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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?

    • Pierce Skypark
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    • Demolish Pierce Elevated
      95


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I'm sure it's already been discussed, but what if one alternative is to re-do all the highways entirely?

1. Reroute Interstate 10 to north of the Hardy Yard, eliminating the curviness of the original Interstate 10.

2. This older part of Interstate 10 is rebadged as part of Interstate 45/US-59.

3. Tear up Bagby Road and create a new "cut and cover" sunken freeway. This connects to the existing Spur 527 and takes the part of the old Interstate 45 that leads south to the Pierce Elevated.

4. The aging Southwest Freeway stretch between that and 288 is partially dismantled and turned into new exit lanes for 288.

5. Dismantle the Pierce Elevated.

Of course, this is extremely expensive and probably won't solve any of the biggest problems.

No but it would look purdy.

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When the gulf freeway was built there was no pierce elevated. Gulf freeway was opened in 1948 but pierce elevated was opened in 1967. Just food for thought.

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When the gulf freeway was built there was no pierce elevated. Gulf freeway was opened in 1948 but pierce elevated was opened in 1967. Just food for thought.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say...we should go back to the 1940s? (also, the Gulf Freeway has been extensively rebuilt since then)

All the Pierce Elevated needs is some lighting underneath to make the thing more welcoming and other aesthetic improvements. It doesn't interrupt the street grid like other freeways do, and anyone whining about it dividing Midtown and Downtown needs to remember there are divisions to everything. It was a six-lane surface street boulevard, it would still be a barrier. Bayous are a barrier between neighborhoods; should they be backfilled?

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I'm not sure what you're trying to say...we should go back to the 1940s? (also, the Gulf Freeway has been extensively rebuilt since then)

All the Pierce Elevated needs is some lighting underneath to make the thing more welcoming and other aesthetic improvements. It doesn't interrupt the street grid like other freeways do, and anyone whining about it dividing Midtown and Downtown needs to remember there are divisions to everything. It was a six-lane surface street boulevard, it would still be a barrier. Bayous are a barrier between neighborhoods; should they be backfilled?

Lol come walk under the pierce elevated from grooves to the kbr building any night. See how "welcoming" it is, particularly the south portion and around main.

Also it's just a point to show the original gulf freeway design never had a pierce elevated, the freeway was connected by surface roads.

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I'm sure that the Pierce Elevated is not a place hang out after dark, but Midtown I've felt was a bit sketchy as well. Thing is, what the Pierce Elevated sounds like it needs is lighting. Imagine LED strips running up the columns and underneath the beams. It would give a stunning appearance to the once drab expressway.

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Lol come walk under the pierce elevated from grooves to the kbr building any night. See how "welcoming" it is, particularly the south portion and around main.

Also it's just a point to show the original gulf freeway design never had a pierce elevated, the freeway was connected by surface roads.

 

I don't see surface streets carrying the volume of the Pierce Elevated with any degree of safety, especially for pedestrians. The early days of the Gulf Freeway had minimal traffic compared to today.

 

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I don't see surface streets carrying the volume of the Pierce Elevated with any degree of safety, especially for pedestrians. The early days of the Gulf Freeway had minimal traffic compared to today.

People will find alternate routes. Downtown is full of streets that could take people where they want to go. It's all about what's more important, vitality of what could be, or a freeway being more important than everything else.

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People will find alternate routes. Downtown is full of streets that could take people where they want to go. It's all about what's more important, vitality of what could be, or a freeway being more important than everything else.

The freeway, and its ability to move large numbers of people efficiently to a multitude of destinations is far more important than your ability to walk without encountering an elevated roadway.
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The freeway, and its ability to move large numbers of people efficiently to a multitude of destinations is far more important than your ability to walk without encountering an elevated roadway.

Yup. Hard truth is that in urban areas, there's ALWAYS going to be elevated structures (road or rail) above you. The way to avoid that, of course, is if you move to the suburbs.

Frankly, I like my LED idea, which I shamelessly borrowed from Keep Houston Houston. Besides, when I actually look at it on Google Street View I find the trees, fences, and blue wraps on the column are a nice touch.

