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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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We made I10 as big as they wanted it and ten years later it's one of the worst congested freeways in the country, and one of the most dangerous. They should not do it to I45. There are smart projects within this larger package, but the wanton installation of more urban freeway capacity is clearly not a smart choice for the city. 

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11 hours ago, lilbigjanet said:

We made I10 as big as they wanted it and ten years later it's one of the worst congested freeways in the country, and one of the most dangerous. They should not do it to I45. There are smart projects within this larger package, but the wanton installation of more urban freeway capacity is clearly not a smart choice for the city. 

this is such a misleading statistic.

they base it on the distance of the freeway being measured, so 56 fatalities per 100 miles of freeway.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/07/31/heads-up-houston-drivers-i-45-declared-most-dangerous-us-highway-in-new-national-study/

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The road has seen 56.5 fatal accidents for every 100 miles of roadway, thanks to a combination of busy, urban stretches and driver complacency, according to the report.

they should base it on the number of vehicle miles driven.

but then that wouldn't support the narrative that making i45 wider is going to make it safer.

you don't even need to drill down deeper to understand what caused the fatality, was it a drunk driver? was it a ladder in the road? or was it actually the design of the freeway that caused the collision that resulted in a fatality?

you gotta go back to 2009 for any type of article on the subject of VMT rather than road distance...

https://www.houstonpress.com/news/maybe-i-45-isnt-one-of-the-deadliest-stretches-of-highway-6740334

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TxDOT recorded 363.09 on I-45 in Harris County from 2005 to 2007, versus 357.48 on other stretches of interstate highway in urban areas of Texas for the same three-year period.

 

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11 hours ago, lilbigjanet said:

We made I10 as big as they wanted it and ten years later it's one of the worst congested freeways in the country, and one of the most dangerous. They should not do it to I45. There are smart projects within this larger package, but the wanton installation of more urban freeway capacity is clearly not a smart choice for the city. 

Any chance you can cite a source for either of these claims?

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https://www.khou.com/article/traffic/houston-home-to-four-of-uss-deadliest-highways/285-579810288

sadly, it is a stat that's based on the length of the road, not normalized to VMT. so the more people on the road, clearly, the deadlier it is going to be.

the stat also doesn't take into account what makes it deadly, drunkards? ladders? mattress? poorly designed road?

so the question is, is that even a statistic that is worth looking at?

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14 minutes ago, samagon said:

https://www.khou.com/article/traffic/houston-home-to-four-of-uss-deadliest-highways/285-579810288

sadly, it is a stat that's based on the length of the road, not normalized to VMT. so the more people on the road, clearly, the deadlier it is going to be.

the stat also doesn't take into account what makes it deadly, drunkards? ladders? mattress? poorly designed road?

so the question is, is that even a statistic that is worth looking at?

In addition to the problems you mentioned, it also does not distinguish between the Katy Freeway portion and the Baytown/East Freeway portion (let alone between the expanded part of the Katy Freeway, west of the Loop, and the unexpanded portion, inside the Loop).  So, no, not worth looking at, but thanks for posting the info.

Edited by Houston19514
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8 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

In addition to the problems you mentioned, it also does not distinguish between the Katy Freeway portion and the Baytown/East Freeway portion (let alone between the expanded part of the Katy Freeway, west of the Loop, and the unexpanded portion, inside the Loop).  So, no, not worth looking at, but thanks for posting the info.

well, it's not a new problem, or a problem with that specific report referenced by that specific article. the math they use for dangerous freeways is always based on the length of the freeway normalized to 100 miles (so for instance, if i45 in Harris is 70 miles, and there's 36 fatalities in Harris, then that's where they get the 5x.x fatalities per 100 miles.

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5 minutes ago, samagon said:

well, it's not a new problem, or a problem with that specific report referenced by that specific article. the math they use for dangerous freeways is always based on the length of the freeway normalized to 100 miles (so for instance, if i45 in Harris is 70 miles, and there's 36 fatalities in Harris, then that's where they get the 5x.x fatalities per 100 miles.

Yeah, which tells us next to nothing.

