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METRO Next - 2040 Vision


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7 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

The Aquarium within walking distance of the station as well. Whatever happened the the Aquarium expansion into that empty lot?

That expansion was just a fish tale

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You know I wonder what the plausibility of using existing freight tracks as commuter rail/local rail lines would be? 

Lets say you use the freight line going besides I-10 with trains that have a schedule akin to the metro park and ride buses, this line would go from NWTC (Maybe CBD directly or on a transfer) to even Katy; maybe Brookshire. This could even be done for something like the 290 corridor, or go down east I-10 and you can have a Baytown line. 

It doesn't seem that crazy, well excluding political pressure and maybe even railroad push back. It would definitely help the super commuter problem, and pairing it with the current planned expansions would make most of the Houston Metro's main hubs and spokes easily navigable by train/BRT, while also allowing for lower car use. 

But how much would that cost, especially connecting it to the local PT network. I would think the CBD -> Cypress line alone would be in the $500 million range (including electrifying the rail, stations, ROW, etc). Would this even be worth it for lets say a potential 15k/day boarding total? 

All of these LRT extensions and BRT additions are making me wonder how we can use/update existing infrastructure to compliment this massive inner city system we have in the pipeline. It would be a great thing to have, and would help the connectivity of the city even more, but would it be easy to do? Hell no. Do I think it is possible to do and within the next 20 years? Hell yes!

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3 hours ago, TheSirDingle said:

You know I wonder what the plausibility of using existing freight tracks as commuter rail/local rail lines would be? 

Lets say you use the freight line going besides I-10 with trains that have a schedule akin to the metro park and ride buses, this line would go from NWTC (Maybe CBD directly or on a transfer) to even Katy; maybe Brookshire. This could even be done for something like the 290 corridor, or go down east I-10 and you can have a Baytown line. 

It doesn't seem that crazy, well excluding political pressure and maybe even railroad push back. It would definitely help the super commuter problem, and pairing it with the current planned expansions would make most of the Houston Metro's main hubs and spokes easily navigable by train/BRT, while also allowing for lower car use. 

But how much would that cost, especially connecting it to the local PT network. I would think the CBD -> Cypress line alone would be in the $500 million range (including electrifying the rail, stations, ROW, etc). Would this even be worth it for lets say a potential 15k/day boarding total? 

All of these LRT extensions and BRT additions are making me wonder how we can use/update existing infrastructure to compliment this massive inner city system we have in the pipeline. It would be a great thing to have, and would help the connectivity of the city even more, but would it be easy to do? Hell no. Do I think it is possible to do and within the next 20 years? Hell yes!

There are no railroad tracks along I-10 until you get to Katy-Ft Bend Road.

The railroads are not going to allow commuter traffic on their rails, since they are full of freight traffic

$500 million wouldn't even begin to be enough for a single rail line to a single suburb, with no intermediate stations.

BRT and buses are the short term answer.

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1 hour ago, Ross said:

There are no railroad tracks along I-10 until you get to Katy-Ft Bend Road.

The railroads are not going to allow commuter traffic on their rails, since they are full of freight traffic

$500 million wouldn't even begin to be enough for a single rail line to a single suburb, with no intermediate stations.

BRT and buses are the short term answer.

Pretty much.

There was something that was floated to allow commuter rail to have preference on freight rail in the infrastructure bill, but I can't imagine that is going to happen.

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

Pretty much.

There was something that was floated to allow commuter rail to have preference on freight rail in the infrastructure bill, but I can't imagine that is going to happen.

That piqued my interest.

Actually Amtrak-specific:

Text - S.1500 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Rail Passenger Fairness Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

But appears right already exists:

49 U.S. Code § 24308 - Use of facilities and providing services to Amtrak | U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

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Why do they propose such nice things in areas where less people will use them while ignoring very dense areas like Gulfton where bus usage is very high? I feel they really need some program to promote density around the stations to make it actually work. Like the area around Shephard and 1-10 is literally an open stone counter place and not friendly to pedestrians etc.  

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1 hour ago, iah77 said:

Why do they propose such nice things in areas where less people will use them while ignoring very dense areas like Gulfton where bus usage is very high? I feel they really need some program to promote density around the stations to make it actually work. Like the area around Shephard and 1-10 is literally an open stone counter place and not friendly to pedestrians etc.  

https://www.ridemetro.org/MetroPDFs/METRONEXT/METRONext-Moving-Forward-Plan-Summary.pdf  (They are planing BRT service to Gulfton)

Edited by Houston19514
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7 minutes ago, iah77 said:

Why do they propose such nice things in areas where less people will use them while ignoring very dense areas like Gulfton where bus usage is very high? I feel they really need some program to promote density around the stations to make it actually work. Like the area around Shephard and 1-10 is literally an open stone counter place and not friendly to pedestrians etc.  

the worst part is the one possible stop that's actually in a pretty-dense neighborhood (Houston Ave/First Ward) is the least likely to be built. 

