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METRO Next - 2040 Vision


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13 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Ok Metro needs to figure out a way to prevent people from crossing the Silver Line at random sections along the street. This is not only dangerous but really annoying.

They're solution on the Metrorail stretches was plastic chains that the pedestrians immediately dismantled or just go under.  The real solution is more actual crosswalks 

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2 hours ago, Amlaham said:

Any word on when they're going to start on the rail extension to Hobby airport? I feel like metro is taking a while to start on any of their projects. 

Me too. I remember in previous approved transit projects a shovel was in the ground within a few weeks. Idk why a lot of preplanning wasn't done sooner along with community input. 

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3 hours ago, Amlaham said:

Any word on when they're going to start on the rail extension to Hobby airport? I feel like metro is taking a while to start on any of their projects. 

I bet all agencies are dragging their feet right now waiting for the infrastructure thing.

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2 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Me too. I remember in previous approved transit projects a shovel was in the ground within a few weeks. Idk why a lot of preplanning wasn't done sooner along with community input. 

I think your memory is playing tricks on you.  The very idea of a transit project putting shovels in the ground within a few weeks of a vote is fantasy talk.

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4 hours ago, Amlaham said:

Any word on when they're going to start on the rail extension to Hobby airport? I feel like metro is taking a while to start on any of their projects. 

There doesn't seem to be any movement at all on the rail portions of MetroNext. Not sure why they are low on the priority list.  But it is unfair to flatly say they are taking a while to start on any of their projects.  Several of the MetroNext projects are well underway and several of the major (non-rail) projects are moving along about as fast as such things can move. (it's an unfortunate fact of life that anything using federal dollars takes a LONG time to get through all of the federal regulatory hurdles).

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

There doesn't seem to be any movement at all on the rail portions of MetroNext. Not sure why they are low on the priority list.  But it is unfair to flatly say they are taking a while to start on any of their projects.  Several of the MetroNext projects are well underway and several of the major (non-rail) projects are moving along about as fast as such things can move. (it's an unfortunate fact of life that anything using federal dollars takes a LONG time to get through all of the federal regulatory hurdles).

We all got to remember that Covid is still a thing, and Covid had led to decreased transit ridership nationwide, and is putting transit agencies in the red. I don't expect much to be done transportation wise, for the foreseeable future other than what has already been started. Federal money from that infrastructure bill will help get things off the ground, but we all know how much red tape comes with any kind of federal money.

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1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

I think your memory is playing tricks on you.  The very idea of a transit project putting shovels in the ground within a few weeks of a vote is fantasy talk.

I mean I remember that for the Red Line. It was just a few weeks after the proposal was approved that construction started. 

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The exact alignments for the extensions have not been announced (nor selected). There is still a good amount of things for planners and METRO to do before we will hear more. Plus, we still need to go through the public outreach portion. 

Edited by Justin Welling
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2 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I mean I remember that for the Red Line. It was just a few weeks after the proposal was approved that construction started. 

A few weeks after the proposal was approved by whom?  

I suspect what you are remembering is the final City Council vote granting Metro  rights-of-way to use city streets, which occurred in November 2000. AFTER Metro had spent years planning the line and running it through various other approvals.  Construction started in March 2001, 15 or 16 weeks after the right-of-way approval. (FWIW, the BRT and light rail projects included in MetroNext will also require city council  approvals of rights of way for Metro, which approvals have not yet been sought or received.)

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6 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

A few weeks after the proposal was approved by whom?  

I suspect what you are remembering is the final City Council vote granting Metro  rights-of-way to use city streets, which occurred in November 2000. AFTER Metro had spent years planning the line and running it through various other approvals.  Construction started in March 2001, 15 or 16 weeks after the right-of-way approval. (FWIW, the BRT and light rail projects included in MetroNext will also require city council  approvals of rights of way for Metro, which approvals have not yet been sought or received.)

