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lockmat

Midtown mixed-use by Kirskey

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Kirksey's renderings are usually more polished looking, not right out of Sketchup.. Look at the other thread recently started with the Kirksey project over the Metro station to see what I mean. So my initial reaction would be that, at the least, this was a serious project that never got any serious traction.

After determining the location however, I won't even give it that much credit. The above mentioned location appears to be correct. The double street on the right appears to be Caroline.The street running E-W between the new Triangle shaped block and the old rectangular donut shaped building appears to be Cleburne.

That would mean this 7 block development would run all the way to Wheeler (see the E-W tracks) and tear down the Sears auto Center (traingular lot), plus the main Sears, and Fiesta.

Additionally, they want to re-route Fannin and San Jacinto, the two main ways to get from the museum district through midtown, into one street while decreasing lanes...

That tells me that this was probably some fantasy project or a proposal that got nowhere.

It's on their website for 2 reasons a ) market the fact that they can do pretty good study renderings ( which lots of clients want, not all want to spend the extra money and time required for a more photo-realistic rendering) and b ) to market the fact that they know how to do Transit Oriented Mixed Use Development.

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Isn't there suppose to be a mixed-use development at the Wheeler Station? This could be it... And who knows, with the economy looking like its on the rebound and with Metro hopefully starting construction on the University/Blue line soon, maybe it'll happen. I'm pretty sure some kind of TOD will go into the Wheeler Station area.

Edited by Trae

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I emailed their site and got a response saying it was a study done about four years ago, but the 2008 downturn killed the project. Stupid 2008 :angry2:

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It looks like Kirksey recently revamped their website and the project description of these renderings uses the phrase, "will have."

 

Hopefully this is still on?

 

I don't remember seeing this before either:

 

http://www.kirksey.com/portfolio/projects/midtown-mixed-use-master-plan

haif.JPG

 

Maybe the "will have" language is just a typo or misstatement? Those parcels have been owned by Sears since '88.

Edited by lockmat
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It also shifts the path of the red line, reroutes Fannin and San Jacinto, gets rid of Sears and Fiesta, and it looks like cuts off San Jacinto going under 59

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University line can still happen we just have to keep pressuring metro and our elected representatives to make it happen.  What happened to the big agreement between Culberson and Metro?

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

University line can still happen we just have to keep pressuring metro and our elected representatives to make it happen.  What happened to the big agreement between Culberson and Metro?

 

I wonder if the cost of an Elon Musk tunnel/subway would be comparable to at-grade light-rail line? That, I think, would make the business owners much happier.

Edited by lockmat
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Westheimer would for sure be a better corridor for transit - the only reason that the university line is on Richmond is because it has a much wider right of way.  That and Wheeler is already set up to be a transfer station, while there is no station at Elgin.

I would honestly prefer to have both - that way you can get the heart of Montrose and River Oaks as well as Greenway plaza.  The E/W connection to UH & TSU is not a bad thing either

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While subway is a nice thought the cost would be even more prohibitive and the amount of work that goes into building underground transit would cause the same amount of construction headaches on the surface. This is not virgin ground that a screw can go underground and just dig a tunnel. You have a million water, sewer, drainage, power, gas, cable, and other service lines that run underground.

You have to deal with the underground water table. It would require massive amounts of pumps to keep water out.

Another thought, underground stations on Richmond would flood during every major rain.

I worked on the Richmond rail plan and really believe that this route is the most efficient and least disruptive due to the amount of right of way available, the  residential density and the connectivity to major employment and educational centers on this route.

One last thought. After Trump's new budget came out last night, it made clear that they are cutting major funds to the transportation budget, so the funds that we're not even eligible for, thanks to another genius Culbertson, will be even harder to receive.

This is the route that Christof Spieler also thought was the most effective and plausible and I think he has a better handle on the situation than any of the naysayers.

 

Edited by bobruss
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5 hours ago, bobruss said:

While subway is a nice thought the cost would be even more prohibitive and the amount of work that goes into building underground transit would cause the same amount of construction headaches on the surface. This is not virgin ground that a screw can go underground and just dig a tunnel. You have a million water, sewer, drainage, power, gas, cable, and other service lines that run underground.

You have to deal with the underground water table. It would require massive amounts of pumps to keep water out.

Another thought, underground stations on Richmond would flood during every major rain.

I worked on the Richmond rail plan and really believe that this route is the most efficient and least disruptive due to the amount of right of way available, the  residential density and the connectivity to major employment and educational centers on this route.

One last thought. After Trump's new budget came out last night, it made clear that they are cutting major funds to the transportation budget, so the funds that we're not even eligible for, thanks to another genius Culbertson, will be even harder to receive.

This is the route that Christof Spieler also thought was the most effective and plausible and I think he has a better handle on the situation than any of the naysayers.

 

I think you just solved the problem.  We'll build the underground tunnels, wait for them to flood, and pass out high-fives as we introduce the world's first subterranean submarine mass transit system.

