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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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If the Pierce Elevated stays, it needs to stay a freeway, and the 59 ROW on the east side of downtown does not get doubled in width. It's one thing to add a few lanes to the freeways encircling downtown; this MaX lane proposal is essentially adding a whole new tollway to downtown while also increasing the size of the freeways. Strange how when other cities are trying to mitigate the impacts of freeways in their downtowns, we still have people who want to increase them.

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9 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

If the Pierce Elevated stays, it needs to stay a freeway, and the 59 ROW on the east side of downtown does not get doubled in width.

So basically change nothing? Well, I suppose that satisifies both the "Let's not destroy EaDo" and the "Let's not destroy the Pierce" crowd, and one of the cheapest solutions to boot. :)

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41 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

So basically change nothing? Well, I suppose that satisifies both the "Let's not destroy EaDo" and the "Let's not destroy the Pierce" crowd, and one of the cheapest solutions to boot. :)

 

No, you could still increase the 59 ROW in width, just don't double it. You don't get to both add a freeway and keep a freeway.

 

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Right now, the Pierce creates a clear dividing line between two very distinct neighborhoods(and management districts): downtown and midtown.  If it weren't there, would giant downtown office towers start being constructed in midtown? Would they destroy the character of midtown? Would the land suddenly appreciate to downtown levels and make simple retail, apartments, restaurants, or bars financially infeasible? Midtown is one of Houston's great neighborhoods - do we really want to put it at risk? (full disclosure: I live there)

 

I don't really understand the correlation between the Pierce and a lack of "downtown office towers" in Midtown to really come to the conclusion that the Pierce has prevented these towers from developing, since there's already numerous proposed high-rises under development. I guess I can see how in the past it prevented these towers from developing, but as of 2016, the Pierce isn't stopping these developments from going up. Granted, these towers are mainly on the Red Line, and we can see the current growth of such towers expanding north and south thru Midtown on the line, but there's no reason to believe that the Pierce's potential expanded life will delay any such high-rise development. 

 

There me are a few reasons to keep the Pierce (that I don't agree with), but this one is reaching quite a bit.

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Just now, BigFootsSocks said:

 

 

 

I don't really understand the correlation between the Pierce and a lack of "downtown office towers" in Midtown to really come to the conclusion that the Pierce has prevented these towers from developing, since there's already numerous proposed high-rises under development. I guess I can see how in the past it prevented these towers from developing, but as of 2016, the Pierce isn't stopping these developments from going up. Granted, these towers are mainly on the Red Line, and we can see the current growth of such towers expanding north and south thru Midtown on the line, but there's no reason to believe that the Pierce's potential expanded life will delay any such high-rise development. 

 

There me are a few reasons to keep the Pierce (that I don't agree with), but this one is reaching quite a bit.

 

He's trying to sound like he cares for urban neighborhood interests, while being against urban neighborhood interests. He's positioning himself as helping save quaint cute Midtown from corporate skyscrapers and The Man. All this time it's been the Pierce Elevated that was holding those buildings back from spilling in and ruining Midtown. Now, like the Dutch child with his finger in the dike, Tory wants to save the Pierce...for Midtown.

 

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Meanwhile there are 2 high rises that are already south of Pierce that were built after the elevated freeway (2016 main and giant cross tower)  It didn't seem to be that effective of a barrier to keep towers downtown.

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It's far from ridiculous that areas on opposite sides of a divided line would grow differently.

 

Using it as an argument to keep the pierce isn't that great. However, the statement is absolutely true.

 

Look just in Houston, you can see how freeways cut through the middle of neighborhoods and have changed how one side evolved from the other. There can be no denying it.

 

Look no farther than I-10 and Heights Blvd. go to Historic Aerials.com and look at 1962 Heights blvd where I-10 is currently built. Look at 1964. Note 1962 version all those houses south of where I-10 is. Today? None of the houses south of I-10 exist and a good portion north of I-10 for a few blocks are gone. I-10 broke apart a neighborhood and one side grew up starkly different than the other.

