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Houston Metro Light Rail East Side/Green Line (formerly Brown Line)

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Here are two of the photos that I took.

The tracks laid out for the south east line wasn't very accessible.

th_DSC03696.jpg

th_DSC03695.jpg

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Wow just imagine if Congress were to magically pass Obama's Jobs Bill in tact. These lines would have enough money to get finished!

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Re: the video posted above where they laid rail in an intersection in a 72 hour period... It is looking like they are about to do the same thing in the intersection of Fulton and Cavalcade on the North (Red) Line. They have been intensely preparing the space where the rails will be laid on either side of the intersection and have removed all of Cavalcade going through the intersection except for 2 narrow lanes of asphalt. Looks like the intersection will be completely re-done with rails by the end of this week.

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Thanks for the videos. I'm impressed with the amount of rail I see so far. I can't wait to ride on these new lines.

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Thanks for the videos. I'm impressed with the amount of rail I see so far. I can't wait to ride on these new lines.

It is pretty impressive, I think all the track is down between 59 and dumble, minus the bit under the real railway.

Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk

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Seems like someone has a personal vandetta they wanted to air out on the comments of the latest video. I was stunned that it would go that way.

And another update, they are just now starting work on the underpass near dowling under the railroad tracks. I'm still a bit bummed by that, but whatever. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I should do this again in three months.

Thoughts?

EDIT: ADD.

Edited by ricco67

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A few things just hit hit me while watching those videos.

1. Main street won't be the only F***ed up street in downtown with one lane in each direction.

2. There will be a plethora of more collisions with the trains.

In my own opinion I beleive that METRO is making a mistake by placing the rail on the streets. The rail should have its own right of way or be below or above ground away from the pedestrian and auto traffic. Houston is too big not to have the space for a slim right of way for light rail trains. I just don't think its a great idea.

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An above- or below-grade line would seem to have made more sense in areas such as downtown and the TMC, although, admittedly the obliteration of pre-existing skywalks and tunnels would've been an issue.

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2. There will be a plethora of more collisions with the trains.

Unfortunately that's true. But it's a train on a track, it's not like the train is jumping the rails to gobble up innocent cars. And I agree that it's a valid debate whether the trains are on-grade or not. But that is a separate issue. We can't let our city's transportation future be held hostage by bad drivers.

And frankly, if a collision with a train gets a bad driver off the road before they have the chance to crash into me or my family, then I don't have a problem with that.

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We can't let our city's transportation future be held hostage by bad drivers.

And frankly, if a collision with a train gets a bad driver off the road before they have the chance to crash into me or my family, then I don't have a problem with that.

This x eleventy billion.

being both a bicyclist, and motorcyclist I rejoice every time someone 'doesn't notice' a red light, or a train, or a clearly marked sign signaling imminent collision with a train. Hopefully the very costly mistake they made will open their eyes and make them more cautious when driving.

If they can't notice a 14' tall, 90' long, 8' wide train with lights and horns blaring constantly, they sure as hell aren't going to notice me on my bicycle or motorcycle. There is absolutely no excuse for the lackadaisical attitude people have when piloting their 2 ton frigate of death, I hate to be a mean spirited person, but I think it's good that there's dangers present on the roadways that might just help people make a decision to pay attention.

Lord knows the government isn't going to give up the opportunity to collect gasoline taxes from someone just because they don't pay attention when behind the wheel!

edit, yes I realize mistakes happen, and with the high number of drivers that multiplies the chance for something to happen, however, it's good to point out that most accidents could have been avoided. typically with vehicular accidents it could have been avoided by someone paying better attention to driving, or following the posted rules of the road.

Edited by samagon

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A few things just hit hit me while watching those videos.

1. Main street won't be the only F***ed up street in downtown with one lane in each direction.

2. There will be a plethora of more collisions with the trains.

In my own opinion I beleive that METRO is making a mistake by placing the rail on the streets. The rail should have its own right of way or be below or above ground away from the pedestrian and auto traffic. Houston is too big not to have the space for a slim right of way for light rail trains. I just don't think its a great idea.

Funny that you would say these things "hit" you while watching the video, when you have posted the exact same thoughts about Houston's rail plans on multiple previous occasions. We get it already, citykid -- you think everyone should have rail just like Atlanta's.

