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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Carefully cherry-picked and misrepresented data.  So now, you've introduced a new criteria. Funny how when you are disproven you change your argument or change your criteria to try to keep your position afloat. Now that it's convenient for your purposes we are only to consider the streets that get people further into the east end.

 

But it doesn't matter how many of the streets you try to define away, the facts still show that we are losing zero connected Major Thoroughfare/Major Collector Streets (with Polk only getting a very minor detour).  And that detour is more than offset by the additional through capacity being added.  In the interest of presenting complete data, a couple other items should be noted.  (1) The designation of all of these streets at Major Thoroughfares/Major Collector Streets terminates at the freeway. That termination has nothing to do with this project. (2) Polk, the one street that has some deleterious effect from the plan, carries relatively little traffic on a daily basis in the section near the freeway.

 

Again, where is the loss of connectivity? The actual data shows there is no loss of connectivity. And again, this only considers motor vehicle connectivity.  I am far more concerned with community/pedestrian connectivity (and supposedly, so is Mr. Speck), which will be hugely improved on the east side.

 

oh no, it only reinforces what COH already states, and we should focus where COH focuses, which are on the major thoroughfares and collectors. do you think they just picked those roads for that designation because they had a hat with 14 street names and picked the first 4 they removed from the hat?

 

if spur 527 were to be reconfigured and Westheimer had to be closed, would Avondale be a suitable replacement? I suspect you ignored that because you know the answer is what I already said. no. so why is it when Polk is going to be shut down that suddenly all these other roads are acceptable?

Edited by samagon

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20 hours ago, samagon said:

 

oh no, it only reinforces what COH already states, and we should focus where COH focuses, which are on the major thoroughfares and collectors. do you think they just picked those roads for that designation because they had a hat with 14 street names and picked the first 4 they removed from the hat?

 

if spur 527 were to be reconfigured and Westheimer had to be closed, would Avondale be a suitable replacement? I suspect you ignored that because you know the answer is what I already said. no. so why is it when Polk is going to be shut down that suddenly all these other roads are acceptable?

 

Except you cherry-picked from the COH's list of major thoroughfares and collectors, presumably so that the minor Polk Street detour inconvenience is elevated in importance. No, I don't think they picked these streets from a hat.  That's why I listed all of them, not just a cherry-picked list.  Further, you continue to ignore the fact that none of them, including Polk Street, are so designated by the COH after they reach the freeway. I suspect this is because once it gets downtown, all traffic is dispersed and handled by the grid (all streets).

 

I didn't respond to the Westheimer/527 hypothetical, because there is so little in common as to be a complete waste of time, but since you insist:  (1) Westheimer/Elgin is a major thoroughfare THROUGH the hypothetical intersection with Spur 527. In comparison, Polk Street designation as major thoroughfare terminates at I-69. The detoured portion and the portion inside the CBD are not so designated. (2) That section of Westheimer/Elgin carries more than 5 times as much traffic as the subject section of Polk Street. (3) It should be obvious why "all these other roads" are acceptable in the case of Polk Street, while Avondale would not be acceptable for Westheimer: Your hypothetical detour route on Avondale is largely residential while the proposed Polk Street detour will be purpose-built roadway with zero negative impact on a neighborhood and "all these other streets" are commercial streets serving the same purpose as Polk Street (again, NONE, not even Polk Street, are designated as major thoroughfares or collector streets after they reach the freeway (coming from the East).

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There are a couple of other impediments to getting dispersed and handled by the rest of the grid:  To the west, the GRB blocks Lamar, McKinney, and Walker, the baseball stadium blocks Preston, Runnels ends at Elysian, and the first clear route south from MMP on is LaBranch.  East of the freeway, BBVA blocks Capitol and Rusk.  So, yeah... Polk is kinda handy.

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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Except you cherry-picked from the COH's list of major thoroughfares and collectors, presumably so that the minor Polk Street detour inconvenience is elevated in importance. No, I don't think they picked these streets from a hat.  That's why I listed all of them, not just a cherry-picked list.  Further, you continue to ignore the fact that none of them, including Polk Street, are so designated by the COH after they reach the freeway. I suspect this is because once it gets downtown, all traffic is dispersed and handled by the grid (all streets).