 

It doesn't make a good argument for keeping the pierce though.

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288 is probably the biggest dividing line - its both one of the widest inner loop freeways, and the development on each side seems very different after the fact.

 

Off topic, but could you build decks above 288 and sell that as land for development?

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If the urban liberal set are concerned that we’re trying to resist their ideology, then let’s find a way to assuage those concerns. Build over onramps with organic grocery stores. Stamp #BlackLivesMatter into the concrete. Close the facility alternating Sundays and let cyclists and joggers out into the mainlanes. As a lowly consultant, I have little interest in Standing Athwart History; I just want to get people home faster so they can spend more time with their families.

 

So this is a comment Purple City left on swamplot in regards to the article Mr. Harris wrote. I'm not gonna lie, the fact that he/she buys into the weird ideological trope, that the only people who want this torn down are liberals, is disappointing. The comment is impressively dismissive, ignorant, and condescending. The fact that he's/she's pushing this into a bi-partisan issue and demands for his/her proposal to be taken seriously at the same time is pretty funny. 

 

Throwing around uncomfortable "liberal stereotypes" to defend his/her plan is seriously the worst thing he/she could've done.  This idea that the only individuals who can come up with the smartest or best idea is so incredibly patronizing and a little bit ironic.

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1 hour ago, BigFootsSocks said:

 

 

 

I don't really understand the correlation between the Pierce and a lack of "downtown office towers" in Midtown to really come to the conclusion that the Pierce has prevented these towers from developing, since there's already numerous proposed high-rises under development. I guess I can see how in the past it prevented these towers from developing, but as of 2016, the Pierce isn't stopping these developments from going up. Granted, these towers are mainly on the Red Line, and we can see the current growth of such towers expanding north and south thru Midtown on the line, but there's no reason to believe that the Pierce's potential expanded life will delay any such high-rise development. 

 

There me are a few reasons to keep the Pierce (that I don't agree with), but this one is reaching quite a bit.

Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen the "lack of tall buildings in Midtown" used to get RID of the Pierce.

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9 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen the "lack of tall buildings in Midtown" used to get RID of the Pierce.

Yeah obviously it's one reason on the "FOR side", but to claim that the Pierce is the root cause of a lack of "downtown office buildings" to save the "culture of Midtown" is hilariously reaching. Like I said, there are already numerous high rise projects under development, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm retry sure the Pierce is still there. Besides, he's completely ignoring the host of other reasons for a lack of development in this immediate area. 

 

Tearing down the Pierce to promote more vertical development is a much more rationale position than his idea that it should stay to prevent the loss of Midtown culture through high rise development, simply because it's not true. There's a 54-story proposal for Christ's sake. How is the Pierce preventing this? And why is he basing his opinion that it should stay on this position? It's just not logical. 

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Ok then, so let's just look at this most recent cycle of high rise construction for the "downtown towers." How many towers under construction are office towers? 609 Main and....well that's about it using your definition of giant Class A towers. The others? Mid-rise to High rise residential development. What's currently going up in Midtown? A lot of the same cookie-cutter mid rises and plenty of proposed high rises such as the one on Main near Camden's campus, and the other proposed tower catty corner to Camden. There's no difference in the mid rises and high rises going up, as of right now, and then there's the proposed 54 story Mixed Use tower on Main. That's different than the giant Class A towers?

 

The development of downtown and midtown, or lack thereof in this case, has as much to do about the growth of Houston/Harris County as a whole, than it does for a simple elevated freeway segment. There's no reason to believe that the Pierce's existence is continuing the separation of the downtown/Midtown areas simply because the developments proposed for both areas are the exact same. 

 

Maybe 10-20 years ago I could see this argument holding some weight, but it means nothing now.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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20 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

...the only people who want this torn down are liberals, is disappointing...