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The freeway, and its ability to move large numbers of people efficiently to a multitude of destinations is far more important than your ability to walk without encountering an elevated roadway.

At the expense of adding liveliness to the most interesting area of town? I disagree.

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At the expense of adding liveliness to the most interesting area of town? I disagree.

Lol. I fail to see how removing the Pierce Elevated would somehow magically make Midtown more "alive" (your passion to remove the Pierce Elevated is admirable, your logic in doing so, not so much). Maybe if someone, say, renovated Sears (licensing the name), restoring its beautiful original art deco, maybe adding a grocery store inside, etc., well, that would improve Midtown like nothing else.

 

Besides, best case scenario is that if it were removed, there would still be parking lots there for years to come (look at San Francisco and the Central Freeway, for instance). How hip and urban! Surface parking lots!

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Lol. I fail to see how removing the Pierce Elevated would somehow magically make Midtown more "alive" (your passion to remove the Pierce Elevated is admirable, your logic in doing so, not so much). Maybe if someone, say, renovated Sears (licensing the name), restoring its beautiful original art deco, maybe adding a grocery store inside, etc., well, that would improve Midtown like nothing else.

Besides, best case scenario is that if it were removed, there would still be parking lots there for years to come (look at San Francisco and the Central Freeway, for instance). How hip and urban! Surface parking lots!

Well the edge if midtown is at pierce, blackfinn. If the elevated was removed, that would give a lot more space to add new retail and/or residential. Not to mention the price of the land would skyrocket.

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Well the edge if midtown is at pierce, blackfinn. If the elevated was removed, that would give a lot more space to add new retail and/or residential. Not to mention the price of the land would skyrocket.

 

More space? Midtown has lots of empty space, and doesn't need more. Adding another 10 or 12 blocks would just keep prices stable for many more years.

 

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More space? Midtown has lots of empty space, and doesn't need more. Adding another 10 or 12 blocks would just keep prices stable for many more years.

Yes but there is a barrier between downtown as midtown, the pierce elevated. Eliminating that would do wonders.

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Yes but there is a barrier between downtown as midtown, the pierce elevated. Eliminating that would do wonders.

I doubt that. Eliminating the bus station would do more to help that area than tearing down the freeway.
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I doubt that. Eliminating the bus station would do more to help that area than tearing down the freeway.

 

Eliminating the freeway opens up far more possibilities than moving the bus station. And where would you recommend moving it? Right now, it's next to the downtown transit center and a metrorail stop, making it a very convenient location.

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Yes but there is a barrier between downtown as midtown, the pierce elevated. Eliminating that would do wonders.

 

Don't think of it as a barrier, think of it as a flyover.

 

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It is a barrier.  You can argue that its not, but it absolutely is.

 

What is the 610 Loop at Westheimer?  Is it just a flyover?  It is a barrier.

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A lot of things are "barriers". For instance, the bayous divide neighborhoods and could be considered a barrier.

Therefore, we should bury them in concrete culverts or backfill them.

As much as nonsense that seems to you, it's thinking along the same lines.

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bayous divide neighborhoods and could be considered a barrier.

Therefore, we should bury them in concrete culverts or backfill them.

I think you're missing my point.  And Slick Vik's, though I suspect there are some people here that simply like to argue with him (and vice versa), which is fine, but still his point is valid.

 

If the Pierce Elevated went away either the city would develop that land into parkspace, or it would allow "natural" development here and there.  I think it would fill in rather quickly.  And we would still distinguish the difference between Downtown and Midtown as Pierce Street, but we wouldn't have an ugly freeway serving as a barrier any more.  Or don't you want that?  Would you really rather have the Pierce Elevated in place of 10 or so new high and midrises?

 

Here is a great hypothetical question to H.A.I.F.ers all around...

What would you rather have as a "barrier" between Downtown and Midtown: A) An elevated freeway, B) A park or series of parks, C) nothing, allow it to develop into a zone without distinction.

