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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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On 3/12/2021 at 1:04 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I feel like the negatives don’t outweigh the positives with this project. 

The only negative I'm looking at is this getting kicked around ten more years. Just get started so you can get it over with already.

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Fair point. The exact numbers I saw were:

58 houses, 433 apartments or condos, 486 public housing units, 340 businesses, five churches and two schools.

So 977 homes, 340 businesses, 5 churches, and two schools. That still sounds like a pretty substantial negative to me.

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2 hours ago, Texasota said:

Fair point. The exact numbers I saw were:

58 houses, 433 apartments or condos, 486 public housing units, 340 businesses, five churches and two schools.

So 977 homes, 340 businesses, 5 churches, and two schools. That still sounds like a pretty substantial negative to me.

While lamentable in some aspects, none of these are insurmountable issues. The schools can be replaced (and I suspect that, if they are public, there are already plans to move or close them), the churches can be moved, the house and condo owners can be compensated and moved easily enough, and the apartments are filled with renters who will simply rent somewhere else. The hardest replacements would, theoretically, be the businesses, but I suspect most of them are strip retail (like that Fry's Electronics), older hotels and motels, restaurants, gas stations, and the like fronting the freeway, most of which is also relatively easy to replace and most likely will be as new freeway frontage is opened up.

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And if they don't want to move? It's really never that simple. Places have value beyond the purely monetary. 

And that new freeway frontage isn't free either. People who were a block away from the freeway (which might have seemed like a reasonable compromise at one point) will now be right next to a feeder. Those (primarily) homes might still exist, but their quality of life will likely change.

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18 hours ago, Texasota said:

Fair point. The exact numbers I saw were:

58 houses, 433 apartments or condos, 486 public housing units, 340 businesses, five churches and two schools.

So 977 homes, 340 businesses, 5 churches, and two schools. That still sounds like a pretty substantial negative to me.

FWIW, the two schools are:  

Alpha and Omega Christian Academy 5621 North Freeway (which TxDoT has apparently already acquired) and

Culinary Institute Le Notre, 7070 Allensby Street.

 

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and areas that have never healed even 30 or 40 years after the freeways originally trod through their backyards, we're just going to scratch that scab right off by making the gash in the community even bigger.

the number of homes and community centers (churches, schools, or longstanding places of business) that will be displaced, it's not just those people, churches, and schools that are impacted. sure, there is the direct impact on who is being moved, but it affects the entire community. people who are friends of those that are going to be moved (probably to a location that is too far away, because these areas are getting to be too expensive for them to consider living there any longer), churches that will have the same problem, they won't be able to stay in the area and serve for community they have been a part of for so long. the greater impact is tens of thousands that will be negatively affected, not just the ones who are being forced to move.

17 hours ago, Big E said:

While lamentable in some aspects, none of these are insurmountable issues. The schools can be replaced (and I suspect that, if they are public, there are already plans to move or close them), the churches can be moved, the house and condo owners can be compensated and moved easily enough, and the apartments are filled with renters who will simply rent somewhere else. The hardest replacements would, theoretically, be the businesses, but I suspect most of them are strip retail (like that Fry's Electronics), older hotels and motels, restaurants, gas stations, and the like fronting the freeway, most of which is also relatively easy to replace and most likely will be as new freeway frontage is opened up.

to pick an out of business electronics retailer (fry's) as your lone specific example, it actually cheapens your argument. you're associating every single person in those communities as being just as inconsequential as an empty building. 

Edited by samagon
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On 3/13/2021 at 6:21 PM, Big E said:

The only negative I'm looking at is this getting kicked around ten more years. Just get started so you can get it over with already.


there are literally no positives to this project.   It will cause even more significant traffic around the i59-288 merger, it will destroy basically all of the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA, it funnels all of west-central houston's traffic to 610, exacerbating every other bottleneck of traffic this city already has, it racistly closes off near northside from downtown.  In the event of a disaster, everyone north of i10 will be cut-off from getting to the medical center for any emergencies. It doesn't even tie into any public transportation plans, TxDOT is still a big "we don't know" when asked how long this would affect light rail service.   

 

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6 minutes ago, crock said:


there are literally no positives to this project.   It will cause even more significant traffic around the i59-288 merger, it will destroy basically all of the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA, it funnels all of west-central houston's traffic to 610, exacerbating every other bottleneck of traffic this city already has, it racistly closes off near northside from downtown.  In the event of a disaster, everyone north of i10 will be cut-off from getting to the medical center for any emergencies. It doesn't even tie into any public transportation plans, TxDOT is still a big "we don't know" when asked how long this would affect light rail service.   

 

Literally everything in your post is false.

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46 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Literally everything in your post is false.


wow thanks for backing that up with literally any facts or knowledge or opinion.   Did I see you at any of the txdot or CoH meetings the past 3 years? 