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Museum Park Super Neighborhood wrote a letter in support of the project:

 

Texas Department of Transportation, Attn: TPP-UTP, P.O. Box 149217, Austin, TX 78714-9217 Submitted via email to: UTP-PublicComments@txdot.gov August 3, 2021

RE: Draft 2022 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP) Public comment supporting ongoing funding for the NHHIP TO: Texas Transportation Commission

FROM: Museum Park Super Neighborhood Kathleen O’Reilly, President, president@museumparksn.org

 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important project, Museum Park Super Neighborhood supports ongoing funding and agrees that it provides many benefits to the region, and to Museum Park, centrally located in Segment 3. Midtown is our immediate neighbor, with Wheeler Station truly being the center of our wheel so we hold the opportunities of providing connecting bridges including highly enhanced pedestrian/ bike amenities and suppressing the roadway as very high priorities.

These priorities are defined in the Museum Park H-GAC Livable Center Study (LCS). Museum Park Livable Centers Planning Study | Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). The LCS included robust community engagement with central themes clearly emerging of mobility, walkability, and reknitting the neighborhoods of Midtown, Museum Park, and Third Ward through the multiple crossings created with suppression of U59/69, and an important element of crafting Houston’s Cultural Trail. This Trail will connect our diverse cultural and educational institutions, through the Museum District to Hermann Park and Emancipation Park, a need that becomes more apparent and important every day.

Reconnecting the two major employment centers north and south of Museum Park, Downtown and Texas Medical Center, through these same connecting bridges is an opportunity that can’t be overstated. The Innovation District and The Ion add technology, and the people that the Innovation District will add to the mix, people who list walkability and quality of life as key components of where they want to live and work.

We believe this effort can be transformational in many ways. In Museum Park, the resulting bikeways and walkways created by bridges in immediate proximity to METRO’s Wheeler Station will connect Downtown and Texas Medical Center. the Museum District, Hermann Park, and will be multi-modal transit hubs for Rice University, Texas Southern University, and The ION.

The planned bridges in Museum Park will provide pedestrian enhancements with a goal of visionary landmark features in Houston’s core. We appreciate the recognition of their importance, and the commitment by TXDoT to make sure these crossings are all that they need to be, as a part of this monumental project.

We appreciate the decades of work that TXDoT has put into this enormous effort and the extensive public engagement. We look forward to improvements in this dangerous section of IH-45, with the purpose and promise of the Project to improve safety and operations, allay congestion, improve mobility, expand transit, cycling, pedestrian and other modes, provide an emergency evacuation route, improve storm-water management, support local and regional growth, while mitigating the Project’s impact on housing, adjacent neighborhoods, and the environment.

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20 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Oh hey, the neighborhood with zero negative impacts and only improvements supports it. That's so weird.

Have there been any neighborhood associations coming out against the project? Midtown, downtown, eado, 5th ward, independence heights, etc?

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17 hours ago, HNathoo said:

Have there been any neighborhood associations coming out against the project? Midtown, downtown, eado, 5th ward, independence heights, etc?

pretty specific question. 

there's a mayor of a pretty populous city that this interstate runs through, which has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has come out against the approved design of the project.

there's a judge of a pretty populous county that this interstate runs through, which also has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has also come out against the approved design, has even gone so far as to sue TXDoT over the entire affair.

the National DoT has issued many statements which can be characterized as being against the project.

but you want letters from officials that represent specific neighborhood associations?

heck, based on the previous 2 pages of arguments, can we even consider that a letter penned by the president of a neighborhood association is what the residents of that association want?

Edited by samagon
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1 hour ago, samagon said:

pretty specific question. 

there's a mayor of a pretty populous city that this interstate runs through, which has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has come out against the approved design of the project.

there's a judge of a pretty populous county that this interstate runs through, which also has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has also come out against the approved design, has even gone so far as to sue TXDoT over the entire affair.

the National DoT has issued many statements which can be characterized as being against the project.

but you want letters from officials that represent specific neighborhood associations?

heck, based on the previous 2 pages of arguments, can we even consider that a letter penned by the president of a neighborhood association is what the residents of that association want?

So, is the answer to the question, "no"?

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

pretty specific question. 

there's a mayor of a pretty populous city that this interstate runs through, which has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has come out against the approved design of the project.

there's a judge of a pretty populous county that this interstate runs through, which also has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has also come out against the approved design, has even gone so far as to sue TXDoT over the entire affair.

the National DoT has issued many statements which can be characterized as being against the project.

but you want letters from officials that represent specific neighborhood associations?

heck, based on the previous 2 pages of arguments, can we even consider that a letter penned by the president of a neighborhood association is what the residents of that association want?

It's my understanding that Mayor Turner is against the design of segments 1 and 2, but mostly approves of segment 3 albeit with some modifications. In a presentation to the H-GAC, the city even proposes to move forward now but make the slight changes (mostly parks/greenspace, connections, etc.).

