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Everything posted by Luminare

  1. Yes you are correct. Of course it looks clogged right now. Its still all under construction. Thats like going to a residential build site and complaining that there is no grass yet. Your also correct. Its used in a lot of places. Saw it a lot whenever I went to the UK, particularly in London. There are things they can do in the next iterations of this design that would really improve things. First, they need to start using pavers instead of all concrete. Different colored pavers would really help to differentiate what is what, and what is separate from what. The reconstruction of Bagby Street downtown has a pretty great design that illustrates this idea. Second, the grate bridging the gap is ok, but it would be better if it wasn't just a channel, but instead it was a storm drain in of itself. Would solve the potential silt issues that @skooljunkie which I'm not debating won't happen later on no doubt. He is correct on that. Just think he is jumping the gun a bit to quick. I'm also hoping these grates won't just be placed on top of the groove in the concrete, but will be bolted into it, so it stays in place. Right now I don't see holes in the grooves for this, so I doubt it. Not the best design, but for a 1st iteration in this town its a great first step. Again they really need to account for aesthetics and drainage system planning into these designs in the next iteration. Gotta at least pat them on the back for at least trying something different for a change. Been impressed with METRO with at least move forward even if it has been awkward, and a bit haphazard.
  2. I don't really agree with their logic for not getting rid of parking minimums city wide. They expressly state: if they are worried about context sensitive approaches and saying that there isn't a one size fits all solution with WP Streets, then the same could be said about having a blanket minimum that doesn't appreciate each street per its context. They are using a logical fallacy to try and cement their argument to not get rid of the minimum. The minimum doesn't allow property owners and developers to design per context. Instead it has to design per the minimum, and some places that minimum doesn't make any sense, and in some cases the minimum doesn't even get close to what parking is needed. Market based parking works because its parking based on the situation, context, and time at hand. It would be one thing if we had specific parking minimums for each city district or each neighborhood, but we don't necessarily. Instead the entire city except for the exemptions is under one city-wide minimum, and the territory the city covers is so vast that there is no way you are going to be able to account for everything with blanket minimums for general situations. This still needs to be fixed. I would even be satisfied with a compromise where lets say the parking minimums as they are now stand for anything between 99 to SH8, a 50% reduction anything SH8 to 610, and a 75% reduction to anything inside 610 with nuances for if a property is near a WP Street or Corridor, or even a major business center. A compromise like that would at least be more flexible. They could still keep this new upcoming "opt in" style parking policy where people create these Special Parking Area's.
  3. Rothko to open back up in September, according to this ArchDaily article. https://www.archdaily.com/939959/rothko-chapel-set-to-reopen-this-september
  4. Your correct. Mass Transit is an ecosystem. Not a one time bandaid. For one to work it needs to be a holistic system. It was the same when I would go frequently to Berlin. People walk. They take buses. They take trams. They take Trains. Its not just one mode of doing things. I also think that density, while important, is a bit of misnomer when it comes to successful transit. Yes the number of people is important, but what is really important is whatever transit ecosystem you set up it needs to take people to places they actually want to go. Picking up residents is actually secondary. If you can pick up people along the way then it just makes it better. Besides if transit actually goes somewhere then people move to the transit so they can use it more often. The car also comes into play as well. Its part of the ecosystem. There were cars that existed when we used to have trolleys that went places here in Houston. People just didn't maintain, and continue that system. They got lazy, and let it go by the way side. I also don't think this is strictly a blue or red issue. I also don't think this is a rural or city issue either. More mobility is better for everyone no matter who you are. Great mobility is hallmark of a great democratic society. It should be something worth pushing for.