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@iah77 Gulfton is getting a new bus route on Sunday connecting Gulfton to both Hilcroft P&R and Lower Uptown TC where the Silver Line (Post Oak BRT terminates). 

I get what you're saying...I would say that Shepherd has potential to become very dense. We are already seeing it around Shepherd and Washington with all the new apartments. The inner Katy BRT line will also connect Northwest TC (METRO's largest transit center) with Downtown so it will play a key role in METRO'S regional network. 

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I think the Heights/Yale station is another to voice strong support for - the Walmart and Sprouts parcels are trash but surrounding development is really starting to get rolling and I could see them being redeveloped in the foreseeable future.

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32 minutes ago, iah77 said:

Why do they propose such nice things in areas where less people will use them while ignoring very dense areas like Gulfton where bus usage is very high? I feel they really need some program to promote density around the stations to make it actually work. Like the area around Shephard and 1-10 is literally an open stone counter place and not friendly to pedestrians etc.  

The design concept seems to be to serve the routes down major arteries, no?  Just like the CTA lines down the Dan Ryan and the Eisenhower.  Not that that makes it better . . . those aren't exactly the most hospitable stations.

Such are the difficulties in designing transit routes in a city with relatively low density.  A Rapid spur down Shepherd/Durham seems like it would be a no-brainer, though, although it would increase headways to the Northwest Transit Center.  Maybe a separate Rapid line down Memorial that turns on to Shepherd.

Oh well, can't have it all.

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4 hours ago, iah77 said:

Why do they propose such nice things in areas where less people will use them while ignoring very dense areas like Gulfton where bus usage is very high? I feel they really need some program to promote density around the stations to make it actually work. Like the area around Shephard and 1-10 is literally an open stone counter place and not friendly to pedestrians etc.  

I spoke to someone from Memorial TIRZ and they said the station would upgrade all pedestrian infrastructure in the area.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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Was looking back through the proposed stations maps and saw that the funded and planned, but temporarily pushed back bicycle connector from Cottage Grove to Memorial Park is not pictured (that I marked in red below) :(

They've evidently been waiting for 18+ months for railroad approval to go underneath the tracks and the funding has been pushed back to FY 2023. 

The project seemed in doubt to me because of TXDOT wanting to expand I-10 without an elevated platform. I guess this project is just in limbo. It is really inexcusable how inaccessible Memorial Park is to cyclists and pedestrians. 

TMai4uV.png

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On 8/23/2021 at 8:50 AM, wilcal said:

Was looking back through the proposed stations maps and saw that the funded and planned, but temporarily pushed back bicycle connector from Cottage Grove to Memorial Park is not pictured (that I marked in red below) :(

They've evidently been waiting for 18+ months for railroad approval to go underneath the tracks and the funding has been pushed back to FY 2023. 

The project seemed in doubt to me because of TXDOT wanting to expand I-10 without an elevated platform. I guess this project is just in limbo. It is really inexcusable how inaccessible Memorial Park is to cyclists and pedestrians. 

TMai4uV.png

That’s actually one of the main reasons I never ride my bike that way. It almost seems like a hassle to get to Memorial Park. 

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Big news, seems like things are proceeding smoothly for the University/Richmond line: 

https://twitter.com/Gail_HPM/status/1430925115617914887?s=20

 

Quick Edit for those who don't want to click: Metro voted today to commit 40 mil over the next two years to get the project's development started and Metro's presentation to the federal transit authority was "well received." 

Edited by X.R.
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Is there a reason that METRO doesn't get the project up and running early - on a much simplified scale - and then spend the next bunch of years building it fully out? One of the benefits of BRT is that is supposed to be relatively quick and easy. Even a low scale BRT - basically a glorified express bus - would show that something is happening now rather than waiting for years for a full scale project to be built out. I had a boss who would always quote the saying "The prefect is the enemy of the good".

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47 minutes ago, Brooklyn173 said:

Is there a reason that METRO doesn't get the project up and running early - on a much simplified scale - and then spend the next bunch of years building it fully out? One of the benefits of BRT is that is supposed to be relatively quick and easy. Even a low scale BRT - basically a glorified express bus - would show that something is happening now rather than waiting for years for a full scale project to be built out. I had a boss who would always quote the saying "The prefect is the enemy of the good".

