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Nole23

Retail District Planned, to be Centered Around Dallas St.

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I walk along Dallas St. everyday on my new work commute. Every sidewalk downtown should be this way, it's not nice it's just normal. 

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16 hours ago, infinite_jim said:

I walk along Dallas St. everyday on my new work commute. Every sidewalk downtown should be this way, it's not nice it's just normal. 

I think you mean't to say every sidewalk in this city. 

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5 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I think you mean't to say every sidewalk in this city. 

No f'n way, screw that! Only the 19th century grid gets respect. The rest of you can fend for yourselves. 

Edited by infinite_jim
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On 5/4/2017 at 10:32 AM, bobruss said:

Patience! I can remember not too long ago, which is a feat in itself, how everyone was clamoring about the wasted money for the Main Street rail.

They said it would never lead to development and the money should have been used in a way that would actually do some good.

The last time I rode the rail to downtown, it seems there were very few empty lots and over a billion dollars of construction development and improvements made for the general public. It took less than 20 years for there to be three major high rises built and two of them are on the east side of Main street. Several new hotels opened on Main and probably close to 10,000 apartment units built directly on Main. There are now 3 major projects projected for Main street and more perhaps to come.So just relax and be patient. Now that the infrastructure is in and the hotel and high rise is getting built it will happen. It just doesn't happen overnight.

One day you'll be walking down Dallas Street, looking in shop windows or dining in one of the restaurants and stop and say, "wow where did all of this come from?" It always seems to have a more lasting effect if it happens at a natural pace instead of just being rolled out in a cookie cutter fashion.

It will come!

 

It was wasted money. For many years It barely added additional ridership levels compared to the preexisting bus routes that the main street rail line replaced yet at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, failed businesses along its construction path and pedestrian deaths. Also no one on this forum has ever been able to show me evidence of development along the downtown portion of the red line attributed to the rail line itself. Instead what is more likely is that tax breaks given to developers who developed in downtown is what actually spurred development in downtown.

 

Regarding the retail district proposal. Just more wasted money. I live a couple of blocks from Michigan avenue and retail shopping is not doing that great here. Shops are closing. A big Crate and Barrel that has been on the magnificent mile for 27 years is closing and is being replaced with the worlds largest Starbucks. no joke.

 

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Well I don't even know where to begin arguing with someone who is sitting up in Chicago.

I realize you are either from Houston or lived here for a while but come on. Living in that great city and having rail and mass transit should give you  a better appreciation for what Metro is trying to do here. 

Now Im sure that Chicago layed out there system long before their city was the size and the density is now and not near what it is today.

You sound like a fairly educated and thoughtful person but I don't think you're really giving Metro and the Main street rail their due.

The ridership on the rail is very good and the the connectivity to a lot of public activities and the fact that the line runs through down town to the med center and passed the museum district zoo parks and universities makes it a very wise place to put this.

As far as tax relief and development being spurred by tax breaks , no your dead wrong.

The tax relief you are alluding to was for certain projects over near the minute maid convention center side of town and the area around the new co cathedral which I wasn't even speaking about.

I'm talking about BG Place, 609 Main, the Hilcorp building which are all private developments and they did not participate in the tax break.

I don't think match or Camden Place or mid town around the continental club had any tax breaks. These developers chose the location for the connectivity and the fact that the rail has brought a new sense of urbanism that was not here before.

 

As far as ruining businesses on Main you are wrong about that. I worked in a bar just around the corner from Main on Prairie around 2000, and  I lived in the wagon works and was downtown 24 /7 so I know it first hand during that time and if you had a good product you did just fine. Most of the businesses that went down were bars and clubs that just had lost their charm, or were run poorly, and as it has always been and always will the scene moves from one area to another. If you did live in Houston and ever went out then you know that the night scene moves every few years. Richmond, to Shepherd Plaza to Downtown to Washington Avenue, back to the Galleria, to Midtown to EADO and now back Downtown..  a lot of the other little businesses  had been losing business for years and were struggling to keep their doors open. The rail didn't shut them down. They just weren't viable anymore. You have to also realize that there were two other major  forces happening at exactly the same time as the rail was being built. Every downtown street from Crawford to Smith was completely rebuilt. Service were dug up and new signage, trees, and sidewalks were rebuilt.

At the same time every street running east to west was rebuilt from Texas up to Commerce for the Cotswold project. They dug up the old streets, added on street parking, new sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, signage, and art.

It was the perfect storm. All of that together would swamp anything. 

So get your facts straight before you start making judgement calls on us down here. We like our train and it has one of the highest riderships per mile in the country. Its been very effective and it is responsible for the growth all along Main from Northline to NRG.

Edited by bobruss
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If you really want to know what killed the businesses on Main and other streets downtown it was the flight to the suburbs and the tunnel system which keeps most everyone underground. Main street hasn't been viable since the late fifties.

Edited by bobruss
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10 hours ago, bobruss said:

So get your facts straight before you start making judgement calls on us down here. We like our train and it has one of the highest riderships per mile in the country. Its been very effective and it is responsible for the growth all along Main from Northline to NRG.

 

I've been living in Houston for more than 30 years. I recently moved to Chicago because my wife is a doctor and we decided to pursue an opportunity at Northwestern Medical.

