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Everything posted by kjb434

  1. I would be surprised that they may try to move forward with construction cost going down so much. The city of Houston is noticing a lot of a contractors coming in with really low bids for jobs with concrete being the major component to cost reductions. Concrete for paving going to for $32/SY versus $46/SY. It dropped a million dollars from the construction estimate. Steel and wood prices are dropping also. Looking at this project, it'll be mostly wood with a concrete/steel structure for the first one or two floors. The other extreme it could be like West Ave and be all steel.
  2. Subdude, this still exist and there is a sign for it. It is the Senator Lloyd Bentson Freeway from SH 288 to the Spur 527. If you are heading southbound on US 59 from I-45 and get to the SH 288 split, you'll see the sign just past the split. Senator Bentson lived in nearby South Hampton area.
  3. Are pipes blue in color? If they are, that's for water lines. Could be rehab on nearby streets and internal to the development. If the pipes are white or black, they can be used for storm or sanitary sewer flows.
  4. Yippee! Craptastic overpriced food. For kids it's great. Outside of that I have a lot of better choices.
  5. As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it. It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it. When did this theatre become historic? If it was torn down 40 years ago would the same furor exist? Will new structures built now be fought for a 100-years from now? All you are preserving is a building. Not memories. Those are in your head. As for the variance request: Weintgarten will get it because the neighborhood has not legs to stand on in this fight. A wine bar does not generate much noise. Not as much as Shepherd does already. And since Shepherd is pretty much at capacity or exceeding it during rush hour, the noise really can't get worse.
  6. METRO can't service areas south of the BW 8 on SH 288. It is out of the service area. The city of Pearland and a portion of Brazoria County would have to have an election and accept a higher property taxes to become part of the service area. Northeast areas of Fort Bend County have turned down METRO expansion measures before. Commuter rail is also a waste of money for the amount of people that are available to use it. On top of that, most will not want to use it. Commuter rail is not a simple installation either. It has to work around the freight rail carriers schedule which is increasingly getting busier. The rail companies will force METRO to build all needed improvements to allow the freight operations complete freedom while still allow commuter rail. In the end, the rail companies don't have to do a damn thing. It's their tracks. All of these issues factor into why commuter rail is such a crappy option. Not just ridership. A toll facility is cheaper, more flexible, and giver users more freedom.
  7. OOPS, yes Herman Park. The trees on main street were planted in the late 20s. That's 90s. But it only take about 20 for good growth to occur. And how are the new Kirby trees to be planted any different than all the new trees in downtown after much of the street reconstruction?
  8. Check HCTRA's website. They have a very detail webpage that goes over the current HOV operation and the soon to happen Toll operation after the first of the year.
  9. Just check the HCTRA website. They give a rundown. The project will use the large median for SH 288 to place toll lanes similar to I-10. The tollway will have entrances and exits just like the Katy Toll road. It will terminate just before US 59 with flyovers going into midtown and exits onto the final portion of SH 288. It will not go all the way to I-45. The purpose it to move people and not cars. This leads to moving commuters. The primary destinations for the toll road will be Beltway 8, Loop 610, Medical Center, then Midtown which will allow traffic to move into downtown. The Katy Toll road does the same thing with exits at specific points.
  10. Yep, I wonder how much it would have cost to just buy it outright as part of the project. When I-45 is rebuilt from the Beltway to downtown (north), it'll take with a lot of those billboards.
  11. What's funny is that I know Terry Hershey. Many people don't know she's still alive. She's very active in the Bayou Preservation Association and other public groups (angled towards the environment). This trail is very much privately funded like much of the trails around the dams are. The Houston Bikeway office (and government in general) is too slow to push projects like this. The large corporations that are part of the Energy Corridor and the West Houston District are the main financial backing and pushers of these trails. Enjoy the trails!
  12. Come January, the toll lanes will be operation. cwrm4, I live just inside the loop off of TC Jester. I've noticed the traffic inside the loop in the evening getting worse heading to downtown. The current MIS for I-45 (north) from the Beltway to downtown is still being worked on and had several public meetings. The eventual design will require redoing much of the I-10 and I-45 interchange. This alone is having significant impacts.
