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The Boulevard Project


zaphod

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The Boulevard Project website says they are live oaks, nearly 1000 of them for the entire project.  They are farm grown and were probably trained to be straighter than would normally be the case if nature took her course.  Looking at where they're planted in the median, I'd guess that the greater strength and depth of the surrounding street paving will probably work to keep the roots down.

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

Are these the type of oak trees that tear up sidewalks with their roots over time?

 

If they aren't planted correctly, then yes. The problem of trees uplifting sidewalks happens when people plant the tree nearly at grade with the sidewalk. To prevent this one has to bury the tree at least a few feet below grade. Its actually both beneficial for the tree (as it can funnel more water and grow better), and for the sidewalk. I walked the area near the mall, and it seems like they did exactly the way one is suppose to plant a tree in an urban setting.

 

EDIT: Also planting a tree further below grade allows the roots to grow unimpeded. It makes for a stronger root system and for a stronger tree.

EDIT 2: If you want to see another example of this done right, then go walk around the major thoroughfares in Upper Kirby. This is district that has done street redesigns right.

Edited by Luminare
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16 minutes ago, CaptainJilliams said:

Makes me wish someone would build something (preferably a mid/high-rise) on the corner of Post Oak on that intersection! At least something worthy of being at the entrance of the boulevard. 

 

I'm sure someone will soon.  This area has changed so much in the last twenty years.  A picture taken from that vantage point twenty years ago would have looked much different.

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4 hours ago, CaptainJilliams said:

Makes me wish someone would build something (preferably a mid/high-rise) on the corner of Post Oak on that intersection! At least something worthy of being at the entrance of the boulevard. 

 

I hear you, but if I had to guess more people enter the boulevard through Westheimer than from the feeder.  I wonder if that land is an option for Tilman’s new Rockets practice/entertainment facility?

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I've been noticing the construction for months now, but didn't really register beyond usual road maintenance stuff to me, until I was down there yesterday, and they were far enough along that I noticed something different, the protected lanes in the center of the median. I was trying to figure out if they were bike or pedestrian lanes (which seemed weird to have in the middle of the road), knew they couldn't be light rail because of the way they were being laid down and the trees that were being planted were too close to them. Looked it up and found they are dedicated express bus lanes. Still seems like the trees are too close to them. I'm wondering what people think of the utility of having these center bus lanes, if it is practical and will really benefit traffic/speed and use of buses in the area?

 

https://theboulevardproject.com/the-project

 

Uptown_Street_Scape-1.0_799f89185926c204

Edited by Reefmonkey
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On 3/31/2019 at 10:31 AM, Naviguessor said:

Thanks Nate. My guess is that he will try to develop more energy around Toyota Center. My guess a facility around there will be his choice. 

That’s my hope as well and it just makes too much sense. What doesn’t make sense is building somewhere in the suburbs (besides cheap land). I remember reading that Tilman will be using his Post Oak Hotel for visiting teams starting next year instead of the Four Seasons Downtown so that’s why I think the Galleria area maybe have a long shot. 

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This has always been the plan and yes it is weird...

as far as the tree/distance goes the buses wont start until 2020 or 2021 so by then i guess they feel that the lower tree branches will be higher/trimmed off for the buses as shown in your rendering...

but yes its kooky and yes i wish it was rail...

 

I do think that in general Post Oak Blvd looks amazing...but yeah......................................................

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Well done BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) - which this appears to be - really does offer most of the same benefits as light rail. It will come down to the details, but I think it's looking good so far.

 

Look at this way: at any time of day, regardless off traffic, the buses can run a consistent speed and schedule. 

Also, my understanding is that ticketing will be done on the platform (like with the light rail) rather than while boarding, which speeds and simplifies the boarding process.

 

Don't get  me wrong, I'd prefer rail too, but this looks like it will be almost equivalent. To me, the biggest issue with BRT is that it's too easy to cut corners - an agency will announce a BRT line, but then theyll start chipping away at what makes it BRT rather than a bus. So far, this doesn't look like it will have that problem. 

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What I'm concerned about for this project is the ends of the the boulevard protected lane - how does it connect to the new transit center to the south?  How does it get on to the bus lane they're building on 610? How does it get to NW transit center?  Is it being built so it could be extended north and south?

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19 hours ago, Texasota said:

Well done BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) - which this appears to be - really does offer most of the same benefits as light rail. It will come down to the details, but I think it's looking good so far.

 

Look at this way: at any time of day, regardless off traffic, the buses can run a consistent speed and schedule. 

Also, my understanding is that ticketing will be done on the platform (like with the light rail) rather than while boarding, which speeds and simplifies the boarding process.