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/docs_pdfs/Commissioner Ryan - NHHIP - Letter & Technical Appendix.pdf

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/docs_pdfs/TPC Presentation April 2020.pdf

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22 hours ago, Texasota said:

Oh hey, the neighborhood with zero negative impacts and only improvements supports it. That's so weird.

Zero negative impacts?  Hardly.  Properties are being taken, streets are being closed. Mexican consulate moved out. Not to mention the negative impacts that come with the years-long construction process...

To be clear, I'm not suggesting the negatives outweighs the positives.  Far from it.  

Edited by Houston19514
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…the depressed highway with cap park, instead of a raised structure with with whatever underneath would be all that it would take for me to support the idea, if I lived in that neighborhood.  I can see why they support it.  And I’m sure the President of the association does speak for the m the interested consensus of the neighborhood. That’s what he’s elected to do. 

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10 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

…the depressed highway with cap park, instead of a raised structure with with whatever underneath would be all that it would take for me to support the idea, if I lived in that neighborhood.  I can see why they support it.  And I’m sure the President of the association does speak for the m the interested consensus of the neighborhood. That’s what he’s elected to do. 

I completely agree with that, and I think the same balance applies to the section running behind the GRB. 

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2 hours ago, texan said:

It's my understanding that Mayor Turner is against the design of segments 1 and 2, but mostly approves of segment 3 albeit with some modifications. In a presentation to the H-GAC, the city even proposes to move forward now but make the slight changes (mostly parks/greenspace, connections, etc.).

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/docs_pdfs/Commissioner Ryan - NHHIP - Letter & Technical Appendix.pdf

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/docs_pdfs/TPC Presentation April 2020.pdf

I fully support the city on this. The alternatives are so much better than what TxDOT wants to do. They could care less about the community and more about the jobs this will create in the short term. 

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17 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I fully support the city on this. The alternatives are so much better than what TxDOT wants to do. They could care less about the community and more about the jobs this will create in the short term. 

Agreed. Hopefully the city and TxDOT converge on their ideas for segment 3. I really do think the city's vision for segment three has the ability to strengthen the urban core of Houston to an incredible degree and give it the ability to become one of the premier urban areas in the country. The new development all of the new parkland would spur is just crazy to think about.

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/east/public-meeting-east-side.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/north/Public Meeting_North Side_Final Rev.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/west/presentation-west.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/midtown/public-open-house-midtown.pdf

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5 hours ago, samagon said:

pretty specific question. 

there's a mayor of a pretty populous city that this interstate runs through, which has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has come out against the approved design of the project.

there's a judge of a pretty populous county that this interstate runs through, which also has a lot of neighborhoods in it, that has also come out against the approved design, has even gone so far as to sue TXDoT over the entire affair.

the National DoT has issued many statements which can be characterized as being against the project.

but you want letters from officials that represent specific neighborhood associations?

heck, based on the previous 2 pages of arguments, can we even consider that a letter penned by the president of a neighborhood association is what the residents of that association want?

It was more about the local impacts, which are being spun as negative by those against the project. But when you actually ask the neighborhoods, they seem to want this. These are the guys being impacted by the perceived pollution, flooding, construction, traffic, displacement, etc. 

I don't generally agree with the way TXDOT has done things, but if the option is to build it as-is versus not build it, I hope they choose to build.

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46 minutes ago, texan said:

Agreed. Hopefully the city and TxDOT converge on their ideas for segment 3. I really do think the city's vision for segment three has the ability to strengthen the urban core of Houston to an incredible degree and give it the ability to become one of the premier urban areas in the country. The new development all of the new parkland would spur is just crazy to think about.

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/east/public-meeting-east-side.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/north/Public Meeting_North Side_Final Rev.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/west/presentation-west.pdf

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/midtown/public-open-house-midtown.pdf

WOW! I AGREE! We would have one of the busiest urban centers in the country for sure!

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59 minutes ago, HNathoo said:

It was more about the local impacts, which are being spun as negative by those against the project. But when you actually ask the neighborhoods, they seem to want this. These are the guys being impacted by the perceived pollution, flooding, construction, traffic, displacement, etc. 

I don't generally agree with the way TXDOT has done things, but if the option is to build it as-is versus not build it, I hope they choose to build.

this project is going to shape our city for the next 40-50 years, FOMO shouldn't be the driver of that shape. 

