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The Pragmatist

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The Pragmatist last won the day on January 21 2014

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  1. With so many of you on the "Progressive" side of the spectrum, I suppose my opinions on LBJ, the collective interpretation of LBJ's legacy, and the sentiment expressed by intencity77 would be much-maligned here. That said, while I'm certainly no fan of Johnson, I don't see how a privately-funded statue, particularly of a president, is something out of the ordinary.
  2. I don't necessarily think that's true. I think there's a maximum level of traffic and commute time that the average commuter is willing to tolerate. The congestion will generally reach that point, and there will be a break-even point where any inflows of traffic would be balanced by diminutions due to avoidance of the congestion. I think that, once roadways reach capacity, the inbound destinations would have lessened growth without added capacity, with outlying areas tending to take that growth. Mass transit just allows for added capacity to move people into the central destination. As opposed to, let's say 700,000 people going into Manhattan on a given work day with only the option of automobiles, we get 1.5 million (just making up numbers here merely for illustrative purposes) people going into Manhattan. The average commute gets to that upper bound and then the inbound commuting population levels off. The commute time issue applies to mass transit as well. The average person isn't going to wait for an hour in line to get onto overcrowded trains. They'll just find something closer to where they live or relocate to somewhere where their desired commute can be achieved. If you don't provide the additional options for inbound commuting, suburban job growth will occur to respond to the demand for lower commute times. Shortened version: I think the line that mass transit alleviates congestion isn't actually true. Mass transit just allows for added capacity to permit additional growth of certain areas.
  3. At current price points, it's more like $150 billion of oil per year and $77 billion of natural gas from US production. Granted, that was me doing quick calculations from EIA figures, so I could be wrong.
  4. Here's more about the guy who owns it, if you care about that. https://www.downtownhouston.org/news/article/small-steps-big-impact/
  5. This is not much different than, say, an area of Millbrae, CA (as an example, of which there are many), where you have a main thoroughfare and then an additional access road that handles the traffic/parking for the businesses on the side of the main road. https://goo.gl/maps/vLM9ioEWjSy
  6. I'm not here to argue about the transit systems. I just wanted to correct your assertion that Chicagoland isn't seeing a population decline. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-census-population-loss-met-20170322-story.html
  7. I'm just wondering when or if the strip centers lining Post Oak will be redeveloped. Around 50 acres of land comprise the combination of the strip center containing Grand Lux (along with the Ethan Allen one), the one containing Kenny & Ziggy's, the one with Masraff's, and plot containing Dillard's, the Shell, and Zone d'Erotica.
  8. What about a restaurant-filled observation tower shaped like the Oilers logo with a driving range all on top of the convention center? (Oh...and the observation tower has a skywalk from a new Ritz-Carlton on the site of a newly-razed Embassy Suites)
  9. Yeah, they have been flying them low down the streets in downtown all day. One just flew over me probably only two or three hundred feet off the ground.
  10. I met a mechanical engineer while shopping at Dillard's a few weeks ago. According to him, he was recently laid off by HP. He seemed a bit despondent about the fact that he had to resort to working retail sales in the men's department, but he had to obtain an instant source of income due to the fact that his daughter was about to head to medical school and his son was an engineering undergrad at Texas Tech. He said he was hoping to get positive news back from Schlumberger regarding employment. Technically he was employed, but it was a definite case of underemployment. You'd certainly need context for determining each case though.
  11. Long-range forecasts are hinting at cooler temperatures and below average rainfall for the period starting next week through February 10, but forecasting that far out can be hit and miss.
  12. There are two ways to reduce congestion in the HOV/HOT lanes: 1) raise HOT prices and 2) increase the passenger count required for HOV access. I don't see how you don't understand the rationale behind this, Vinny. The 290 HOV lanes are open from 5AM - 11AM inbound and 2PM - 8PM outbound. The only 3+ passenger time is 6:30AM to 8:00AM. The reason for this increase is that there were too many vehicles in the lane. It was underutilized as an HOV-exclusive lane, and it is over-utilized following a peak hour, HOV/low-cost HOT setup. So from 6:30 to 8:00 it is HOV only (3+)/no HOT, and just prior to that, it is $7 for the HOT lane with a $5 rate just after that window. However, HOV (2+) usage is still permitted at other times. These are lane-management methods, Vinny. And the 6:30-8:00 window is given to preserve timeliness of service for the bus service that the lanes were designed for.
  13. We need to drop a bag over that thing so people don't go blind.
  14. Knowing what a simple fender bender can do to traffic, I can only imagine the nightmare of traffic that it caused. Hey, but being in traffic is better than being involved in the pile up itself, I guess.
  15. I know this is not in Houston, but it's still in southeast Texas. There was a 100-car pile up a few years back on I-10 near Beaumont.
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