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Everything posted by paul2834

  1. After the great news about the MetroRapid Inner Katy corridor yesterday connecting Uptown and Downtown with a fast route, I started thinking about and looking at more things Houston public transit related like the Westheimer Signature Bus and system map. The Westheimer Signature/BOOST Bus is pretty much the 82 bus, but is on 59's HOV lanes from Edloe to around the Wheeler Station area. This will provide a fast connection from the Museum District, Midtown, and a little further Downtown to Greenway/Upper Kirby and a little further Uptown and then is supposed to continue going west on Westheimer all the way to Highway 6. Here's the system map and honing in on the frequent map on page 2 and looking at the activity centers, it got me thinking. What if instead of continuing all the way to highway 6 after leaving Uptown, the bus gets back on 59's HOV lanes and goes straight to the International District/Asiatown instead? Metro obviously recognizes the area is a big enough deal to mark it on their map. Certain areas there always seem packed and it can even be hard to find parking. And I think the biggest thing to remark on is that it offers more unique experiences than alternatives. Going past Uptown, does Westheimer offer anything that you can't already get inside/near the loop? But Asiatown gets you all sorts of East Asian and Southeast Asian food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment and the area continues to develop and looks like it'll be growing up. And the bus could theoretically keep going on Bellaire and get you into the Vietnamese centers beyond Beltway 8, but the emphasis is 59 to the Beltway because these areas are much closer to 59's HOV lanes where the buses can go faster and won't have to stop. The potential I see is a bus route that provides access to some of Houston's major spots quickly by leveraging 59's HOV lanes. Downtown -> Midtown -> Elgin stop (Monstrose) -> Wheeler Station (Museum District) -> (59's HOV lanes) -> Greenway/Upper Kirby @ Edloe -> Uptown and then hop back on 59 towards Asiatown. Is Asiatown just too far for this to make sense even with leveraging more of the highway? Am I overestimating how much interest there is in going there? I do believe the area is the most developed Asiatown in all of the south and if you make it make it easier for tourists staying in the Museum District/Downtown/Uptown to get there, then I think many would be interested in going to try something new.
  2. Has there been any news on the Westheimer Signature Bus Service? It's similar to this line in that it'll also run on a highway (59) a good amount providing an express lane connecting Greenway/Upper Kirby and just a little further Uptown with the Museum District/Midtown and just a little further Downtown. But it's going to do this without being called a BRT and instead use the HOV lanes on 59. Does that mean there's very little stopping them from having this line now? EDIT: https://www.centralhouston.org/media/filer_public/48/85/48853c76-54cd-4cef-b37b-fd944f01b089/1232020_central_houston_inc_5_sm.pdf ^There were some people asking about the MetroRapid University, which is how it's referred to here. I believe the map on the second to last page of this Dec. 2020 presentation looks new. You can see where all of the stops will approximately be.
  3. https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/METRORapid-Inner-Katy.aspx OMG. They actually didn't f*** that part up. THANK YOU. This is huge allowing a rapid connection between uptown and downtown without any transfer. I was so worried they would make you get off at the Northwest TC
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRobrIlwrr0 ^ For those who want to see it in action, here's 40 minutes of it. I keep thinking of it as a train that's how good it looks on the outside and inside. Our BRT still just looks like a bus unfortunately. EDIT: BTW, they even call it rail over there. The translation is Smart Rail.
  5. The news about Uniqlo is really exciting! Even my no name, rock bottom-tier, Chinese hometown village that no one's ever heard of has a Uniqlo, so it's about time Texas joins the fray and I couldn't be happier that I can walk there like I could in my hometown.
  6. I think this sounds possible. Imagine if the opposite had happened. People voting down the proposal because it didn't have enough rail, but Metro interpreting that as people not wanting to expand mass transit at all. The numbers show people support mass transit and it's only going to keep moving that way. Perhaps they will take a second look at some of the routes that will be better off starting off as rail.
  7. I'm praying that NWTC is just a stop and will keep going instead of having to get off at NWTC so you can get on another BRT that takes you to Downtown or Uptown.
  8. Probably the most interesting snippet from the article. They're relocating to southeast corner of I-10 and Bunker Hill and the restaurant will be about 20% smaller.
  9. I don't know what to make of moving the BRT to Beltway 8. People were thinking the I-10 BRT didn't make sense because there isn't too much along that path, but what they were missing is that it provides a fast connection between Uptown and Downtown. This is especially true if the bus keeps going beyond the NWTC and you don't have to transfer to get into Uptown. The two endpoints are major hubs for work, dining, entertainment, shopping, etc. that people need to get to. So what about the Beltway 8 line? Apart from City Center, I don't get the impression anything on that line is walkable. So now you're having to make multiple transfers to get where you need to go. Also, does beltway 8 get that congested? I only ever hear complaining about 610, 59, 290, 45, and I-10.
  10. https://abc13.com/5578971/ ^Rent has been paid and they'll be open again.
  11. Yikes, this is all feels so sudden. Just a few months ago none of those places were closed on that side of the Galleria. I remember seeing someone post a similar notice for the Subway and they did eventually reopen. I wonder if the same thing will happen here. How is Memorial mall fairing compared to the Galleria? Are they also seeing a lot of closings?