I love the grand designs the city has put forth for how to beautify the core around segment 3, but that doesn't fix the flaws with segments 1, 2 and yes, even segment 3.

as far as local impacts, there's a lot of members of the communities you referenced above (5th ward, 3rd ward, 2nd ward, Independence Heights, and others), and it's very true you can find members of those communities that are for these projects, but there are even more from those communities that are speaking out against this project, just because the President of those super neighborhoods haven't published a letter doesn't mean those voices don't matter.

TXDoT should be held to a higher standard for our city.

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For comments regarding the capping of the freeway and adding open space in EaDo, remember that is conceptual and TXDOT will not fund that. TXDOT is relying on private investment or other entities to do the amenities on top of the freeway. Renderings sure look nice, but that it is not guaranteed. TXDOT makes you want to think that is how it will end up looking like...

Yes, TXDOT will burry the freeway, but what goes above it can still change.

Edited by Justin Welling
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13 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

For comments regarding the capping of the freeway and adding open space in EaDo, remember that is conceptual and TXDOT will not fund that. TXDOT is relying on private investment or other entities to do the amenities on top of the freeway. Renderings sure look nice, but that it is not guaranteed. TXDOT makes you want to think that is how it will end up looking like...

Yes, TXDOT will burry the freeway, but what goes above it can still change.

Burying it is still a huge win.

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Furthermore, the Caps in midtown are far more modest than along the east side of downtown or over I-45, are associated with the MetroRail lines, are adjacent to The Ion blocks and part of planned streetscape improvements in the that district.  I'd say that these are very likely to happen.  Which would, also, add to that win.    

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15 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

For comments regarding the capping of the freeway and adding open space in EaDo, remember that is conceptual and TXDOT will not fund that. TXDOT is relying on private investment or other entities to do the amenities on top of the freeway. Renderings sure look nice, but that it is not guaranteed. TXDOT makes you want to think that is how it will end up looking like...

Yes, TXDOT will burry the freeway, but what goes above it can still change.

The city is at least talking about making this space into a 'green loop' around downtown, which would be a transformational project if it ever gets built. Of course it is easy to make these fancy sketches and a lot harder to actually get it built, but seeing the direction the city is going right now (focus on green space, walkability, alternative transportation), its a real possibility this could get done.

http://swamplot.com/a-roundabout-first-look-at-the-green-loop-the-newest-idea-for-a-houston-ring-road-around-downtown/2017-11-09/

downtown-green-loop-map.jpg

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2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

Burying it is still a huge win.

IF all they did was buried the freeways with no expansion, I'd be on board. And I would agree, it would be a massive win. I was on the fence about the expansion aspect, tbh, I could see both sides.

But after working with clients these last two years, I think expansion of the highways is premature based on the change the pandemic brought and continues to bring to the workplace. Work From Home, at least in part, is now ingrained into almost all industries in Houston. Hell, multiple oil and gas plants in Houston are allowing non-essential people to WFH at least once a week. Law firms too. And those two are the oldest, most curmudgeonly industries yet WFH is here. I've had recent interviews where I would get a bonus if I promised to come into the office at least 3 times a week. Its crazy, but its here to stay. I believe relying on pre-COVID data to justify expansion is a hard sell, the paradigm is going to be different for the next few years. Traffic has been permanently changed.

The burying would help downtown transition from a strictly business oriented area into a neighborhood, someplace you wouldn't mind going to on the days when you technically were working from home. Maybe to visit a coffee shop you like, or chill in one of these green spaces. And like @sapo2367said, given the direction the city leadership is going, and how Houston has some incredibly generous and wealthy families who regularly donate to park space, I could see some of these caps getting parks. Hey, at the very least, it'll increase the property values for their rental properties 😂

Edited by X.R.
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25 minutes ago, X.R. said:

IF all they did was buried the freeways with no expansion, I'd be on board. And I would agree, it would be a massive win. I was on the fence about the expansion aspect, tbh, I could see both sides.

But after working with clients these last two years, I think expansion of the highways is premature based on the change the pandemic brought and continues to bring to the workplace. Work From Home, at least in part, is now ingrained into almost all industries in Houston. Hell, multiple oil and gas plants in Houston are allowing non-essential people to WFH at least once a week. Law firms too. And those two are the oldest, most curmudgeonly industries yet WFH is here. I've had recent interviews where I would get a bonus if I promised to come into the office at least 3 times a week. Its crazy, but its here to stay. I believe relying on pre-COVID data to justify expansion is a hard sell, the paradigm is going to be different for the next few years. Traffic has been permanently changed.