  5. Bauhaus is actually similar to something you would find in Europe, just not a club. Its more like a typical Euro Bar you would find in the city or a small town. I liked the look. They play decent House, but the clientele and vibe is more similar to a Euro Bar. If thats what they are going for then fine. It seems to work for them, but its not a club. I certainly would like something similar to what I found during my time in Europe. Doesn't even have to be like a mega club like a Berghain or Tresor, but it is a giant warehouse, and they are drawing inspiration from similar warehouse spaces in Europe. Would be awesome if they could also bring in an actual techno/house venue. Gravity in midtown, when it was open, was probably the closets a place got to being a true techno/house club. Just needed more support, and probably needs to be in a better location. It doesn't even need to be exactly the party culture. Houston actually knows how to throw down if you know where to look, but electronic music certainly fits the vibe of the current city. I also hear it a lot in cars, and in bars. I think there is a real untapped market in this town. Not to mention we pull a lot of internationals particularly from Germany and France. We pull a lot of people from Cali and New York, who have great Techno/House scenes. There is a market. Just nobody is filling it.
  6. I'm just crossing my fingers for a killer techno/house music club.
  7. Its possible like most CEO changes that this person was the right one to get the job started, and now they need a different CEO to actually get it running. If it was a resignation for a particular issue or reason I'm sure the media would come right out and say it. Looks like its just a changing of the guard, in my opinion.
  8. Yeah kinda sucks. Honestly, this Saturday is a better day anyway.
  9. Morning everyone, For those of you who have been living under a rock lately, today SpaceX and NASA are launching the Demo-2 Mission to the ISIS with two astronauts today May 27th at 3:30 central time (4:30 EST). Anyone else going to watch? It will be the first time Americans will be launched from American soil in a decade (since the Space Shuttle was retired), and the first time we have launched astronauts from a rocket on American soil since the early 1980's. If this mission is a success then no more hitching rides with the Russians. https://www.spacex.com/launches/ https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive You can probably find a stream of the actual launch either through NASA or SpaceX on youtube or there websites.
  10. This might be the case, but everything you say assumes that the client, which dictates the direction of the project, would be TXDOT. TXDOT is not the client. The city, state, and the feds are the clients. TXDOT is merely the instrument that designs, engineers, and is used as a financing mechanism to build the highway. Your argument would be like asking a hammer to do a better job at hammering a nail. The hammer is an instrument used to handle nails. Its a tool that is only as good as the wielder. People don't like to think about this, but its the city that requests highways to be built. Its the state which asks highways to be built, and its the feds that ask for highways to be built. TXDOT doesn't make any of these requests. All it can do is design, plan, and engineer what the client wants. What has happened over the years is that people in power haven't asked TXDOT to do anything else except what they have always done. To use the hammer analogy again, its like the city, state, and feds have asked TXDOT to approach every situation as a nail when that isn't always the case, and if something goes wrong they again blame the hammer and ask the hammer to be a better hammer. These people asking TXDOT to "do more" are merely passing the buck and shouldering the blame onto TXDOT for there own failed plans of the past and don't want to take responsibility for their actions. Now could TXDOT have pushed back over the years and come up with more innovative approaches to designing infrastructure, sure. Everything could be better, but if you work in my industry it always starts with the client. Whatever the client wants is what the client gets. We are merely consultants tasked with realizing a vision. If the client doesn't have the vision to do something different then it will be difficult to break the mold and convince them otherwise. We haven't done a good job with asking our clients to be innovative. Instead we keep bashing our heads against the wall asking TXDOT to do everything when they aren't the ones with power. This is how things usually play out: City: We want to rebuild our infrastructure. Lets call TXDOT. TXDOT: Hi I hear you need new infrastructure. Lets talk. City: Great. Do you have any recommendations TXDOT? TXDOT: Glad you ask. Here is what we typically do in these situations. Its fast, its cheaper, and it won't take us too much time to draw up. City: Perfect. When do we get started TXDOT? TXDOT: Now! Everything in this situation is passive and is