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GovernorAggie last won the day on January 17 2011

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  1. Nashville San Diego Salt Lake City Cleveland Austin Albuquerque Portland
  2. Agreed. Debunked with less technology available even. What's funny is that sometimes our modern freeways lie underwater while the age-old Washburn sits dry, lol. Then there's the tunnel in Kuala Lumpur that serves as a tollway AND a flood relief culvert when necessary. http://www.smarttunnel.com.my/ Silly Malaysians. We smart Houstonians of 2011 could've told them that would never work and would be more trouble than it's worth. Oh wait... Count me in with the OP's view. While I've given up on elevating the rail lines as currently planned, I do believe that the new policy needs to be that no lines cross intersections over xx,000 car per day intersections, at a minimum. In fact, I would argue that the lines should be planned starting with the most optimal option (underground) and then back away from that in order to meet whatever Federal requirements exist.
  3. I wonder if there were tons of birds getting killed by the turbines...
  4. Now they're just showing off with Wells Fargo Solid bright white on Thursday, half green and half red last night, and all red tonight. I guess Mostyn Law Firm finally came through on WF's Ike insurance claim, lol.
  5. The crowning fins are finally lit! Very nice!!
  6. Maybe its sour grapes but I really am still surprised at the O-fer that the US has landed for the last two international bidding competitions. Struck out with the 2016 Olympics even though the bid was technically superior. Pulled out of the 2018 race because supposedly the chances were better for 2022 and still lost the 2022 to Qatar. I have nothing against Qatar (after all there are Aggies there at A&M's campus in Doha) but...it was just surprising. It makes me wonder if there's a bit of a point that these international bodies are making towards the US. If that is even remotely the case, I think that a decline of American corporate and media support for the next few international events could be a not-so-insignificant reminder that the US is still a valuable part of the sports world. Furthermore, I can understand wanting to "share" these events with other places around the world (India, Australia, Africa, South America, etc), but then that argument loses a bit of its steam to me since the US doesn't apply for every single bid. For example, there will likely be no bid for the 2020 Olympics, and I think that the US shouldn't bid on any other international competitions for a long while. The world is continuing to "catch up" as is said, but the US is still an important nation. Choosing not to participate and fawn over these unelected sports bodies might reinforce that message. On another note, since England and Australia also lost, can we expect an expose on the process from WikiLeaks? Or maybe not, since the US lost too.
  7. Interesting point on this one. Personally, I like the "super-street"/expressway portion of Memorial. In fact, I wouldn't get rid of it--I would refresh it. To me, Memorial is one of the city's most signature drives, and a (long overdue) repaving coupled with improved bridgework, a simplification of the Waugh interchange (similar to the Shepherd interchange), a replacement of the chain-link fence median with something like wrought iron and stone, decorative lighting, more landscaping of overpasses and retaining walls (a la the Living Bridge in the park), and fresh updated signage would do wonders for Memorial. I know some hate to use other places as references, but Memorial (and Allen for that matter) should be our versions of the great parkways in DC and New York. It just has a tired feel to it today. The 75th anniversary of Memorial's opening will be in 2031. Maybe something like this can be done by then??
  8. Agreed. Much like the 100% blank wall on the new Ballet Center and to a much lesser extent the Hess Tower parking garage. Both have smaller tracts remaining on their blocks for add'l development.
  9. While I tend to be on the optimistic side of things, the Houstonian in me says to give up that hope. Invest it in something else. The best transit options that we can hope for here for the next 50-100 years will be bus and *maybe* additional light rail. And we'll definitely pay Cadillac prices for a Yugo product.
  10. I love this city with a passion and would not actively seek to leave--particular for a long-term or permanent basis. However, if a huge opportunity came my way, I would consider leaving but would always plan to come back. I came to Houston by choice, and despite its warts, it's my city and I would gladly defend it to anyone. I should have the bumper sticker--"I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could."
  11. Part of the north facing fin/crown at the top of the building has been lit at night over the last week or so. Testing maybe?
  12. It would seem so. That crane is HUGE and Fannin is closed in from of the building.
  13. Wow! That looks great! I would think that this is a go, ARRA since stimulus money is behind it. https://www.fbo.gov/...b=core&_cview=1 It looks like $100-$120 Million worth of work!! Projected Completion is May 2014.
  14. True, the length is in and of itself not a problem at all, just a noted difference. The platforms are long enough to handle the cars in 2-car consists. Additionally, the longer car length has less of an impact on capacity than the reduction in number of seats and their placement. The CAF cars' seats are placed more alongside the walls of the car as opposed to the Siemens cars' placement facing forward and backward a la traditional trains. As far as the speed goes, that's also not a huge deal presently but it does there are long segments of the Uptown and University lines that could make good use of the higher speed. Keep in mind that these $3.5 million cars have a 25-year usable lifespan on them, thus if they appear on the streets in 2015, we're talking 2040 as a retirement year. While things look bad now financially, it's not unreasonable to think that the IAH, Hobby, and 90A extensions will be in place by 2030, let alone 2040, and these lines could be much more suburban (similar to Dallas). Thus for the sake of cost-effective system interoperability, I think that getting a vehicle that can realize higher speeds will prove to be prudent.
  15. I'll chime in on this one...the CAF cars are better in some ways because they hold slightly more people, is 100% low-floor and have 2 extra ingress/egress points. However, their top speed is 45 mph, compared to Siemens' 66 mph top speed. They also have much fewer seats inside than the Siemens car (even the trial versions now in use with bike/carriage spaces). It should also be noted that the CAF cars are quite a bit longer than Siemens' cars too. They are also NOT interchangeable at all with Siemens (as others have mentioned). http://www.caf.net/ingles/productos/proyecto.php?cod=4&id=630&sec=datos http://www.transportation.siemens.com/shared/data/pdf/sts_usa_internet/houston_s70.pdf That being said, this http://www.chron.com...an/7197426.html says that the saga is not over in CAF's mind. I expect that is indeed over though. They will likely sue METRO, which will increase the amount of taxpayer money spent on this deal, and due to the new procurement, the process will likely delay the project 2 more years. No matter what CAF says, I have a hard time believing that any damages that they sue METRO for will even sniff the $900 million that METRO would lose from FTA. Furthermore, CAF can huff and puff all they want, but they should keep in mind that Houston is not the only city with an LRT FTA project...essentially telling FTA that they got it wrong because of some previously held-but-not-shared information is not a good way to get them to sign of on any future deals. This is yet another chapter in the legacy of Frank Wilson, unfortunately. http://www.state.nj..../pdf/ezpass.pdf And like the mess in New Jersey, Houston is left holding the bag with a yet-to-be-fully-seen amount of damage.
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