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The Boulevard Project

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I believe there's also the issue of soil, which in Houston, is pretty much a swamp.

I think I've read that the soil isn't an issue. Besides, if the soil was that much of a problem, we shouldn't have supertalls downtown because of foundation issues.

As for elevated, besides the "ADA compliant stations" problem, I have a running theory that nobody really likes elevated structures for their aesthetic value. I'm pretty sure there's a great number of people who still think that, say, the Pierce Elevated is ugly and an eyesore but has a real purpose, and that same principle is used for why GO/OF was so against the HSR, or why Harrisburg wasn't fond of the original overpass idea. You could argue over how wide or how tall those structures are, but I think the core principle is still there.

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I think I've read that the soil isn't an issue. Besides, if the soil was that much of a problem, we shouldn't have supertalls downtown because of foundation issues.

As for elevated, besides the "ADA compliant stations" problem, I have a running theory that nobody really likes elevated structures for their aesthetic value. I'm pretty sure there's a great number of people who still think that, say, the Pierce Elevated is ugly and an eyesore but has a real purpose, and that same principle is used for why GO/OF was so against the HSR, or why Harrisburg wasn't fond of the original overpass idea. You could argue over how wide or how tall those structures are, but I think the core principle is still there.

Yeah I guess that all makes sense and you babe a very valid point.

I heard the "soil" issue from my father who has been practicing civil engineering here for over 30 years. But he's old so maybe one of us young whippersnappers can cook something up

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im not sure its so much that the "can't do" mind set has taken over, but more so "oil money" lines the pockets of our politicians. unfortunately they only see these electric trains and CNG busses as taking away potential profits from the oil companies, and don't factor in all the positive benefits they would bring.

Which is just crazy. You look at the Canadian versions of Houston (Calgary and Edmonton), and they have no problems getting rail and the citizens there vote for expansions. I will never understand why the politicians are so anti rail in Houston. It is really frustrating and holding the city back. Nevermind that early 1980s plan (which would be great for Houston currently), if the 2000 light rail plan that was approved by voters did not reach so much opposition, the inner loop lines would all be complete right now. Instead, we get the half assed version and nothing better for the next decade at least.

And lets not forget either, part of the reason the rail runs in the streets without many grade separations is because Metro did not receive help from politicians who blocked funding. Could have been much better without so much corruption and delays.

Edited by Trae
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Which is just crazy. You look at the Canadian versions of Houston (Calgary and Edmonton), and they have no problems getting rail and the citizens there vote for expansions. I will never understand why the politicians are so anti rail in Houston. It is really frustrating and holding the city back. Nevermind that early 1980s plan (which would be great for Houston currently), if the 2000 light rail plan that was approved by voters did not reach so much opposition, the inner loop lines would all be complete right now. Instead, we get the half assed version and nothing better for the next decade at least.

And lets not forget either, part of the reason the rail runs in the streets without many grade separations is because Metro did not receive help from politicians who blocked funding. Could have been much better without so much corruption and delays.

 

Don't let Metro off the hook for their responsibility in this. They shouldn't have let it get to this point. 

 

They are a poorly run, corrupt institution that until the recent bus plan sat idly by while public transportation in Houston went to pot. Then the rail took over their focus and they fulfilled the prophecy of their detractors. 

 

What did they do from 1980 to 2000? I understand their hands were tied w/ the whole % of sales tax revenue going back to roads but seriously guys.... WTF?

 

If they could have pointed to successful bus lines that needed to be converted to rail and showed a track record of innovation and competence, then maybe we have a better and more robust system now.

 

They have been a sick man who refuses to die for a long time. It's to all our detriment but its true. They need to be scrapped. The leader of a new METRO needs to be elected and accountable. The status quo doesn't work. 

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METRO is a textbook example of how political officials do away with an agency by starving it of funds and turning its leadership into a clown show, and then saying "looky looky - this is a clown show!!!  Let's kill it!!!"  Another example, FEMA... a very effective agency before 2000, and which had been chaired for a few years by a guy who did horse shows when Katrina showed up.  More recently, it's back to being something that just isn't heard of much, because it's back to doing its job rather than being a parking place for gormless campaign donors.

 

METRO still has some powerful folks who have an investment in it not working (***cough cough Culberson cough***).  Plus, it's way easier to break something than to put it back together.

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I believe there's also the issue of soil, which in Houston, is pretty much a swamp.

