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The Boulevard Project


zaphod

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wow @Justin Welling thanks for finding and posting that awesome video! and i do believe that that is me riding the bike on the sidewalk when it stops at Ambassador haha! my condo is located behind Marshalls and that is the daily route back home from downtown! 

wow that near last shot of uptown is amazing...it really is becoming a mini downtown! love it! 

 

and ps...does anyone know when they will be putting the ufo street signs/lights back up!? i miss those!

Edited by gene
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This may have already been discussed here but does anyone find it odd they didn't link the Dillards to Neiman Marcus anymore? There's not even a single crosswalk. Makes me wonder if they have a big vision here to tear down the Dillards with something else and/or put a tunnel under Post Oak for a future connection.

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4 minutes ago, Triton said:

This may have already been discussed here but does anyone find it odd they didn't link the Dillards to Neiman Marcus anymore? There's not even a single crosswalk. Makes me wonder if they have a big vision here to tear down the Dillards with something else and/or put a tunnel under Post Oak for a future connection.

 

I've been wondering the same thing.  Seems like Dillards would have/should have had serious objections to being cut off from Galleria foot traffic this way.

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with this news:

 

Neiman Marcus is permanently closing stores around the country, coming on the heels of its bankruptcy filing in May. The luxury department store company is shuttering five locations, as well as 17 of its off-price Neiman Marcus Last Call stores, according to court documents.

 

It would be the perfect time for Dillards to relocate to the Neiman space and then yes, redevelop the old and ugly Dillards building! Yay! (and this will also save the cost of the powerwashing that i have been asking for, for years!) 

Therefore: 

I vote YES for this to proceed so please pass this along to those that can make it happen. I would like to see this to be completed by Jan 2021. 

thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

 

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46 minutes ago, gene said:

with this news:

 

Neiman Marcus is permanently closing stores around the country, coming on the heels of its bankruptcy filing in May. The luxury department store company is shuttering five locations, as well as 17 of its off-price Neiman Marcus Last Call stores, according to court documents.

 

It would be the perfect time for Dillards to relocate to the Neiman space and then yes, redevelop the old and ugly Dillards building! Yay! (and this will also save the cost of the powerwashing that i have been asking for, for years!) 

Therefore: 

I vote YES for this to proceed so please pass this along to those that can make it happen. I would like to see this to be completed by Jan 2021. 

thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

 

 

Yeah, except the Galleria Neiman's is not on the closing list and is not likely to be, unless the whole company liquidates (which is also not likely).

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12 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Yeah, except the Galleria Neiman's is not on the closing list and is not likely to be, unless the whole company liquidates (which is also not likely).

Yeah it's always in the top 3 performing in the entire company. Crazy anyone would propose trading a Nieman Marcus for a Dillards lol...

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I have no issue with Neiman Marcus (the correct spelling btw ;) ) but i was saying IF they every closed it, that would make sense.

However i will say that I live across the street from the Galleria and every time i go into Neiman Marcus there is almost no one in there...so to be their highest performing store isn't saying alot...

however for the prices i am sure 1 item can be 50 of Macy's items ;)

 

anyway...the point is...Please do something to the Dillards to either make it nicer or redevelop that lot (and while they are at it, i wouldn't mind them removing Houston's most dangerous gas station while they are at it. 2 to 5 wreckers waiting around for something to happen is a good indication as to why....

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am "sure" if not hopeful it will change in the future but currently from what i have personally seen, these buses are completely empty every single time i see them...and no one is ever at a bus stop waiting on one to come. 

for some reason all i can think about it what the bus driver is listening to and how loud it is...and how fun it probably is to sing at the top of their lungs while driving them all day/night 🕺

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I used to ride the 33 Post Oak daily back in 2018. The morning trips were packed, sometimes standing room only. There was a wide range of riders, from business professionals who worked in Uptown using the park and rides and transferring at Northwest TC, to retail workers from Galleria to hotel workers. I am sure the pandemic has impacted this route greatly. Before the 433, the 33 during Covid was the only frequent route (usually 10-15 min) to go to 30 min so the route did struggle.  It will rebound. I have faith in it.

 

I did send a comment to METRO (off their public comment section) to bring two additional routes to the Lower Uptown TC to increase connectivity and transfer options. The 9 Gulfton/Holman and 151 Westpark Express should stop at the TC as well. I have no idea why METRO didn't think of that. Building a brand new transit center and only have three bus routes utilize it is underwhelming. 