 

I think this is absolutely wrong. The only people who want this torn down are the people rich enough to buy the land and sit on it for a few decades as parking lots till they can either sell it on for profit, or build something they can lease for even more profit. People who live in midtown will have a warm tingly feeling for a while, but when nothing really changes that will go away. The population of the city as a whole doesn't benefit as there isn't a significant capacity increase for through traffic. So yeah. The only people who should want this torn down are the people rich enough to buy the land it sits on.

 

20 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen the "lack of tall buildings in Midtown" used to get RID of the Pierce.

 

Which goes to my comment above, the real winners here are people and companies that buy the land, or already own land around the pierce. 

 

17 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

Ok then, so let's just look at this most recent cycle of high rise construction for the "downtown towers." How many towers under construction are office towers? 609 Main and....well that's about it using your definition of giant Class A towers. The others? Mid-rise to High rise residential development. What's currently going up in Midtown? A lot of the same cookie-cutter mid rises and plenty of proposed high rises such as the one on Main near Camden's campus, and the other proposed tower catty corner to Camden. There's no difference in the mid rises and high rises going up, as of right now, and then there's the proposed 54 story Mixed Use tower on Main. That's different than the giant Class A towers?

 

The development of downtown and midtown, or lack thereof in this case, has as much to do about the growth of Houston/Harris County as a whole, than it does for a simple elevated freeway segment. There's no reason to believe that the Pierce's existence is continuing the separation of the downtown/Midtown areas simply because the developments proposed for both areas are the exact same. 

 

Maybe 10-20 years ago I could see this argument holding some weight, but it means nothing now.

 

That's not a fair comparison at all. The recent spate of residential development downtown is specifically because of the tax credit to try and spark downtown living. Can you say with a straight face that the residential would have been built at the scale it has been without the tax credits? Compare the amount of commercial and residential built between 2009 and 2014 in downtown compared with midtown.

 

Will removal of the pierce spark more commercial in midtown? Will removal of the pierce spark more residential in downtown? Basically, will the lines blur between the two? Who does this really benefit? Does it make midtown a more livable community? Does it make downtown a more livable community? To kind of go back to my point at the top, it won't really benefit anyone monetarily unless they have huge/deep pockets, so how does removing the pierce elevated exactly improve the quality of life for midtown/downtown residents specifically, and more generally, all Houstonians?

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As for your first quote, I was only addressing what someone else said about the ideological sides to this issue, to which I disagreed. 

Milkman I g m

As as for your second quote, I think you're kind of proving my point. I'm not arguing for or against; I'm stating that Mr. Gattis' opinion that the Pierce continues to keep Midtown and Downtown may have been true in the past, but holds no weight today. You said it yourself; would those downtown developments happen without the tax credit? Midtown didn't have the same tax credit applied to it, and yet there's development everywhere. 

 

Essentially, the Pierce has not stopped development on both sides, but I don't think that's a case for or against unless you argue that development might speed up on either side. 

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3 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

As for your first quote, I was only addressing what someone else said about the ideological sides to this issue, to which I disagreed. 

Milkman I g m

As as for your second quote, I think you're kind of proving my point. I'm not arguing for or against; I'm stating that Mr. Gattis' opinion that the Pierce continues to keep Midtown and Downtown may have been true in the past, but holds no weight today. You said it yourself; would those downtown developments happen without the tax credit? Midtown didn't have the same tax credit applied to it, and yet there's development everywhere. 

 

Essentially, the Pierce has not stopped development on both sides, but I don't think that's a case for or against unless you argue that development might speed up on either side. 

 

sorry, yeah, I should have left more of the original quote. I know you were referencing what he said, and that it wasn't your words.

 

My point though was that midtown and downtown are distinct districts, one is more oriented at residential, one is more oriented to commercial (unless spurred by tax incentives). Will removal of the pierce blur those lines between midtown and downtown? Is it a good thing for the residents? How does this benefit all Houstonians? 

