cspwal

TX 288 Toll lane to start mid 2016

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cspwal    2,140

I'm not sure if there's a current thread on this or not, but it looks like they are moving forward with toll lanes on 288.  I hadn't heard about this - much less hearing it was delayed.  Anyone have any idea what the design is going to look like, particularly coming into downtown & the med center?

 

 

 

Construction of new toll lanes in the median of Texas 288 will start a few months later than initially planned
On that timeline, the 10.3-mile tollway from U.S. 59 to Brazoria County would be completed in 2018, Lewis said.

 

http://blog.chron.com/thehighwayman/2015/10/texas-288-toll-lane-work-expected-mid-2016/

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IronTiger    805

Bah perfect place for commuter rail.

Optimistically, if the median was fully used, there should be lanes for roads and rail. Putting the rail on columns not unlike Inner Loop Houston's elevated HOV lane will work too.

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cspwal    2,140

Another advantage of the rails being on columns is if 288 floods, the train would still run, with really eerie views

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JLWM8609    496

Bah perfect place for commuter rail.

 

I think the Columbia Tap Rails to Trails ROW could revert back to rail one day for that reason.

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JLWM8609    496

So will the 610 and 288 interchange be rebuilt then to accommodate the new lanes?

 

Not for the initial phase, which is what we'll see built soon. The reversible toll lane will snake through the current interchange as you can see in this exhibit:

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/harris_county_clear_creek.pdf

 

Ultimate plans do call for the interchange to be rebuilt when the reversible toll lane is expanded and rebuilt into a 4 lane tollroad. When that happens, the toll lanes will run through the interchange where the current 288 mainlanes are, and the 288 mainlanes will be relocated to run through the edges of the interchange.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/bw8_ih610.pdf

Edited by JLWM8609
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ToryGattis    149

Bah perfect place for commuter rail.

 

Rail?! Rail in general tends to be a bad cost-benefit proposition, but why would you ever consider building one when one *already exists* a mile to the west perfectly connecting the Med Center and Downtown?  There *might* be a good argument for extending the existing line south (although I doubt it), but there's no universe where it makes sense to build a parallel line!

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ADCS    343

Rail?! Rail in general tends to be a bad cost-benefit proposition, but why would you ever consider building one when one *already exists* a mile to the west perfectly connecting the Med Center and Downtown?  There *might* be a good argument for extending the existing line south (although I doubt it), but there's no universe where it makes sense to build a parallel line!

 

While I tend to disagree with Mr. Gattis over the desirability of rail in general, I've got to agree here. The only thing advantageous about this corridor as far as rail goes is the relative ease of construction. The location poses significant barriers to pedestrian traffic, and exists on the periphery of Pearland's development, limiting its usefulness as a commuter route. After all, if you're already driving to 288 to get on the train, and the express lanes are a similar price, why wouldn't you do the familiar thing and just take the express lanes?

 

Any sort of heavy rail in Houston would do best by serving dense, central corridors that are already relatively underserved by the freeway system.

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IronTiger    805

One of my transit fantasies (although more grounded in reality and more highway-friendly than my HAIF peers) is to extend the Red Line down to 288 as sort of a hybrid commuter line. The biggest problem with this is Pearland falls outside of METRO's jurisdiction, and it's difficult by vote/impossible by law to add the METRO tax in Pearland, so you'll end up with free riders or a complicated multi-agency system.

Edited by IronTiger

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Slick Vik    449

One of my transit fantasies (although more grounded in reality and more highway-friendly than my HAIF peers) is to extend the Red Line down to 288 as sort of a hybrid commuter line. The biggest problem with this is Pearland falls outside of METRO's jurisdiction, and it's difficult by vote/impossible by law to add the METRO tax in Pearland, so you'll end up with free riders or a complicated multi-agency system.

Realistically from fannin south the commuter line down 90 will start. And any light rail would probably go to hobby airport.

Rail?! Rail in general tends to be a bad cost-benefit proposition, but why would you ever consider building one when one *already exists* a mile to the west perfectly connecting the Med Center and Downtown? There *might* be a good argument for extending the existing line south (although I doubt it), but there's no universe where it makes sense to build a parallel line!

Highways tend to be a bad cost benefit proposition but you advocate for those. You're ideologically against rail we get it.