 

I didn't respond to the Westheimer/527 hypothetical, because there is so little in common as to be a complete waste of time, but since you insist:  (1) Westheimer/Elgin is a major thoroughfare THROUGH the hypothetical intersection with Spur 527. In comparison, Polk Street designation as major thoroughfare terminates at I-69. The detoured portion and the portion inside the CBD are not so designated. (2) That section of Westheimer/Elgin carries more than 5 times as much traffic as the subject section of Polk Street. (3) It should be obvious why "all these other roads" are acceptable in the case of Polk Street, while Avondale would not be acceptable for Westheimer: Your hypothetical detour route on Avondale is largely residential while the proposed Polk Street detour will be purpose-built roadway with zero negative impact on a neighborhood and "all these other streets" are commercial streets serving the same purpose as Polk Street (again, NONE, not even Polk Street, are designated as major thoroughfares or collector streets after they reach the freeway (coming from the East).

 

that's kind of what I feel like responding is. but I'll try again, using different words to say the same thing, maybe it will help you understand my point?

 

every street referenced other than those that are major thoroughfares, or collectors are not maintained for the same levels of traffic, anyone that lives in the area will tell you that. 

 

right now, as you pointed out, there are 14 ways to cross between east end and downtown. 

right now (and anyone who lives in the area will agree), there are 5 USEFUL ways to cross between east end and downtown. conveniently enough, they are the streets that COH has designated as major thoroughfares/collectors.

 

future state, as you pointed out, there will be 15 ways to cross between east end and downtown. 

future state, (and anyone who lives in the are will agree), there will be 3.5 USEFUL (Leeland will be a one way crossing) ways to cross between east end and downtown.

 

It is completely lost on me when someone says the area will be better connected because they have more crossings. 15 instead of 14 is a talking point that bears no reference to reality. fact of the matter is, they could reduce the overall number of connections, so long as they maintain, or increase the amount of USEFUL connections, which they have not done.

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4 minutes ago, samagon said:

Leeland will be a one way crossing

 

See, here's a place where it would be useful to work with CoH (since they control how the streets are managed) rather than try to torpedo the project altogether. Not only do current plans have Leeland as two way across the highway, it wouldn't be too difficult to restripe it downtown for two-way traffic altogether, as a complete street with biking and parking facilities. I think there are many in planning who would be amenable to that kind of suggestion, instead of just digging in your heels.

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59 minutes ago, ADCS said:

 

See, here's a place where it would be useful to work with CoH (since they control how the streets are managed) rather than try to torpedo the project altogether. Not only do current plans have Leeland as two way across the highway, it wouldn't be too difficult to restripe it downtown for two-way traffic altogether, as a complete street with biking and parking facilities. I think there are many in planning who would be amenable to that kind of suggestion, instead of just digging in your heels.

 

do I want to see the project not happen at all:

- only if they don't improve local connectivity

 

would I be happy with the project if it were changed to improve local connectivity:

 - not entirely, but as has been discussed, alternative transit options just aren't available in our state, so for all intent and purpose, sure, I'd be happy enough.

 

there are some other fundamental problems I have with it, for instance, Clayton homes. I think TXDOT should be on the hook for building an equal amount of replacement low income housing. with the same closeness to downtown.

Edited by samagon

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16 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

With all the usefulness of a wet fart in a spacesuit.

 

that's not fair, because on this diagram, it does show usefulness, you can turn left on Hamilton and then right on Pease. it will not be as convenient for local traffic as going straight on Bell is now, but it will be better than nothing.

 

so yes, more useful than a wet fart in a spacesuit. 

 

so we're from 70% to 80% retention in connectivity. yay.

 

also, I do apologize, my intent was not to provide misinformation, from the view I was looking at on this PDF http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs11/10_NHHIP_Seg3_Overview_Layout_PH_1-1.pdf I wasn't zoomed in far enough on it to see arrows, all I saw was no direct way to get from Leeland to Bell, so I assumed that Leeland didn't offer a East to West connection.

Edited by samagon

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relevant story is relevant...

https://jalopnik.com/hey-knuckleheads-want-to-pollute-less-stop-treating-1838262546

 

I would like to point out that this article is posted to an automotive enthusiast site, and it has references to very real published studies about induced demand.