  12. Oh wow, so how is this supposed to work? I believe the BRT is going to be operational in March, but I doubt this is going to be finished by then. So people taking Park and Rides won't be able to get into Uptown via the BRT until it's finished? This is going to make ridership look so bad...
  13. The way I see it, you have two options going east and west. The University line is the corridor line that takes you through a lot of the more interesting places where you can get off. The I-10 line looks like an express route to get people between Uptown/future HSR and Downtown as quickly as possible, connecting the two major hubs. The University line in comparison would be moving a lot slower.
  14. Fingers crossed Uptown gets direct non-transfer, non-local road connections to Downtown and Wheeler Station. It would complete connecting the three hubs with fast travel in between and make exploring the major destinations a lot easier for travelers.
  15. That would be amazing and I don't see why it wouldn't be doable. No transfer and then hov on I-10 to quickly get between Downtown and Uptown. And there aren't really any fast options between Uptown and the Med center/museum district right now. This proposal would make it one transfer, hov-ing on 59 and then LRT. Add some metro police to Wheeler station and it's golden. EDIT: Actually, the I-10 route should be it's own lane, not shared with HOV, right? So if they do this, then it's literally a traffic free option between Downtown and Uptown.
  16. There's no reason it can't be both for people that live in the area and don't feel like driving. And it's not just a traffic free option for people in Katy that work in the Galleria. It's going to capture all the park and rides along 290, I-10, 59, and the westpark tollway, east and west of Uptown. Check out the maps at the bottom of the link: http://swamplot.com/uptowns-not-waiting-for-light-rail-planning-bus-system-along-post-oak-instead/2013-01-17/
  17. I see the Uptown BRT mainly succeeding as a work commuter option. Terminating at major park and ride stations on I-10 and 59, it provides a traffic free way to get in and out of Uptown, fixing one of the major complaints about the area.
  18. On second thought, I wonder how risky a movie theater is. People make it seem like they're going the way of most malls. But at the same time, more and more people are wanting to move inside the loop and density is increasing, but I feel like there's a dearth of movie theaters. I know there's the Marquee that's just outside the loop and an AMC in downtown. Where else do people living inside the loop go to watch the latest blockbuster? I think including more residential on the top floors to match any expansion would be smart to help support it all...just concerned about additional traffic as much as people already complain about it now for Uptown.
  19. I'm seeing a lot of great ideas. Knocking down the Dillards and building a new wing of the Galleria connected by sky bridge that looks to the north and south on Post Oak would be so perfect. Perhaps they could include a food hall or put a movie theater there. I'm not very imaginative! What else could go there?
  20. I don't think I've ever been to that Dillards or ever cross to that side of Post Oak south of Westheimer. How is the foot traffic in Dillards compared to the Galleria?
  21. Excellent point. Didn't think about when I see people complaining about the lack of signal prioritization, which of course isn't even a permanent decision and can be tweaked in the future if need be. I'm not sure if it's like this the whole way, but from what I saw, dedicated lanes with physical dividers should help a lot with keeping cars out of the lane and avoiding the situation where it seems like every other month there's a car accident involving light rail.
  22. Why does it have to be one or the other? I think a great middle ground would be some tall building with the McDonald's at ground level, up against the street.
  23. I wonder how much of that parking lot is going to disappear over where the Post Oak Poker Room used to be when Zadok Jewelers builds over it. I imagine Uptown will get more dense as it expands like with this hotel coming up at the southern end. I think B-cycles will help with the expansion of Uptown, but there are no stations there right now. Why is this? They're really putting in an effort to make the area more walkable and share-bikes would help. Is it really that dangerous to ride in this area? Memorial Park already has a couple of stations, so this would also help to connect Uptown and Memorial Park even more.
  24. Long-time lurker here and finally decided to sign up so I could quote this. People have been ****ting on Uptown for too long and I'm glad someone living there can say it like it is. I also own a unit just off of Westheimer and McCue and agree with everything Gene is saying. Yeah, things are more spread out compared to other places named, but in my book, uptown still beats those other places. Probably coming from an East Asian background makes the difference here. Over there, people prefer living in glitzy places with lots of lights and food options. You eat a lot and then you eat some more and then you digest and take a stroll in the city, the park, or along some body of water with the thousands of other people. Many places in Houston are just too gritty looking and lack tall buildings even though things are closer together in some of those places. Downtown checks off the looks department but shuts down apart from working hours. Now, if I do want to make the infrequent trip, it's not bad at all and the BRT along with the BUTC will make it even easier in the near future. All the Asia-towns are in west Houston making Uptown pretty central for Asians. For my food and people watching options, I can check that off too. After getting downstairs and a three minute walk, I'm at the Galleria without having to fight traffic and search for parking and can get Chick-fil-a and eat at the Waterwall Park or I can spend more to dine-in at a fancy restaurant. No dip in people walking around due to the hot weather neither. For the rest of uptown, they're really making an effort to beautify it, like putting up more lights and trees, which leads to my next point.... People don't want to put up with the inconvenience of walking in summer heat if the walk isn't going to be enjoyable. Like if there's no other people walking, no nice tall buildings to see and to give shade. And the killer: having to walk next to an ugly, empty parking lot in a strip center.
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