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The Boulevard Project

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This article made me crack up and cry at the same time:

https://abc13.com/traffic/construction-mistakes-could-have-made-galleria-area-traffic-worse/5521219/

 

"HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A recent review of a new rapid transit system in the Galleria area discovered crews made lanes too small and added light bars that would have injured riders and damaged buses.

After years and millions in the making, construction is supposed to be nearing its end for METRO's new system. But with the clock ticking, crews are suddenly racing to make changes.

 


"There's nothing I know now that would not meet that March 2020 (deadline), but if something comes up, and we don't think it's safe to operate, we will not operate," METRO Chief Executive Officer Tom Lambert explained.

Recently, something did come up. In a memo obtained by Eyewitness News, METRO, who isn't behind the construction, discovered two big problems...*continues*..."

 

I thought the deadline was originally December 2018...ha! 

anyway...

good lord 

😐

Edited by gene

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Reading the article it actually sounds pretty minor, especially considering Metro wasn't managing this project, Uptown (which has less if any experience in big transit projects) was.

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1 hour ago, Texasota said:

Reading the article it actually sounds pretty minor, especially considering Metro wasn't managing this project, Uptown (which has less if any experience in big transit projects) was.

 

Yeah, major clickbait.   After reading the article it sounds like it is nothing serious at all; probably no more than the corrections that are necessary during any major construction project.

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Perhaps the French were behind this... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27497727 :ph34r:

In reality, though, it sounds like either the plans weren't properly vetted or things weren't built according to plan - both of which happen more often than a lot of people like to admit.  That's why they have a clearance template that they run down the line before it opens.

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Apologies if there is topic already for this. Tried searching and was unable to find anything. 

 

I noticed Northwest Transit Center was completely demolished yesterday and on the development map its slated to be rebuilt.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer?hl=en&ll=29.78214561558281%2C-95.45377498634184&z=17&mid=1J_89cR1sxP4muIAHRJlm6TajoQPyoswJ

 

Any Renderings of the replacement structure yet? At least publicly available? 

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Found where I posted it: in the Boulevard Project thread

 

 

On 6/7/2019 at 9:17 AM, cspwal said:

I got the presentation on the reconstruction of the NW transit center from metro

https://ridemetro.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=1783&meta_id=41677

 

VqOSY9M.png

 

I can't tell which direction it's facing, but it looks like the BRT station is not on post oak, but in the transit center, and only has the one platform.  Will that be sufficient if another BRT line goes to NW transit center, or would they make a second platform?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Purdueenginerd said:

Apologies if there is topic already for this. Tried searching and was unable to find anything. 

 

I noticed Northwest Transit Center was completely demolished yesterday and on the development map its slated to be rebuilt.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer?hl=en&ll=29.78214561558281%2C-95.45377498634184&z=17&mid=1J_89cR1sxP4muIAHRJlm6TajoQPyoswJ

 

Any Renderings of the replacement structure yet? At least publicly available? 

I've merged these thread, just FYI.

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Oh wow, so how is this supposed to work? I believe the BRT is going to be operational in March, but I doubt this is going to be finished by then. So people taking Park and Rides won't be able to get into Uptown via the BRT until it's finished? This is going to make ridership look so bad...

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The nice thing about a BRT is that it could run to the temporary park and ride area with no problem, just slightly slower service than when the new TC is built

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On 8/26/2019 at 11:34 AM, Luminare said:

 

I mean BRT is essentially LRT minus rail.

 

@editor Maybe we can change this sub forum from simply Trains to "Rapid Transit". That would be able to encompass both rail transit and bus transit that is of the rapid transit variety.

 

Done!

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On 9/28/2019 at 4:22 PM, ekdrm2d1 said:

Uptown Transit Center progress.

 

 

Ahh, so this is the real reason that the start of service was delayed until 2020.

 

Really would have loved to have service started before the bond election, but it is what it is. 

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On 10/4/2019 at 9:52 AM, wilcal said:

 

Ahh, so this is the real reason that the start of service was delayed until 2020.

 

Really would have loved to have service started before the bond election, but it is what it is. 

I was thinking the same. I would have been nice. There was an article in the Chronicle highlighting that issue. It was a lack of planning between Metro and TxDOT

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Drove down Post Oak today, for some reason it was giving me Lower Manhattan west st vibes. This street is definitely coming together nicely, also surprisingly there was a decent amount of pedestrian traffic going on. Can't wait for post oak to become a complete canyon of dense high rise buildings; with nice store fronts. 