Edited by crock
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3 hours ago, crock said:


wow thanks for backing that up with literally any facts or knowledge or opinion.   Did I see you at any of the txdot or CoH meetings the past 3 years? 

My post included every bit as much backup as yours.  I'll repost with more complete responses.  FWIW, I have no idea if you saw me, but I was at several of the meetings and I have spent many hours poring over the FEIS and am very familiar with the plans.  

http://ih45northandmore.com/final_eis.aspx

4 hours ago, crock said:


there are literally no positives to this project.  
 

Plainly false.  Whether naysayers like to accept it or not, the project provides for more traffic capacity, both for single-occupant vehicles and mass transit.  Plus the benefit of removing freeway lanes from two sides of downtown.

Edited by Houston19514
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3 hours ago, crock said:


it will destroy basically all of the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA

Quite the contrary.  Once the project is complete, the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA will be hugely improved. Check back with me in ten years (likely less than that).

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21 hours ago, Texasota said:

And if they don't want to move? It's really never that simple. Places have value beyond the purely monetary. 

And that new freeway frontage isn't free either. People who were a block away from the freeway (which might have seemed like a reasonable compromise at one point) will now be right next to a feeder. Those (primarily) homes might still exist, but their quality of life will likely change.

3 hours ago, crock said:


wow thanks for backing that up with literally any facts or knowledge or opinion.   Did I see you at any of the txdot or CoH meetings the past 3 years? 

3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Literally everything in your post is false.

 

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

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3 hours ago, crock said:

 it funnels all of west-central houston's traffic to 610, exacerbating every other bottleneck of traffic this city already has,
 

This makes no sense.  There is nothing about the project that will cause all of West-Central Houston's traffic to go to 610.

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4 hours ago, crock said:


it racistly closes off near northside from downtown.  

You really went off the rails here.  Aside from your ridiculous claims of racism, there will be more connectivity between the northside and downtown post-project than there is now.

4 hours ago, crock said:

In the event of a disaster, everyone north of i10 will be cut-off from getting to the medical center for any emergencies. It doesn't even tie into any public transportation plans, TxDOT is still a big "we don't know" when asked how long this would affect light rail service.   

How is anyone north of I-10 going to be cut off from the Medical Center in the event of a disaster due to this project???

4 hours ago, crock said:

It doesn't even tie into any public transportation plans, 

How does it not tie into public transportation plans?  The design is not complete; they are still working with Metro to finalize plans and determine exactly how and where Metro's plans will fit in.

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4 hours ago, crock said:


TxDOT is still a big "we don't know" when asked how long this would affect light rail service.   

You may have stumbled onto a nugget of truth here, but so what.  Of course they don't know the precise timing of any light rail service interruptions at this point in the planning.

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4 hours ago, crock said:


there are literally no positives to this project.   It will cause even more significant traffic around the i59-288 merger, it will destroy basically all of the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA, it funnels all of west-central houston's traffic to 610, exacerbating every other bottleneck of traffic this city already has, it racistly closes off near northside from downtown.  In the event of a disaster, everyone north of i10 will be cut-off from getting to the medical center for any emergencies. It doesn't even tie into any public transportation plans, TxDOT is still a big "we don't know" when asked how long this would affect light rail service.   

 

4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Literally everything in your post is false.

I agree with @Houston19514. This is a terrible take.

Quote

”It will cause even more significant traffic around the i59-288 merger”

59-288 merger should see improvements from the fact that backups related to 45 north/Pierce Elevated are no longer there.
 

Quote

”it will destroy basically all of the pregaming/postgaming culture around Minutemaid and BBVA”

Most bars there are east of St Emanuel and city documents show the deck park would be used for more development. Couple that with GRBCC’s plans to create an East End entrance and this project could easily bolster development here, better then what’s currently there now (a shitty overpass) 

Quote

”it funnels all of west-central houston's traffic to 610, exacerbating every other bottleneck of traffic this city already has”

The Pierce Elevated’s relocation to 59 shouldn’t cause any issues with west-central Houston traffic more then what it sees now as there’ll still be a spur built out to Midtown Pierce/Jefferson split ..the same exit that’s still there. IMO, it’s location is too far east to exacerbate West Loop traffic issues anyways.

Quote

”It racistly closes off near northside from downtown”

It’s adding an important connection from San Jacinto to Fulton. Also as a former East End resident, I find out laughable how you forget to mention how the diverse East End will benefit from this project. 
 

Quote

”In the event of a disaster, everyone north of i10 will be cut-off from getting to the medical center for any emergencies.”

One freeway goes below grade and you think that’ll sever the city in the event of a disaster? Both 59 and 288 south of 45 have been below grade for decades already. There’s also plenty of other routes there.
 

