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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
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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. 

 

How do you propose to deal with the trains that use the railroad tracks you are proposing to abandon?

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Better a freeway than a neighborhood.

 

 

No doubt.  And, as I understand it, the sunken section of 59 was designed to serve just that purpose in the event of a major rain event.  I wonder if Pierce was elevated in part for the opposite reason, i.e. to keep a major artery high and dry in the case of a major flood.

 

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Actually, it seems to me like it might be a sensible idea to have sunken roadways serve as emergency detention ponds.  At least, if we aren't willing to think ahead and pony up for better flood-mitigation measures.  

 

But ... I still wish we would take intelligent measures to keep our business districts, medical facilities, libraries, etc., from taking irrevocable damage every time we have a major flooding event.  Having people drown in underground parking garages downtown, Texas Medical Center facilities in the dark, and rare books at Rice U being destroyed is not good for our image nor for our future prosperity.

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Actually, it seems to me like it might be a sensible idea to have sunken roadways serve as emergency detention ponds.  At least, if we aren't willing to think ahead and pony up for better flood-mitigation measures.  

 

But ... I still wish we would take intelligent measures to keep our business districts, medical facilities, libraries, etc., from taking irrevocable damage every time we have a major flooding event.  Having people drown in underground parking garages downtown, Texas Medical Center facilities in the dark, and rare books at Rice U being destroyed is not good for our image nor for our future prosperity.

 

Are you actually unaware of all of such measures that have been taken since Allison and continue to be taken?

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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?

 

Sorry, I don't. I saw these at the November 19th meeting held by TxDOT. The 5 lanes each way did not appear to be turn lanes. But who really knows until the design is finalized and ready for construction.

 

I was commenting on a 10 lane configuration of the parkway, but in my mind, a 6-lane parkway would still be less pedestrian friendly than the current state, though not as bad as a ten-laner.

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Sorry, I don't. I saw these at the November 19th meeting held by TxDOT. The 5 lanes each way did not appear to be turn lanes. But who really knows until the design is finalized and ready for construction.

 

I was commenting on a 10 lane configuration of the parkway, but in my mind, a 6-lane parkway would still be less pedestrian friendly than the current state, though not as bad as a ten-laner.

 

I think a parkway would be better because the bridge would be gone.

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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.

 

Putting aside the costs of building an entirely new (elevated?) freeway in the city core, this plan assumes that the railroad ROW would be easy to obtain. I can attest that this is a heavily used rail corridor, and without adequate rail infrastructure in place near burgeoning West Texas, Eagle Ford, and North Dakota oil fields, and with the upcoming Panama Canal expansion, it is very likely to see even more freight rail traffic in the future.

 

That and the ROW is about 90 feet wide for half of this segment. That would get you a 2x2 freeway, like Westpark.

 

Not that I wouldn't want to see a traffic simulation for your proposal, but it's far cheaper to use existing ROW or just widen it slightly than to acquire an entirely new area.

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

 

40 seconds at each crosswalk? I don't know of anything that could be called a parkway which regularly stops traffic for 40-45 seconds.

 

Please let us know if you have such an example.

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40 seconds at each crosswalk? I don't know of anything that could be called a parkway which regularly stops traffic for 40-45 seconds.

 

Please let us know if you have such an example.

 

Allen Parkway has a light at Taft. Also Memorial eventually has a lot of lights once you pass Waugh westward.

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Putting aside the costs of building an entirely new (elevated?) freeway in the city core, this plan assumes that the railroad ROW would be easy to obtain. I can attest that this is a heavily used rail corridor, and without adequate rail infrastructure in place near burgeoning West Texas, Eagle Ford, and North Dakota oil fields, and with the upcoming Panama Canal expansion, it is very likely to see even more freight rail traffic in the future.

 

That and the ROW is about 90 feet wide for half of this segment. That would get you a 2x2 freeway, like Westpark.

 

Not that I wouldn't want to see a traffic simulation for your proposal, but it's far cheaper to use existing ROW or just widen it slightly than to acquire an entirely new area.