 

so it's not like this is some crackpot left wing climate change site, or some mass transit lovers site, it's car people.

Edited by samagon

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So, this is just an information question... Will the trenched portion of 45/59 that will run between downtown and EaDo actually be wider than the current trenched portion of 59/288 that runs between Midtown and 3rd Ward?

 

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4 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

Yes, why else would they move 45 if it didn't also include more lanes?

 

I was not comparing I-45 before and after.

 

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On 9/20/2019 at 2:56 PM, Naviguessor said:

^^ Better place to put the water than in the surrounding homes and businesses. 

 

the area that would benefit from a trenched freeway has excellent drainage.

 

except for some street flooding, no parts of the area were affected either during last weeks event, or Harvey. I live in the area and there was no evidence (gutted homes/businesses) of buildings being flooded. 

 

so this really isn't a thing.

 

if a partial goal of this was to give flood waters somewhere to go, maybe all the freeways should be trenched west of downtown to provide some relief for the theater district downtown? that area floods if someone sneezes.

 

On 9/20/2019 at 3:43 PM, H-Town Man said:

So, this is just an information question... Will the trenched portion of 45/59 that will run between downtown and EaDo actually be wider than the current trenched portion of 59/288 that runs between Midtown and 3rd Ward?

 

 

the schematic has 2 cutaway points, at one it shows the trenched area to be 480', in another it's 360'.

 

the entire txdot ROW is going to be between 720' and 550'.

 

the existing 288/59 (including side streets) is 550'.

 

it's all in here: http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs11/10_NHHIP_Seg3_Overview_Layout_PH_1-1.pdf

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

the schematic has 2 cutaway points, at one it shows the trenched area to be 480', in another it's 360'.

 

the entire txdot ROW is going to be between 720' and 550'.

 

the existing 288/59 (including side streets) is 550'.

 

it's all in here: http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs11/10_NHHIP_Seg3_Overview_Layout_PH_1-1.pdf

 

It looks from the cross-section like part of the opening is covered over by streets and so the opening is only about 320' wide. Still it's crazy to think of something as wide as the 59/288 trench in Midtown going between downtown and Eado. I-75 in Midtown Atlanta is only about 215' wide and it is a pretty formidable barrier between Georgia Tech and Midtown. They will have to build at least some of the park cap... wish someone could get a cost estimate on that.

 

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1 minute ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It looks from the cross-section like part of the opening is covered over by streets and so the opening is only about 320' wide. Still it's crazy to think of something as wide as the 59/288 trench in Midtown going between downtown and Eado. I-75 in Midtown Atlanta is only about 215' wide and it is a pretty formidable barrier between Georgia Tech and Midtown. They will have to build at least some of the park cap... wish someone could get a cost estimate on that.

 

 

this is very true.

 

I mean, I guess a cost estimate is step 1, but I wish someone would commit to it being built.

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Think it would be pretty cool if the Astros/Dynamo would chip in to the cap fund in exchange for putting baseball and soccer fields on there.

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42 minutes ago, ADCS said:

Think it would be pretty cool if the Astros/Dynamo would chip in to the cap fund in exchange for putting baseball and soccer fields on there.

 

I'd be happy to see the Harris County Sports Authority be an entity that has to shovel some cash into it.

 

Sure, it's taxes, but it's taxes of everyone in Harris county, and everyone in Harris County are who is claimed to be the benefactors of this freeway being realigned/reconfigured, so why shouldn't we all pay to make the area surrounding it more better for local use?

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On 9/23/2019 at 12:29 PM, samagon said:

 

I'd be happy to see the Harris County Sports Authority be an entity that has to shovel some cash into it.

 

Sure, it's taxes, but it's taxes of everyone in Harris county, and everyone in Harris County are who is claimed to be the benefactors of this freeway being realigned/reconfigured, so why shouldn't we all pay to make the area surrounding it more better for local use?

 

Sounds satisfactory to me.

