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Fort Bend Tollway connection to South Post Oak/Loop 610 West

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I live in Fort Bend County and I am just amazed at how the traffic conjestion has exploded since I moved there in 2008. The Southwest Freeway is a joke, Highway 90 is getting crazy, Westpark & Highway 6 South (come on, are u serious) ! Was thinking maybe they could consider connecting the useless Fort Bend Tollway to South Post Oak and have that freeway built out from the connection at the West Loop south of Bellaire, all the way out to where the Grand Parkway is going to be south of Rosenberg. That would provide some relief for us out in Fort Bend (second largest county in the region, 585,375 pop). Just saying, please do something TXDOT.

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The original plan was to have the Fort Bend Tollway connect to Post Oak and 610 but because of it's limited use I believe that plan has been put on scrapped. Hwy 90 wouldn't be bad if they could do something about the 610 back-up. Westpark was doomed to start with since the railroad wouldn't give them enough land to make more lanes.

I agree 59 is getting really bad.

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Why could not the land for more lanes be purchased from the RR? It's not our fault they cannot move out of the way.

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Why could not the land for more lanes be purchased from the RR? It's not our fault they cannot move out of the way.

To play devil's advocate, the RR could say, "It's not our fault you don't live closer to your work place."

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To play devil's advocate, the RR could say, "It's not our fault you don't live closer to your work place."

if you're talking about the ROW on the south side of the Westpark Tollway it belongs to METRO all the way west to near Eagle Lake. The commissioners crammed the Wpark into the smallest possible space to avoid eminent domain/spending more $. that's why the sound walls westbound around Alief are mere feet from the back walls of a couple of subdivisions.

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Something really needs to be done to somooow get people to take transit to work. Not sure what will work here, but the freeways are just getting worse and it will be extremely expensive to expand urban freeways such as 59. Insanely expensive.

Edited by mfastx
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if you're talking about the ROW on the south side of the Westpark Tollway it belongs to METRO all the way west to near Eagle Lake. The commissioners crammed the Wpark into the smallest possible space to avoid eminent domain/spending more $. that's why the sound walls westbound around Alief are mere feet from the back walls of a couple of subdivisions.

My understanding was that they would have liked to make Westpark wider, but METRO reserved the land for rail, which would be at least 20+ years from now.

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Something really needs to be done to somooow get people to take transit to work. Not sure what will work here, but the freeways are just getting worse and it will be extremely expensive to expand urban freeways such as 59. Insanely expensive.

This is what would work (bottom paragraphs):

http://houstonstrate...-potential.html

...

What if Metro kept the GMP as-is, but to raise funds for the Universities line, it sold its HOV/HOT lane network to HCTRA or TXDOT (who I think would do a better job managing and expanding it) and sold its commuter buses and Park-and-Ride lots to private operators? Metro would get the capital it needs, and Houston could get

the vastly more effective commuter transit system it needs: a comprehensive urban network of HOT lanes (maybe branded as “ MaX Lanes

(Managed eXpress Lanes) - moving the maximum number of people at maximum speed”) connecting all of the job centers and residential areas.

These lanes, in turn, may be best utilized by a

private express bus/shuttle/van and park-and-ride market providing single-seat service connecting every suburban residential community with each of Houston's decentralized major job centers. Private shuttle operators could compete on routes, schedule, reliability, price, service, and amenities like wifi and laptop trays. These services, in turn, could enable Houston to hold on to and even grow our job and tax base rather than see them dispersed to the far suburbs because of increasing traffic congestion (the new Exxon Woodlands mega-campus is a canary in the coal mine here). It could also be of great benefit to employers, allowing their employees to be more productive during their commutes (especially email). Finally, it could also open up new job opportunities to Houstonians by bringing additional options within their acceptable commute range.

I don't know how much money Metro might raise with this approach. They say they've put $1+ billion into the HOV network. I'm guessing the net present value of the expected cash stream from them being converted to HOT lanes is far less than that. Don't know what the P&R land or buses are worth. But I'm guessing they might get into substantial hundred-million dollar numbers, which would have to be a boost for the Universities line. An option at least worth exploring?

Edited by ToryGattis
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My understanding was that they would have liked to make Westpark wider, but METRO reserved the land for rail, which would be at least 20+ years from now.

Metro had owned that entire ROW before selling off some to build the WT. The rail could have been here sooner if it wasn't for incompetence by Metro and dumb politicians. But whenever it is built, ridership on it will be pretty good...