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BigFootsSocks    2,852

Rail?! Rail in general tends to be a bad cost-benefit proposition, but why would you ever consider building one when one *already exists* a mile to the west perfectly connecting the Med Center and Downtown? There *might* be a good argument for extending the existing line south (although I doubt it), but there's no universe where it makes sense to build a parallel line!

More highways amirite?

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IronTiger    805

More highways amirite?

Highways are not going to be the answer in all cases (especially long term), but I'm getting really sick of this dogmatic "we must build rail like East Coast cities or we are failures" mentality. There was a recent article in the Houston Chronicle ("Kotkin, Cox: Light rail in the Sun Belt is a poor fit") that just seemed to prove an ugly fact--unless you're a Eastern seaboard, old-line "legacy" city, rail doesn't seem to work. Even Portland, San Diego, and L.A. have actually seen transit numbers decrease since rail was implemented.

Just because Gattis doesn't subscribe the popular urban theories du jour (like New Urbanism) doesn't mean he doesn't try to think of innovative solutions or that he's wrong.

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Slick Vik    449

Highways are not going to be the answer in all cases (especially long term), but I'm getting really sick of this dogmatic "we must build rail like East Coast cities or we are failures" mentality. There was a recent article in the Houston Chronicle ("Kotkin, Cox: Light rail in the Sun Belt is a poor fit") that just seemed to prove an ugly fact--unless you're a Eastern seaboard, old-line "legacy" city, rail doesn't seem to work. Even Portland, San Diego, and L.A. have actually seen transit numbers decrease since rail was implemented.

Just because Gattis doesn't subscribe the popular urban theories du jour (like New Urbanism) doesn't mean he doesn't try to think of innovative solutions or that he's wrong.

Actually LA is investing heavily in rail and actually wants to accelerate projects, learning from mistakes of not investing earlier.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-train-to-lax-metro-sales-tax-20151007-story.html

Pretty much every major city in the world is investing in some kind of expansion/improvement rail project so there is something to be said for rail mass transit. This includes many sun belt cities.

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MaxConcrete    294

Not for the initial phase, which is what we'll see built soon. The reversible toll lane will snake through the current interchange as you can see in this exhibit:

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/harris_county_clear_creek.pdf

 

Ultimate plans do call for the interchange to be rebuilt when the reversible toll lane is expanded and rebuilt into a 4 lane tollroad. When that happens, the toll lanes will run through the interchange where the current 288 mainlanes are, and the 288 mainlanes will be relocated to run through the edges of the interchange.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/bw8_ih610.pdf

 

I believe those schematics for the initial phase are out of date. However, information on the exact design planned by Blueridge Transportation Group (the winning bidder) are not readily available, and may still be subject to change since they are having trouble securing the funding.

 

The presentation document which announced Blueridge Transportation Group as the winning bidder says there will be 8 direct connection ramps at BW8 and four toll lanes. See page 15

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/commission/2015/0226/11b-presentation.pdf

 

 

Here is more evidence that 8 connectors are still planned from the September HGAC meeting, see document page 14 ("page 4 of 7" at bottom of page)

http://www.h-gac.com/taq/commitees/TPC/2015/09-sep/docs/ITEM-06A-1.Resolution-for-Approval-of-Amendments.pdf

"Modify description as follows:

Description: CONSTRUCT 8

DCs AT BW 8 INTERCHANGE"

 

The October TIP update from yesterday's meeting mentions 4 toll lanes

http://www.h-gac.com/taq/commitees/TPC/2015/10-oct/docs/ITEM-06A-TIP-Amendments.pdf

 

Facility: SH 288

From: IH 610

To: BRAZORIA C/L

Description: CONSTRUCT 4 TOLL LANES

 

 

I also remember seeing a report that the interchange at Loop 610 will be fully or mostly rebuilt. However I cannot find that report and I don't know what is currently planned at Loop 610.

Edited by MaxConcrete
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IronTiger    805

Well, Slick, you either proved my point or missed it entirely, but no, L.A. with its expanding rail system is not immune to this problem either. But then, to be fair, I realized that I didn't post the article, which shows, no, pouring billions of dollars of rail isn't going to work.

Link (hope it works, if not, try Googling for it)

Edited by IronTiger
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KinkaidAlum    2,258

Not understanding the difference between light rail and commuter rail is a pretty big flaw. They are not the same thing at all. A commuter rail on 288 from downtown to Pearland would be something entirely different than the rail that exists less than a mile away. The only bad thing is that without the University Line, there'd be no way to connect to anything without going to downtown first. A University Line would allow folks in Pearland to commute to the med center, Rice, UH, TSU, Downtown, Greenway, Galleria, and more. It would DEFINITELY take cars off the road and would be an excellent proposition. 

