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Grand Parkway Expansion

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Personally, I'd like to see downtown be mostly residential with the employment centers on the outskirts.  Then inside the loop would be a place to live and play and the commuting could be distributed out

 

 

I could certainly live with that.

 

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Just found this...

 

 


The first new stretch of the planned 180-mile outer loop to open in five years, Segment E will be a boon to the Katy area, according to Katy Economic Development Council CEO Lance LaCour.

“Developers and builders are positioning themselves to take enhanced growth and quality development to all along the Grand Parkway, up to U.S. 290 and beyond,” LaCour said. “The Exxon facility in The Woodlands and the energy industry in general are driving the growth in this area.”

Speaking at a recent real estate forum in Houston, Jay Sears, managing partner of NewQuest Properties, said the Grand Parkway is a ''game-changer'' and the Katy area is now the fastest growing community in the United States.

“New development in that community is driving retail with grocers leading the way. We are seeing new grocers coming to the market and some that are moving to the suburbs for the first time,” he said. 

Billy Burge, chairman of the Grand Parkway Association, said the roadway is needed to handle the area's healthy economic growth and mushrooming population.

''What you're seeing is, the employers are moving out to where the people want to live, and they want to live where they have school districts and where they have a backyard,'' he said.

Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley explained that  the Grand Parkway services the needs of the unincorporated population of Harris County, which is equal to the fifth-largest city in the United States.

 

http://katytimes.com/news/article_79249148-6804-11e3-8456-0019bb2963f4.html

 

"Grocers leading the way", "employers are moving out to where the people want to live"...where they have better school districts and backyards...go figure.

Edited by august948

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Note that a long string of off-topic posts have been relocated to Way Off Topic, under the "Limits to Growth" title.

 

 

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Just found this...

http://katytimes.com/news/article_79249148-6804-11e3-8456-0019bb2963f4.html

"Grocers leading the way", "employers are moving out to where the people want to live"...where they have better school districts and backyards...go figure.

The reason this portion was built was because bob Lanier owned a lot of land here and made a killing off this project being built. Period.

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The reason this portion was built was because bob Lanier owned a lot of land here and made a killing off this project being built. Period.

 

Bob Lanier may or may not own a lot of land along the route and he may or may not have made a killing off the project but it wasn't built by or for his personal amusement and gain.

 

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Bob Lanier may or may not own a lot of land along the route and he may or may not have made a killing off the project but it wasn't built by or for his personal amusement and gain.

 

 

He had a SIGNIFICANT impact on the entire project happening at all.

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He had a SIGNIFICANT impact on the entire project happening at all.

 

Well, then, if that's true we should thank him and name it in his honor.

 

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Lanier, Bob McNair, a bunch of other River Oaks types were all in it together....Lanier was over the highway commission and it was him or someone close to him who developed Cinco Ranch with the road coming through in due time to profit off of it

 

you look back at that time..there wasn't much in Katy to develop or even waste time developing then as even Highway 6 was way out in the boonies...why not funnel more development into Houston then if you had interests there?  That's why monorail was killed...Lanier

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The monorail was killed more likely out of pragmatism, not some eeeeeevil conspiracy.

No Lanier just didn't want it so he killed it and gave money to a corrupt, inept police department instead.

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Lanier, Bob McNair, a bunch of other River Oaks types were all in it together....Lanier was over the highway commission and it was him or someone close to him who developed Cinco Ranch with the road coming through in due time to profit off of it

 

you look back at that time..there wasn't much in Katy to develop or even waste time developing then as even Highway 6 was way out in the boonies...why not funnel more development into Houston then if you had interests there?  That's why monorail was killed...Lanier

 

Or because the had enough vision to see how things would develop in Katy and got ahead of the curve?

 

No Lanier just didn't want it so he killed it and gave money to a corrupt, inept police department instead.

 

Would that be the same corrupt, inept police force that reduced crime during Lanier's term?

 

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Or because the had enough vision to see how things would develop in Katy and got ahead of the curve?

Would that be the same corrupt, inept police force that reduced crime during Lanier's term?

His vision was his bank account, nothing else.

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His vision was his bank account, nothing else.

 

Do you think that cities get built by people holding hands and singing songs?

 

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It looks like the frontage roads are not complete. According to the map, since they have elevated 290 in that stretch, the 99 frontage roads intersect 290 roads at grade, and it looks like there should be some new railroad crossings there as well. Of course, if you look at the map just to the south (oriented as west-east in the PDFs), you'll see that the frontage roads merge back into the highway just south of 290, so it's not like you'll be able to bypass the tolls by taking the frontage roads to Katy. If you plan to do that route, then it's back to the FMs for you.

so they plan on elevating 290 past the interchange and turning it into a 5 stack/level interchange? i was under the impression it would just be a 4 stack.

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Wow. Defending corruption.

