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Everything posted by cspwal

  1. I biked there a few weeks ago from downtown (by the time I got down there I couldn't even think of photography, so sadly no photos) but there's so much interesting industrial equipment and structures visible from the streets. I understand the current places just being stock pad restaurants, but I hope the next phase can incorporate all the gantry, arches, etc that litter the whole area. On a plus side, the streets are wide and low traffic, so I was comfortably able to bike in them.
  2. So I drew up the new routes as I think they could run them and color-coded them Downtown detail: It's kind of hard to tell, but I had the uptown line go all the way to the HSR terminal. The IAH BRT line is on larger scale than any of the others, but it also has the fewest stations. I know that the main stretch down 45 is dependent on the NHHIP design choices, but they could have at least a stop at the rental center (like the light rail will) or something else between Greenspoint and the airport. If there's good connections at Greenspoint TC and there's some added stops along 45, I think it will be fine, but otherwise it might as well just be an express bus. It also is shown as terminating at the Theater district - I would prefer if it terminated at Central station main, so that you could more easily transfer from the Red line. The red line extensions don't appear to be on the phase 1 plans. I wonder what the timeline for phase 1, phase 2, etc are. The University Line (blue) is unclear how it gets from Wheeler to UH - the map implies it goes straight through TSU, but I drew it as going around the campus. There's a lot of connections to park and rides, and it hits almost every other transit line. This is going to be a key line, and I could see the stretch from West Chase to Wheeler getting packed at rush hour every day. The eastern section of it goes over multiple rail yards. Possibly elevated? The purple line only has one extra station before it gets to HOU; maybe they want this to be the express way to HOU from downtown? If so, I wonder if they will have bypass rails at some of the stations on Telephone RD so that the purple line can go to HOU faster, while the green line is a local train. I also wonder how they are going to handle the mess of rails at Griggs/Long/Mykawa. The Inner Katy BRT (pink) looks like it's going to share lanes and platforms with the street going purple/green trains. It will really increase the frequency going across downtown east/west I'm amused by the name "Lower Uptown" for the new transit center. I didn't draw out the express bus network, but I wonder how Metro will advertise it - with the MetroRail/Rapid system, or with seperate maps? Edit: Here's a link to an interactive map, where you can zoom in on the lines and stops https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/MetroNext_Phase_1/MgAYuARyHE
  3. To be fair, if you live midway between to stations, you'd never use it. But same thing for living under the flight path between two airports, or near a highway that doesn't have exits close by. At least the train will be narrower & quieter than a new highway
  4. "Affordable housing" is usually tied to your household income versus the median income. The Chronicle's Looped in podcast just had a pretty good episode explaining a few of the different projects. One project had tiers of housing - a certain amount limited to people making a low income, a certain amount limited to people making a little more, and then "market rate" housing. The ones that were limited to lower incomes tied the rent to your income, for example if you made $10,000 a year, your rent would be $250/mo, while if you made $20,000 a year, your rent would be $500/mo. The market rate units would be rented out for whatever the building managers wanted to charge - it might be similar to other apartments in the area, it might be more to try to offset the affordable housing, or it might be less because they have trouble getting people to pay the full rent they want to charge. It would depend on how the apartments fared on the market.
  5. Another thing is there's a couple of spots the local bus network narrowly misses the existing park & rides - mainly at Fuqua and Kuykendahl. This image of the inner Katy BRT makes me a little sad that it won't be light rail (it could be an extension of the green or purple) but it will really increase frequency east-west downtown. Even if each line is every 12 minutes, that's 4 minute frequency between the theater district and the convention district
  6. So I have a couple questions: - the $15 billion will come from rich investors from outside the state, spending in the state. Theoretically that's a net win for the Texas economy even if not a single train ever runs, right? - TCR isn't going to buy land, it's going to buy railroad easements, right? So if they don't build a railroad, then the properties not affected? - If it will require a taxpayer bailout, that would because it was useful for enough people to get the government to step in (though not profitable for the company that built it). If the state takes it over without paying the high cost of building it, wouldn't that be a public good? To have a useful train that they only have to pay maintenance on?