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I don’t know if this is the section to post this, but the past week or so I’ve noticed that they have completely leveled the original NW Transit Center near where 610 and 10 meet.

 

I didn’t realize they were going to completely rebuild it. I for one am happy, the previous structure always looked dated with the white pyramid roof.

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I am a conservative and I never can understand why Republicans act like mass transit is the boogie man. The inner core of Houston does not have anymore room for more roads. Mass transit is needed as an alternative to gridlock, and also not everybody has a car. To all those who where trying to shut down the Post Oak line, I would like them to show me where else they can build a road in that area to help in lessening the congestion? The money they always are ready so spent on projects like the Grand Parkway is no different then spending money for a BRT line, both are used in the movement of people it is just that the BRT line is moving people in larger groups instead of a few people as is being transported in a car. I dont live in Houston but if able to I would vote for Buzbee who at least is open to mass transit and I believe would follow the will of the people if the Metro bond passes which it should.

I could never vote for the weasle in Turner.

Edited by cougarpad
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On 11/5/2019 at 11:28 AM, cougarpad said:

I am a conservative and I never can understand why Republicans act like mass transit is the boogie man. The inner core of Houston does not have anymore room for more roads. Mass transit is needed as an alternative to gridlock, and also not everybody has a car. To all those who where trying to shut down the Post Oak line, I would like them to show me where else they can build a road in that area to help in lessening the congestion? The money they always are ready so spent on projects like the Grand Parkway is no different then spending money for a BRT line, both are used in the movement of people it is just that the BRT line is moving people in larger groups instead of a few people as is being transported in a car. I dont live in Houston but if able to I would vote for Buzbee who at least is open to mass transit and I believe would follow the will of the people if the Metro bond passes which it should.

I could never vote for the weasle in Turner.

I think the concern is that it's government waste and it only services poor people, but I've never fully accepted that argument.

 

I live near downtown and commute all the way to Sugarland, and I would absolutely love having some sort of alternative than having to commute nearly an hour back home everyday. It's stressful and I could be doing something better with my time, like reading a book or working on my laptop on transit or something.

 

The real thing I've always found bizarre is the backlash from businesses. It's literally allowing more people to flow in front of your business. AND, it generally makes your property more attractive and an added marketing bonus if you ever decide to sell. 

 

I think the real problem is that people care more about short term solutions rather than dealing with the long term, especially for politicians who may not see the benefit during their terms.

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On 11/4/2019 at 2:42 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

For some reason Bill King thinks this was a waste of money... MORON

 The best thing about this photo is the soon to be hidden Cosmopolitan.

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1 hour ago, Toopicky said:

 

Exactly why I support LRT which you "railed" about in the Metro 2040 Pan thread ..... BRT is a dog, but I guess if it YOUR dog it looks beautiful

Because I think there are different long term solutions, some that are more viable and more cost effective of bringing regional mass transit a lot quicker. Look how long it's taken just to build light rail in a small area just inside 610. Sure political backlash contributed to the slowness but it still takes a long time to build out the rail and wiring, and then to test everything. Also, with one Culberson gone, another one will appear.

 

I used to be a big proponent of light rail but we've now had 20 years to study it in this city and in my opinion, I don't like how Houston implemented it.... I don't like how slow it goes... it's literally faster for me to drive down to NRG Stadium for rodeo than to take the rail, and everytime I try to take the rail back home, it's overcrowded and it's nearly impossible to get on. Don't get me started on the TMC stops... always cramped. There's barely any Metro police presence, especially on the Northside, so it never felt fully safe.

 

Now, this isn't viable for the Galleria, but I personally wish we did more express type routes for destinations outside the loop that travel down the railroads we already have going through the city, something very similar I've seen in places like Dallas or Denver. I really liked the express commute from the Denver airport to downtown. Even the transit system in DC is great with rail that travels down the center of the highways out from Vienna, Virginia to the capital.

 

I'm not anti-rail at all, I'm just not the biggest fan with how Houston implemented it. I think mass transit should be competitive with driving a car and a benefit should be that it gets you places faster than being stuck in traffic in a vehicle. Our metro rail system does not accomplish that.

 

(This is going to sound crazy but I've actually reached out to Elon Musk to see if his underground technology is viable in the clay soil we have here in Houston. Didn't get a response.)

 

Living in a car-oriented city like Houston, sometimes you have to be pragmatic and I think that's what this Metro 2040 plan is all about. Look, I really don't think the Metro plan went far enough to tell you the truth, but I do truly believe it's taking the first big leap towards regional mass transit that we so desperately need. We can't have 50 lane highways going into downtown 50 years from now. Mass transit HAS to be the next step.

