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Everything posted by mattyt36

  1. Erm . . . great 2-way conversation! You remind me of a couple of others on here. I've been called arrogant many times before, and for good reason, but, hey . . . "I don't use luggage carts, so who cares about people who do?" "There may be some 'significant walking' and what I deem to be 'occasional minor inconveniences'" Spoken like a true engineer or planner . . . transfer your own preferences and perspectives on to others! In fact, the current inconvenience will become a new inconvenience, but que será, será. (Or, better said, may become a new inconvenience because I still don't understand the passenger flows or have answers to the questions I posed above. You, too, either do--or you don't--understand the flows. If you do because you're somehow involved with the project, well I'm not sure why answers to the above would necessarily be confidential, but OK. If you don't, well, I don't think you can represent anything as "fact" any more than I can. In any case, we'll see soon enough . . . )
  2. My apologies, I missed that as it was the last reply on the prior page. That said, I'm not sure that's the right metric compared to where it was before, but I don't know. That was never in dispute, of course there will be an arrivals curbside. But people getting picked up at the curb aren't the ones using the Subway now. Those are not "construction plans." Those are layout plans, and they are not detailed at all when it comes to passenger flows. Consider the following questions: -Will any parking be placed on top of the new "Central Processor"? I presume not, but am not sure. -Will the international arrivals lobby be bumped out to be part of the new Central Processor? If it stays where it is, it sure won't be a 10th of a mile to the C-East garage, or whatever it will be called then. Perhaps there will be an entirely new lobby if the bag claim area is expanded, which I know was part of the plan at one point. But I think it's inaccurate to claim the additional walking distance will be a 10th of a mile from what it was when the E garage was in place and passengers didn't have to leave the building to catch an elevator to the garage. -I don't believe (but don't know for sure . . . I never parked in the C garage because it was a fight even before the E garage was torn down) that the C-East garage has a separate entrance. Will it have a separate entrance with its own helix as part of this project? If not, and E passengers still enter through the C-West helixes, how will the average passenger know how to park in the garage closest to the terminal? If not, there will still be plenty of traffic between D/E and C. But maybe they'll just walk since they'll be farther west. -Will there be an underground pedestrian tunnel to the new Central Processor (maybe a modification of the existing Subway tunnel), or will the only two options be (1) to not change levels and cross 2 islands and 10 lanes of traffic (which I presume is what you mean by the 1/10 of a mile) then change levels in the garage; or (2) to change levels from the arrivals lobby and cross on the outdoor pedestrian bridge, which I think is a cute feature, but not exactly passenger friendly to older passengers with their Smart Cartes in August? -By how much will total average arrival passenger walking distances change once the D-West pier opens? Maybe I'm just dense but that PDF really doesn't speak to the above. I can't think of any major U.S. international gateways that are convenient for interline connections if you miss the bag recheck.
  3. I'd be happy to familiarize myself with the construction plans (and I'm sure others would, too) if you want to share them (or at the very least could describe them in a meaningful way with passenger flows and walking distances) . . . surely you can understand that'd be more helpful to the discussion than making a blanket statement that carts don't matter because "it's 2021" and "all suitcases have wheels now." And I guess in the meantime we can just hang a sign that says "SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE, PLEASE DON'T COMPLAIN." Based on what (admittedly little) I know, I'm afraid this will only be an increasing headache as traffic returns. I certainly have changed my travel routine as a result of this.
