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Metro Next - 2040 Vision

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29 minutes ago, Avossos said:

 

The plans for the court complex land have not been finalized. There is a good chance the court will not be here when the land is redeveloped. If it does stay, the thought is that it will be re-positioned to face Washington Ave where the current police garage is. With that, and the positioning of the LR station, it makes most sense to go due west up Reisner...

 

 

Due west up Reisner?

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Did Metro actually say anything about upgrading the brt to light rail in the near future? I heard people say that's partly why they're building brt but I never actually heard Metro say it. The closest I heard them talk about it was when they said they plan on upgrading uptown brt to light rail in the future.

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2 hours ago, Some one said:

Did Metro actually say anything about upgrading the brt to light rail in the near future? I heard people say that's partly why they're building brt but I never actually heard Metro say it. The closest I heard them talk about it was when they said they plan on upgrading uptown brt to light rail in the future.

They aren’t going to bring up something like that this early after they just barely passed one of the biggest transit initiatives this city has seen in over a decade. But yes they will surely have another referendum in a few years and a few of those routes will be converted. It’s a win win for Metro. 

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10 hours ago, LBC2HTX said:

Based on Triton's post above (https://h-gac.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5f2a62060d074a5d8c3f00a40bb6b3b2) my guess is that it'll likely connect to the BRT termination, which looks to be behind the courthouse along the city owned land. So at least to Lubbock would be my guess. 

I think it was the HGAC map where I saw it basically coming up to where the BRT line starts on Houston Ave. Maybe I’m wrong and that’s just in my head lol idk

Edited by j_cuevas713
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17 hours ago, Some one said:

Did Metro actually say anything about upgrading the brt to light rail in the near future? I heard people say that's partly why they're building brt but I never actually heard Metro say it. The closest I heard them talk about it was when they said they plan on upgrading uptown brt to light rail in the future.

 

When has Metro ever said anything about planning to upgrade the uptown BRT to light rail?

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I think the federal funding for the bus lane down 610 had language that strictly prohibited it from being upgrade to light rail.  I think that was part of a double bank shot to try to prevent the entire project - make the bus lanes non-upgrade-able, and then say the whole project is illegal because the voters voted for rail.  It got struck down and they built the project anyway, but the bus lanes are still only up to bus spec not train spec

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33 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

 

God forbid that Houston ever gets federal funding for light rail (even though EVERY OTHER major city in the nation has gotten federal funding for it).  Why do Republicans hate Houston so much?

 

And specifically, Rs who represented parts of the Houston area.

image.png.ce7f6f50e8ecd6768eaf8b47e0398cab.png

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If the fly over was designed to only hold buses (and it looks like it - the cantilevered sections don't look like they are train ready) then it doesn't matter if they are legally allowed to transition it to light rail - they'd have to build a new flyover bridge 

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19 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

God forbid that Houston ever gets federal funding for light rail (even though EVERY OTHER major city in the nation has gotten federal funding for it).  Why do Republicans hate Houston so much?

It’s not that we never received funding. It’s politicians like Culberson who prevented rail in their district and the feds eventually pulled the funding because it wasn’t being used. Houston isn’t somehow being singled out unfairly.

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Slightly different topic: has anyone seen any serious proposals for heavy rail along Westheimer?  

The 82 bus has such high ridership, a Metro line under Westheimer would get high ridership every day

metronext+blog9.jpg?format=1500w

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27 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Slightly different topic: has anyone seen any serious proposals for heavy rail along Westheimer?  

The 82 bus has such high ridership, a Metro line under Westheimer would get high ridership every day

metronext+blog9.jpg?format=1500w

I think it would be cooler as an elevated line along Westheimer.

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Elevated line might be harder to sell, especially in the River oaks area.  In lower westheimer, there's really not that much room for anything - the support structure would have to be a lot of really skinny poles or else you're going to be taking ROW that is at a premium

 

I think you would have to have at least 5.5 miles of underground tunnel between Main st and Sage road.  The eastern terminus might have to go further east than Main - I'm not sure how you'd connect it to the current and proposed LRT network.  The western end could go at grade in the median after Sage street - there's wide enough medians there and so many lanes that at grade light rail could work.  You'd want the rail to go all the way to Gessner (probably a little further to beltway 8 to hit that proposed BRT line), so that's another 5 miles of surface rail.