 

In keeping with my alignment to why TCR hasn't secured funding for the rest of project because it hasn't gotten over all the hops and barriers, this is the same situation. Plans aren't finalized, alignments aren't finalized, no official timeline on when to get started, and if you don't have any of those things than its going to be difficult to raise funds for accessories to this project. However, once the NHHIP has all these things completed and the aim is clear it will be much easier to ask for support knowing what the future lay of the land is. This goes right next to the GRB, Houston First, MMP, etc... Lots of incentives for these entities to fund the cap part of this project. They have every reason to do so. The GRB, not long ago, hired consultants to master plan further improvements to GRB with most of the improvements to come to the back side once this project is complete. The GRB is looking to take advantage of this opportunity. Houston First is right next to this, and as the leading authority on various ways to improve Houston will want to step in make something happen out of this. MMP will now have a potential front door park right next to their facility as well as new opportunities for land development. You bet they are going to invest. The soccer stadium will want to invest. The City will want to invest. I just don't see why nobody would. All that needs to happen is for this to be finalized and shovels ready, and the money will follow soon after that.

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Merged with a smaller thread that was created. Since the official name is the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, I am keeping the new name from the smaller thread.

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Moved to the main forum. Not sure why in the world a highway project was in the Transit subforum.

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Not sure if this should be on this thread, but interesting story. I frequently see this building from the highway:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Mexican-consulate-moving-to-southwest-Houston-to-14905843.php

 

Seems to indicate that the rebuild is proceeding, despite the backlash:

 

"The land swap, approved Thursday, secures a critical piece of property as the Texas Department of Transportation plans to remake the downtown freeway system as part of a $7 billion-plus rebuild of Interstate 45 from downtown Houston north toward Bush Intercontinental Airport. Part of the plan includes depressing I-69 and remaking the interchanges with I-45 and Texas 288, along with reconnecting area streets.

 

Work on the massive project, which remains controversial in many of the communities affected, is slated to start at the southern end, close to the existing Mexican Consulate."

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I don't think too many people have an issue with the proposals for this section of 59. That's one of the interesting things about the NHHIP: it's not really *one* project, which makes it a lot harder to have a single coherent opinion of it. I support large parts of Phase 3 and Phase 2, but I find Phase 1 absurd and there are elements of Phase 3 that I do find troubling.

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the only part of the project I have a problem with is removing the pierce elevated to make the rich richer at the expense of the east end and near north side.

 

otherwise, it's a good thing.

 

as far as the consulate moving, government agencies making deals with government agencies are easier than other deals.

Edited by samagon
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Rather than having a giant concrete moat around downtown I'd just as soon all the freeways be reduced to stubs with business designations, and if we need to have through signage just post it to any of our ring roads.  That's what a lot of cities in other countries do, and it helps congestion.  We had a real life experiment with that in San Francisco, where traffic improved when the Embarcadero Freeway was torn down due to earthquake damage, repeated more recently when they tore down the Central Freeway north of Market.  (IMHO they ought to finish the job and replace it with regular surface streets all the way down to the 80.)

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1 hour ago, mollusk said:

Rather than having a giant concrete moat around downtown I'd just as soon all the freeways be reduced to stubs with business designations, and if we need to have through signage just post it to any of our ring roads.  That's what a lot of cities in other countries do, and it helps congestion.  We had a real life experiment with that in San Francisco, where traffic improved when the Embarcadero Freeway was torn down due to earthquake damage, repeated more recently when they tore down the Central Freeway north of Market.  (IMHO they ought to finish the job and replace it with regular surface streets all the way down to the 80.)

 

There might be a case to be made for your plan, but tearing down the Embarcadero does nothing to support it. The Embarcadero was not a through-freeway, it was little more than an extended exit ramp; same for the Central Freeway.

Edited by Houston19514
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3 hours ago, mollusk said:

Rather than having a giant concrete moat around downtown I'd just as soon all the freeways be reduced to stubs with business designations, and if we need to have through signage just post it to any of our ring roads.  That's what a lot of cities in other countries do, and it helps congestion.  We had a real life experiment with that in San Francisco, where traffic improved when the Embarcadero Freeway was torn down due to earthquake damage, repeated more recently when they tore down the Central Freeway north of Market.  (IMHO they ought to finish the job and replace it with regular surface streets all the way down to the 80.)