 

I will most certainly make judgement calls. Houston's overall mobility is better than Chicago's. Public transportation inside Chicago's loop (their downtown) is really only accessible via CTA buses. There are tracks and stations around downtown but, it does only that, it goes around in a loop around downtown, hence the name. Auto traffic for commuters into the Loop is horrendous at all hours of the day and night. I have not been on the commuter rail (METRA) yet since i live in the city so i don't know if it's good or bad, however i often read news alerts about METRA disruptions due to various reasons. Regarding retail districts in general, The Galleria puts the Magnificent Mile to shame. The mag mile is a joke, yet the city of Chicago is all too willing to dump money on that street in lieu of much needed attention on the south side. The most visited Chicago attraction according to Yelp is the Navy Pier, again pretty much a joke. The privately owned Kemah boardwalk is more fun. Overall Chicago is a failed city and a specific section of the city; the Southside, if it were a country would be considered a failed state due to its violence, decay, corruption and a lack of caring. The parts of the city that are livable are dying as well due to high taxes. So yes, I will make a judgement on Houston. Houston is winning. Houston, please don't become like other liberal cities. Stick to a mass transportation mobility plan based on buses and stay away from subsidized retail districts. In my opinion Houstonian's  will continue to prefer Amazon.com for most of their retail and will go to a high end district like the Galleria for their high end needs. Houston if you're reading this, please don't buy into the fallacy that the Metro rail has spurred downtown development. It has not and nor will it ever.

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13 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

I've been living in Houston for more than 30 years. I recently moved to Chicago because my wife is a doctor and we decided to pursue an opportunity at Northwestern Medical.

 

I will most certainly make judgement calls. Houston's overall mobility is better than Chicago's. Public transportation inside Chicago's loop (their downtown) is really only accessible via CTA buses. There are tracks and stations around downtown but, it does only that, it goes around in a loop around downtown, hence the name. Auto traffic for commuters into the Loop is horrendous at all hours of the day and night. I have not been on the commuter rail (METRA) yet since i live in the city so i don't know if it's good or bad, however i often read news alerts about METRA disruptions due to various reasons. Regarding retail districts in general, The Galleria puts the Magnificent Mile to shame. The mag mile is a joke, yet the city of Chicago is all too willing to dump money on that street in lieu of much needed attention on the south side. The most visited Chicago attraction according to Yelp is the Navy Pier, again pretty much a joke. The privately owned Kemah boardwalk is more fun. Overall Chicago is a failed city and a specific section of the city; the Southside, if it were a country would be considered a failed state due to its violence, decay, corruption and a lack of caring. The parts of the city that are livable are dying as well due to high taxes. So yes, I will make a judgement on Houston. Houston is winning. Houston, please don't become like other liberal cities. Stick to a mass transportation mobility plan based on buses and stay away from subsidized retail districts. In my opinion Houstonian's  will continue to prefer Amazon.com for most of their retail and will go to a high end district like the Galleria for their high end needs. Houston if you're reading this, please don't buy into the fallacy that the Metro rail has spurred downtown development. It has not and nor will it ever.

 

^^^ @102IAHexpress much obliged, for such great imput/insight upon chicago's transportation and retail infrastructure.  however, i am most curious at to your statement regarding the GALLERIA vs THE MAGNIFICENT MILE.  i would love to know just what makes you think that the "GALLERIA puts the MAG MILE to shame?"  i was always under the dire impression that the MAG MILE was one of the pre-imminent shopping street/districts of this nation.  the one high-end / ultra luxurious retail avenue by which all others are to follow. is this not correct?  basically, for as long as i can remember, houston's GALLERIA/UPTOWN district is always being called upon to model itself after the MAG MILE of the RODEO DRIVE district in L.A.  what are you seeing that makes the GALLERIA area better?  i was under the impression that the MAG MILE harbored the most magnificent array of stores and retail in this nation.  now do not get me wrong here, i do know that DUBAI, UAE harbors the most magnificent malls (MALL OF THE EMIRATES vs THE DUBAI MALL) on this planet. and just each one of these brilliant malls could very easily put houston's entire retail district to shame instantly.  (please trust me on this, i have been there many many times.  i have even stayed at hotels at both malls, and i have NEVER EVER seen anything like them no where).  nonetheless, i am now curious as to what the very reality is.. if you are willing to share your insight upon this matter.  what makes our GALLERIA district better that the MAG MILE in chicago?  maybe we are not as deficient as we are being led to believe vs chicago.....

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17 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

I've been living in Houston for more than 30 years. I recently moved to Chicago because my wife is a doctor and we decided to pursue an opportunity at Northwestern Medical.

 

I will most certainly make judgement calls. Houston's overall mobility is better than Chicago's. Public transportation inside Chicago's loop (their downtown) is really only accessible via CTA buses. There are tracks and stations around downtown but, it does only that, it goes around in a loop around downtown, hence the name. Auto traffic for commuters into the Loop is horrendous at all hours of the day and night. I have not been on the commuter rail (METRA) yet since i live in the city so i don't know if it's good or bad, however i often read news alerts about METRA disruptions due to various reasons. Regarding retail districts in general, The Galleria puts the Magnificent Mile to shame. The mag mile is a joke, yet the city of Chicago is all too willing to dump money on that street in lieu of much needed attention on the south side. The most visited Chicago attraction according to Yelp is the Navy Pier, again pretty much a joke. The privately owned Kemah boardwalk is more fun. Overall Chicago is a failed city and a specific section of the city; the Southside, if it were a country would be considered a failed state due to its violence, decay, corruption and a lack of caring. The parts of the city that are livable are dying as well due to high taxes. So yes, I will make a judgement on Houston. Houston is winning. Houston, please don't become like other liberal cities. Stick to a mass transportation mobility plan based on buses and stay away from subsidized retail districts. In my opinion Houstonian's  will continue to prefer Amazon.com for most of their retail and will go to a high end district like the Galleria for their high end needs. Houston if you're reading this, please don't buy into the fallacy that the Metro rail has spurred downtown development. It has not and nor will it ever.

 

Couldn't disagree with you more about Chicago.  Their public transportation system is miles better than Houston's.  I've been there many times to visit a friend of mine who lives there and my experience was totally different.  Chicago is a hub and spoke system that radiates out from downtown in all directions.  It's extremely convenient and much superior to Houston's system, obviously.  Ridership numbers will say as much.  Calling Chicago a "failed city" is ridiculous.  

