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zaphod

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  1. Maybe they could also try curbs that stick out further, or circular concrete raised areas in intersections. Those would make driving through inconvenient and discourage through traffic as well.
  2. I think this is a pretty insightful observation. I can't really think of a light rail line that has a grade crossing with a fire station adjacent to it. In any case if it was really such a huge problem then the cost of relocating the fire station to an adjacent block couldn't be so difficult. You know maybe back in 2000 whenever they planned for the line they needed to be politically cautious and not ruffle feathers, so while it wouldn't be a genuine deal breaker they saw that as an issue? Well yeah that's what I am saying. I'd prefer the Sams Club shell to go away honestly. The garage could have other stuff mixed in, it could be the start of some kind of transit village. In my ideal world the Astro World site would be used for something cool and not something with a lot of wasteful surface parking.
  3. Some thoughts: 1. It might be easier to just not demolish the older alignment. Have a single LRV that goes to Dryden and back. They could also use the Smith Lands line for rodeo, football, etc. 2. Instead of an automated bus they could use a cheap mini bus similar to Metro Lift. It could be a community connector route. They'd keep the rail alignment for it to drive on. 3. Compare the long term cost of operating a transit service and maintaining current lot versus the cost of building parking garages somewhere else then selling the land. 4. Do an analysis of where the drivers who park at Smith Land come from. If they are coming from 610, then maybe expand the Fannin South Park and Ride and give everyone who parked at Smith Lands a special parking permit. This could be done by either A) leasing the parking on the old Astroworld site from the Rodeo people for a few years or B ) they buy and tear down that vacant Sams Club to the north of the existing lot and then expand the P&R out to the highway.
  4. As we all know, the Red Line hooks west and goes up Greenbriar where it splits in a Y with Fannin, and continues to Braeswood where it turns east and then turns again at the intersection with Fannin. There is one station in between at Smith Lands, which serves a giant parking lot and some apartments. As we all also know, TMC 3 is a massive development proposed east of Bertner between MD Anderson and Baylor. This is quite the walk from either the TMC transit center or from Smith Lands, which has no reasonable direct path. It means people who work at TMC 3 who might otherwise use the Red Line probably won't. WHAT IF we realigned the Red Line to just stick to Fannin, closing the detour onto Greenbriar, the sharp curves, and the station at Smith Lands? This is a shorter route(approx .7 miles vs .9 currently). This would allow a station to be built perhaps around the intersection of Fannin and St. Agnes(one of those side streets that goes to Bertner). Then within the recommended quarter-mile walking distance that most planners seem to agree is how far folks walk, you got MD Anderson and the western Bertner facing side of the TMC 3 complex. And its only a .3 mile walk to the heart of TMC3. Since the red line has more than one depot now, it wouldn't hurt to have to close the southern tail of the line and do a bus bridge for the few days it would take to join the track segments. If this was done, it would ensure even more jobs are within striking distance of Houston's highest ridership transit corridor. So what do ya'll think?
  5. I think the most realistic outcome, assuming Musk doesn't continue to behave like an insane person and implode his own company, is that over the very long term they would move out of Fremont. The only reason why they'd want to be in Fremont is access to Silicon Valley venture capital and talent and of course the NUMMI plant they stumbled upon. My bets would be either somewhere like Nashville(Nissan, GM, others are there, and it's a "cool" city that talent would accept moving to) OR maybe Greenville, SC. Which has things like CU-ICAR(automotive tech center run by Clemson University), Proterra(electric bus manufacturer), and a nearby BMW assembly plant.
  6. It looks like the residential portion above the podium is halfway done, so this is maybe 2/3 of the way to max height? It's got a lot of presence heading down I-10 now.
  7. I think tan/beige buildings do add warmth though, if they use a brick veneer or something. Market square tower is pretty decent looking. Too much white and blue and you get Austin's skyline, which can be kind of austere from certain angles and I mean in a not good way.
  8. I always thought that highrise Wyndham at I-10/Hwy 6 was kind of funky and dated looking, like something from Sarajevo. It is very similar to the Plaza tower in College Station that got imploded. But I know nothing about the kind of business they do, it could be fine and lovely inside for all I know. To be honest, I would be surprised if a name brand hotel was lost. Those could be sold down to a lower end chain nobody's ever heard of. The places which seem like they'd be toast are the ones that already took a fall from grace, like some of those iffy hotels around Intercontinental/Greenspoint.
  9. I totally forgot about those Albertsons stores. I wasn't living in Houston at that time, I just remember seeing them sometimes when visiting family here. That explains the unusual design of a number of places around here.
  10. The problem is its going to look cruddy if it gets streaked with mildew and the paint fades over time. I think you'd have to go with a less saturated color. I'm kind of partial to very light green, like you see in scandinavia but also the deep south. Or a pinkish color, though pink is kinda ugly. Maybe Charleston, SC could be a reasonable example of adding color: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Quarter_(Charleston,_South_Carolina)
  11. Maybe one approach would be to build a shear wall along both sides of the bayou's allowed corridor, and then dig down lower around the channel. Then it could meander within that area but then not get out from beyond that? I am always curious how deep that main channel actually is during drier periods. It could be quite deep at the centerline, but in some bayous on the west side of town it looks like a puddle at best. Without channelization I imagine it would be shallower, which could be problematic for rapid on demand drainage capacity if it turned into a swamp
  12. Well isn't that special. What's with the bulls, is that supposed to be like some kind of ancient Sumerian god or something? Uh oh, Zuul is back. Who you gonna call?
  13. Looking at the Target upcoming stores website, this store is going to be 63,000 sq. feet. That's about right for how big grocery stores tend to be. Looking through their other coming soons, I noticed a pattern: There are a lot of tiny stores, about 15,000 square feet, which are in the bottom of mixed use developments. That's the size of a walgreens. I wonder how these are going to fare. Walmart tried this approach and then closed all of those stores later. There are some small-medium stores around 25,000 feet to 40,000 square feet being planned in various cities. I can't visualize what these look like. The stores that are the size of this one(63k) don't seem to have renderings but ones that are a little larger are consistent with the "city target" design that generally do have actual hard goods. EDIT: They opened a 50,000 square foot store in phoenix, here is a news article with interior views. Looks fairly normal, just smaller. Not bad. They are only building a handful of "big" traditional suburban Targets planned right now, it looks like Raleigh and Wilmington mostly, which are 114k or so sq feet. This is probably about how big the Sawyer store is if I had to guess.
  14. So about halfway up, now. I was thinking the other day how many decent sized companies we have HQ'd here which are not oil companies, and Crown Castle is a good example. It's also a good sign they chose a building like this instead of sprawling out in a low rise like you'd see in DFW.
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