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Well, the Pierce probably should probably be torn down around 2027, when it has reached the end of its functional lifespan. Highway demolitions are frankly uneconomical, and you usually only see them when they've reached the end of their lifespan and redundant (Oklahoma City actually is seeing this), or there's some other pressing factor (the San Francisco freeways have the Loma Prieta earthquake to thanks for their removal--the damage made the freeways unusable to their full capacity without a ton of money).

 

Removing the Pierce Elevated isn't a realistic idea, but it's fun to discuss it. However, removing the Pierce has been discussed many, many times with some very good points made, and it's not cool if someone keeps pushing the issue with some rather glib and ignorant insistence. You could make more expanded arguments which address issues like "What do you with the traffic that the Pierce Elevated normally carries?" or "What do you do with the area?"

 

For instance, what if the Pierce Elevated was closed and converted to a walkable park, without wasting money destroying perfectly good infrastructure? Pedestrians could walk and bike safe from traffic below.

 

What if we had Interstate 45 continue to parallel Interstate 10, initially on the north side (sparing UHD) then on the south (sparing St. Arnold), then replacing the freight train tracks dividing 2nd Ward and EaDo, before meeting up with the Spur 5/Interstate 45 interchange? This could then be 8 lanes (instead of six) with interior breakdown lanes (which the Pierce Elevated lacks).

 

Interstate 45 to 288/59 is then rebadged as Spur 5. I think that would be a much more interesting way of getting rid of the Pierce Elevated and more beneficial overall.

Edited by IronTiger

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For instance, what if the Pierce Elevated was closed and converted to a walkable park, without wasting money destroying perfectly good infrastructure? Pedestrians could walk and bike safe from traffic below.

 

I've actually mentioned this idea before. Would be similar to a high line type of thing.

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I think you're missing my point.  And Slick Vik's, though I suspect there are some people here that simply like to argue with him (and vice versa), which is fine, but still his point is valid.

 

If the Pierce Elevated went away either the city would develop that land into parkspace, or it would allow "natural" development here and there.  I think it would fill in rather quickly.  And we would still distinguish the difference between Downtown and Midtown as Pierce Street, but we wouldn't have an ugly freeway serving as a barrier any more.  Or don't you want that?  Would you really rather have the Pierce Elevated in place of 10 or so new high and midrises?

 

Here is a great hypothetical question to H.A.I.F.ers all around...

What would you rather have as a "barrier" between Downtown and Midtown: A) An elevated freeway, B) A park or series of parks, C) nothing, allow it to develop into a zone without distinction.

 

The bigger question here is whether or not the greater interest is served by removing it and redeveloping the land or expanding it to handle more traffic.  If you remove it you're going to have to find another avenue for the thru-traffic on 45.  That would mean expanding 59 on the east side of downtown at least and possibly all the way from 610 to I10.  But then, isn't 59 a barrier, too?

 

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It is to people that have the vision to see something different and better.

 

Oh, so you're not only ignorant of any consequences, but with a side order of smug superiority. Classy and thoughtful response, there.  <_< 

 

 

 

I've actually mentioned this idea before. Would be similar to a high line type of thing

You realize that by endorsing that, you inadvertently undermine your arguments about it being a dark scary barrier etc. etc.?

The bigger question here is whether or not the greater interest is served by removing it and redeveloping the land or expanding it to handle more traffic. If you remove it you're going to have to find another avenue for the thru-traffic on 45. That would mean expanding 59 on the east side of downtown at least and possibly all the way from 610 to I10. But then, isn't 59 a barrier, too?

See, that's why I offered a real alternative to removing the Pierce instead of this pedestrian-friendly la-la land. More lanes to handle more traffic, avoids downtown, more exits, and it can't be considered "adding a barrier" since the railroad was already there beforehand.

Edited by IronTiger

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The bigger question here is whether or not the greater interest is served by removing it and redeveloping the land or expanding it to handle more traffic.  If you remove it you're going to have to find another avenue for the thru-traffic on 45.  That would mean expanding 59 on the east side of downtown at least and possibly all the way from 610 to I10.  But then, isn't 59 a barrier, too?

