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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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5 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.

This makes sense.  I can't think of a politician saying no to $10 billion in what really can be thought of as free money to appease a very small constituency that won't be material in an election, especially given the support from Central Houston and downtown business interests.

I'd really like to hear the "real story" of how we got here.  And, while the City may be proposing alternatives now, what was it doing 5 years ago?  I can understand TxDOT frustration with an about-face.  I also don't understand why TxDOT would take a "take-it-or-leave-it" approach for any reason other than posturing.  I feel like I follow it closely enough, but the Chronicle articles haven't been particularly enlightening.

As a former State Rep, Turner has a history of working well with the State (which I feel is a tremendous asset).  Can't say the same about Hidalgo, though, and with Abbott going full DeSantis, who knows, maybe his next move will be to pick a stupid fight with someone the GOP recognizes is a rising Democratic star over a highway project just to try to torpedo her in 2022.

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13 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

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?

I didn't see any statements in the last few days... surely you could provide a link if you saw such.

No.  TXDot has not said it's their plan or no plan.  They have said all along that the plan is not final, especially segments 1 and 2.  Hence the productive ongoing discussions with the City.  

The initial letter from the Feds did NOT tell them to stop "all progress."  I would have read it in exactly the same way that TXDoT read it.

 

Fo anyone interested in gaining some context and a little reality check, go to 55:30 in the linked meeting recording (Downtown TIRZ meeting) and listen.

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15 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

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. 

I agree with you 100% in re transit (although I'm not as wedded to rail as I was 20 years ago).  My car is 5 years old and doesn't even have 25K miles on it.  I hardly use it during the week because I generally walk to what I need.  People talk about "inside the loop," and I may go west of Shepherd once a month. 

Christof Spieler helped me understand that the City actually does have a pretty good transit system.  And that, when it comes to people without cars, they almost always would prefer a more reliable bus route closer to their origin and destination than a rail route serving a slice (often a privileged slice) of the population.  The commuter bus system is actually very impressive when you think about it--even better than commuter rail for many commuters.  The NHHIP does include meaningful transit improvements.  And I've come to have a better sense of what is within reach and what is a more of a pipe dream.  (This is mostly my opinion, but it is reinforced by my understanding of how existing funding systems work, transportation demand patterns, and just a general sense that Houston, just like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Seattle will never be Chicago or New York . . . and I think, on the whole, that's probably a good thing.)

Several pages of posts ago, someone literally wrote that he didn't care if people were forcefully moved from the suburbs to the City because he felt the suburbs were not sustainable.  That, to me, is a transparent and genuine argument although obviously to implement it would require a completely new and authoritarian governmental system, and I'm pretty sure I don't want what comes with that.  Arguments made about many people getting relocated, there being "no support" for the project, etc. are just so flimsy, even though they "feel right" IMO.  That's why I try to dissect them.

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13 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

The initial letter from the Feds did NOT tell them to stop "all progress."  I would have read it in exactly the same way that TXDoT read it.

"we request that TxDOT pause before initiating any further contract solicitation efforts for the project, including issuance of any Requests for Proposals, until FHWA has completed its review"

while it is true they didn't tell them to stop, the request was for them to pause.

but that is still pretty clear that it means all contracts, buying land, RFP, whatever, if they intended for them to exclude segment 3 from this contract solicitation they would have stated as much.

the subsequent letter they sent reinforces exactly that.

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7 minutes ago, samagon said:

"we request that TxDOT pause before initiating any further contract solicitation efforts for the project, including issuance of any Requests for Proposals, until FHWA has completed its review"

while it is true they didn't tell them to stop, the request was for them to pause.

but that is still pretty clear that it means all contracts, buying land, RFP, whatever, if they intended for them to exclude segment 3 from this contract solicitation they would have stated as much.

the subsequent letter they sent reinforces exactly that.

 I read "contact solicitation" to mean something quite different (and apart) from land acquisition.  To me, and probably to any attorney with any experience in highway projects, contract solicitation has to do with soliciting contracts for design, construction etc.  Land acquisition is a completely different process and does not really involve "contract solicitation" or Requests for Proposals.  If they intended to stop (or pause) ALL activities related to the project, they should have stated as much.  It would have been quite easy to do; like this:  "we request that TxDOT pause before initiating any further activities for the project . . . "

By the way, it's also noteworthy that by its own terms it was a "request".

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 I read "contact solicitation" to mean something quite different (and apart) from land acquisition.  To me, and probably to any attorney with any experience in highway projects, contract solicitation has to do with soliciting contracts for design, construction etc.  Land acquisition is a completely different process and does not really involve "contract solicitation" or Requests for Proposals.  If they intended to stop (or pause) ALL activities related to the project, they should have stated as much.  It would have been quite easy to do; like this:  "we request that TxDOT pause before initiating any further activities for the project . . . "

By the way, it's also noteworthy that by its own terms it was a "request".

