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About Trae

  • Birthday 03/23/1991

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  1. Nah Dallas' downtown is pretty much in the middle of the city geographically. Southern Dallas is larger in area than Northern Dallas. I don't think the Paris or London stations are good comparisons either considering those cities have faster and more efficient train services connecting passengers to the rest of the city network, not to mention connections inside/outside the country. The Houston bus or BRT system won't compare there. Also Garu Du Nord is 2 miles from central Paris and King's Cross is 2 miles from London's CBD. Meanwhile the NW Mall station is 8.5 miles from DT. Now La Defense is 7 miles from Garu Du Nord, but again much quicker connections than what we'll see in Houston with the buses. It's unfortunate seeing people just settle for this location. To me it's second rate to a Hardy Rail Yards/Downtown area station. And Dallas' station may not technically be within their downtown freeway loop but being in the Cedars neighborhood with direct connection to DART rail via a pedestrian walkway is as close as you can get. This would be like Houston's station being in east Washington Ave., Midtown, or East Downtown. In other words, much better location...
  2. I feel like you just enjoy debating. ROD clearly stepped up Houston's game in the luxury retail department. It doesn't take anything away from the Galleria. All you have to do is look at the list of luxury retailers within each. The ROD has ones commanding the most dollar.
  3. Lmao well obviously the Galleria has existed but walkable districts such as the River Oaks District was non-existent in Houston and this is what attracts the luxury clientele nowadays. It's not circling around a mall. The Galleria has luxury retail for sure but the real high-end stuff is locating in ROD. Why do you think it was so easy for ROD to pull so many luxury retailers? Look around the nation at where luxury retailers setup shop. You're more often than not in a walkable area like River Oaks District, Rodeo Drive, Michigan Ave, 5th Ave., Brickell, etc..
  4. Actually there is. Plano is now looking to redevelop older strip centers, dead malls, and some grassland/parking lots on these suburban office campuses into mixed-use developments. I do think smaller suburban cities will have a harder time, but major cities of Houston or Dallas' size should not have the same issues because there is more room.
  5. After River Oaks District and BLVD Place, Houston really exploded with luxury retail. Houston has increased it's profile as a luxury shopping destination fairly quickly and a lot of that was because it didn't have the setup that attracts the clientele until ROD.
  6. Houston has really become a top luxury market especially in the Central Time Zone. I know Dallas used to be thought of as a more luxury shopping destination for this part of the country but I don't think that's the case anymore. This is especially true when you consider Houston receives many leisure travelers from Latin America. This shows what a few mixed-use developments and marketing will do to a city. Many stores now opening their first Texas or US locations in Houston more often lately than ever before.
  7. Midtown, Downtown, and East DT definitely have the most though and that's where the rail is. It'll be interesting to see how it shapes out but I'll bet almost anything that the areas nearest rail corridors will be more desirable in the long run than bus corridors. It's the case in every major city so I don't see Houston bucking that trend (outside of Uptown/RO of course), but I could be wrong.
  8. Not just TODs though but new mixed-use development in general. Which projects are commanding the highest price per sq ft in Houston right now? The ones nearest the current rail lines, with Uptown/River Oaks being an obvious exception due to wealth. A lot has changed since 2013. There are definitely cities out there expanding TOD policies for highly used bus routes (Chicago doing it for two or three lines) but of course those are complement routes to the main rail lines. In order to make it work for a bus line you're going to need high frequency service. I hope Houston is successful going with all these buses versus higher quality rail, but I have my doubts based on perception of bus vs. rail by the general public, the lower capacity, and more variables.
  9. 1. Because TODs most often form around rail stations. I have not seen TODs development around bus stations but let me know if I'm missing something there. Not even LA's Silver Line has TODs. 2. Yes during rush hour. Have you seen some of these PnR lots during those times? I admit it's been years since I've seen one but the 99/I-10 lot was my home. You see lines of people waiting for their bus and if it fills up they have to wait for the next one. I have to say it's much easier to go online or pull up the train schedule app and coordinate around that. Then you just adjust the train length throughout the day based on rush hour, special events, etc. It's a set schedule everyday that is more reliable than buses. Take it from someone who has used both systems. 3. No Metro buses definitely sit in the same traffic. Countless times I've seen Metro buses fight across 4-5 lanes of traffic on the Katy to exit in order to get to the PnR. Other freeways have concrete barrier HOVs, but again this causes backups as the buses move slower than personal vehicles. Meanwhile, the commuter rail train I ride on in LA goes 70-80 MPH between stops. 4. I agree CA is slow but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Orange Line converted much earlier (by 2030) because LA has been awarded quite a bit in federal funding. The Orange Line conversion is one of the higher priority projects. Now about your rail numbers, you have to also consider that Metrolink (which is increasing in ridership) is not the only rail system out here. People also use the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, then there is the Red Line in North Hollywood that acts as a commuter station. You also have the Blue Line from Long Beach and the Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley that are built like commuter rail systems (especially the Gold Line in the SGV). The Houston PnR is just about the only way people are getting to the jobs within Houston's core via transit.. You also have to consider LA is more decentralized than Houston (like DFW). Houston is built more like Chicago which means building a hub-and-spoke rail system makes even more sense.
  10. Doubt it considering the population differences (much more going on along I-35 than I-10) and the fact they're based in Dallas and want it to be the high-speed rail hub.
  11. Not that they might at some point have interest (because they do off the record) but the first rail project has to be completed first. Then they'll move onto the I-35 Corridor and make sure not to make the same mistakes/have similar issues, etc., from their first line. They aren't just going to stop when the HTX-DTX line is finished.
