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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 would think a tunnel southbound but northbound remaining the Pierce Elevated would actually work out. A cut and cover would be disastrous to every business around it while a true tunnel would at least let that work out.

 

Part of the big problem about the elevated segment isn't so much the 1997 rebuild but rather the capacity issue. It isn't designed to take as much traffic as it does now so a way to reduce that (possibly by adding a new SB tunnel) would be beneficial.

 

The Pierce removal issue I think is more of a vanity/novelty thing than anything else with little regard for how congestion moves, because the only way to remove congestion right now effectively is to get rid of a large portion of the population.

 

I've changed my mind on the induced demand theory, and I think there's an element of truth to it but constantly misinterpreted. 

 

The induced demand theory isn't "add highway lanes=instant congestion" with the conclusion of "remove highway lanes=remove congestion" it's more of the fact that it de-incentivizes other routes, which is why I started the parkway thread with the ideas of parkways and their lower capacity, but still viable. A good road network should include freeways, parkways, and major roads, because each of them have advantages and disadvantages. A parkway is one of the worst ideas for the Pierce Elevated because it is a freeway that's actually connecting other freeways (no frontage roads) and parkways have lower capacity than freeways (and the Pierce is already overcapacity). 

 

One reason I've ignored IDT before now is that every time someone talks about it, they use it as a vehicle to promote mass transit, which is a bit like using the theory of evolution to prove that there isn't a god (which we actually don't know if it does or not).

 

If the Pierce was truly closed, then the next "best thing" would be going east on Interstate 10 and going south on 59, with lots of would-be Pierce traffic (and there will be traffic, even if some of them do choose sneakier alternative routes--think trucks) jogging on that part of 59 then going 45 south. Part of this discussion often leads to double-decking 59 or doing something with 10...but if we're talking double-decking, than it would stand to divide more of East Downtown and Downtown more than anything.

 

There are really two questions to be asked here:

1. What can we do with congestion on the Pierce?

2. What can we do about the Pierce's appearance?

 

The second question should not be answered without a good thought about the first--doing something for aesthetic purposes is a pretty bad idea when the thing you want to do something about has a real purpose and all you can offer is some vague ramblings about land value. 

 

That said, tearing it down isn't the best option right now. Some of the freeways in Houston (Shepherd under 59) are indeed rather dark and scary, so one option would be adding lots of lights, energy efficient, so they can stay on 24/7. Perhaps some soundproofing as well so you don't have to hear the constant rumblings. Or maybe add plants and greenery along the side so it almost looks like a giant hedge. 

 

Or perhaps adding a pedestrian underpass to bypass the streets paralleling the Pierce Elevated and add some soundproofing at that as well. 

 

Maybe there could be something where TxDOT could let the columns be painted by different civic organizations and turn the freeway into a living art installation. The possibilities are endless, and while that doesn't help the congestion issue all that much, it doesn't make it worse, and that's also important.

 

Edited by IronTiger

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One problem with tunneling the Pierce Elevated is that 59/69 is already below grade where it crosses 45.

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One problem with tunneling the Pierce Elevated is that 59/69 is already below grade where it crosses 45.

Yup. While tunneling the Pierce Elevated is a rather attractive idea, admittedly, it's where you end up redesigning your entire on-ramp/off-ramp system where costs start ballooning. One of the reasons (just one) of the problems with the Big Dig was that they were trying to create a full Interstate system all underground, which they put off for years--not wanting to add more highways left them with a woefully inadequate elevated viaduct that was already a couple of decades old when the rest of America was receiving their new Interstate highways.

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I would think a tunnel southbound but northbound remaining the Pierce Elevated would actually work out. A cut and cover would be disastrous to every business around it while a true tunnel would at least let that work out.

Part of the big problem about the elevated segment isn't so much the 1997 rebuild but rather the capacity issue. It isn't designed to take as much traffic as it does now so a way to reduce that (possibly by adding a new SB tunnel) would be beneficial.

The Pierce removal issue I think is more of a vanity/novelty thing than anything else with little regard for how congestion moves, because the only way to remove congestion right now effectively is to get rid of a large portion of the population.

I've changed my mind on the induced demand theory, and I think there's an element of truth to it but constantly misinterpreted.