Hmmm...one thing to do would be to get the old ROW in the old KBR site, build a bridge (there might have been originally one), then the spur carries full traffic, and instead of street running northwest on Commerce Street, the rail runs southeast on the Commerce Street ROW (road abandoned). The ROW will be continued on the Harrisburg Hike & Bike Trail. Keep in mind that the railtrail system was created with the possibility of a rail line being re-activated there. The yard to the east of Spur 5 is retained (it just terminates). The creation of the Highway 35 expansion will take some additional ROW, and it may possibly split (that apartment at Canal and Navigation may end up having the northbound to the east, southbound to the west).

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Hmmm...one thing to do would be to get the old ROW in the old KBR site, build a bridge (there might have been originally one), then the spur carries full traffic, and instead of street running northwest on Commerce Street, the rail runs southeast on the Commerce Street ROW (road abandoned). The ROW will be continued on the Harrisburg Hike & Bike Trail. Keep in mind that the railtrail system was created with the possibility of a rail line being re-activated there. The yard to the east of Spur 5 is retained (it just terminates). The creation of the Highway 35 expansion will take some additional ROW, and it may possibly split (that apartment at Canal and Navigation may end up having the northbound to the east, southbound to the west).

 

What's the reasoning for expanding 35?

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It was about taking through traffic (Interstate 45/Pierce Elevated specifically) out of the downtown area by bypassing it east of EaDo. Going south, Highway 35 would also take pressure off of 45 and 288.

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It was about taking through traffic (Interstate 45/Pierce Elevated specifically) out of the downtown area by bypassing it east of EaDo. Going south, Highway 35 would also take pressure off of 45 and 288.

 

What about going between Eado and 35, since 35 ends at around 610?

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That's the plan I'm proposing, extending TX-35 to the east of EaDo, and creating ramps back up on Interstate 45 north of downtown to prevent through traffic from going on the Pierce Elevated that aren't exiting at 288.

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That's the plan I'm proposing, extending TX-35 to the east of EaDo, and creating ramps back up on Interstate 45 north of downtown to prevent through traffic from going on the Pierce Elevated that aren't exiting at 288.

So extending 35 by trampling low income neighborhoods in the east end? Does 35 even have enough traffic to consider justifying that? East end is the same neighborhood that fought off 225

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Won't happen. They fought off the Harrisburg Freeway and they'd fight this extension as well. 

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Allen Parkway has a light at Taft. Also Memorial eventually has a lot of lights once you pass Waugh westward.

 

So ... no examples then (there is no crosswalk at Taft). It was more of a rhetorical question anyway, since we already know there are no parkways with a 40-45 second pedestrian signal, but thanks for playing! 

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Are you actually unaware of all of such measures that have been taken since Allison and continue to be taken?

 

I'm aware that many retention tanks ("ponds") have been installed in outlying areas that are higher up the watershed.  However, we have yet to see whether they will be enough to significantly mitigate flooding in the 3 places I mentioned (downtown, Rice U, TMC).   My guess is that they will mostly help diminish or at least delay flooding their own local areas.  Perhaps, in the aggregate, they will help slow the pile-up of water downstream ... but I'm skeptical that we'll be immune to another Allison.

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So ... no examples then (there is no crosswalk at Taft). It was more of a rhetorical question anyway, since we already know there are no parkways with a 40-45 second pedestrian signal, but thanks for playing!

Memorial has lights after waugh.

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So extending 35 by trampling low income neighborhoods in the east end? Does 35 even have enough traffic to consider justifying that? East end is the same neighborhood that fought off 225

No, not the East End, that's east of my proposed freeway. Rest assured, the idea of a northern TX35 proposal is to take out the least amount of property reasonably possible.

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Memorial has lights after waugh.

The lights on Memorial are far further West than Waugh. The first one is past Shepherd. I also fail to see how a parkway across downtown with traffic moving at 60-80 mph is at all safe. Surely you don't expect the 100,000 plus cars a day that use the Pierce to stop for light rail and pedestrians.

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The lights on Memorial are far further West than Waugh. The first one is past Shepherd. I also fail to see how a parkway across downtown with traffic moving at 60-80 mph is at all safe. Surely you don't expect the 100,000 plus cars a day that use the Pierce to stop for light rail and pedestrians.

 

It won't move at 60-80 mph if it has to keep stopping for lights.