 

I'm just going to assume you're being sarcastic and trolling us lol. 

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3 hours ago, mfastx said:

 

Couldn't disagree with you more about Chicago.  Their public transportation system is miles better than Houston's.  I've been there many times to visit a friend of mine who lives there and my experience was totally different.  Chicago is a hub and spoke system that radiates out from downtown in all directions.  It's extremely convenient and much superior to Houston's system, obviously.  Ridership numbers will say as much.  Calling Chicago a "failed city" is ridiculous.  

 

I'm just going to assume you're being sarcastic and trolling us lol. 

 

Agreed.  If that post wasn't in jest then I couldn't disagree with somebody any more.

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I was reading with an open mind until I got to the "please don't become like other liberal cities."

 

Quite frankly, I think Houston has NEVER looked better now that we've begun to act like a grown up city and started caring about transit options, public spaces, and walkability.

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10 hours ago, monarch said:

^^^ @102IAHexpress much obliged, for such great imput/insight upon chicago's transportation and retail infrastructure.  however, i am most curious at to your statement regarding the GALLERIA vs THE MAGNIFICENT MILE.  i would love to know just what makes you think that the "GALLERIA puts the MAG MILE to shame?"  i was always under the dire impression that the MAG MILE was one of the pre-imminent shopping street/districts of this nation.  the one high-end / ultra luxurious retail avenue by which all others are to follow. is this not correct?  basically, for as long as i can remember, houston's GALLERIA/UPTOWN district is always being called upon to model itself after the MAG MILE of the RODEO DRIVE district in L.A.  what are you seeing that makes the GALLERIA area better?  i was under the impression that the MAG MILE harbored the most magnificent array of stores and retail in this nation.  now do not get me wrong here, i do know that DUBAI, UAE harbors the most magnificent malls (MALL OF THE EMIRATES vs THE DUBAI MALL) on this planet. and just each one of these brilliant malls could very easily put houston's entire retail district to shame instantly.  (please trust me on this, i have been there many many times.  i have even stayed at hotels at both malls, and i have NEVER EVER seen anything like them no where).  nonetheless, i am now curious as to what the very reality is.. if you are willing to share your insight upon this matter.  what makes our GALLERIA district better that the MAG MILE in chicago?  maybe we are not as deficient as we are being led to believe vs chicago.....

 

A few reasons. The high end stores at the Galleria are better. On the mag mile we're talking Gap, Under Armor, Disney Store, Apple Store, etc which are all fine stores but pretty much available in every major city. The Galleria however has all those plus more high end stores from Italy, France, NYC. Also, i think access to mag mile via public transportation is not as good as access to the Galleria via automobiles. For high end shopping you really don't want to be in a "walkable" area for too long and be dependent on public transportation for security reasons. Nothing screams rob me, more than walking around with a high end shopping bag on Chicago's streets. And then there's the weather. Outdoor shopping in Chicago is way too cold most of the year. We're in May and the lows today were in the 30s and highs in the 40s. So yeah, the Galleria is way better.

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7 hours ago, mfastx said:

 

Couldn't disagree with you more about Chicago.  Their public transportation system is miles better than Houston's.  I've been there many times to visit a friend of mine who lives there and my experience was totally different.  Chicago is a hub and spoke system that radiates out from downtown in all directions.  It's extremely convenient and much superior to Houston's system, obviously.  Ridership numbers will say as much.  Calling Chicago a "failed city" is ridiculous.  

 

I'm just going to assume you're being sarcastic and trolling us lol. 

 

For example I live in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. You can think of it of their Med Center. Huge hospitals, Northwestern Med, Law and Business schools are here and just a few steps from the Navy Pier; the most visited attraction in Illinois. So not exactly a remote area of Chicago. So lets say i want to ride the CTA bus outside my apartment today (Sunday). Wait i can't, it doesn't even operate on the weekends. Only on weekdays and only during rush hour, and only for a couple of hours of rush hour. So please tell me how that's better than Houston's Metro?

 

http://www.transitchicago.com/bus/121/

 

Chicago's public transportation has to be the most overrated system i have ever ridden. And yes it is a failed city. The city is bleeding population growth and bleeding citizens literaly. Outside of the gleaming towers in downtown the city is a disaster.

 

Anyways, I'm just going to assume you're being sarcastic because you don't know anything about public transportation.

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10 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

For example I live in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. You can think of it of their Med Center. Huge hospitals, Northwestern Med, Law and Business schools are here and just a few steps from the Navy Pier; the most visited attraction in Illinois. So not exactly a remote area of Chicago. So lets say i want to ride the CTA bus outside my apartment today (Sunday). Wait i can't, it doesn't even operate on the weekends. Only on weekdays and only during rush hour, and only for a couple of hours of rush hour. So please tell me how that's better than Houston's Metro?

 

http://www.transitchicago.com/bus/121/

 

Chicago's public transportation has to be the most overrated system i have ever ridden. And yes it is a failed city. The city is bleeding population growth and bleeding citizens literaly. Outside of the gleaming towers in downtown the city is a disaster.

 

Anyways, I'm just going to assume you're being sarcastic because you don't know anything about public transportation.

 

Try using Google maps to see the most optimal route for your trip during the weekend.  There's plenty of buses that operate on weekends in Chicago in your neighborhood.  You could also walk a couple blocks (gasp) and use the rail.  There's plenty of routes in Houston that don't operate on the weekend as well, so I don't see your point there.  

 

Here's why it's better than Houston's Metro: Chicago has almost 4 times more daily riders on their bus system than Houston.  They also have another 800,000 or so rail riders, and that doesn't count METRA ridership.  Their total daily ridership is 1,850,000 while Houston's barely approaches 300,000.  So yes, their transit is miles ahead of Houston's even with their aging rail infrastructure and it's not close. 