Yeah it’s been a while lol I guess it just seemed like things moved faster for some reason 

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  • 3 months later...
On 4/23/2022 at 11:17 AM, BEES?! said:

There are some renderings of a few different concepts for the Wheeler Transit Center that were shown during the recent Capital & Strategic Planning Committee meeting. 

The section on Wheeler Transit Center starts from page 33 of the PDF here.

 

Very nice. Thanks for posting.  I like the below-grade concept best.

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I guess we’ll know for sure in June what the cost and scheduling estimates look like- at least that’s what I took away from the PDF. 

I think I like the below-grade BRT concept, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the most exensive of the three alternatives, though. 

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It will be interesting to see how the costs stack up.  Not so sure the below-grade will be more expensive than the Elevated concept.  They would have to acquire additional real estate for the elevated concept, plus a lot of structure to be built with the two large bus ramps plus the structure with bus boarding stations on the second level.

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"caused by a bunch of people who seem to think rebuilding the highways is racist or something"

Shown to be true nationwide (for example; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation) and is an issue rising nationwide. Not simply a Texas problem and hopefully the institutional and private vehicle issues will be addressed soon.

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3 hours ago, Brooklyn173 said:

"caused by a bunch of people who seem to think rebuilding the highways is racist or something"

Shown to be true nationwide (for example; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation) and is an issue rising nationwide. Not simply a Texas problem and hopefully the institutional and private vehicle issues will be addressed soon.

spot on. you beat me to it.

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5 hours ago, Brooklyn173 said:

"caused by a bunch of people who seem to think rebuilding the highways is racist or something"

Shown to be true nationwide (for example; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation) and is an issue rising nationwide. Not simply a Texas problem and hopefully the institutional and private vehicle issues will be addressed soon.

Shown to have been true more than 60 years ago.  The thinking around highway construction no longer includes these elements and hasn't for a very long time.  Can you imagine what would happen today if a highway was deliberately run through a minority neighborhood with the intention of destroying it?  At this point using an argument that rebuilding existing highways is somehow racist is specious at best.

I would think the domain name for the article would have been a glaring clue on this, if you weren't inclined to read the article itself.

Can you illuminate me on what institutional and private vehicle issues are going to be addressed soon?

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Since this thread is for Metro Next, I'm moving the topic back to that.

Yea, the below grade proposal honestly looks like the best one, since the buses simply keep traveling along the same line without having to make any turns or travel to an above-grade platform. 

Most will probably disagree with me here but I would hope they can maybe buy some additional land so they can at least maintain 4 lanes at all time. I see it goes down to two lanes abruptly next to the Jack in a Box... looks sort of like a bottle neck. I know the argument will be that that's the point... to shift away from vehicles but I feel like we need to make this work for all modes of transportation. Just my 2 cents.

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16 hours ago, Triton said:

Since this thread is for Metro Next, I'm moving the topic back to that.

Yea, the below grade proposal honestly looks like the best one, since the buses simply keep traveling along the same line without having to make any turns or travel to an above-grade platform. 

Most will probably disagree with me here but I would hope they can maybe buy some additional land so they can at least maintain 4 lanes at all time. I see it goes down to two lanes abruptly next to the Jack in a Box... looks sort of like a bottle neck. I know the argument will be that that's the point... to shift away from vehicles but I feel like we need to make this work for all modes of transportation. Just my 2 cents.

Good concern. But FWIW, I doubt they actually plan to reduce Wheeler to 2 lanes at that block. These are only preliminary concepts and not to scale.

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  • 1 month later...

Now that Houston won the world cup bid, do you guys think Metro will feel more inclined to speed up progress on the University or Inner Katy Line, or even start working on the Metrorapid line to IAH/Purple and green line extension to Hobby? After all, the Red Line (originally the Main Street Line) was built partially for the 2004 Super Bowl.