No, not the East End, that's east of my proposed freeway. Rest assured, the idea of a northern TX35 proposal is to take out the least amount of property reasonably possible.

 

Does 35 have the traffic justify this? Even so, the idea of the Alvin Freeway died a long time ago.

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Does 35 have the traffic justify this? Even so, the idea of the Alvin Freeway died a long time ago.

The more accurate question is "Does 45 have enough traffic to justify this?" I say yes. The Pierce Elevated is always backed up, Pearland Parkway is often crowded and needs a freeway at least going to Interstate 45 for a more direct route to Houston, and 288 is getting pretty packed as well. Getting 35 up to downtown Houston would also give a more direct route to Corpus Christi.

Edited by IronTiger

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It won't move at 60-80 mph if it has to keep stopping for lights.

 

Does 35 have the traffic justify this? Even so, the idea of the Alvin Freeway died a long time ago.

 

Do you have a link showing that it was cancelled? I'm just curious. TxDOT hosted a public meeting about it in 2007 for the long-term plan. I clearly remember one alternative was to follow Spur 5 south along Mykawa crossing 610, and meeting with 35 north of Pearland. Another alternative was to widen 288 more, widen BW 8 between 288 and FM 865 (Cullen), and then a freeway would go south from there and join TX 35 south of Pearland. So depending on what you consider a long time ago...

 

From what I heard, it was just put to the back of the project queue, as in not starting construction until at least 2025. Which makes sense. There are a dozen more pressing transportation issues than the Alvin Freeway. A cancellation is a different matter though. Even the freeway extension of South Post Oak has been delayed indefinitely, but not yet cancelled.

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The more accurate question is "Does 45 have enough traffic to justify this?" I say yes. The Pierce Elevated is always backed up, Pearland Parkway is often crowded and needs a freeway at least going to Interstate 45 for a more direct route to Houston, and 288 is getting pretty packed as well. Getting 35 up to downtown Houston would also give a more direct route to Corpus Christi.

 

It gives ANOTHER route to Corpus Christi, but not a quicker or more direct one. Plus, the traffic on 59 can't even justify a freeway west of Rosenberg, so I don't see how a freeway even further east would be necessary for this purpose. And, I-69 will be built as a freeway on 59 in the coming years, further reducing the need for a freeway alternative to Corpus.

 

There may be a lot of good reasons to build the Alvin Freeway, but this doesn't seem to be one of them.

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The lights on Memorial are far further West than Waugh. The first one is past Shepherd. I also fail to see how a parkway across downtown with traffic moving at 60-80 mph is at all safe. Surely you don't expect the 100,000 plus cars a day that use the Pierce to stop for light rail and pedestrians.

if the parkway plan is implemented 45 will be rerouted along 59 and 10 so no, 100,000+ cars will not be using the parkway each day.

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if the parkway plan is implemented 45 will be rerouted along 59 and 10 so no, 100,000+ cars will not be using the parkway each day.

 

It's probably a safe assumption that 40-50,000 vehicles per day would use a parkway in this location, depending on # of lanes, # of intersections, and how feeder streets connect to it. For a comparison, Memorial Drive sees around 40k/day, and Allen Parkway sees about 30k/day.

 

I also doubt the 60-80 mph hour mentioned earlier. I can't think of any parkway that sees traffic with these average speeds.  If designed as a parkway, 50 mph is probably a safe assumption. Memorial Drive normally moves at 50-60 mph (speed limit is 50 mph), and Allen Parkway moves at 40-50 mph (speed limit is 40 mph). If it were made more "street-like", it would probably move just as fast. (South Main, where it is 5 lanes each way, has a speed limit of 40 mph).

 

Now, 45,000 vpd and 50 mph. Does that still sound more pedestrian friendly to anyone compared to the current Pierce Street? Does it sound driver-friendly to have to wait 45 seconds for the pedestrian walk signal?

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It's probably a safe assumption that 40-50,000 vehicles per day would use a parkway in this location, depending on # of lanes, # of intersections, and how feeder streets connect to it. For a comparison, Memorial Drive sees around 40k/day, and Allen Parkway sees about 30k/day.