While my preferable wish is for the brain-dead leaders in the city to wake up and fully build out high speed commuter rail trains with their own grade separated right of way to all heavily populated suburbs in this city, I can easily see how the NHHIP will ultimately benefit the city, especially its Downtown urban core. The city has been trying to improve quality of life and stitching back neighborhoods together by demolishing unsightly  overpasses is a step in the positive direction to that goal. This is too big of an opportunity to waste.

Edited by tigereye
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18 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

This makes no sense.  There is nothing about the project that will cause all of West-Central Houston's traffic to go to 610.

I don't think anyone knows how local users will react to the changes. will a person living in Gulfton that works in Independence Heights choose 610, or 59>45? what is their current choice? what about a person that lives in Garden Oaks that works in the Medical Center? how do they commute now? How will they commute in the future?

what we know is TXDOT has the interests of regional traffic in mind, not local traffic, aka they are more concerned about traffic getting from somewhere outside of Houston to somewhere else outside of Houston. local concerns have been based on the feedback of County studies, City studies and neighborhood meetings, from the information that has been given back from TXDOT as a result of the neighborhood feedback, City and County studies, they have given very little interest in ensuring that the local residents get what they need, outside of a few very small tweaks to their overall design.

go back and look at what the city provided for feedback, what assurance has TXDOT provided that they are integrating this into their design? 

Edited by samagon
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2 hours ago, samagon said:

I don't think anyone knows how local users will react to the changes. will a person living in Gulfton that works in Independence Heights choose 610, or 59>45? what is their current choice? what about a person that lives in Garden Oaks that works in the Medical Center? how do they commute now? How will they commute in the future?

People will continue to commute as they do now... the vast majority take the quickest route. Currently, for the Gulfton to Independence Heights commuter, that is usually going to be the West and North Loops. For the Garden Oaks to Medical Center commuter, it's currently more dependent on time of day, but it's either West Loop/I-45 or North Loop/I-45.  It's hard to imagine a scenario where more of those commuters would choose the West Loop after this project is completed.  To the extent there is any shift, it is far more likely to be a shift away from the West Loop to the new downtown I-45/I-69.

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

what we know is TXDOT has the interests of regional traffic in mind, not local traffic, aka they are more concerned about traffic getting from somewhere outside of Houston to somewhere else outside of Houston. local concerns have been based on the feedback of County studies, City studies and neighborhood meetings, from the information that has been given back from TXDOT as a result of the neighborhood feedback, City and County studies, they have given very little interest in ensuring that the local residents get what they need, outside of a few very small tweaks to their overall design.

go back and look at what the city provided for feedback, what assurance has TXDOT provided that they are integrating this into their design? 

I don't think there is really much of a case to be made for this thesis.  The fact is, TxDoT has been making changes to this design in response to city and public feedback throughout the process and the process continues.  Again, the design is not complete.  The RFP has not been issued. Discussions continue on a whole list of the city's feedback items.  In a presentation to the Downtown TIRZ Board, there were 27 items listed on the city's feedback list. The feedback was characterized as follows:

2 items "already in".

11 items are "more than on the bubble".  The strategy is to "advocate for inclusion in the RFP"

7 items are "on the bubble". The strategy:  "Need further development" and "advocate for inclusion in the RFP"

4 items are "not getting traction".  The strategy:  "City of Houston to elevate importance of these"

3 items are "Critical City Leadership". The strategy" "City of Houston Approach with TXDOT" (These three are dealing with surplus ROW disposition.)

 

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TXDOT has made minimal changes to positions of exits, where a u-turn might exist, or other small tweaks to their design that is public facing on their website. these are the scraps they have provided for local connectivity.

as far as the massive changes recommended by the City, and HGAC, you can read the Mayor's feedback to TXDOT inaction:

https://mcusercontent.com/bbc8dea1a49ed98f626812405/files/1c7fe691-65a6-4f60-926d-923497847f8b/Mayor_s_NHHIP_Letter_12_08_2020.pdf

that letter is the last installment on this website: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/

one would assume, if TXDOT had replied to that in affirmation of the cities requests that it would be posted as such.

Edited by samagon
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One thing about this project is how a lot of this work benefits Midtown more than any other area. While other areas are going to see properties taken for new ROW, Midtown will actually see infrastructure removed for their benefit. In addition to the obvious removal of the Pierce Elevated, they're removing the entrance and exit ramps to 288 from Chenevert and Jackson. Initially, those ramps were going to be converted into ramps for the toll lanes on 288. 40 years ago when the area was mostly black, putting those ramps there was a part of "progress". Now that the demographics have changed drastically, TxDOT is being more sensitive to that area and restoring the street grid and not catering wholly to commuters from Pearland. It's interesting.