The burying would help downtown transition from a strictly business oriented area into a neighborhood, someplace you wouldn't mind going to on the days when you technically were working from home. Maybe to visit a coffee shop you like, or chill in one of these green spaces. And like @sapo2367said, given the direction the city leadership is going, and how Houston has some incredibly generous and wealthy families who regularly donate to park space, I could see some of these caps getting parks. Hey, at the very least, it'll increase the property values for their rental properties 😂

I just started going back to work, 3 weeks ago. only once a week though.

parking garage is quite empty. I can park on the first floor that doesn't have reserved spaces, where previously I had to go 5 extra floors up to get to a parking spot pre pandemic.

and right now is just heaping onto that with delta being a thing. it's only a very short time before companies that have gone back to the office will switch back to remote.

I mean, don't get me wrong, actual working together in person is extremely valuable.

but man, traffic sure does seem to be back to pre-pandemic levels.

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On 8/5/2021 at 3:49 PM, samagon said:

t's very true you can find members of those communities that are for these projects, but there are even more from those communities that are speaking out against this project, just because the President of those super neighborhoods haven't published a letter doesn't mean those voices don't matter.

Statements made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. So you say that there are more people against than for this project? Prove it. Nobody has done anything like a referendum to actually gage public support for the project.

 

On 8/6/2021 at 11:52 AM, X.R. said:

IF all they did was buried the freeways with no expansion, I'd be on board. And I would agree, it would be a massive win. I was on the fence about the expansion aspect, tbh, I could see both sides.

But after working with clients these last two years, I think expansion of the highways is premature based on the change the pandemic brought and continues to bring to the workplace. Work From Home, at least in part, is now ingrained into almost all industries in Houston. Hell, multiple oil and gas plants in Houston are allowing non-essential people to WFH at least once a week. Law firms too. And those two are the oldest, most curmudgeonly industries yet WFH is here. I've had recent interviews where I would get a bonus if I promised to come into the office at least 3 times a week. Its crazy, but its here to stay. I believe relying on pre-COVID data to justify expansion is a hard sell, the paradigm is going to be different for the next few years. Traffic has been permanently changed.

The burying would help downtown transition from a strictly business oriented area into a neighborhood, someplace you wouldn't mind going to on the days when you technically were working from home. Maybe to visit a coffee shop you like, or chill in one of these green spaces. And like @sapo2367said, given the direction the city leadership is going, and how Houston has some incredibly generous and wealthy families who regularly donate to park space, I could see some of these caps getting parks. Hey, at the very least, it'll increase the property values for their rental properties 😂

This pandemic won't last forever. Businesses are trying to move back into spaces (Dallas, for instance, is leading the way here), Delta strain be damned, with many taking advantage of the high vacancies and low rates to get large spaces for cheap, and it seems at least workers would rather move back into their offices, if only because its makes working together easier and more efficient and there are businesses forging ahead and renting space, like the one that is the subject of this article. Keep in mind that Houston was hit harder by the pandemic than most other metro areas in the U.S.; Houston's office vacancy rate is 24.1%, the highest in the country, and a lot of that has to do with the collapse of the oil industry...again.

Traffic is already back to pre-pandemic levels in most cities. I remember back in the early pandemic months when roads were literally empty. Now, its pretty much where it was prior to the pandemic.

Edited by Big E
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11 hours ago, Big E said:

Statements made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. So you say that there are more people against than for this project? Prove it. Nobody has done anything like a referendum to actually gage public support for the project.

in that we can both agree, I don't think I've even seen a public opinion poll (and certainly not a poll broken down by location), which essentially means that knife cuts both ways because there's just as much proof of people being for this project as the other way around.

I know I've seen more people with signs marching against this project than I have seen people with signs marching for this project. which at the end of the day is about as scientific to show public opinion of the project as is a letter from the President of a super neighborhood to show that the constituents of that super neighborhood are for the project. all we have is anecdotal evidence.

I fully agree regarding the traffic levels being 'back to normal', even considering office vacancy, makes me wonder what people are doing during the day while they're supposed to be working? :lol:

I also suspect that the statistic for office vacancy in Houston is for the entire city, not just the CBD, and I'd venture a guess that the CBD is harder hit from that standpoint. looking at that article though, in Feb 2020 vacancy was nearly 22%, so it's not like the pandemic pushed Houston over some cliff, we're talking a 2% shift year over year. which doesn't necessarily tell the whole story, vacancy as per the article, I'm taking to mean office space that no one is leasing. it doesn't really go into what companies are offering more of a hybrid approach these days. 2 days in the office and 3 days at home (for instance). 