 

Chicago's urban area might not be growing as fast as Houston's, but it is not losing population.  It was at 8.5 mil in 2010 and is at about 9.2 mil in 2017.  Houston's is about 5 mil.  Official city limit populations are arbitrary and therefore meaningless if that's what you're going by.  

 

I do respect the fact that you're so proud of Houston that you'd say its transit system is better than Chicago's lol.  

 

EDIT: I just realized that this is wildly off topic lol, so this will by my last response on the subject in this thread.  I'd love to continue the discussion in a transit thread if you'd like. 

Edited by mfastx
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1 hour ago, mfastx said:

 

Try using Google maps to see the most optimal route for your trip during the weekend.  There's plenty of buses that operate on weekends in Chicago in your neighborhood.  You could also walk a couple blocks (gasp) and use the rail.  There's plenty of routes in Houston that don't operate on the weekend as well, so I don't see your point there.  

 

 

There's actually not a lot of buses on the weekend. Not sure why you think there is? Yes there is rail, again not sure why think it's a couple of blocks away. The Red Line  station on  State Street and Grand Street is the closest stop near my lake shore and ohio street address, which is about 3/4 of a mile away.

 

Regarding Houston's metro buses that don't operate on the weekend, yes there are some park and ride buses from the suburbs that don't operate on the weekends however, and correct me if i'm wrong because i may be wrong, but all of Metro's local routes operate on the weekend. Chicago cta buses on the other hand have lots of local routes that don't operate on the weekend. For a transportation system that almost prohibits you from operating a car within downtown Chicago and practically forces you to ride public transportation or walk, having so many local routes not operate on the weekend is woefully substandard.

 

How it all ties into the retail district is that people have choices in how they reach those shopping districts or how they choose to ignore those districts and instead  shop online. Why would a Houstonian drive to a retail district in downtown when they could drive to a better one in the Galleria with plenty of free parking and security? If i lived in downtown (which i did for many years) why would i want to walk for half a mile in the heat to reach a retail district filled with panhandlers? I suppose i could get into my car and drive within downtown to the proposed district but once i get in my car i can easily reach any district. Anyways, we have a retail district already in downtown and it's privately funded. It's called the tunnels. It's awesome and unique, embrace it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, mfastx said:

 

Chicago's urban area might not be growing as fast as Houston's, but it is not losing population.  It was at 8.5 mil in 2010 and is at about 9.2 mil in 2017.  Houston's is about 5 mil.  Official city limit populations are arbitrary and therefore meaningless if that's what you're going by.  

 

I'm not here to argue about the transit systems. I just wanted to correct your assertion that Chicagoland isn't seeing a population decline.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-census-population-loss-met-20170322-story.html

 

Quote

The Chicago metropolitan area as a whole lost 19,570 residents in 2016, registering the greatest loss of any metropolitan area in the country. It's the area's second consecutive year of population loss: In 2015, the region saw its first decline since at least 1990, losing 11,324 people.

By most estimates, the Chicago area's population will continue to decline in the coming years. Over the past year, the Tribune surveyed dozens of former residents who've packed up in recent years and they cited a variety of reasons: high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate and weather. Census data released Thursday suggests the root of the problem is in the city of Chicago and Cook County: The county in 2016 had the largest loss of any county nationwide, losing 21,324 residents.

Experts say the pattern goes beyond just the Chicago region. For the third consecutive year, Illinois lost more residents than any other state in 2016, losing 37,508 people, according to U.S. census data released in December.

 

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^

 

Yeah, the mfastx posted some bad information all around on Chicago metro population.  2010 population 9,461,105, not 8.5 million.  There are no census estimates for 2017, but in 2016 the estimate was 9,512,999, having peaked in 2014 at 9,543,893. 

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2 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

There's actually not a lot of buses on the weekend. Not sure why you think there is? Yes there is rail, again not sure why think it's a couple of blocks away. The Red Line  station on  State Street and Grand Street is the closest stop near my lake shore and ohio street address, which is about 3/4 of a mile away.

 

Now that we're a little back on topic I'll respond lol.  Not sure where you're trying to go on the weekend but there's other buses that run then.  Can you give me an example of somewhere you can't get to on the weekend?  I quickly googled a route from that intersection to Union Station and you could take the 29 only like a block away from that intersection.  Also, I don't think 3/4 mile is very far.  I routinely walked that when I rode the 25 home from high school every day growing up.  

 

Quote

Regarding Houston's metro buses that don't operate on the weekend, yes there are some park and ride buses from the suburbs that don't operate on the weekends however, and correct me if i'm wrong because i may be wrong, but all of Metro's local routes operate on the weekend. Chicago cta buses on the other hand have lots of local routes that don't operate on the weekend. For a transportation system that almost prohibits you from operating a car within downtown Chicago and practically forces you to ride public transportation or walk, having so many local routes not operate on the weekend is woefully substandard.

 

The example you posted seemed to be an express route, not a local route.  Growing up I seem to recall a handful of non-P&R routes in Houston that didn't operate on weekends, but I don't feel like taking the time to look at all the schedules. Anyway, that's just typically how it is in a more developed city.  Between walking, Uber, taxis, bikeways, buses and rail, there's plenty of non-car ways to get around Chicago.  I'm really surprised that you feel like you can't get around up there. 

 

Quote

How it all ties into the retail district is that people have choices in how they reach those shopping districts or how they choose to ignore those districts and instead  shop online. Why would a Houstonian drive to a retail district in downtown when they could drive to a better one in the Galleria with plenty of free parking and security? If i lived in downtown (which i did for many years) why would i want to walk for half a mile in the heat to reach a retail district filled with panhandlers? I suppose i could get into my car and drive within downtown to the proposed district but once i get in my car i can easily reach any district. Anyways, we have a retail district already in downtown and it's privately funded. It's called the tunnels. It's awesome and unique, embrace it.