The induced demand theory isn't "add highway lanes=instant congestion" with the conclusion of "remove highway lanes=remove congestion" it's more of the fact that it de-incentivizes other routes, which is why I started the parkway thread with the ideas of parkways and their lower capacity, but still viable. A good road network should include freeways, parkways, and major roads, because each of them have advantages and disadvantages. A parkway is one of the worst ideas for the Pierce Elevated because it is a freeway that's actually connecting other freeways (no frontage roads) and parkways have lower capacity than freeways (and the Pierce is already overcapacity).

One reason I've ignored IDT before now is that every time someone talks about it, they use it as a vehicle to promote mass transit, which is a bit like using the theory of evolution to prove that there isn't a god (which we actually don't know if it does or not).

If the Pierce was truly closed, then the next "best thing" would be going east on Interstate 10 and going south on 59, with lots of would-be Pierce traffic (and there will be traffic, even if some of them do choose sneakier alternative routes--think trucks) jogging on that part of 59 then going 45 south. Part of this discussion often leads to double-decking 59 or doing something with 10...but if we're talking double-decking, than it would stand to divide more of East Downtown and Downtown more than anything.

There are really two questions to be asked here:

1. What can we do with congestion on the Pierce?

2. What can we do about the Pierce's appearance?

The second question should not be answered without a good thought about the first--doing something for aesthetic purposes is a pretty bad idea when the thing you want to do something about has a real purpose and all you can offer is some vague ramblings about land value.

That said, tearing it down isn't the best option right now. Some of the freeways in Houston (Shepherd under 59) are indeed rather dark and scary, so one option would be adding lots of lights, energy efficient, so they can stay on 24/7. Perhaps some soundproofing as well so you don't have to hear the constant rumblings. Or maybe add plants and greenery along the side so it almost looks like a giant hedge.

Or perhaps adding a pedestrian underpass to bypass the streets paralleling the Pierce Elevated and add some soundproofing at that as well.

Maybe there could be something where TxDOT could let the columns be painted by different civic organizations and turn the freeway into a living art installation. The possibilities are endless, and while that doesn't help the congestion issue all that much, it doesn't make it worse, and that's also important.

Kicking the bucket on mass transit is an ignorant path and will just lead to higher costs down the line.

Saying talking about the land value of pierce is rambling while talking about painting undersides of bridges as a solution to something is, ironic.

Induced demand is simple. If people see something they use it. So take it away and they won't. The pierce is unnecessary, if it wasn't there people would adjust to 59 and hopefully 610. People that have no reason to cross downtown cause unnecessary congestion.

Edited by Slick Vik

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Kicking the bucket on mass transit is an ignorant path and will just lead to higher costs down the line.

Saying talking about the land value of pierce is rambling while talking about painting undersides of bridges as a solution to something is, ironic.

Induced demand is simple. If people see something they use it. So take it away and they won't. The pierce is unnecessary, if it wasn't there people would adjust to 59 and hopefully 610. People that have no reason to cross downtown cause unnecessary congestion.

 

The "painting columns" idea is just an idea put out there because one of the complaints is that the Pierce is uninviting, which was one of your main ideas of why the Pierce should go. Now, that idea has jumped from "The Pierce divides Midtown and Downtown" to "The Pierce is unnecessary" which you've got no basis for. That's to be expected because you've spread so much consistent misinformation about traffic/transit related things: METRO, Bob Lanier, the Katy Freeway, and the Pierce Elevated itself that people either think that you have no idea what you're talking about or you're trying to lie to prove your point.

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I've gone under the shepherd underpass hundreds of times and never seen a single person trying to walk under it. The pierce does divide midtown and downtown and thus is unnecessary: 1+1 = 2. As for the childish name calling instead of letting the thread devolve I'll let you whoop your aggie pride.

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Well, it seems like you have an unchanging mindset and don't realize the irony of you accusing me of thread de-railing and name calling as you do the exact same thing. Time to ignore this thread again.

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What happened to this thread? I'm pretty sure this is where someone should drop a 'you mad bro? ' gif. No one is actively lying. And being an Aggie isn't a dig.

Jeez.

I really think that if there was anywhere in houston that can accommodate a freeway removal, it's here. There is an extensive grid network AND multiple freeways to absorb the excess. New bottle necks might be exposed but those could be upgraded.

That's not me actively lying and no one can refute my theory bc I leave the possibility of adding capacity on other roads.