 

 

Yeah I guess that all makes sense and you babe a very valid point.

I heard the "soil" issue from my father who has been practicing civil engineering here for over 30 years. But he's old so maybe one of us young whippersnappers can cook something up

 

the soil quality is not really valid. there are subway systems in soil much worse than our own. Amsterdam is but one example, and probably the best example.

 

METRO is a textbook example of how political officials do away with an agency by starving it of funds and turning its leadership into a clown show, and then saying "looky looky - this is a clown show!!!  Let's kill it!!!"  Another example, FEMA... a very effective agency before 2000, and which had been chaired for a few years by a guy who did horse shows when Katrina showed up.  More recently, it's back to being something that just isn't heard of much, because it's back to doing its job rather than being a parking place for gormless campaign donors.

 

METRO still has some powerful folks who have an investment in it not working (***cough cough Culberson cough***).  Plus, it's way easier to break something than to put it back together.

 

Not to get too far afield, but just because the attention of the media is focused on other things doesn't mean fema is working.

 

http://www.npr.org/2015/03/16/392795828/fema-plans-to-reopen-all-sandy-claims-regain-trust-in-overhaul

 

if another katrina were to barrel through this year, it would be much the same comedy of errors we were able to witness last time.

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Don't let Metro off the hook for their responsibility in this. They shouldn't have let it get to this point. 

 

They are a poorly run, corrupt institution that until the recent bus plan sat idly by while public transportation in Houston went to pot. Then the rail took over their focus and they fulfilled the prophecy of their detractors. 

 

What did they do from 1980 to 2000? I understand their hands were tied w/ the whole % of sales tax revenue going back to roads but seriously guys.... WTF?

 

If they could have pointed to successful bus lines that needed to be converted to rail and showed a track record of innovation and competence, then maybe we have a better and more robust system now.

 

They have been a sick man who refuses to die for a long time. It's to all our detriment but its true. They need to be scrapped. The leader of a new METRO needs to be elected and accountable. The status quo doesn't work. 

 

Idk how you expect METRO to deal with the general mobility payments thing.  Those are absolutely essential dollars and no other major city in this country has anything like general mobility payments. 

 

METRO has proposed numerous comprehensive transit plans over the decades, METRO was extremely well run back in the 1980s with Alan Kiepper at the helm.  Of course when he tried to complete the system with a state of the art heavy rail system classic Houston politics/uninformed voters got in the way. 

 

When many powerful politicians are against you and you are starved of funding, it's very difficult to be successful. 

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Idk how you expect METRO to deal with the general mobility payments thing.  Those are absolutely essential dollars and no other major city in this country has anything like general mobility payments. 

 

METRO has proposed numerous comprehensive transit plans over the decades, METRO was extremely well run back in the 1980s with Alan Kiepper at the helm.  Of course when he tried to complete the system with a state of the art heavy rail system classic Houston politics/uninformed voters got in the way. 

 

When many powerful politicians are against you and you are starved of funding, it's very difficult to be successful. 

 

Precisely.  

 

The "general mobility payments" are nothing more than a ruse with a nifty sounding name that has zilch to do with its actual effect, that was put in place to break a program that a certain now sainted mayor didn't like - a page right out of the playbook of another now sainted politician whose actual record barely resembles the hagiography.  I wouldn't have as big a problem with it if there were an actual, functioning program of repairing and upgrading roads that the busses currently beat the living daylights out of.  (as just one of many examples, Westheimer, anyone?)

 

The bigger problem is that the "general mobility payments" really function as an increase in the City of Houston tax rate without all the messiness that an acknowledged tax rate increase would have incurred at the time - and the city is now pretty accustomed to having that pool o' money.

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Oh.My.God. The "Uptown is a masterpiece" one really got me.. If you want uptown to continue to be the "jewel" of Houston then we've got to do something about the traffic problems..

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What sane person when they drive down Post Oak thinks they are in paradise??? Its a bland 6 lane road that sucks to drive down and isn't particularly unique either. Sure its cool to pass Transco and see all the buildings being built, but other than that....nothing much else. Its definitely not a paradise.

 

BRT is definitely a tough pill to swallow as far as this corridor is concerned, but its at least a start! The plan can certain continue to be tweeked, but just by reading the stuff on this website just paints these people as being willfully ignorant as best and greedy jerks at worst.

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I'll join them in opposing BRT on Post Oak if they support my subway idea for Post Oak.

 

I'll be waiting over here.