Uh, no. I think he was making a point to say that Lanier was not the criminal you make him out to be (does anyone who blocks rail-based transit for any reason NOT a person to be vilified in your eyes?)

so they plan on elevating 290 past the interchange and turning it into a 5 stack/level interchange? i was under the impression it would just be a 4 stack.

Not quite sure. From this PDF it looks like the frontage roads of 99 and 290 would intersect at grade, with said railroad crossings (as described above), then 290 going over these (which as far as it looks has not happened yet), with 99 going over that. Right now, we only have four of those orange ramps. The purple is going to be an HSR line (if I recall correctly), or at least its right of way.

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Drove on this thing earlier today and yesterday. Yesterday it was about 3PM and I was heading south from the outlet mall to Cinco. Southbound on the new section, there were a few cars there with me. Northbound there were packs of cars one after the other. maybe six or seven cars in each pack. I'm gonna guess those are people living tat 529 or any of the other roads that intersect 99 heading south towards ten. Today there was more traffic both ways. Definitely wasn't deserted like I thought it would be. It should be interesting to see how traffic flows on it once people return to normal work schedules. I think it is going to have some backups already. This is where I agree with cloud713. They should have maybe skipped over some roads like Clay and Morton Ranch to have less local traffic clouding the roadway, for example. I do know that there are some overpasses without exits/entrances and I don't think there will be new ones constructed there. there was another overpass with exits/entrances that has concrete barriers blocking it.(bridgeland) So, they didn't add entrances/exits for every local road at least.

Btw, love that 70 speed limit. Pretty much everyone cruises in the low 70s on the right with a couple of people going near 80 or a little over on the left. So almost like any other freeway in Houston. It's about time that Houston had a tollway with a 70 limit, because DFW, Austin, and SA all have one at least.

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Drove on this thing earlier today and yesterday. Yesterday it was about 3PM and I was heading south from the outlet mall to Cinco. Southbound on the new section, there were a few cars there with me. Northbound there were packs of cars one after the other. maybe six or seven cars in each pack. I'm gonna guess those are people living tat 529 or any of the other roads that intersect 99 heading south towards ten. Today there was more traffic both ways. Definitely wasn't deserted like I thought it would be. It should be interesting to see how traffic flows on it once people return to normal work schedules. I think it is going to have some backups already. This is where I agree with cloud713. They should have maybe skipped over some roads like Clay and Morton Ranch to have less local traffic clouding the roadway, for example. I do know that there are some overpasses without exits/entrances and I don't think there will be new ones constructed there. there was another overpass with exits/entrances that has concrete barriers blocking it.(bridgeland) So, they didn't add entrances/exits for every local road at least.

Btw, love that 70 speed limit. Pretty much everyone cruises in the low 70s on the right with a couple of people going near 80 or a little over on the left. So almost like any other freeway in Houston. It's about time that Houston had a tollway with a 70 limit, because DFW, Austin, and SA all have one at least.

 

About how long did it take to drive 290 to I10?

 

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About how long did it take to drive 290 to I10?

No more than 15 minutes.

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I do know that there are some overpasses without exits/entrances and I don't think there will be new ones constructed there. there was another overpass with exits/entrances that has concrete barriers blocking it.(bridgeland) So, they didn't add entrances/exits for every local road at least.

FWIW, when the Interstates were built they had far less interchanges than they do today (many roads went under or over). Maybe there would be less traffic overall if they didn't build as many...

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FWIW, when the Interstates were built they had far less interchanges than they do today (many roads went under or over). Maybe there would be less traffic overall if they didn't build as many...

Yeah but Texas is pretty unique with the amount it has in its urban areas compared to other places across the country.

Edited by Trae

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Yeah but Texas is pretty unique with the amount it has in its urban areas compared to other places across the country.

 

I don't know about that.  The Bay area, for instance, has quite a bit of interstate criss-crossing it, as do most cities.  What I have found to be unique here is the almost ubiquitous presence of access roads along the interstates.

 

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I don't know about that. The Bay area, for instance, has quite a bit of interstate criss-crossing it, as do most cities. What I have found to be unique here is the almost ubiquitous presence of access roads along the interstates.

It's definitely unique at least in terms of size and interchange style. Texas is one of the few states with 5 stack interchanges, and Houston certainly takes the cake with total 5 stacks, at 9-10. Its hard to keep track with all the new construction.

But yes you could argue other cities have just as many major intersections (just smaller interchanges). LA comes to mind, with it's mess of highways crisscrossing all over town. But many other cities have dozens of interchanges as well.

