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Everything posted by ADCS

  1. You're dead on, but the idea of cheap, low density development is too close to the heart of why a lot of people prefer living in Houston compared to other areas. It's a tough nut to crack.
  2. I'd imagine METRO replacing the NWTC with a multimodal center at NW Mall would be part and parcel of the project, a way of Texas Central reducing its buildout costs and using public funding without taking any direct subsidies. And Amtrak isn't the biggest concern with creating a new station there - you'd have to be sure UPRR were on board with any interference to their trackage in the area. I'm not sure Amtrak would want, or be able to build its own passenger siding at the site.
  3. One thing METRO could do is partner with a taxi or ridesharing service and subsidize fares to/from rail stations, to be (partially) recaptured through the fare box. Even if it is mildly exploited by people not going to the station to use the train, it gets people in the mindset of taking shared modes to transit-oriented nodes.
  4. Amazon just snapped up Whole Foods. Wonder if that changes anything about this project?
  5. Agreed. I'd be fine with a portion of the SkyPark plan if the caps were fully funded. They are not, so I'm opposed.
  6. Looking at old topographic maps, it appears that it was just "Airline" before East Montgomery was renamed to Airline Rd, at which point it became "Steubner-Airline".
  7. Yep. You'd have redlining and neighborhood segregation like in Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia around the turn of the last century, but you wouldn't have the mass exodus to newly manufactured suburbs with big, sprawly single-family houses if everyone was still relying on the trolley to get around, and no one could afford a house because 10-15 year mortgages were too expensive. Edit: you also wouldn't have the leaded gasoline that led to the massive crime wave that convinced many/most white families to pack up and get on out of the city.
  8. White flight wouldn't have happened without cars, freeways and subsidized 30 year notes.
  9. Yep. "Airline" used to be a pretty common word for what we'd call a "beeline" nowadays, and even that term is falling out of use. Airline Highway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is so named because it followed straight lines between towns, rather than the curves of the Mississippi as the previous highway had done.
  10. It's not so much the zipper merge that's the problem, it's the unsystematic and unpredictable way in which it's done right now, along with the weaving from the Shepherd entrance/HOV exit. I agree that a soft barrier should go up about where the Shepherd ramp merges onto 59, but that Kirby entrance would still cause weaving issues.
  11. If you can't see how, in the system we currently have, taking and demolishing a 20 floor new privately operated highrise would be more disruptive than taking and demolishing an HHA-owned facility, saving them money on renovations and giving immediate cash-in-hand for new facilities, then there's not much more else for me to say. I'm not implying that the above is fair in any substantive sense. I'm just saying that this is how it works.
  12. Looking at Google Maps right now, it appears that they'd have to take 19 buildings, including a new residential high-rise, in order to build a right-exit flyover with proper geometrics. That would be extremely expensive and disruptive.
  13. Sure. But master plans are rarely developed to their original specifications.
  14. Houston's arranged like a giant spider's web, with nodes that developed at the intersection of transportation corridors (primarily the freeway system). To produce an effective rapid transit structure, what's primarily important is connecting those nodes (with commuter rail/bus). Once you're at those nodes, lower-intensity forms of transit like buses, light rail, full subways, or cars at park-and-rides (where densest) can take you through that "last mile". It's better to think of Houston as a region of interconnected cities (Downtown, Uptown/Greenway, Medical Center, Westchase, Energy Corridor, Willowbrook, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Kingwood/Humble etc), rather than a single city itself. Each one of these "cities" have their own transportation flows that nevertheless interact with one another. The trick is trusting these "cities" to handle their local flows while coordinating the regional flow, something that Metro has struggled with in the past.
  15. No doubt there will be park land on the south side of Memorial, along with the area adjacent to Spotts Park, but I'd be shocked if the northwest side weren't developed. It's already isolated from the rest of the Buffalo Bayou Park system, and would be one of the most prime plots of land for a residential tower.
  16. I'd say that would be the perfect spot for a SPUI. Only question is if you keep running Waugh over Memorial, or elevate Memorial, keeping Waugh at surface level and facilitating development in the areas freed up by the removal of the outside ramps.
  17. Obnoxiously suburban, but having a Nordstrom Rack there will be nice.
  18. Rail actually works quite well in multicentric municipalities. Tokyo and London are two that come to mind. The key is to have plenty of lines that connect nodes outside the historic city center. Our freeway system is essentially designed with this in mind, so the corridors are there. The difficult part is having the infrastructure in place to connect you to the rail stations. You would have to drastically rework the Metro system to prioritize bus service that carries people to the rail stations, and that is quite the political fight to be had.
  19. Lets face some hard facts here: 1. Taxpayers do not like spending money on the poor and disabled. This is especially true in a Republican-dominated state 2. If transit solely serves these populations, they will forever be underfunded, as the vast majority of taxpayers will not feel like stakeholders 3. Your goals will inevitably lead to them not being fulfilled 4. Higher-end services like metros and commuter trains lead to more overall transit funding, including that which serves your preferred population, as more people consider themselves stakeholders in the system Life isn't fair, but systems can be developed that combat the inequities. However, as long as transit remains ghettoized, this will never occur with mobility.
  20. Automobiles and buses are also 19th Century technology. Your point is meaningless.
  21. Truth is, outside of the very center of cities, people tend to see transit as inherently un-Texan. Wide open spaces, every man with his own horse, all that. Figuring out how to change that is the tricky part.
  22. The cost will be recouped by the tax revenue from those developments that would likely not have been built next to Main Street if it were not for the train line. People simply do not see a bus line as an amenity.
  23. New schematics on the ih45northandmore site. Things I noticed: 1. Tunnel cross sections are not to scale. Cut should be no deeper than 30 ft. 2. 45 will remain closer to ground level through the 10-59 interchange.
  24. I went to the soft opening last night. Really cool vibe, and the cocktails are good.
  25. It would likely also require takings of the Star of Hope Men's Center, along with the Canal Place apartments. For a project with such controversy over takings already, this is a likely non-starter. Great idea, but feasibility can be a pain. I've been pretty opposed to the skeptics on here, but I will say this - TxDOT has been very selective on the angles they are using to present the project. Selective to the point of being misleading, perhaps. The 45-10-59 interchange will be a massive, imposing piece of infrastructure, and yet there have been few mock-ups portraying it. The most recent models make it look as if 45 will not be above ground level at that point. I hope the next set of schematics have more vertical information included.
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