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7 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I think some of y’all aren’t seeing the long term approach Metro is making politically. They offered an affordable cost efficient plan that over time will rally enough support to convert to light rail. I don’t see every line staying BRT. The infrastructure will be in place for an easy conversion. Plus the plan also focuses on making Houston streets safer and more pedestrian friendly with new sidewalks and access to stations. Much of those changes will incorporate repairing and repaving many of Houstons worn out transit corridors such as Richmond Ave. 

Bingo.

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11 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I think some of y’all aren’t seeing the long term approach Metro is making politically. They offered an affordable cost efficient plan that over time will rally enough support to convert to light rail. I don’t see every line staying BRT. The infrastructure will be in place for an easy conversion. Plus the plan also focuses on making Houston streets safer and more pedestrian friendly with new sidewalks and access to stations. Much of those changes will incorporate repairing and repaving many of Houstons worn out transit corridors such as Richmond Ave. 

genuinely asking here but what would be considered and easy conversion to light rail?  Are we just assuming or is it known that it can cut construction time in half or whatever?

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2 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

genuinely asking here but what would be considered and easy conversion to light rail?  Are we just assuming or is it known that it can cut construction time in half or whatever?

Yeah imo I guess that would be safe to say. I'm no engineer but installing overhead electrical lines would prob be the only real change. The stops would already be in place along with the dedicated section of the street. 

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You'd also have to install the rail lines, and reinforced the road bed to be able to carry the trains if it wasn't built to hold them.  Additionally, any bridges that aren't capable of holding a train would have to be updated, as well as installing electrical infrastructure and track switching equipment at critical places along the line.  

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Drove down Post Oak from 10 yesterday, and I didn't realize how far they still have to go on the bus lane to the transit center.  The flyover is mostly done, but the ramp is only tamped dirt, and there isn't any pavement yet for the bus lanes themselves

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On 11/6/2019 at 11:45 AM, Triton said:

I think the concern is that it's government waste and it only services poor people, but I've never fully accepted that argument.

 

I live near downtown and commute all the way to Sugarland, and I would absolutely love having some sort of alternative than having to commute nearly an hour back home everyday. It's stressful and I could be doing something better with my time, like reading a book or working on my laptop on transit or something.

 

The real thing I've always found bizarre is the backlash from businesses. It's literally allowing more people to flow in front of your business. AND, it generally makes your property more attractive and an added marketing bonus if you ever decide to sell. 

 

I think the real problem is that people care more about short term solutions rather than dealing with the long term, especially for politicians who may not see the benefit during their terms.

 

Thats the short term. So for retail and food services, the short term sucks because of the construction (and thus all the Cease and Desist letters and injunctions and lawsuits Uptown faced when they were a year into construction) hurting flow of people to their businesses. But long term? I think we've finally turned the corner for business and light rail in the city, which bodes well for BRT. Foodhalls, sports venues, hotels, apartment, and other new builds begin their investment pitches and advertising now with proximity to light rail in Downtown. Hell, the Dynamo practically beg people to use it. Plus, businesses are on the side of removing the parking minimums in Downtown/Midtown, theres some signs of going more transit based.

 

I really honestly think the BRT will change the flow of people to Uptown. We thought it sucked working in Galleria area before? It'll take a few years, like the rail, but once it gets going, I think the businesses there will finally appreciate it, and we will be whining about getting stuck at the Westheimer and Post Oak light in April because theres so much foot traffic and it takes forever to take a right.

 

Also, the "Gold Line" is hilariously appropriate for the area.

Edited by X.R.
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This morning on Channel 2 they were reporting live from Post Oak Blvd at 530am showing what the new Christmas tree installation along the boulevard will do tomorrow night...

the lights on the trees will flash in time with music but honestly it looked so cool...one of the light sequences made it look like a green tree with colored ornaments and a red star on top as it flashed and "danced" to the music...

having lived on McCue for the past 24 years (renting in various buildings and now owning a condo) i am so excited to have the Uptown Lighting ceremony happen again after a 2 year break...it truly does look bigger and better than ever and i have so much fun going to it with family and/or friends! 

Post Oak Blvd is so beautiful now and more so at Christmas! 

 

WHEN: Thanksgiving Day, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Begins at 4 p.m. with holiday music and concessions
  • Live Entertainment starts at 5 p.m.
  • Santa Claus will make an appearance at 7 p.m. THEN A HUGE FIREWORKS SHOW!