 

So, it still comes back to the question: other than benefiting a few people who are already very wealthy, how does removing the pierce elevated benefit all people who live in the city of Houston?

 

At the end of the day, I see two things: It will greatly benefit people who have a lot of money already. It doesn't add additional capacity to the freeway system to benefit everyone else (by everyone else I mean all Houstonians, not just people who live in midtown that are afraid to walk under a freeway). No one's really provided anything compelling yet to make me feel otherwise.

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Not sure what happened after my first paragraph...thanks iPhone. 

 

Yeah, I'm not sure I know enough about what kind of "wealthy" people would benefit from this so I can't comment there.

 

Though I would disagree that, as of 2016, the line between Downtown and Midtown is quickly eroding, if it's not already dissipated. 

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whats the point of this debate, we all know that corporate interest will rule and this will be demolished. Theres just too much money on the table for profitable development long term for them to keep this a park or whatever.  If I had money I know id def buy up some of the land and sit on it for a few decades until the surrounding area gets more developed. 

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15 hours ago, samagon said:

 

 

I think this is absolutely wrong. The only people who want this torn down are the people rich enough to buy the land and sit on it for a few decades as parking lots till they can either sell it on for profit, or build something they can lease for even more profit. People who live in midtown will have a warm tingly feeling for a while, but when nothing really changes that will go away. The population of the city as a whole doesn't benefit as there isn't a significant capacity increase for through traffic. So yeah. The only people who should want this torn down are the people rich enough to buy the land it sits on.

 

 

Which goes to my comment above, the real winners here are people and companies that buy the land, or already own land around the pierce. 

 

 

That's not a fair comparison at all. The recent spate of residential development downtown is specifically because of the tax credit to try and spark downtown living. Can you say with a straight face that the residential would have been built at the scale it has been without the tax credits? Compare the amount of commercial and residential built between 2009 and 2014 in downtown compared with midtown.

 

Will removal of the pierce spark more commercial in midtown? Will removal of the pierce spark more residential in downtown? Basically, will the lines blur between the two? Who does this really benefit? Does it make midtown a more livable community? Does it make downtown a more livable community? To kind of go back to my point at the top, it won't really benefit anyone monetarily unless they have huge/deep pockets, so how does removing the pierce elevated exactly improve the quality of life for midtown/downtown residents specifically, and more generally, all Houstonians?


So rich people = liberals..? Got it.. 


I would hardly say "rich people" are the only ones who want this torn down. But yeah, it would be nice if there was a bigger increase in capacity to accommodate for future growth. With that in mind, I ramble/propose this..
With all this money proposed to be spent (I heard the downtown section alone would run around $4 billion), why not expand the existing i69, and cut/cover a section of 45 past midtown from say Crawford, to where the highway would open up at the dip south of W Dallas? Since they would be saving money from not having to build an elevated 45 along the stretch of i10 (plus ROW acquisitions for the properties west of St Emanuel, and the entire Clayton Homes subdivision) the total construction costs would theoretically come out under the $4 billion that the proposed plan was projected to cost, and they could spend whats left over to make i69 drop under Capitol and pop up after Commerce, so there would still be a section of appealing surface connectivity/green space between the east end and downtown (IMO as much as the green space behind GRB would be cool, it seems kind of pointless granted the GRB would still be blocking the east end from downtown).
It would be a win-win-win.
Midtown would have an unsightly elevated highway removed, while getting at least 10 blocks of green space (not only would that be of use to Midtown residents, but would help with the green space desired for southern downtown residents). The linear green space would even retain a distinguishable "barrier" between downtown and Midtown.
The East End would have part of an unsightly highway removed, while getting an appealing surface connection with green space between it and downtown.
And the one that no one ever mentions.. the Near North Side wouldn't have to look at a new elevated i45 highway.

What do y'all think? Sorry for the long post.. If i can figure out a way to re word it better and y'all like it, maybe it would be worth sending to TxDot.