 

 


I think what's driving the development of this and other downtown districts is the growing downtown population.  Many people are more than willing to walk half a mile to do some casual shopping.  The infrastructure improvements that are coming with it are appreciated as well.  Many of the businesses in the tunnels are not open on weekends and are generally not accessible from street level unless you know where to go.  Obviously it remains to be seen how successful it will ultimately be so who knows. 

 

2 hours ago, The Pragmatist said:

 

I'm not here to argue about the transit systems. I just wanted to correct your assertion that Chicagoland isn't seeing a population decline.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-census-population-loss-met-20170322-story.html

 

 

 

I took my numbers from the urban area estimation: here's the 2010 estimate and 2017 estimate I found.  I prefer the urban area designation as it does not take into account arbitrary civic boundaries such as city/county lines.  I feel that it's the best representation of the population of cities in general.  Clearly by other metrics it's a different story.  

 

2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

^

 

Yeah, the mfastx posted some bad information all around on Chicago metro population.  2010 population 9,461,105, not 8.5 million.  There are no census estimates for 2017, but in 2016 the estimate was 9,512,999, having peaked in 2014 at 9,543,893. 

 

See clarified post above. 

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As an aside, Metro just redid the whole bus network - it went from a weekday schedule + weekend schedule to being a 7 day a week schedule

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12 minutes ago, cspwal said:

As an aside, Metro just redid the whole bus network - it went from a weekday schedule + weekend schedule to being a 7 day a week schedule

 

Correct. Almost 2 years ago.

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6 hours ago, mfastx said:

Chicago's urban area might not be growing as fast as Houston's, but it is not losing population.  It was at 8.5 mil in 2010 and is at about 9.2 mil in 2017.  Houston's is about 5 mil.  Official city limit populations are arbitrary and therefore meaningless if that's what you're going by.  

 

1 hour ago, mfastx said:

I took my numbers from the urban area estimation: here's the 2010 estimate and 2017 estimate I found.  I prefer the urban area designation as it does not take into account arbitrary civic boundaries such as city/county lines.  I feel that it's the best representation of the population of cities in general.  Clearly by other metrics it's a different story.  

 

Thanks for the clarification.  I agree with you as to the utility of urbanized area population vs. metropolitan area populations.   A couple things:  

Houston's urbanized area was at about 5.3 Million in 2010.  In the latest Demographia report (which is the source of your numbers), Houston's 2017 estimate was about 6.2 Million (not about 5 million as you reported).

 

The 2010 number you report above for Chicago is not a comparable number to the 2017 number you reported. The 2010 number is from the US Census Bureau, while the 2017 number is from Demographia.  According to Demographia, Chicago's urbanized area in 2010 was 9.023 Million.  In 2017, it was 9.14 Million.  See page 105 of the Demographia 2017 report.  In 2015, Chicago's urbanized area population 9.156 Million.  (See Page 21.)  So even using the preferred metric of urbanized areas, Chicago is indeed losing population.

 

Edited by Houston19514

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37 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

 

Thanks for the clarification.  I agree with you as to the utility of urbanized area population vs. metropolitan area populations.   A couple things:  

Houston's urbanized area was at about 5.3 Million in 2010.  In the latest Demographia report (which is the source of your numbers), Houston's 2017 estimate was about 6.2 Million (not about 5 million as you reported).

 

The 2010 number you report above for Chicago is not a comparable number to the 2017 number you reported. The 2010 number is from the US Census Bureau, while the 2017 number is from Demographia.  According to Demographia, Chicago's urbanized area in 2010 was 9.023 Million.  In 2017, it was 9.14 Million.  See page 105 of the Demographia 2017 report.  In 2015, Chicago's urbanized area population 9.156 Million.  (See Page 21.)  So even using the preferred metric of urbanized areas, Chicago is indeed losing population.

 

 

Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't realize they were from different sources.  I initially cited the 2010 US Census numbers that say about 5 million in 2010.  

 

Even so, calling Chicago a "failed city" is a bit of a bombastic comment in my opinion.  It's still an extremely important city in the US and worldwide.  If it drastically loses population over the course of the next several decades, then maybe it's a failed city. 

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Chicago isn't a failed city. That's just a talking point from biased sources.

 

Failed cities look nothing like Chicago. 

 

Chicago isn't even in the top 30 for murder rates amongst cities with 25,000 or more residents. 

 

That said, Chicago's crime rate on the South side is bad. But facts should matter. 

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1 hour ago, KinkaidAlum said:

Chicago isn't a failed city. That's just a talking point from biased sources.

 

Failed cities look nothing like Chicago. 

 

Chicago isn't even in the top 30 for murder rates amongst cities with 25,000 or more residents. 

 

That said, Chicago's crime rate on the South side is bad. But facts should matter. 

 

Not sure how compelling that statistic is, given that there are almost 1,500 cities with 25,000 or more residents and it does seem to be in the top 10 among major cities (those over 250,000 population).  Curious just where it ranks on that list of 25,000 or more.  All that said, I agree it's quite an exaggeration to call it a failed city... failing maybe... But not yet failed.

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The right has been on the Chicago train, no pun intended, ever since Obama took office. The NRA loves to use Chicago gun violence as proof that regulation doesn't matter (ignoring that Indiana is a part of the metro area and has stupid lax gun laws).