  13. When Kirby is done and all the new trees are re-planted on the outside and the new median, Kirby Dr. in this stretch will be quite beautiful. Remember, Main St along the side of Memorial park at one time only had saplings. Now it has majestic oaks. Kirby too will have an awesome treescape.
  14. I did some of the hydraulic work on this bridge. As currently planned, it will never get built. It impedes too much flood waters for the bayou. The only way I could justify the bridge working was to cut down all those trees you see in the picture to allow the water to flow better. I suggested some kind of cable stayed or suspension concept for the bridge that would eliminate a lot of the piles. Alas, I'm not an architect but only a hydraulic an hydrologic engineer.
  15. As much as we talk about a down economy, businesses in Houston are still doing well. Restaurants, stores, bars, nightclubs, and malls are all still quite busy this year. Also, like some others mentioned: The Denver Pavilion is a small part of the overall downtown experience. HP is part of downtown. A lot more will gradually happen. I don't have a problem that the residential component didn't get built. Right now downtown is awash in residential units for sale and lease. The One Park Place is just adding a whole lot more on that. I think Finger's project is what hinted at HP to kill the residential component.
  16. Current building that is approaching completion will house the tenants in the nearby shopping center. As the tenants move over, the older section can be demolished. It doesn't mean the next phases will start right away though.
  17. stilettoninja, That could mean something. If the design was finished, the worker could have been laid off because of lack of future work. At the engineering firm I work at, a couple of large project were wrapped up early so workers could get laid off. The rest of the work force would handle the smaller projects lingering. So, I hope the design team finished. I need to go digging on the City of Houston permits website to see if I can see any activity for this project.
  18. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard the site went under archeological study (doesn't mean digging for bones) a while back. Only after the exhausting research and approval from the state could the move forward. The existing land under the project had various activities happen on it dating back to earliest days of Houston. Allen House was built at a time when this type of study wasn't performed.
  19. It's based off the market. If the majority of Houstonians weren't christian, you may see the display set up differently. I'm sure bookstores in predominately Jewish neighborhoods cater to their market.
  20. Really anybody can re-name a city street. It just takes an act of city council to do so. If there is enough opposition it may not carry. Usually it's for a reason such as someone valuable to community passed away and it's in memorial to them. If the road is a state owned road (such as an interstate, FM road, SH road), TxDOT has to ok it. Usually this isn't a problem in municipalities. Don't expect to get your name to replace the Katy Freeway or anything! If you really want to change a street name, just ask your council member. Petitions also help!
  21. I know a couple of guys and gals that contribute to the CTC website. It's pretty much a quiet period for them right now. US 290 and the H-GAC TIP approval were the last two big pushes for them. METRO's light rail projects are still moving along now also. The CTC doesn't have much to conquer right now. When US 290 rears up again, you'll see them jump in action.
  22. Also, the new freeway layout has plenty of exterior and interior shoulders. Harris County Constables will be be patrolling the toll portion of the freeway during particular rush our periods and will ticket abusers. It won't be much different that people who run toll booths. There is also a camera system to verify this. Also, extra toll funds only go to expenditures that benefit maintenance of toll roads, access to toll roads, and enforcement of toll roads. The only potential abuse really falls into the access to toll roads category. How far from toll road can a road improvement project be? It's not stipulated anywhere. I know of projects pretty far from toll roads that some excess HCTRA money was used for. I still don't consider it abuse because at lease it wasn't general taxpayer money and it is still going to transportation improvements. AS LONG AS NO TOLL MONEY GOES TO BUILDING LIGHT RAIL AND COMMUTER RAIL I'M HAPPY.
  23. Pestofan, I agree. This project (and massive costs) are justified because of a lack of investment throughout the 80s. It's not that TxDOT didn't want to do anything; it was the massive cost of getting right of way to build anything. The Katy Freeway kept getting past over because other corridors were easier to improve. To think about, for at least 25 years the freeway was in distress with heavy traffic and yet development continue to boom out on its western portion of the corridor. By this anecdote, not expanding the freeway will cause massive development. Anyway, the real life test of this completed project will pave the way for the US 290 expansion and the expansion of I-45 (north freeway) from Beltway 8 to I-10.
  24. He's probably busy getting his marching orders for METRO. It's always hard to put a good face on such a corrupt transit agency.
  25. The Astrodome should definitely come down and a massive parking garage be build in it it's place.
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