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What is holding Downtown down?


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This thread is full of people who believe that if they can't look at people from their car as they drive through downtown, then downtown is somehow in trouble. Well, just because you cannot see the pe

Gravity, mostly.

Possibly, but it's not like the system is going away, because it serves a very real purpose. It's hot and humid and it rains a lot in Houston and that's not going to change. There will always be som

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I think downtown needs to focus on the small things as well. Things to put on the sidewalk for people to interact with (i.e. The word "BIG" without the "I" in downtown Dallas for photos) and lights on the buildings that aren't white or yellow and of course street level retail.

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I think downtown needs to focus on the small things as well. Things to put on the sidewalk for people to interact with (i.e. The word "BIG" without the "I" in downtown Dallas for photos) and lights on the buildings that aren't white or yellow and of course street level retail.

 

What downtown should do first is to get retail up at the surface by taking out the tunnels, but I doubt that would happen.

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What downtown should do first is to get retail up at the surface by taking out the tunnels, but I doubt that would happen.

 

what if they converted the tunnel system into a subway system? pretty far out and i think its too compact of an area to work efficiently, but then again i doubt theyre going to ever close off tunnel system either. (supposably Dallas is trying to close their tunnel system to bring more pedestrian activity up to street level).

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what if they converted the tunnel system into a subway system? pretty far out and i think its too compact of an area to work efficiently, but then again i doubt theyre going to ever close off tunnel system either. (supposably Dallas is trying to close their tunnel system to bring more pedestrian activity up to street level).

 

I had no idea Dallas had one too. I really would wish they would close off the tunnels to bring life where it really needs it, out in the open so downtown does't look dead.

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I had no idea Dallas had one too. I really would wish they would close off the tunnels to bring life where it really needs it, out in the open so downtown does't look dead.

If the Tunnel system closed we would have the same vacancy as Downtown Dallas. Better access and openings are what our system needs. Unless they build that giant dome and A/C it.

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and now for the rant reply.

 

The only thing holding Houston down is igmos like you who think we are being held down, and dumbasses who think that we have to have this and we have to have that to be a world class city (Lee "Outta Town" Brown, we need rail to be a world class city... screw him)

 

well, guess what... WE ARE A WORLD CLASS CITY.

 

WE ARE THE ENERGY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

we have the best freeway system in the world, bar none.

we are home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other city except NYC

We are the home to major hubs of two major airlines.

We have a higher quality of life than almost any city in the world.

Our people live together in harmony regardless of their race, color, cultural background, etc...  try being black in the suburbs of northern cities.. .they will chase you back to the ghetto.

 

so we don't have a lot of rail.. big fkn deal.

 

so we don't have zoning... that means we don't have some gubmint busy body taking bribes to change laws.

 

Houston and Texas in general is one of the few places where jobs are abundant- hell, even I have two! This means we have people moving here from all over the US and the world seeking opportunity, so this joint is BOOMING.

 

 

I'm a Native Texan... wasn't born in Houston, but gawdamnit, my Daddy got us here as soon as he could!  :)

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There's nothing holding downtown down. It's doing just fine.

 

Downtown, the central business district is doing fine.

 

Downtown, the neighborhood is on life support.

 

By definition a neighborhood needs people, community, neighbors. Downtown Houston has almost none of those traits.

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Well yes there is, such as the lack of pedestrian life and the need for more retail.

Why does downtown need pedestrian life and retail? I worked downtown for years. I found that the area served its purpose just fine the way it is. People often confuse their wants for what they think are societal needs. That often leads to them finding ways to spend tax money on what the wants that they have confused for needs. They also assume that the things they want are obviously needed and they never even consider the thought that others might see things completely differently. It's just automatically assumed that downtown needs these things.

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and now for the rant reply.

The only thing holding Houston down is igmos like you who think we are being held down, and dumbasses who think that we have to have this and we have to have that to be a world class city (Lee "Outta Town" Brown, we need rail to be a world class city... screw him)

well, guess what... WE ARE A WORLD CLASS CITY.

WE ARE THE ENERGY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

we have the best freeway system in the world, bar none.

we are home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other city except NYC

We are the home to major hubs of two major airlines.

We have a higher quality of life than almost any city in the world.