Edited by Justin Welling
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1 hour ago, Justin Welling said:

I did send a comment to METRO (off their public comment section) to bring two additional routes to the Lower Uptown TC to increase connectivity and transfer options. The 9 Gulfton/Holman and 151 Westpark Express should stop at the TC as well. I have no idea why METRO didn't think of that. Building a brand new transit center and only have three bus routes utilize it is underwhelming. 

 

Perhaps they haven't yet made all of the planned route adjustments.  Is the Transit Center even completely finished?

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@Justin Welling I don’t quite understand METRO’s reasoning for not connecting more bus routes through the Transit Center. Although I think one of the hang-ups for the 151 and all of the other express buses on 59, is that the HOV lane is only one way, so buses could only easily access the TC in the peak direction. But with two-way HOV in METRONext I would imagine service at Lower Westpark will be similar to how the express buses stop at the Northwest TC.

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@SBurbanist Great point! Given that the 151 is only a peak route right now, I wouldn't see an issue currently with the HOV set up. You are right though, the way METRO designed the TC for the park and ride buses can make it difficult during non-peak hours for those routes to stop at with the current HOV config. I cannot wait till we get two-way HOV lanes :) even tho it'll prob be 2035 or 2040 when that happens haha. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

i was riding my bike yesterday (sunday 10/04/20) and saw someone wearing a backpack around 11am taking photos of Aspire on Post Oak Blvd then photos of the Silver Line bus coming to the bus stop and then they hopped on before i could get to them and say hi and ask if they were on this board haha! so...if that was you and you are on here, HI :)

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/4/2022 at 11:31 AM, gene said:

has anyone seen the new pedestrian touch screen that was installed at Westheimer and Post Oak Blvd on the north east corner (in front of Embassy Plaza (the old Ethan Allen building) 5002 Westheimer Rd 

They look much like the large touchscreens in the Houston Galleria to find stores and more...pretty cool! Are there more that i didn't notice yet?

 

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On 3/4/2022 at 11:31 AM, gene said:

has anyone seen the new pedestrian touch screen that was installed at Westheimer and Post Oak Blvd on the north east corner (in front of Embassy Plaza (the old Ethan Allen building) 5002 Westheimer Rd 

They look much like the large touchscreens in the Houston Galleria to find stores and more...pretty cool! Are there more that i didn't notice yet?

OH and in regards to the giant circle rings that have been missing since road construction i was told today by the Uptown Houston offices that they are having to completely re-engineer them since the roads widened! So they have been rebuilding them and hope to have them up sometime this year but they WILL be back! I miss my UFOs!!!!!!! 

 

There's one Downtown on the corner outside of Biggio's across from the GRB. 

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8 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Uh-oh-Silver-region-s-first-bus-rapid-transit-16983737.php

I had to give my 2 cents to some of the comments people made. I'm sorry but people are just plain dumb as bricks. "Nobody will ever use this" "What a waste of money" Blah Blah Blah

Unmoderated comments on news sites are always a dumpster fire of boomer logic.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/10/2022 at 1:48 AM, BEES?! said:

Not really surprised. It doesn’t really go anywhere yet, but I forsee the eventual link ups with the University corridor and the continuation of the line along the Inner Katy route to help its ridership.

Yep I even made that comment. And I got like 10 thumbs down lmao. But in reality this line will increase greatly once the University and Inner Katy link up.

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18 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Yep I even made that comment. And I got like 10 thumbs down lmao. But in reality this line will increase greatly once the University and Inner Katy link up.

Yeah people are just tryin’ to be mad on the internet lol. I’ve learned to not even engage, because half the time they just want to be negative.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all! I have been begging for a www.houstonbcycle.com location in Uptown for awhile now and of course just on or off Post Oak Blvd was the desired location...and lo and behold they have installed one now at 1500 Post Oak Blvd in front of the BHP building! Last night they had both regular bikes and e-bikes at the location. Just thought i would let everyone know!

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2 hours ago, gene said:

Hi all! I have been begging for a www.houstonbcycle.com location in Uptown for awhile now and of course just on or off Post Oak Blvd was the desired location...and lo and behold they have installed one now at 1500 Post Oak Blvd in front of the BHP building! Last night they had both regular bikes and e-bikes at the location. Just thought i would let everyone know!

