Jump to content
Slick Vik

The Boulevard Project

Recommended Posts

50 minutes ago, Vy65 said:

 

I walked to and got something from WF literally 90% of the time I worked there. Shockingly, the quarter mile or so didn't kill me and I didn't need the assistance of a bus. But apparently all those people living in all those high rises are unable to walk a half mile or so, so giving them a glorified trolley will be totally necessary. 

 

Wouldn't Uptown TIRZ using the millions of dollars it spent on some trees better be used as subsidies to developers who'd demolish/develop the strip malls and empty fields? 

How in the world can you assume so much about the people living in those high-rises yet question most of us in this forum, who have been in this for well over a decade, about how we feel development will pick up after this is finished? You do realize that metro Houston is roughly 6 million yet nobody will ride this? That doesn't make any sense. Again this is exactly how people who questioned the Redline were proven wrong. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walking with groceries 1/2 mile is not fun, especially in the summer.  A short walk to a BRT and riding that to WF is way better, and if it's frequent enough might get a lot of those condo dwellers to walk instead of drive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People don't or won't walk a few blocks to WF, but will once a bus is put in? Several of these apartments/condos are literally across the street (some aren't even on POB). How is  a bus is going to going to incentivize people to walk to WF when they may already be driving in lieu of walking a few blocks? Or using an app like instacart? That makes zero sense and is backed up by zero evidence.

Edited by Vy65

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2018 at 6:11 PM, Reporter said:

V as in Vik, right? The troll formally known as Slick Vik strikes again. 

 


 

 

 

 

Nope. I support this project 

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2018 at 3:26 PM, Vy65 said:

I don't think you can say that the presence of multiple empty lots - that have been empty for years - is a sign of a densification. I only know of the one tower being built by Hanover (to the extent that you're suggesting that there are two being built). As for other's "on the way," I'll believe it when I see it because a lot of what I see out there is empty land. 

 

As for Apache, their Alpine play is poised to be highly lucrative. That, along with the rise/recovery of oil makes the renewal of their POC lease (as opposed to starting their building) kinda prove my point. 

Empty lots don't really have to densification, it has to do with land value (and those two are not interchangeable). A row of strip centers, churches, restaurants, and hotels is not very dense, but downtown and Uptown are, and empty lots (or parking lots) usually indicate two things:

1) The land value is so low that it doesn't really make sense to build there (any place out in the country, neighborhoods in serious decline, City of Detroit, etc.)

2) The land value is so high that it doesn't really make sense to build anything other than a high-profit building (basically any urban area including San Francisco's former Central Expressway up until 2008-ish)

If you look at Uptown, even back to 2004, you'll see that there are more empty lots than today but the lots that are developed (with a few exceptions) are all skyscrapers, dense malls, or hotels. Downtown has empty lots, and those lots won't develop until they find developers for big multi-story building. Putting in a Panda Express with its own parking lot and drive-through would definitely be attractive but the land value is too high to see a low-rise like that built anymore. At one time the land value in downtown was low enough that a McDonald's with a parking lot was there at Main and Capitol, but that obviously is not the case anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I disagree with any of that in the abstract. If someone were to ask me whether I thought  those empty lots would eventually be developed or those shopping plazas mowed down into something else over the next 3 decades, I'd tend to agree. But that's not saying much of anything. Of course there will be development in the area and that development is trending towards large shopping centers and/or tall buildings. 

 

I don't think that has much of anything to do with the utility or benefit added by the bus. I've asked, and no one has been able to quantify how much the bus will speed the process of actual development up. And that's likely because it won't. No one has said that the bus operates as some kind of tipping point that would spur development or redevelopment where none existed before. If someone were to articulate how the bus would accelerate development in the area in a real or tangible way (i.e., over the course of 5 years), then I'd be on board. But they can't because it won't.

 

The only justification for the bus has been 1) it's nice to have and 2) it let's the B&T crowd park farther away from the Galleria. Again, I can think of better uses of the tens - if not hundreds - of millions of dollars the TIRZ has spent on the bus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I support this bus rapid transit project but man, have they made traffic absolutely unbearable with this Post Oak ramp closure. I don't even drive on 610 and it's adding considerable wait times even on I-10 all the way to the Heights now. It's like everyone is trying to take Woodway to get into the Galleria now... thought they wanted people to go to San Felipe instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2018 at 10:56 AM, Triton said:

I support this bus rapid transit project but man, have they made traffic absolutely unbearable with this Post Oak ramp closure. I don't even drive on 610 and it's adding considerable wait times even on I-10 all the way to the Heights now. It's like everyone is trying to take Woodway to get into the Galleria now... thought they wanted people to go to San Felipe instead.

