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Everything posted by mattyt36

  1. I hate to ask, but can anyone enlighten as to the current status of the HTR extension?
  2. Well at least we pulled this one off, a bright spot on an otherwise awful day. GO ASTROS!!!!
  3. 849 people in a city of more than 1 million people in a metro area of more than 8 million. It's never good when public policy outcomes are determined by the loudest voices. I do not get that conclusion from this statistic: 31% + 27% = 58% of 849 people in favor of keeping the highway is in line with 66% of a different 1,000 people 2 years later. I don't think one can label the current state of affairs is exactly "politically popular." The truth of the matter is the vast majority of the community just isn't engaged. It's a matter of making the simple case between the status quo and "doing something," just as it always has been. Avoiding "doing something" that affects hundreds of thousands of people a day because, for example, some group thinks private housing that was bought with gas tax monies for the express purpose of building a freeway should be converted to a measly 400 units of public housing--I can assure you--that will definitely not be politically popular, not to mention illegal.
  4. Inanity. “This expansion has really affected people in the city the last couple of years, and it’s going to be important for (TxDOT) to work with us and be honest and transparent. Things move so quickly, and we already have a housing shortage...and we can’t displace any more people in the city,” Plummer said. She seems to be oblivious to the fact that all the residents have already moved out. “It would be a shame if the building comes down in the future, and especially if all three do. Our message to the city is to hold off until you find a solution that allows them to stay up,” Moritz said. That's quite the statement.
  5. Not a bad thing, but it sure as heck won't solve much. (Granted, it seems for whatever reason that is immaterial from your perspective.)
  6. I'm sure their argument is "now that it's owned by the government, the housing should be public," i.e., free. Rent doesn't even enter the equation. I know I won't have any luck, but maybe someone else can get him to expand on this--unqualified statements like this really beg explanation.
  7. The absurdity of this idea has already been discussed in detail months before. 1) Through traffic can use 610 now if they want to--sure you can hang a sign for the interchange saying 610 East to Galveston, but what he's proposing already exists. You can add two lanes each way in capacity, but . . . most importantly . . . 2) What percentage of traffic during rush hour is actually through traffic? Enough with this Conroe-Galveston nonsense. Rush hour I-45 traffic is north and south suburbs to downtown, the Medical Center, and Greenway Plaza, end of story. Tilting at windmills. But more proof, per se, that a certain individual is not ideologically anti-freeway or even this project were it being constructed somewhere else (even though it is often presented otherwise), just pro his (or her) own convenience, i.e., a classic NIMBY, and certainly not concerned with anyone else's convenience, at least those who disagree with him (or her). Nothing wrong with that--it makes total sense--but boy wouldn't it have been more efficient if we started with simply acknowledging that. As stated above in re the Stop IH-45 group, don't be surprised that the list of people in support of (or indifferent to) this project is much longer than those against. Have your voice, of course, but don't expect your opinion to get to override the input of others who disagree. It sure would be helpful if people made their points in good faith instead of obfuscating the real root of one's opposition and relying on tropes and (not even) half-truths.
  8. Asking for a friend who is in the market . . . Does anyone have any insight on the City Gate DR Horton development around 288 and Beltway 8? It seems relatively new--are there any other similar communities in the metro area developed by DR Horton that are more mature for comparison?
  9. Well aware Also a conservative talk radio host I know my Republican friends don’t like media bias
  10. Why do you think the County paused the lawsuit? "Two things": (1) Are you sure about that? I mean, really sure? Or are you just speculating/shooting from the hip/going with your "gut feel"? (2) Does the DoT Office of Civil Rights not have a legal obligation to investigate when a local government entity expressly alleges violation of the Civil Rights Act grant assurances? Actually, no "four things": (3) Has the DoT ended the stoppage vis-a-vis some work being allowed to proceed with the downtown segments? (4) Why do you think that is? Connect the dots.
  11. Seems to me a temporary injunction on proceeding would've been pretty damned likely to give the County time to at least demonstrate its case and the potential for damages if it did proceed. The DoT's involvement simply "greased the wheels" and was at the behest of the County, as you stated. I'm honestly not sure what the City could've done differently, but am all ears.