 

Assuming that a subway tunnel could be dug under westheimer for the same cost as Seattle's new tunnel (it is using light rail vehicles similar to MetroRail), it's $600 million/mi

The metro next plan is to build 16 miles of new light rail for $2.1 billion, so its about $131 million/mi for the light rail portion

 

That means the line would cost $4 billion, if prices can be kept similar to Seattle's new downtown tunnel. 

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I've long maintained that Westheimer is the most suitable corridor in Houston for rail.  Too bad it won't happen in my lifetime. 

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 5:42 PM, Ross said:

 

Development related to LRT takes a long time Main took something like 10 years, and in the meantime it was completely screwed up by rail.

 

It took either 2 or 3 years. It started in either 2001 or 2002 when Metro decided it would use its own funds to build it after Tom DeLay blocked federal funds. It opened for service in January 2004.

 

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22 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

 

Obviously you never heard of Rep. Tom Delay (R.-TX) of Sugar Land

Him too. What I'm saying is that it's been the people in charge politically. It's not just some conspiracy against our city. 

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3 hours ago, mfastx said:

I've long maintained that Westheimer is the most suitable corridor in Houston for rail.  Too bad it won't happen in my lifetime. 

Really wish we could have the Boring Company come in and build something down Westheimer.

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3 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It took either 2 or 3 years. It started in either 2001 or 2002 when Metro decided it would use its own funds to build it after Tom DeLay blocked federal funds. It opened for service in January 2004.

 

Light rail construction had started before mid-2001, as that was when I injured my knee crossing the construction to get to the other side of Main from Tuam. The development referred to was for property along the rail, which didn't really start for a number of years.

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30 minutes ago, Triton said:

Really wish we could have the Boring Company come in and build something down Westheimer.

I;'m not sure there's enough room to run a train under Westheimer. The width inside the Loop is a little as 35 feet, which means it would be tough to fit the tunnels underneath without encroaching on someone's subsurface rights. There's also the issue that no one has a clue as to what's underground in much of Houston. Boring through old water or oil wells could cause some real issues.

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Eh, I'm not sure that a subway under Westheimer is terribly plausible, but those reasons are not very unusual. They build subway tunnels in cities a lot older than Houston where all sorts of stuff is underground. You do as much due diligence as you can and prepare to be surprised. 

 

As for the width of the street - it's true that the road bed is as narrow as 35', but the public right of way never gets that narrow. In fact, it looks like it's 60' at its narrowest. 

 

For comparison, it looks like the Seattle subway uses a pair of 18' tunnels.

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And a subway tunnel only has to be a little wider than 2 trains wide, except at stations.  I'm imagining the same light rail vehicles just in a tunnel

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Maybe I shouldn't have said near-future.  I was just curious about if they're planing on upgrading some of the brt lines to rail, especially because some of the corridors seem to warrant the ridership for rail. A subway under Westheimer would be interesting.

Edited by Some one

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I wouldn't say never, but the last new heavy rail subway in the US was made in San Juan in 2004, but it only has 2 subterranean stations.

The Seattle light rail tunnels, which are closer to what I was thinking of, has a mile long tunnel downtown that was made in 1990, as well as another tunnel built in 2005 and the one that is currently being finished up.

So it is possible for new subways to be built, especially one based on "light rail" but the biggest issue is getting funding

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21 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

I repeat ..... BRT will not be replaced by LRT for at least 30 or so years, IF EVER.  You cheered it on so you will just have to live with it.

And while subways are possible to construct in Houston (they are in other places that are just as "floody") they will never be approved.

If you saw my earlier posts, I actually preferred rail being built over BRT. I understand why they had to build it as BRT, but I do agree that we screwed ourselves over any chances of rail on the west side in the next few years

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On 11/11/2019 at 2:20 PM, LBC2HTX said:

Good point. I remembered there being some discussions on revamping the city court. A lot of newly constructed town homes along hickory are going to be subject to eminent domain

 

On 11/11/2019 at 1:32 PM, LBC2HTX said:

Based on Triton's post above (https://h-gac.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5f2a62060d074a5d8c3f00a40bb6b3b2) my guess is that it'll likely connect to the BRT termination, which looks to be behind the courthouse along the city owned land. So at least to Lubbock would be my guess. 

