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East River - KBR Site Puchased by Midway

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

The biggest problem in early Houston was mosquito-borne malaria, which suggests residents wanted to be as far from water as possible and would not have developed like Amsterdam. We lost the state capital over this.

 

 

Thats a point that I understood, but that doesn't mean that it was entirely out of the realm of possibilities for that time. Just as a theoretical idea for our city it would have been interesting. There are many paths Houston could have taken and turned out completely differently that are fun to think about. If Houston was started further down the Ship Channel it could have turned into a city like Hamburg with a very close relationship to shipping and industry than we have right now. As for Amsterdam's canals at that time, its not like they were that fantastic as they are today either. They were effectively used for boat travel, as open sewers, and defense. Even New Amsterdam had canals as well. Again, not out of the realm of belief as 100 years prior was an era when canals were a solution to both transportation, sewerage, and flood control. Might not even be out of the realm of possibility today given that we have tech to protect us from said diseases, and at the same time we are looking for new solutions to divert water during flood events.

Edited by Luminare
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43 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

Thats a point that I understood, but that doesn't mean that it was entirely out of the realm of possibilities for that time. Just as a theoretical idea for our city it would have been interesting. There are many paths Houston could have taken and turned out completely differently that are fun to think about. If Houston was started further down the Ship Channel it could have turned into a city like Hamburg with a very close relationship to shipping and industry than we have right now. As for Amsterdam's canals at that time, its not like they were that fantastic as they are today either. They were effectively used for boat travel, as open sewers, and defense. Even New Amsterdam had canals as well. Again, not out of the realm of belief as 100 years prior was an era when canals were a solution to both transportation, sewerage, and flood control. Might not even be out of the realm of possibility today given that we have tech to protect us from said diseases, and at the same time we are looking for new solutions to divert water during flood events.


If you look at old illustrated views of Amsterdam such as in Braun and Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Amsterdam looked pretty incredible as early as the 1500's. They were the economic center of the world from about 1600 to 1780, with the first stock exchange and unprecedented accumulation of wealth. The other Dutch cities, while not in same stratum as Amsterdam, were wealthy cities far more advanced than comparable cities in other European countries. I don't think anything like Dutch canals would have been feasible in 19th century Houston. You had a canal movement in the U.S. for moving goods from city to city, and some cities like Rochester or Syracuse had something like an urban canal where the Erie canal went through. But nothing like that was happening economically down here.

 

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10 hours ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

 

 

 

 

**side track**

 

Oh! My "adopted" home country! :) Vietnam uses gondolas very extensively from the north to the south but they are all used to either get to resorts or theme parks, including the one in this video. This video is of the island of Phu Quoc connecting to a resort under construction on the island of Hon Thom. These rides bring a lot of tourism to Vietnam especially because of the many scenic areas these all fly over. Highly recommend the gondola ride in Nha Trang and my absolute favorite is the one going up to Bana Hills:

 

Image result for bana hills gondola

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A gondola from Post HTX and East River would be great. It would offer amazing views too of downtown on the trip. 

 

Also, I would love to have ferries or boats transfer people over and have them designed in the traditional fashion of the boats that came into Allen Landing in the inception of the city.  

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18 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Has a gondola system ever been put into use as a serious transit system, in place of where a trolley might go?  I wonder how the costs would compare versus a trolley street car or light rail.

 

They tried it in Rio de Janeiro, but some people say that was just a vanity project for the Olympics.  They built a 2.2 mile line and they say it cost $70M.  The trip took 10 minutes, I couldn't quickly find any information on capacity/hour.

 

A quick look on Google Maps shows the distance from the Post Office to KBR is about 1.5 miles, so about 30% shorter than the Rio line.  And I love the Brazilians, but there's got to be some inefficiencies and graft in their numbers.  So maybe $35-$40M?  I'll leave it to others to investigate the access question and operating costs.

 

But it would be cool!

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We have gators in Lake Houston. I've seen one from my backyard. They don't seem to bother people, dogs may be problematic. They tend to stay away from populated areas. Is there a gator situation along the bayou?

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1 hour ago, Twinsanity02 said:

We have gators in Lake Houston. I've seen one from my backyard. They don't seem to bother people, dogs may be problematic. They tend to stay away from populated areas. Is there a gator situation along the bayou?

I think this is the 3rd time in this string where it was brought up. The bayous banks are too steep on the east side to allow gators to climb up. 

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1 hour ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

I think this is the 3rd time in this string where it was brought up. The bayous banks are too steep on the east side to allow gators to climb up. 

Thanks for the information but  I was thinking of the Gondolas.  Though come to think about it,  people kayak the bayou and haven't heard of anyone getting chomped.