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5 hours ago, cloud713 said:


So rich people = liberals..? Got it.. 


I would hardly say "rich people" are the only ones who want this torn down. But yeah, it would be nice if there was a bigger increase in capacity to accommodate for future growth. With that in mind, I ramble/propose this..
With all this money proposed to be spent (I heard the downtown section alone would run around $4 billion), why not expand the existing i69, and cut/cover a section of 45 past midtown from say Crawford, to where the highway would open up at the dip south of W Dallas? Since they would be saving money from not having to build an elevated 45 along the stretch of i10 (plus ROW acquisitions for the properties west of St Emanuel, and the entire Clayton Homes subdivision) the total construction costs would theoretically come out under the $4 billion that the proposed plan was projected to cost, and they could spend whats left over to make i69 drop under Capitol and pop up after Commerce, so there would still be a section of appealing surface connectivity/green space between the east end and downtown (IMO as much as the green space behind GRB would be cool, it seems kind of pointless granted the GRB would still be blocking the east end from downtown).
It would be a win-win-win.
Midtown would have an unsightly elevated highway removed, while getting at least 10 blocks of green space (not only would that be of use to Midtown residents, but would help with the green space desired for southern downtown residents). The linear green space would even retain a distinguishable "barrier" between downtown and Midtown.
The East End would have part of an unsightly highway removed, while getting an appealing surface connection with green space between it and downtown.
And the one that no one ever mentions.. the Near North Side wouldn't have to look at a new elevated i45 highway.

What do y'all think? Sorry for the long post.. If i can figure out a way to re word it better and y'all like it, maybe it would be worth sending to TxDot.

 

I was commenting on the quote BFS had posted, but didn't separate my thoughts well.

 

Anyway, I like this post, I like this idea. I just am unsure how it would work. getting 45 underground would be a challenge. I imagine they could have the NB lanes go underground first, jog over to make room for the SB lanes that would then go underground. That would impact a lot of NS connections from midtown to downtown. While many midtown residents wouldn't mind this, connectivity for the hospital would be impacted. Would be cool if there were a way to get the main lanes of 45 underground prior to the 59 intersection. but it would have to go deep since 59 is already underground there.

 

There just doesn't seem to be an easy answer, I just don't believe that the Txdot plan is the best answer.

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I like the bury the pierce elevated where it is idea - but I have an even more crazy addition to it.

 

Don't have a stack interchange at 45/59, and bury the Pierce deep enough to sell air rights on top of it.

 

You could have signage saying for southbound traffic on 45: "For I-69/US 59 follow I-10".  Same for 59 to northbound 45.  Then you use the current downtown connector ramps for northbound 45 traffic to connect to 59.  59 could also directly go southbound 45 there.  This would free up I-45 to stay buried all the way from where it dips under Dallas to west of Dowling.  No lost connections - St Charles, Live Oak, and Nagle already dead end at Pierce street.

 

If you need more throughput between on the axis I'm talking about eliminating, run a dedicated ramp similar to what you have connecting 290 and I-10 to go from I-45 to 59.

 

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10 minutes ago, Ross said:

How about not wasting billions of dollars, and keep what we have? I do not see billions in value for any if these suggestions.

 

this is the ultimate answer. no idea, txdot, purplecity, anyone has come up with a plan that makes it a worthwhile investment. certainly not 4 billions worth. how many light rail miles, how many commuter rail miles could be built with 4 billion? could they build an elevated portion on 610 as a I45 bypass for 4 billion at least? then you could knock down the pierce, or at least make it a smaller footprint 2 lane elevated dedicated to carrying 59 traffic to 45 north (combined with a 45 elevated bypass on 610).

 

the thing is though, no matter what they do, unless they remove it entirely, they'd still have to rebuild the pierce one way or another, as they say it's ending it's current service life. Not sure why, when it was rebuilt in the 90s it was only built for 30 years of service, but whatever.