Edit: the flyovers are the reason for the big interchanges (besides of course the feeder roads adding the 5th level), instead of lower "over/under" overpasses with cloverleaf ramps. I certainly think the flyovers are much better for traffic flow and keeping higher speeds. So I'm a fan of the big interchanges. (I also love the views of the city from the top since Houston lacks tall hills)

Edited by cloud713

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 So I'm a fan of the big interchanges. (I also love the views of the city from the top since Houston lacks tall hills)

 

If you haven't already, you should take the 59E exit off Beltway 8 South.  It goes quite a ways up. 

 

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I drove 99 Southbound today and I was at 1-10 from my spot in Waller County (290 area near Hempstead) in 28 minutes

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I had some time to kill this afternoon so I took I-10 WB to 99 NB and turned back around at Clay Rd. I was surprised to see no U-turn lanes at this intersection. All of the crossings on 99 between I-10 and 1093 have u-turn lanes. Is segment E not supposed to have any or will they come as the surrounding areas develop?

I'm not a long time Houstonian so I dont know the history of existing highways when they were originally developed in new areas. Does anyone know if U-turns historically were added after the area develops?

Also I noticed that on the 99 SB side the I-10 WB signs on the Franz Rd exit have been cleared. I'm not sure when it happened but the 99 SB to I-10 WB direct connector is now open. The mainlanes of 99 SB has a single I-10 east/west BGS with control cities of Houston and San Antonio consigned. Each is on a separate sign near the top of the exit ramp as the lanes split to go their respective ways.

Edited by nolaboy

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The only uturns north are at Franz and Morton roads. There are also frontage roads in those sections.

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Well, then, if that's true we should thank him and name it in his honor.

What should we call it? The Corrupt Government Official Tollway? The Nickel And Dime Highway? The Money Laundering Kickback Freeway?

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Drove the southbound section today from 290 to Cinco Ranch Blvd., and it was quite boring and pleasant, apart from the usual coterie of jackasses who think they're in NASCAR.

 

I would love it if they could send out tickets based on average speed between toll tag checkpoints, but that would obviously be an infringement upon the right to speed.

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What should we call it? The Corrupt Government Official Tollway? The Nickel And Dime Highway? The Money Laundering Kickback Freeway?

 

Those are all too generic...they could apply to almost any road and other pubic works project (including rail transit projects).

 

Just the Bob Lanier Parkway would be sufficient.

 

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Those are all too generic...they could apply to almost any road and other pubic works project (including rail transit projects).

 

Just the Bob Lanier Parkway would be sufficient.

 

 

I think there's already a section of 146 named after Lanier in Baytown. Additionally, calling it a parkway would go against the Houston area's trend of slapping the designation of parkway on roads that are nowhere near being a parkway, which are typically limited access roads that pass through park-like settings. Examples of non-parkway parkways: St. Joseph Parkway, NASA Parkway, Cypress Creek Parkway. ;)

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I think there's already a section of 146 named after Lanier in Baytown. Additionally, calling it a parkway would go against the Houston area's trend of slapping the designation of parkway on roads that are nowhere near being a parkway, which are typically limited access roads that pass through park-like settings. Examples of non-parkway parkways: St. Joseph Parkway, NASA Parkway, Cypress Creek Parkway. ;)

I typically like Houston's naming schemes. Northwest Freeway is far shorter and way more descriptive than Sen. Politician Somelastname Freeway. Bonus points if they add a middle initial.

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I drove this on Saturday.  I was pretty surprised at the amount of traffic (both directions).  The construction seems a bit screwy though.  It was like they took a cross between the westpark (which is a continuous concrete chute) and 288 (which is wide open with grass and a wire divider).  Did anyone else think it felt a bit odd?  Tons of starts / stops to railings and dividers.  

 

I also noted the high number of excessive speeders (doing 90+), but there were cops out there handing out tickets.  Also, given the aforementioned construction, there are a near infinite number of places for them to sit, so people will have to go back to the Hardy to really crank it up.

 

EDIT:  Also, meant to say "nice road".  You can even see downtown from out there at one point.  Pretty cool.

Edited by SkylineView

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I live in the Cinco Ranch area.  I have driven this section 3 times since it opened.  Once to the outlet malls and twice as a route to North Texas, Dallas and Possum Kingdom.  That worked quite well allowing me to avoid all of 45 and the beltway south of Madsonville big time saver too.

 

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Sorry you live so far. Traffic probably bites.

This road does not appear to serve anyone else besides those in the exburbs.

Edited by LTAWACS

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This road does not appear to serve anyone else besides those in the exburbs.

The same argument is used for light rail. My opinions? I'm a bit depressed. That part of the freeway wasn't even limited access a decade ago, and look it at now...

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Sorry you live so far. Traffic probably bites.

This road does not appear to serve anyone else besides those in the exburbs.

 

If by exurbs you mean people who live between Beltway 8 and Highway 6, then I would agree.  I took it to and from Austin this week and it beats the socks off my old route going north on Eldridge to hit 290.  I clocked 14 mins from 290 to I10 and that was without really trying.

