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Parking Garage to be built next to the Le Meridian

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They are almost done pouring the foundation, and now for whatever reason they covered it back up with dirt.  Also, they are finally above ground level now:

BE7Q9np.jpg

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9 minutes ago, rechlin said:

now for whatever reason they covered it back up with dirt

 

"Quick quick cover this up before anyone notices!"

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Are those retail spots along Fannin?

Also that block next to the train platform is going to be such a dead block.  Any ideas on what the city/downtown management district could do to liven it up?

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well, the opposite block face will be fine. 

 

That's the real shame to me. One side if the street will be one of the nicest buildings in the city; the other side will be ...this.

 

Hopefully those are at least retail spots though.

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If driverless cars ever really live up to their promise, this block could be a great redevelopment opportunity. Until then it's a turd in the swimming pool, except for the Meridien.

 

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I feel like we have only garages going up at  this point.  Most wouldn’t be allowed anywhere but here.  One would be bad enough but the number that we have allowed will effectively waste a ton of taxpayer money that we have thrown at downtown.

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This thread would be titled better if it was called, Huge Parking Garage Built on Light Rail Line. Or Rail Fail: Huge Garage In Front of Light Rail Station. 

 

I thought the light rail was going to bring more commercial buildings, retail, businesses? Sad. 

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6 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

This thread would be titled better if it was called, Huge Parking Garage Built on Light Rail Line. Or Rail Fail: Huge Garage In Front of Light Rail Station. 

 

I thought the light rail was going to bring more commercial buildings, retail, businesses? Sad. 

 

If anyone wanted to build anything more attractive (in both senses of the word) immediately next to that particular station, they'd need to throw a lot more taxpayer money at that block to clean up what the light rail did bring. The area around that platform is frequently disgusting, probably the worst one downtown that I have seen.   This one is an example of how public transit's critics aren't always wrong.

 

That said, is this garage getting retail spaces facing Fannin?  EDIT - looked up above in the thread, looks like it does.

Edited by Nate99

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Oh come on. That block was nasty well before the light rail station, probably because of the two enormous vacant buildings and existing parking garage. Rehabilitating the Melrose and Texaco buildings could have been a great opportunity to recognize that the immediate area rather than responding purely to current (at the time) conditions.

 

That being said, I'm still holding out hope for GFR on this thing...

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You're not wrong that the whole area was nasty for a long time, but this particular block didn't get any better when the Texaco and Melrose buildings went under construction and later reopened.   Depending on what goes in facing Fannin, that corner around to the Le Meridien could eventually be better, and the 6HC block is right there for clean slate development that might lift up the vicinity.  Broadly, the area is getting better, but it's my perception that the rail platform itself seems to generate a lot of the filth with people passed out and/or loitering under and next to its structure.  Few areas of downtown sidewalk get the frequent bodily fluid treatment area like this one any more, and it's not like it couldn't be cleaned up now, there are just other priorities, evidently.

Edited by Nate99

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6 hours ago, Nate99 said:

but it's my perception that the rail platform itself seems to generate a lot of the filth with people passed out and/or loitering under and next to its structure.  Few areas of downtown sidewalk get the frequent bodily fluid treatment area like this one any more, and it's not like it couldn't be cleaned up now, there are just other priorities, evidently.

 

I agree the platform is disgusting. Why anyone would want to build more urination platforms is beyond me.  I think the future retail we can expect at this location, if any, is a nice new 99cent store.

Ideally, though not likely, the best retail use of the space would be a car dealership. One of those tall dealerships like the one on Shepard and Greenbriar. The tall garage would be put to good use, the street level would be open to retail, and the citizens who hate waiting at their urination platform can walk in and browse at a new or used automobile that could give them the freedom and safety that the light rail does not. 

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22 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

This thread would be titled better if it was called, Huge Parking Garage Built on Light Rail Line. Or Rail Fail: Huge Garage In Front of Light Rail Station. 

 

I thought the light rail was going to bring more commercial buildings, retail, businesses? Sad. 