Edited by Houston19514

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In my own opinion I beleive that METRO is making a mistake by placing the rail on the streets. The rail should have its own right of way or be below or above ground away from the pedestrian and auto traffic. Houston is too big not to have the space for a slim right of way for light rail trains. I just don't think its a great idea.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't getting funding for the current plan already difficult enough? How much more would it have cost to build above or below grade rail?

It seems to me like this is one of the common complaints of people that have or will never use the rail frequently. And then they turn around and complain about how much money Houston is wasting on building rail.

Edited by Eiknujrac
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't getting funding for the current plan already difficult enough? How much more would it have cost to build above or below grade rail?

It seems to me like this is one of the common complaints of people that have or will never use the rail frequently. And then they turn around and complain about how much money Houston is wasting on building rail.

Don't forget that people will complain that above ground rail would be too ugly.

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was driving by looking for pictures to shoot late last night, and saw they are finally doing work under the harrisburg tunnel. Harrisburg/Texas/Dowling intersection is going to be a nightmare.

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That was done years ago, and presumably there will be crossing arms at key intersections on the new lines as well.

key interesections: intersections that have a high proportion of people who don't pay attention, and need more things blinking at them to make them pay attention to what they should be doing.

they've been working on the Harrisburg tunnel part for about a month now, or at least, the eastbound traffic was directed to the westbound lanes about a month ago.

Edited by samagon

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Went walking a few weeks ago on Harrisburg where the old shopping area was. Seems it's not nearly as easy to walk as it once was. Sidewalks are no longer wide. The street is about 12 to 18" below the sidewalk depending on where you are. While the trees are nice, manuevering a wheelchair between the tree and street will be challenging. This was taken in front of a furniture store, hence the mattress out front.

harrisburg.jpg

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Except for the tree, that sidewalk looks just fine. It's hard to imagine that the sidewalk was wider before the street was re-done, do you have any before pics?

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Personally, I don't think the tree belongs on that particular spot.. I'm sure it meets at least the ADA standards, but I wonder if the business would get a citation fort blocking the sidewalk.

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He's right, the sidewalk right there was wider.

Except for the tree, that sidewalk looks just fine. It's hard to imagine that the sidewalk was wider before the street was re-done, do you have any before pics?

He's right, it was wider and less encumbered by obstacles. You can see for yourself on Google Streetview. The block in question is the north side of Harrisburg, immediately east of 67th Street.

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He's right, it was wider and less encumbered by obstacles. You can see for yourself on Google Streetview. The block in question is the north side of Harrisburg, immediately east of 67th Street.

Yes, it does look to be slightly wider. I don't know why they would try to force a tree there, but again, the sidewalk looks wide enough to me. It's not like the area is bustling with pedestrian activity, lol.

But they are pushing it a bit, just not enough space.

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Except for the tree, that sidewalk looks just fine. It's hard to imagine that the sidewalk was wider before the street was re-done, do you have any before pics?

Why is it hard to imagine? I would say it was 15 ft or so to support the businesses in the area. in my youth i remember walking in the area frequently with many other pedestrians. Sears had a large store in the area which was a neighborhood staple for decades. if i remember i'll take a pic from across the street this weekend.

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Why is it hard to imagine? I would say it was 15 ft or so to support the businesses in the area. in my youth i remember walking in the area frequently with many other pedestrians. Sears had a large store in the area which was a neighborhood staple for decades. if i remember i'll take a pic from across the street this weekend.

It's hard to imagine because generally sidewalks in Houston suck. It looks like this was a rare exception, and I've already admitted that I was wrong.

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I was out and about experimenting with RAW photos, and I thought I'd snap a pic or two. Still trying to get the hang of editing them, so they might appear amateurish.

actually, several, but here are my faves.

DSC07729final.JPG

DSC07732bw.JPG

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great pictures, it's hard to get WB right in RAW for night shots, takes a lot of PP, I used to shoot only RAW, but have moved away from it, the image processing in camera has gotten so good, I hardly ever have to do any PP after shooting.

anyway...

I guess the 20 million for infrastructure didn't include putting in a new streetlight to replace the one that is cantered at a 15 degree angle...

Edited by samagon

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I'm starting to shoot RAW to take care of some issues I have, particularly since I love shooting at night (see previous photos), so I'm hoping to correct some errors. Believe it or not, there is very little post done on the photos. I'm about to get Photoshop Elements....but anyway....

