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  1. Graf from the CoH railroad crossing elimination grant proposal stating bike lanes, sidewalks will be included in the York and Commerce/Navigation separations. Currently, sidewalks aren't continuous. Commentary about an the separation opening up opportunities for a future East River trail connection. I wrote my wish would be Velasco, since it enables the Columbia Tap, Harrisburg Trail, and Buffalo Bayou East to connect, but realistically I doubt the plausibility. Most likely, they intend to continue the bike lanes along York to Buffalo Bayou East, where the pedestrian bridge will provide access to East River.
  2. I've always valued Velasco for a pedestrian crossing, personally. Would connect the new trail built as part of the Concept Neighborhood development with the Columbia Tap. The Concept trail will connect with Buffalo Bayou East. Of course, it would require permission from UP to go over or under the rail yard, and UP has a history of not granting access. The West Belt project occurred literally because of the overwhelming evidence against their operating practices, seen firsthand by federal officials on visits, that they relented on the York underpasses. Important to note the railway access hesitancy isn't Houston centric. https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-news/state-and-local-lawmakers-rip-union-pacific-over-costs-delays-on-community-projects
  3. Agreed on the separations. The fastest way there is to report stopped trains to the FRA blocked crossing portal: https://www.fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings/ The West Belt project emerged from its 15-year hiatus as a result of east end residents reporting blockages there. As a result, the FRA administrator made three personal visits (no other city got that) and the near east end (eado/eastwood/second ward from commerce to Lockwood) earned the worst top of the list award available: Most blocked in the nation. The more blocked intersections that are documented, the greater chance Houston has for more federal funding. That's good for residents, businesses, and the railways alike.
  4. Oh, yes, Walker in EaDo sees little traffic. It breaks up twice -- once for the trail/light rail and again at the freight rail line -- thus making it not ideal for through transit. The EaDo TIRZ reps told me they were pushing something sturdier than armadillos due to the abundant freight truck traffic in the area. They break armadillos with ease. The EED did the same on Lawndale, and is planning to follow suit on the Polk revamp.
  5. The designs for the York underpasses are not yet finalized, but those used in the grant application show bike lanes and sidewalks.
  6. Through traffic on Walker alone, or the streets it crosses? At least one photo covers Walker at Emancipation, which is the second most traveled east-west roadway in the east end. Emancipation at Harrisburg is one of only two separated crossings of the Galveston Sub (the other being Wayside, some three-plus miles away), so by nature traffic is quite high all the time. The high vehicle traffic volume is why the signalized, protected crossings are going in.
  7. Earlier today, CoH cited the owner of this development for unpermitted work. This is at least the fourth instance of which I'm aware. The third citation is next to today's and the first two are still present on the side of the building now behind a chain link fence.
  8. Yes, I agree. There's no way trains capable of reaching 200 mph will share with freight rail. It'd have to be separate. My guess is the partnership occurred because Amtrak has the ability to apply for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds. https://media.amtrak.com/2023/06/amtrak-applies-for-7-3-billion-in-federal-grants-to-advance-northeast-corridor-infrastructure-upgrades/ Those could be leveraged to build owned lines from a new location, freeing Amtrak from its current Houston situation. It wrote in a recent filing the current location and agreement with UP, BNSF is untenable. Since UP has written it has no intention of altering its scheduling to accommodate Amtrak, I presume it will continue to fight change.