 

Chicago has issues. But the most violent cities in American according to the latest FBI stats are;

 

1) St. Louis

2) Detroit

3) Birmingham

4) Memphis

5) Milwaukee

6) Rockford

7) Baltimore

8) Little Rock

9) Oakland

10) Kansas City

 

7 of the 10 largest cities are in states that voted RED in 2016. Why isn't the alt right harping on that? Hell, Missouri has two cities on the list, shouldn't Missouri be the punching bag instead of Illinois?

Edited by KinkaidAlum
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I'm more worried about getting murdered by someone making a right turn on red then getting murdered by a gunman. 

Edited by infinite_jim
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Chicago has lots of troubles with debt.  Calling it a "failed city" is not a stretch if one defines success or failure as "ability to pay its debts"

 

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20160622/NEWS02/160619845/is-bankruptcy-such-an-awful-idea-for-chicago

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/maybe-chicago-schools-should-declare-bankruptcy-and-get-it-over-with-says-moodys-2017-01-13

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-13/how-chicago-city-of-junk-just-moved-a-little-closer-to-detroit

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/legalnewsline/2016/04/19/in-illinois-some-push-bankruptcy-as-solution-to-troubled-public-budgets/#6eec1d2433d2

 

Some Chicago muni bonds rated as "junk" and requiring yields (tax free interest) of 4.9% to sell them

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-201605051830--tms--savagectnts-a20160505-20160505-column.html

 

There are as many articles on these financial topics from as many political leaning left, right, center groups as you can imagine.  They all say the same thing:  Chicago despite huge wealth and huge taxes paid by citizens and businesses is essentially insolvent.  To me, that alone defines failure.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/5/2017 at 11:47 PM, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Also no one on this forum has ever been able to show me evidence of development along the downtown portion of the red line attributed to the rail line itself. Instead what is more likely is that tax breaks given to developers who developed in downtown is what actually spurred development in downtown.

 

You're wrong overall, but you're particularly wrong here.

 

The downtown area is a perfect example of development favoring mass transit. It's a specific area that had a tax incentive to build anywhere within that tax area.

 

Yes, Houston offered a tax relief to anyone building apartments in downtown Houston. Anywhere inside of the confines of 45/59/10. They had however many blocks to choose from.

 

This is the latest map I can find:

https://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2016-01-13/160114_Development_Map__Renders_11X17.pdf

 

It illustrates clearly that while they could have chosen to build on empty blocks near freeway entrances, or near stadiums, they chose to build near mass transit.

 

There are 19 apartments on that map. 13 of them are within 2 blocks of light rail. 8 of those are right on the light rail line.

68% of the apartments built using the tax subsidy chose to build within 2 blocks of light rail.

42% of the apartments built using the tax subsidy are built on the light rail line.

There are 7 hotels on that map. All 7 are not just within 2 blocks of light rail, they are on light rail frontage.

100% of the hotels built in the last cycle (no tax subsidies like the apartments) are built on light rail frontage.

 

Look at all those empty lots over by Toyota center.

Look at all those empty lots by Minute Maid.

That land has to be cheaper than where they actually built the apartments and hotels, right?

 

The tax incentive was not to build apartments in proximity to the light rail, it was for anywhere in downtown. Yet, save the minority of apartments, they all chose to build within very close proximity to light rail.

 

Given the facts above and the percentage of empty lots all over the downtown area that could have been chosen to build the apartments. It points to this either being a very weird statistical anomaly that it just happened to be that nearly all of them chose to build near the light rail, or the developers actively chose to build near the light rail.

 

If you consider the development that's occurred in Midtown and the Museum district and the proximity of those developments to the light rail (considering all the empty blocks in those areas), it even further provides clear examples of development favoring light rail.

 

It's fine for you to disagree with the above assessment, however, I ask that you please provide some data/facts to show why my assessment is wrong.

 

It's also fine for you to just plain not like mass transit, that's your opinion, you're entitled to it, but don't throw out statements like facts unless you're willing to back them up with data.

 

edit: So I found a map of the area that was included for the tax incentives as proof that the area didn't favor building near light rail:

http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/DLI/3-_revised_toolkit_program_description_&_eligibility.pdf

Edited by samagon
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And there's this from Hines:

 

“Back in 2007, our investment thesis for BG Group Place and the purchase of 609 Main at Texas site centered on Main Street being central to all downtown amenities and transit,” said John Mooz, senior managing director in Hines’ Southwest Regional office. “Over the past four years, the Class AA tenant market has validated BG Group Place as a striking new business address. Additionally, other owners are also voting with significant investments that Main Street is a top of mind location.”http://realtynewsreport.com/2013/03/15/hines-proposes-41-story-office-tower-on-main-st-in-downtown-houston/

 

 

Edited by Houston19514
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Is it really hard to believe that investors would choose to build near public transportation? If you need any proof on how transit helps spur development, go to NYC or London. Those cities exploded with growth due to public transit. It's not a hard concept to grasp, so idk why critics continue to try their best to pull numbers out of their ass to prove a point that's been proven in cities across the world. 

Edited by j_cuevas713

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48 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

You're wrong overall, but you're particularly wrong here.

 

The downtown area is a perfect example of development favoring mass transit. It's a specific area that had a tax incentive to build anywhere within that tax area.

 

Yes, Houston offered a tax relief to anyone building apartments in downtown Houston. Anywhere inside of the confines of 45/59/10. They had however many blocks to choose from.

 

This is the latest map I can find:

https://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2016-01-13/160114_Development_Map__Renders_11X17.pdf

 

It illustrates clearly that while they could have chosen to build on empty blocks near freeway entrances, or near stadiums, they chose to build near mass transit.

 

There are 19 apartments on that map. 13 of them are within 2 blocks of light rail. 8 of those are right on the light rail line.

68% of the apartments built using the tax subsidy chose to build within 2 blocks of light rail.

42% of the apartments built using the tax subsidy are built on the light rail line.

There are 7 hotels on that map. All 7 are not just within 2 blocks of light rail, they are on light rail frontage.