Our people live together in harmony regardless of their race, color, cultural background, etc... try being black in the suburbs of northern cities.. .they will chase you back to the ghetto.

so we don't have a lot of rail.. big fkn deal.

so we don't have zoning... that means we don't have some gubmint busy body taking bribes to change laws.

Houston and Texas in general is one of the few places where jobs are abundant- hell, even I have two! This means we have people moving here from all over the US and the world seeking opportunity, so this joint is BOOMING.

I'm a Native Texan... wasn't born in Houston, but gawdamnit, my Daddy got us here as soon as he could! :)

I'll bite.

We are not a "World Class City", but we are slowly getting there. I would argue that Dallas has a better freeway layout than ours, but our city is a different pattern so that's another topic. We are not home to any major airline, but we do have two large hubs. And having two International airports is a milestone towards being a beta or alpha world city.

I would agree about everyone living in harmony in the loop. Every bar I've been to has had a mixed crowd, Japanese businessmen, yuppies, everything. Outside of the loop is different.

While we do have much to be prideful for, we still have a long ways to go. Rail might not be the answer, but its a start. Have you seen that video of those two hipsters talking about Austin's public transportation, saying that rail is a 200 year old idea that doesn't work in this century. Do you know what they propose? Chairlifts... Seriously... (17th Century design).

So I'll get off my tipsy soap box now. I will add that I don't know much about the north, but from the times I have been there, their racial and political biases seemed to be minimal and more progressive than here. But I guess it's all about perception.

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Why does downtown need pedestrian life and retail? I worked downtown for years. I found that the area served its purpose just fine the way it is. People often confuse their wants for what they think are societal needs. That often leads to them finding ways to spend tax money on what the wants that they have confused for needs. They also assume that the things they want are obviously needed and they never even consider the thought that others might see things completely differently. It's just automatically assumed that downtown needs these things.

 

This thread is full of people who believe that if they can't look at people from their car as they drive through downtown, then downtown is somehow in trouble. Well, just because you cannot see the pedestrians and the retail doesn't mean downtown doesn't have any. You really should stop falling for the crap that northeastern forum posters feed you. They may have people walking in their downtown streets...but their cities are losing population and jobs. Our city is busting at the seams. You guys are spazzing over style over substance. Houston is in better shape than virtually every US city. 

 

Wish for things of value. Wish for those bayou parks and trails they've told us about. Wish for better air quality. Wish for things that matter. Pedetrians at street level instead on in tunnels is flat out silly. It means absolutely nothing.

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the topic is downtown the neighborhood. not Houston the city. I don't care about rail, pedestrian utopias, bayou parks or trails or any other gimmick. If tourists want those amenities in downtown, that's fine but let them pay for them, don't increase my taxes. I just want a grocery store like every other neighborhood in this city. A dry cleaners that is open 7 days a week. A bank ATM I can access on the weekends.( No not a private ATM like inside a Franks pizza). Just the basics. that's what downtown needs.

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Put simply it's the lack of residents.  During business hours downtown is just like any normal downtown. 

 

The four new residential proposals, plus the numerous hotel proposals wil help add some life to downtown during non business hours.  That will certainly help. 

 

If I ever live in Houston again, I'd love to live downtown (if I can afford it, lol).  It's moving in the right direction, neighborhood wise and business wise.

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I work DT and the number one thing I HEAR and SEE that people complain about the most are the STREET PEOPLE. But the city and police are not doing anything about them so that problem appears permanent. It makes for an UNPLEASANT experience having to mess with them several times a week. You'll never get rid of them though. And you can't make them WORK community service.

 

I personally don't think DT it will be much better unless there is a HUGE gain in population. Houston is NOT a forward thinking area anymore. 

 

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I work DT and the number one thing I HEAR and SEE that people complain about the most are the STREET PEOPLE. But the city and police are not doing anything about them so that problem appears permanent. It makes for an UNPLEASANT experience having to mess with them several times a week. You'll never get rid of them though. And you can't make them WORK community service.

 

I personally don't think DT it will be much better unless there is a HUGE gain in population. Houston is NOT a forward thinking area anymore. 

 

There are "Street People" everywhere. I'd prefer the bums over the living statues and crusty jugglers. So is forward thiking - getting rid of all the homeless and moving them out of sight out of mind? It's usually not the bums that are so bothersome, it's the agressive panhandlers.

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Houston is NOT a forward thinking area anymore. 