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I'll join them in opposing BRT on Post Oak if they support my subway idea for Post Oak.

I'll be waiting over here.

Agreed.
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I'll join them in opposing BRT on Post Oak if they support my subway idea for Post Oak.

 

I'll be waiting over here.

 

I'll oppose BRT if they support Lightrail :P

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hahaha. yeah, glad we would all prefer to see rail over BRT. maybe now that Culberson is open to rail they can build the Uptown line as LRT.

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hahaha. yeah, glad we would all prefer to see rail over BRT. maybe now that Culberson is open to rail they can build the Uptown line as LRT.

 

I think thats what will happen now if you read the Chron this morning.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Metro-Culberson-announce-agreement-on-transit-6270486.php

 

I imagine they will put the University and Post Oak Lines on separate referendums.

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a Harvard-trained, world-renowned authority on distribution channels and manufacturer/distributor relationships 

 

What knowledge does that give them to do a study on a public transit proposal?

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rail certainly helps with ped xing.

 

for whatever reason, I feel more comfortable crossing a road that has rail on it than one that doesn't. I assume BRT would be just as well at doing this.

 

Anyway, I know I called Eisenhower myopic in another thread, but wow, these business owners are far more myopic if they can't see how this will benefit them in the long term. Especially someone like Gallery Furniture who can easily weather the construction phase of this project to reap the rewards he will see 4 or 5 years from completion.

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Why do these people keep comparing this to park and ride? Do people actually believe this is the thing?

And calling post oak Houston's rodeo drive? That's laughable, highland village is so much closer to what rodeo drive is than the strip mall that is post oak.

Edited by samagon
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It's obvious the opposition live in a bubble. That's why their penthouse condos are in the densest suburban setting in the city. They can't fathom waiting two seconds for a bus or a light rail to pass them by while people who ride public transportation cause them a 2 minute delay to turn left in their Benz.

Once again the upper crust is making an argument against mass transit. The big bad government is trying to inflict other people's lives onto their's. Take as old as time.

I do see the concern about traffic. Avoiding the loop at rush hour at all costs myself, and the lack of grid that Downtown has, going underground would make total sense for light rail down Post Oak. But flat out attacking mass transit and rallying the troops to oppose it is not the answer. At least Metro is attempting to address our city's greatest problem, instead of sitting back and thinking the solution will sort it's self out.

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Since the mass transit line (BRT or light rail) was supposed to go to the NW Transit Center, I suggest a compromise: a parallel road that has vehicular traffic lanes, connecting to Post Oak Blvd., thus taking congestion off 610. Everyone wins!

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I'm thinking most of the opposition doesn't realize this is supposed to be a rail line in the future, although there are probably some people who would oppose a rail line as well.

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Chimney Rock goes all the way through, but it's also pretty far west of Post Oak to be used as a reliever.  The natural choice would be Sage RD, but it would have to be extended across the bayou and through what looks (on Google Earth) to be a very ritzy neighborhood.  If it went straight across the bayou it would land in a mansion's backyard

 

That being said a Sim City mayor would have no qualms demoing the couple of houses for a road  :D

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This is the first house just across the bayou if Sage were to cut through to Silber, which would be wonderful for traffic flow in the area:

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/home/trends/article/At-43-million-mansion-listing-breaks-Houston-5783587.php

 

Needless to say, there's is no chance of that happening.

Edited by The Pragmatist

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cut through tanglewood? hahahahahahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

 

yeah.... that's never going to happen. You think Matress Mack is putting up opposition?

 

If this area is receiving BRT, or LR, Post Oak is really the only place it makes sense to do so.

 

Honestly, I'd like to see them pull out of the galleria area, if the vocal component doesn't want it, let them choke on their traffic and go places that light rail makes sense, but isn't shunned. 

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I'm thinking most of the opposition doesn't realize this is supposed to be a rail line in the future, although there are probably some people who would oppose a rail line as well.

 

Not just in the future. Probably with this new rail agreement this might be turned back into a light rail line.

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huh? where would this road go IT?

 

 

Not sure. Wish this could've been done as late as 2002, before they built Hotel Granduca and others.

 

As for the light rail, I'm hoping it could go underground to bypass Memorial Park and all that, probably by taking out the apartment complex at the NW corner of Uptown Park Blvd. before re-emerging on Post Oak Road to the north. Meanwhile, to satisfy the congestion problem, cantilevering Post Oak Road over the existing frontage roads to the other side might satisfy TxDOT, or could be in the median as a two lane road as the light rail/bus lane was supposed to be.