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One presumes a subway tunnel would go in below all of the existing sewers, gas lines and other infrastructure. Further, there is no reason to assume that building a subway would cause the same amount of construction headaches on the surface as building light rail at street level.  In fact, quite the opposite. Modern subways typically are not built by digging an open trench. They are done by tunneling. 

 

The world has many subway tunnels that have been built below the water table, and in fact below water.  Why do Houstonians continue to think this would be something new, unique or difficult?

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7 hours ago, cspwal said:

Westheimer would for sure be a better corridor for transit - the only reason that the university line is on Richmond is because it has a much wider right of way.  That and Wheeler is already set up to be a transfer station, while there is no station at Elgin.

I would honestly prefer to have both - that way you can get the heart of Montrose and River Oaks as well as Greenway plaza.  The E/W connection to UH & TSU is not a bad thing either

 

I think a subway might be able to be routed to capture Greenway Plaza, most of the Westheimer corridor and intersect with the red line at Wheeler Station and continue on to UH/TSU (perhaps on the surface.)

 

One of my fantasies for Houston is that during these years we've heard little about the University Line, they (Metro, city officials, etc.) have been secretly putting together a plan to put at least part of that line in a subway.  ;-)

Edited by Houston19514
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If we were doing a true subway I would think it would be routed to go to downtown

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Again, an Elon Musk built tunnel might make the costs competitive to an at-grade line. Might. Would be worth exploring if/when he gets it running.

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You're absolutely right. They do drill completely underground, but I believe its usually in a different type of geology, but I'm sure I could be corrected. I don't know where else it could go except under all of the existing lines that crisscross the city not to forget gas, and oil transmission lines, if its really going to be an underground subway. The cost to move all of these lines and including engineering, and construction would far out weigh above ground expansion. But like I said I just don't think rail is feasible in Houst with the amount of flooding we get. I don't know where you live but Richmond goes under water every time we get a good rain and it doesn't even have to be a gully washer. So how would you design the underground stations to keep those flood waters out?

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Lots of cities get rain and have subway stations; I'm sure there's a way to do this, even if it is as simple as having a cistern under each station for the water to drain into (I'm talking Cistern @ Buffalo Bayou Park size)

 

The tunnels downtown don't flood when it rains, I'm just saying

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10 hours ago, cspwal said:

Lots of cities get rain and have subway stations; I'm sure there's a way to do this, even if it is as simple as having a cistern under each station for the water to drain into (I'm talking Cistern @ Buffalo Bayou Park size)

 

The tunnels downtown don't flood when it rains, I'm just saying

The tunnels have flooded in the past where they were vulnerable to the flooding close to the bayou through garages. The symphony and ballet lost wardrobes and must manuscripts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They put in submarine type doors. The tunnels downtown don't have open air access. All of the entrances are inside totally climate controlled skyscrapers.  

A subway station would have open stairways that would look like waterfalls after one of our big rains. Look up the flooding in new yours subway lines a couple of years ago. A Cistern that large would add so much to the cost and I don't think there's that kind of room down there for that type of storage. I also don't believe that they can build that kind of structure without opening up the earth to build the storage tank(cistern). It would have to be excavated.

I don't want to make this an ongoing back and forth. I personally like the idea of subways but until someone can show feasibility studies and cost analysis for doing that kind of construction that proves it can be done in a comparative price range thats fine . I don't think all of the things you are proposing would be cost effective, and like I said in my original statement unless there is someone like John Arnold or the Duncans who would like to donate the money it not going to happen since all rail funds are going to be cut in the new budget.

 

I found this in an article about tunneling in soft soil.

"When tunnelling in urban environments, other tunnels, existing utility lines and deep foundations need to be addressed in the early planning stages. The project must accommodate measures to mitigate any detrimental effects to other infrastructure. Subsidence is not the only problem when it comes to tunneling in an urban environment. Additional critical failure events such as face instability, collapse and large deformations of either or both excavation or its lining can lead to undesirable consequences such as injuries or loss of life, damage to third parties, additional costs, and delays in completion of the tunnel project." 

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The tunnel replacing the Alaskan Viaduct in Seattle is being bored through what is mostly clay and sand (sound familiar?) with some boulders thrown in for grins, and is adjacent to Seattle's waterfront.  Granted, they don't get our Biblical rains, but they do have earthquakes to contend with.  All that said, the project is now several years behind schedule because first, they hit an iron pipe that tore up the machine, and had to dig it all out, then more recently a sinkhole developed.  It's also hella expensive.

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I really don't know the technical details or cost analysis and the last thing I want to do on a friday afternoon is get into a deep discussion about tunneling. I think its an interesting question and I wish someone who really knew the answers could help us out. 

I love the subway system in New York and its connectivity. I don't care how they complete the grid, just do it.

Its unfortunate that we were so close three years ago and then John Culbertson slammed the door shut.

This would all be a moot point.

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