 

Feels like it's getting even worse. The traffic has been backed up all the way to the Woodlands Heights now on I-10 since everyone and their grandma is trying to exit on Woodway. Seriously wish they could build a temporary ramp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Triton said:

 everyone and their grandma is trying to exit on Woodway.

Those damned grandmas!

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The specialty trees were transplanted this week right? Went to WF Post Oak today and saw a bunch of newly planted trees with guards around them.

 

Hope I'm not wrong! :lol:

 

z3gyBRd.jpg

 

i2QbKOn.jpg

 

dr25cIM.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You either timed that photo really well while barreling by at 70 mph or you stopped in the death-hole.  Either way... well played!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is a huge impact... even just the 200 feet of trees makes it feel like the good old days (remember the trees and planters from back in 2016?).  The sidewalk is also really coming together from San Felipe up to 610.  I was skeptical, but this is great.

 

[an aside, and then content]

What's up with posting content on this site?  It's been messed up for (literally) a year for me.  I can't drag files... I can't "insert other media" and I can't use the "link" button anymore either.  Anyone know what the deal is?  I've cleared cookies, I've tried different photo hosting, I've tried IE and chrome, I've tried my work comp.  It's like the site is anti-content.  How are you guys posting photos in content?

 

This is literally the best I can do:  >> Tree Pic here (by me) >> http://s1241.photobucket.com/user/SkylineView/media/image2_zpsym0hihgp.jpeg.html

 

If anyone has the ability to drag it out of purgatory and into the thread... please do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SkylineView, "drag" it out of purgatory is literally correct!  All you have to do is drag it from that linked page and into the post editor and it will work.  Like this:

 

http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg515/SkylineView/image2_zpsym0hihgp.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came across an article indicating that the Bellaire transit station is underway.  This will anchor the southern end of the Blvd project.  

 

Article: https://www.virtualbx.com/construction-preview/houston-bellaire-uptown-transit-center-due-in-2020/

 

Indicates work starting effectively now (Oct 2018) and ending in 2020.  I checked the planning commission minutes, and it was reviewed and variance granted.

 

I drove past after work... all I could see was the first pillar to hold the elevated drive to get to the HOT lane (immediately south of Westpark Dr) and it appeared to be outside the property line.  

 

Anyone have any other details?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also... is there a way to move this out of the Trains section and into the general Transportation section?  The Boulevard Project has nothing to do with trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SkylineView said:

Also... is there a way to move this out of the Trains section and into the general Transportation section?  The Boulevard Project has nothing to do with trains.

 

I believe this has to deal with the new Metro hybrid vehicle. Isn't it a cross breed between a bus and rail car?

 

If rails are considered "trains" that is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 2:38 PM, Vy65 said:

This is getting to be besides the point, but would Austin  have the highly dense downtown it enjoys without zoning?

 

Zoning forces all high-rise development in Austin to be downtown or immediately south across the river. If not for zoning, you would certainly have high rises offering amazing views in places like Mt. Bonnell, Tarrytown, Westlake, South Congress, etc., and a portion of the market would be taken away from downtown. Nowadays most younger high-rise renters are drawn to downtown Austin for what it has become, but that draw would not have been so strong 10 years ago, and it would have taken longer to develop. The GFR requirements have also done a lot to create an interesting and agreeable neighborhood downtown, without things like hulking parking garages and curb cuts with cars speeding in and out hurting pedestrian life in places like 6th Street or Congress Ave.

 

On the other hand, zoning slows the process for buildings like 600 Guadalupe to come out of the ground due to all the approvals and negotiations needed, and the Capitol View Corridors have driven up land prices for high-rise sites by limiting supply. Houston held the record for most expensive land in the state with the sale of the Chronicle site a view years ago, but Austin has blown past that since.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Zoning forces all high-rise development in Austin to be downtown or immediately south across the river. If not for zoning, you would certainly have high rises offering amazing views in places like Mt. Bonnell, Tarrytown, Westlake, South Congress, etc., and a portion of the market would be taken away from downtown. Nowadays most younger high-rise renters are drawn to downtown Austin for what it has become, but that draw would not have been so strong 10 years ago, and it would have taken longer to develop. The GFR requirements have also done a lot to create an interesting and agreeable neighborhood downtown, without things like hulking parking garages and curb cuts with cars speeding in and out hurting pedestrian life in places like 6th Street or Congress Ave.

 

On the other hand, zoning slows the process for buildings like 600 Guadalupe to come out of the ground due to all the approvals and negotiations needed, and the Capitol View Corridors have driven up land prices for high-rise sites by limiting supply. Houston held the record for most expensive land in the state with the sale of the Chronicle site a view years ago, but Austin has blown past that since.