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Patronage of the Fort Bend Parkway is very low and well below its 2008 peak, according to data in the HCTRA FY 2011 annual report. (Although FY 2012 ended in February, the 2012 report is not yet online.)

https://www.hctra.org/file_download/171/TollRoad_FY2011.pdf

See pages 43 and 47. The 3,121,672 transactions in FY 2011 is about 8500 vehicles per day. There were 3,645,128 transactions in FY 2008 and patronage declined each year afterward. For comparison, the busiest section of toll road in the HCTRA system (Sam Houston North) had 68,303,640 transactions, or about 187,000 vehicles per day. Obviously the Fort Bend Parkway is not doing much to relieve traffic on the southwest side.

I don't know the latest status of the connection between US 90A and the West Loop, but my understanding is that it is indefinitely deferred but not dead. There are no plans to move forward with it anytime soon.

As for the general traffic situation on the southwest side, there's really nothing in the works to provide relief or added capacity. Improvements to the US 59 south/Loop 610 interchange are under study, other than that I'm not aware of anything else in the pipeline. Of course the existing section of the Grand Parkway is being upgraded with tolled overpasses and the southwest section (US 59 to SH 288) will probably move forward eventually. But that's it.

For the next 10 years most available funds will go to the US 290 Northwest Freeway. The toll road system expansion will be on the Grand Parkway from US 290 to US 59 N, extending SH 249 as a toll road, and likely the Hardy Toll Road downtown connector. There will be a few smaller jobs, like the Gulf Freeway expansion at Clear Lake City. And that's it for the next 10 years.

So the situation is looking grim right now for highway infrastructure keeping up with population and economic growth. There will need to be some changes in political priorities for the grim funding situation to change.

Dallas-Fort Worth is using public-private partnerships to fund many of its highway expansions (all new lanes privately funded and heavily tolled). There are really only two, maybe three, opportunities for that in Houston: Grand Parkway F and G (which is in the PPP proposal phase), North Freeway between downtown and Beltway 8 (still in preliminary study, not imminent), and (maybe) the SH 288 toll lanes. So I don't see PPPs coming to the rescue.

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Could a PPP do the Hempstead Tollway and buy some time on 290?

The only reason that 290 is moving as quickly as it is is because HCTRA has agreed to run toll lanes down the middle. Take that away and all we can afford in the near future are the interchanges at 610 and BW8. The rest of the project would actually slow down.

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Could a PPP do the Hempstead Tollway and buy some time on 290?

I don't think the Hempstead Tollway was ever considered for a PPP, and with HCTRA participation in the main freeway project it is definitely less likely since there is limited demand for pricely toll service. My first impression is that the Hempstead Tollway would not be highly attractive to private interests.

However, I would prefer to see a more conventional funding approach to highway improvement. With the PPPs, the private entity collects tolls for the next 50 years - which for most people reading this will be longer than the rest of their lives. Tolls will be high and remain so forever, with little or no public influence in the tolling policy. I kind of see PPPs as a desperate last resort. DFW is desperate due the sheer number of multi-$billion freeway projects that need to be done. However, I can see more regions becoming desperate - such as Atlanta after the transportation tax was crushed by voters last week.

Edited by MaxConcrete

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If you don't like the traffic, apparently there are 10000 apartments opening in the loop this year. you might have to sacrifice your yard that isn't big enough to play catch in though. but there is plenty of room for catch at one of the lovely inner loop parks.

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This is what would work (bottom paragraphs):

http://houstonstrate...-potential.html

...

What if Metro kept the GMP as-is, but to raise funds for the Universities line, it sold its HOV/HOT lane network to HCTRA or TXDOT (who I think would do a better job managing and expanding it) and sold its commuter buses and Park-and-Ride lots to private operators? Metro would get the capital it needs, and Houston could get

the vastly more effective commuter transit system it needs: a comprehensive urban network of HOT lanes (maybe branded as “ MaX Lanes

(Managed eXpress Lanes) - moving the maximum number of people at maximum speed”) connecting all of the job centers and residential areas.