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There's a gondola line in Portland that connects the waterfront to their medical campus up on a hilltop overlooking the city. Beats installing a funicular. 

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All this talk of gondolas sounds weird to me - do they ever make them on flat land?

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

All this talk of gondolas sounds weird to me - do they ever make them on flat land?

The State Fair of Texas has one...?

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1 hour ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

Rodeo has them every year 

 

I've even ridden in it 🤦‍♂️

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On 4/30/2019 at 10:10 AM, innerloop said:

 

They tried it in Rio de Janeiro, but some people say that was just a vanity project for the Olympics.  They built a 2.2 mile line and they say it cost $70M.  The trip took 10 minutes, I couldn't quickly find any information on capacity/hour.

 

 

 

There were two, but the more important one links the Complexo de Alemão favela to a station on the suburban train line, a total of 6 stations over 3.5 km. Theoretical max capacity per hour was 3000 passengers (152 gondolas, ~30 minute round trip, 10 pax per gondola). For obvious reasons, it's very difficult to achieve this capacity. In practice the system had about 10,000 passengers per day (article in Portuguese from 2012).

 

Fares were heavily subsidized by the state government. Residents of the favela (a majority of users) could ride twice per day for free, while everyone else paid R$1 (about US$0.30) each way. To break even on operating costs at 10,000 riders per day, the fare would have needed to be about 7-8x higher, and paid by all passengers. (Other public transportation modes in Rio generally operate without subsidy.) Given the precarious financial situation of the state government after the Olympics, the operating subsidy was cut off and operation suspended in late 2016. 

 

The construction cost per mile is definitely at the low end as compared to light rail, average speeds are only a little slower, and grade separation is built in. It helps if you have the right topology, and you still have to work out the rights of way.

 

 

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I had waaay too much time on my hands to think about this, but here is my suggestion for 2 Gondola routes:

 

https://imgur.com/a/ArazkT7

 

Keep in mind I have ZERO technical background on how these work other than ski trips and the rodeo. The goal here was to connect East River to the Light Rail systems at BBVA and UHD. I tried to pick land that is currently open and would be easily developed on after the I-45 Re-Route. Both routes would give amazing views of the Bayou and Downtown. 

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It's not exactly the same, and it primarily goes over the East River, but NYC has the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

10-free-things-to-do-roosevelt-island-tramway-160927154052003-1920x960.jpeg

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Yeah is there any mention about an actual gonadal being built or just a bunch of day dreaming?  

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2 hours ago, Luminare said:

...we have gone so far off course...

Im just trying to define a course :)

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35 minutes ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

@Luminare you missed a good opportunity to say, "we have gone so far off the rails..."

 

In a normal thread where we talk about rail...yes, but we are on water, so no.

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12 minutes ago, Texasota said:

... gondolas are on neither rails nor water...

 

so i guess you could say these comments are... out of line

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Texasota said:

... gondolas are on neither rails nor water...

 

The topic is called "East River"... not "East Gondolas"

 

EDIT: I can't believe I actually have to mention why the joke worked in the first place....sigh

Edited by Luminare

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...could we rename the thread "East Gondolas"? It has a better ring to it, and they already decided to rename Buffalo Bayou to a river...

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Gondola is cheaper and probably faster than light rail considering the logistics of going around the Bayou from the East River sight. Metro should love this. It connects more people to their main light rail lines. I could imagine living at the East River and working in Downtown, taking your bike to the gondola, riding that to UHD, and then biking to work. 

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This talk of gondolas is nice and all, but where in the plan does it specifically state that gondolas (or light rail for that matter) are going to be incorporated into the project? I mean, it's a fair thing to assume some form of public transit will connect East River to the rest of town but are there any tangible plans on what may actually happen?

 

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To my knowledge the only plan out there is the East End District's plan to run a streetcar on Clinton, but that seems to be more of a "this would be cool" kind of thing than a "we are currently designing and securing funding for" kind of thing.

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16 hours ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

Im just trying to define a course :)

 

I'm still somewhat amused that @jmitch94's phone autocorrected "gondola" to "gonadal". 

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Posted (edited)

@ekdrm2d1 or @hindesky .....I think a photo update of the site is in order. All hands on deck to re-steer this vessel!

Edited by Luminare
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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

@ekdrm2d1 or @hindesky .....I think a photo update of the site is in order. All hands on deck to re-steer this vessel!

 

If the weather is nice tomorrow morning I'll try to get an aerial between photoshoots :)

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On 4/29/2019 at 3:43 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

The biggest problem in early Houston was mosquito-borne malaria, which suggests residents wanted to be as far from water as possible and would not have developed like Amsterdam. We lost the state capital over this.