I also doubt the 60-80 mph hour mentioned earlier. I can't think of any parkway that sees traffic with these average speeds. If designed as a parkway, 50 mph is probably a safe assumption. Memorial Drive normally moves at 50-60 mph (speed limit is 50 mph), and Allen Parkway moves at 40-50 mph (speed limit is 40 mph). If it were made more "street-like", it would probably move just as fast. (South Main, where it is 5 lanes each way, has a speed limit of 40 mph).

Now, 45,000 vpd and 50 mph. Does that still sound more pedestrian friendly to anyone compared to the current Pierce Street? Does it sound driver-friendly to have to wait 45 seconds for the pedestrian walk signal?

Hillcroft south of 59 is 8 lanes and 10 lanes at some intersections with left turn lanes and people are constantly crossing there. It's okay to have a balance, 45 second walking time sounds fair.

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I go to A&M. Dividing the campus and the neighborhood immediately north of it is a nine lane road (counting turn lanes etc.). It is just as a barrier to anything. A surface level "Pierce Parkway" still puts a substantial (if not bigger) wall between Midtown and Downtown.

Anyone believing that this is a more desirable setup (in terms of walkability, integration) than what's there is living a fantasy.

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I go to A&M. Dividing the campus and the neighborhood immediately north of it is a nine lane road (counting turn lanes etc.). It is just as a barrier to anything. A surface level "Pierce Parkway" still puts a substantial (if not bigger) wall between Midtown and Downtown.

Anyone believing that this is a more desirable setup (in terms of walkability, integration) than what's there is living a fantasy.

People walk across hillcroft all the time. It's not as big a barrier as an elevated freeway.

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People walk across hillcroft all the time. It's not as big a barrier as an elevated freeway.

An elevated freeway is o barrier at all, compared to a very wide street.

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It's not as big a barrier as an elevated freeway.

 

It's all perception, my urban-based friend. If and when they build the Ashby high-rise, for instance, it will never grow eyes, teeth, and arms.

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An elevated freeway is o barrier at all, compared to a very wide street.

I totally disagree. You're telling me pierce elevated is not a barrier but Allen parkway is?

It's all perception, my urban-based friend. If and when they build the Ashby high-rise, for instance, it will never grow eyes, teeth, and arms.

Two unrelated subjects.

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Two unrelated subjects.

 

A better example for you would be people moving to the suburbs because they perceive urban areas to be more dangerous.

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I totally disagree. You're telling me pierce elevated is not a barrier but Allen parkway is?

 

 

Excellent example!!  Yes, Allen Parkway is MUCH more of a barrier than the Pierce Elevated.  That is why there exists a pedestrian bridge and the BBP master plan hopes to add at least one more.

 

I cannot understand all of the wailing and nashing of teeth over the idea of walking under an elevated freeway.  I have walked under the Pierce Elevated many times.  It is really a non-event.  Agreed, it could be better, but it could be better very easily and with not that much imagination.

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Excellent example!!  Yes, Allen Parkway is MUCH more of a barrier than the Pierce Elevated.  That is why there exists a pedestrian bridge and the BBP master plan hopes to add at least one more.

 

I cannot understand all of the wailing and nashing of teeth over the idea of walking under an elevated freeway.  I have walked under the Pierce Elevated many times.  It is really a non-event.  Agreed, it could be better, but it could be better very easily and with not that much imagination.

 

I have too but after dark it's probably not the best idea especially south of Main. I don't think the Allen Parkway is much of a barrier though there are crossings at Waugh and Montrose.

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I cannot understand all of the wailing and nashing of teeth over the idea of walking under an elevated freeway. I have walked under the Pierce Elevated many times. It is really a non-event. Agreed, it could be better, but it could be better very easily and with not that much imagination.

I have too but after dark it's probably not the best idea especially south of Main. I don't think the Allen Parkway is much of a barrier though there are crossings at Waugh and Montrose.

It looks like the consensus is "better lighting". See how easy that was?

Edited by IronTiger

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It looks like the consensus is "better lighting". See how easy that was?

 

Has nothing to do with lack of lighting, and everything to do with the lack of people and just the feeling of being under a bridge.