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22 hours ago, samagon said:

TXDOT has made minimal changes to positions of exits, where a u-turn might exist, or other small tweaks to their design that is public facing on their website. these are the scraps they have provided for local connectivity.

as far as the massive changes recommended by the City, and HGAC, you can read the Mayor's feedback to TXDOT inaction:

https://mcusercontent.com/bbc8dea1a49ed98f626812405/files/1c7fe691-65a6-4f60-926d-923497847f8b/Mayor_s_NHHIP_Letter_12_08_2020.pdf

that letter is the last installment on this website: https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/

one would assume, if TXDOT had replied to that in affirmation of the cities requests that it would be posted as such.

As I keep telling you, it is very much an ongoing process.  The designs are FAR from complete.  

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

As I keep telling you, it is very much an ongoing process.  The designs are FAR from complete.  

um, no? TXDOT released their Record of Decision. it does not include any of the changes referenced in the Mayor's letter.

the ROD can be found here http://hilldaypr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TxDOT-I-45-Position-Papers-TxDOT-ANNOUNCES-ROD-2-3-2021_EXTERNAL.pdf

if you can find anywhere in the document that the state agrees to any of the terms from the mayor, I'm happy for you to show me. just a quick glance shows that even the easiest of things that doesn't require a complete redesign of the schematics:

below is the property request from the Mayor, and the text regarding the outlay from the Record of Decision.

ht8FzeC.jpg

EnWvM9q.jpg

again, the top is from the Mayor's letter, the bottom is from the Record of Decision, and but one singular example of the state not doing anything with the local feedback.

if you have any proof that TXDOT plans to reframe their designs to support the city and counties feedback, please share it.

all I can find is the record of decision that has no changes based on the city/county feedback.

at the end of the day, we have the Record of Decision saying what they are doing, then we have TXDOT saying, sure, we'll make changes as we go, but it's not just me and other people saying they need to make serious modifications before moving forward: it's city, county, state, and federal officials saying that TXDOT needs to do more to show their commitment to the people who will be most affected by this.

Edited by samagon
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3 hours ago, samagon said:

um, no? TXDOT released their Record of Decision. it does not include any of the changes referenced in the Mayor's letter.

the ROD can be found here http://hilldaypr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TxDOT-I-45-Position-Papers-TxDOT-ANNOUNCES-ROD-2-3-2021_EXTERNAL.pdf

You're correct. A record of decision has been made. But Houston19514 is also correct in that modifications, even large ones, can still be made. It is still an on-going process but the record of decision allows them to start moving ahead. Now, it doesn't mean the city and the state will see eye-to-eye on every matter, but even after the ROD, it allows wiggle room to adjust things where needed.

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11 hours ago, Triton said:

You're correct. A record of decision has been made. But Houston19514 is also correct in that modifications, even large ones, can still be made. It is still an on-going process but the record of decision allows them to start moving ahead. Now, it doesn't mean the city and the state will see eye-to-eye on every matter, but even after the ROD, it allows wiggle room to adjust things where needed.

right, but I guess what I'm trying to say (and what the county has said through it's lawsuit, and what the FHWA has said through it's stop order) is that if you look at the current schematics for the TXDOT i45 plan, and then look at the cities 'vision c' (somewhere in this thread), it's not "wiggle room" that brings them together. 

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20 hours ago, samagon said:

um, no? TXDOT released their Record of Decision. it does not include any of the changes referenced in the Mayor's letter.

the ROD can be found here http://hilldaypr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TxDOT-I-45-Position-Papers-TxDOT-ANNOUNCES-ROD-2-3-2021_EXTERNAL.pdf

if you can find anywhere in the document that the state agrees to any of the terms from the mayor, I'm happy for you to show me. just a quick glance shows that even the easiest of things that doesn't require a complete redesign of the schematics:

below is the property request from the Mayor, and the text regarding the outlay from the Record of Decision.

ht8FzeC.jpg

EnWvM9q.jpg

again, the top is from the Mayor's letter, the bottom is from the Record of Decision, and but one singular example of the state not doing anything with the local feedback.

if you have any proof that TXDOT plans to reframe their designs to support the city and counties feedback, please share it.

all I can find is the record of decision that has no changes based on the city/county feedback.

at the end of the day, we have the Record of Decision saying what they are doing, then we have TXDOT saying, sure, we'll make changes as we go, but it's not just me and other people saying they need to make serious modifications before moving forward: it's city, county, state, and federal officials saying that TXDOT needs to do more to show their commitment to the people who will be most affected by this.

I don't need to do much digging to find in the document that the state agrees with any terms of the Mayor.  You've already done it for me.  Thank you.  

What you have shown us is a perfect example of where TxDot is already committed to doing MORE than the letter requests. This item in the letter is premised on the incorrect idea that TxDoT's $27 Million commitment is meant to replace all of the affordable housing being taken by the project.  As their response in the ROD shows, they are committed to replacing all of the housing, moving all of the people PLUS making an additional $27 Million commitment to Houston affordable housing.  This is actually very clear to anyone who has studied the FEIS and unfortunately makes the Mayor's letter look pretty sloppy and unreliable. He was not well-served by his staff on this one.