You've been knocking the light rail for a while now. I mean we get it. 

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I use this platform to catching the purple line to UH. It's a fairly busy platform. Maybe the busiest on the Purple/Green lines. Kinda odd to build two parking garages on a train stop next to an up and coming area.

 

There are usually homeless people sitting on the platform but I have seen cops on multiple occasions ask them to move if they don't have rail tickets. I have seen piss on the platform at DT transit center and HCC/ Ensemble stations and a woman piss at the platform on McGowan. So this particular station did not generate filth, it's just that the are a lot of filthy people out there.

 

Rusk looks far better than it did just a few years ago with hundreds of millions of infrastructure improvements, it is far more active than it used to be. It just seems hard for me to believe that such an improved area surrounded by so many new residences and hotel rooms that the best use fit that site is two parking garages. I would think that that site would be prime for mixed use. 

 

Rush hour at Rusk and Fannin is a clustered mess, exiting this thing at 5 will be a pain. I do is much rather park outside downtown and ride the rail in. 

 

This city's traffic woes are going to get worse before it gets better. 

 

 

102IAH have you ever tried going from one end of downtown to the other during rush hour in a car and then tried it on the Red Line? I have sat on traffic downtown for over half an hour trying to get out. The train makes it through in less than 10 minutes. I don't know about you but it's Sooooooo much more convenient. To be honest parking downtown is not attractive to me in the least. 

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3 hours ago, HoustonIsHome said:

 

102IAH have you ever tried going from one end of downtown to the other during rush hour in a car and then tried it on the Red Line? 

 

Yup.  A car is faster. Police on the street usually halt traffic to let you exit the big garages faster during rush hour. Also, there's no panhandlers bothering me inside my car. My car is sooooooo much more convenient. 

 

 

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On 1/29/2018 at 11:01 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

Horrendous. No other major city would allow for this crap but we are 100% run by developers. 

No, it's not. But, the people with money to spend thought that a parking garage on this location would provide far more revenue than another use. And, face it, you need parking downtown. Lots of cities have parking in their centers. Some build garages like this, some put it underground, but there is parking. 

On 1/29/2018 at 11:17 PM, kbates2 said:

I feel like we have only garages going up at  this point.  Most wouldn’t be allowed anywhere but here.  One would be bad enough but the number that we have allowed will effectively waste a ton of taxpayer money that we have thrown at downtown.

That's what the property owners think will generate the most return on their investment.

On 1/29/2018 at 11:53 PM, 102IAHexpress said:

This thread would be titled better if it was called, Huge Parking Garage Built on Light Rail Line. Or Rail Fail: Huge Garage In Front of Light Rail Station. 

 

I thought the light rail was going to bring more commercial buildings, retail, businesses? Sad. 

Well, light rail isn't the panacea some people thought. And, light rail on Main ruined a great street that used to be fun to drive on. Now, it's a pain to drive on, and has that stupid block with the stupid fountains that force cars off the street.

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On 1/29/2018 at 11:01 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

Horrendous. No other major city would allow for this crap but we are 100% run by developers. 

 

Manhattan has 1,100 off-street parking garages and 100,000 spaces in outdoor lots.

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15 hours ago, gmac said:

 

Manhattan has 1,100 off-street parking garages and 100,000 spaces in outdoor lots.

Chicago is the same way. They replaced parking lots with parking garages.  In other words the city is building up not out anymore. Again, I don't know why we complain about things like parking lots in this forum and then complain again when things change for the better. Don't get me wrong, a ton of parking garages one after the other isn't the most aesthetically pleasing thing but it's sure better than flat pavement. And enough about how the light rail did this and that. Last time I heard people use that thing a ton and if you can't drive next to it because it's just too much to bear driving one block to turn around then don't move to cities like Philly, Boston, SF, hell even Phoenix, SD, etc. 

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21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

And enough about how the light rail did this and that.

 

You've been claiming the light rail bears no responsibility for anything and is only super awesome for a while now. I mean we get it. 

