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Everything posted by ADCS

  1. Worst drivers I've been around are in Tampa, but even there I heard how Miami drivers are on a whole new level
  2. Four corner gates at level crossings are required for all high speed rail (above 79 mph) in the US by FRA regulation
  3. That's just it - Dallas has always sought the flash to attract its business (in the tertiary realm like finance and corporate HQs). Houston is driven by resource extraction and small business - two sectors notorious for penny-pinching.
  4. Everything is on hold for now. Reddit is mostly teenagers/early twentysomethings who parrot what the current trends are, and right now, to be reflexively against any freeway project is very trendy.
  5. Oh, it's expensive, but it's feasible. Also, Texas is way richer than BC, so why the hell not? (because Texas is politically structured to favor the interests of small-to-medium business and resource extraction companies, and they derive no benefit from spending on anything more than the cheapest infrastructure) Europe typically has buried artillery shells from the last 150 years of warfare, a bit more hazardous than an old oil well.
  6. As far as they're concerned (remember, this is engineer-thinking we're talking about), they don't need help - perfectly good in-house solutions already exist to the problem they're trying to solve. Bringing in consultants would be unnecessary expense, and there's no political will to cover that expense.
  7. I think TxDOT and TTI take a lot of pride in the solutions that have been developed in-state (not to mention, the local engineering companies and construction companies have a lot of pull in the Lege). However, given the lack of mountain highways or submarine tunnels built in the last 80 years, not much research into or experience from building tunnels exists within the state. That's why I think there's the bias toward cut-and-cover methods for depressed highways, rather than underground tubes. It's not geology either - Houston used to have two functioning tunnels (now just the Washburn), and near Vancouver, they're about to rebuild a tunnel through alluvial silt in the middle of a very seismically active area (needs to withstand up to MM9.0 earthquakes).
  8. Cabinet level, or high-prestige NGO job. It would be tough to win any statewide election.
  9. I get the sense that Hidalgo, while well-intentioned, is absolutely setting herself up for federal office of some sort. Opposing a highway project in a time where that action gets you high-profile attention does that. Working on the bread-and-butter aspects of improving regional mobility doesn't, since that just involves being a quiet facilitator.
  10. If you're the sort of person who has a lawyer on retainer, you would.
  11. Less about O&G these days than the auto dealers who have a very big presence in Austin
  12. Ding ding ding. The *neighbors* want to stick it to the folks in the big cities, or try to wrench concessions from TSR. The people on the route are getting way more than fair-market value for what's essentially pastureland. The cries of "the poor rural landowners" are almost entirely disingenuous.
  13. Pretty damn presumptuous of what and who I do and do not know, aren't you? And I do hold that middle finger high, because their entire scope of life is that they owe nothing to anyone beyond their own small community. I reject that entirely, and despair that it takes the force of state to bring them around to the folly of that view.
  14. If those folks weren't consistently sabotaging what people in the cities want, with their outsized political influence, maybe, just maybe, their crocodile tears would get through. But this has never been about landowners who don't want to sell - they don't exist (since it's just an easement they're selling - any opposition is negotiating for a better deal). It's the neighbors who are annoyed that they aren't getting a cut of the pie in any sense that are trying to scuttle this. Just petty rural politics.
  15. Yep, HCTRA is run by Harris County, which is now run by Lina Hidalgo. The Hardy Extension is likely permanently dead.
  16. Isn't it funny, they expanded it three years after I posted this.
  17. moo, Houston isn't naturally beautiful. There are plenty of other great cities that don't have much when it comes to nature, either - but they do build up their human environment to make up for it. As noted, Houston hasn't really invested in that until the last 20 years or so - it was a city only an engineer could love. That seems to be changing; Memorial Park in particular is a true vision.
  18. There's no compromise to be found in leaving the structure standing. It's either there, or it's gone.
  19. Agreed. Selling the land is the only way TxDOT is going to offset some of the cost of the structure, too. This isn't a High Line situation where the linear park combines with a significant improvement in pedestrian infrastructure.
  20. One of the most frustrating things about the Turner Administration has been the lack of transparency and the dishonest way it has been attempting to pursue initiatives.
  21. At the very least, they need to give it a sense of place. Right now, the Texans have the most generic branding in the NFL, and NRG shows it. I really get the sense that their marketing since 2002 has been no more than "slap a Texans logo on it, that's good enough". Fits in with Houston's conservative business culture, but it's nowhere near modern.
  22. No, because Randall's is Albertsons now, and that's not working. The late-'80s to early-'90s mid-range grocery store market segment really doesn't exist anymore. Price-conscious shoppers go to Walmart or Aldi, while people willing to pay a premium for better selection and nicer stores will go to H-E-B, upgraded Kroger stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc.
  23. Shame they couldn't fast-track this while all the restaurants/bars were closed and restricted. Houston remains friendly to small business, the rest of us be damned
  24. This parochialism is why Houston continues to self-sabotage. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia all do fine with several major research universities nearby.
  25. The better comparison is the no-build on 95 north through DC. The Beltway is a beast, but the only real choke point is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I also don't think replacement of the Ship Channel bridge is all that much of an issue. It's nearing the end of its service life already, and will almost certainly be replaced within the next 25 years.
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