Edited by samagon
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1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

this is the ultimate answer. no idea, txdot, purplecity, anyone has come up with a plan that makes it a worthwhile investment. certainly not 4 billions worth. how many light rail miles, how many commuter rail miles could be built with 4 billion? could they build an elevated portion on 610 as a I45 bypass for 4 billion at least? then you could knock down the pierce, or at least make it a smaller footprint 2 lane elevated dedicated to carrying 59 traffic to 45 north (combined with a 45 elevated bypass on 610).

 

the thing is though, no matter what they do, unless they remove it entirely, they'd still have to rebuild the pierce one way or another, as they say it's ending it's current service life. Not sure why, when it was rebuilt in the 90s it was only built for 30 years of service, but whatever.

 

It was probably rebuilt with 30 year life to save money.  I do like the idea of 45 bypassing downtown, but I don't know what the cost of that is compared to the mess they are proposing.  Could the sell of those blocks pay for expanding east loop?

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11 hours ago, cspwal said:

 

It was probably rebuilt with 30 year life to save money.  I do like the idea of 45 bypassing downtown, but I don't know what the cost of that is compared to the mess they are proposing.  Could the sell of those blocks pay for expanding east loop?

Of course! Dude, they made bank when they sold off Astroworld, and now the area is looking like "Uptown South" now that some real cool office buildings are developing there. I can't believe there were still car dealerships there as recent as 10 years ago. I'm sure the Pierce Elevated's land is worth billions.

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2 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Of course! Dude, they made bank when they sold off Astroworld, and now the area is looking like "Uptown South" now that some real cool office buildings are developing there. I can't believe there were still car dealerships there as recent as 10 years ago. I'm sure the Pierce Elevated's land is worth billions.

 

The old Astroworld lot is a giant dirt parking lot used for the rodeo and storage of temporary buildings and equipment. Not sure how it looks like "Uptown South" to you.

 

The car dealerships are still there, too (Chevy, Toyota, Nissan).

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He was being facetious, though that's not that fair considering no one expected a giant economic recession. Besides, the park was going to close anyway; Six Flags closed a lot parks in bankruptcy.

 

Either way it doesn't matter because it's not a good comparison of what could happen here, unless someone has invented time travel and isn't sharing it with the rest of us, in which case, IT how long until we get our 102 story tower? ;)

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6 hours ago, JLWM8609 said:

 

The old Astroworld lot is a giant dirt parking lot used for the rodeo and storage of temporary buildings and equipment. Not sure how it looks like "Uptown South" to you.

 

The car dealerships are still there, too (Chevy, Toyota, Nissan).

 

43 minutes ago, BigFootsSocks said:

He was being facetious, though that's not that fair considering no one expected a giant economic recession. Besides, the park was going to close anyway; Six Flags closed a lot parks in bankruptcy.

 

Either way it doesn't matter because it's not a good comparison of what could happen here, unless someone has invented time travel and isn't sharing it with the rest of us, in which case, IT how long until we get our 102 story tower? ;)

 

Yes, of course I was being facetious and I thought (wrongfully apparently) that I didn't need to have a smiley face because of how patently ridiculous the whole concept was. Guess not. :mellow:

 

Economic recession or not, Astroworld's land flat-out just wasn't worth as much as was believed. It wasn't developed prior to 2008 (probably because the asking price was too high) and wasn't developed in the last past few years (or even had a plan for development). Believing that the Pierce Elevated's land is similarly that valuable or could making a meaningful offset to the cost of construction of the whole project is going to be kidding themselves (and as for arguments for "but Astroworld's different", similar highway removal plans like in downtown Milwaukee or San Francisco resulted in parking lots for years and years ahead).