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If there were a place in Houston that can accommodate a freeway removal... Unfortunately, there isn't.

 

I like the tunnel idea, but rather than putting just the SB, or NB in the tunnel, make it easy. 2NB, 2SB go under, they have no connectors, they're a downtown and interchange bypass. 

 

Dowling all the way up to North Main. The beauty is it wouldn't need to follow the path of 45 at all, just so long as it meets up with 45 on the other side of town. It would go under 59, under the bayous, under 10, under it all.

 

Get HCTRA to foot some of the bill and turn one SB and one NB lane into tollway.

Edited by samagon

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I've gone under the shepherd underpass hundreds of times and never seen a single person trying to walk under it. The pierce does divide midtown and downtown and thus is unnecessary: 1+1 = 2. As for the childish name calling instead of letting the thread devolve I'll let you whoop your aggie pride.

 

Well, I have seen dozens of people walking under the Shepherd underpass in just the last 2 months, so I guess you just weren't paying attention. The volume of pedestrians there will never be as high as under the Pierce, for a variety of reasons, ranging from free street level parking South of the Pierce to the bus station clientele, etc. You still have not explained what you think will happen to the hundred thousand plus cars that use the Pierce every day, 10 and 59 have nowhere near the capacity to handle the traffic.

 

And where did you get the idea that since the Pierce divides Downtown and Midtown it is unnecessary? With the same argument, perhaps Paris ought to fill in the Seine, or London the Thames. Think of how much real estae they could gain. Heck, we could fill in Buffalo Bayou as well.

 

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What happened to this thread? I'm pretty sure this is where someone should drop a 'you mad bro? ' gif. No one is actively lying. And being an Aggie isn't a dig.

Jeez.

I really think that if there was anywhere in houston that can accommodate a freeway removal, it's here. There is an extensive grid network AND multiple freeways to absorb the excess. New bottle necks might be exposed but those could be upgraded.

That's not me actively lying and no one can refute my theory bc I leave the possibility of adding capacity on other roads.

 

It is when used in context, and you can tell when someone is using it as a slur or not. The name of this thread is "The Pierce Elevated Redesign Thread", not the Pierce Elevated Removal Thread, and any "misinformation" was mostly referring to other threads. The point is, the Pierce carries way too much traffic as it is and the other freeways aren't exactly empty, so tearing it down isn't a good idea especially when the alternatives could get rather messy (10 and 59) and expanding them probably isn't the best decision either.

 

The best "freeway removal candidate" in Houston would probably be the spur to U of H, not the Pierce.

 

Secondly, despite what anti-freeway activists may like to think, there's not a real example to work from, so there's not an easy solution.

 

"What about in Portland and Milwaukee?" Well, those, as KHH explains, those were old pre-Interstate highways that were proved redundant when newer highways took their place, and were stripped out. This caused the first interest in "freeway removal" even back in the '80s, even though it wasn't.

 

"OK, what about San Francisco?" They were spurs that were never completed after a master plan failed. As a result, it was more cost-effective after an earthquake compromised them to never carry the same capacity, so they became wide boulevards instead.

 

"Well, the Seattle Alaskan Viaduct is being replaced with a tunnel, and it was dividing the city!" Again, the AWV actually was filled out (no spurs) and it was actually compromised.

 

"OK, then Seoul is removing another freeway!"

 

And there you go, the Seoul examples are used the most often in the whole "Why we should tear down the Pierce" argument and it's the thing we know the least amount. We have no idea how the traffic moves around in the city, and it mentions something that I always suspected: some seriously compromised, cheap, fast construction.

 

Short of leaving it where it is, it would either benefit from an additional tunnel or something, but to really do something about it would be a part of a much more massive downtown plan to circulate traffic better. 

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Well, I have seen dozens of people walking under the Shepherd underpass in just the last 2 months, so I guess you just weren't paying attention. The volume of pedestrians there will never be as high as under the Pierce, for a variety of reasons, ranging from free street level parking South of the Pierce to the bus station clientele, etc. You still have not explained what you think will happen to the hundred thousand plus cars that use the Pierce every day, 10 and 59 have nowhere near the capacity to handle the traffic.