  4. We're kind of all over the place here. (1) Wilcal said that the luggage carts were clogging the Subway/ITT because people having to take it from E to C because of the D/E garage closures. (2) You said that that is not accurate because the Subway/ITT is still open from E to C, entirely missing the point. (3) Then you said, "Short-term pain/long-term gain" and implying that there is no need for luggage carts anymore because, I guess, you have never used one. (4) I pointed out that there are plenty of people who still need them, and this situation will be with us in the long term because (as far as I can tell) there will be no replacement E garage. (5) Someone else said he actually uses them. (6) You implied (5) was lazy (or maybe not strong enough, or something, I dunno). Then you stated that luggage cart usage is down because most suitcases have wheels now. I do not see how this is germane at all to the discussion. If there were 5 passengers per hour before the garage closed trying to put a cart on the train and there are now 30, it is immaterial if SmartCarte rented 100,000 carts in 1990 and only 5,000 in 2021 . . . the cause of the bottleneck is the 5 becoming 30 overnight. So entirely missing the point, again. Or, stated differently, "talking past each other." I imagine many of the people trying to cram into the ITT are elderly and can't walk with carts to Terminal C. There are admittedly ways for passengers "in the know" to handle this, but that's not solution for people who often can't seem to follow signs to their gates. (7) I mentioned the elevators only as an example of how crowded they were at peak times. In fact, if you haven't noticed, they were so crowded that an additional bank of elevators were added to the E garage after it opened. They are now gone. My point remains: I don't see how this will necessarily get any better in the future--even after the terminal expansion is complete--as you are confident it will. It seems the only real improvement will be the fact that most international passengers do not park in garages during the duration of their trip, so when ecopark shuttles return to the international arrivals, that should help. Won't help meeters/greeters, though, but maybe the decreased roadway congestion will encourage people to wait and use the cell phone lot as the arrivals curbside traffic at the peak is atrocious. Unfortunately there's no elegant way to solve this, as the critical planning fault of IAH (dating to the 1960s and not addressed when Terminal C opened in 1980) was to sandwich the terminals between two relatively small roadways and then build concourses and apron immediately adjacent to it, preventing any opportunity for economical expansion. UA's support facilities to the east of Terminal D further limit what you can do. The roadways are the critical landside chokepoints of the airport, same as the two crossfield taxiways SF and NR are the airside chokepoints. To address the persistent roadway problem, the most recent master plan considered the development of a terminal for all airlines but UA on the south side of Will Clayton Parkway to remove ~50% of O&D traffic off of Terminal Road. I'm sure ITRP includes some elements to address the problem, but there's no way to fix the fundamental issue that IAH will be up against until it develops terminal facilities outside of the Central Terminal Area.
  5. Houston19514, suggest you go to Terminal E international arrivals between 1pm and 5pm . . . I think you'll see that the vast majority of passengers using them are VFR passengers arriving from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. And with way more than 2 bags (and usually multiple boxes!). Only one can fit in each car of the "Subway," and they clog the elevators as well. Pre-COVID that arrivals lobby could be jam-packed.
  6. If Allegiant's rationale for starting this route was BYU and UH joining the Big 12 Conference, well, then, they need new route planners.
  7. 🤔 hmmmm, not sure I follow, can people tweet their luggage to their cars now or something? Is it, though (at least from the perspective of passengers being affected as wilcal cites)? I admittedly have already failed at understanding the basics of the concept, but the D/E garages are gone forever, no? There may be better connections from the C-East garage to the new Terminal E, but still a lot of walking.
  8. The newsletter starts tomorrow with podcast "shortly thereafter." You can sign up with your e-mail at City Cast Houston — Daily podcast and newsletter. I'm Lisa Gray, your fellow Houstonian. I'm so excited to bring you City Cast Houston. Here's a bit about what it is, in listicle form, because why not? It's a newsletter to start. It’ll be a podcast too, as soon as my crew and I figure out how to make one. The main thing -- the core of the enterprise -- is this: We’re having a conversation about Houston. “We” means you. And me. And the smartest, funniest people we can get to talk about this fabulous mess of a city. Because Houston needs talking about. It’s the United States’ least understood place -- not just by outsiders (who have no idea), but even by people who live here. It’s hard to get your head around. First there’s our ginormity. Ever see those maps of Beltway 8 superimposed over London or San Francisco? Harris County alone has more people than all of Louisiana. If the Houston metro area seceded from Texas, we’d be the 15th most populous state. Layer on top of that our dizzying diversity -- the boba shops that sell mangonadas, the sausage kolaches spiked with jalapeños, the barbecue joints’ banh mi. Plus there’s the whiplash speed at which the place changes -- the way that we all drive around, lost on streets we know, asking, “What used to be there?” It’s a thrill ride, living here. Sometimes you’re not sure whether to be terrified or exhilarated. Let’s be exhilarated. Email me: lisa.gray@citycast.fm. Let me know what we should talk about, who you want to hear from, or the best thing you’ve eaten lately. Invite your friends. Get them to sign up for the newsletter here. Let’s figure out this place together. Let’s make it better. And let’s have a good time.