what has been happening for years. Each party is complicit in this because its the path of least resistance. So if the path of least resistance is do what you did before + add a lane of highway, then that is what the city and TXDOT will move forward with. Instead the conversation should look like, and this time around has look more like this: City: We want to rebuild our infrastructure. Lets call TXDOT. TXDOT: Hi I hear you need new infrastructure. Lets talk. City: Great. Do you have any recommendations TXDOT? TXDOT: Glad you ask. Here is what we typically do in these situations. Its fast, its cheaper, and it won't take us too much time to draw up. City: ...do you have any other ideas? We are thinking about going in another direction. What if we do these things that we haven't done before. TXDOT: ...Here is what we typically do in these situations. Its fast, its cheaper... City: ...no no no. We want to do something else now. We want to do these new things. Do you have any recommendations for these? TXDOT: Well. Not really. We will get back to you on that while we give it a try... City: When do you think we can get this done. TXDOT: Well if we did what we initially recommended we can... City: No we want to do these new things. How long? TXDOT: Raincheck? City: Oh we also want this, and this, and this, and this. State: Don't forget this! County: Don't forget this! Community: Don't forget this! Chron: Don't forget this! TXDOT: ....omg please slow down. wait! The city, state, and the feds (as well as the county) are the clients. Not the other way around. We are now asking TXDOT to do something nobody else thought to ask them to do until now. Lets cut them some slack. There are so many cooks in this kitchen asking for so many new things TXDOT has never had to deal with in years, I'm sure its a nightmare. Whats worse is that its the clients fault for never asking for more up until now, yet at the same time they blame TXDOT for not doing more. Sounds like an abusive relationship with a crazy girlfriend.
  11. m e h. Lets not go overboard. I'm assuming the person you are responding too is also a laymen. For some reason the initial reaction of a laymen is to immediately panic and ask why anything is happening during a downturn. Of course this is a very real emotional fallacy which can sometimes make people panic which in turn makes some people make rash financial decisions such as pull investments from projects, but we know that if you are actually the one building a project then the last thing one should do is panic. The best course of action for anyone currently with a building under construction is to not panic and stay the course because exactly what you just said will come true. Panic will just lead to a terrible waste of money, and panic makes one only focus on the short term not the long term. I'm certainly not amazed this is still being built. I would actually be amazed if they stopped. I encourage all laymen to ask the kind of questions this one did, but I simply ask in return that they listen to those who know what is actually going on, so next time they don't have to ask these types of questions, and if they ever started a project the first thing they won't do in a downturn is panic. Because what they don't know...is that we aren't panicking. They don't know that actually we've been working more since this all started not less, and so have others on here that I've talked too.
  12. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the actual proceedings. The original argument against TCR was that under the current statutes it couldn't be classified as a railroad because it wasn't a “interurban electric railway”. Imagine trying to explain that to a judge. I would imagine it went like this. Plaintiff: We are in opposition because we do not believe TCR qualifies as an "interurban electric railway". Judge: Is it the case that the Shinkansen is a type of train that is powered by electricity? Plaintiff: Yes your honor the Shinkansen is a type of train that is powered by electricity. Judge: This train is planned to go from Houston to Dallas, correct? It would stand to reason to say this is interurban by definition right? Plaintiff: Yes the train is planned to go from Houston to Dallas. Yes by definition that would be interurban your honor. Judge: Does the Shinkansen sit on rails and use those rails to travel to and from its destination? Plaintiff: Yes your honor the Shinkansen does indeed sit on rails and use those rails to travel to and from its destination. Judge: Let me get this straight then. It uses electricity. It sits on rails, and travels on them. It also travels between urban destinations which means its interurban by definition. This stands to reason that TCR would qualify under the current statutes as an "interurban electric railway" correct? Plaintiff: Yes your honor. Judge: Then why are you claiming that this isn't an "interurban electric railway"? Plaintiff: Reasons... Judge: Why are you claiming that this isn't an "interurban electric railway"? Plaintiff: Feelings... Judge: Case dismissed.