And where did you get the idea that since the Pierce divides Downtown and Midtown it is unnecessary? With the same argument, perhaps Paris ought to fill in the Seine, or London the Thames. Think of how much real estae they could gain. Heck, we could fill in Buffalo Bayou as well.

Traffic would ideally go to 610 east. People just passing through downtown to go north don't need to take 45. If you care about the future of the city and not the routing of an automobile the intelligent thing to do would remove the pierce and the traffic would adapt. Fear mongering is a Fox News tactic, when all else fails.

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Not to mention Syracuse, New Orleans, New Haven, Detroit, Cleveland and other cities where freeway removal is being pondered. Cleveland has actually begun removal of portions.

Also you forgot Milwaukee.

Edited by Slick Vik

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It is when used in context, and you can tell when someone is using it as a slur or not. The name of this thread is "The Pierce Elevated Redesign Thread", not the Pierce Elevated Removal Thread, and any "misinformation" was mostly referring to other threads. The point is, the Pierce carries way too much traffic as it is and the other freeways aren't exactly empty, so tearing it down isn't a good idea especially when the alternatives could get rather messy (10 and 59) and expanding them probably isn't the best decision either.

 

The best "freeway removal candidate" in Houston would probably be the spur to U of H, not the Pierce.

 

Secondly, despite what anti-freeway activists may like to think, there's not a real example to work from, so there's not an easy solution.

 

"What about in Portland and Milwaukee?" Well, those, as KHH explains, those were old pre-Interstate highways that were proved redundant when newer highways took their place, and were stripped out. This caused the first interest in "freeway removal" even back in the '80s, even though it wasn't.

 

"OK, what about San Francisco?" They were spurs that were never completed after a master plan failed. As a result, it was more cost-effective after an earthquake compromised them to never carry the same capacity, so they became wide boulevards instead.

 

"Well, the Seattle Alaskan Viaduct is being replaced with a tunnel, and it was dividing the city!" Again, the AWV actually was filled out (no spurs) and it was actually compromised.

 

"OK, then Seoul is removing another freeway!"

 

And there you go, the Seoul examples are used the most often in the whole "Why we should tear down the Pierce" argument and it's the thing we know the least amount. We have no idea how the traffic moves around in the city, and it mentions something that I always suspected: some seriously compromised, cheap, fast construction.

 

Short of leaving it where it is, it would either benefit from an additional tunnel or something, but to really do something about it would be a part of a much more massive downtown plan to circulate traffic better. 

 

Well, one could argue that removal is a 'redesign'. I redesigned my house buy removing walls.... maybe we could all agree to call this 'Redesign of I45's downtown section'. Then we can talk about removing the pierce? 

 

Would that work?

 

What does the Pierce elevated really do? I think we should all ask us that question. How much of the traffic is passing through downtown? Is it mostly a connection from I 45 to 59/288? Is it an outlet for west downtown? Once we understand what it is, we can then find a solution.

 

We can all agree that its an eyesore and reduces property values in its immediate proximity. The sigh lines are poor, it has terrible on / off ramps, and connections to 59/288 are terrible. Houston deserves better than the Pierce. What that is exactly, IDK. 

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Not to mention Syracuse, New Orleans, New Haven, Detroit, Cleveland and other cities where freeway removal is being pondered. Cleveland has actually begun removal of portions.

Also you forgot Milwaukee.

Population statistics for these towns from 1960 to present:

 

Syracuse: I can't find the 1960 numbers, but 'steep decline' is used a lot where I am looking.

New Orleans: 628,000 -> 344,000

New Haven: 660,000 -> 862,000

Detroit: 1,670,000 -> 714,000

Cleveland: 876,000 -> 397,000

Milwaukee: 741,000 -> 595,000

 

In all but one (new haven) there is a drop in population (nearly a halving of population in most cases), which I think explains why those freeways were removed. Houston's population is not declining, and we are adding in years what New Haven added over a course of half a century. So no, these examples are in no way comparative to Houston at all.

 

There is no way possible that Houston can remove freeways. They need to be expanded, and other forms of transit need to be added to supplement.

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There needs to be a study of the downtown highway systems and where cars go, which will help bring understanding on the highways, including how necessary (or not) the Pierce really is.

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There needs to be a study of the downtown highway systems and where cars go, which will help bring understanding on the highways, including how necessary (or not) the Pierce really is.