 

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This road does not appear to serve anyone else besides those in the exburbs.

 

One of the reasons for building the Grand Parkway (and every other loop in Houston) is to give through traffic a way to pass through the Houston area without going through the center of the city. For example, a trucker going from Corpus to Shreveport taking the Grand Parkway from Sugar Land to Porter to bypass central Houston. Once segments F-2 and G are complete, it'll be interesting to see if it finds more use as a bypass or as an arterial route.

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One of the reasons for building the Grand Parkway (and every other loop in Houston) is to give through traffic a way to pass through the Houston area without going through the center of the city. For example, a trucker going from Corpus to Shreveport taking the Grand Parkway from Sugar Land to Porter to bypass central Houston. Once segments F-2 and G are complete, it'll be interesting to see if it finds more use as a bypass or as an arterial route.

 

I think that's more of a side effect. The reasoning for building it was strictly money.

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I think that's more of a side effect. The reasoning for building it was strictly money.

As much as you may think Lanier is the antichrist, he doesn't have THAT much power. That said, just about everything that gets built is built with money as a significant or driving factor. Ever hear of the Allen brothers?

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As much as you may think Lanier is the antichrist, he doesn't have THAT much power. That said, just about everything that gets built is built with money as a significant or driving factor. Ever hear of the Allen brothers?

 

He had that much power, and more. He was a very influential highway commissioner before being the mayor.

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Grand Parkway has been planning for at least 2 decades, maybe longer. Sure, had it been built a decade ago, it would've likely followed the "frontage roads first" rule, but the fact why this segment was built now also is because how Katy and Cypress have been growing.

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Grand Parkway has been planning for at least 2 decades, maybe longer. Sure, had it been built a decade ago, it would've likely followed the "frontage roads first" rule, but the fact why this segment was built now also is because how Katy and Cypress have been growing.

Katy is not large enough to warrant speeding up construction of this road. There are maybe 12k ppl who live in Katy? Tiny.

Same for Cypress. Is that an incorporated city?

I cannot recall the last time either of these two jokes of a city ever annexed land.

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Katy is not large enough to warrant speeding up construction of this road. There are maybe 12k ppl who live in Katy? Tiny.

Same for Cypress. Is that an incorporated city?

I cannot recall the last time either of these two jokes of a city ever annexed land.

Katy is stuck in the ETJ of Houston and cannot annex without Houston's permission, so any annexation is rare.

Cypress is not incorporated and unless Houston gives the OK for them to do so, they never will. They're smack dab in the ETJ. It's far less likely that Cypress would become an independent city and far more likely that Houston annexes it.

Edited by IronTiger
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Katy is not large enough to warrant speeding up construction of this road. There are maybe 12k ppl who live in Katy? Tiny.

Same for Cypress. Is that an incorporated city?

I cannot recall the last time either of these two jokes of a city ever annexed land.

The "Katy area" has about 300,000 people and includes much more than the City of Katy. Cypress is of similar size probably. I'm glad they built most of this thing without frontage roads. It will look much better once growth comes around it.

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Katy is not large enough to warrant speeding up construction of this road. There are maybe 12k ppl who live in Katy? Tiny.

Same for Cypress. Is that an incorporated city?

I cannot recall the last time either of these two jokes of a city ever annexed land.

 

I cannot recall the last time this joke of a poster ever made a knowledgable statement. Please stop talking about things you know nothing about. Clearly you've demonstrated that you've never spent any time whatsoever in any of the areas surrounding Houston. The actual Katy area, not the city limits because that means nothing in this case, as Trae mentioned, has a population close to 300k, which would make it one of the largest, if not the largest, suburbs of Houston. This highway was much needed, just because you aren't one of the many people who will use it doesn't mean it does not serve an important function to the people of West Houston. 

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Katy is not large enough to warrant speeding up construction of this road. There are maybe 12k ppl who live in Katy? Tiny.

Same for Cypress. Is that an incorporated city?

I cannot recall the last time either of these two jokes of a city ever annexed land.

The west side of the Houston area has a population of 1.5 million and is projected to reach 2.8 million by 2050. The Grand Pkwy runs almost dead center of that area.

http://www.westhouston.org/pop_&_emp.htm

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The Grand Pkwy runs almost dead center of that area.

http://www.westhouston.org/pop_&_emp.htm

Ugh.. Unfortunately. I was kind of hoping the grand parkway would be the final straw in containing our sprawl, but that sure as he'll isn't going to happen (at least on the west and north sides). Especially with the Fulshear/Prarie parkway planned even further west.

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Ugh.. Unfortunately. I was kind of hoping the grand parkway would be the final straw in containing our sprawl, but that sure as he'll isn't going to happen (at least on the west and north sides). Especially with the Fulshear/Prarie parkway planned even further west.

 

Why do you think you can control sprawl? Why would you want to?

 

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