 

Huh?  I literally live on Hickory and follow all of this closely.  I do not believe Triton's drawing actually ties to any reality or anything? I think he's just drawing a cute/easy line from I10 to Downtown for the BRT, but my understanding is the BRT will just take existing highways/HOVs to downtown, absolutely nothing has suggested they will be going to Houston Ave or some imaginary/absurdist line next to Hickory street.  

 

 

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52 minutes ago, crock said:

 

 

Huh?  I literally live on Hickory and follow all of this closely.  I do not believe Triton's drawing actually ties to any reality or anything? I think he's just drawing a cute/easy line from I10 to Downtown for the BRT, but my understanding is the BRT will just take existing highways/HOVs to downtown, absolutely nothing has suggested they will be going to Houston Ave or some imaginary/absurdist line next to Hickory street.  

 

 

I didn't draw that. That's from the official 2045 Regional Transit Plan and that link I posted shows an interactive map of what they are planning on doing. 

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1 hour ago, crock said:

 

 

Huh?  I literally live on Hickory and follow all of this closely.  I do not believe Triton's drawing actually ties to any reality or anything? I think he's just drawing a cute/easy line from I10 to Downtown for the BRT, but my understanding is the BRT will just take existing highways/HOVs to downtown, absolutely nothing has suggested they will be going to Houston Ave or some imaginary/absurdist line next to Hickory street.  

 

 

Might be time to sell before the rest of the market figures out it's not just a cute line. 

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3 minutes ago, Texasota said:

sell *before* his property increases in value due to proximity to transit?

Depends on how proximate his property is. It may soon be metro's property. 

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18 minutes ago, LBC2HTX said:

Depends on how proximate his property is. It may soon be metro's property. 

 

Lol y'all crazy. There ain't no way, no how these metro people gonna find the money to ED new builds in that area. They shoulda done all this before the houses were built. They'll find a different, cheaper way.

 

They always do. 

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

I didn't draw that. That's from the official 2045 Regional Transit Plan and that link I posted shows an interactive map of what they are planning on doing. 

 

Can you point me to that plan? their GIS(?) data seriously had the BRT coming down the blocks between houston and hickory?  Your map also suggest that a BRT lane would be built through like 2 miles of white oak bayou's greenway/parkland.  That also seems less-than-ideal/likely. 

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

Lol y'all crazy. There ain't no way, no how these metro people gonna find the money to ED new builds in that area. They shoulda done all this before the houses were built. They'll find a different, cheaper way.

 

They always do. 

Not any different than going through the residential area in Cottage Grove. 

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1 hour ago, crock said:

Can you point me to that plan? their GIS(?) data seriously had the BRT coming down the blocks between houston and hickory?  Your map also suggest that a BRT lane would be built through like 2 miles of white oak bayou's greenway/parkland.  That also seems less-than-ideal/likely.

 

 

I'm pretty sure that's just a rough approximation; that whole line on that map seems to be shifted from reality along the whole route.  I'm almost certain the BRT lane would follow existing ROW on/along existing roads and not go straight through the middle of all those lots.  For example, there is no way it will follow a path one block north of IH-10; it surely will be right along the freeway, either at grade or elevated.

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8 hours ago, rechlin said:

 

I'm pretty sure that's just a rough approximation; that whole line on that map seems to be shifted from reality along the whole route.  I'm almost certain the BRT lane would follow existing ROW on/along existing roads and not go straight through the middle of all those lots.  For example, there is no way it will follow a path one block north of IH-10; it surely will be right along the freeway, either at grade or elevated.

Correct. As I said on the last page, this is a rough estimate. For example, that map incorrectly has BRT traversing Gessner which is no longer the case. (It now travels Beltway 8).

I don't think the BRT is taking Houston Ave anymore, as seen on the Metro Next maps.