Edited by Houston19514
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21 hours ago, samagon said:

um, no? TXDOT released their Record of Decision. it does not include any of the changes referenced in the Mayor's letter.

the ROD can be found here http://hilldaypr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TxDOT-I-45-Position-Papers-TxDOT-ANNOUNCES-ROD-2-3-2021_EXTERNAL.pdf

if you can find anywhere in the document that the state agrees to any of the terms from the mayor, I'm happy for you to show me. just a quick glance shows that even the easiest of things that doesn't require a complete redesign of the schematics:

below is the property request from the Mayor, and the text regarding the outlay from the Record of Decision.

ht8FzeC.jpg

EnWvM9q.jpg

again, the top is from the Mayor's letter, the bottom is from the Record of Decision, and but one singular example of the state not doing anything with the local feedback.

if you have any proof that TXDOT plans to reframe their designs to support the city and counties feedback, please share it.

all I can find is the record of decision that has no changes based on the city/county feedback.

at the end of the day, we have the Record of Decision saying what they are doing, then we have TXDOT saying, sure, we'll make changes as we go, but it's not just me and other people saying they need to make serious modifications before moving forward: it's city, county, state, and federal officials saying that TXDOT needs to do more to show their commitment to the people who will be most affected by this.

I believe TXDOT paid $90M to the HHA for the Clayton Homes project taking. 

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

I don't need to do much digging to find in the document that the state agrees with any terms of the Mayor.  You've already done it for me.  Thank you.  

What you have shown us is a perfect example of where TxDot is already committed to doing MORE than the letter requests. This item in the letter is premised on the incorrect idea that TxDoT's $27 Million commitment is meant to replace all of the affordable housing being taken by the project.  As their response in the ROD shows, they are committed to replacing all of the housing, moving all of the people PLUS making an additional $27 Million commitment to Houston affordable housing.  This is actually very clear to anyone who has studied the FEIS and unfortunately makes the Mayor's letter look pretty sloppy and unreliable. He was not well-served by his staff on this one.

not sure you understand what they are saying, but from what I am reading they are providing 27 million for relocation, that 27 million doesn't come from the funding for the road.

where do you see that they are providing more than 27 million for relocation?

and as the Mayor asked, what is the exact plan?

breaking it down for you...

Quote

NHHIP Mitigation for Housing and Community Impacts TxDOT will offer direct financial assistance to affordable housing providers to support specific affordable housing initiatives. The eligible initiatives include construction of affordable single-family or multi-family housing, and support of programs that provide assistance and outreach related to affordable housing.

scope of what they are doing to relocate.

Quote

This affordable housing mitigation commitment is budgeted for $27 million and will be coordinated with local partners to administer these funds effectively.

commitment to only the $27 million.

Quote

Assistance will be directed towards those neighborhoods most impacted by the NHHIP. It is important to note that this $27 million affordable housing commitment is separate and apart from, and is above and beyond the funding for the acquisition, relocation and enhanced relocation services for the directly impacted residential properties.

the $27 million is ONLY for building new property.

now that we've broken down what TXDOT has in the ROD, let's look again at what the mayor's letter said.

ht8FzeC.jpg

the mayor's letter indicated that this specific part, the part about building the property to house people, will cost $122 million.

I had even highlighted the important parts to make it easier.

if I'm missing something, please spell it out for me, cause you're obviously being too vague with the "nah bro, it's in there!"

Edited by samagon
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-- Mayor's Letter:  The Coalition for the Homeless has submitted a plan to address the project's impacts to houseless populations impacted by the project. TxDOT should commit to partner and finance this plan.

ROD:  Regarding homeless camps and homeless individuals in the right‐ofway, TxDOT will coordinate with the City of Houston and homeless services providers to develop a plan to assist in the relocation of the homeless prior to construction.

-- Mayor's Letter:  TxDOT should coordinate with the CoH and its partners and provide sufficient funding to ensure these facilities will be replaced and the residents can be relocated successfully (Midtown Terrace and Temenos Place).

ROD: TxDOT is coordinating early with other facilities important to the community so that these facilities have time to search for a new location, plan for the move and continue operations uninterrupted. These facilities include Midtown Terrace Suites (provides transitional and long‐term housing and support services for veterans), Loaves and Fishes Magnificat House Ministries, Fatima House (provides social services and religious ministry services), and SEARCH Homeless Services.

TxDOT has executed an agreement with the Temenos Place Apartments II management to replace the 80 residential units affected by the project within a onemile radius of the existing Temenos II facility (executed agreement May 12, 2020). During the relocation process, the residents will be able to remain in the existing facility so that services can continue uninterrupted.