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just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.. Houston Business Journal (opinion piece) had an article today about the Bus Lanes "bringing down" Uptown. :rolleyes:

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/2015/05/op-ed-new-post-oak-bus-lanes-will-bring-down.html

So I just read this, and good God the wealthy really will go to extremes to make their lives richer. "Our Rodeo Drive"?! I'll have whatever he's smoking. Edited by BigFootsSocks

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"Ain't gonna remotely happen."

 

"You can take that to the bank."

 

I wonder if using hackneyed, cliché phrases from a mythical past largely invented by 1950's television shows like Roy Rogers actually increases this guy's credibility with the average Houstonian. I actually think it might.

 

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"Ain't gonna remotely happen."

"You can take that to the bank."

I wonder if using hackneyed, cliché phrases from a mythical past largely invented by 1950's television shows like Roy Rogers actually increases this guy's credibility with the average Houstonian. I actually think it might.

Those were my favorite parts of the whole article :lol:

"Hmmm, maybe if I use big words without context and old catchphrases, maybe these lowly-I mean common folk might think I'm one of them!"

As much crap as we can give this guy though, we really ought to be directing our anger towards HBJ. Screw those morons for even letting something like this be published. Journalistic integrity? How much money was "donated" for this weird rant?

Edited by BigFootsSocks

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So I just read this, and good God the wealthy really will go to extremes to make their lives richer. "Our Rodeo Drive"?! I'll have whatever he's smoking.

 

For the life of me I can never figure out how one compares Post Oak to "Rodeo Drive". Other than their being upper-middle to lower-high class people that live on Post Oak there isn't any real comparison. The conclusion must then be rendered that they need their head examined or they are completely delusional.

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Those were my favorite parts of the whole article :lol:

"Hmmm, maybe if I use big words without context and old catchphrases, maybe these lowly-I mean common folk might think I'm one of them!"

As much crap as we can give this guy though, we really ought to be directing our anger towards HBJ. Screw those morons for even letting something like this be published. Journalistic integrity? How much money was "donated" for this weird rant?

Bill King writes equally moronic material for Houston chronicle.

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I'm just glad this whole BRT plan is happening. Regardless of the opposition, the city approved Uptown's budget to include this project. Once this thing is finished, I wonder how many idiots are going to complain once they see how efficient it runs.

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For the life of me I can never figure out how one compares Post Oak to "Rodeo Drive". Other than their being upper-middle to lower-high class people that live on Post Oak there isn't any real comparison. The conclusion must then be rendered that they need their head examined or they are completely delusional.

Container store. Need I say more?

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So many good comments.  Although I like living in the area, I agree it's ridiculous to compare Post Oak to Rodeo Drive or call it a "masterpiece".  My impression is that the folks saying that haven't traveled much.  

 

That said, I'm prepared to be somewhat sympathetic if people own businesses that they think will take a hit during the construction phase.   OK -- I said sympathetic -- but there are also reasons to consider the long-term overall good of this community in the future, which go beyond that.

 

I'm not terribly fond of the BRT option; I would prefer rail, preferably underground.  I walk in the area a lot and I often wonder when I'm gonna get hit and sent flying or else run over.  

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Also ... I don't really trust Culberson (and I'm in his district).  I've tried to withhold judgement, but after I saw him at a presentation Andy Icken (CoH Chief Development Officer) made a few months ago at the Post Oak Hilton, I was rather disgusted.  He brought along a small band of sycophants who seemed to have been prepped for the presentation by having their fears whipped up.  They were rather rude to Andy, who actually seemed to handle the onslaught of taunts rather well.

 

After that event, it struck me as being odd that -- while virtually everyone sees it as beneficial to have Houston grow fast and their property values increase a lot -- so many people don't see that infrastructure improvements protect their assets. 

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One teensy little thing though...

 

For those of y'all who keep mentioning underground trains, it would never work. Much of Houston was built on swampland, remember? Those floods that we get, the high water table, the silty sand underneath all the concrete, the fault line under Richmond Ave. that causes you to play out your "I'm riding a bull in the rodeo" fantasies as you bounce down it... 

 

He was right in the article when he said that Metro's ridership is dismal. Driving around every day, (I drive for a living.) I hardly ever see a full city route bus. They just don't happen. Yes, the P&R buses get utilized, (somewhat) but that's a different kettle of fish.