WHERE: Uptown Houston - Post Oak Boulevard (between San Felipe & Westheimer)

as posted on Channel 11 news though ;) 

 
 
Edited by gene
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I loved Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and Lighting Of Uptown! SO much fun and so darn beautiful...and wow the longest fireworks display i have seen besides Disney! Love my area/Uptown Houston and Post Oak Blvd!

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23 minutes ago, gene said:

I loved Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and Lighting Of Uptown! SO much fun and so darn beautiful...and wow the longest fireworks display i have seen besides Disney! Love my area/Uptown Houston and Post Oak Blvd!

 

I'm not sure I'd say that. most Independence Day fireworks are pretty long as well.

 

Didn't get to grab a picture, but they had one of the BRT buses on display at SF and PO intersection. Looks snazzy. the street really is transformed, and I'm not entirely sure what the opposition was fighting against this project for?

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oh yeah true haha! July 4th duh!!! 🤪 but yeah still amazing!

and well the original opposition was businesses that were going to be affected by the construction but most seemed to have survived okay and now it back to business better than before!

and oh yeah...i took a photo of the new bus!!! ha! forgot about that too...i am still suffering from food coma from the long Thanksgiving 4 1/2 day weekend i had! 

image.png.a919ef21ae40cc14c505f496d69d791b.png

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32 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

I'm not sure I'd say that. most Independence Day fireworks are pretty long as well.

 

Didn't get to grab a picture, but they had one of the BRT buses on display at SF and PO intersection. Looks snazzy. the street really is transformed, and I'm not entirely sure what the opposition was fighting against this project for?

 

I think they didn't want to suffer short term pain for long term gain - Post Oak was torn up for awhile, but any road work was going to do that

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2 hours ago, gene said:

oh yeah true haha! July 4th duh!!! 🤪 but yeah still amazing!

and well the original opposition was businesses that were going to be affected by the construction but most seemed to have survived okay and now it back to business better than before!

and oh yeah...i took a photo of the new bus!!! ha! forgot about that too...i am still suffering from food coma from the long Thanksgiving 4 1/2 day weekend i had! 

image.png.a919ef21ae40cc14c505f496d69d791b.png

Post the new bus pic!

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It is weird because i have the new apple 11 and it was on the 16:9 mode apparently so the photo looks very narrow and it wouldn't let me post a larger version of the photo as i did try! haha!

but yeah the bus was really sleek and more squared off if that makes sense....i took this while driving by it so sorry for the poor quality! (and as always sorry mom and mr policeman)

You would think that someone especially media would have posted a great photo but i show nothing online!

 

Edited by gene
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I wonder what the electric bill for all of the lights will be. The Boulevard looks great in the day time. I can't wait to see it at night!

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10 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I wonder what the electric bill for all of the lights will be. The Boulevard looks great in the day time. I can't wait to see it at night!

 

The one thing that was kind of annoying see those trees at night is that the lights fade in and out. I don't know if that was them testing the trees? It did look really nice when they weren't flashing on and off though.

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47 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I wonder what the electric bill for all of the lights will be. The Boulevard looks great in the day time. I can't wait to see it at night!

 

They look to be LED, so almost nothing. 

 

https://www.christmaslightsetc.com/pages/how-many-watts-amps-do-christmas-lights-use.htm

 

TLDR: LED lights use about 2% of the electricity of incandescent. 

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4 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

They look to be LED, so almost nothing. 

 

https://www.christmaslightsetc.com/pages/how-many-watts-amps-do-christmas-lights-use.htm

 

TLDR: LED lights use about 2% of the electricity of incandescent. 

 

LEDs are good but not that good.  With equal brightness on lights that you'd typically see for lighting (the equivalent of 15 to 150 watt incandescent bulbs), you normally see about 1/6 to 1/7 the electricity usage for LEDs.  Not "almost nothing", but still a large savings.  That's because incandescent bulbs are typically around 15 lumens per watt, whereas LEDs are typically closer to 100 lumens per watt.

 

Now, I realize you are talking about lower wattage decorative lights, which can be a bit more efficient in LED form, but in my experience, bulbs like the 0.1 watt C9 ones you linked are quite a bit dimmer than the 7 watt incandescent C9s when you get the wattage that low.  C9 LED bulbs of brightness comparable to that of 7 watt incandescents still use over half a watt and sometimes closer to a watt, which is again approaching 1/7 (but perhaps a bit better) of what incandescents use.

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