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I use a pedestrian underpass to avoid a five lane road and a railroad. Sometimes I'm the only one under there. Sometimes I go under when a train is passing. Should the underpass be backfilled and the traditional crosswalk and the pedestrian at-grade railroad crossing be restored because of those two facts?

 

Also, as an addendum to how ridiculous this discussion is, the whole thing is like complaining about people parallel parking on a narrow street because of an elementary school in the neighborhood. If your answer to the problem is something along the lines of "provide better parking", then you're on the right track. If your answer is to "demolish the school", then you're not on the right track.

Edited by IronTiger

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I use a pedestrian underpass to avoid a five lane road and a railroad. Sometimes I'm the only one under there. Sometimes I go under when a train is passing. Should the underpass be backfilled and the traditional crosswalk and the pedestrian at-grade railroad crossing be restored because of those two facts?

 

Also, as an addendum to how ridiculous this discussion is, the whole thing is like complaining about people parallel parking on a narrow street because of an elementary school in the neighborhood. If your answer to the problem is something along the lines of "provide better parking", then you're on the right track. If your answer is to "demolish the school", then you're not on the right track.

 

These analogies are not related to the topic at hand at all.

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From what I read it seems the city has abandoned trying to get the post office site. It makes since to simply move the Police department and the rest of the courts to where the jails and other courts are right now. Then develop the Franklin lot in tandem with  the rerouting of I-45. I swear though that TXdot is manned by monkeys because all the alternatives really suck right now. The only bright spot is the re-routing, but i have no clue why they will not simply trench the rest of 59 and trench I-45 with it.....or idk maybe just have traffic go on the same lanes as 59?? No the current proposal would then make that whole area into a super highway of...guess......14 freakin lanes! UGH. I'm not even kidding too. Go look at the I45 north and above site....it makes me sick -.-

 

How can I like this comment more. I 100% agree. TxDOT is served by poor engineers. I'm sorry. Most work is done for the lowest cost to a contractor. You get what you pay for. I went to the November public meeting. To say that I was 'unimpressed' by the 'engineers' that presented this information is like saying that WW2 was a 'difference of opinion between us and Germany+Japan'.

 

I put in a public comment that expressed your view after the November TxDOT meeting about this. Here's the thing, all of TxDOT's alternatives that they presented have not been costed out yet. That's right. They've eliminated all the original ideas without taking cost into account. So saying that tunneling isn't desirable has no bearing in reality other than they don't want to do it. They didn't cost it. They seriously don't have the expertise or the contractual resources to look at it so they just say that its not doable.

What else is ridiculous is their spreadsheet showing 'Pros' and 'cons' of the alternatives they did present. They just give it an arbitrary 'Desirable', 'Undesirable', or 'Neutral'. Seriously?! WTF. That's the engineering equivalent of pulling stuff out of your a$$. If I tried to present that at project meeting without any data to back it up, I'd get laughed out of the room.

 

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs3/I-45%20Segment%203%20Renderings_Final.pdf

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs3/NHHIP%20Secondary%20Screening%20Matrix%20Draft%2012-19-13.pdf

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1. Legalize gambling and build about 8 themed casinos on there.

2. Sell it to South Texas College of Law so when they consolidate with UHD they will be right there.

3. Build a giant Hellipad for extraterrestrial landings.

4. Sell it to the Landrys guy, he will know what to do with it. His ideas are cheesier than mine.

5. Build a proper museum for NASA there so that we can be awarded proper shuttles.

Somebody needs to put you in charge. Best ideas I can think of

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How can I like this comment more. I 100% agree. TxDOT is served by poor engineers. I'm sorry. Most work is done for the lowest cost to a contractor. You get what you pay for. I went to the November public meeting. To say that I was 'unimpressed' by the 'engineers' that presented this information is like saying that WW2 was a 'difference of opinion between us and Germany+Japan'.

 

I put in a public comment that expressed your view after the November TxDOT meeting about this. Here's the thing, all of TxDOT's alternatives that they presented have not been costed out yet. That's right. They've eliminated all the original ideas without taking cost into account. So saying that tunneling isn't desirable has no bearing in reality other than they don't want to do it. They didn't cost it. They seriously don't have the expertise or the contractual resources to look at it so they just say that its not doable.