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1 hour ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

You've been claiming the light rail bears no responsibility for anything and is only super awesome for a while now. I mean we get it. 

Since when have I claimed anything? Point me in that direction. I can give multiple examples of how developers have used our system to draw attention to their projects. Actually I can give you examples in other cities as well. What have you proven in all this time to disagree with that? I have numbers and you have opinions. 

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40 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Since when have I claimed anything? Point me in that direction. 

 

One of your baseless insights from the Metro Rail East End/Southeast Line Downtown Construction pics and updates thread:

Quote

there have been ton's of developments created by the Red Line.

 

If by tons of developments you mean parking garages then I guess you're right. 

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5 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

One of your baseless insights from the Metro Rail East End/Southeast Line Downtown Construction pics and updates thread:

 

 

If by tons of developments you mean parking garages then I guess you're right. 

Baseless how? You make ZERO sense. 

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Baseless how? 

 

Without foundation in fact.

You attribute/d not just a couple or a few developments to the redline, but TONS of developments created by the red line. Tons of developments implies an overwhelming weight of developments. What is your data to make such a claim? (short answer: you don't have any) I mean if you're correct, then lets spend some more billions on light rail because that assuredly will create tons more developments across the city.

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24 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Without foundation in fact.

You attribute/d not just a couple or a few developments to the redline, but TONS of developments created by the red line. Tons of developments implies an overwhelming weight of developments. What is your data to make such a claim? (short answer: you don't have any) I mean if you're correct, then lets spend some more billions on light rail because that assuredly will create tons more developments across the city.

 

To be fair, there is a lot more foundation for j_cuevas713's claim than there is for the claim that the rail lines caused or increased the homeless problem downtown.

Edited by Houston19514
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8 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Without foundation in fact.

You attribute/d not just a couple or a few developments to the redline, but TONS of developments created by the red line. Tons of developments implies an overwhelming weight of developments. What is your data to make such a claim? (short answer: you don't have any) I mean if you're correct, then lets spend some more billions on light rail because that assuredly will create tons more developments across the city.

You miss the entire point of how public transit helps development. You seem as nearsighted as some of the politicians blocking rail. 

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4 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

To be fair, there is more foundation for j_cuevas713's claim than there is for the claim that the rail lines caused or increased the homeless problem downtown.

No pun intended there is literally more foundation being poured right now that backs my claim. Lol

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On 1/29/2018 at 11:01 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

Horrendous. No other major city would allow for this crap but we are 100% run by developers. 

 

Never been to Dallas?

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25 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

You miss the entire point of how public transit helps development. You seem as nearsighted as some of the politicians blocking rail. 

 

No you miss the entire point.

I agree that public transit can help development. Actually, I ride Metro Buses often. There was a point in my life when the bus was all that i could afford to get to school and/or work. The bus increased my economic development to the point where i could eventually afford to purchase a car. However, you are nearsighted in that according to you, and many others on this forum, public transit only means light rail. Accordingly, you fail to miss the entire point that every dollar we waste on light rail is a dollar we could have used to help more Houston citizens with the bus.  

 

But nice deflection.

 

More than just helping citizens reach point a and point b you claim that the red line is more than that. It's almost like the red line is its own bull stock market that creates wealth for everyone that participates in it.  What is your data to claim that the red line created TONS of development?

 

How do you account for developments that would have been created anyways regardless of rail? How do you account for developments that would have been created anyways regardless of mode of public transportation? Do you adjust your conclusions for the development losses that have avoided the rail and have been created on the west side of town instead? Again, what is you data?

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DART is very different from The Houston or Denver systems.

 

Houston and Denver built their systems to cater to areas of expected activity (universities, downtown, parks, medical centers, planned development, Ect. DART on the otherhand overbuilt too quickly (because of DART member suburb squabbling)to areas they HOPED would develop. Dallas built Rail stops that were next to fields. Dallas kinda built a hybrid commuter line using light rail. It may take a much longer time but Dallas numbers may skyrocket I when these areas actually start to develop. 