 

I would hope that TxDOT did this b/f coming up with their 'solutions'. Although, I wouldn't be surprised otherwise.

 

I wonder what it would take for them to publicize it. Maybe if we all start to badger our public officials and TxDOT, we can get an answer.

 

This brings me to another question... with a project so big like the I45 overhaul from the Woodlands to Downtown, why doesn't TxDOT crowd source the solution.. or at least hold some kind of contest. Architectural schools hold these kind of competitions all the time, why not do the same for this project?

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Population statistics for these towns from 1960 to present:

Syracuse: I can't find the 1960 numbers, but 'steep decline' is used a lot where I am looking.

New Orleans: 628,000 -> 344,000

New Haven: 660,000 -> 862,000

Detroit: 1,670,000 -> 714,000

Cleveland: 876,000 -> 397,000

Milwaukee: 741,000 -> 595,000

In all but one (new haven) there is a drop in population (nearly a halving of population in most cases), which I think explains why those freeways were removed. Houston's population is not declining, and we are adding in years what New Haven added over a course of half a century. So no, these examples are in no way comparative to Houston at all.

There is no way possible that Houston can remove freeways. They need to be expanded, and other forms of transit need to be added to supplement.

San Francisco, Seoul, Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland haven't been losing population

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San Francisco, Seoul, Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland haven't been losing population

Yeah, but the restrictions applied: SF had the earthquake-damaged spurs, Seoul has freeways of ambiguous use and construction, Vancouver has never had very many freeways to speak of with its famous anti-freeway attitude, Portland had an old pre-Interstate highway replaced, and Seattle has a very old earthquake-prone viaduct that needs to be replaced (not removed) anyway. Fort Worth and Oklahoma City have done "freeway removals" to an extent, the latter moving the highway south to some ROW that happened to be mostly vacant.

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Yeah, but the restrictions applied: SF had the earthquake-damaged spurs, Seoul has freeways of ambiguous use and construction, Vancouver has never had very many freeways to speak of with its famous anti-freeway attitude, Portland had an old pre-Interstate highway replaced, and Seattle has a very old earthquake-prone viaduct that needs to be replaced (not removed) anyway. Fort Worth and Oklahoma City have done "freeway removals" to an extent, the latter moving the highway south to some ROW that happened to be mostly vacant.

Ambiguous use? That's subjective

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Ambiguous use? That's subjective

What I mean to say is that we (neither you nor I) actually know how traffic moves over there and how it affected traffic and congestion.

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One problem with tunneling the Pierce Elevated is that 59/69 is already below grade where it crosses 45.

Good point. Also portions of I-10 are also below grade too. So why not reroute 45 over a redesigned, completely below-grade I-10, then over a completely below-grade 59/69 as a double-decker highway? 10 & 59 would below grade, existing streets pass through at grade, 45 above grade. This could work without looking too imposing as in this scenario, only 1 overpass above grade would be visible, as currently exists on the East End.

Meanwhile from the 45-10 reroute, you could have 1 exit still trace the existing 45 route offering an exit to Bagby and Pierce for direct access to Midtown (same from south approach, maybe creating a grand boulevard). Coupled with the removal of all of the ramps above Buffalo Bayou, the single 45 Midtown exit ramp could create the opportunity for a signature bridge of some sort over the bayou, as previously envisioned.

dannyy-840241-albums-old-west-pic67294-a

Edited by tigereye
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I've gone under the shepherd underpass hundreds of times and never seen a single person trying to walk under it.

 

I've seen people walk, bike, and jog underneath the Shepherd underpass all the time.

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I've seen people walk, bike, and jog underneath the Shepherd underpass all the time.

...and Greenbriar for that matter. I was taken aback by that observation, as well.

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When I lived in that neck of the woods I would bike or walk over the Woodhead bridge all the time.  I preferred it to going under the Shepherd and Greenbriar overpasses, but only because it was two blocks closer to my (no longer there) apartment and I was typically heading over to Rice.

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Good point. Also portions of I-10 are also below grade too. So why not reroute 45 over a redesigned, completely below-grade I-10, then over a completely below-grade 59/69 as a double-decker highway? 10 & 59 would below grade, existing streets pass through at grade, 45 above grade. This could work without looking too imposing as in this scenario, only 1 overpass above grade would be visible, as currently exists on the East End.