I agree that businesses want to take as much advantage of office vacancies to get better rates, but I don't necessarily agree that workers would rather move back into their offices, I've read a lot of articles to the contrary. MOP want people back in the office because they still haven't learned how to measure and excite their workforce, but the actual employees? they want to WFH. https://www.marketplace.org/2020/12/09/most-who-work-from-home-want-to-keep-doing-it-study-finds-will-they-be-able-to/

Edited by samagon
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4 hours ago, samagon said:

I know I've seen more people with signs marching against this project than I have seen people with signs marching for this project. which at the end of the day is about as scientific to show public opinion of the project as is a letter from the President of a super neighborhood to show that the constituents of that super neighborhood are for the project. all we have is anecdotal evidence.

We also have to keep in mind the issue of the vocal minority. The majority of citizens may very well support the project, but they are the silent majority. They have better things to do than sit on a street corner and wave a sign. The people opposed to the project will be the most vocal because they are the most emotionally invested, thus they scream the loudest and get the most visibility.

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3 hours ago, Big E said:

We also have to keep in mind the issue of the vocal minority. The majority of citizens may very well support the project, but they are the silent majority. They have better things to do than sit on a street corner and wave a sign. The people opposed to the project will be the most vocal because they are the most emotionally invested, thus they scream the loudest and get the most visibility.

a wise man once said...

"Statements made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

😉

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13 hours ago, samagon said:

a wise man once said...

"Statements made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

😉

I'd still rank it ahead of making repeated blanket statements on the project having no support.  Or singlehandedly deciding whose support counts.

But, seriously, if you need some assistance gauging the prevalence this concept, you can always Google "vocal minority."

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When you start getting support from guys like Mattress Mack and articles on the front page of the Chronicle then it's becoming much more than a vocal minority. I mean Mattress Mack had his sign lit up off I-45 with the words PEOPLE > CARS. 

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43 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

When you start getting support from guys like Mattress Mack and articles on the front page of the Chronicle then it's becoming much more than a vocal minority. I mean Mattress Mack had his sign lit up off I-45 with the words PEOPLE > CARS. 

He was against the Post Oak redo as well but it ended up getting rebuilt.

 

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8 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

When you start getting support from guys like Mattress Mack and articles on the front page of the Chronicle then it's becoming much more than a vocal minority. I mean Mattress Mack had his sign lit up off I-45 with the words PEOPLE > CARS. 

To be fair though, he has a direct financial incentive to oppose this as it would impact his store off of the highway. Not to say he couldn't be genuine in his concern for the community, but the skeptic in me sees the $$$ lining up behind this decision. 

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I don't know about that, any appreciable rain in the area causes the feeder road to flood in front of his store making access pretty hard. sure there's pain involved short term with a rebuild making it harder for clients to access, but better flood control, newer, wider roads, he stands to gain a lot more than he stands to lose short term.

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33 minutes ago, samagon said:

I don't know about that, any appreciable rain in the area causes the feeder road to flood in front of his store making access pretty hard. sure there's pain involved short term with a rebuild making it harder for clients to access, but better flood control, newer, wider roads, he stands to gain a lot more than he stands to lose short term.

He doesn't want the construction because he thinks the resulting vehicular traffic will reduce foot traffic in his store . . . and he's probably right!

It's the EXACT SAME reason he was opposed to the Post Oak reconstruction.

Standard NIMBYism, and there are plenty of examples of NIMBYism exploiting other "anti" arguments in bad faith.  It's how it usually works!

None of this is a mystery . . . 

Edited by mattyt36
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perusing some local news, a TM article from July popped onto my feed, probably because I was recently searching the commercial vacancy rates. lol.

anyway:

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/remote-work-killing-houston-tunnels/

this in particular caught my eye:

Quote

Vacancy rates now sit right above pre-pandemic levels, and only around 30 percent of all workers are back in the office full-time, according to Angie Bertinot, director of marketing and communications for the Houston Downtown Management District.

Quote

...JPMorgan Chase plan to keep certain positions entirely remote. A majority of downtown businesses expect to transition portions of their workforces to hybrid in-person and remote work, according to a recent survey. 

the article's only from a month ago, so it's recent data.

regarding any statements about MM and the purity of his reasoning, he's stated his reasons:

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/transportation/2021/08/09/405332/i-45-expansion-survey-set-to-close-as-local-activists-continue-to-push-against-txdot-project/

Quote

While McIngvale said he was concerned about impacts on his business, he was more worried about the hundreds of community members who may lose their homes.