 

You are correct. Houston is no longer forward thinking. Now, Houston does old fashioned things like respect the civil rights of ALL people, rather than only the jerks who work downtown.

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This thread is full of people who believe that if they can't look at people from their car as they drive through downtown, then downtown is somehow in trouble. Well, just because you cannot see the pedestrians and the retail doesn't mean downtown doesn't have any. You really should stop falling for the crap that northeastern forum posters feed you. They may have people walking in their downtown streets...but their cities are losing population and jobs. Our city is busting at the seams. You guys are spazzing over style over substance. Houston is in better shape than virtually every US city.

Wish for things of value. Wish for those bayou parks and trails they've told us about. Wish for better air quality. Wish for things that matter. Pedetrians at street level instead on in tunnels is flat out silly. It means absolutely nothing.

Correct, correct and correct.

But....

with young professionals coming to our city by the THOUSANDS from other big cities, people who are used to things like being able to live, work and play without a car because of an extensive rail/transit system, dense urban environments, and who mostly want to remain living in a similar environment and not move out to the suburbs, my question is what about them? Will they want to STAY? They're certainly in for a culture shock when they get here, especially the ones who have been used to getting around without a car. So is our attitude toward them supposed to be "they can go ___ themselves, if they dont like it here they can go back to where they came from"?

Its not just about us native Houstonians who have been here all our lives or for a very long time.....

Edited by Howard Huge
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I believe the number of new residents who fit all of your criteria is likely to be a tiny number. Even so, if your question to me is whether the City of Houston should spend massive amounts of money to coddle these few frightened carless young professionals, my answer is a thunderous "NO!" Our city offers numerous opportunities, including carless living. But, most importantly, it offers employment to those who come here. Honestly, those who demand what you assume this small group will demand (They are not as demanding as you think they'll be) are probably not good workers, and are not welcome here. I prefer the ones who will come and help make Houston better, not the ones who act like prima donnas.

 

In short, it IS about us Houstonians. What makes us happy here will also make the newcomers happy.

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I believe the number of new residents who fit all of your criteria is likely to be a tiny number. Even so, if your question to me is whether the City of Houston should spend massive amounts of money to coddle these few frightened carless young professionals, my answer is a thunderous "NO!" Our city offers numerous opportunities, including carless living. But, most importantly, it offers employment to those who come here. Honestly, those who demand what you assume this small group will demand (They are not as demanding as you think they'll be) are probably not good workers, and are not welcome here. I prefer the ones who will come and help make Houston better, not the ones who act like prima donnas.

In short, it IS about us Houstonians. What makes us happy here will also make the newcomers happy.

You're not in sync with the youngsters obviously. What the previous point said is absolutely true and it's the majority not the minority of youngsters who want that kind of urban lifestyle because every big city in the country has a better transit system than Houston's.

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I don't know of a transit bus system that does more with less than Houston's bus system. We could have a world class bus system if weren't for the stupid light rail. As to youngers and what they want... I don't really care. They are moving from cities that have failed them, so what do they know about great urban lifestyle or great cities for that matter. There are no simple answers but if I were king of Houston I would get rid of the burdensome building/construction process around north downtown due to the historical district. You would lose some history but, Houston is about looking to the future not looking at the past.

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I don't know of a transit bus system that does more with less than Houston's bus system. We could have a world class bus system if weren't for the stupid light rail. As to youngers and what they want... I don't really care. They are moving from cities that have failed them, so what do they know about great urban lifestyle or great cities for that matter. There are no simple answers but if I were king of Houston I would get rid of the burdensome building/construction process around north downtown due to the historical district. You would lose some history but, Houston is about looking to the future not looking at the past.

You have to care because they are the future. And just wiping away the past is pretty sad. History matters.

Also I can think of two cities in Texas, Austin and San Antonio that have better bus systems then houston.

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You have to care because they are the future. And just wiping away the past is pretty sad. History matters.

Also I can think of two cities in Texas, Austin and San Antonio that have better bus systems then houston.

 

What makes you think those systems are better than Houston's?

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I believe the number of new residents who fit all of your criteria is likely to be a tiny number.

Personal opinion.

Even so, if your question to me is whether the City of Houston should spend massive amounts of money to coddle these few frightened carless young professionals

I never asked that.

our city offers carless living

:lol:

But, most importantly, it offers employment to those who come here.