Man what the hell is going on with the floating rings I'm wondering when they're gonna hang them back up. .

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On 9/23/2022 at 12:18 PM, kennyc05 said:

Man what the hell is going on with the floating rings I'm wondering when they're gonna hang them back up. .

If I had to guess, maybe some coordination issues? Its a private installation over a public right-of-way and now over public transit infrastructure, so it might be a discussion regarding that. I have no clue btw. Just a hunch.

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22 minutes ago, Luminare said:

If I had to guess, maybe some coordination issues? Its a private installation over a public right-of-way and now over public transit infrastructure, so it might be a discussion regarding that. I have no clue btw. Just a hunch.

It's crazy that it's taken this long though. The project has been finished close to 3 years now.

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6 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

It's crazy that it's taken this long though. The project has been finished close to 3 years now.

I work in this industry and trust me I don't like how long things take either. I think I posted in another thread about a job I know about where the punch list items, basically the wrapping up of the project, has taken around 1-2 years! Not a complicated job either. This is also currently a contractors market, many are slammed or fully booked. Sometimes windows to squeeze a project in no matter how small or easy it might seem, and when that time window shuts it drag things for awhile. This project might have been done 3 years ago, but the testing of the BRT was only done 1-2 years ago, and probably any punch list items with that project I'd imagine have only been recently completed with the past year or so. I certainly missed the rings when I was driving do the Boulevard in April when I revisited Houston. Hopefully they can get them done. Maybe call some people related to this for an update? Make yourself vocal? You'd be surprised what happens when you are thorn in someone's side.

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By the way, per their September meeting, Metro is now laying the groundwork to extend the Silver Line into Gulfton. It doesn’t say exactly how far it’ll go- I’m sure they’re hammering out details right now. Sounds like they’re targeting 2026 for opening the extension
 

METRO Meeting PDF- starts on page 6

 

They’re shooting for having the LPA by December/January

Edited by BEES?!
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Does anybody know why all of the stops are located after the lights, when the buses nearly always have to sit through a full light cycle? The double-stop thing is really annoying and adds up (there's really no excuse for Bus "Rapid" Transit to have an average velocity of 10mph or less). I hope the University and Inner Katy lines don't make the same mistake.

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14 minutes ago, 004n063 said:

Does anybody know why all of the stops are located after the lights, when the buses nearly always have to sit through a full light cycle? The double-stop thing is really annoying and adds up (there's really no excuse for Bus "Rapid" Transit to have an average velocity of 10mph or less). I hope the University and Inner Katy lines don't make the same mistake.

Would it really make a run-time difference?  Some times the light will be green when the bus arrives at the light; some times it will be red.  With stations before the light, if it's green when the bus arrives, it stops at the station before the light, missing that green, causing delay.  Conversely, with stations after the light, they get to the station on that green light and carry on.

Plus, if I'm not mistaken, they have ability to override the traffic signals if they need to in order to stay on schedule.

Of course the dedicated BRT lanes are different from a standard bus route, but I recall reading  some information that indicated that "far-side" stops had operational advantages over "near-side" stops.

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I know METRO answered that at some point, but I don’t remember where. It might’ve had to do with them not wanting to load at a stoplight in case it gets stuck for a cycle or something (ie- they stop at the station on a green light and end up having to wait longer because it turned red, and buses aren’t allowed to actually change traffic lights, but can hold them) , but I honestly don’t remember for sure.

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Would it really make a run-time difference?  Some times the light will be green when the bus arrives at the light; some times it will be red.  With stations before the light, if it's green when the bus arrives, it stops at the station before the light, missing that green, causing delay.  Conversely, with stations after the light, they get to the station on that green light and carry on.

Plus, if I'm not mistaken, they have ability to override the traffic signals if they need to in order to stay on schedule.

Of course the dedicated BRT lanes are different from a standard bus route, but I recall reading  some information that indicated that "far-side" stops had operational advantages over "near-side" stops.

I imagine you're probably right, but only because the silver line buses only get partial priority at lights. Done right, I would think that it'd be possible to time the standard cycle so that the bus arrives toward the end of the red cycle, and always gets the go signal within 15-30s of boarding.

This seems to be the case at most red line stops (it is at Ensemble/HCC, anyway).