 

Not only malaria, but yellow fever as well, which killed far more folks than malaria, and was harder to treat.

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Great shots guys! @ekdrm2d1 @hindesky

 

Unfortunately I had no time to take flight but looks like there's still some more time to go before it starts getting too interesting.

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On 4/26/2019 at 11:11 AM, intencity77 said:

 

Large, yes. Transformative and forward thinking, I think not.  Developments like The Woodlands or Kingwood only furthered sprawl, they are the antithesis of the “forward thinking” projects I believe Arche_757 was referring too.  

 

for their time, they were transformative. sharpstown was another development that happened even earlier that was transformative.

 

these are all master planned communities, they are all iterations of previous MPC, but they were all transformations of the previous. sharpstown added a mall to the suburban MPC, kingwood put the MPC in some trees and added a lot of outdoor activity possibilities, woodlands added some serious outdoor event areas, even gondolas if I am remembering right.

 

these days, we still get master planned communities, we just call them 'city center' instead of suburbs. they are far more dense, but still are iterations of the previous MPCs, and actually the MPC developers use market research to know what people want. in the 60s, 70s, and 80s it was suburban sprawl. in the 00s and 10s it's density closer in.

 

On 5/3/2019 at 8:18 AM, Texasota said:

... gondolas are on neither rails nor water...

 

if gondolas don't go in the water, then what is this hamster driving?

 

ZMJts.gif

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21 hours ago, samagon said:

 

these days, we still get master planned communities, we just call them 'city center' instead of suburbs. they are far more dense, but still are iterations of the previous MPCs, and actually the MPC developers use market research to know what people want. in the 60s, 70s, and 80s it was suburban sprawl. in the 00s and 10s it's density closer in.

 

 

Yes, but these developments (East River, City Centre, Woodlands Town Center, etc.) are closer to traditional development patterns that pre-date the automobile: self-contained dense, walkable places. 

 

When you drive around Europe (and other places developed prior to the 19th c.), you mostly see really dense towns and villages, surrounded by very low-density uses (farms, vineyards, forests, mountains, etc.). Here's Siena, in Italy:

 

1200px-Siena,_Tuscany,_Italy-12May2013.j

 

All mid-rise mixed use surrounded by (basically) farmland. 

 

The places people tend to like to visit are either very high-density (be they big bustling cities or small Italian hill towns) or very low-density (mountains, forests, vineyards, islands), whereas our suburbs tend to be somewhere in that mushy middle no one really finds beautiful. (No one shoots their engagement photos in the suburbs.) Maybe developers have started to figure this out.

 

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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

 

The places people tend to like to visit are either very high-density (be they big bustling cities or small Italian hill towns) or very low-density (mountains, forests, vineyards, islands), whereas our suburbs tend to be somewhere in that mushy middle no one really finds beautiful. (No one shoots their engagement photos in the suburbs.) Maybe developers have started to figure this out.

 

 

It is true (and nice picture) that these are the places most people like to visit, but the places most people like to live (including Europeans, when they can afford to and govt. restrictions permit) are something more like our suburbs: a detached dwelling on a piece of land with a place to put a car or two. In Siena, most people live in a flat of under 1,000 SF on a narrow, noisy street with no green in sight and no place for a car. If a relative from out of town comes to visit and wants to drive a car, they must park it on a narrow, steep road outside the city walls and hike in (I've done it). Kind of hard to visit the grandparents with the baby. It would take some remarkable social engineering to force Houstonians other than young singles into this lifestyle.

 

I must also quibble about the engagement photos; in Houston, everybody's favorite spot for engagement or wedding photos is Broadacres, which would technically be considered a suburb. Time and preservation makes even suburbs look beautiful.

 

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On 5/7/2019 at 12:58 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

It is true (and nice picture) that these are the places most people like to visit, but the places most people like to live (including Europeans, when they can afford to and govt. restrictions permit) are something more like our suburbs: a detached dwelling on a piece of land with a place to put a car or two. In Siena, most people live in a flat of under 1,000 SF on a narrow, noisy street with no green in sight and no place for a car. If a relative from out of town comes to visit and wants to drive a car, they must park it on a narrow, steep road outside the city walls and hike in (I've done it). Kind of hard to visit the grandparents with the baby. It would take some remarkable social engineering to force Houstonians other than young singles into this lifestyle.

 

 

 

Last I checked, square footage in European city centers was still a lot more expensive than square footage in suburban areas. 

 

That said, you can do car-compatible without doing car-centric. And if a place isn't car-centric, you can get away without needing a place for a car. And it's perfectly possible to get around with a baby without a car. I know because I've done it. My son's first car ride was coming home from the hospital. His second was 7 months later to go the airport for our flight to Houston.