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BigFootsSocks    2,852

Highways are not going to be the answer in all cases (especially long term), but I'm getting really sick of this dogmatic "we must build rail like East Coast cities or we are failures" mentality. There was a recent article in the Houston Chronicle ("Kotkin, Cox: Light rail in the Sun Belt is a poor fit") that just seemed to prove an ugly fact--unless you're a Eastern seaboard, old-line "legacy" city, rail doesn't seem to work. Even Portland, San Diego, and L.A. have actually seen transit numbers decrease since rail was implemented.

Just because Gattis doesn't subscribe the popular urban theories du jour (like New Urbanism) doesn't mean he doesn't try to think of innovative solutions or that he's wrong.

Well yeah...that's kinda pointing out the obvious. Htown is a car-centric city, but there's a ridiculous amount of cars on our highways, and it's only going to get worse.

I didn't actually say "rail is the only answer" if that's what you got out of it. Rail is a nice portion of a set of solutions though.

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ToryGattis    149

Highways tend to be a bad cost benefit proposition but you advocate for those. You're ideologically against rail we get it.

 

Compare the taxpayer cost per person-mile moved - it's no contest.  Recent Chronicle story said the new Tomball tollway is attracting twice the usage they predicted - freeways are popular, even tolled ones (which pay for themselves, unlike any rail project).

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BigFootsSocks    2,852

Compare the taxpayer cost per person-mile moved - it's no contest. Recent Chronicle story said the new Tomball tollway is attracting twice the usage they predicted - freeways are popular, even tolled ones (which pay for themselves, unlike any rail project).

I would argue that the recent decision to remove rolls on a San Antonio project (not sure which one) would disagree with your point. I know, I know, that was thanks to the rainy-day funds that voters moved over.

I also get that toll roads are essentially the states' way of getting out of raising taxes by just throwing up tolls, but there's no reason to argue that they are popular. I mean, even arguing that freeways are popular isn't really fair for a state like ours. If that's all most of us have access to, then yeah it's popular, but only because it's the only choice we have.

I get the point of freeways, I really do. I just don't understand the pride one gets from seeing a highway cut across an untouched landscape that will soon fill up with the same boring, cookie-cutter, suburban hellacape that it will inevitably become. The fact that our flat city only exacerbates this issue makes me more frustrated.

I understand that we can't just build a million mid rises or high rises, etc, because land here is cheap, but I'm tired of looking at the same flat 2-3 story landscape outside of the Beltway in most areas, while having people simultaneously complain about traffic, argue for bigger roads, and then turn around and complain when those bigger, newer, tolled roads are full almost immediately upon opening. Unless they are the toll roads to nowhere, or through nowhere (249 or Grand Parkway), they are just as full as other roads.

But yeah, freeways are super duper popular.

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Slick Vik    449

Well, Slick, you either proved my point or missed it entirely, but no, L.A. with its expanding rail system is not immune to this problem either. But then, to be fair, I realized that I didn't post the article, which shows, no, pouring billions of dollars of rail isn't going to work.

Link (hope it works, if not, try Googling for it)

I didn't miss the point, if you knew anything about LA's lines you would know that there is heavy expansion in progress, more than any other city in North America. It's a major undertaking and will have big effects when complete.

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Slick Vik    449

Compare the taxpayer cost per person-mile moved - it's no contest. Recent Chronicle story said the new Tomball tollway is attracting twice the usage they predicted - freeways are popular, even tolled ones (which pay for themselves, unlike any rail project).

Freeways are a huge loser financially, per person mile moved is a clever statistic at best. Also when for almost 100 years the thought of decent alternative transit has been shut down in this city what do you expect? People are almost pressured into driving because it's what the power brokers made convenient. But it's only a matter of time before there's a reckoning like LA and people in power figure out they have to invest in more rail. There are only so many widening projects left, and even once they complete the freeway is just as full as it was before, totally pointless projects.

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ADCS    343

I get the point of freeways, I really do. I just don't understand the pride one gets from seeing a highway cut across an untouched landscape that will soon fill up with the same boring, cookie-cutter, suburban hellacape that it will inevitably become. The fact that our flat city only exacerbates this issue makes me more frustrated.