100% of the hotels built in the last cycle (no tax subsidies like the apartments) are built on light rail frontage.

 

Look at all those empty lots over by Toyota center.

Look at all those empty lots by Minute Maid.

That land has to be cheaper than where they actually built the apartments and hotels, right?

 

The tax incentive was not to build apartments in proximity to the light rail, it was for anywhere in downtown. Yet, save the minority of apartments, they all chose to build within very close proximity to light rail.

 

Given the facts above and the percentage of empty lots all over the downtown area that could have been chosen to build the apartments. It points to this either being a very weird statistical anomaly that it just happened to be that nearly all of them chose to build near the light rail, or the developers actively chose to build near the light rail.

 

If you consider the development that's occurred in Midtown and the Museum district and the proximity of those developments to the light rail (considering all the empty blocks in those areas), it even further provides clear examples of development favoring light rail.

 

It's fine for you to disagree with the above assessment, however, I ask that you please provide some data/facts to show why my assessment is wrong.

 

It's also fine for you to just plain not like mass transit, that's your opinion, you're entitled to it, but don't throw out statements like facts unless you're willing to back them up with data.

 

edit: So I found a map of the area that was included for the tax incentives as proof that the area didn't favor building near light rail:

http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/DLI/3-_revised_toolkit_program_description_&_eligibility.pdf

 

You're not completely wrong actually. My point is only about the light rail. And specifically the light rail in downtown. I don't have a problem with mass transit. I've been riding metro buses since middle school. Heck my screen name is named after a bus route. I just don't see any evidence that the light rail has spurred development in downtown. If anything all the buses that feed into downtown have had a bigger impact. The light rail is a cool toy. It's not a serious people mover. And that's fine. If you think a park or a light rail or public swimming pool adds value to the city, then fine add them. Their a nice amenity to have, but don't tell me their benefits are anything more than that. Buses on the other hand and especially buses in Houston can have bigger impact (still relatively) small but an impact, which i think helps explain some of your data.

 

However, all those buildings you mention have huge parking garages for their residents/workers. I can promise you none of those developers were thinking, great news!, we don't need to construct huge parking garages because we have the light rail near by, all of our workers will stop driving their cars. Give me a break. nonsense.

 

Downtown is a district with higher income offices and higher income apartments. The higher income you earn the less likely you are to ride public transportation.

 

Your argument is like saying the 82 Westminster that passes through River Oaks is the reason there is such nice residential development in River Oaks.

 

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54 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

You're not completely wrong actually. My point is only about the light rail. And specifically the light rail in downtown. I don't have a problem with mass transit. I've been riding metro buses since middle school. Heck my screen name is named after a bus route. I just don't see any evidence that the light rail has spurred development in downtown. If anything all the buses that feed into downtown have had a bigger impact. The light rail is a cool toy. It's not a serious people mover. And that's fine. If you think a park or a light rail or public swimming pool adds value to the city, then fine add them. Their a nice amenity to have, but don't tell me their benefits are anything more than that. Buses on the other hand and especially buses in Houston can have bigger impact (still relatively) small but an impact, which i think helps explain some of your data.

 

It's fair to note that the Red Line carries more people on an average day than the 6 busiest bus lines combined.  And every one of those bus lines has a route that serves a good deal more territory than does the Red Line. How does a toy manage to so wildly outperform the buses that are supposedly having bigger impact?

Edited by Houston19514
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So first you said:

" no one on this forum has ever been able to show me evidence of development along the downtown portion of the red line attributed to the rail line itself. "

 

Now you're saying:

"I just don't see any evidence that the light rail has spurred development in downtown."

 

I'm not sure if you're moving the goalposts after being shown exactly what you were saying no one has shown you, or if you just didn't articulate well the first time.

 

To that point...

 

Out of one side of your mouth you say that the buses that feed downtown have an impact on downtown development. there's less than 30,000 daily riders on average on ALL of the park and ride buses. Just the red line alone has over 50,000 daily riders, all lines have 60,000 daily riders. These are based on last months numbers:

http://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/RidershipReport032017.aspx

 

The cool toy, as you call it, has more riders than the entire park and ride system, which you say has an impact on development. Why wouldn't the system that has twice as many riders have more of an impact on where people choose to locate their business or residence?

 

Why is the one with less average daily riders going to have a higher impact on office workers? Especially when, by your own estimation, people with higher incomes don't use public transportation?

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Mods, could this be moved off into the Traffic & Transportation section? [Edit: I noticed that this was in the downtown section not going up (don't know why I thought it was there) so it's an ok section - but maybe spin it off into a new thread?]

 

I think what @102IAHexpress is trying to say is that inside downtown, the train doesn't have much benefit, i.e. people living in the new apartments next to the train line inside downtown don't ride the train to other places in downtown.  There is some truth to that, as I do see people taking ubers and walking, but I also do see people taking the train to go from one end of downtown to the other.  If you're in one of the Skyhouses (Skyhice?), Block 334, or Houston House and want to go to the bars in Market square, that's a decently long walk, while taking the train is faster and doesn't wear you down as much.  

 

Where everyone else is coming at is that the train is very useful to get into and out of downtown for the people on the line.  Last week for OTC (for instance) while everyone else in my company was dreading having to park at the stadium, I just rode the train down. At the end of the day, I was at home on the couch before my co-worker was out of the parking lot. Taking the train you can go to the places that are on the train, and the Red line, even with its flaws, is very well located - it hits downtown, midtown, the medical center, Herman park, NRG, and the museum district.  Those are a lot of destinations to work at or to go to enjoy after work.  The bus network of course is much larger, and probably has a lot more of your upper middle class office workers riding the P&Rs than the train does to downtown, but that doesn't overshadow that the Redline is built through the spine of the inner loop.  Now if we could only connect it to Uptown...