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15 hours ago, Some one said:

Now that Houston won the world cup bid, do you guys think Metro will feel more inclined to speed up progress on the University or Inner Katy Line, or even start working on the Metrorapid line to IAH/Purple and green line extension to Hobby? After all, the Red Line (originally the Main Street Line) was built partially for the 2004 Super Bowl.

I really hope this can spur some good downtown to IAH/HOU transit options!

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13 minutes ago, sapo2367 said:

I really hope this can spur some good downtown to IAH/HOU transit options!

That would be awesome.  But given that federal money would have to be involved, there is pretty much zero chance of either happening before 2026.  BRT to IAH is tied in to NHHIP and the Federal Government in its infinite wisdom, has put a seemingly indefinite hold on that.  After taking this much time, it's probably taking the Feds even longer to come up with some kind of face-saving exit ramp.

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I really hope they prioritize the IAH/ Purple line or Green line/ Hobby over the Katy line. We desperately need an alternate mode of transportation to the airport. I think we've all seen how bad traffic has been at IAH because of construction, imagine when the World Cup is in town. 

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It's too late to prioritize the light rail extension over the Inner Katy line -it's funded and entering final design. It's happening.

That said, I agree that speeding up the light rail extension to Hobby would be worth doing. Maybe just the Purple Line. 

...and then give some time to decide to continue the Green Line all the way down Broadway rather than weirdly jerking to the side when it hits Glenbrook Valley.

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15 hours ago, Some one said:

Now that Houston won the world cup bid, do you guys think Metro will feel more inclined to speed up progress on the University or Inner Katy Line, or even start working on the Metrorapid line to IAH/Purple and green line extension to Hobby? After all, the Red Line (originally the Main Street Line) was built partially for the 2004 Super Bowl.

Metro needed a win on the Red line and used whatever they could to boost it.  Since then I don't think any event has provided a measurable impetus to get a project done faster.  I wouldn't expect the World Cup to be any different.

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7 minutes ago, Amlaham said:

I really hope they prioritize the IAH/ Purple line or Green line/ Hobby over the Katy line. We desperately need an alternate mode of transportation to the airport. I think we've all seen how bad traffic has been at IAH because of construction, imagine when the World Cup is in town. 

Well the good news is, construction at Bush should be completed well before the World Cup.

The Katy BRT Line is absolutely higher on their priority list than the extension of the Rail to Hobby and I don't see that changing. Given the reality of the hoops and hurdles that have to be jumped through and over to get federal funding, even if they switched priorities today, we wouldn't be able to have rail to Hobby in time for the World Cup.  Sadly, even though it is among Metro's highest priorities and they have been working on it for some time, I don't think the Inner Katy BRT is even expected to be operational by 2026.

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Not only do I not think that Inner Katy BRT or green/purple line expansion (or University line) will be done by 2026, I'm pretty sure that if 45 expansion goes through with their current timeline, the light rail crossings will both be closed so there might only be bus replacement service. 

What a nightmare if that is true. 

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24 minutes ago, wilcal said:

Not only do I not think that Inner Katy BRT or green/purple line expansion (or University line) will be done by 2026, I'm pretty sure that if 45 expansion goes through with their current timeline, the light rail crossings will both be closed so there might only be bus replacement service. 

What a nightmare if that is true. 

There are actually three light rail crossings affected by the NHHIP.  

I suspect there will be enough flexibility in the construction schedule that the Red Line crossing under/over Southwest Freeway will be able to be operational during the World Cup. (I don't think anyone anticipates that the Red Line will be shut down for the entire construction period.)

The green/purple crossing under/over I-69/I-45 on the east side, is, sadly, now not expected to be under construction until 2027 (see Pete Buttigieg et al).

The red line crossing of I-10, while not as problematic if not available for the World Cup, can probably be easily scheduled around it if need be.

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How do you keep a rail in place if you are tunneling underneath it at this width?

Would they build a temporary bridge over the chasm to keep it going?

I just don't understand how they would keep it open if the first thing is to start removing utilities and dirt and the last thing is the build the new track, you know?