 

 

Don't you also think a lot of our development is due to the sheer size of our metropolis? I mean Austin is pretty small in size so the need for certain things isn't necessary. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Don't you also think a lot of our development is due to the sheer size of our metropolis? I mean Austin is pretty small in size so the need for certain things isn't necessary. 

 

I am just discussing how zoning might have made Austin's downtown different from what it would have been without zoning. As far as size of our metropolis, it's a factor, but Austin has shown that it can draw people from other Texas cities who like what it offers. Plenty of people in those highrises were born and raised in Houston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Zoning forces all high-rise development in Austin to be downtown or immediately south across the river. If not for zoning, you would certainly have high rises offering amazing views in places like Mt. Bonnell, Tarrytown, Westlake, South Congress, etc., and a portion of the market would be taken away from downtown. Nowadays most younger high-rise renters are drawn to downtown Austin for what it has become, but that draw would not have been so strong 10 years ago, and it would have taken longer to develop. The GFR requirements have also done a lot to create an interesting and agreeable neighborhood downtown, without things like hulking parking garages and curb cuts with cars speeding in and out hurting pedestrian life in places like 6th Street or Congress Ave.

 

On the other hand, zoning slows the process for buildings like 600 Guadalupe to come out of the ground due to all the approvals and negotiations needed, and the Capitol View Corridors have driven up land prices for high-rise sites by limiting supply. Houston held the record for most expensive land in the state with the sale of the Chronicle site a view years ago, but Austin has blown past that since.

 

 

I was reading a thread about a high-rise being planned near the Houstonian, and someone commented that the project was "another example of Houston having all the density with none of the benefits." I think your post is a good explanation of why that's the case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2018 at 10:48 AM, rechlin said:

SkylineView, "drag" it out of purgatory is literally correct!  All you have to do is drag it from that linked page and into the post editor and it will work.  Like this:

 

http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg515/SkylineView/image2_zpsym0hihgp.jpeg

I thought the bus lanes were supposed to feature a strip of grass down the center. Metro’s website shows the renderings/schematics with grass. They even refer to it as a “green guideway”. The photo above looks like it’s solid concrete.

 

https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/UptownBRT.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be narrower on the curves and where they have to accommodate turn lanes.  It for sure looks like there's going to be plenty of trees on the outside

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with J_cuevas713. You have to look to the future and this is an important part of our infrastructure that desperately needs alternatives.

Your looking at whats here now as far as retail and amenities. We are expecting 10 million people here in 20 years and a lot of that growth is going to take place in Uptown. If we don't add these types of alternative transit systems now we'll be in a jam later. Besides these will help guide the development and growth in the future.

I think eventually people that work in uptown will be offered parking in the transit lots on the transit centers at Katy and Bellaire and then catch the buses into the post oak blvd. freeing up the streets for shoppers and through traffic. Similar to what is done in the med center. 

You just have to remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. This will be a positive in the long run.

Remember all of the Main Street Rail nay sayers cries!  "It hasn't done anything for development on Main."

Yeah, and the worlds flat!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bobruss said:

 

I think eventually people that work in uptown will be offered parking in the transit lots on the transit centers at Katy and Bellaire and then catch the buses into the post oak blvd. freeing up the streets for shoppers and through traffic. Similar to what is done in the med center. 

You just have to remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. This will be a positive in the long run.

 

 

I rode the bus from the Northwest  transit center into the galleria every weekday for several years. It was very slow due to all the traffic. This BRT lane will not just be an improvement in the long run, it will be a huge improvement as soon as it is complete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s for the interchange project right? However, just west of 610 and Westpark there’s a bent that’s been constructed perpendicular to the Westprk Tollway. I assume it’s for the BRT which I guess means it’s gonna have an elevated section that goes above 69? Must be why they cleared out the Chick-fil-A there on Post Oak/Richmond

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

That’s for the interchange project right? However, just west of 610 and Westpark there’s a bent that’s been constructed perpendicular to the Westprk Tollway. I assume it’s for the BRT which I guess means it’s gonna have an elevated section that goes above 69? Must be why they cleared out the Chick-fil-A there on Post Oak/Richmond

Correct

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing a little catch up here... will the bridges involved in this project be able to hold light rail trains? What was ever decided about that?

 

Thanks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Doing a little catch up here... will the bridges involved in this project be able to hold light rail trains? What was ever decided about that?

 

Thanks.

 

From looking at the pdf'ed CAD files, They are certainly wide enough to hold rail. At one point I looked at the overpass for the Redline near Hardy Yards. They employ a similar build tech for how one builds overpasses for cars. They should be able to add gauge tracks ontop of the road deck at some point. I would think only think thing that needs to be done is possibly bulk up the foundation or brace the connects of the columns with the road deck (vibrations from moving railcars, and extra forces). Not really undo able. I think the only thing that prevents it is the size of the city/txdot wallet.