Meanwhile from the 45-10 reroute, you could have 1 exit still trace the existing 45 route offering an exit to Bagby and Pierce for direct access to Midtown (same from south approach, maybe creating a grand boulevard). Coupled with the removal of all of the ramps above Buffalo Bayou, the single 45 Midtown exit ramp could create the opportunity for a signature bridge of some sort over the bayou, as previously envisioned.

dannyy-840241-albums-old-west-pic67294-a

 

Nice pic. I had a very similar idea and posted a rough sketch in another thread.

 

Here's the rough sketch:

post-12487-0-96090200-1407250227_thumb.j

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In that pic, it looks like the Pierce Elevated is still there. The best thing they could do right now is get rid of that inner highway entrance from Allen Parkway.

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More radical ideas for Pierce redesign (which takes from a lot of others' ideas)....

 

Build the Hardy downtown connector as I45 instead (and connect it along elevated 610 freeway to 45 which would remain the same north of 610), route 45 along 59 on east side of dt as an elevated freeway while making 59 a below grade freeway from Leeland to Franklin, Make the existing I45 section north of downtown a spur, and demolish the Pierce. Then do the Parkway thing.

 

Thoughts?

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There is a severe difference of opinion here. Some of us have a vision of what there could be without the pierce. Others can't imagine houston without the pierce because of fear of the unknown. Irontiger who for the most part I don't see eye to eye with on anything had one reasonable idea, shut it down 3-6 months and see what happens.

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So, what happens to the current 45 freeway between 610 and I-10, if we're shifting everyone over to the new Hardy extension as the new 45? Turn it back into a bayou for flood control? EDIT: Never mind, you stated a spur. Heck, I think we might be better off with the bayou, lol.

By going the route DNAguy describes, wouldn't we be switching freeways from 45 to 610 to "new 45" (Hardy) to 10 to 59 then reconnecting back to 45 at the interchange by GRB, just to go from Northline to Gulfgate? Instead of just scooting by the side of downtown as it is now, on one constant highway? That doesn't sound too appealing. Hardy's extension only goes to 10, right? Then you've got to filter onto 59 to get back towards the on ramp for the Gulf Freeway. Maybe I'm not following something correctly, but that sounds like a big tie up just waiting to happen.

Edited by Purpledevil
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There is a severe difference of opinion here. Some of us have a vision of what there could be without the pierce. Others can't imagine houston without the pierce because of fear of the unknown. Irontiger who for the most part I don't see eye to eye with on anything had one reasonable idea, shut it down 3-6 months and see what happens.

 

Why would you want to make 100,000+ people per day cross downtown on surface streets?

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So, what happens to the current 45 freeway between 610 and I-10, if we're shifting everyone over to the new Hardy extension as the new 45? Turn it back into a bayou for flood control? EDIT: Never mind, you stated a spur. Heck, I think we might be better off with the bayou, lol.

By going the route DNAguy describes, wouldn't we be switching freeways from 45 to 610 to "new 45" (Hardy) to 10 to 59 then reconnecting back to 45 at the interchange by GRB, just to go from Northline to Gulfgate? Instead of just scooting by the side of downtown as it is now, on one constant highway? That doesn't sound too appealing. Hardy's extension only goes to 10, right? Then you've got to filter onto 59 to get back towards the on ramp for the Gulf Freeway. Maybe I'm not following something correctly, but that sounds like a big tie up just waiting to happen.

You would have to upgrade east downtown's freeway system as well. There is some row that could be purchased north of grb. From the grb south, you would have to trench 59 farther and stack 45 as an elevated freeway above in the same row.

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Why would you want to make 100,000+ people per day cross downtown on surface streets?

Those 100,000 could take 610 or 59. Most of them would avoid the surface street.

And the reason is I want the city to be a better place aesthetically not just a place that's convenient for cars.

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Those 100,000 could take 610 or 59. Most of them would avoid the surface street.

And the reason is I want the city to be a better place aesthetically not just a place that's convenient for cars.

 

You sir speak with the devil's tounge!

 

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Those 100,000 could take 610 or 59. Most of them would avoid the surface street.

And the reason is I want the city to be a better place aesthetically not just a place that's convenient for cars.

Wouldn't it make more economical sense to tear down ugly, dilapidated buildings then?