What else is ridiculous is their spreadsheet showing 'Pros' and 'cons' of the alternatives they did present. They just give it an arbitrary 'Desirable', 'Undesirable', or 'Neutral'. Seriously?! WTF. That's the engineering equivalent of pulling stuff out of your poopy head. If I tried to present that at project meeting without any data to back it up, I'd get laughed out of the room.

 

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs3/I-45%20Segment%203%20Renderings_Final.pdf

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs3/NHHIP%20Secondary%20Screening%20Matrix%20Draft%2012-19-13.pdf

 

I actually plan on being at this next meeting.

 

I might start working on a sketchup model to help illustrate a possible alternative.

 

No question that they are trying to do it the cheapest way possible. What I have a problem with engineers today is that they are exactly this. Lazy and always about the bottom line instead of looking at how to innovate which could save money in the long run.

 

Apparently they said that going under ground would cost about 700-900 million per mile!!! Seriously? I would understand if we were digging into actual bedrock (such as the case as the Big Dig or Seattle burying the Alaskan Corridor), but we would be digging through nothing but clay. It would probably be the fast dig ever because of our geology. The only real cost is depth between we would probably have to bury it pretty deep here.

 

I was actually wondering if those charts where TxDOT's opinion on the options or the actual public, because I would assume that the public is actually in favor of either burying or diverting I45 and even trenching all of it.

 

Would certainly like some more info on this.

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I actually plan on being at this next meeting.

 

I might start working on a sketchup model to help illustrate a possible alternative.

 

No question that they are trying to do it the cheapest way possible. What I have a problem with engineers today is that they are exactly this. Lazy and always about the bottom line instead of looking at how to innovate which could save money in the long run.

 

Apparently they said that going under ground would cost about 700-900 million per mile!!! Seriously? I would understand if we were digging into actual bedrock (such as the case as the Big Dig or Seattle burying the Alaskan Corridor), but we would be digging through nothing but clay. It would probably be the fast dig ever because of our geology. The only real cost is depth between we would probably have to bury it pretty deep here.

 

I was actually wondering if those charts where TxDOT's opinion on the options or the actual public, because I would assume that the public is actually in favor of either burying or diverting I45 and even trenching all of it.

 

Would certainly like some more info on this.

 

From my conversations with the engineers, this is what they came up with. It doesn't take into consideration what the public wants.

Take for instance the idea of the street level blvd that would replace the Pierce elevated. [From what I was told by an engineer] The city engineering office voiced concern about increased street level traffic if this were to come to fruition. TxDOT took note. And thats how we get an 'U' under vehicle miles traveled on city streets. I mean, where is the proof? What models show that this will actually take place? If anything, our downtown grid can absorb traffic. We have streets WIDER than the freeway downtown. This traffic will also not be passing through. It will be trying to get somewhere like midtown, Eado, the Spur. I don't buy what they're selling.

And what's up with the 'U' for constructibility? What are the metrics? How is that 'U', but expanding the existing Peirce elevated is a 'neutral'?! Come on. Both would take significant ROW (although the re-route option wouldn't have to). Are they talking about cost? Who knows. Better to use vague semi-technical terms to distract us while they go with the option that they've already chosen. It's obvious that they either will expand it or go with a 'split' option.

 

If you're truly going to mock some alternatives, I'd like for you to take some things into consideration. 

1.) The Spur 5 elevated freeways on I 45 south. 

These weren't taken into consideration b/c the boundaries of this project end at the 45/59 intersection. However, these can be a real asset - either as direct 59 connectors or downtown exits (as they already are). The thing is though, if 45 is rerouted along 59, why would we need them as DT exits. The freeway would most likely route along 59 w/ a DT exit right there at 59.

2.) [Like you said earlier] Widen and continue the 59 trench withing its current ROW (can accomplish b/c walls are sploped currently or have Chartes 'overhang' the trench) past the GRB. Have 45 re-routed withing that trench ROW as an elevated section. This would lessen land acquisition cost. 45 exits to I10 East can then tie into the current 59 to I 10 east ramps as well.

3.) Urban blvd. / DT exit from the SB I45 north.