  9. Please forward idea! I am one of those without Facebook.
  10. This sounds like an excellent topic for an initial City Cast episode. Who knows Lisa Gray?!
  11. It's a stock photo, with the city not identified Here are some different angles if helpful City park with modern building background. (canstockphoto.com) City park with modern building background. | CanStock (canstockphoto.com) (thanks Google Images)
  12. Houston will be the third city in the City Cast series (after Chicago and Denver), with a daily podcast hosted by Lisa Gray of the Chronicle. City Cast Houston — Daily podcast and newsletter From that link: Why launch City Cast in Houston? Houston is the United States’ least-understood big city, with an economy and a climate both prone to catastrophe. We’re a port city 50 miles inland. Most of us weren’t born here. We plant tomatoes in February. We drive northeast on the Southwest Freeway. There is literally no bedrock: Our skyscrapers somehow float on top of the clay. This crazy place sneaks up on you. You begin to understand it, and you start to care. Other places seem boring — homogenous, clichéd, set in their smug ways. “Houston gets in your blood,” the old joke goes. “Like malaria.” City Cast Houston’s goal is to speed up those infections, and to amuse and inform everyone who already shares our affliction. This city needs people to love it, and to laugh at it, and to make it better. From City Cast's "About Us" page: Like you, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to podcasts that help us make sense of the bigger world— podcasts about politics, sports, fiction, fantasy, technology, and national news. But we’ve longed for a daily podcast that helps us connect with our own communities— the beautiful, complicated cities where we spend our dollars and days. So we decided to make one (or, technically, several!). The new company's CEO is David Plotz, who you may know from the Slate Political Gabfest podcast.
  13. Someone must have told the architect to make new building in The Woodlands look like its predecessor for continuity, but the original is much better, I guess because it doesn't look like it tried so hard. I grew up in The Woodlands in the 1980s, Greenspoint was the location of the nearest Target, Foley's, JCPenney, etc. and was where we went to shop. It seemed to have been "revitalized" with that Ed Wulfe Commons development in the early 1990s that has been some sort of a tech/warehouse hub for a long time now. (In retrospect that must be an interesting story!) (BTW, Greenspoint is 100% planned by urban planners. I know the default response of urban planners is "but they didn't do it right," which is the definition of a self-own.)
  14. Lobo and Crossroads served such a purpose back in the day!
  15. Well thanks again to @Justin Welling and @Houston19514 for proving me wrong. I've been trying to find a good photo of the LHR T2 walkway (also from the garage to the terminal over the curbside roadway) but have come up empty. Below are the best I can find. I have completely changed my opinion ("eaten crow" as is said) and now think that this will be a great architectural feature. I thought they had "value engineered" the connector over Terminal Road and anyone walking from the terminal to the gates would have to walk outside in the heat with rain blowing sideways. With this walkway situated in between buildings, I don't think rain will be an issue. Star Alliance improves transfer experience at Heathrow T2 – Business Traveller The entrance to the departure terminal at Terminal 2, the Queens Terminal, at Heathrow Airport, London, England, UK Stock Photo - Alamy
  16. The answer to that question is almost always a resounding no, but especially in this case. SLC was an extraordinarily low cost airport and was debt free when Allegiant started PVU. It's changed now with the new terminal but still very low cost for a new facility. (MSY also in this bucket. The new terminal was built when all the outstanding debt for the old terminal was paid off.) Allegiant serves plenty of decent-sized markets (100K+ population, relatively affluent) like PVU and these decisions have very little to do with airport costs. They do love having a facility to themselves, though. BKG is a different airport altogether and a very special case as it was a fully privatized development and not subject to FAA grant assurances with subsidizing airlines. Not sure if it has "opted in" yet considering it has not been successful. FAA regulations allow airport operators only to waive fees for 2 years--any additional subsidy (either longer than 2 years, revenue guarantees, or direct operating subsidies) by the government entity that operates the airport (in Houston's case, the City of Houston) is not allowed. Some cities have created "travel banks" through their chambers of commerce to provide revenue guarantees, but it doesn't come from the airport. The other common subsidies are grants from the federal government, either through the EAS or SCASD program. The above said . . . (1) I never thought Houston would have nonstop service to Provo, Utah; and (2) I find Allegiant's service from Houston to be pretty fascinating. There's service for outbound vacation destinations but they also seem to be serving Houston as an inbound leisure destination, which is novel.