It's all well and good to say "redirect through traffic to the ring roads", but that's not going to happen. The cost to expand 610(especially the Ship Channel bridge), BW8 and Grand Parkway to handle the rerouted traffic would be prohibitive, and there aren't many people who would be willing to drive an extra 60 miles to go around town. Would the Feds even allow the removal of the interstate highways through town?

 

On a personal note, I live in the Greater Heights, and have relatives in Baytown and Katy. Removing I-10 through town would make both of those trips a pain.

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4 hours ago, Ross said:

It's all well and good to say "redirect through traffic to the ring roads", but that's not going to happen. The cost to expand 610(especially the Ship Channel bridge), BW8 and Grand Parkway to handle the rerouted traffic would be prohibitive, and there aren't many people who would be willing to drive an extra 60 miles to go around town. Would the Feds even allow the removal of the interstate highways through town?

 

On a personal note, I live in the Greater Heights, and have relatives in Baytown and Katy. Removing I-10 through town would make both of those trips a pain.

 

fun facts... 

 

today:

going from 45/610 on the south side to 45/610 on the northside is 3 minutes slower taking 610 around, rather than 45 through town, and only 3 miles longer.

going from 10/610 on west to 10/610 on east is the same 3 minutes slower to go around 610 vs staying on 10, and again, 3 miles different.

going from 59/610 on southwest to 59/610 on the northeast is 1 minute slower, and 1 mile longer on 610 vs 59. 

 

granted, these times are at 10:30 at night, but there isn't 60 extra miles, which means it's hyperbole, as is your price comparison as well.

 

 

it is a fair point on how the federal govt would take removal of an interstate, but then if we're talking pie in the sky, it could just be a matter of renaming 610 to i10, yeah?

 

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9 hours ago, samagon said:

 

fun facts... 

 

today:

going from 45/610 on the south side to 45/610 on the northside is 3 minutes slower taking 610 around, rather than 45 through town, and only 3 miles longer.

going from 10/610 on west to 10/610 on east is the same 3 minutes slower to go around 610 vs staying on 10, and again, 3 miles different.

going from 59/610 on southwest to 59/610 on the northeast is 1 minute slower, and 1 mile longer on 610 vs 59. 

 

granted, these times are at 10:30 at night, but there isn't 60 extra miles, which means it's hyperbole, as is your price comparison as well.

 

 

it is a fair point on how the federal govt would take removal of an interstate, but then if we're talking pie in the sky, it could just be a matter of renaming 610 to i10, yeah?

 

 

looking at the same routes this morning (rush hour traffic), the times are similar, 3 minutes +- for each route, interestingly, some routes are quicker to go around 610 during rush hour. and there are some obvious outliers, such as any traffic on 610 around the Galleria area.

 

as far as getting from Heights to Baytown, well, you are an outlier, it's pointed out very frequently how few people live inside the loop in Houston, when compared to the greater Houston area.

 

but even still, in rush hour traffic, getting from Heights/11th to baytown, you only lose 5 minutes taking the loop around, and it's one extra mile. telling google to set depart time to 11am makes the disparity in times not so bad. furthermore, if you're at heights/20th it is already faster to take 610. as a matter of fact (when not rush hour), anything north of 13th street it is faster to go north to 610 and take that around to i10, rather than heading south to i10 straight away. so the reality is, that the number of people who would be truly affected with longer travel times is very small window of people living in a very specific area inside the loop.

 

for reference, so you don't think I'm someone who wouldn't be affected and is just spouting off, I live at telephone and lawndale, my parents live in Alief. outside of high traffic, 45 to 59 is about 10 minutes faster than any other possible route I could take.  this is while construction is ongoing on 59/610 interchange, so take that construction away and I bet it's closer to 15 minutes I save by taking 45 to 59 straight out to alief, but the reality is, the tradeoff I would pay in extra time on the road getting from my home to anywhere on the southwest side of town (Galleria, my parents, my sister, lots of childhood friends) for all the other benefits that would come to all of Houston by not having those freeways going straight through downtown? easy trade. super easy.

Edited by samagon
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9 hours ago, samagon said:

 

fun facts... 

 

today:

going from 45/610 on the south side to 45/610 on the northside is 3 minutes slower taking 610 around, rather than 45 through town, and only 3 miles longer.

going from 10/610 on west to 10/610 on east is the same 3 minutes slower to go around 610 vs staying on 10, and again, 3 miles different.

going from 59/610 on southwest to 59/610 on the northeast is 1 minute slower, and 1 mile longer on 610 vs 59. 