Edited by IronTiger
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11 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

 

 

Yes, of course I was being facetious and I thought (wrongfully apparently) that I didn't need to have a smiley face because of how patently ridiculous the whole concept was. Guess not. :mellow:

 

Economic recession or not, Astroworld's land flat-out just wasn't worth as much as was believed. It wasn't developed prior to 2008 (probably because the asking price was too high) and wasn't developed in the last past few years (or even had a plan for development). Believing that the Pierce Elevated's land is similarly that valuable or could making a meaningful offset to the cost of construction of the whole project is going to be kidding themselves (and as for arguments for "but Astroworld's different", similar highway removal plans like in downtown Milwaukee or San Francisco resulted in parking lots for years and years ahead).

No one in their right mind would think the selling of the land would even put a dent in the overall budget. 

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3 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

Exactly, but I read some of these replies in this thread, and I'm not sure if everyone agrees on that.

Well, we can all agree on the below.

  • You have been extra sassy lately.
  • I said in their right mind. Traffic is a passionate issue.
  • Eventually the blocks will be worth more.
  • who knows what would be built on them as Downtown/Midtown/Montroseish/Museum District start to close on each other.
  • It's on a grid with close access to the only excuse of public transportation we have.
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2 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Well, we can all agree on the below.

  • You have been extra sassy lately. - I may be a bit off-putting in this thread, but I've always had that type of opinion. But I have been working a somewhat tough job lately, has my "blowing off steam" been that obvious?
  • I said in their right mind. Traffic is a passionate issue. - I'd say that many of the "removal of the Pierce Elevated" arguments are not "right mind" arguments. What are you trying to say?
  • Eventually the blocks will be worth more. - Guessing, no one knows the future.
  • who knows what would be built on them as Downtown/Midtown/Montroseish/Museum District start to close on each other. - Guessing, no one knows the future
  • It's on a grid with close access to the only excuse of public transportation we have. - So buses aren't public transportation now? Come on, man. You can't accuse someone of backtalk and exaggerated comparisons and then proceed to do the same thing.

 

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1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

 

Buses are terrible. I don't know how accurate google maps are (usually 97% when driving), but going to work, or to restaurants/clubs/bars/anything from my apartment are often so ridiculous it would be faster to bike. Not the Choo-Choo! Besides that, it's blocks and blocks of wide (mostly), one-way streets. To ignore that is silly. It's a grid, and the eventuality* is an urban city. 

 

And of course it's guessing Iron, Hence the "who knows". :rolleyes:

 

I was agreeing with you, even talking about myself, that transit can get people worked up. When they do the bias blooms. 

 

*totally guessing with my crystal ball - Pending any asteroid apocalypse, economic meltdown, war with Russia, etc.

 

edit: I know it's my wet dream to see it removed, but there's nothing wrong with visualizing that avenue.

Edited by Montrose1100
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In my experience, buses are good for going short distances (1-2 miles) on a local, or long distances if its an express like the P&R buses. The problem with the bus system as it stands is it relies on frequent local buses - great for short trips, but horrible for the scale of Houston.  That's what the Purple City proposal was trying to address, by making it possible to have through HOV/HOT lanes that go both ways, which would allow more rapid bus service.

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2 minutes ago, cspwal said:

In my experience, buses are good for going short distances (1-2 miles) on a local, or long distances if its an express like the P&R buses. The problem with the bus system as it stands is it relies on frequent local buses - great for short trips, but horrible for the scale of Houston.  That's what the Purple City proposal was trying to address, by making it possible to have through HOV/HOT lanes that go both ways, which would allow more rapid bus service.

Getting from "greater" Uptown where I live to Brookhollow where I work can be timed at +1.5 hours with a transfer or two, and a mile of walking. We need right of way or rail desperately.

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2 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Getting from "greater" Uptown where I live to Brookhollow where I work can be timed at +1.5 hours with a transfer or two, and a mile of walking. We need right of way or rail desperately.

 

That's ridiculous.  It might be faster for you to walk that!