I take the word "request" as the Feds politely saying to stop. Now if the smart people at TxDOT wanted to use the verbiage to their benefit, then they continued on the project knowingly overstepping what they had been voluntold to do. 

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 I read "contact solicitation" to mean something quite different (and apart) from land acquisition.  To me, and probably to any attorney with any experience in highway projects, contract solicitation has to do with soliciting contracts for design, construction etc.  Land acquisition is a completely different process and does not really involve "contract solicitation" or Requests for Proposals.  If they intended to stop (or pause) ALL activities related to the project, they should have stated as much.  It would have been quite easy to do; like this:  "we request that TxDOT pause before initiating any further activities for the project . . . "

By the way, it's also noteworthy that by its own terms it was a "request".

I agree request vs stop. but in the context it is the same.

I am not an attorney at all, but contract solicitation to me would include buying land, since part of that process is signing a contract. especially when they specifically reference "including RFP" why would they say (essentially) "no RFP, and that includes no RFP"?

TxDOT clearly interpreted (or chose to read it in that context, or just flat out ignored) it the same as you, however, federal clearly intended for it to mean any contract, of any type, since they came back and said exactly that.

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1 minute ago, samagon said:

I agree request vs stop. but in the context it is the same.

I am not an attorney at all, but contract solicitation to me would include buying land, since part of that process is signing a contract. especially when they specifically reference "including RFP" why would they say (essentially) "no RFP, and that includes no RFP"?

TxDOT clearly interpreted it the same as you, however, federal clearly intended for it to mean any contract, of any type, since as I said, they came back and said exactly that.

Yeah, and what, really, is your point?  That a Federal bureaucrat sent out an ambiguously worded letter that required clarification?  Whoah!  Stop the presses!  LOL  

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4 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Yeah, and what, really, is your point?  That a Federal bureaucrat sent out an ambiguously worded letter that required clarification?  Whoah!  Stop the presses!  LOL  

If the Feds sent you a personal letter requesting you to stop doing something, I bet you anything you wouldn't sit there and question what they mean by the word "request" 

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20 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

If the Feds sent you a personal letter requesting you to stop doing something, I bet you anything you wouldn't sit there and question what they mean by the word 'request" 

First of all, I absolutely would.  Words have meanings.  

Second, and more to the point, even if they demanded something, I would follow their words closely.  If they demanded I " pause before initiating any further contract solicitation efforts for the project, including issuance of any Requests for Proposals", I would not issue any contract solicitations or RFPs, but I would NOT read it expansively to include things their language does not include. 

And again, what is the hangup about this?  TXDoT gave the letter a very reasonable interpretation.  The Feds followed up with clarification (and the Feds referred to it as a clarification).  Done deal.  I doubt there are two people in either TXDoT or the Federal government who have given this particular "controversy" another thought.

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18 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

... If they requested I " pause before initiating any further contract solicitation efforts for the project, including issuance of any Requests for Proposals", I would endeavor to do so, but I would NOT read it expansively to include things it does not obviously include.  ..

I guess this is a point I'll always be confused about. reading it, it looks very much like it obviously includes any further contract solicitation efforts for the project. any further meaning "no more contracts". and the project meaning "the NHHIP project".

as you say though, at this point, it's very moot from a project standpoint. they interpreted it how they did, and federal came back and said, no, we meant it this way. they have moved on from a project standpoint.

but from a personal confidence in TxDOT standpoint, which if you go back to his comment that sparked this whole thread of conversation, is what I think @j_cuevas713 is trying to say, he has far less confidence in TxDOT.

I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

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Solicitation in a government context typically means advertising to procure contracts, eg design and construction.

You don’t issue RFPs or “solicit” for land acquisition.

And to the extent TXDoT would be expecting to be reimbursed for federal share of the project, I think it’s pretty clear what it means.

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

If the Feds sent you a personal letter requesting you to stop doing something, I bet you anything you wouldn't sit there and question what they mean by the word "request" 

If you're the sort of person who has a lawyer on retainer, you would.

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3 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

This makes sense.  I can't think of a politician saying no to $10 billion in what really can be thought of as free money to appease a very small constituency that won't be material in an election, especially given the support from Central Houston and downtown business interests.

I'd really like to hear the "real story" of how we got here.  And, while the City may be proposing alternatives now, what was it doing 5 years ago?  I can understand TxDOT frustration with an about-face.  I also don't understand why TxDOT would take a "take-it-or-leave-it" approach for any reason other than posturing.  I feel like I follow it closely enough, but the Chronicle articles haven't been particularly enlightening.