  12. Seriously, who is funding this? Is anyone on this site one of those whizzes at how to find this stuff through whatever federally mandated disclosures apply? I see from going through their website (Stop TxDOT I-45 (stoptxdoti45.com)) they have updated the ridiculous mission that was there before (something about "building political capital to stop I-45") From: "To elevate walkability, challenge the status quo of transportation policy, build capacity within Houston neighborhoods to stop the I-45 expansion, and advocate for strategic, inclusive, and equitable transportation in Texas." To: "To challenge the status quo of transportation policy and to fight for all people in Houston to be able to participate in the decisions that affect health, safety, and mobility in their communities." Spoiler alert: They already can. Real world alert: Just by expressing your opposition doesn't mean things will change. There are many other interests involved, and, guess what, they get to participate too. Misguided at best. At worst, well, there's a long list of possibilities, as is the case with anything political . . . everything from it being bankrolled by some NIMBY like Mattress Man or an East End real estate developer to even indirectly by the State GOP, which hopes the protests like the ones for the Lofts at the Ballpark will transmit the message that the County is becoming "too socialist." These political interest groups are rarely what they advertise to be.
  13. Seems to me that Stop IH-45 group would've found someone. And, if DoT didn't mandate a "pause" for review, they would've inevitably been sued as well. Mattress Jesus could've funded with one of his frequent gambling wagers/promotions. 🤣 Absolutely it is, and much more effective than an individual. I'm sure the Stop IH-45 group and other interested parties were already lobbying the County to sue. The County Commissioners voted to 3-2, ergo these groups could stand down and worry only about filing supporting briefs. My understanding (but this is from memory) is that Turner tried to intervene and mediate ahead of the lawsuit by getting the DoT to accept some concessions, which I don't believe were all that specific--they were presented more as re-design "guidelines," e.g., minimize the right of way, etc. It was sort of a "mealy-mouthed" way to demonstrate that changes were made to appease to some opposing political interests (perhaps, as you suggest, mainly related to the post-summer 2020 backlash). The City has supported--and has been planning for this project--for years. 💯. This is how politics works--it's not that complicated to understand. The County was in the driver's seat for this. Ergo the blame--to the extent anyone wishes to blame anyone--lies with the County. Hopefully your saying so will resonate with others.
  14. Well, I mean, the lawsuit had to be framed that way as that was the legal basis for the lawsuit, i.e., the lawsuit was against the State of Texas for violating terms of the Civil Rights Act that it is obligated to follow to receive any federal monies. But, from a political perspective, I can appreciate how the George Floyd murder and attendant racial awareness protests were a likely major influence on the political approach. My conclusion remains the same--the approach was misguided and not very politically astute. The above said, once the County sued the State and asked the DoT to intervene on the basis of noncompliance with the Civil Rights Act, I'm not sure what the DoT could've done--they have an obligation to at least investigate and respond. And, even if they didn't, the project would've likely been put on hold as the legal process played out, no matter what Joe Biden directed the DoT to do. Not to mention, if the administration declared "full steam ahead," I think that would've left the project vulnerable to further lawsuits, which would have led to even further delays with the parties potentially way further apart. As it stands now (again, as far as I can tell), they're at the table and negotiating a settlement. That is not to say that the project would be underway now had the County not sued, as multiple other organizations and individuals had standing to file a lawsuit on the same grounds, and I'd say that would've been pretty likely given how the project became a political "hot potato" overnight. This is pretty simple stuff (albeit admittedly frustrating for many to comprehend as it is pure politics). Anyone have any idea what the Mattress Guy is saying these days? He was against the project the last time I heard, and he has hand-picked the Republican Party's challenger to Lina.
  15. If it wasn't abundantly clear from my original post, I'm not proposing to blame George W Bush for anything (at least, not related to Houston transportation infrastructure). Happy to learn. Please expand.