 

Maybe HAIF can get together and buy one of those tunnel boring things to make a subway

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The recent floods have made me wonder if entirely sunken highways around downtown are that much of a good idea, and especially the idea of the deck park over a 59/45, making it impossible to air-rescue anyone unfortunate enough to get stuck down there. Dallas' "tunnel" under Klyde Warren Park doesn't have that same problem due to the Trinity River having a wide "right of way" so to speak, to flood over, but Houston doesn't have that luxury. 

 

The current set-up allows 45 to access 59 and remain elevated (as the Pierce Elevated drops below to Dallas), whereas the TxDOT plan basically paralyzes the inner loop highway system by having all highways going in and out of downtown remaining completely inaccessible during a flooding event.

 

Just something to think about.

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1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

The current set-up allows 45 to access 59 and remain elevated (as the Pierce Elevated drops below to Dallas), whereas the TxDOT plan basically paralyzes the inner loop highway system by having all highways going in and out of downtown remaining completely inaccessible during a flooding event.

 

Just something to think about.

 

The inner loop was just about completely inaccessible during Allison and that's with the current set-up. I remember we had flooding of 288/59 south of downtown, and that rarely happens. Depressed highways like 288 between Wheeler and 610 can function as a spillway during extreme flooding events. While flooding along Brays, particularly in Meyerland was bad, I think flooding would've been worse if not for 288 functioning as a spillway, but I'm no hydrologist. 

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10 hours ago, IronTiger said:

The recent floods have made me wonder if entirely sunken highways around downtown are that much of a good idea, and especially the idea of the deck park over a 59/45, making it impossible to air-rescue anyone unfortunate enough to get stuck down there. Dallas' "tunnel" under Klyde Warren Park doesn't have that same problem due to the Trinity River having a wide "right of way" so to speak, to flood over, but Houston doesn't have that luxury. 

 

The current set-up allows 45 to access 59 and remain elevated (as the Pierce Elevated drops below to Dallas), whereas the TxDOT plan basically paralyzes the inner loop highway system by having all highways going in and out of downtown remaining completely inaccessible during a flooding event.

 

Just something to think about.

 

Flooded freeways are a feature, not a bug. Like it or not, they're a critical part of the retention strategy in our flood control plan. Saving lives and homes is far more important than ensuring your commute is the exact same in extreme weather.

 

The trick is convincing people to get off the freeways just before they flood, but Houstonians tend to be pathologically stubborn about that sort of thing. I even tried to take Memorial across the park to work on Monday morning, until realizing that it wasn't going to work.

 

I think the suggestion of automatic flood gates, similar to snow gates in Colorado, is a good one.

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In which case you install gates at exits before the depressed section, and activate the gates when either rainfall hits a certain intensity, or standing water in the depressed section reaches a certain height. These are engineering problems that can be easily solved.

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That works until the public officials don't install them because "people go around barricades".

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/public-works-didnt-install-barriers-for-flooded-underpasses-because-it-assumed-drivers-would-ignore-them-8340075

Quote

In explaining why they decided not to go forward with the mechanical arms, Public Works spokeswoman Julie Gilbert compared them to the arms at railroad crossings — which exist on most major thoroughfares that see regular train traffic. 

"The point is that, the arms, we know, just like the railroad crossing arms, people go through them," Gilbert told the Houston Press on Wednesday. "People go around barricades. People run red lights. [The arms] are not designed to be barricades. 

 

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2 minutes ago, cspwal said:

That works until the public officials don't install them because "people go around barricades".

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/public-works-didnt-install-barriers-for-flooded-underpasses-because-it-assumed-drivers-would-ignore-them-8340075

 

 

Unfortunately, a young lady passed early monday morning as she went around the barricades on her way home. Sad story.

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39 minutes ago, ADCS said:

In which case you install gates at exits before the depressed section, and activate the gates when either rainfall hits a certain intensity, or standing water in the depressed section reaches a certain height. These are engineering problems that can be easily solved.

That would work in an ideal world. But remember, most of the air rescue crews during flooding (and accompanying deaths, usually) are from people who don't heed warnings and do other stupid things.

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  • The title was changed to I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)

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