-- Mayor's Letter: TxDOT should clarify how these units (Clayton Homes and Kelly Village) will be replaced or coordinate with the CoH and its partners if additional  approaches are needed.

ROD: TxDOT and the Houston Housing Authority  (HHA) have agreed that the 296-unit Clayton Homes Apartment complex would be purchased earlier-than-needed (executed agreement August 29, 2019) so that HHA is provided time to search for and develop new property. HHA's goal is to have replacement units available for residents so that each resident will only have to relocate one. TxDOT committed in the agreement to compensate for relocating all 296 units  even though 112 of the units have been uninhabitable since 2016 due to flooding.

-- Mayor's Letter:  TxDOT should coordinate with the CoH, HCFCD, and other partners to identify the appropriate criteria and design the sections (failure of FEIS to identify specific design criteria for depressed sections of roadway's design to handle rainfall).

ROD (Actually from the FEIS):  "The I-45 Segment 2 depressed section . . .  would be serviced by one pump station facility . . . the pump station was designed to handle the 100-year storm event (Atlas 14). The pump station will have multiple pumps.    Depressed sections of the proposed project will be designed to handle extreme weather events with rainfall levels similar to the region's three most recent flood events . . . .  Additionally, the project will be designed to meet and/or exceed the most recent guidelines set by the HCFCD. This will be achieved through a pumped drainage system that will collect rainwater falling inside the depressed sections and discharge it to an adjacent detention basin or receiving channel."  (And the FEIS continues at some length with further design criteria.)

--Mayor's Letter: TxDOT should coordinate with the City of Houston, HCFCD and other partners to design the multiple detention basins.

ROD: Construction of the proposed project would comply with Harris County, CoH and HCFCD guidelines and policies.

-- Mayor's Letter: Future (air quality) conditions with the project must be compared to future conditions without the project.

ROD:  Again, the FEIS already did what they are asking (Section 3.5).

-- Mayor's Letter:  TxDOT should coordinate with the CoH and other partners to avoid visual impacts on the Bayou Greenways.  Specifically, White Oak Bayou is heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists from many surrounding communities, can be reconfigured to achieve a level of comfort and connection commensurate to the impact. The need to provide visual mitigation measures for this area has been acknowledged by TxDOT and the opportunity to properly address this must not be lost.

ROD:  Design bridges in consideration of visual aesthetics. Optimize open space by aligning substructure for multiple roadways where feasible. Evaluate the use of stormwater detention areas in the area as potential open spaces with opportunities for aesthetic enhancements under the elevated sections of the roadway in this area (White Oak Bayou Greenway).

Mayor's Letter:  Based on their statement that the FEIS "states that feeder roads in Segment 3 . . .  and Segment 2  . . . will be designed to CoH standards, but not in Segment 1 . . . .", the city says "TxDOT should work with the CoH  and project partners to complete this design component for Segment 1."

ROD: (I don't know where the Mayor's office came up with this one; From the FEIS: "In accordance with the federal Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations Regulations and Recommendations by the USDOT (2010), TxDOT is including bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in the proposed project, taking into consideration existing and anticipated bicycle and pedestrian facility systems and needs, and linkages to transit stops and corridors, including future changes to METRO transit systems.  The Preferred Alternative will provide continuity of sidewalks and shared-use lanes along the frontage roads by adding sidewalks and pathways in areas as needed.  . . .  In the instance of any modifications to existing or proposed hike and bike facilities, TxDOT will coordinate with the City of Houston, Houston Parks Board, and other agencies or organizations to have the same level of connectivity as the existing and planned future facilities provide.")  And there are other mentions of sidewalks in the FEIS as well.  The ROD also adds:  "TxDOT will coordinate with the CoH, Independent School Districts, and METRO during project design to minimize the temporary and permanent impacts to existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  Additionally, TxDOT will accommodate or replace existing trails that are impacted by the proposed project, as well as allow for planned future trails as shown on the City of Houston Bike Plan. In the instance of any modifications to existing or proposed hike and bike facilities, TxDOT will coordinate with the City of Houston, Houston Parks Board, and other agencies or organizations to have the same level connectivity as the existing and planned future facilities provide. TxDOT is providing improved pedestrian‐bike accommodations on cross‐streets and on frontage roads (subject to availability of right‐of‐way). Although the December 2019 schematic design shows shared vehicle/bike use lanes along some frontage roads, during detailed design following the ROD, TxDOT will evaluate the placement of a bike lane behind a protective curb and not in the lane shared with a motor vehicle. The pedestrian‐bike realm was developed in collaboration with the City of Houston’s Public Works and Planning Departments and is aligned with City of Houston’s Bike Plan."