 

granted, these times are at 10:30 at night, but there isn't 60 extra miles, which means it's hyperbole, as is your price comparison as well.

 

 

it is a fair point on how the federal govt would take removal of an interstate, but then if we're talking pie in the sky, it could just be a matter of renaming 610 to i10, yeah?

 

Those times don't equate to what would happen if all of the through traffic was rerouted to 610. Without adding lanes all the way around the Loop, you would likely see delays of 30 minutes or more, and that's ignoring the impact on traffic from 45 and 59 that take the Loop to the Galleria.

 

Taking the Grand Parkway to get around Houston would be pretty close to an extra 40 miles, perhaps more.

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2 minutes ago, Ross said:

Those times don't equate to what would happen if all of the through traffic was rerouted to 610. Without adding lanes all the way around the Loop, you would likely see delays of 30 minutes or more, and that's ignoring the impact on traffic from 45 and 59 that take the Loop to the Galleria.

 

Taking the Grand Parkway to get around Houston would be pretty close to an extra 40 miles, perhaps more.

considering there's no qualitative analysis that would show how traffic would be affected, and considering that any scenario that removed the ring from downtown would result in a wider version of 610, you are making assumptions of the worst case scenario, which is fine.

 

no one would ever consider 99 as a bypass.

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20 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

There might be a case to be made for your plan, but tearing down the Embarcadero does nothing to support it. The Embarcadero was not a through-freeway, it was little more than an extended exit ramp; same for the Central Freeway.

 

The better comparison is the no-build on 95 north through DC. The Beltway is a beast, but the only real choke point is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

 

I also don't think replacement of the Ship Channel bridge is all that much of an issue. It's nearing the end of its service life already, and will almost certainly be replaced within the next 25 years.

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10 hours ago, Triton said:

New schematics are out:

 

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/DesignSchematics.aspx

 

Edit: if this truly is the "update", I am incredibly disappointed. Next to zero percent of months of community input was implemented. I'll explain more when I'm back from my trip. 

 

Interesting.... First Ward would get  an 'Aesthetic Wall' against the majority of the new ROW... Wonder what an aesthetic wall is...

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1 minute ago, Avossos said:

 

Interesting.... First Ward would get  an 'Aesthetic Wall' against the majority of the new ROW... Wonder what an aesthetic wall is...

IMG_4413-1-e1575917632900-1024x839.jpg

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54 minutes ago, rechlin said:

The new plan still shows the train tracks by the jail and UHD.  I wonder if the plan to move those is dead?

I honestly don't see much change at all. 

Can anyone point out any significant changes? Not saying there aren't any, I just don't see them. 

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Something is different. I think it’s 59 between midtown and Museum D. And potentially issues with the one between the montrose and Museum D.

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nothing that the community requested/threw up alarms about is changed on this. I went to 3 meetings and everything i flat out said was ignorant of facts on the ground is still in these plans.  

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Yes, I definitely see some very minor changes in Segment 3, but not much (I didn't look at the other segments).

 

The ROW for IH-69 under Montrose is now narrower so they won't have to rebuilt the already-new Montrose bridge.  Slightly less of the 527 spur will be rebuilt.  The ramp from Hamilton to 288 southbound is reconfigured.  The ramp from IH-45 southbound to IH-10 westbound is slightly shifted.  The Sabine Street bridge is no longer being shown as being rebuilt.

 

Also, the bridges over the freeways now all show wide sidewalks that weren't indicated before, which mostly doesn't seem to affect much except for a slight reconfiguration of Allen Parkway at the 45 spur, along with a new sidewalk going along the spur there too.

 

 

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nothing obvious has changed on the east side of segment 3, it seems to me that the north side of segment 3 is a bit more 'bendy' than I recall?

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13 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

It looks like they took away the Almeda cap. Smh

 

If there was ever an Almeda cap, it was out of the plan at least as early as May 2018.

Edited by Houston19514

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From Dec. 16th. The state will be doing a land swap with Mexican Consulate which will be in the path of the 59 portion that will be put underground. If anyone has a business journal sub could you please look into the story and see if there is anything more in there that is relevant?