 

I don't want to speak for him, but having read his previous thoughts on the subject, he does make a fairly compelling argument about this - the suburban hellscape, while awful and alienating for many, represents comfort and opportunity on several orders of magnitude greater than where many, if not most, of the newcomers to Houston come from.

 

If you're privileged to come from a relatively stable society, where your environment is generally trustworthy, and you can count on greater complexity leading to greater opportunities for personal development, then yes, suburbia is oppressively banal. If, on the other hand, your previous life experiences are of a relatively chaotic environment, where institutions cannot be trusted and you're stuck in a small, cramped, dangerous living environment, those suburbs represent space, safety, stability and the opportunity to realize dreams that were impossible where you grew up.

 

There's something to be said for that point.

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IronTiger    805

I didn't miss the point, if you knew anything about LA's lines you would know that there is heavy expansion in progress, more than any other city in North America. It's a major undertaking and will have big effects when complete.

In the same thread, you "railed" about highway expansion projects, citing induced demand and how it just fills back up again. I've come to accept to accept this fact, but yet you support an idea of "No one uses our railroads, lets keep pouring money into it until something happens". How is this a better idea?

Edited by IronTiger

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Slick Vik    449

In the same thread, you "railed" about highway expansion projects, citing induced demand and how it just fills back up again. I've come to accept to accept this fact, but yet you support an idea of "No one uses our railroads, lets keep pouring money into it until something happens". How is this a better idea?

When did I say nobody uses our railroads? I think they should be built in the right corridors and not just on abandoned right of way. Of course if you build them where there's no demand nobody will ride. But a lot of time it's about getting free government money.

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Sparrow    296

Compare the taxpayer cost per person-mile moved - it's no contest.  Recent Chronicle story said the new Tomball tollway is attracting twice the usage they predicted - freeways are popular, even tolled ones (which pay for themselves, unlike any rail project).

 

I may just be poking the bear, so to speak, but while toll roads do in fact pay for themselves and more, they don't pay the car payments, and the vehicle maintenance, and the auto insurance, and the tanks of gas, and the registration fees, and the parking, and.... you get the idea--the numerous costs the taxpayer must bear themselves if they wish to use the toll road. 

 

Comparing highways to railways without considering the various costs of the vehicle to use the pathway of choice, is the same as comparing renting versus buying a house without taking into account taxes and HOA fees.

 

How about doing a comparison of trip cost instead of "per mile" and consider vehicle expense to the citizenry as well? 

Edited by Sparrow
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mollusk    1,678

Compare the taxpayer cost per person-mile moved - it's no contest.  Recent Chronicle story said the new Tomball tollway is attracting twice the usage they predicted - freeways are popular, even tolled ones (which pay for themselves, unlike any rail project).

 

And the alternatives to the Tomball tollway are... old 249 with a ton of lights, or going miles and miles out of the way.  

 

A method of moving people around locally that makes sense 30+ miles out of the city center and a different method of getting them from that exurb to the denser areas - or around within those denser areas - aren't mutually exclusive.  Conflating them is like conflating oranges and basketballs - they're both round, they're kinda the same color, and that's about it.

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kdog08    184

Highways are not going to be the answer in all cases (especially long term), but I'm getting really sick of this dogmatic "we must build rail like East Coast cities or we are failures" mentality. There was a recent article in the Houston Chronicle ("Kotkin, Cox: Light rail in the Sun Belt is a poor fit") that just seemed to prove an ugly fact--unless you're a Eastern seaboard, old-line "legacy" city, rail doesn't seem to work. Even Portland, San Diego, and L.A. have actually seen transit numbers decrease since rail was implemented.

Just because Gattis doesn't subscribe the popular urban theories du jour (like New Urbanism) doesn't mean he doesn't try to think of innovative solutions or that he's wrong.

 

I think the issue here is that mass transit infrastructure and automobile infrastructure hasn't been funded and promoted remotely balanced and don't offer and apples to apples comparison. 

 

Just like how a freeway can't operate without feeders, and roads of varying capacities; mass transit needs sidewalks, decent bus stop accommodations, buses, light rail, and commuter/regional rail. There really isn't a good political process or funding process that accomplishes these things at the regional level. It seems, because sun belt cities have to rob Peter to Pay to get rail built, they get worse results. By that I mean, sun belt cities usually fund rail at the expense of the varying methods of connecting to rail.  