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One teensy little thing though...

 

For those of y'all who keep mentioning underground trains, it would never work. Much of Houston was built on swampland, remember? Those floods that we get, the high water table, the silty sand underneath all the concrete, the fault line under Richmond Ave. that causes you to play out your "I'm riding a bull in the rodeo" fantasies as you bounce down it... 

 

He was right in the article when he said that Metro's ridership is dismal. Driving around every day, (I drive for a living.) I hardly ever see a full city route bus. They just don't happen. Yes, the P&R buses get utilized, (somewhat) but that's a different kettle of fish.

 

This argument has been used before and with all due respect, it is a weak argument. 

 

Amsterdam was built below sea level and they support subways. Also the fact that Houston was able to build a 7 mile tunnel system underneath it's downtown streets also says something. Let's not forget about the motor vehicle tunnels that went underneath the ship channels in Baytown.

 

So, Subway in Houston is not impossible. Even if Houston's political leaders try to convince us that it's not. They just haven't wanted to put up the $$$$ to do so.

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One teensy little thing though...

For those of y'all who keep mentioning underground trains, it would never work. Much of Houston was built on swampland, remember? Those floods that we get, the high water table, the silty sand underneath all the concrete, the fault line under Richmond Ave. that causes you to play out your "I'm riding a bull in the rodeo" fantasies as you bounce down it...

He was right in the article when he said that Metro's ridership is dismal. Driving around every day, (I drive for a living.) I hardly ever see a full city route bus. They just don't happen. Yes, the P&R buses get utilized, (somewhat) but that's a different kettle of fish.

Ok so your last paragraph isn't really debatable so much as it is totally false. Metro's ridership numbered have increased 11% from January 2015 to January 2016 as a result of the new bus implementation system. The P&R system is definitely used so much more than "somewhat" and the same goes for the Express networks.

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One teensy little thing though...

 

For those of y'all who keep mentioning underground trains, it would never work. Much of Houston was built on swampland, remember? Those floods that we get, the high water table, the silty sand underneath all the concrete, the fault line under Richmond Ave. that causes you to play out your "I'm riding a bull in the rodeo" fantasies as you bounce down it... 

 

He was right in the article when he said that Metro's ridership is dismal. Driving around every day, (I drive for a living.) I hardly ever see a full city route bus. They just don't happen. Yes, the P&R buses get utilized, (somewhat) but that's a different kettle of fish.

 

Post less. 

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In terms of underground rails, it probably would flood only under rare circumstances, such as 2001 Allison flooding or to a lesser extent floods last Memorial Day, but even Sandy flooded the NYC subways, so it's not a deal-breaker.

 

What would be a potential deal-breaker is dissolved oil under the surface, but the Uptown area never had noxious pre-EPA petrochemical plants and was predominantly farmland.

 

As Richmond, I'm not aware of the fault line (if it exists) but I always got the impression that it was in that state because of a combination of poor maintenance (which isn't unique, most of the roads have gotten really bad before getting replaced) and the fact that it got even worse (in the outer lanes) because of constant bus usage. A fault line problem would be obvious if it starts to fall apart even though the concrete (or asphalt) looks practically brand new, of which Richmond isn't the case.

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Faults don't seem to be an insurmountable problem for BART, LA's subway, the Tokyo metro...

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Driving around every day, (I drive for a living.) I hardly ever see a full city route bus. They just don't happen. Yes, the P&R buses get utilized, (somewhat) but that's a different kettle of fish.

 

Not too sure about this.  Routes 41 and 76 are SRO on the way to and home from work every day.

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Bus 82 is quite busy, too; I believe they are increasing its frequency to every 6 minutes at peak times to try to handle the ridership.

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Bus 82 is quite busy, too; I believe they are increasing its frequency to every 6 minutes at peak times to try to handle the ridership.

 

They are

 

 

 

adding even more buses to the Westheimer route, giving it a frequency of every six minutes during peak times. That would put it on par with the light rail Red Line 

 

I'm not sure when it is starting though.

 

Westheimer really needs some sort of heavier transit method - BRT, light rail, subway, elevated train, cable car - something

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They are

 

 

I'm not sure when it is starting though.

 

Westheimer really needs some sort of heavier transit method - BRT, light rail, subway, elevated train, cable car - something

 

I've always thought a heavy rail subway under Westheimer from like Beltway 8 all the way into downtown would get great ridership. 

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