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There is a very real possibility the federal government may want to jump start transit projects in cities hosting the World Cup. We've seen this done in other countries.

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4 minutes ago, Triton said:

There is a very real possibility the federal government may want to jump start transit projects in cities hosting the World Cup. We've seen this done in other countries.

Isn't METRO waiting on federal funding for the University BRT? Four years is just so soon in transit timeline. 

Even if the federal government offered to pay for 100% of it, I don't think there's any way an LRT expansion to Hobby gets done.

One thing that might be reasonable to get done would be building the BRT station at IAH and building out the platforms for BRT on the planned stops downtown. Honestly, they could start it tomorrow if they just operated it as express bus service using park & ride buses, so they've always got that in their pocket.  

 

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5 hours ago, august948 said:

Metro needed a win on the Red line and used whatever they could to boost it.  Since then I don't think any event has provided a measurable impetus to get a project done faster.  I wouldn't expect the World Cup to be any different.

They were also able to get it done faster because there were no federal funds involved.

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15 hours ago, BEES?! said:

Yes. They’re waiting on fed funds for both University and Inner Katy, I believe. 

Pretty sure Inner Katy is funded and METRO is hashing it out with TXDOT if they are going to go it alone or if TXDOT is going to add-on to their project and add a few lanes for HOV drivers to the deck. The irony that this mass transit project is  going to be slowed for TXDOT to throw a few more lanes on it lol.

Inner Katy BRT got funding from HGAC and wasn't a METRONext project originally, but it seems like METRO has thrown it onto the pile of projects. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

Pretty sure Inner Katy is funded and METRO is hashing it out with TXDOT if they are going to go it alone or if TXDOT is going to add-on to their project and add a few lanes for HOV drivers to the deck. The irony that this mass transit project is  going to be slowed for TXDOT to throw a few more lanes on it lol.

Inner Katy BRT got funding from HGAC and wasn't a METRONext project originally, but it seems like METRO has thrown it onto the pile of projects. 

The inner Katy BRT was part  of MetroNext from the very first sets of proposed sets of projects.

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Waiting on federal funds isn't really the right way to put it - they've been working with DOT/FRA on the University Line but won't have anything final until the actual design is final. No real doubt about whether they'll get said funding, at least under the current administration. 

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7 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

The inner Katy BRT was part  of MetroNext from the very first sets of proposed sets of projects.

My point is that it was funded before METRONext even happened. If the bond had failed they still would have done it.

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10 hours ago, wilcal said:

Pretty sure Inner Katy is funded and METRO is hashing it out with TXDOT if they are going to go it alone or if TXDOT is going to add-on to their project and add a few lanes for HOV drivers to the deck. The irony that this mass transit project is  going to be slowed for TXDOT to throw a few more lanes on it lol.

Inner Katy BRT got funding from HGAC and wasn't a METRONext project originally, but it seems like METRO has thrown it onto the pile of projects. 

 HGAC don‘t fund projects. 

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Im not that excited about the Katy BRT, I hate the fact that they're clearing out all those trees along i10. I feel like they could have put the BRT through the middle lanes and place the stations off the bridges. I much rather prefer the greenery :/  

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On 6/18/2022 at 7:29 PM, chempku said:

 HGAC don‘t fund projects. 

On 6/18/2022 at 10:11 PM, wilcal said:

Here's the PDF from  the 2018 call for projects where their Transportation Policy Council allocated $189million for it: https://www.h-gac.com/getmedia/dcfead07-147a-466e-8193-28d18780ae53/2018-call-for-project-tpc-rankings.pdf

Some more on how MPOs work . . .

Metropolitan planning organization - Wikipedia 

See also page 4 of their financial statements for an explanation as to how it works . . . MPO approval is needed to allocate certain federal funds.

https://www.h-gac.com/h-gac-resources/2019-comprehensive-annual-financial-report

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