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The Pierce Elevated/I-59 Redesign Thread

Pierce Skypark or Demolish Pierce Elevated?  

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  1. 1. Pierce Skypark or Demolish Pierce Elevated?

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congestion charges, and extra taxes wouldn't be a good idea without alternatives in place or being built.

 

just read this, not sure if it's April fools or not...

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/new-york-state-budget-deal-brings-congestion-pricing-plastic-bag-ban-and-mansion-tax/ar-BBVrCcT?OCID=ansmsnnews11

 

Quote

a groundbreaking plan to charge motorists to drive into Manhattan’s busiest stretches.

 

I think a congestion charge, very minimal with every dollar going to metro would be a start that could give metro the leverage to get some serious dollars to add more mass transit.

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16 hours ago, CaptainJilliams said:

 

Also, I could see the "congestion charge" facing some serious pushback from locals.

 

This is probably an understatement. It would be HUGELY unpopular.

 

We're just now seeing NYC decide to implement one, and that's not even for all of Manhattan (only below 60th). It's also somewhat regressive. It de-values the homes of the lower-middle- and middle-middle-class in the suburbs and increases the value of the homes of the upper-middle-class and wealthy closer to town.

 

However, to get people out of single-occupancy vehicles, the alternative has to be either faster, cheaper, or better (more comfortable/convenient). Preferably two out of three. 

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Driving in lower manhattan is always congested (when I arrived a few years ago and emerged from the subway at 2 am, the street was full of stopped cars); there is no comparison to Houston where it's only really that congested at rush hour, and even then there are cross town freeways that will move cars along as opposed to relying soley on surface streets.  Like it or not, NYC is in a different league in many different ways - the last time NYC was smaller than Houston's current population was in 1890 (according to the 1890 census), and Brooklyn was still a separate city of 800,000.  They have multiple different alternatives to driving in the lower manhattan, including multiple, duplicative subway lines, multiple commuter rail lines that go to more than one terminal station in the city, a huge bus network, as well as biking or taking a ferry.  

 

Houston, for the majority of the population, has to either drive or take the bus.  Unless you can take a park and ride bus to near your destination, the bus will take longer.  We have to focus on building up both more population and the density to feed a better public transportation network before we have to implement congestion pricing.

 

One idea I could get behind is dynamic tolling freeways inside the loop, but leaving surface streets free.  Tolls could start at $0.00 when there's no traffic, and slowly rise as the average speed drops below 60 mph.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cspwal said:

Driving in lower manhattan is always congested (when I arrived a few years ago and emerged from the subway at 2 am, the street was full of stopped cars); there is no comparison to Houston where it's only really that congested at rush hour, and even then there are cross town freeways that will move cars along as opposed to relying soley on surface streets.  Like it or not, NYC is in a different league in many different ways - the last time NYC was smaller than Houston's current population was in 1890 (according to the 1890 census), and Brooklyn was still a separate city of 800,000.  They have multiple different alternatives to driving in the lower manhattan, including multiple, duplicative subway lines, multiple commuter rail lines that go to more than one terminal station in the city, a huge bus network, as well as biking or taking a ferry.  

 

Houston, for the majority of the population, has to either drive or take the bus.  Unless you can take a park and ride bus to near your destination, the bus will take longer.  We have to focus on building up both more population and the density to feed a better public transportation network before we have to implement congestion pricing.

 

One idea I could get behind is dynamic tolling freeways inside the loop, but leaving surface streets free.  Tolls could start at $0.00 when there's no traffic, and slowly rise as the average speed drops below 60 mph.

 

Houston's near 24/7 traffic is not on surface streets, but freeways. 

 

I like the idea of a freeway charge, I like the idea of a congestion charge for anyone that doesn't drive a vehicle registered inside the city limits.

 

only if 100% of the money was put directly into funding mass transit.