Jobs, yes. But the city is going to have to offer more than just jobs to accomodate the influx of a few million more people in the future, right or wrong? Infrastructure?

Honestly, those who demand what you assume this small group will demand (They are not as demanding as you think they'll be)

Again, you stating your opinion like its a fact.

are probably not good workers, and are not welcome here.

And again, thats your opinion, and not a nice one. I myself welcome them here.

In short, it IS about us Houstonians.

So the desires/needs of everyone who moves here do not matter. Gotcha.

What makes us happy here will also make the newcomers happy.

Lol, and again, another assumption of yours.

I guess were gonna have to agree to disagree.

Your opinion of newcomers to our city is pretty much what I said earlier, if they dont like it here, tough.

I dont think think thats a very welcoming attitude and I feel differently. I think it would be a wiser choice for us all to try to accomodate the future of our fine city for the benefit of everyone, not just the newcomers.

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Interesting that you are so quick to blast my "personal opinion". It was YOUR "personal opinion" that prompted my response in the first place. I look forward to your proof of your original statement. Maybe Slick Vik will help you find it.

 

Good luck.    :)

 

 

Let me give you a great example of why I posted what I did. Clearly, you and Slick believe that Houston sucks, and that it needs to spend billions of dollars building rail transit, thousands of downtown residences with ground floor retail, and other trendy items that the new urbanistas desire. However, even without these things, you and Slick are here in Houston. Why? Well, you probably know better than I, but I suspect it is because you value a well paying job more than you do trendy trains. Guess what, so do I. And, I am willing to bet that so do the "young professionals" from other cities.

 

Of course, this is my personal opinion.

Edited by RedScare
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I have an idea - someone with that much hatred for our backwards thinking city could move 3.5 hrs north : lots of GFR and people 20 something's who think the world revolve around their 40k salaries. I know I'm ranting but man so much good vibes and projects going down right now - I am allergic to trolling and it makes me angry

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Interesting that you are so quick to blast my "personal opinion". It was YOUR "personal opinion" that prompted my response in the first place. I look forward to your proof of your original statement. Maybe Slick Vik will help you find it.

Good luck. :)

Let me give you a great example of why I posted what I did. Clearly, you and Slick believe that Houston sucks, and that it needs to spend billions of dollars building rail transit, thousands of downtown residences with ground floor retail, and other trendy items that the new urbanistas desire. However, even without these things, you and Slick are here in Houston. Why? Well, you probably know better than I, but I suspect it is because you value a well paying job more than you do trendy trains. Guess what, so do I. And, I am willing to bet that so do the "young professionals" from other cities.

Of course, this is my personal opinion.

Not true in my case. I stay here because my parents are here. That is the only reason. But honestly I think every day about moving. I'd love to be in a place like Denver where real progress is being made. And that's what you don't understand. You can pull in good people, but once they're in a position to move, they will look at the quality of cities. If houston doesn't improve it's infrastructure, air quality, and overall quality of life, people will get fed up and leave.

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I have an idea - someone with that much hatred for our backwards thinking city could move 3.5 hrs north : lots of GFR and people 20 something's who think the world revolve around their 40k salaries. I know I'm ranting but man so much good vibes and projects going down right now - I am allergic to trolling and it makes me angry

Dallas is as similar to houston as it gets.

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I don't know of a transit bus system that does more with less than Houston's bus system. We could have a world class bus system if weren't for the stupid light rail. As to youngers and what they want... I don't really care. They are moving from cities that have failed them, so what do they know about great urban lifestyle or great cities for that matter. There are no simple answers but if I were king of Houston I would get rid of the burdensome building/construction process around north downtown due to the historical district. You would lose some history but, Houston is about looking to the future not looking at the past.

 

No. 

 

It would take more money than we've ever invested in light rail to create a "world class" bus system in Houston.

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What downtown should do first is to get retail up at the surface by taking out the tunnels, but I doubt that would happen.

what if they converted the tunnel system into a subway system? pretty far out and i think its too compact of an area to work efficiently, but then again i doubt theyre going to ever close off tunnel system either. (supposably Dallas is trying to close their tunnel system to bring more pedestrian activity up to street level).

They could use a whole network of golf carts. :)
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No.

It would take more money than we've ever invested in light rail to create a "world class" bus system in Houston.