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kdog08    184

As far this project, I think this is a great idea. We need to keep building infrastructure to keep up with population demand and this way it pays for itself and gets off the ground quicker. I wish P&R services can somehow take advantage of these lanes as Pearland has a good amount of commuters the TMC. Optimistically, a TOD could be centered around park & ride in Pearland if there can be collaboration, but I wouldn't be surprised if none of this happens. 

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Slick Vik    449

I may just be poking the bear, so to speak, but while toll roads do in fact pay for themselves and more, they don't pay the car payments, and the vehicle maintenance, and the auto insurance, and the tanks of gas, and the registration fees, and the parking, and.... you get the idea--the numerous costs the taxpayer must bear themselves if they wish to use the toll road.

Comparing highways to railways without considering the various costs of the vehicle to use the pathway of choice, is the same as comparing renting versus buying a house without taking into account taxes and HOA fees.

How about doing a comparison of trip cost instead of "per mile" and consider vehicle expense to the citizenry as well?

This is a great point. About 100 years ago cars were considered a foolish investment because reliable public transit was so much cheaper. That's why in cities like Houston the oil/concrete/construction/car lobbies do anything in their power to keep things in their favor, because financially speaking for much of the population, purchasing and maintaining a car is not a good use of money. It's a never ending pit.

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CoolBuddy06    11

Not for the initial phase, which is what we'll see built soon. The reversible toll lane will snake through the current interchange as you can see in this exhibit:

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/harris_county_clear_creek.pdf

 

Ultimate plans do call for the interchange to be rebuilt when the reversible toll lane is expanded and rebuilt into a 4 lane tollroad. When that happens, the toll lanes will run through the interchange where the current 288 mainlanes are, and the 288 mainlanes will be relocated to run through the edges of the interchange.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/hou/sh288_us59/bw8_ih610.pdf

 

Thanks for the clarification. I forgot that 'little' detail about the initial phase.

 

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ToryGattis    149

I may just be poking the bear, so to speak, but while toll roads do in fact pay for themselves and more, they don't pay the car payments, and the vehicle maintenance, and the auto insurance, and the tanks of gas, and the registration fees, and the parking, and.... you get the idea--the numerous costs the taxpayer must bear themselves if they wish to use the toll road. 

 

Comparing highways to railways without considering the various costs of the vehicle to use the pathway of choice, is the same as comparing renting versus buying a house without taking into account taxes and HOA fees.

 

How about doing a comparison of trip cost instead of "per mile" and consider vehicle expense to the citizenry as well? 

 

Well, of course, this argument can be used for anything - not just transportation - like, say, housing.  People pay too much for housing, so maybe the government should build nice, affordable, concrete apartment towers for all of us to live in? (a la the Eastern Bloc)  Government should invest the fewest taxpayer dollars to create the most benefit.  In the case of transportation, that turned out to be roads - about the simplest way government can provide mass mobility (it is just an asphalt strip, after all).  Can't afford the car to run on the road? Then government provides a subsidized bus network as an alternative.  Bonus: the bus gets to use the transportation infrastructure network the government already built!  (as opposed to creating a new one from scratch, like, say, a transit rail network)  That's great infrastructure utilization.

 

In any case, the car is still cheaper than rail.  See

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2010/03/real-future-of-transportation.html

 

"Automobiles continue to maintain a huge cost advantage over passenger rail. Counting both subsidies and personal costs, Americans spend less than 25 cents a passenger mile on autos, nearly 60 cents a passenger mile on Amtrak, and more than 90 cents a passenger mile on urban transit. No wonder 85% of all our passenger travel is by automobile."

 

and another one: 

 

Transport Costs Per Passenger Mile

http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=88 

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ToryGattis    149

I get the point of freeways, I really do. I just don't understand the pride one gets from seeing a highway cut across an untouched landscape that will soon fill up with the same boring, cookie-cutter, suburban hellacape that it will inevitably become. The fact that our flat city only exacerbates this issue makes me more frustrated.

I understand that we can't just build a million mid rises or high rises, etc, because land here is cheap, but I'm tired of looking at the same flat 2-3 story landscape outside of the Beltway in most areas, while having people simultaneously complain about traffic, argue for bigger roads, and then turn around and complain when those bigger, newer, tolled roads are full almost immediately upon opening. Unless they are the toll roads to nowhere, or through nowhere (249 or Grand Parkway), they are just as full as other roads.