Edited by cspwal
Added note about moving the topic

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44 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It's fair to note that the Red Line carries more people on an average day than the 6 busiest bus lines combined.  And every one of those bus lines has a route that serves a good deal more territory than does the Red Line. How does a toy manage to so wildly outperform the buses that are supposedly having bigger impact?

 

It's also fair to note that the light rail red line replaced existing bus routes and consolidated them into the rail line. It's also fair to note that the routes the light rail replaced were the most boarded bus routes at the time for Metro. So essentially the rail line has added a few more riders compared to what already existed but at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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6 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

It's also fair to note that the light rail red line replaced existing bus routes and consolidated them into the rail line. It's also fair to note that the routes the light rail replaced were the most boarded bus routes at the time for Metro. So essentially the rail line has added a few more riders compared to what already existed but at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

The cost will be recouped by the tax revenue from those developments that would likely not have been built next to Main Street if it were not for the train line. People simply do not see a bus line as an amenity.

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49 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

It's also fair to note that the light rail red line replaced existing bus routes and consolidated them into the rail line. It's also fair to note that the routes the light rail replaced were the most boarded bus routes at the time for Metro. So essentially the rail line has added a few more riders compared to what already existed but at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

It is not true to say they have added only a few more riders.   Back in 2007, it was reported that 41% of Metrorail riders had not previously used transit of any kind.  Even if that percentage has not gone up (and it's hard to imagine it has not), that is more than 20,000 riders per day, hardly just a few more riders.

Edited by Houston19514

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This is truly a remarkable time in downtown and to say its a renaissance is not outlandish. 

I think we've definitely reached a tipping point and if the economy will cooperate it's going to ignite a rush to live in the heart of the city.

What a great time to live and work downtown.

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Wow I missed out on stuff that looks much more fun than cooking mashed potatoes 

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Downtown is a whole different deal than what we had pre-DG. The whole residential subsidy thing might bear fruit and draw more non-subsidized projects in to the area. It's actually a place people want to be, whodathunkit?

 

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Build it and they will come. 

 

Sounds familiar!

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3 hours ago, Nate99 said:

Downtown is a whole different deal than what we had pre-DG. The whole residential subsidy thing might bear fruit and draw more non-subsidized projects in to the area. It's actually a place people want to be, whodathunkit?

 

Having been in Austin for school in the late 80's/early 90's and with a daughter there now, Houston's DT (dead zones notwithstanding) "feels" more settled and "grown-up". Don't get me wrong, I love Austin's energy and San Antonio's history, and even Dallas' "bling", but imo, the planning (this time) involving downtown incorporates what Houston is about--diversity, industry, good food, and a southern urbanity that is unique to the Bayou City.  It doesn't feel like we're trying to copy or compete with other cities, but rather build/create something that is unique and befitting the 4th and soon to be 3rd largest city in the nation.

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Fake news. The light rail killed downtown. Everyone knows that downtown was better in 2001.

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On 5/11/2017 at 9:45 AM, bobruss said:

This is truly a remarkable time in downtown and to say its a renaissance is not outlandish. 

I think we've definitely reached a tipping point and if the economy will cooperate it's going to ignite a rush to live in the heart of the city.

What a great time to live and work downtown.

 

I'm less worried about the economy cooperating than I am 10 years worth of freeway construction. I mean, yeah, there's people saying the end product is going to be a huge boon, but we won't know until its done, and in the meantime, that's 10 years of constant construction making travel difficult. 

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On 5/10/2017 at 10:29 PM, quietstorm said:

I believe that we are reaching a critical mass of activity around Discovery Green/Avenida Houston and Market Square Park  that will eventually move to Dallas if thoughtful big box retail alternatives are offered (i.e., pop-up shops, farmers markets, art fairs, flea markets, etc.). These were all taken tonight.  This type of activity on a Wednesday night in DT Houston would have been unimaginable a few years ago.  There was a great mix of programmed activities (live music in front of GRB, movie at Market Square Park) alongside organic urban activity with folks walking, eating, reading, and just enjoying the night.  We are getting there....

DG 10.jpg

DG 8.jpg

Market Square Park.jpg

 

How active was the other 95% of downtown?

Edited by Jbarn
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1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

I'm less worried about the economy cooperating than I am 10 years worth of freeway construction. I mean, yeah, there's people saying the end product is going to be a huge boon, but we won't know until its done, and in the meantime, that's 10 years of constant construction making travel difficult. 

The people who are going to go stark raving mad are the people who depend on 45 to get to Downtown or beyond. The people who're traveling from the Woodlands, Galveston or Clear Lake and have to come to some part of western Houston and beyond.

Hopefully they will have the Hardy toll road connector to downtown finished, but I bet a lot of people will be taking buses and the commuter rail.

Oh thats right we don't have a commuter rail.

Why not?

Downtown will be fine. It survived the perfect storm in 2

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I'm not sure that downtown will be "fine" with the construction.  Here is why I think that it may be much less than fine:

 

1) businesses may chose to not locate downtown during the construction.  And

2) that may mean that some folks won't want to live in downtown either.  Add to that

3) folks from the north side saying "ugg, with all the traffic congestion and construction, should we go to another bar over in the Galleria instead of the one on main" and

4) the convension bookers saying "10 years of traffic? Sheesh, New Orleans might be a better choice....."

 

everything above is "examples" but I do think that there will be an impact to downtown of a decade of construction.  How much is open for debate.  My concern is that it will have a broader impact than many currently think.

 

smarter folks than I will look at Boston's Big Dig and use it as an analog to project impacts.  My recollection from the media is that it did have a large negative impact and funds were used to "pay" for economic offsets (I may well be wrong about that however).  Will TXDOT be doing that?

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