  13. Did the city actually put forth alternate proposals for the Katy Freeway, and Hardy Toll Road? I don't know of any actual alternate proposals put forth by the city during those times. There might have been opposition, but its not like the city actually did anything to change TXDOT's mind in those instances. What we also need to understand about this project is that what TXDOT initially released was after years of discussion behind closed doors with the city already. Everything from the reroute, to the park deck in EaDo, etc... were all initially part of this project before any opposition, or before any publicity. These two entities have to work together for it to get done. TXDOT can't just simply do what it wants. Most times in only looks like it can because most times TXDOT and the city have historically been in general agreement with what is being done. This time around the city is asking TXDOT to do even more than previous instances. Yes TXDOT does have the final say on matters, but burning bridges doesn't exactly build good future relationships. People think that all our highways were built by some kind of authoritarian TXDOT regime, but that just isn't the case. At every step the city had to sign off on everything that TXDOT has done up until now. They will have to do the same this time.
  14. Just out of principal by what is already in the books for established rail companies, and the rights that oil companies get, this should be granted to TCR as well. I don't like it when new companies get blocked from the same powers as the big boys simply because they don't have an established lobby to push there weight around. While it seems they are going to avoid ED when possible its nice to know they will have it in there back pocket as an emergency measure. I've always thought it was wrong that this power is allowed for some, but oh because we don't like this new upstart company they don't get to have it. If these people don't like ED then nobody should be allowed to have it.
  15. I prefer the current design. Its a more mature version than the previous. I like this idea of a beautiful glass object sitting on the edge of a very pristine "table" of stone. Not all updated designs are "value engineered" from my own experience. The glass on the bottom is the same glass on the tower portion. If VE was what they were preoccupied with then they would have done this throughout the entire building. Probably the most expensive part of this building is the structure. The "twist" and profile they have set up is actually going to be nice to see how they pull off including the illusion they are doing with the glass coming to an edge at the middle of the tower portion. Again if VE was so important then this would have been one of the first things to go. The crown also doesn't look like a VE either, but more of a simplification of the tower form itself. Honestly the top crown in the original has no relation to what is going on in the tower at all. The new design the crown looks more of blend of what is happening throughout. Also we have had the "updated" render for a couple years now? There hasn't been any changes since then that I'm aware of. Anyway, just an an opinion from an industry professional. I could be wrong.
  16. I honestly think this needs to happen in Architecture as well. While there is a substantial argument to be made that there are a myriad of ways students benefit from getting a more general or isolated education in there various fields, many of the real issues we face today are from the fact that our institutions have become overly preoccupied with the abstract, and theoretical instead of what is actually happening in the real world. A way to help this is by bringing multiple disciplines together so they can have checks on one another and learn from one another, and push each other to actually apply there knowledge to what is actually happening in reality. In a way we need to start popping some bubbles or echochambers. People outside ones discipline can be incredibly useful to gain new insight into what one doesn't know or understand. Establishing more lines of communication is always better than cutting oneself off.
  17. Drove by earlier today. Yes its still in the same place.
  18. Boots are back on the ground. I repeat. Boots are back on the ground!
  19. Recent Planning Commission Agenda (May 14th) was pretty bare, but I did find this. Don't know if we have a thread for this yet. Senior Living Apartments 4 floors on top of ground level parking Architect: Mucasey & Associates Not sure how many residences. Kind of your typical infill wrap project from Mucasey & Associates. Nothing really new or interesting here.
  20. If anything, Paco's info at least will help temper expectations. If the one by Kirksey happens, oh well. If its the Gensler version then its a huge plus. Either way more info is always better than few info. Whether they go with the Kirksey stuff or not definitely doesn't devalue what Paco posted, right? Again, more info is better than few info.
  21. Found a couple MetroRapid buses in the wild while driving down Studemont.
  22. While I don't care for the fact that this format of shopping center will remain, as I think this is a prime site for a unique type of redevelopment, a target at this location I would definitely take. I've always liked target as a general department store. This part of town is starving for any kind of department store. The closet target is either in Sawyer Heights, south of TMC or near Uptown. Again the format sucks, but the business is very good for the neighborhood.
  23. Or "Tower" I believe that was what the old name of the theater. Your proposal would be nice as well.
  24. Look at that stunning white! So long boring ole beige. I certainly won't miss you.
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