But yeah, freeways are super duper popular.

 

The pride is about the opportunity that highways provide the American dream of homeownership in a good neighborhood with good schools for millions of people.  I agree it's no great shakes aesthetically, but that doesn't mean it's not aspirational for most families.  Not my scene either, which is why I live in a Midtown midrise.  The key is choice.  If you want to live in density by the light rail, by all means do.

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IronTiger    805

To me, rail in the South (and even West Coast) is like a bar in a supermarket that serves beer and wine by the glass. It's certainly only found in nice grocery stores (like Whole Foods though I think some regular HEB stores do it too) and I often wish there was one in my supermarket, but it's less important than other features, like having decent produce or a clean store. I'd be much less happy with it if it involved raising the prices in the store substantially, cutting selection, or otherwise compromising everything else, because I know it's not a necessity when grocery shopping.

 

And once again Slick, you've undermined your own theory in your goalpost-changing arguments as to how rail is always the answer (I find it frankly amazing that you pretty much are the personification of what philosophically anti-rail opponents think pro-rail people are like). You stated that "rail has to be in the right corridors", citing the abandoned railroad right of ways in Dallas. While I'm not sure if that's the actual reason (I would say that because of spread-out job centers, using a "spider web" from downtown is less effective than it should be), it undermines the argument of putting rail down the center of 288 (and I believe you did say something against rail paralleling 59).

 

But again, I'm not necessarily condemning the idea of tollroads or rail down 288 either way, I just don't like the idea that "we need rail", because as it stands, rail statistically won't help much in easing congestion (sorry), and it's not conducive to what public transit even stands for (transportation for the less advantaged).

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samagon    2,204

I think the issue here is that mass transit infrastructure and automobile infrastructure hasn't been funded and promoted remotely balanced and don't offer and apples to apples comparison. 

 

Just like how a freeway can't operate without feeders, and roads of varying capacities; mass transit needs sidewalks, decent bus stop accommodations, buses, light rail, and commuter/regional rail. There really isn't a good political process or funding process that accomplishes these things at the regional level. It seems, because sun belt cities have to rob Peter to Pay to get rail built, they get worse results. By that I mean, sun belt cities usually fund rail at the expense of the varying methods of connecting to rail.  

 

Pretty much every city outside of Houston disagrees with this. 

 

In any case, the car is still cheaper than rail.  See

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2010/03/real-future-of-transportation.html

 

"Automobiles continue to maintain a huge cost advantage over passenger rail. Counting both subsidies and personal costs, Americans spend less than 25 cents a passenger mile on autos, nearly 60 cents a passenger mile on Amtrak, and more than 90 cents a passenger mile on urban transit. No wonder 85% of all our passenger travel is by automobile."

 

and another one: 

 

Transport Costs Per Passenger Mile

http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=88 

 

This is a flawed statistic, it's based on the number of current passengers to determine the cost per mile, and thus is a self fulfilling prophecy. 

 

Go over to a place like Europe where ridership is much higher and the cost per passenger mile come more into alignment.

 

The more people you put onto rail, the more efficient it becomes. If rail transit wasn't more efficient than vehicle transit we'd have a load more 18 wheelers driving all the cargo currently shipped via trains around and all the train tracks across the nation would have been transformed into roads.

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IronTiger    805

Pretty much every city outside of Houston disagrees with this.

I think in this context, it means on and off ramps, as that fits the analogy.

 

This is a flawed statistic, it's based on the number of current passengers to determine the cost per mile, and thus is a self fulfilling prophecy. 

 

Go over to a place like Europe where ridership is much higher and the cost per passenger mile come more into alignment.

 

The more people you put onto rail, the more efficient it becomes. If rail transit wasn't more efficient than vehicle transit we'd have a load more 18 wheelers driving all the cargo currently shipped via trains around and all the train tracks across the nation would have been transformed into roads.

Even if it is a flawed statistic, it is known that more people=more efficient rail, but the way it stands in the South and West (maybe except the Bay Area), the job centers and density what they are means that rail will be generally inefficient. (If you came to the conclusion of "forcing density" to make rail work, congratulations, you've basically re-affirmed anti-rail's worst fears and polarized the issue further)

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samagon    2,204

Even if it is a flawed statistic, it is known that more people=more efficient rail, but the way it stands in the South and West (maybe except the Bay Area), the job centers and density what they are means that rail will be generally inefficient. (If you came to the conclusion of "forcing density" to make rail work, congratulations, you've basically re-affirmed anti-rail's worst fears and polarized the issue further)

 

I don't disagree, but it's still a flawed statistic.