  16. Doubt it, especially given all the land acquisitions, I agree with @Houston19514 on this.
  17. OK, then George W Bush was responsible for killing the University Line, I guess, not John Culberson. C'mon, give me a break. Tell me where I'm wrong on any of this: -Someone, somewhere, my theory is some Democratic political operative thought that this was some "winning issue" and created this Stop NHHIP group as some sort of political grassroots organization--my best guess is it was thought this could be spun off into other political grassroots organizations and events to ensure Harris County continued to get "bluer." It was totally misguided and stupid politics. They had no plan, at least that I can see. God knows what they told people when they knocked on doors. And God knows who funded it all. This project had been in review for more than a decade and there had been very, very little vocalized opposition, why, because except for a few, everyone could see quite clearly that there was no comparison between this project and the early freeway projects. In fact, stating that is quite the insult to the ones who had to live through it before. -Lina misplayed her hand and sued the State, thinking it was somehow a political winner, or she could somehow reprogram the funds, despite the City trying to intervene. -The County asked the DoT to intervene, should be no surprise that a new administration, I don't believe even more than a week old, sided with the local government in this case, which was led by an "up-and-comer" in the Democratic Party where "up-and-comers" are few and far between. Should they have done a little more research? Absolutely. Boneheaded political move? It will probably work out that way, at least for Lina and certainly won't win any points for the Democrats in Houston, but when all is said and done, the DoT deciding to intervene pending further review versus choosing not to and leaving itself open to future Civil Rights lawsuits after being requested to do so by the County may end up saving time (and the project) in the long run--seriously, you must realize this. Was Biden even consulted on it? C'mon. Should he have been? Um, I think we should all hope the President focuses on the much bigger fish to fry, and delegating these things to a cabinet member is entirely understandable, and we shouldn't be surprised by his decision (at least I'm not). Ill-informed, sure. But what's done is done and it's all about saving face now. -The lawsuit has not been dismissed or settled, no? The parties appear to be negotiating a settlement. Maybe I’m wrong. I haven’t read about here or in the Houston Chronicle, although as far as the latter goes it doesn’t surprise me as I don’t think even Dug Begley has a full appreciation of what’s going on. So, I ask you again, where did this all start?
  18. I'm sure there will be modifications--I believe that's what's being negotiated right now in connection with the original lawsuit, which I don't believe has been dismissed or fully settled (correct me if I'm wrong). The first agreement was on proceeding with more preliminary work for the downtown segments. Seems like of the 4 involved entities--the City, the County, the State, and the federal government--the City presented a compromise plan before the DoT halted spending with slight modifications that is probably the path forward.
  19. As far as I can tell, this all originated with the Harris County lawsuit against the State after Mayor Turner tried very much to intervene between the two. The DoT may have taken the wrong side, and that’s certainly their fault, but it does seem to have been the product of the hyperbolic rhetoric about the community opposition and romantic ideas about Jane Jacobs and Babs Mikulski and stopping 1960s highway projects as some sort of larger political movement. Lina overplayed her hand in a big, big way by not knowing the majority of her constituents and digging the hole so unnecessarily deep. I’ll still vote for her since she doesn’t give me the full-on Leni Reifenstahl vibes, but I hope she will treat this as a “learning experience.” Bringing Biden into this is more than a bit laughable, and I’ll keep that one in the memory bank when it comes to gauging credibility in the future.
  20. From the files of batflurf crazy . . . @august948 and I have talked back and forth on other threads about the risks involved to the economy if the state government continues to take such radical turns. (In short, he doesn't think it's a real problem.) I just don't see how something like this would be conducive to Texas continuing to be a place where businesses overwhelmingly choose to relocate. It should be no surprise who'd be running the state in the fever dream of these manchild AR15-toting revolutionaries (spoiler alert--it's themselves . . . shocker!), and I challenge anyone to describe the circumstances under which being under such leadership would result in anything positive for the vast majority of Texans. Seriously, what message does this send to the rest of the country or, better yet, the world? Sadly, I fear the GOP has fully opened Pandora's Box by giving the time of day to these nutcases. Texas secession from the U.S. — GOP wants Texans to vote on it (houstonchronicle.com)
  21. Some more on how MPOs work . . . Metropolitan planning organization - Wikipedia See also page 4 of their financial statements for an explanation as to how it works . . . MPO approval is needed to allocate certain federal funds. https://www.h-gac.com/h-gac-resources/2019-comprehensive-annual-financial-report
  22. I'm no architect, but it seems like at the end of the day they made a reasonable decision considering they didn't own the entire block. I believe those windows are at the end of the hallway/corridor between the rooms. Sure you could've wrapped windows around the entire building to create "corner rooms," but those windows are now not going to have much of a view anyway now. At least on the southeast face of the building, you do have the pool deck creating space between the hotel and the new building. But I'm probably giving them too much credit that they even thought about it. It somewhat makes sense that when they may have been (oh who are we kidding? I'm sure it's "certainly did" versus "may have been") value engineering that was the logical side to do it on. Regardless, my point is not to defend the architecture--it's agreeably awful--just saying what's on the inside isn't bad, which should count for something. I guess the Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites is a bit less awful, but similarly not very inspiring.