These lanes, in turn, may be best utilized by a

private express bus/shuttle/van and park-and-ride market providing single-seat service connecting every suburban residential community with each of Houston's decentralized major job centers. Private shuttle operators could compete on routes, schedule, reliability, price, service, and amenities like wifi and laptop trays. These services, in turn, could enable Houston to hold on to and even grow our job and tax base rather than see them dispersed to the far suburbs because of increasing traffic congestion (the new Exxon Woodlands mega-campus is a canary in the coal mine here). It could also be of great benefit to employers, allowing their employees to be more productive during their commutes (especially email). Finally, it could also open up new job opportunities to Houstonians by bringing additional options within their acceptable commute range.

I don't know how much money Metro might raise with this approach. They say they've put $1+ billion into the HOV network. I'm guessing the net present value of the expected cash stream from them being converted to HOT lanes is far less than that. Don't know what the P&R land or buses are worth. But I'm guessing they might get into substantial hundred-million dollar numbers, which would have to be a boost for the Universities line. An option at least worth exploring?

Good post, I had read that entry a couple of days ago.

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If you don't like the traffic, apparently there are 10000 apartments opening in the loop this year. you might have to sacrifice your yard that isn't big enough to play catch in though. but there is plenty of room for catch at one of the lovely inner loop parks.

No amount of traffic is worth going back to an apartment.

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To play devil's advocate, the RR could say, "It's not our fault you don't live closer to your work place."

Correct. So... why in the universe don't ppl live closer to their workplace?

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Correct. So... why in the universe don't ppl live closer to their workplace?

People buy the best value house - and school district - for them and their family within their commute tolerance, usually about a half-hour each way. That's inevitably out rather than in. Then there are the two-income couples (hard to live next to both employers), and the fact that people change jobs on average every 4 years or so, yet don't want to uproot their family every time if they can help it. So even if people do buy close to work, it probably doesn't last long for one or both spouses.

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With the way Metro's finances are, they may very well sell the ROW they have along Westpark in the future.

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Has anything happened on this? South Post Oak is getting really bad traffic wise and I would bet that if the Fort Bend tollway didn't dump you onto the street network miles from any employment center it would have more usage.

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Never going to happen.  FB toll road is focusing on south-bound expansion.  Imo, the current set up isn't the worst thing in the world, but a ramp or two off 610 would be super.

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I can see two sort-of possibilities:

 

1) Widen 90-A to allow for a paralleling of Fort Bend Tollway, then have it curve north into South Post Oak Road. In addition to widening 90-A, about a mile of Post Oak Road will be mostly demolishing to allow for a full "freeway-style" toll road. The main lanes of the 610 branch from Post Oak Road would curve into this new toll road instead of merging into Post Oak Road (wasn't a freeway there the original plan?)

 

2) Upgrade 90-A to a full freeway, clearing about 40 meters of developed area between its two overpasses and taking out businesses on the south side of 610 to allow for direct ramps.

 

Both require demolition and new construction, though...

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They could just add a toll ramp off 610 WB to 90S and 90N to 610 W/E and loft them.  Avoid the demo.  The fire station that has the exit perpendicular to the freeway is surprising.

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1 hour ago, SkylineView said:

They could just add a toll ramp off 610 WB to 90S and 90N to 610 W/E and loft them.  Avoid the demo.  The fire station that has the exit perpendicular to the freeway is surprising.

 

S. Main was a 4 lane divided highway with crossovers before the widening occurred. I guess it was cheaper to do the current setup than to have a conventional full freeway style feeder road there.

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15 hours ago, SkylineView said:

They could just add a toll ramp off 610 WB to 90S and 90N to 610 W/E and loft them.  Avoid the demo.  The fire station that has the exit perpendicular to the freeway is surprising.

Nah, if you look at the space at 610 and South Main, on the SE there just isn't the space for a ramp to come in and merge (US90S to 610E), not unless you wanted to remove the dedicated U-turn lane for Buffalo Speedway. There wouldn't be demolition required if you wanted to expand the ROW on the right side of US90N to allow a ramp to split off from US90N, and even with removing the dedicated U-turn lane, you could still add new ROW near Buffalo Speedway.

 

On the southwest side,the ROW on the other side is very tight, but the only things possibly affected are a self-storage unit and a few low-end motels (Motel 6, Palace, Raintree) that I don't think are going to be casualties that are worth protesting over.

 

The NW side has a residential area, and I don't think they're going to like a double-decked highway (essentially) literally behind their yard. The noise barriers will be ineffective. Digging into the ROW for the auto dealership would provide ample space for the ramp to come in from 90S to 610W comfortably without disturbing the houses at all (relatively speaking).