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Also, Instead of having 59 NB traffic navigate the 59/288 split and weave to get onto I-45, why not extend Spur 527 from its current terminus at Elgin and have it terminate at 45 instead, providing a direct link from 59 to 45 without the weaving at 288?

 

Going way back here y'all, but instead of the suggestion of putting all traffic onto one massive roadway to the east of Downtown as some suggest, why not provide an outlet for traffic to bypass the bottlenecks? Downtown has freeways on all sides, perhaps it would be the most direct solution for the Pierce would be to do the same for Midtown as JLWM8609 suggested. Cut-and-cover a Spur extension all the way to 45. (The inner cartographer in me loves the idea of Midtown being defined fully by clear boundaries on a map.)

 

As an immediate fix perhaps even a simple change in signage could reduce bottlenecks. Have SB 45 traffic wishing to exit 288S/59S do so by taking I-10 EB north of downtown and take the 59S exit behind the GRB--they'd avoid the Pierce altogether. Same for 288NB/59NB exiting to 45N, sign for them to exit I-10W and then join exit 45N. Some of us do this already depending upon traffic one day to the next. TxDot could potentially reduce the Pierce bottleneck simply by providing alternative exit routes. Perhaps label "thru" route exits via the east side of Downtown and keep the current exits labeled as "local"?

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Going way back here y'all, but instead of the suggestion of putting all traffic onto one massive roadway to the east of Downtown as some suggest, why not provide an outlet for traffic to bypass the bottlenecks? Downtown has freeways on all sides, perhaps it would be the most direct solution for the Pierce would be to do the same for Midtown as JLWM8609 suggested. Cut-and-cover a Spur extension all the way to 45. (The inner cartographer in me loves the idea of Midtown being defined fully by clear boundaries on a map.)

 

As an immediate fix perhaps even a simple change in signage could reduce bottlenecks. Have SB 45 traffic wishing to exit 288S/59S do so by taking I-10 EB north of downtown and take the 59S exit behind the GRB--they'd avoid the Pierce altogether. Same for 288NB/59NB exiting to 45N, sign for them to exit I-10W and then join exit 45N. Some of us do this already depending upon traffic one day to the next. TxDot could potentially reduce the Pierce bottleneck simply by providing alternative exit routes. Perhaps label "thru" route exits via the east side of Downtown and keep the current exits labeled as "local"?

 

Ummmm... this is a forum for those proposing ideas that cost billions of dollars. Your 'immediate' ideas don't meet the $ threshold. ;)

Edited by DNAguy

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Going way back here y'all, but instead of the suggestion of putting all traffic onto one massive roadway to the east of Downtown as some suggest, why not provide an outlet for traffic to bypass the bottlenecks? Downtown has freeways on all sides, perhaps it would be the most direct solution for the Pierce would be to do the same for Midtown as JLWM8609 suggested. Cut-and-cover a Spur extension all the way to 45. (The inner cartographer in me loves the idea of Midtown being defined fully by clear boundaries on a map.)

As an immediate fix perhaps even a simple change in signage could reduce bottlenecks. Have SB 45 traffic wishing to exit 288S/59S do so by taking I-10 EB north of downtown and take the 59S exit behind the GRB--they'd avoid the Pierce altogether. Same for 288NB/59NB exiting to 45N, sign for them to exit I-10W and then join exit 45N. Some of us do this already depending upon traffic one day to the next. TxDot could potentially reduce the Pierce bottleneck simply by providing alternative exit routes. Perhaps label "thru" route exits via the east side of Downtown and keep the current exits labeled as "local"?

That's actually a fantastic idea. I hadn't read that far back into the thread. I always wondered why the spur stopped short of 45 but yeah it would make a great reliever of traffic on the 288 stretch.

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Those 100,000 could take 610 or 59. Most of them would avoid the surface street.

And the reason is I want the city to be a better place aesthetically not just a place that's convenient for cars.

 

NP...remove the Pierce and widen 610 and 59 to Katy freeway standards...minimum 10 lanes each way.  Rebuild the connectors to allow smooth transition from one to the other and we're good to go.