 

Also, just to be clear, these are not "my maps." This is from the 2045 report: http://2045rtp.com/documents.aspx

Map link is at the bottom of that page.

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On 11/11/2019 at 8:58 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

They aren’t going to bring up something like that this early after they just barely passed one of the biggest transit initiatives this city has seen in over a decade.

 

The referendum passed 68% to 32%. That is pretty overwhelming.

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According to the county clerk, the Metro proposition passed 67.87% to 32.13% in Harris county.  That is a quite decent margin

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11 minutes ago, skwatra said:

I know the results bud. You read that wrong as in "barely passed." Clearly your comprehension isn't up to par with your reading skills. Read the date on my post. Idk how you're going to question what I wrote lol. The measure overwhelmingly passed.

12 minutes ago, cspwal said:

According to the county clerk, the Metro proposition passed 67.87% to 32.13% in Harris county.  That is a quite decent margin

"Barely passed" as in it RECENTLY PASSED not barley passed in the polls. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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calm down. I honestly thought you meant that the measure "barely passed". in that context, i took it to mean:

1. only just; almost not.

2. in a simple and sparse way.

 

When you called me out for now knowing how to read, I thought you meant how to read election results.

 

If you barely pass 5th grade or barely win an election but most common meaning is that passed with marginal results. I thought it was important to note (given how i read your post), that the measure passed by a large margin.

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19 minutes ago, skwatra said:

calm down. I honestly thought you meant that the measure "barely passed". in that context, i took it to mean:

1. only just; almost not.

2. in a simple and sparse way.

 

When you called me out for now knowing how to read, I thought you meant how to read election results.

 

If you barely pass 5th grade or barely win an election but most common meaning is that passed with marginal results. I thought it was important to note (given how i read your post), that the measure passed by a large margin.

Are you done? 

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3 hours ago, skwatra said:

 

The referendum passed 68% to 32%. That is pretty overwhelming.

 

What was the margin of victory for the original lightrail referendum?

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4 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

What was the margin of victory for the original lightrail referendum?

I’m trying to find the numbers but it wasn’t by much from what I remember. 

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13 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I’m trying to find the numbers but it wasn’t by much from what I remember. 

In 2003? 52-48.

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The MetroRail wiki page references this article:

https://web.archive.org/web/20120205164331/http://soc.hfac.uh.edu/artman/publish/article_39.shtml 

Quote

With the passage of Proposition 1 in November 2001 election, all taxpayers that reside in the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s jurisdiction are guaranteed the right to vote on any future rail projects that involve public debt. Proposition 3, which was placed on the ballot to halt the existing work of MetroRail was defeated.

Looking at the 2001 Harris county election results and an old Houston Chronicole article, Charter Amendment 1 passed 74% to 26% and said

Quote

Proposition 1, placed on the ballot by council at Brown's request, would allow the Metropolitan Transit Authority to continue with the $300 million light rail line under construction between downtown and Reliant Park. If Metro wanted to expand the system, it would have to seek permission from the voters in its service area.

 

Charter Amendment 3 narrowly failed 54% to 46% and it would have said

Quote

Proposition 3, placed on the ballot by petition, would force the city to hold a special election on the downtown-Reliant line. If voters in that subsequent election rejected the line, Metro might be forced to tear up work already done.

 

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 7:34 AM, Naviguessor said:

I’ve come to agree with the BRT option too. With the money that available, and the ground that we need to make up, it’s the best option imo. Also, if done right, Houston may become a roll model for the country. Are there any other US cities which use BRT as extensively as what’s Proposed in MetroNext? 

 

Pretty much every city in America of Houston's caliber or higher (and quite a few lower) have been mainly looking at rail transit and expanding that, with BRT as a complement at best. Seattle recently converted their bus tunnel to rail. Los Angeles is looking to do the same with its Orange Line. The only sizable city which had a huge BRT plan was Nashville, but the voters there turned it down. With the high margin this referendum passed with, I bet Metro could have had some of these routes as rail (Inner Katy, University, Westheimer) and the voters still would have approved. It's clear Houstonians were hungry for something so Metro could have proposed a little more.

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