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The Boulevard Project


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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The Boulevard Project
  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, cspwal said:

They might have pushed the timeline so that they can test the whole route (including going to the transit center) at once, and then open after that, since they won't see good ridership anytime soon.

 

Not sure which Transit Center you are referring to.  Hopefully they are not waiting for the entire route to be done, since the portion from Richmond south to the new Uptown Transit Center is apparently not scheduled to be done until 2022.

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I saw this article today:

https://communityimpact.com/houston/bellaire-meyerland-west-university/transportation/2020/05/13/metro-begins-test-runs-for-rapid-transit-service-through-uptown-district/

saying testing began a couple of weeks ago but revenue/rides wont begin until August.

i even got a notice a couple of weeks ago from my condo mgmt company (located on mccue 3 buildings north of westheimer) saying to make sure we stay off the median/bus pathways due to the testing...

currently there are tons of people daily now walking, jogging, biking and even skateboarding and rollerskating along post oak in that middle section of the road...they are in for a big shock when they see or don't see a bus coming their way...

(i am puzzled by so many using this area anyway seeing that we have large sidewalks on each side of Post Oak Blvd now but whatever...)

 

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On 5/12/2020 at 3:05 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

Not sure which Transit Center you are referring to.  Hopefully they are not waiting for the entire route to be done, since the portion from Richmond south to the new Uptown Transit Center is apparently not scheduled to be done until 2022.

I was talking about the Uptown transit center; didn't realize it wasn't going to be done until 2022

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3 hours ago, CaptainJilliams said:

Went out to eat (for the first time in what feels like forever) in Uptown at True Food Kitchen, got to see the Boulevard. I have to admit, it's turning out really well, love how sharp everything looks, it will be exciting to see them testing the BRT line in the next couple months.

 

Drove down Post Oak this morning and it really looked great. Saw about  a dozen different cyclists utilizing the BRT lane as a bike lane, too. 

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On 5/13/2020 at 11:27 AM, gene said:

I saw this article today:

https://communityimpact.com/houston/bellaire-meyerland-west-university/transportation/2020/05/13/metro-begins-test-runs-for-rapid-transit-service-through-uptown-district/

saying testing began a couple of weeks ago but revenue/rides wont begin until August.

i even got a notice a couple of weeks ago from my condo mgmt company (located on mccue 3 buildings north of westheimer) saying to make sure we stay off the median/bus pathways due to the testing...

currently there are tons of people daily now walking, jogging, biking and even skateboarding and rollerskating along post oak in that middle section of the road...they are in for a big shock when they see or don't see a bus coming their way...

(i am puzzled by so many using this area anyway seeing that we have large sidewalks on each side of Post Oak Blvd now but whatever...)

 

I didn't know how to link you to my comment Gene, so I thought I'd use your recent comment to tag you. I took a drive down to Post Oak today and I was so impressed with the level of walkability in this area that it honestly blew me away. NOW for a bit of discouraging news. So I decided to also take a trip down Richmond. I was surprised for the most part that a good amount of the road had been repaved and nice wider sidewalks were installed for a few blocks. And as I traveled further down I noticed the city diverted from fully repaved sidewalks to patching existing ones which was a bit discouraging because it ended at Chimney Rock. Some south to north streets still had no sidewalks as well and it doesn't help when property owners keep their sidewalks under-maintained or when certain areas are sinking and filled with dirt. It's been 7 years since I ventured out along this side of Richmond, and to see not much really change had be wondering when the city was going to prioritize pedestrians in this part of town. This entire area isn't far from Post Oak. What's strange is that the areas around Westheimer this far west are much better in terms of pedestrian infrastructure. Gene, since you live in the area, do you know of any further improvements for the area. I tried checking Rebuild Houston and they didn't have the Richmond repairs on their map?

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12 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I didn't know how to link you to my comment Gene, so I thought I'd use your recent comment to tag you. I took a drive down to Post Oak today and I was so impressed with the level of walkability in this area that it honestly blew me away. NOW for a bit of discouraging news. So I decided to also take a trip down Richmond. I was surprised for the most part that a good amount of the road had been repaved and nice wider sidewalks were installed for a few blocks. And as I traveled further down I noticed the city diverted from fully repaved sidewalks to patching existing ones which was a bit discouraging because it ended at Chimney Rock. Some south to north streets still had no sidewalks as well and it doesn't help when property owners keep their sidewalks under-maintained or when certain areas are sinking and filled with dirt. It's been 7 years since I ventured out along this side of Richmond, and to see not much really change had be wondering when the city was going to prioritize pedestrians in this part of town. This entire area isn't far from Post Oak. What's strange is that the areas around Westheimer this far west are much better in terms of pedestrian infrastructure. Gene, since you live in the area, do you know of any further improvements for the area. I tried checking Rebuild Houston and they didn't have the Richmond repairs on their map?