I'm sure the lamp will eventually be replaced once construction in that area is done. That thing has been tilted in one direction or another for months. I'm assuming things keep bumping into it.

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Yeah, didn't think of that, wouldn't make much sense to replace that lamp post now, and have someone bump it, making the new one lean too!

My only comment on your photo, is I would personally set the Aperture a little tighter (like F11, or F16), a tighter aperture at night will create 'crisper' shots, that and (it's personal preference) it will give those neat lines coming off the light sources (http://famouswonders...e-colesseum.jpg) hard to explain what they are. Anyway, since photography is an art, try shooting the same scene using all sorts of different settings, see what the differences are, and use the settings that gives you the best chance to take the shot that best represents what you want to show people :) that and I would have included the top of the stadium in the frame.

at any rate, I prefer the BW you took, but they are both great shots, imo.

Edited by samagon

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I shoot with a 28 2.8 at night because of speed, which is a bit of a necessity of where I shoot at night. It was shot with a 2.8 because I don't like the "starring" effect I get with a higher aperture number. I'm hoping to get a new 50mm 1.7 in a few weeks, though. If I have time, I'll give it another shot tonight.

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I am so confused with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. They all deal with light but I'm having a hard time differentiating between them all.

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I am so confused with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. They all deal with light but I'm having a hard time differentiating between them all.

maybe we should start a new thread on this, so mods feel free to do so:

The larger the aperture number the "smaller" the hole in which light gets in, a 2.8 is fairly wide open and allows me to shoot "fast" pictures at night.

Add a higher ISO number to the mix and you can speed up the picture a bit more.

a 2.8 with a 3200 ISO gave me a shutter speed at 1/15th of a second. with a 1600 ISO, it would have given me a 1 second (I think) exposure time. Same thing if I increased my aperture number but left my ISO alone.

I still get a bit tripped up occasionally. Like I said, I'm a relative newbie to this.

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I shoot with a 28 2.8 at night because of speed, which is a bit of a necessity of where I shoot at night. It was shot with a 2.8 because I don't like the "starring" effect I get with a higher aperture number. I'm hoping to get a new 50mm 1.7 in a few weeks, though. If I have time, I'll give it another shot tonight.

It's all preference :) I hate it when people tell me that I have to shoot a specific way, because that's what looks best, no I meant to do it that way! Otherwise it's not art, but following a formula...

Now lighting (aperture; shutter speed; ISO; flash), that's more science, with art mixed in ;)

My lowest Fstop lens is the Sigma 30mm 1.4, best lens for the money, if it comes in a mount that works for your camera. it makes great bokeh, although the focus motor isn't the fastest.

I'll start a thread in the photography forum for camera equipment questions/tips, that seems like the best place, rather than cluttering up other threads :)

here 'tis http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/26156-photography-tips-tricks-and-equipment/

Edited by samagon

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It's all preference :) I hate it when people tell me that I have to shoot a specific way, because that's what looks best, no I meant to do it that way! Otherwise it's not art, but following a formula...

I know, that's what I didn't like about Flickr. In a way you appreciate people's opinions but when they bash you for the artistry you're trying to create, I don't like it either.

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What is the building on the right of the image? I really hope it get revitalized.

That is the old Texaco building. Slated to be turned into apartments. The latest information indicates work will start this fall. (I wonder if they delayed the work so that the opening roughly coincides with the completion of the rail constuction?)

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That is the old Texaco building. Slated to be turned into apartments. The latest information indicates work will start this fall. (I wonder if they delayed the work so that the opening roughly coincides with the completion of the rail constuction?)

I can't imagine that they would screw with their financing just so that they could open at the same time as a rail line that will have minimal effect on their operation. If actual construction was a concern, I'd point out that the dirty construction (digging up the street and laying track) is completed long before the rail line actually opens. The Red Line was largely completed a year before service began.

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Interesting that they're so far along in some places and barely placing barrels in other places along the same line. Seems like it should've been done simultaneously and all at once instead of spending money on early segments that end up sitting unused for a period of time afterward. Neither the private sector or even TXDoT would typically allow this sort of thing to happen. Also, does anybody know when work will commence on the underpass? Seems like that would be on the project manager's critical path, but nothing is happening.

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