Good news, we've got a whole bunch of buses that run from Downtown to the NW Transit Center right now, so you can get a preview of the Inner Katy BRT already. Some even stop only a few times on the way.

In reality, when you lose the actual benefits of BRT, mostly separated lane/special buses/at-grade boarding in stations it doesn't make as much sense to run one super long route when it would overlap with a bunch of existing routes (like the university line). 

I do think that they will likely open up the project section by section and not wait until the entire thing is finished. 

 

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On 8/26/2021 at 5:51 PM, wilcal said:

Good news, we've got a whole bunch of buses that run from Downtown to the NW Transit Center right now, so you can get a preview of the Inner Katy BRT already. Some even stop only a few times on the way.

In reality, when you lose the actual benefits of BRT, mostly separated lane/special buses/at-grade boarding in stations it doesn't make as much sense to run one super long route when it would overlap with a bunch of existing routes (like the university line). 

I do think that they will likely open up the project section by section and not wait until the entire thing is finished. 

 

Yeah this thing is 25mi long along the entire corridor. I would be really shocked if they don’t open it 1 segment at a time. I’m willing to bet they want to try to connect up Lower Uptown/Westpark TC to Wheeler quickly and get that open first

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9 minutes ago, BEES?! said:

Yeah this thing is 25mi long along the entire corridor. I would be really shocked if they don’t open it 1 segment at a time. I’m willing to bet they want to try to connect up Lower Uptown/Westpark TC to Wheeler quickly and get that open first

100% agree. As mentioned above, a good chunk of the engineering work is already done in those two sections, so I'm sure that will be the focus. Well, segments 1.5 and 2 since the current transit center would be partially into segment 1. 

I know that there was talk of making the I-10 BRT continue on to the Galleria/existing Silver Line so as to not force a connection. I wonder if they would do the same, at least temporarily onto the University BRT if they start with these two sections.

Would be kind of cool if a bus that starts at Wheeler continued Westpark/Lower Uptown TC then continued up to NWTC and then back to downtown. 

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22 hours ago, wilcal said:

100% agree. As mentioned above, a good chunk of the engineering work is already done in those two sections, so I'm sure that will be the focus. Well, segments 1.5 and 2 since the current transit center would be partially into segment 1. 

I know that there was talk of making the I-10 BRT continue on to the Galleria/existing Silver Line so as to not force a connection. I wonder if they would do the same, at least temporarily onto the University BRT if they start with these two sections.

Would be kind of cool if a bus that starts at Wheeler continued Westpark/Lower Uptown TC then continued up to NWTC and then back to downtown. 

That’d be awesome. Like a circulator system. I’m curious to see what metro’s got in mind. (If this idea has been proposed. It’d be interesting)

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16 minutes ago, BEES?! said:

That’d be awesome. Like a circulator system. I’m curious to see what metro’s got in mind. (If this idea has been proposed. It’d be interesting)

I've heard from a well-informed person that downtown to Galleria would likely be combined into a single line. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lived right around the block from the Eastwood Transit Center for over 10 years. so many buses breaking laws, running stop signs, running red lights, straddling multiple lanes of traffic.

I still live in the area and still have to interact with that area from time to time, but I do so grudgingly (especially when the Amazon trucks are factored in). I fear this is only going to get worse for the Eastwood Transit Center, and other hubs of this BRT line.

that being said, this is going to be a much needed artery of our transit infrastructure and overall will be a huge win for the city. I just wish things weren't so bad in regards to a few bad drivers.

I guess the real thing that should be done is to encourage everyone reading to call the hotline and report the bus number when you see the event happen.

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On 9/15/2021 at 10:18 AM, samagon said:

I lived right around the block from the Eastwood Transit Center for over 10 years. so many buses breaking laws, running stop signs, running red lights, straddling multiple lanes of traffic.

I still live in the area and still have to interact with that area from time to time, but I do so grudgingly (especially when the Amazon trucks are factored in). I fear this is only going to get worse for the Eastwood Transit Center, and other hubs of this BRT line.

that being said, this is going to be a much needed artery of our transit infrastructure and overall will be a huge win for the city. I just wish things weren't so bad in regards to a few bad drivers.

I guess the real thing that should be done is to encourage everyone reading to call the hotline and report the bus number when you see the event happen.

This is going to be a much needed upgrade to that street and for the area. I love the old charm of the neighborhood but infrastructure is still lacking, even with the Green Line running down Harrisburg. 

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