  23. The reverse of the Dallas Mavericks, which were named after (after meaning sequentially) the original Houston Mavericks ABA team, which played 1967-69. Houston Mavericks - Wikipedia
  24. I came across this gem of an article from Texas Monthly from 1978. It's actually a great piece of writing, I think much of it tongue-in-cheek. Dallas Is Better Than Houston – Texas Monthly Some of the best parts: "In Dallas you can live an abundant life and not drive the freeways at all." (This is just laughable, and it surely must have been laughable in 1978.) "Houston destroys individuality . . . Houston is now national and international corporations with the caution yet ruthlessness inherent in such machines. No soul, no heart, no mind. All hands, mouths, and computer brains. Faceless people sit in interchangeable tall buildings above Houston doing the same things people in the same kind of buildings do anywhere in the world. Today no Houston individual can match personal economics or powers with the people in the towers. Howard Hughes is dead on arrival in Houston; Glenn McCarthy lives in a house by a mosquito bay." "Native sons and daughters are harder and harder to find. You talk to an ambitious young jogger on the Memorial Park path (he’s in banking) and you learn what a tremendous future Houston (not Texas) has." (I'd say this idea of "Houston First," ahead of Texas is still true.) "Houston has become un-Texan, no longer looking to its Texas roots—or caring. Maybe this sense of native soil is no longer very important to the residents of Houston-—it’s certainly not to the leaders—but to other Texans, it leaves a gaping hole in life when you must dwell in a Texas city that acts ashamed to admit it’s Texan." "And no little people are on the way up, that you can find. Not that Houston isn’t a blue-collar town, statistically speaking. But you don’t come in off the farm anymore from some little place like Sweeney or El Campo and zoom to takeoff in the new Houston. But even if you decide to gamble and take on the big town one-handed, you find it’s too flung out to make a dent. Even a secondhand car dealer, screaming like mad, can’t get on the tube and make a name for himself, or a fortune. Neatness counts. You don’t smell cow manure on the elevators of Shell Plaza or Pennzoil Place. Good ol’ boys still make it in Dallas; the good ol’ boys that come out of East Texas State and UT-Arlington to arm wrestle the establishment, who catch the bus in from Winnsboro and come looking for the foot of the ladder. That sort of thing is gone in Houston. The minimum price of admission to the shooting gallery is a UT law school sheepskin." "It’s impossible to be a Cowboy cult follower and remain a racial bigot." 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 "But I find more adventure to living in Dallas than Houston seems to offer—outside the thrilling prospect of getting murdered, a statistical nicety at which Houston annually surpasses Dallas. Dallas is still in the possession of its citizenry, run by people who consider themselves Dallasites. Houston belongs to someone else." "Six Flags Over Texas is still the classiest amusement park in America" AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE QUOTE Most Houstonians will spend eternity in hell. —Billy Graham Here is the rebuttal article Houston is Better Than Dallas – Texas Monthly There are a couple of zingers, but not as well written or enjoyable: "By the end of the century, the likes of Denton, Diboll, and Daingerfield will be vying for the title of Big D." "It is not surprising that Dallas has turned increasingly to Jesus. Headquarters of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for many years, Dallas is now the home city for hundreds of different Gospel Retreat Convention Temple Conference Revival Revelation Pentecostal Proof Redemption and Glorious Miracle Healing Centers. With no apparent reason for its origin and little excuse for its continued existence, Dallas has nowhere else to turn."
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