 

 

No you don't. As I and others have mentioned time and time again, when the pierce elevated was shut down for months, there was no predicted traffic armageddon.

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Oh, so you're not only ignorant of any consequences, but with a side order of smug superiority. Classy and thoughtful response, there.  <_< 

 

 

 

You realize that by endorsing that, you inadvertently undermine your arguments about it being a dark scary barrier etc. etc.?

See, that's why I offered a real alternative to removing the Pierce instead of this pedestrian-friendly la-la land. More lanes to handle more traffic, avoids downtown, more exits, and it can't be considered "adding a barrier" since the railroad was already there beforehand.

 

1. I'm not ignorant of future consequences, but I'm very aware of the current ones as a result of what we have now.

 

2. This would be a last ditch endorsement. I still favor the pierce elevated being demolished completely.

 

3. Calling anything a pedestrian friendly la la land makes me wonder if you've gone to any pedestrian friendly cities, or even been to our own midtown on a Friday or Saturday night. It's the most attractive neighborhood in the city to young people because they like the walkable lifestyle.

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Calling anything a pedestrian friendly la la land makes me wonder if you've gone to any pedestrian friendly cities, or even been to our own midtown on a Friday or Saturday night. It's the most attractive neighborhood in the city to young people because they like the walkable lifestyle.

 

The crowds don't gather anywhere on a Friday or Saturday night because of walkability.  That's just a nice-to-have when you're pub crawling.

 

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1. I'm not ignorant of future consequences, but I'm very aware of the current ones as a result of what we have now.

Don't give me that. When talking about the vast amount that Pierce moves (not to mention it being part of the Interstate highway system), you basically wrote that off as "they'll find alternate routes". ("I'm demolishing 300 acres of residential areas for my theme park resort. It's okay, they'll find other places to live!")

 

Calling anything a pedestrian friendly la la land makes me wonder if you've gone to any pedestrian friendly cities, or even been to our own midtown on a Friday or Saturday night. It's the most attractive neighborhood in the city to young people because they like the walkable lifestyle.

That was a hyperbole, and if I insulted you, I'm sorry. My point was demolishing the Pierce to make a walkable paradise is a fantasy...and that's okay. I don't fault you for having an imagination.

Meanwhile, on Midtown: I've both driven through and ridden the light rail on it. It's rather run-down, and what isn't run-down is pretty ugly (mid-rise townhomes!)

That's just a nice-to-have when you're pub crawling.

And there you go. You can easily make a walkable neighborhood just by adding a cluster of bars and nightclubs.

Edited by IronTiger

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The crowds don't gather anywhere on a Friday or Saturday night because of walkability.  That's just a nice-to-have when you're pub crawling.

 

 

They do gather because of walkability, many places in one area, so you can go to 4-5 places in a night via your feet instead of one.

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No you don't. As I and others have mentioned time and time again, when the pierce elevated was shut down for months, there was no predicted traffic armageddon.

 

The pierce elevated is traffic armageddon almost every day and has been for years.

 

Here's an analysis of why it backs up.

 

http://keephoustonhouston.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/why-the-pierce-elevated-backs-up/

 

From the article linked above talking about how many lanes dump into the downtown area...

 

"That’s twenty-two lanes total. How many lanes are available downtown? The Pierce Elevated has six. And a cross-section of 59 at the GRB has eight. Add ‘em up and you get fourteen. 22 into 14. 11/7. This is why the Pierce comes to a standstill."

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by august948

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Don't give me that. When talking about the vast amount that Pierce moves (not to mention it being part of the Interstate highway system), you basically wrote that off as "they'll find alternate routes". ("I'm demolishing 300 acres of residential areas for my theme park resort. It's okay, they'll find other places to live!")

 

That was a hyperbole, and if I insulted you, I'm sorry. My point was demolishing the Pierce to make a walkable paradise is a fantasy...and that's okay. I don't fault you for having an imagination.

Meanwhile, on Midtown: I've both driven through and ridden the light rail on it. It's rather run-down, and what isn't run-down is pretty ugly (mid-rise townhomes!)