 

Don't get  me wrong, I'd prefer rail too, but this looks like it will be almost equivalent. To me, the biggest issue with BRT is that it's too easy to cut corners - an agency will announce a BRT line, but then theyll start chipping away at what makes it BRT rather than a bus. So far, this doesn't look like it will have that problem. 

 

Exactly. Its a great start to a very complicated problem. BRT is a great transition solution to introducing alternative options in a more immediate way. Especially the idea that separation of these services can improve speeds and that options are available to solve a very tough problem. Its like the old adage that if you only use a hammer than everything looks like a nail. Now we are introducing at least another tool into the toolbox to use. Once people ride it, like one does LRT, the benefits become immediately apparent while at the same time helps people understand that if we push a little more at efficiency then we can go even beyond BRT and to LRT. For a car centric city such as ours, BRT might be a great way shift the Overton Window of discussion. BRT at least gives us options, and thats the point. More options in the minds of people means more possibilities for the future. As more ride BRT then the deserve for something even more efficient (LRT) arises.

 

I've honestly been very impressed with how they have implement all of this from a design stand point. They are actually doing this right, from the sidewalks, to the separations, while making compromises where they should and maintaining standards where they must.

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3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

TxDOT maps for the 69/610 intersection rebuild project show dedicated bus lane flyovers connecting from Richmond to Westpark to get to the Uptown Transit Center.

 

I think on the north end, the dedicated bus lanes will end/begin on North Post Oak Road, from where it is a short drive into the Northwest Transit Center.

 

Thank you - I was able to find it http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/hou/i-69-i-610/092917-fact-sheet.pdf 

Interchange-Project-Map.jpg?fe1ae8

 

Is it just me, or does the "Metro T-Ramp" not look well thought out?

Edited by cspwal
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7 minutes ago, cspwal said:

 

Thank you - I was able to find it http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/hou/i-69-i-610/092917-fact-sheet.pdf 

Interchange-Project-Map.jpg?fe1ae8

 

Is it just me, or does the "Metro T-Ramp" not look well thought out?

 

It is well under construction and looks just like the other Metro T ramps from HOV lanes to Metro Transit Centers and Park and Ride lots

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The bus lane flyover connecting to the Uptown Transit Center is "completed", meaning the structure is already there, while the 'Uptown Transit Center' building is going up as we speak. The flyover is right above the end of the Westpark toll road on Westpark Drive (right at that junction, ABOVE). The bus lane flyover drives into the 'Uptown Transit Center' on the third floor to get your buses.

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This is a massive transit center, drove by it yesterday not realizing the magnitude of the work.

 

Do we know if they are planning to overhaul/renovate the northern transit center or just leaving it as is? I know it has a pretty unique design (with the white pyramids on top and all), but will it need to be modified to handle the new BRT vehicles?

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The Northwest Transit Center (NWTC) is being reconfigured to accommodate both the New Bus Network and the Uptown BRT. Another new canopy structure will be build north of the existing one, thus bus bays increased from 12 to 20 bays with a new METRO RideStore. The footprint of the NWTC will be the same but enhanced reconfiguration. Approximately 250 parking spaces added NORTH of the transit center across Old Katy Road with new pedestrian signalization and sidewalks.
 

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On 11/16/2018 at 8:30 AM, j_cuevas713 said:

I mean it's not as wide as some sidewalks downtown but it's def a nice wide sidewalk to encourage pedestrian activity. I also think having those shopping centers set back so far ruins the dynamic. If they were right up to the sidewalk I think we would be more than pleased. 

I agree. The shops, restaurants, hotels all need to be right up to the sidewalk to give that more cozy boulevard found inmost great cities. Trams or subway stations need to have quick and visible access to the shops, restaurants, hotels

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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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1 hour ago, 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

 

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?

 

1

 

One platform, with two bays.  Seems like that should be sufficient to handle eventual two-way BRT service.

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I've complained before about Metros like of vision regarding their overall plans (especially the rail component), but these finer detailed developments have been rather impressive of late. In this department they have really stepped up their game. Definitely when it comes to bus infrastructure. They clearly have a great vision when it comes to bus infrastructure. I've seen so many revamped bus stops of late, and they are doing them at a very quick pace. I now ride the bus routes more frequently and since they redid the network its actually really easy to get around. Now we are getting these vastly improved Transit centers which this one in particular reminds me of the ZOB's in cities in Germany (ZOB's are central bus terminals). My only critique thus far in their service is that they really should put up LCD monitors with times of when a bus arrives at major bus stop. Just putting the "Peak" and "off Peak" times isn't going to be reliable to most. Another idea they should consider is to at this new Transit center make it so that companies like Flixbus and Megabus can depart and arrive from here. That would be nice.

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