  12. I was a little exaggerate with the "no one" but do you really think buses are viewed the same as rail? Some of these BRT lines will be replacing highly used bus corridors which is why out of the gate they will have high ridership. But there is a limit to bus capacity, just like there is a limit to light rail capacity, just like there is a limit to heavy rail capacity, etc. The flexibility option is not backwards and there are of course different ways each can be flexible. Sure, you might have to make a transfer (after walking a couple blocks) if it were commuter rail, but that's it. The benefit of having commuter rail stops are: 1. More potential for TODs, especially in suburban locations. Do you get this at PnR stations? No. You just have a dead parking lot most of the time. 2. Higher capacity trains. One commuter rail car can hold up to 200 people. Now multiple that by 5 or 7 depending on how many cars can be linked up in the train. What's the capacity of the Metro "Greyhounds"? Maybe 100? 3. Avoiding traffic. Current Metro buses sit in the same traffic as cars and don't have priority other than being in the HOV lane. I'm basing the higher ridership on the fact that Houston has a centralized job core, good usage already with PnR buses, and that rail is more attractive thus bringing more riders. On top of that, the bi-directional travel board would be going on all day during the day and weekends. It's much easier to schedule trips if you're taking a train as there's less variables than with dealing with buses. As for the LA Orange Line, here's a little history. The San Fernando Valley had decent density even back in the 80s when this was first proposed. Initially it was going to be a heavy rail line but there was a very powerful religious group that fought it to the end. So Metro (LA) compromised and built the BRT line. Full conversion is said to take place by 2050 meaning it can happen sooner and it likely will. The reason for that is there are fast-tracked rail projects in the San Fernando Valley (thanks Olympics 2028) and some funds may be diverted to the BRT-to-LRT conversion. Politicians who cover portions of the Valley served by the Orange Line have publicly stated that traffic movement and redevelopment was hindered due to it being a bus line. They see the projects going up along other rail lines, even suburban ones like the Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley, and want more. Edit: I am curious about Metro's long range plans for the commuter buses. Do they plan to make it like the Silver Line in LA? It's built within the tollway on the 110 Freeway from DTLA to San Pedro/Long Beach area. There are multiple stations in the middle of the freeway throughout that are very similar to rail stations. If Metro were to do something like this for Houston and run the buses longer, I can see it being a big success. But I doubt we'll see the freeways engineered to allow for stations.
  13. Well right now the focus is obviously on the Houston-Dallas train. But you have people like Drayton McClane (Baylor alum and Waco advocate) who sits on Texas Central's board and wants HSR in the city. It makes the most sense for the I-35 Corridor to be their next project. It's in the infancy stages but there are a few articles online about it and it's very likely local politicians along 35 will partner with Texas Central Railway to build HSR.
  14. This Dallas company is really doing a great job positioning Dallas as the transit hub for high-speed rail in Texas. They're working on this Houston-Dallas line but are also working on an I-35 line from San Antonio leading to Dallas (currently no plans for a Houston to I-35 Corridor line so maybe a Houston company has to form to get that built). They have made sure that Downtown Dallas is the hub for the rail, while Houston's station is 5 miles west. Why must H-Town get the short end of the stick again.
  15. I was just in Sacramento for a company outing and was heading out with coworkers. No one wanted to ride the bus so we instead walked a few extra blocks to the train station. People really have a stigma about buses. It's the whole reason why LA is trying it's best to convert the Orange Line BRT to LRT (aside from the fact that buses have lower capacity). There are so many buses that have limited capacity (you can't attach multiple buses together), LA had to construct overpasses because buses started to back up. Cities of Houston's size don't rely on buses as the primary transit option but Houston is doing this because politicians screwed the voters and city. People will say "but BRT looks different" but it's not that different. It still looks like a regular extended bus and nothing like a light rail train no matter how low to the ground they try to make the bus. And for those clamoring about Metro's Park and Ride, imagine how much higher the ridership would be if it were commuter rail. You'd have more flexibility with being able to get on at numerous stations and not have to fight freeway traffic to enter the HOT lanes (which causes more congestion). I hated being in the Katy Tollway during rush hour if I was stuck behind a Metro bus as they left lane hog because the HOV side is wrongly to the left instead of the right. Plus it'd be bi-directional and run throughout the day and night versus just a few hours in the AM/PM. Cheap is nice but give me quality any day. That's what LRT lines are when compared to BRT. The University Line from Gulfton to IAH would be absolutely PERFECT for LRT, as would the Inner Katy line. Those are the only two I think Metro should do everything in their power to convert to LRT instead. Those being LRT would change the landscape of Houston. BRT will be a cool novelty for a little while but you won't ever maximize ridership or redevelopment potential with a fancy bus. People keep saying Houston is so different without saying why. Houston is a city seeing huge increases in highrise and urban living due to many factors including floods, downsizing, popularity of inner-city living in general, etc. Density in the urban area is going up across the board. A bus system is not going to properly support the city. No where in the first world is there a major city like Houston who has buses be the preferred method to rail. At best buses are the complement to the rail system. I have no idea why people think Houston will go against that trend with buses. What makes it special? There is a reason why bus routes are converted to rail if ridership is high enough and some of these BRT lines will jump out the gate with ridership high enough to warrant conversion. Why wait until rail constructions gets even more expensive? Was the lesson not learned in the 1980s, early 2000s, etc.? What is Metro going to due when their pensions are sky high because they need to hire 3 operators vs 1 (3 buses for 1 train capacity)? Houston is doing it backwards but time will tell if ridership holds. City has so much potential but it gets squandered. Where's the ambition?
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