1 hour ago, samagon said:

not sure you understand what they are saying, but from what I am reading they are providing 27 million for relocation, that 27 million doesn't come from the funding for the road.

where do you see that they are providing more than 27 million for relocation?

and as the Mayor asked, what is the exact plan?

breaking it down for you...

scope of what they are doing to relocate.

commitment to only the $27 million.

the $27 million is ONLY for building new property.

now that we've broken down what TXDOT has in the ROD, let's look again at what the mayor's letter said.

ht8FzeC.jpg

the mayor's letter indicated that this specific part, the part about building the property to house people, will cost $122 million.

I had even highlighted the important parts to make it easier.

if I'm missing something, please spell it out for me, cause you're obviously being too vague with the "nah bro, it's in there!"

No. Sorry, but you have it completely wrong. The $27 Million commitment has nothing to do with relocations or providing replacement housing for those who are displaced by the project.  Re-read the language you quoted earlier from the ROD (and cut off from your latest post).  FWIW, it's on P 17 of the ROD:

"It is important to note that this $27 million affordable housing commitment is separate and apart from, and is above and beyond the funding for the acquisition, relocation and enhanced relocation services for the directly impacted residential properties. Please refer to the section below labeled “Displacements and Relocations” for additional information regarding enhanced relocation services."

AND, from the FEIS, pages 5-221 and 5-222:  "The relocation assistance program described previously will be available to assist those displaced and is intended to support and encourage those wanting to stay in the community by giving them the means to do so. However, another aspect to consider is affordable housing, particularly from the perspective of community cohesion. As shown in Table 5-17, the environmental justice communities exhibiting the strongest indications of affordable housing problems (as measured by the increase in median home values between 2000 and 2015) are Independence Heights, Greater Third Ward, Fifth Ward, Second Ward and Near Northside (the top four, in descending order). In consideration of the impacts of the Preferred Alternative, TxDOT intends to support affordable housing initiatives in those communities most affected. The mitigation is intended to compensate for the direct effects of potentially contributing to ongoing housing affordability problems and past and present contributions to recurrent adverse effects. TxDOT will provide financial assistance to neighborhoods to support specific affordable housing initiatives. The eligible initiatives include construction of affordable housing and supporting programs that provide assistance and outreach related to affordable housing. to carry out this commitment, TxDOT is committing an amount no less than $27 million towards developing affordable housing in the neighborhoods most affect by the proposed project which includes EJ neighborhoods."

The relocation assistance and replacement of directly displaced affordable housing are covered separately in the FEIS in some detail.

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46 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Yeah, someone should probably tell the Mayor's office.

The Mayor is fully aware of the $90MM. He and his friends at the HHA have already begun lining their pockets with those funds. FBI poking around...

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6 minutes ago, burt said:

The Mayor is fully aware of the $90MM. He and his friends at the HHA have already begun lining their pockets with those funds. FBI poking around...

Then he should have told the people who prepared the letter to TxDOT.  ;-)

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17 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

"It is important to note that this $27 million affordable housing commitment is separate and apart from, and is above and beyond the funding for the acquisition, relocation and enhanced relocation services for the directly impacted residential properties. Please refer to the section below labeled “Displacements and Relocations” for additional information regarding enhanced relocation services."

AND, from the FEIS, pages 5-221 and 5-222:  "The relocation assistance program described previously will be available to assist those displaced and is intended to support and encourage those wanting to stay in the community by giving them the means to do so. However, another aspect to consider is affordable housing, particularly from the perspective of community cohesion. As shown in Table 5-17, the environmental justice communities exhibiting the strongest indications of affordable housing problems (as measured by the increase in median home values between 2000 and 2015) are Independence Heights, Greater Third Ward, Fifth Ward, Second Ward and Near Northside (the top four, in descending order). In consideration of the impacts of the Preferred Alternative, TxDOT intends to support affordable housing initiatives in those communities most affected. The mitigation is intended to compensate for the direct effects of potentially contributing to ongoing housing affordability problems and past and present contributions to recurrent adverse effects. TxDOT will provide financial assistance to neighborhoods to support specific affordable housing initiatives. The eligible initiatives include construction of affordable housing and supporting programs that provide assistance and outreach related to affordable housing. to carry out this commitment, TxDOT is committing an amount no less than $27 million towards developing affordable housing in the neighborhoods most affect by the proposed project which includes EJ neighborhoods."

The relocation assistance and replacement of directly displaced affordable housing are covered separately in the FEIS in some detail.

give a looky at the right side of the page though:

ht8FzeC.jpg

 

Quote

TXDOT should increase its commitment...

which they clearly do not.

if you haven't read it, here's this too:

Harris County, Texas v. Texas Department Of Transportation, 4:21-cv-00805 – CourtListener.com

there's the main document complain that can be read from there too. which contain 23 assertions. feel free to read them at your leisure.

to be clear, I'm not against something being done to fix i45, there's a lot wrong with it and it needs to be fixed, I'm against it being done in the manner TXDOT is trying to ram down our throats.