It's not particularly important now, because, to be honest, the whole Silver Line isn't particularly important now. But with the longer University and Inner Katy lines, and with the Silver Line becoming a connector, I really think these kinks are worth working out. Half an hour for less than five miles is slower than most of the standard buses.

Throw in the fact that a lot of its future riders will probably be riding the full length (between IK and UL), plus the 15-minute headways, and we're talking about an extremely lackluster service.

The good news is that these do seem like solvable problems - that is, features that could essentially be "turned on" once the other lines boost the SL's utility. But I haven't seen anything that makes me optimistic that the SL will change or that the others will be any different.

Edited by 004n063
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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Plus, if I'm not mistaken, they have ability to override the traffic signals if they need to in order to stay on schedule.

So METRO has yet to actually get the TSP up and running on the Silver Line. It is installed, but there has been some software glitches along the way and they're trying to work out the kinks. Hopefully TSP will come into play soon. Also, METRO has severely padded the Silver Line's schedule. They need to make it way more aggressive, buses can prob traverse the corridor between 25-35 min...not the 45ish minutes they have currently in the schedule.  If you are a rider of the Silver Line, I would suggest filling out a public comment asking about status of TSP so METRO understands it is an important component for the rider's experience and try to get it online sooner rather than later. 

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8 minutes ago, Justin Welling said:

So METRO has yet to actually get the TSP up and running on the Silver Line. It is installed, but there has been some software glitches along the way and they're trying to work out the kinks. Hopefully TSP will come into play soon. Also, METRO has severely padded the Silver Line's schedule. They need to make it way more aggressive, buses can prob traverse the corridor between 25-35 min...not the 45ish minutes they have currently in the schedule.  If you are a rider of the Silver Line, I would suggest filling out a public comment asking about status of TSP so METRO understands it is an important component for the rider's experience and try to get it online sooner rather than later. 

Good to know.  But I would hope they could get it below 25-35 min.  The current schedule shows 27 minutes end-to-end, not 45ish.  They need to work for 20 min.

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

Good to know.  But I would hope they could get it below 25-35 min.  The current schedule shows 27 minutes end-to-end, not 45ish.  They need to work for 20 min.

Even that is not great. The line is 4.7 miles long. 20 minutes is biking pace. It needs to be the fastest option, or its ridership will remain in the triple digits.

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36 minutes ago, 004n063 said:

Even that is not great. The line is 4.7 miles long. 20 minutes is biking pace. It needs to be the fastest option, or its ridership will remain in the triple digits.

What do you imagine the fastest option would be for a BRT?  FWIW, I've started digging into it a bit.  It looks like LA Metro's BRT Route 754 averages 12 miles per hour.  If we got the Silver Line down to 20 minutes, that would be about 14 miles per hour.  One of the dirty little secrets about mass transit - it's not necessarily fast

Edited by Houston19514
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I get what you're saying, but route 754 in Los Angeles is not BRT. It does not have dedicated lanes and its running in mixed traffic throughout one of LA's most congested corridors: Vermont Ave. It is more like Houston METRO's route 402 Quickline service. 

If you want to compare Silver Line to other BRT routes, try the G Line in Los Angeles, which is 100% dedicated bus lanes, like the Silver Line.  

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21 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

What do you imagine the fastest option would be for a BRT?  FWIW, I've started digging into it a bit.  It looks like LA Metro's BRT Route 754 averages 12 miles per hour.  If we got the Silver Line down to 20 minutes, that would be about 14 miles per hour.  One of the dirty little secrets about mass transit - it's not necessarily fast

No, you're right. 20min wouldn't be too bad. Though I do think the Inner Katy line (/segment? Is it still being considered as a one-seater with the silver line?) And the Westpark and Lockwood segments of the University Line could and should aim for average velocities north of 20mph and an end-to-end time as close to an hour as possible. 

You're definitely right that transit isn't that fast (though neither is driving, necessarily - the other day I beat my driving friends from MKT to White Rhino on Milby by nearly ten minutes, and I doubt I was ever going over 20mph). But comparing Houston to other BRT cities (I think of CDMX and Bogotá before I think of LA, personally) misses two factors: first, that those other cities have a lot more destinations packed into those miles, so in a sense their miles go "further;" and second, that those other cities simply do not have the kind of roadway capacity (nor the typical travel velocities) Houston has.

In other words, as long as we are the (pretty much) the world's most spread out major city, we should probably be aiming for the world's fastest rapid transit.

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