“We think the all-or-nothing offer from TxDOT is not good for anybody,” he said. “It’s gonna affect all the neighborhoods and the people who don’t have the financial resources we do. It’s gonna be devastating.”

speculate all you want on whether that is actually how he feels, or how he postures, but it's what he says, and well, that's worth more than speculation.

Edited by samagon
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The city has already given TxDOT legit alternatives to their existing plan. The fact TxDOT doesn’t want to entertain anything else should make us all mad. Regardless of the positives or negatives the project brings, this shouldn’t be ok with us and we can’t just sit back and let them bulldoze over us. TxDOT has held the entitlement card way too long. They spent billions on 290 and I-10 and nobody batted an eye. Not to mention how much they went over budget. I could care less about the positives of this project. It’s clear Houstonians want more options plain and simple. Everyone in this forum knew at some point both sides would eventually clash. And most of that is because of the natural trajectory the city has made at becoming more pedestrian friendly and denser. We still have a long way to go but I really believe this is a turning point for the city. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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2 hours ago, samagon said:

speculate all you want on whether that is actually how he feels, or how he postures, but it's what he says, and well, that's worth more than speculation.

Is it now?  Are you really that naive, or should we file this under Sam's Laws of Convenience/Willful Ignorance?  If Joel Osteen comes out for it, how should we weigh that opinion?  If only I thought you actually believed half of what you write, but it's clear that your rhetorical technique is of the "just asking questions" variety.  

Recently, you claimed the project shouldn't proceed because "no one supported it," citing Turner, Hidalgo, etc.  It's now clear Turner, and by extension the City, supports Segment 3, (see Texan post above).  So I guess score one for at least part of the NHHIP.  Or is there another "Law" that we should be aware of?  It doesn't count if Harris County doesn't say the exact same thing?

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30 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Not to mention how much they went over budget.

 

I find it difficult to believe you sincerely care about "going over budget" when you want to build a heavy rail connection to IAH that it is abundantly clear people will not use because, well, "London and New York have one" and "gotta do it for the tourists."

30 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 I could care less about the positives of this project.

True!  Not sure if that was meant to be the self-own it so obviously is.

30 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

It’s clear Houstonians want more options plain and simple.

How is it "clear," nevermind "plain and simple"?  And what new "options" does not building anything provide?

Edited by mattyt36
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3 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

I find it difficult to believe you sincerely care about "going over budget" when you want to build a heavy rail connection to IAH that it is abundantly clear people will not use because, well, "London and New York have one" and "gotta do it for the tourists."

True!  Not sure if that was meant to be the self-own it so obviously is.

How is it "clear," nevermind "plain and simple"?  And what new "options" does not building anything provide?

So now you're speaking for me and what I think? Actually I do care it went over budget. Especially when nobody seems to care when it's a highway that displaces a countless amount of businesses, homes, religious buildings, etc. but God forbid it's a damn commuter train. Ridership would be through the roof had Culberson not killed the University Line the first go around. So that whole argument of "Nobody will use it" is old news. It's clear people will use it. And it's not just London and NY that have access to their airports via rail. I mean it just makes sense logistically to do that whether you like it or not. I took commuter rail in Seattle, SF, and Philly because after landing in each of those cities, the last thing I wanted to do was spend $60 just to get to town. It was fast, efficient, and you know what? I ended up spending more money in each of those cities because on the walk to my hotel, I grabbed food, stopped by a store or two, etc. Limiting options in the 4th largest city is just plain dumb. So yeah, the city approving this last Metro referendum tells me people want more transit options, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. 

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21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So now you're speaking for me and what I think?

J, you've made it very clear what you think in this and prior posts.  Actually, "think" is probably not the best word . . . "feel" is probably more appropriate.  We had plenty of back and forth on transit ridership for U.S. airports.  You have not supplied your theory as to why IAH would be any different.  You've just said you like having the option at other airports because you drop a couple more bucks at the 7-11 in Rittenhouse Square, as if that somehow balances a structural transit operating deficit.  That's fine!  But that's not "thinking"--it's "feeling."

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Especially when nobody seems to care when it's a highway that displaces a countless amount of businesses, homes, religious buildings, etc.

More "feeling."  There is a very detailed technical report that very specifically COUNTS who/what will be displaced.  It's been referenced in this very thread.  But "feel" away . . . it's COUNTLESS!  