 

 

Hi! Man i miss the days of the Uptown area of Richmond being a cool place to hang! I think I read at one point that some new restaurant/bars were going to be building/opening along Richmond so maybe as revitalization happens more westward they will continue the road work that direction...

The only info i could find talks about what is now completed i believe:

https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bellaire/news/article/Houston-roadwork-on-Richmond-Avenue-wrapping-up-14843306.php

 

and yes, I love Post Oak Blvd and bike it every day! 

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Hope they aren't headed to Post Oak Blvd...if so, i just saw lots of people that are about to be mowed down....

i still don't get it...why aren't all these crazy people using the awesome new sidewalks instead of the middle bus lanes!?

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7 hours ago, gene said:

Hope they aren't headed to Post Oak Blvd...if so, i just saw lots of people that are about to be mowed down....

i still don't get it...why aren't all these crazy people using the awesome new sidewalks instead of the middle bus lanes!?

Oh they’ll get it soon enough. When a bus comes flying down at 30mph straight at their head. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

this morning they had 2 test buses filled with workers and being monitored by 3 Metro Police vehicles doing the full route each way of Post Oak Blvd! I actually took a short video but cannot figure out how to post it here.

if someone knows how they can tell me or dm me your number and i will text you the video so you can post if interested.

It was pretty cool to watch and those buses are nice for sure...

I am happy to report that surprisingly all bus lanes were clear of pedestrians and cyclist so no mishaps! ;)

 

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saw them once again testing 2 of the new buses on Post Oak Blvd this morning... looks like it is going well!

and hey when in the heck are they going to be putting back up our cool street sign/rings that hover over the intersection? 

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Yep! definitely testing pretty often and thought they said July or August for beginning...

but just this past weekend i saw a little old man with a walker(!!!) traveling along in the bus lane going 1 mile per hour if that and could only wonder what in the heck he would do if a bus came along...they seriously need a metro police or metro monitor to periodically travel along the bus route on Post Oak and let people know they shouldn't make it a habit to walk, bike, skate or jog in the bus lanes...

that little old man scared me that he was doing that! 😮

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these buses are going to start up any day now i do believe! This morning not only did they have 2 buses doing test runs but the cool little electronic scrolling signs installed at each stop were working showing the name of the bus/route and the time of arrival etc! 

(i did see a guy on one of those little recumbent bicycles that had to move pretty quickly once he saw a bus...also saw a couple of people walking further down the way....these dummies all need to stay out of the bus lanes and get on the nice sidewalks!...they shall learn soon enough!)

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Well i guess another month and a week as now they are saying August 23rd! So I guess testing is taking alot longer than expected...i understand as dang those buses are a tight fit in those lanes, especially where the stops/platforms are located it seems to be even tighter but may just be an illusion ;)

https://www.masstransitmag.com/bus/news/21146523/tx-after-lengthy-delay-uptown-brt-set-to-debut-aug-23

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

in inevitable news, this morning at 847am, the 2nd bus in line testing the Blvd got stuck at the bus stop at Post Oak and San Felipe 😮...as it was crossing San Felipe heading South into the lane/bus stop it was going to close to the right side curb and kind of drug along side of it. The bus driver got out to look at it (i didn't see any damage but there may have been)....but then he got back in and all i know is that within a couple of minutes he still hadn't left where i saw him as i headed to work. (i am sure he was able to move but was probably just making sure to not do more damage...).

these lanes really were made too narrow for these huge buses and the lanes should have had another foot or 2 just to be safe...but nope! They will just have to go super slow entering into the lanes when crossing intersections i guess.

 

 

Edited by gene
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4 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

that's like the new subway stations in Paris where they designed the stations, built them, then found out the trains were a few CM too wide.

They had to jackhammer off a few cms of platform.

 

wow craziness!!! i hadn't heard about that! 

 

and this morning a normal metro bus but double the length tested it out and yet again hit the curb at intersection bus stop entrance...they all got out to look at it to see any damage etc... and really from what i can tell these buses only have like a foot or 2 clearance...no wonder they wanted to test them for months...

 

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Maybe the curbs got installed on the wrong side of a center line or something.  Two buses hitting the curb implies something wrong with the curb - and 2 feet of clearance should be enough for trained operators

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2 different intersections...but they are not hitting at the exact entry point it doesn't look like...both times they have hit on the side of the actual bus stop (left side of bus) and just drug along the whole curb it seems. i think i am a pretty good driver but watching those buses move along where the passage is the raised platform/bus stops makes me wonder if even i could manager not hitting it at times! ha! (the rest of the passage/lane isn't bad, it is where the actual bus stops are that seem to be the problem.)

when you see it happen in person you will understand. 