 

Anyway, not saying that we should re-make Houston into Siena. But it's nice to see at least some developers re-discovering traditional forms of urbanism.

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Hindsight tells us a little bit more open land would be very good... just say’n

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8 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

 

Last I checked, square footage in European city centers was still a lot more expensive than square footage in suburban areas. 

 

That said, you can do car-compatible without doing car-centric. And if a place isn't car-centric, you can get away without needing a place for a car. And it's perfectly possible to get around with a baby without a car. I know because I've done it. My son's first car ride was coming home from the hospital. His second was 7 months later to go the airport for our flight to Houston.

 

Anyway, not saying that we should re-make Houston into Siena. But it's nice to see at least some developers re-discovering traditional forms of urbanism.

 

The logic does not work to say "Square footage costs are higher in city centers, therefore more people must want to live in city centers." Square footage costs are higher on beaches than inland, but that does not mean most people want to live on a beach. It just means the available supply is lower. City centers are always expensive because only a limited supply of units can be at the center. It's a matter of geometry; there are more points on the edge of a circle than at its center.

 

I never said it wasn't possible to get around with a baby without a car. I said it was difficult to visit the grandparents if they live in Siena. Not impossible - difficult. Harder to keep the baby asleep. Much harder to bring all the stuff. I know, I know - don't bring all the stuff! Be minimalist! But it's harder, and most people don't want those difficulties.

 

I'm one of the bigger advocates of urbanism on here, despite my view that most people want a suburban living pattern. If 70% of people want suburban and 30% want urban and your city is 98% suburban, you need more urban.

 

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6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I'm one of the bigger advocates of urbanism on here, despite my view that most people want a suburban living pattern. If 70% of people want suburban and 30% want urban and your city is 98% suburban, you need more urban.

 

 

You're probably right (revealed preference, etc. etc.), but I wonder if it's just a reflection of what's available. I mean, do people really love 3-story townhouses with the 3rd BR on the ground floor, or do people buy them because that's the only layout anyone builds? I've found living without a car (albeit not in Houston) to be great, and it's especially easy now that there's ridesharing and microtransport available, but not many people get an opportunity to experience it.

 

People moved to the suburbs in the 20th century because cities were loud, filthy and dangerous (they've since gotten better), and stayed there because city schools got terrible. Currently, if you want decent schools and enough living space for a family on a middle class income, I'm afraid you don't have a lot of choice with respect to lifestyle. 

 

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1 hour ago, Timoric said:

My family got a 6 month dose of urban living in East Baltimore right next to Johns Hopkins caring for a sick relative - who made a complete recovery by the way - great doctors.

 

We did a Residence Inn for a while but eventually rented in a new wrap style apartment mid-rise with GFR (CVS, Pizza place, and a Kabob joint) across the street from JHP that looks just like alot of the stuff going up in Houston.

 

I have the following observations:

1. It felt exciting and varied - The nice areas are really great - Little Italy is amazing, old churches, nice stuff near the harbor etc

2. The danger is always there so you have to watch your back - some interesting signs on abandoned buildings like "No Shoot Zone!"

3. The people that stayed there - we did it in shifts coming and going - didn't use a car and did walks to shop and exercise knew where not to walk

4. The wrap apartment hallways were pretty claustrophobic and not well labelled, not sure if that is a thing, there was an inner courtyard and a garage in the middle and and outer hallway that contained units, it took me a while to not get lost

5. You can hear the footsteps in the units above but the noise isn't too bad

6. It was fall/winter so the balconies and common areas were pretty much not used, the gym and tv areas were lightly used but it didn't feel too bad

7. The place was pretty new and probably 60-70 percent leased

8. These places are definitely not as good as having a house and people like me with 25 years before retirement would rather get a beach house say in OBX than one of these - as a second property - I have discovered that is a thing - maybe that will change when all the little people raised

 

 

Yeah, you go a few blocks west of Johns Hopkins and that is definitely a "not to walk" area.

 

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Glad to hear your relative recovered. So I notice on your information you are still in Olney Maryland. Is this a permanent move or are you coming back to Houston?

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Timoric said:

 

8. These places are definitely not as good as having a house and people like me with 25 years before retirement would rather get a beach house say in OBX than one of these - as a second property - I have discovered that is a thing - maybe that will change when all the little people raised

 

 

 

Quality can vary widely. I've lived in large buildings (where you can definitely hear your neighbors) and smaller 4 to 20-unit buildings with only one or two apartments per floor. The latter are a LOT better.  Apartments in them can be quite large (1500 to 4000 s.f.) and you might forget you even HAVE neighbors above and below you. Unfortunately not many of those buildings get built any more.

Edited by Angostura
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