtown

    By /u/zombingaround on /r/houston:
  14. lithiumaneurysm

    The Victoria (829 Yale St.) 8-Story Residential Building

    I assume most of these developments have to hire landscaping services anyway. Getting them to cut a few extra square feet of grass every couple of weeks probably doesn't amplify the cost much. Maintaining extra sidewalk space, especially in a city where concrete settles so poorly, would probably be pricier. Anyway, I wish the city would do more to promote wider sidewalks. Our politicians pay plenty of lip-service to the concept of walkability, but there's little talk of changing the ordinances which make it so difficult to achieve (parking minimums, building setbacks, etc). Of course, changing these laws would be far more controversial and politically costly than the subpar status quo.
  15. lithiumaneurysm

    The Victoria (829 Yale St.) 8-Story Residential Building

    The city's sidewalk ordinance mandates 5' minimum (6' for transit corridors). Sidewalks cost money; developers usually won't build more than what's expected of them.