Yep.

Like vic, Ive used the public transit in all three of the cities bigger than ours and its not even close, even the buses. They are light years ahead of us. The posters claiming otherwise are either:

A) Trolling

B ) Have never used the public transit in NY, LA, and CHI

C) on a witchhunt against anyone who doesnt heap lavish praise on Houston regardless of reality

I dont hate my city. I am a native Houstonian, born and raised, fifth generation, my roots are deep in Texas. I love my city more than most other things in my life. My entire family is here, and contrary to Redscares assumption, I could actually work out of state and make MORE money, but choose not too.

With all this being said though, I am still a REALIST, who is able to see where there is room for improvement in my city. And I am all for amything that improves the quality of life, infrastructure, and being adequately prepared for our grand future and impending population explosion.

And if any of that is wrong, then I dont wanna be "right".

Edited by Howard Huge
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Actually, I am the realist. You are a fatalist. You cannot even see the strides your hometown is making. You ignore Houston's progress and always assume other cities are better. Slick, on the other hand, is nothing more than a troll. He makes comments such as this...

 

 

 If houston doesn't improve it's infrastructure, air quality, and overall quality of life, people will get fed up and leave. 

 

...without any idea of the progress Houston has made in all of these areas. One wishes that his nerve was as big as his mouth, so that he would have the nerve to move out of mommy and daddy's house.

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No. 

 

It would take more money than we've ever invested in light rail to create a "world class" bus system in Houston.

 

Sorry but it doesn't take hundreds of millions of dollars to create a world class bus system in Houston.

 

We "invested" in light rail? I wonder how that investment paid off for all the small business owners along main street, where are they now?

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Actually, I am the realist. You are a fatalist. You cannot even see the strides your hometown is making. You ignore Houston's progress and always assume other cities are better. Slick, on the other hand, is nothing more than a troll. He makes comments such as this...

...without any idea of the progress Houston has made in all of these areas. One wishes that his nerve was as big as his mouth, so that he would have the nerve to move out of mommy and daddy's house.

Let's see one train line in 60 years. And underutilized HOV lanes. What progress. And your personal remarks are funny but false. I do not live with my parents.

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I don't believe you. Prove it. Seriously. Prove it. I work with lots of young people, and I literally never hear any gripes about transit. They have jobs that allow them to purchase vehicles, and they do. They love living inside the loop, but none complain about transit. They drive where they need to go.

 

So, my point here is that you and Howard are fabricating the level of this "problem". No one cares about bus transit, and few care about rail transit. I invite you to prove otherwise, because it is not an issue anywhere other than on this forum.

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I don't believe you. Prove it. Seriously. Prove it. I work with lots of young people, and I literally never hear any gripes about transit. They have jobs that allow them to purchase vehicles, and they do. They love living inside the loop, but none complain about transit. They drive where they need to go.

So, my point here is that you and Howard are fabricating the level of this "problem". No one cares about bus transit, and few care about rail transit. I invite you to prove otherwise, because it is not an issue anywhere other than on this forum.

I'm one step ahead. I've already talked to all the people under 30 at my job, about 50. Out of them, only two live outside of the loop, and of the ones in the loop they ALL said public transit sucks here but if more train lines were built they would gladly ride. And they hate traffic too and realize its only going to get worse.

I work almost exclusively with young people. They hate the bus system and public transport in general, and all want cars. You must be hanging out with the cooler kids, slick.

They hate it because it sucks. Ever thought of that?

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I've never known anyone who claims to work with statistics more addicted to anecdotal evidence. Once again, Slick's trolling rises to the surface. Once again, I am done attempting to debate intelligently with someone who refuses to act intelligently. In other words, believe what you wish. No one (other than Howard) agrees with your anecdotes.

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I've never known anyone who claims to work with statistics more addicted to anecdotal evidence. Once again, Slick's trolling rises to the surface. Once again, I am done attempting to debate intelligently with someone who refuses to act intelligently. In other words, believe what you wish. No one (other than Howard) agrees with your anecdotes.

Did you go to any of the metro meetings last year regarding the 25%? I did and 99% of the people there said they wanted better rail transit. And most of them were young people but many older people as well. Go ahead and refuse reality but with time the changes will come anyway. The new generation has their own way of thinking and you can't grasp that.

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