And there you go. You can easily make a walkable neighborhood just by adding a cluster of bars and nightclubs.

 

1. It moves it because it's there. If it wasn't, what it moves would find other avenues to move. They will find alternatives, humans adapt.

 

2. No offense taken. I don't know if it would make it a walkable paradise, but I think that area could be used for more residential and parks, personally.

 

3. Much of midtown is run down, but parts of it are quite nice, especially Bagby between McGowen and Pierce. This has effects on brazos in the same area.

The pierce elevated is traffic armageddon almost every day and has been for years.

 

Here's an analysis of why it backs up.

 

http://keephoustonhouston.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/why-the-pierce-elevated-backs-up/

 

From the article linked above talking about how many lanes dump into the downtown area...

 

"That’s twenty-two lanes total. How many lanes are available downtown? The Pierce Elevated has six. And a cross-section of 59 at the GRB has eight. Add ‘em up and you get fourteen. 22 into 14. 11/7. This is why the Pierce comes to a standstill."

 

When the pierce elevated was shut down for reconstruction, the traffic didn't get noticeably worse. That was my point.

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They do gather because of walkability, many places in one area, so you can go to 4-5 places in a night via your feet instead of one.

 

It's not the walkability that's the attraction.  Memorial Park is a nice place to walk but you don't see crowds there on Friday nights.

 

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When the pierce elevated was shut down for reconstruction, the traffic didn't get noticeably worse. That was my point.

 

When was that, exactly, and were you commuting into downtown at the time?

 

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It moves it because it's there. If it wasn't, what it moves would find other avenues to move. They will find alternatives, humans adapt.

So...you agree with my eviction analogy?

When was that, exactly, and were you commuting into downtown at the time?

I think I read somewhere it was '97. I know I wasn't driving, or even totally aware of my surroundings at the time.

When the pierce elevated was shut down for reconstruction, the traffic didn't get noticeably worse. That was my point.

No, I think you're missing the point. Let's say, for a minute, that there as many lanes in downtown that feed into it, and that would be 22. The magic number is 1. Anything less than one means traffic gets better, anything more means a backup as people try to get into less lanes that are available. The current ratio of 11/7 is 1.57. Take away 6, and the ratio goes to 22/8, a ratio of 2.75.

And besides, in term of construction, my "broken leg" analogy went unnoticed by you even though it's a good one.

bayous divide neighborhoods and could be considered a barrier.

Therefore, we should bury them in concrete culverts or backfill them.

I think you're missing my point.

No, I think I made my point exactly. Do I think the bayous are a barrier and they should be filled in? Of course not. Do they divide neighborhoods? Yes they do. There are bridges and other ways of passage along the bayous. There are sidewalks and other ways of passage under the Pierce Elevated.

Besides, the creation of the highways is what gave Midtown an identity in the first place.

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So...you agree with my eviction analogy?

I think I read somewhere it was '97. I know I wasn't driving, or even totally aware of my surroundings at the time.

No, I think you're missing the point. Let's say, for a minute, that there as many lanes in downtown that feed into it, and that would be 22. The magic number is 1. Anything less than one means traffic gets better, anything more means a backup as people try to get into less lanes that are available. The current ratio of 11/7 is 1.57. Take away 6, and the ratio goes to 22/8, a ratio of 2.75.

And besides, in term of construction, my "broken leg" analogy went unnoticed by you even though it's a good one.

No, I think I made my point exactly. Do I think the bayous are a barrier and they should be filled in? Of course not. Do they divide neighborhoods? Yes they do. There are bridges and other ways of passage along the bayous. There are sidewalks and other ways of passage under the Pierce Elevated.

Besides, the creation of the highways is what gave Midtown an identity in the first place.

 

1. No. People don't live on freeways.

 

2. I wasn't driving, but I was aware of the reconstruction, and it made no difference when my family would cross downtown to go other places. Would just take 59 instead to 10, or 610.

 

3. I'm not missing any point. The traffic was not significantly worse during pierce reconstruction. That is a fact.

 

4. Your broken leg analogy is misplaced here. The traffic adjusted immediately, and would have stayed that way if the Pierce never came back.