 

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Going way back here y'all, but instead of the suggestion of putting all traffic onto one massive roadway to the east of Downtown as some suggest, why not provide an outlet for traffic to bypass the bottlenecks? Downtown has freeways on all sides, perhaps it would be the most direct solution for the Pierce would be to do the same for Midtown as JLWM8609 suggested. Cut-and-cover a Spur extension all the way to 45. (The inner cartographer in me loves the idea of Midtown being defined fully by clear boundaries on a map.)

 

As an immediate fix perhaps even a simple change in signage could reduce bottlenecks. Have SB 45 traffic wishing to exit 288S/59S do so by taking I-10 EB north of downtown and take the 59S exit behind the GRB--they'd avoid the Pierce altogether. Same for 288NB/59NB exiting to 45N, sign for them to exit I-10W and then join exit 45N. Some of us do this already depending upon traffic one day to the next. TxDot could potentially reduce the Pierce bottleneck simply by providing alternative exit routes. Perhaps label "thru" route exits via the east side of Downtown and keep the current exits labeled as "local"?

 

That might have worked ten years ago.  Brazos and Bagby are now both crammed with large luxury apartment blocks - they're not even much of a shortcut now as surface streets.

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Ummmm... this is a forum for those proposing ideas that cost billions of dollars. Your 'immediate' ideas don't meet the $ threshold. ;)

ooh, here's an idea that will cost more than billions, it'll be like tens of billions, and other cities already have the precedence set...

 

Dallas has i35e and i35w. New Orleans has i12.

 

Houston could have 45e, or i47.

 

it would follow 146 from galveston up to i10, then go north past lake houston, then jog west till it meets up with 45.

 

all that traffic that is taking i45 to get through houston could then take i47 to bypass houston!

 

then you demo all freeways inside the loop because i45 is the one that consistently (no matter the time of day/week) really has too much traffic (I always opt to use 59/10 rather than 45, and I always get there quicker eventhough it's nearly a mile longer), and since we're going to demolish that one anyway, we may as well demolish the less used ones too. turn them into parkways. make 610 20 lanes in each direction to handle the increased capacity.

 

simple solution. costs lots of money. win for everyone.

Edited by samagon
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I47 - I love it.  Let's see... 146 up to 330, then split off a bit before 10 to avoid Highlands and Crosby, then continue that purdy, expensive new pavement and ROW up between Patton Village and Splendora to eventually hook up with 242 - shoot, you could take it from there along 1488 all the way out to the Aggie Turnpike or whatever the devil they're gonna call it... (which means we'll have Iron Tiger's support, mebbe... :) )

 

An' it's for the safety of th' cheeldrun, getting them another way up and out of the way of hurricanes and such...  

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NP...remove the Pierce and widen 610 and 59 to Katy freeway standards...minimum 10 lanes each way. Rebuild the connectors to allow smooth transition from one to the other and we're good to go.

Or, destroy pierce and build better mass transit. 610 borders on neighborhoods no way it gets expanded. This obsession with widening and god forbid stacking needs to end.

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Or, destroy pierce and build better mass transit. 610 borders on neighborhoods no way it gets expanded. This obsession with widening and god forbid stacking needs to end.

 

Why would we build mass transit that has you as the only rider? I don't see any compelling reason to remove the Pierce. It's a pretty good looking freeway, doesn't interfere with pedestrians, and it goes in directions lots of people want to travel.

 

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I agree, we should replace the Pierce with a 6-lane parkway. Well, a true parkway wouldn't have dozens of stoplights and I don't want to interrupt the grid. A sunken parkway would have too many bridges and plus there's that thing where it comes into 288 anyway. Plus, all that construction would interrupt the light rail, so let's make it elevated instead.

 

That it. That's what we could replace the Pierce with.  :P

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Or, destroy pierce and build better mass transit. 610 borders on neighborhoods no way it gets expanded. This obsession with widening and god forbid stacking needs to end.

 

Run mass transit on a portion of the widened and stacked freeways.  This obsession with living in the 1800's needs to end.

 

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Why would we build mass transit that has you as the only rider? I don't see any compelling reason to remove the Pierce. It's a pretty good looking freeway, doesn't interfere with pedestrians, and it goes in directions lots of people want to travel.

If mass transit is built on the right corridors there would be hundreds of thousands of riders.

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Run mass transit on a portion of the widened and stacked freeways. This obsession with living in the 1800's needs to end.

Too bad the people on charge won't agree to that either. And evidently you're unaware of rail investment being made worldwide.

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