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

but God forbid it's a damn commuter train. 

Well nice to know "COUNTLESS" relocations are OK if it's for a train.  Have you noticed none of these arguments are internally consistent?  

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Ridership would be through the roof had Culberson not killed the University Line the first go around. 

Please, please, please explain your theory behind this one.  Especially in the context of why no other airports but SFO, JFK, and DCA have airport mode shares above 10% with much better developed transit systems?

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So that whole argument of "Nobody will use it" is old news. 

How?  Because the University Line that wasn't built would feed passengers into an airport commuter rail that hasn't been built?  More "feeling!"  You can't just write something and it be true.

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Limiting options in the 4th largest city is just plain dumb.

It's limiting options in the context of a limited funding environment and the existing funding system.  And, remember, you care deeply about budgets!

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So yeah, the city approving this last Metro referendum tells me people want more transit options

If the NHHIP were put to a referendum and won (which I think would be a pretty safe bet), what would that tell you?

21 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

PLAIN AND SIMPLE. 

(Note use of CAPS above for emphasis . . . I'm adapting my writing style to the reader's.)

Edited by mattyt36
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17 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

J, you've made it very clear what you think in this and prior posts.  Actually, "think" is probably not the best word . . . "feel" is probably more appropriate.  We had plenty of back and forth on transit ridership for U.S. airports.  You have not supplied your theory as to why IAH would be any different.  You've just said you like having the option at other airports because you drop a couple more bucks at the 7-11 in Rittenhouse Square, as if that somehow balances a structural transit operating deficit.  That's fine!  But that's not "thinking"--it's "feeling."

More "feeling."  There is a very detailed technical report that very specifically COUNTS who/what will be displaced.  It's been referenced in this very thread.  But "feel" away . . . it's COUNTLESS!  

Well nice to know "COUNTLESS" relocations are OK if it's for a train.  Have you noticed none of these arguments are internally consistent?  

Please, please, please explain your theory behind this one.  Especially in the context of why no other airports but SFO, JFK, and DCA have airport mode shares above 10% with much better developed transit systems?

How?  Because the University Line that wasn't built would feed passengers into an airport commuter rail that hasn't been built?  More "feeling!"  You can't just write something and it be true.

It's limiting options in the context of a limited funding environment and the existing funding system.  And, remember, you care deeply about budgets!

If the NHHIP were put to a referendum and won (which I think would be a pretty safe bet), what would that tell you?

(Note use of CAPS above for emphasis . . . I'm adapting my writing style to the reader's.)

Good job breaking down every single statement I made and still not understanding anything I said. VERY WEIRD 

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

The city has already given TxDOT legit alternatives to their existing plan. The fact TxDOT doesn’t want to entertain anything else should make us all mad. Regardless of the positives or negatives the project brings, this shouldn’t be ok with us and we can’t just sit back and let them bulldoze over us. TxDOT has held the entitlement card way too long. They spent billions on 290 and I-10 and nobody batted an eye. Not to mention how much they went over budget. I could care less about the positives of this project. It’s clear Houstonians want more options plain and simple. Everyone in this forum knew at some point both sides would eventually clash. And most of that is because of the natural trajectory the city has made at becoming more pedestrian friendly and denser. We still have a long way to go but I really believe this is a turning point for the city. 

The problem is that you are employing a false premise.  i have it on good authority that there are productive conversations ongoing between the City and TxDOT and a lot of confidence that it will be worked out.

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2 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

The problem is that you are employing a false premise.  i have it on good authority that there are productive conversations ongoing between the City and TxDOT and a lot of confidence that it will be worked out.

Didn't the Mayor and County Judge Hidalgo just say the other day that the city presented other options to TxDOT initially and TxDOT took none of it in to consideration? Even TxDOT said it's their plan or no plan or this money will go somewhere else. They even continued to tell property owners they were acquiring their land even after the Feds told them to stop all progress on the project. So what confidence am I missing here?

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Just now, mattyt36 said:

I'm all ears if you want to help me understand!

Fair enough. I get that some of my observations on things are very anecdotal. But you can't dismiss anecdotal evidence as inaccurate or meaningless. I guarantee you there are lots of people in this city without a car that wish they had the ability to get around more easily. I'm def passionate about making sure something sustainable is built here, and I firmly believe this isn't it. I say all of that not to argue with you, but I can't say my experience riding transit has been bad. If anything I left many of those cities wanting more transit here in Houston. 

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