Edited by HoustonIsHome
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On 2/2/2018 at 9:38 AM, 102IAHexpress said:

This article, written one month after the above mentioned article, will be ignored by the pro light rail crowd.

 

http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/dart-has-spent-5-billion-on-light-rail-is-it-worth-it-8380338

 

 

 

It's crazy how you stick to just one side of the argument. I lived in that area for 4 years, and you still have no idea what you're talking about. The only negative I had about DART is that they spent a ton to do very little because they built it has a hub and spoke system that doesn't really take you anywhere. Other than that the system for what it does is good. Now overall our system does a great job getting to key areas of the city and bypassing residential neighborhoods. Just stay negative on light rail. You're last defense was about buses, which I fully support but Metro has stretched the system as far as it can go by running it on a grid. The only other thing to do would be BRT. 

Edited by j_cuevas713

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

and you still have no idea what you're talking about. 

 

ad hominem attacks are the hallmark of someone with a weak case. For some reason you will not post any data to support your wild claim that the red line created tons of new developments. I have asked in i think at least three posts in this thread, and you refuse to post your data (I think we know why).

 

For those who actually care about data and reason the LA Times published an article yesterday about how billions in public transportation in LA has failed to increase ridership, but offers one possible solution (hint it's not more light rail).

 

LA's Ridership numbers from the article:

5GDJ4ZKSBFA3BPCILTKGXSDL6E.thumb.png.259d6c6dfd639435672ef9586fe525f4.png

 

The following posts, will be something like the following: but but but, LA is not like Houston, it's not a fair comparison, you have no idea what you're talking about. 

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17 minutes ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I would like to understand:  are all cities with light rail networks thinking wrong headed?

 

Possibly. Depends on the underlying justification for light rail construction.

 

If the underlying argument is we need light rail because of the expected increase in ridership. Then we know that's been proven false in city after city. Light rail barely adds any more public transit riders that weren't already there before using public bus transit but at an increased cost of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.

 

If the underlying argument is we need light rail because of the expected increase in development. Then we know that's also false in city after city. Look at Dallas Dart stations, look at Metro's Red, Purple and Green stations. 

 

If the argument instead is, we know that light rail is not worth the expense however we still want it anyways because we feel it will increase our quality of life, in the sense that public parks or public swimming pools do, then I'm okay with that. Kind of like the allure of hosting the Olympics, yeah it will be super expensive, and probably end up saddling a city with debt for generations but we still want it anyways. 

 

As long as we're honest about it, then I don't think it's wrong headed. 

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5 minutes ago, UtterlyUrban said:

Are Zurich, London, Vienna, and NYC spending money on light rail only for quality of life?

 

No. Not only quality of life. Practically speaking those cities need more rail just to sustain basic quality of life. Also, the heavy rail costs can be justified better in European cities.

 

From a CityLab article from just a few days ago:

Nearly all American urban rail projects cost much more than their European counterparts do. The cheaper ones cost twice as much, and the more expensive ones about seven times as much.

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/01/why-its-so-expensive-to-build-urban-rail-in-the-us/551408/

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On 2/4/2018 at 1:17 PM, 102IAHexpress said:

 

ad hominem attacks are the hallmark of someone with a weak case. For some reason you will not post any data to support your wild claim that the red line created tons of new developments. I have asked in i think at least three posts in this thread, and you refuse to post your data (I think we know why).

 

For those who actually care about data and reason the LA Times published an article yesterday about how billions in public transportation in LA has failed to increase ridership, but offers one possible solution (hint it's not more light rail).

 

LA's Ridership numbers from the article:

5GDJ4ZKSBFA3BPCILTKGXSDL6E.thumb.png.259d6c6dfd639435672ef9586fe525f4.png

 

The following posts, will be something like the following: but but but, LA is not like Houston, it's not a fair comparison, you have no idea what you're talking about. 

 

Anyone with half a brain knows that a good bus system is vital to the success of light rail. 

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Please take your rail bickering to the appropriate forum.

 

Crikey. 

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