  9. I think this project's success hinges on track ownership. If Amtrak hopes to utilize others' lines via trackage rights agreements -- like it does currently for all routes through Texas and many other southern states -- I presume it will underwhelm or, worse, never materialize. Barriers to its success in Texas are the freight rail company operating practices. Lines are blocked regularly, or Amtrak trains are directed into sidings -- as a secondary user, the line owner's consists get preferential treatment. To what degree, if any, Union Pacific is obligated to accommodate Amtrak trains on the Sunset Limited route is playing out now. Amtrak currently relies upon UP's Freight Main Line, sometimes called the Terminal Line, to transit through Houston en route to San Antonio or New Orleans. One outcome could include penalties to UP for allegedly not honoring trackage rights agreements, but another could be Amtrak is out (this is likely extreme, but it's what UP wants to do and likely will do if it gets a favorable judgement.) People on this forum have pointed to Amtrak in other states when I bring up the unique arraignment in Texas. Yes, it's true. Amtrak has a much better on-time arrival rating in northern and west coast states, but that's because it has an ownership stake in the lines upon which it operates. I presume Texas Central knew this, as the organization's original stated goal was to build new lines. Hence, the fight with landowners and the Texas AG challenging whether it was an actual railroad in attempt to bar its ability to use eminent domain. If Amtrak builds lines, that will avoid the freight rail fight and enable service timing to be under its control. But it begs the question of where will the lines go in the inner loop? It's been well-documented that freight rail haven't invested in infrastructure because, well, the industry isn't penalized for blocking public street crossings. So yards haven't been expanded and lines haven't been double-tracked or triple-tracked continuously, leaving areas where many tracks bottleneck to a single line. Development, by nature, has moved up to that right of way. As a result, expansion would mean acquiring buildings, some of which people on this forum wax poetically about. Take the fantasy of moving the Amtrak station to Post. That is 100 percent a great idea, but in reality that's very unlikely to happen. Literally a few hundred feet from the Post, the freight rail line drops to a single track and is surrounded by retaining walls for UH-D. There are many stretches with similar tight sections on that line, which makes expansion to accommodate more lines costly and, likely, will be challenging to get the public to accept. That line also connects with the West Belt as it leaves UP Congress Yard following the Galveston Sub merger. The West Belt is Houston's most trafficked line at up to 75 trains per day, trains switch at Tower 26 to the line behind Post when going to western end destinations. UP isn't going to permit a passenger train to idle on that stretch of line behind Post, blocking traffic from the West Belt and Galveston Subdivision. The Amtrak station is currently further down that same line, but on a bypass, and UP already wants Amtrak out. I am not a passenger rail opponent. Actually, quite the opposite. I just understand who owns the lines here and their perception of passenger rail. For it to work, it'd take building new lines, which has its own challenges. That's possibly why the mall has been the expected station destination. Close to the Eureka Line running along Hempstead Highway. That has a really, really wide ROW and less development encroachment, so further widening to support dedicated high-speed lines may be possible.
  10. The Navigation underpass reconstruction is separate from the I45 realignment. It's a CoH project that utilizes a $36 million US DOT grant and CoH/HGAC match. The Houston Belt & Terminal Railway, currently jointly operated by UP and BNSF, threw in $791,000 after the infant death citation. CoH has until 2025 to start work or the federal grant lapses.
  11. Occasionally, they were closed during hours posted as open. I loved the food and people, but they didn't make it easy to eat there.
  12. Saw this a while back, but forgot to post in this forum.
  13. Chronicle food critic Alison Cook visited Mimo: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/food-culture/restaurants-bars/reviews/article/mimo-italian-houston-review-18189474.php
  14. The U.S. DOT on Friday announced FY 2023 RAISE grant recipients. A handful of Texas governmental entities' projects made the cut. Austin's Red Line will get a second track from Onion Street to E. Timbes. Collin County, while DART/Collin County and Dallas got monies for multi-use paths/trails. https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2023-06/RAISE 2023 Fact Sheets_2.pdf
  15. Townhouses have been building up along Eastwood's eastern edges, specifically as close to Dumble as possible, for some time now. Generally speaking, Dumble is where blocks with minimum lot size requirements start falling away. They're intermingled around Braodmoar (https://www.har.com/homedetail/5043-jefferson-st-b-houston-tx-77023/15250319), while there's a large development along Capitol (https://www.intownhomes.com/eastwood-green), just to name a few.
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