  17. From the "It Could Be Worse" department . . . Twitter series on "Pictures of Highways in China." I guess the only good thing you can say is at least most don't have feeders? Noah Smith 🐇 on Twitter: "Pictures of highways in China https://t.co/d8yMYCUlRu" / Twitter
  18. It's been awhile since I paid any attention to this series, but this seems a long time coming. 'Top Chef' Season 19 to Film in Houston, Bravo Says - Variety
  19. On this, only thing I can confirm is that UA has requested (at least pre-COVID) more gates on A, for obvious reasons that don't have much to do with utilization. They'd be stupid not to. I thought there was some agreement/right of first refusal, subject to minimum utilization requirements, but appears I was mistaken. The A gates do have minimum utilization provisions, the problem being they're not tied to minimum utilization of gates at other terminals. So UA can schedule the minimum turns per gate on A while not utilizing some gates on B, C, or E to that level (if at all), without losing the A gates. The former A icehouse gates that became the Southwest gates were under yet another separate lease with a 30-day termination at either the City's or United's option. It may even be the case that the City terminated the lease before COVID and Southwest because at one time the first AA flight of the day to LAX used those gates (as well as the EAS airlines). It's strange to me that the City and Southwest are not talking more gates at HOU. Seems like now would be the time. And it'd probably be the 5-gate international concourse expansion versus a new east concourse for non-Southwest airlines.
  20. That's correct, the various lease terms are tied to the investments, with B-South being the first required investment that IIRC squeaked through the first deadline since it was negotiated right before the financial crisis and then there was the controversy post-UA merger with the HOU international project. The new C-North was the second phase of that lease, but the largest phase was the redo of the terminal, the new FIS, which I believe was to go where the Skytrain APM maintenance facility currently is, and the two piers to replace the banjos. Of course there's nothing preventing the City from extending the development period, especially with COVID. But I hope they don't. One of the reasons IAH has suffered because of the mad rush for gates at DEN and ORD and associated minimum utilization requirements, so it'd be dumb for the City to lose leverage in this situation. Oh, I get it now, it's a walkway running east-west over the ticketing curbside from the C garage, not north-south across Terminal Road from the terminal to the concourse. Thanks for that. It might be a popular feature . . . at least there will be an underground option. Looks like you were right!
  21. It appears to be in the place where the existing sterile walkway from D to the FIS goes. I doubt a walkway from the garage would make much sense, considering D will no longer have ticketing, and considering the new ticketing building is farther to the west toward Terminal C, I doubt it's from the Ticketing to the concourse. The above said, I can't imagine CBP approving an uncovered sterile walkway, so who knows? Maybe it carries utilities. There's a similar structure at Terminal A parallel to the walkway.
  22. Just looking at it at greater detail and boy does that drawing on the cover look like an exterior walkway from the terminal to the D concourse. Yikes. I knew the guys they hired for program management did LHR T2 with similar exterior walkways, but Houston is not the place. Hope I'm wrong.
  23. And here's a link to the video presentation https://houstontx.swagit.com/play/09162021-772
  24. Here's a link to the 9/15 presentation to the Economic Development Committee of Council: https://www.houstontx.gov/council/committees/econdev/20210915/iah-itrp.pdf
  25. Will have to see what I can find. I was able to find this . . . the lease expires 12/31/24 if UA does not proceed with further Terminal B redevelopment. If they do, the lease extends for 25 years. It's difficult for me to post a link but here goes: Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board::Emma (msrb.org) You should be able to click on the "Official Statement" and download the official statement. See lease summary page 7 of the document. IIRC "Deferred Phase" refers to the replacement of the banjos with two piers on B-North. The Terminal B FIS was shelved with the Terminal D project, which includes an FIS expansion. Or at least that was the last I heard. Although I guess they still have the right on paper, they'd have to fight for CBP staffing. Kind of a throwaway, gladhandy phrase in my experience in the industry when it comes to these things. (No one ever tells City Council that they don't have interest from multiple companies because the obvious response would be, "What are you doing wrong?" or "You should talk to my buddy!") Not as prevalent as industry favorites like airlines saying "the new route is exceeding our expectations," but certainly on the list.
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