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

give a looky at the right side of the page though:

ht8FzeC.jpg

 

which they clearly do not.

if you haven't read it, here's this too:

Harris County, Texas v. Texas Department Of Transportation, 4:21-cv-00805 – CourtListener.com

there's the main document complain that can be read from there too. which contain 23 assertions. feel free to read them at your leisure.

to be clear, I'm not against something being done to fix i45, there's a lot wrong with it and it needs to be fixed, I'm against it being done in the manner TXDOT is trying to ram down our throats.

 

You're joking, right?  The right side of the page being the city's "recommendation", which is based on the false premise that the $27 Million is the only commitment to cover replacement of displaced housing units.  That is demonstrably categorically false.  Again,  from  the ROD (responding to the city's clueless recommendation): "It is important to note that this $27 million affordable housing commitment is separate and apart from, and is above and beyond the funding for the acquisition, relocation and enhanced relocation services for the directly impacted residential properties. Please refer to the section below labeled “Displacements and Relocations” for additional information regarding enhanced relocation services."

 

Did TxDOT make the "change" referenced in the Mayor's letter? No, because they were already committed to doing far more than the Mayor's recommendations.

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As a resident of EaDo for 15 years, I do not support this project. The St Emmanuel area, which has been developing nicely,, will be removed and the east end will not be adequately connected to downtown. This is a nightmare for us. Thank god there are those in the city and county who oppose it.

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14 hours ago, felt38 said:

the east end will not be adequately connected to downtown.

I would like to know what you think the city/TXDOT could do to adequately connect it then? 

On 3/15/2021 at 11:24 AM, samagon said:

to pick an out of business electronics retailer (fry's) as your lone specific example, it actually cheapens your argument.

I picked out that Fry's because its generally indicative of the types of businesses we are talking about here; the types of businesses you can find in any strip mall in Houston. I mean, I guess I could have picked the nearby Panda Express...or the Chipotle...or the Starbucks...or the Chili's...or the numerous car dealerships...or the Gamestop. These are the types the businesses that nobody on HAIF would give a crap about in any other situation, but because they are being torn down for a freeway, suddenly we're supposed to care. And, the fact is, after the freeway is finished, they will be replaced by similar fare within a year.

On 3/15/2021 at 11:24 AM, samagon said:

and areas that have never healed even 30 or 40 years after the freeways originally trod through their backyards, we're just going to scratch that scab right off by making the gash in the community even bigger.

Look, the freeway's already there and its isn't going anywhere. Any damage that could be done to those communities has already been done decades ago.

On 3/15/2021 at 11:24 AM, samagon said:

people who are friends of those that are going to be moved (probably to a location that is too far away, because these areas are getting to be too expensive for them to consider living there any longer), churches that will have the same problem, they won't be able to stay in the area and serve for community they have been a part of for so long. the greater impact is tens of thousands that will be negatively affected, not just the ones who are being forced to move.

This is the case for literally any major infrastructure project that requires ROW or imminent domain. Its not necessary a unique argument for not pushing forward with this project or ignoring its merits.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looks like the section of the project trenching 69 (nice) between Midtown and Museum Park is still moving forward:

“Though TxDOT has halted development of many segments, the portion along I-69 from Spur 527 to Texas 288 — which includes Wheeler — remains on pace for construction to start next year. Widening I-45 and redoing the downtown system is spread across many distinct but connected projects, and TxDOT had approvals and design ready for the first segments, but has halted development of the others until a lawsuit filed by Harris County and the federal review are settled.”

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Metro-set-to-spend-millions-to-make-sure-I-45-16118744.php

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Yeah, that's the benefit of already having this massive highway project divided into segments. Most of the issues are really related to Segment 1, so I wonder if TXDOT just ends up barreling forward with Segments 2 and 3 (which do involve their own acquisitions that could maybe hopefully be massaged out) and worrying about Segment 1 later.

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59 from 527 to 288 getting sunk is part of segment 3, but I think it was the least contentious because aside from 1 street crossing going away, it didn't change the alignment, or take additional land.

anyway, I hope the rest of segment 2 and 3 die in a fire.

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23 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

Looks like the section of the project trenching 69 (nice) between Midtown and Museum Park is still moving forward:

“Though TxDOT has halted development of many segments, the portion along I-69 from Spur 527 to Texas 288 — which includes Wheeler — remains on pace for construction to start next year. Widening I-45 and redoing the downtown system is spread across many distinct but connected projects, and TxDOT had approvals and design ready for the first segments, but has halted development of the others until a lawsuit filed by Harris County and the federal review are settled.”

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Metro-set-to-spend-millions-to-make-sure-I-45-16118744.php

This is the best possible outcome. Hopefully 1 and maybe 2 get trashed and 3 can go through.

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