 

5. Bayous aren't man made, there's a big difference there.

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1. No. People don't live on freeways.

You're missing the point. The idea was the arrogant/ignorant way of not caring where anything went when a project was done.

2. I wasn't driving, but I was aware of the reconstruction, and it made no difference when my family would cross downtown to go other places. Would just take 59 instead to 10, or 610.

(also see 3, 4)

Heavy traffic makes a huge difference whether you're driving or not. Now, I can't say that I've driven on the area in 1997, but at least I know my limits.

5. Bayous aren't man made, there's a big difference there.

Leaving the fact that the bayous as today were significantly modified from their original forms, the bayous are an example of a boundary. A better example would be railroads, as they ALWAYS get a pass from freeway removal activists (hereafter referred to as FRAs). There used to be a post on Keep Houston Houston about how FRAs despised the freeway, decrying it as a barrier, blah blah blah, and ignoring the railroad viaduct that served to divide neighborhoods ever more than the freeways did. Frankly, the "not man-made" argument is a cop-out. So, where did all those walkable mid-rises come from? Did they slowly evolve over millions of years?

Like I said before, the very definition of Midtown was made because of those freeways. Should Midtown and Downtown be an amorphous, indistinguishable blob?

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You're missing the point. The idea was the arrogant/ignorant way of not caring where anything went when a project was done.

Heavy traffic makes a huge difference whether you're driving or not. Now, I can't say that I've driven on the area in 1997, but at least I know my limits.

Leaving the fact that the bayous as today were significantly modified from their original forms, the bayous are an example of a boundary. A better example would be railroads, as they ALWAYS get a pass from freeway removal activists (hereafter referred to as FRAs). There used to be a post on Keep Houston Houston about how FRAs despised the freeway, decrying it as a barrier, blah blah blah, and ignoring the railroad viaduct that served to divide neighborhoods ever more than the freeways did. Frankly, the "not man-made" argument is a cop-out. So, where did all those walkable mid-rises come from? Did they slowly evolve over millions of years?

Like I said before, the very definition of Midtown was made because of those freeways. Should Midtown and Downtown be an amorphous, indistinguishable blob?

 

Are you stating a railroad viaduct is as wide as a 6 lane freeway? Yes, I wouldn't mind Midtown and Downtown be a merged blob.

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Are you stating a railroad viaduct is as wide as a 6 lane freeway? Yes, I wouldn't mind Midtown and Downtown be a merged blob.

i wouldnt mind downtown and midtown being seamlessly connected either. in fact, id prefer it. hopefully that is what will happen when TXDot makes up their minds about how to reroute traffic around downtown (assuming they go with the rerouting 45 along 59 and 10 idea) and turn pierce elevated into a much narrower, ground level blvd. (would that scenario be to just widen Pierce Street where it is now, not having the blvd following under the old 45 path? if so that would allow for development along the half block lots that will be left over when pierce elevated is gone)

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Much of this discussion is now even more theoretical than it was before. TxDOT has narrowed the 12 alternatives to 3. Only one of the alternatives involves removing the Pierce Elevated. To me, this alternative looks worse than all the others for:

  • Drivers on freeways - Removal of 6 freeway lanes for an already lane-imbalanced downtown freeway system
  • EaDo residents - U.S. 59 would be significantly widened, about 600 feet wide near Jefferson, and at least 300 feet wide everywhere else. To people who refuse to walk under elevated thingies, this would clearly be bad. At any rate, it makes the barrier larger between Downtown and a growing area.
  • EaDo business owners - several businesses will be destroyed through eminent domain including one of the last remnants of the old Chinatown - Kim Son. The project alternative of adding 1 more lane (each way) to the Pierce Elevated requires no demolition of businesses or residences.
  • Drivers driving between Midtown and Downtown - It appears that they would close down a few of the north streets. Not sure which ones yet, but maybe Travis/Milam and east of San Jacinto. It would disrupt the grid system - which is important in every major city to distribute traffic of all modes.
  • Pedestrians between Midtown and Downtown - Instead of a 5 lane street to traverse, the 'Pierce Parkway' that will replace I-45 is 10 lanes, and the average speed of cars there would likely be higher than on other downtown streets. I frequently walk throughout downtown and under the Pierce either day or night. The one-way 5 lane streets are not intimidating to me, but I have to say that the thought of crossing a South Main street or a 10 lane Memorial Drive might just convince me to go elsewhere for lunch. It certainly would be more of a barrier than the current Pierce Street.
  • Bicyclists between Midtown and Downtown - Because of the street closures (see above), bicyclists would have to use busier streets, busier than even now, since motorists have been redirected to these streets. Currently, it is a much easier and safer bike ride from Downtown to the Museum District using a street like LaBranch instead of Fannin. Not only would bikers lose the ability to use some of the quieter North-South streets, they'd have to cross a 10-lane high speed Pierce Parkway instead of the current 5-lane 30 mph road.

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i wouldnt mind downtown and midtown being seamlessly connected either. in fact, id prefer it. hopefully that is what will happen when TXDot makes up their minds about how to reroute traffic around downtown (assuming they go with the rerouting 45 along 59 and 10 idea) and turn pierce elevated into a much narrower, ground level blvd. (would that scenario be to just widen Pierce Street where it is now, not having the blvd following under the old 45 path? if so that would allow for development along the half block lots that will be left over when pierce elevated is gone)

 

Where it matters to pedestrians - you know, at ground level - the parkway along Pierce would be 10 lanes instead of the current 5 lane Pierce Street. So wider, not narrower.

 

This is according to TxDOT's latest drawings.

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Where it matters to pedestrians - you know, at ground level - the parkway along Pierce would be 10 lanes instead of the current 5 lane Pierce Street. So wider, not narrower.

 

This is according to TxDOT's latest drawings.

intereesting, the last proposals i saw showed a 6 lane parkway for Pierce Street, and the stretch of 59 past GRB being tunneled, at least through Commerce Street. do you have a link to the new proposals?

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Part of the problem, I think is the the fact that the Pierce Elevated has too much traffic. The traffic, especially in rush times, undoubtedly causes more noise and traffic. My solution is to keep the Pierce Elevated but remove the traffic. Basically, in tamdem with actually building out TX-35 (Spur 5) to its full potential, is to extend it over Interstate 45 and up to the US-59 interchange, abandoning and replacing the railroad ROW east of EaDo. There will be new ramps connecting Interstate 45 to the highway (where 45 and 10 exit the part where they run parallel to each other). Signage directs through traffic to take the new 35 ramps and bypass downtown entirely. You'll still use the Pierce Elevated to access Allen Pkwy. and 288.

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Where it matters to pedestrians - you know, at ground level - the parkway along Pierce would be 10 lanes instead of the current 5 lane Pierce Street. So wider, not narrower.

This is according to TxDOT's latest drawings.

If you are given enough time to cross I don't think it's that big of an issue.

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It kind of ticks me off that they decided that tunneling wasn't feasible.  I was just reading an article about a number of large tunnel projects, including London's Crossrail and another in Seattle.  if other cities can manage the engineering challenges, why can't Houston?

 

Here is the wiki article on the Seattle project to replace an elevated viaduct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Way_Viaduct_replacement_tunnel

 

 

 

 

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^  Could the $4.25 BILLION price tag for a two-mile-long tunnel with only 4 lanes (2 in each direction; we need at least double that capacity) perhaps be part of the reasoning?

Edited by Houston19514

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I still hold to my "Highway 35" extension idea. If executed correctly (it should be sunken, but not tunneled), it could dramatically not only take congested traffic off of the Pierce but also the downtown highways altogether. 

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I still hold to my "Highway 35" extension idea. If executed correctly (it should be sunken, but not tunneled), it could dramatically not only take congested traffic off of the Pierce but also the downtown highways altogether. 

 

A sunken 45 would be more fun after a tropical storm, too.  ;)

 

us59_kayak_at_hazard_dave_rossman.jpg

 

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