Edited by Luminare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to understand. Does the bus lanes split the freeway when it exits at underneath 610 to Post Oak?

Screenshot_20181108-141533_Drive.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bus lanes fly over the freeway and dive "into" the freeway... ultimately coming out in (like literally inside) the underpass where 610 intersects Post Oak.

 

FYI, 610 SB is completely closed all weekend around Woodway.  All 610 SB traffic (all 8 lanes) is being pushed to the one-lane Woodway exit and along the 610 frontage.

 

It's 10pm and it's backed up for a mile and a half.  Avoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SkylineView said:

The bus lanes fly over the freeway and dive "into" the freeway... ultimately coming out in (like literally inside) the underpass where 610 intersects Post Oak.

 

FYI, 610 SB is completely closed all weekend around Woodway.  All 610 SB traffic (all 8 lanes) is being pushed to the one-lane Woodway exit and along the 610 frontage.

 

It's 10pm and it's backed up for a mile and a half.  Avoid.

 

wow

 

Maybe there will be a fender bender near as well :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/8/2018 at 2:17 PM, kennyc05 said:

I'm trying to understand. Does the bus lanes split the freeway when it exits at underneath 610 to Post Oak?

Screenshot_20181108-141533_Drive.jpg

 

That is pretty amazing though.  So a vehicle will directly bypass the 610 traffic/freeway to each Metro station? That's incredible! It could literally save an hour of traffic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SkylineView said:

The bus lanes fly over the freeway and dive "into" the freeway... ultimately coming out in (like literally inside) the underpass where 610 intersects Post Oak.

 

FYI, 610 SB is completely closed all weekend around Woodway.  All 610 SB traffic (all 8 lanes) is being pushed to the one-lane Woodway exit and along the 610 frontage.

 

It's 10pm and it's backed up for a mile and a half.  Avoid.

Thank you for the clarification!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/7/2018 at 0:47 PM, Luminare said:

From looking at the pdf'ed CAD files, They are certainly wide enough to hold rail. At one point I looked at the overpass for the Redline near Hardy Yards. They employ a similar build tech for how one builds overpasses for cars. They should be able to add gauge tracks ontop of the road deck at some point. I would think only think thing that needs to be done is possibly bulk up the foundation or brace the connects of the columns with the road deck (vibrations from moving railcars, and extra forces). Not really undo able. I think the only thing that prevents it is the size of the city/txdot wallet.

 

didn't someone at some point say that the entire system was built to hold LR, but they were putting in buses for now, so the system could more easily/cheaply be upgraded in the future?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

didn't someone at some point say that the entire system was built to hold LR, but they were putting in buses for now, so the system could more easily/cheaply be upgraded in the future?

That is correct. I think this is the smartest way to transition Houston. My thought is if we can just get a link between Downtown/Midtown and the Galleria and links to the airports, Houston will have a nice system with buses helping to link people along these main routes. At that point we can start to ask for commuter rail to the burbs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, samagon said:

 

didn't someone at some point say that the entire system was built to hold LR, but they were putting in buses for now, so the system could more easily/cheaply be upgraded in the future?

 

I thought I heard the opposite at one point, that due to some political gobbletygook they were going to prohibit light rail on this alignment and the bridges couldn't be built to hold rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, august948 said:

 

I thought I heard the opposite at one point, that due to some political gobbletygook they were going to prohibit light rail on this alignment and the bridges couldn't be built to hold rail.

Yeah, that's I read too. Basically a disagreement between TxDOT and METRO. It's worth noting that the HOT lanes in the Katy Freeway WERE designed to hold rail but they were never guaranteed it. Basically, METRO got a say in the design in the Katy Freeway due to the original bus lanes being built with federal funds, and they decided to spend a bunch of money to over-engineer them in the chance that they'd be converted to rail later (if that ever actually happened, the HOT lanes would probably need to be rebuilt or repaired anyway from age).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anybody else disappointed with the width of the sidewalks?  For a such a major project on a signature boulevard, you would think they would build a sidewalk that could accommodate more than 2 people walking side by side.  I guess it's an improvement over what was there before...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yaga said:

Is anybody else disappointed with the width of the sidewalks?  For a such a major project on a signature boulevard, you would think they would build a sidewalk that could accommodate more than 2 people walking side by side.  I guess it's an improvement over what was there before...

The sidewalks seem wider than just 2 people. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

The sidewalks seem wider than just 2 people. 

 

Early on, Swamplot reported that the sidewalks were going to be 12-feet wide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...