Edited by samagon
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It would have to be pay by mail/toll tag because of the through traffic on I-10, but a dynamic charge on the inner loop freeways would probably work - and I agree, as long as it is earmarked entirely for Metro, with a requirement it's put into developing either more rail or more regional express service (aka park and ride busses, commuter rail)

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On 4/9/2019 at 5:07 PM, Triton said:

45skypark.PNG

 

What is going on here??  It looks like they plopped a stage down on the freeway, damming it up and only allowing a trickle of freeway to remain (the bike path)

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

 

What is going on here??

I don't know, but it appears that someone's photo editing program has a steeper learning curve than they anticipated.
 Or, perhaps it's a collaboration between M. C. Escher and Salvador Dali. I can't make head nor tail of it.

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Guys, it's a cap above a sunken ramp. Not a great rendering (and the blur doesn't help). The bike trail tail connecting to the abandoned Pierce Elevated adds to the confusion I suppose.

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I'll tell y'all something. I'm genuinely unsure what in the world is likely to be here. Is the Pierce Skypark the most likely event? 
 

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On 4/9/2019 at 6:02 PM, BeerNut said:

This just popped up on my FB feed.  I wonder how much impact a group like this would have at this stage.  Make I-45 Better Coalition Fundraiser

wXERUDP.jpg

 

I suspect, until they begin actual demo work on the existing structure, there's a chance at having a positive impact.

 

There's always hope of possibility.

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I believe the East End cap will get built and it will be because of Houston First convention organization. The Houston convention organization was a major driver in Discovery Green being built because of the impact on the GRB Conv Center. The East End cap over the trench will be right behind the GRB and would allow for opening up the back as a new entrance to the convention center. A GRB entrance can be built opening up to the park on the cap like the one opening up to Discovery Green. When it comes to project in Houston that positively improves the convention centers they always get done. Because of the impact the park space on the cap will have on the GRB, I believe it will get built.

Edited by cougarpad
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logistically, the back of the building is used for getting all the stuff that makes up conventions in and out. booths, equipment, etc. that means loading docks, so an 18 wheeler can back up and the floor of the trailer is at the height of the floor.

 

sure they can reconfigure it, but they will have to consider logistics heavily.

 

there are certainly a lot of places that the money can come from for the cap parks, but until an entity, or group comes forward and says they're going to take on the burden, we can only speculate. 

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5 hours ago, cougarpad said:

I believe the East End cap will get built and it will be because of Houston First convention organization. The Houston convention organization was a major driver in Discovery Green being built because of the impact on the GRB Conv Center. The East End cap over the trench will be right behind the GRB and would allow for opening up the back as a new entrance to the convention center. A GRB entrance can be built opening up to the park on the cap like the one opening up to Discovery Green. When it comes to project in Houston that positively improves the convention centers they always get done. Because of the impact the park space on the cap will have on the GRB, I believe it will get built.

The caps over 69 (nice) are right by Rice University's upcoming Innovation District.  A representative from Rice was a co-presenter to the Museum Park NA along with a rep on the construction.  Rice is communicating with other stakeholders on the design of the caps in connection with its Innovation District.  Because of Rice's involvement, I am thus optimistic the 69 caps will also get built.

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1 hour ago, houstontexasjack said:

The caps over 69 (nice) are right by Rice University's upcoming Innovation District.  A representative from Rice was a co-presenter to the Museum Park NA along with a rep on the construction.  Rice is communicating with other stakeholders on the design of the caps in connection with its Innovation District.  Because of Rice's involvement, I am thus optimistic the 69 caps will also get built.

 

Agreed on the East End Cap and the 69 Caps near the Innovation District. The element that seems less certain is the Pierce Elevated Skypark, I don't know if they will re-purpose the highway for a park or if they will simply knock it down and connect Midtown and Downtown.

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1 hour ago, kennyc05 said:

What about the ones north of downtown on 45?

Those are the ones in Segment 2 of the proposal. I am far less optimistic about those at this time, as the cap parks proposed there lack natural institutional allies to help lead a sustained effort to back construction such as the Convention Center or Rice.  Segment 2 also is the portion with far more single-family residences in the cross-hairs for ROW expansion. 

 

 

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