 

The only real way that it will change (regardless of where the employment centers are in relation to where they live) is by the public embracing rail. Unfortunately, decades of marketing by car manufacturers has people trained that you have to own a car and you have to use it. Which I can't see changing any time.

 

So the statistic may be flawed, but it is real, and will continue to self perpetuate until the public perception of cars change.

 

It will be interesting to see if in 20 or 30 years how and if employment centers and population centers grow around the north red, purple and green lines. I don't include the south red line cause it was built in areas that are already dense.

 

Anyway, neither here nor there, this isn't a rail thread.

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cspwal    2,140

Any thread not posted in the trains sub forum will inevitably get off track

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ADCS    343

Any thread not posted in the trains sub forum will inevitably get off track

 

Amazing how rail always seems to derail these threads.

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mollusk    1,678

The rail comments seem to drive the road threads right into the ditch.

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Slick Vik    449

To me, rail in the South (and even West Coast) is like a bar in a supermarket that serves beer and wine by the glass. It's certainly only found in nice grocery stores (like Whole Foods though I think some regular HEB stores do it too) and I often wish there was one in my supermarket, but it's less important than other features, like having decent produce or a clean store. I'd be much less happy with it if it involved raising the prices in the store substantially, cutting selection, or otherwise compromising everything else, because I know it's not a necessity when grocery shopping.

And once again Slick, you've undermined your own theory in your goalpost-changing arguments as to how rail is always the answer (I find it frankly amazing that you pretty much are the personification of what philosophically anti-rail opponents think pro-rail people are like). You stated that "rail has to be in the right corridors", citing the abandoned railroad right of ways in Dallas. While I'm not sure if that's the actual reason (I would say that because of spread-out job centers, using a "spider web" from downtown is less effective than it should be), it undermines the argument of putting rail down the center of 288 (and I believe you did say something against rail paralleling 59).

But again, I'm not necessarily condemning the idea of tollroads or rail down 288 either way, I just don't like the idea that "we need rail", because as it stands, rail statistically won't help much in easing congestion (sorry), and it's not conducive to what public transit even stands for (transportation for the less advantaged).

What are you saying? Look at all the traffic that comes 288 into the medical center and downtown every day. If there was a fast rail service it would take cars off the road. And that's why certain politicians that are backed by special interest groups are hellbent against rail. Having as many cars as possible is in the best interest of car companies, oil companies, construction companies, concrete companies, and others. Notice the never ending freeway construction? It's been going on for more than fifty years. Would rail clear congestion probably not but it would have an effect for sure. This is what I'm saying if people are already traveling these routes putting a good rail system makes sense for a lot of people, not just low income. In fact saying public transit is for low income only is an excuse to make a crappy public transit system. Once it crosses over into the mainstream makes it a success to me.

And for all this talk about downtown being irrelevant as a job center why every day is traffic coming into downtown bad in the morning and bad in the evening? Evidently it's still very important in reality.

And your grocery store analogy is just nonsensical rambling.

Edited by Slick Vik
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Slick Vik    449

I think in this context, it means on and off ramps, as that fits the analogy.

Even if it is a flawed statistic, it is known that more people=more efficient rail, but the way it stands in the South and West (maybe except the Bay Area), the job centers and density what they are means that rail will be generally inefficient. (If you came to the conclusion of "forcing density" to make rail work, congratulations, you've basically re-affirmed anti-rail's worst fears and polarized the issue further)

LA is pretty dense, and it's quickly expanding its rail system and possibly converting bus lanes to rail as well.

Also rail has been fairly successful in Seattle, Portland, and San Diego. Also other cities are expanding: Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Denver, in addition to the aforementioned Bay Area and Seattle.

There's a reason all these sun belt cities are expanding. But keep thinking you're smart and everyone else is stupid.

Edited by Slick Vik

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kdog08    184

Pretty much every city outside of Houston disagrees with this. 

 

 

Technically that's right, but that wasn't very central to my point. 

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JLWM8609    496

I saw on one of the big message signs that construction on 288 will start this month. It also gave a website for more info: www.drive288.com

Edited by JLWM8609

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