 

The NE side is the same way, the frontage road would have to bowed out to allow room for ramps and an angle that would work.

 

Things demolished:

A good part of the auto dealerships on the north side

The McDonald's/Chevron

The Denny's

The motels on the SW side

Part of a self storage center

The Exxon on the SW side

 

Things saved:
All houses

Pretty much everything on the SE side

 

On the other hand, you could skip that...cantilever FB Tollway over US-90 and dig into a short section of Post Oak Road. Most of the retail there is pretty run down, and you can save the houses.

 

 

 

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I'm totally with you on the dig-in option, but the neighborhood went nuts when it last came up.  

 

Maybe in a few years when 59 locks up some more.

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I retract my previous statements, it's still listed in the HGAC 2040 RTP (v.March 2016).  LINK.  Specifically, Appendix G, for the southwest corridor. 

 

pic.png

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1 hour ago, SkylineView said:

I retract my previous statements, it's still listed in the HGAC 2040 RTP (v.March 2016).  LINK.  Specifically, Appendix G, for the southwest corridor. 

 

pic.png

 

That pdf also has managed lanes on I-45 to Conroe... have never heard of that. Has a completion date of next year. This is news to me.

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it'll happen...they built the fb tollway with stubs and I remember the state saying south main would NEVER be upgraded to what it is now until that accident when that kid went over the median...they put lights up and everything

 

now if they can cut the Stafford portion out there's hope..lol

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Harris County Toll Road Authority revisits plans for Fort Bend Parkway extension

DSC_0196.jpg

 

Quote

The Harris County Toll Road Authority is revisiting plans to extend the north section of Fort Bend Parkway to connect to the southwest corner of the I-610 Loop.

“The engineer is collecting current traffic data to reassess the original 2003 schematic development to determine benefits and impacts to the area,” said Roxy Sibrian, a member of the HCTRA communications team. “The development process of the schematic is expected to be complete early 2020.”

According to an HCTRA financial statement, the county purchased land for the project in 2005 for $3.86 million. In February 2018, Harris County Commissioners Court approved $870,000 for a contract with Brown & Gay Engineers Inc., to evaluate plans for the extension.

 

https://communityimpact.com/houston/bellaire-meyerland-west-university/top-stories/2019/10/29/harris-county-toll-road-authority-revisits-plans-for-fort-bend-parkway-extension/

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:41 PM, Triton said:

 

Image to go along with this.  From the digital magazine.

 

3MQuHtk.png

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28 minutes ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

 

Image to go along with this.  From the digital magazine.

 

3MQuHtk.png

 

Hopefully that path in the map isn’t correct or it’s going to require a lot of eminent domain. The obvious and less painful path would be paralleled along US Alt 90 then turn north onto South Post Oak Road which feeds into I-610. 

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Curious that I've never seen a proposal to use the High voltage ROW for the extension.....

 

image.png.2d6c755289bc79c696815e9ca18439d5.png

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12 minutes ago, DNAguy said:

 

Curious that I've never seen a proposal to use the High voltage ROW for the extension.....

 

image.png.2d6c755289bc79c696815e9ca18439d5.png

 

Seems very unlikely they would go that far East. The Post oak spur there is the perfect connection piece.

 

In all likelihood, they just need to find a way of getting from main street to Post Oak. The Spur that enters 610 is already built and would be a natural fit as an extension to connect the roads.

 

My parents live in Fort Bend. If this connector happened, it would be possible to get from downtown to their house in Missouri City in 20 minutes... which is amazing.

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42 minutes ago, Avossos said:

 

Seems very unlikely they would go that far East. The Post oak spur there is the perfect connection piece.

 

In all likelihood, they just need to find a way of getting from main street to Post Oak. The Spur that enters 610 is already built and would be a natural fit as an extension to connect the roads.

 

My parents live in Fort Bend. If this connector happened, it would be possible to get from downtown to their house in Missouri City in 20 minutes... which is amazing.

 

this would be a thing for about 6 months until developers started making the area that the tollroad services more dense with subdivisions, and apartments. then your parents will have the same commute time they do now, except the entire area will have a much larger population and there will be a bigger strain on local traffic than their currently is.

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Good thing Missouri City has a BRT line, an express bus, and a light rail extension (pending a partnership?) planned to help take some of those people downtown

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