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/12/16/texas-mexican-consulate-to-swap-land-in-houston-as.html

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So was it a complete waste for our community and superneighborhoods to be spending time with TXDOT? I was seriously looking for some even minor changes along I-45 around Near Northside and Northside. Nada!

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20 hours ago, Luminare said:

From Dec. 16th. The state will be doing a land swap with Mexican Consulate which will be in the path of the 59 portion that will be put underground. If anyone has a business journal sub could you please look into the story and see if there is anything more in there that is relevant?

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/12/16/texas-mexican-consulate-to-swap-land-in-houston-as.html

 

Quote

The Texas Transportation Commission and the Consulate of the United Mexican States in Houston have reached a deal to swap land to make way for a major highway project, according to commission documents and the Houston Chronicle.

The Mexican Consulate currently is located at 4506 Caroline St., adjacent to the San Jacinto Street entrance to Interstate 69/U.S. Highway 59 just south of Midtown. It will move to a roughly 3-acre site in Westchase currently owned by the state of Texas. That site is near the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Rogerdale Road, just outside of Beltway 8, per the documents and the Chronicle.

Consulate spokeswoman Valeria Ramirez Siller told the Chronicle the move is slated to occur next year. The consulate will have a larger building at its new location, which is within a mile or two of consulate or embassy offices for several other countries.

The Texas Department of Transportation wanted to obtain the consulate's current site in order to facilitate its massive North Houston Highway Improvement Project. The $7 billion project focuses on the downtown loop (including portions of interstates 10, 45 and 69), I-45 between downtown and the 610 Loop, and I-45 north from the 610 Loop to Beltway 8. The project is controversial — in part because TxDOT estimates it will need to acquire 162 single-family homes, 643 multifamily units and 508 public housing units, the Texas Tribune reports. The project is expected to disproportionately affect communities of color, per the Tribune.

 

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12 hours ago, Triton said:

So was it a complete waste for our community and superneighborhoods to be spending time with TXDOT? I was seriously looking for some even minor changes along I-45 around Near Northside and Northside. Nada!

 

What were you hoping to see? 

Edited by Houston19514

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6 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

What were you hoping to see? 

The big one involves N Main. The city actually reached out to TXDOT first, even before the community meetings, that they were concerned with the lack of both an off and on ramp just north of N Main. TXDOT said they would likely need to remove the Cottage St Bridge for the ramps to work. Since N Main is a major thoroughfare, they valued that connection over Cottage... That was the final plan I heard which was just a few months ago. What happened between that and these schematics, I'm not sure. 

 

Next is the lack of sound barriers on the Northside side. The entire Woodland Heights is getting the sound barrier and only a very small sliver on the other side. With that much community input, plus from the superneighborhood group, I'm surprised we still didn't see anything. 

 

 

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I have two thoughts that I've been mulling:

1) Considering how long its taken 288 and 610 to finish various projects (Post Oak exit says hello), is it fair to worry about the length of time this construction will take? This is probably going to take forever and a day to do during a time period where Houston is finally experiencing the type of densifying development growth you'd expect out of a city so large. Maybe do a smaller phase to see how that goes and what disruption that brings? I have zero confidence in any timelines that have been put out.

 

2) But then again, I do see the benefits of giving easier access to downtown from various suburbs. I feel like TxDot's selling point to why this works, to me, is Klyde Warren Park being the game changer for Dallas. This whole project change so much of what is Houston that it almost gives one anxiety to think about a project this big. However, Klyde Warren worked because of how disconnected the area towards Elm street and the farmer's market was getting from Downtown Dallas. There was no cohesion, and the thing that burying did was bring those communities together, let people who worked in Downtown (like myself back then) let out a sigh of relief that they weren't working in this barren concrete wasteland of excessively priced food and Concrete Cowboys, and partially shift the homeless away from that part of DT to make people feel safer about living there (and people certainly started moving into those condos and apartments since then). Burying a freeway and creating a huge park did all of that for DT Dallas. But if you don't get the parks, or the capped areas aren't utilized in a non-car centric fashion, then haven't you lost a significant portion of why this is worth doing? 

Edited by X.R.
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