 

on the bright side less people are using the bus lanes to exercise as i am sure some have been chased down by testing buses 🤪

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19 hours ago, cspwal said:

Oh that seems a lot worse.  I wonder if they were supposed to use a Kassel Kerb (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kassel_kerb) to try to get the bus aligned properly and they screwed it up, or were trying to rely on the driver perfectly aligning with the platform everytime

 

wow who knew!? but yeah i didn't notice them having those... 

(i learn something new everyday! thanks @cspwal !) 

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Looking for the construction documents, I stumbled on this article from last year

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Post-Oak-bus-project-narrowly-avoids-problem-with-14414168.php

Quote

Workers recently replaced a roughly 100-foot segment along northbound Post Oak because the lanes — built specifically to allow Metropolitan Transit Authority buses to expedite transit service along the line — were nearly one foot too narrow.

“That was just an absolute mistake,” said John Breeding, president of Uptown Houston, which is rebuilding Post Oak to add more transit service.

 

 

I guess they didn't fix it all the way

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I caught this on video last week of the BRT crossing San Felipe during a road test (had to upload it to Google Drive because file is too big to share on here). I hope they're only going this slow for the road tests and will get better at approaching the platform as the tests go on. Can't imagine this being successful if they have to cross San Felipe at this pace every time. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X5TNJ-HT7Vtak5_pmN0WXyyPyVf_yayc/view?usp=sharing

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On 7/28/2020 at 12:03 PM, gene said:

They will just have to go super slow entering into the lanes when crossing intersections i guess.

So, not BRT. 
More like BST. 
I'm an advocate of public transportation and wish I could to be a more enthusiastic supporter of METRO.
They mean well, but it seems that from the most ambitious projects to the most mundane daily operations, the level of competence leaves a lot to be desired.

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22 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

I caught this on video last week of the BRT crossing San Felipe during a road test (had to upload it to Google Drive because file is too big to share on here). I hope they're only going this slow for the road tests and will get better at approaching the platform as the tests go on. Can't imagine this being successful if they have to cross San Felipe at this pace every time. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X5TNJ-HT7Vtak5_pmN0WXyyPyVf_yayc/view?usp=sharing

I thought it was a slow mo video for a second. Hopefully it is just for testing 

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i am telling you, i live on mccue at westheimer and i am on Post Oak Blvd daily and every single time i see these buses HAVE to approach the bus stops at a turtles pace and seriously if you watch this happen you will understand why...

they made these lanes to be an absolute perfect fit for the bus which they should have given them another couple to few feet. i go into near panic attack mode watching the buses try to fit haha...and so far count maybe 4 to 5 curb/platform scuffs happen so far.

 

and thanks @Justin Welling for that awesome video...

if you watch it and you see the break in the bus (the extender/middle portion  of the bus) pass the little cross walk signal you will also then see the front of the bus enter the *danger zone* we shall call it...that is where it scuff or hits or catches due to the raised platform where people wait on the bus...so it isn't so much a problem as the bus enters the lane, its as it enters the bus stop portion which happens just as that video ends. 

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Metro just posted a video on their twitter:

 https://twitter.com/METROHouston/status/1290286671951323136/video/1

 

You can see in the video the curbs are aggressively unhelpful to to the busses - if you're not right on, you might even pop a tire it looks so sharp.  Hopefully they can improve travel time, but I have a feeling that this first try will have a lot of changes before they expand it system wide

 

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It definitely seems like they should have used kassel curbs or something similar to guide the buses in at each station. That's a easy fix for future lines of course, but I wonder of there's a quick option for these already built stations.

 

...or just rely on the bus drivers training up and getting used to (and progressively faster at) how to approach.

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

What if there was some sort of fixed guide, sort of like a rail or track, that could guide the buses in? 

Great idea! We could even ditch the flimsy rubber tires for wheels that'll fit right on the rail, for a smoother ride. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before??

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

Metro just posted a video on their twitter:

 https://twitter.com/METROHouston/status/1290286671951323136/video/1

 

You can see in the video the curbs are aggressively unhelpful to to the busses - if you're not right on, you might even pop a tire it looks so sharp.  Hopefully they can improve travel time, but I have a feeling that this first try will have a lot of changes before they expand it system wide

 

 

right at the 57 second mark: "Precision Docking" is exactly where the buses have been having an issue...hopefully the precision part is being worked on ;) 

 

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2 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

get out the jackhammers, lads, they're going to have to widen the bus lanes.
Or, they will do what was originally intended and put a choochoo train down that line because "the buses just don't fit ::wink wink::"

If only a certain politician didn't block the funding for the choochoo...

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  • 3 weeks later...

The training buses are having to go far and wide to avoid the construction I guess

 

Westpark and S. Rice

 

(all pictures by me)

 

bDO8xxr.jpg

 

They are parking in the westpark transit center now. I wonder if they are going to put paint or finish on that exposed concrete?

 

Kq8wC6M.jpg?1

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