Instead making a whole new street where the Pierce elevated is, why not just use St Joseph's prkway and Pierce. TxDOT can re-coup some of the projects cost by selling the ROW it owns / is being taken by the elevated freeway for development. The trenched section that's on the west side of DT needs to be tied into Houston Ave. with a bridge over the Bayou. 45's DT exit ties directly into Bagby and .... well I don't know exactly how to preserve the west side of DT to I 45 north I 10 access right now. Thoughts?

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From my conversations with the engineers, this is what they came up with. It doesn't take into consideration what the public wants.

Take for instance the idea of the street level blvd that would replace the Pierce elevated. [From what I was told by an engineer] The city engineering office voiced concern about increased street level traffic if this were to come to fruition. TxDOT took note. And thats how we get an 'U' under vehicle miles traveled on city streets. I mean, where is the proof? What models show that this will actually take place? If anything, our downtown grid can absorb traffic. We have streets WIDER than the freeway downtown. This traffic will also not be passing through. It will be trying to get somewhere like midtown, Eado, the Spur. I don't buy what they're selling.

And what's up with the 'U' for constructibility? What are the metrics? How is that 'U', but expanding the existing Peirce elevated is a 'neutral'?! Come on. Both would take significant ROW (although the re-route option wouldn't have to). Are they talking about cost? Who knows. Better to use vague semi-technical terms to distract us while they go with the option that they've already chosen. It's obvious that they either will expand it or go with a 'split' option.

 

If you're truly going to mock some alternatives, I'd like for you to take some things into consideration. 

1.) The Spur 5 elevated freeways on I 45 south. 

These weren't taken into consideration b/c the boundaries of this project end at the 45/59 intersection. However, these can be a real asset - either as direct 59 connectors or downtown exits (as they already are). The thing is though, if 45 is rerouted along 59, why would we need them as DT exits. The freeway would most likely route along 59 w/ a DT exit right there at 59.

2.) [Like you said earlier] Widen and continue the 59 trench withing its current ROW (can accomplish b/c walls are sploped currently or have Chartes 'overhang' the trench) past the GRB. Have 45 re-routed withing that trench ROW as an elevated section. This would lessen land acquisition cost. 45 exits to I10 East can then tie into the current 59 to I 10 east ramps as well.

3.) Urban blvd. / DT exit from the SB I45 north.

Instead making a whole new street where the Pierce elevated is, why not just use St Joseph's prkway and Pierce. TxDOT can re-coup some of the projects cost by selling the ROW it owns / is being taken by the elevated freeway for development. The trenched section that's on the west side of DT needs to be tied into Houston Ave. with a bridge over the Bayou. 45's DT exit ties directly into Bagby and .... well I don't know exactly how to preserve the west side of DT to I 45 north I 10 access right now. Thoughts?

 

I will probably just start off with sketches first. We should probably create a new thread for this imo or one which ties all of these together. This whole thing could literally change the way Houston functions for the next 2-3 decades and I don't understand why TxDOT is being so blah about it. Looks like I will have a fun project on my hands to do after work this afternoon :)

 

This actually kind of ties into a project I'm thinking about starting up later this month which is essentially a massive sketchup file archive of the city of houston. I will probably provide details later. Still working on a game plan, but this area of town could be an important place to start.

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Can we stay on topic please? ^^1-45 or freeway construction should be a different thread.

 

Thanks

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I will probably just start off with sketches first. We should probably create a new thread for this imo or one which ties all of these together. This whole thing could literally change the way Houston functions for the next 2-3 decades and I don't understand why TxDOT is being so blah about it. Looks like I will have a fun project on my hands to do after work this afternoon :)

 

This actually kind of ties into a project I'm thinking about starting up later this month which is essentially a massive sketchup file archive of the city of houston. I will probably provide details later. Still working on a game plan, but this area of town could be an important place to start.

 

 

Can we stay on topic please? ^^1-45 or freeway construction should be a different thread.

 

Thanks

 

 

You're right. It'll need a new topic. 

Sorry for going on a tangent like that.

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You're right. It'll need a new topic. 

Sorry for going on a tangent like that.

 

No worries.  Moved to the new Pierce Elevated Redesign Thread, merged from a couple of older topics.

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