  7. Wow those 82 drivers sound like speed demons. I was on the 73 and we peaked at 20 on Bellfort - with no traffic, 35 mph speed limit
  8. Maybe they should have kept the old store open, or at least renovated it instead of just closing and selling
  9. We need a 5th downtown. It could be HEB's flagship for Houston
  10. We should dig more tunnels in general. Highway tunnels, subway tunnels, mysterious secret tunnels, underwater drainage tunnels
  11. They put that up fast. Was at brothers tacos Thursday and nothing was there
  12. They put up signs with Toll information. I’ll try to get photos next time I’m not driving
  13. that’s what I was thinking - similar to the northeast corridor, you could have fast trains every 30 and a local every hour or something like that. I’m sure there’s a plan similar in mind for the one mid Station
  14. I mean aren't houses just artificial caves? If this project was proposing building a single track railway and running regular locomotives at 35 mph, I could see calling it backwards thinking. The project is to build a highspeed rail, with as few turns or dips as possible, double tracked, using highly advanced trainsets that can go over 180 mph (twice as fast as the guy in the left lane passing you in the raised F-150) It's using modern communication technologies (for signaling) and modern motors and fabrication technqiues (to get the speeds) that makes the project different. And I highly doubt that this will fail once they've laid track. Right now, Southwest is flying planes (which cost more for each flight to fly than how much it will take to run the train each trip) 20 times a day between Houston and Dallas, at some points every 30 minutes. With a 90 minute one way trip, it would only take 6 trainsets to have trains every 30 minutes all day. After the system is up and runing, those trains will start filling up and make the investors back a lot of money I wonder if there would be more buy in if there were more "local" stops along the route.
  15. Nothing can replicate the unique joy of Houston House - of 500 people sharing one elevator, of the guy at the front desk (who you know who it is if you have lived there) to the constant "renovations" that get neglected after a few months. No modern complex can completely capture the glory of Houston's first high rise apartment building in downtown
  16. The giant hole appears in 2018 in historical street google earth photos. Before then, it was a few buildings around a concrete pad, with a culvert heading into the concrete pad. Looking further back on Google Earth, it looks like they may have dug something there in 2002; if I had to guess, it's a preexisting detention tank built in 2002 that they uncovered for this current project for some reason.
  17. Cross streets that don't have through traffic can create a feeling of a more urban environment, and can also provide places for parking, uber drop off/pickup, and loading zones in a way that flows better than dedicated driveways. If I had to guess, I bet there will be wide crosswalks at all those cross streets, with stop signs and speed tables to keep cars from going to fast through them
  18. They put riders in the budget saying that no federal money could go to Metro if they built a rail line along that route. Metro still could have built it, but it would have to used 100% local funds as opposed to using matching grants from the federal government. Now that they are out of office, the line has been revived as bus rapid transit, which is very similar to light rail - dedicated lanes, stations instead of bus stops, and signal priority. The new line that is replacing the original proposed university line goes a lot further than the university line was going to.
  19. The environmental studies that Texas Central did came to the conclusion it would be some large portion of the over all project to get it downtown from the NW mall site
  20. The new Conroe P&R gives me some hope on the future direction of peak only buses - have them go way far out for super commuters, and have the established routes go all day/week
  21. Two points: 1. The current park & ride buses are very popular with the people who you'd like to target with commuter rail. The 5 pm buses from downtown to all points are usually packed, all with people that I'm sure you'd be fine sitting next to. Same with the light rail - during commute times the red line is also packed with packed with people going to/from downtown and the Med Center; even the purple line seems to have decent passenger counts in the afternoon. 2. METRO only serves the jurisdictions that pay into the service. Any service outside of the "METRO service area" has to be explicitly paid for by someone. If you want Metro to expand to more of Harris county and surrounding counties, you have to talk to the incorporated cities that don't pay in right now, and the counties at large that also don't. I agree that a lot of the congestion is from outlying suburbs that don't have any sort of transit into town; the solution is to get those places to join up with a regional transit authority (Metro) to pay into it so that they can get service. I've been using the buses and trains to get around for both work and daily errands for a year now. I live and work inside 610, which helps, but I've found that you CAN do most errands, but only the trains and express buses (which have their own lanes) will get you there faster than a bike.
  22. Maybe they could reroute the MAX lanes to the west a little and join in with the Katy's MAX lanes; that would bring the lane count down by 4 at White Oak. Beyond that, I'm not sure what they can do besides rerouting the whole thing away from there. The whole design is basically a double wide freeway around all of downtown, including at White Oak
  23. Looks like they posted the meeting materials on the city website http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/
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