As a former State Rep, Turner has a history of working well with the State (which I feel is a tremendous asset).  Can't say the same about Hidalgo, though, and with Abbott going full DeSantis, who knows, maybe his next move will be to pick a stupid fight with someone the GOP recognizes is a rising Democratic star over a highway project just to try to torpedo her in 2022.

I get the sense that Hidalgo, while well-intentioned, is absolutely setting herself up for federal office of some sort. Opposing a highway project in a time where that action gets you high-profile attention does that. Working on the bread-and-butter aspects of improving regional mobility doesn't, since that just involves being a quiet facilitator.

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1 hour ago, ADCS said:

I get the sense that Hidalgo, while well-intentioned, is absolutely setting herself up for federal office of some sort. Opposing a highway project in a time where that action gets you high-profile attention does that. Working on the bread-and-butter aspects of improving regional mobility doesn't, since that just involves being a quiet facilitator.

That thought also crossed my mind, but from how she's governed the past couple of years, I think she's way smarter than thinking some 1960s anti-freeway coalition (when miles of freeways were literally being cut through fully intact neighborhoods) is worth anything winning today.  I don't see how the headlines "30-Year-Old First Term County Judge Kills $10 Billion in I-45 Improvements and X Thousand Jobs" would create anything more than a political death sentence.  There are two kinds of seats she could grab . . . solid D or toss-up R.  In solid D districts, she wouldn't need these voters.  In toss-up R districts, it would only work against her.

Or did you mean like a Cabinet-level position?

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1 hour ago, mattyt36 said:

That thought also crossed my mind, but from how she's governed the past couple of years, I think she's way smarter than thinking some 1960s anti-freeway coalition (when miles of freeways were literally being cut through fully intact neighborhoods) is worth anything winning today.  I don't see how the headlines "30-Year-Old First Term County Judge Kills $10 Billion in I-45 Improvements and X Thousand Jobs" would create anything more than a political death sentence.  There are two kinds of seats she could grab . . . solid D or toss-up R.  In solid D districts, she wouldn't need these voters.  In toss-up R districts, it would only work against her.

Or did you mean like a Cabinet-level position?

Cabinet level, or high-prestige NGO job. It would be tough to win any statewide election.

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17 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

A question that I hope those in opposition will consider in good faith.

If TXDoT adopted the alternatives developed by the City, would your position change?

in good faith, we'll see...

presuming they adopted the Cities changes, and there was guaranteed funding for all of the parks designed as part of this then yes, my position would change, I would not be so vocally opposed to it, but I still would not support the project.

there's a lot of reasons (which I have delved into on previous pages), but at the heart of it is that I just don't see single occupant vehicles as part of the long term future. this project only prolongs that inevitability and squanders resources that could be put to better use elsewhere that would work towards a more sustainable future without disrupting and ruining the lives of those that would be impacted negatively by this project being implemented.

at the end of the day I'm stoked that this conversation is as lively as it is. it shows that there are a lot of people that are very passionate about the future of our city.

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On 8/11/2021 at 2:15 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

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. 

I don't understand why you view it as a zero sum game when in reality the highway and rail should be built. Houston and the port are growing fast enough where both are necessary. 

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21 hours ago, samagon said:

in good faith, we'll see...

presuming they adopted the Cities changes, and there was guaranteed funding for all of the parks designed as part of this then yes, my position would change, I would not be so vocally opposed to it, but I still would not support the project.

there's a lot of reasons (which I have delved into on previous pages), but at the heart of it is that I just don't see single occupant vehicles as part of the long term future. this project only prolongs that inevitability and squanders resources that could be put to better use elsewhere that would work towards a more sustainable future without disrupting and ruining the lives of those that would be impacted negatively by this project being implemented.

at the end of the day I'm stoked that this conversation is as lively as it is. it shows that there are a lot of people that are very passionate about the future of our city.

Thank you.

In re the park funding, not sure the problem is that TxDOT isn't funding because they don't want to fund necessarily, but rather because they statutorily can't, so that'd be a mountain to climb.

Let's see what the City can squeeze out of the Infrastructure Bill.

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On 8/11/2021 at 12:29 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I could care less about the positives of this project.

If you don't care about the positives of the project, then why should anyone give anything you say any weight? Its clear your just biased from the beginning, so talking to you about the project is pointless.

 

On 8/11/2021 at 12:29 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

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

No, that's not clear. One of the prevailing messages in this thread is that its not actually all that clear what the majority of people in Houston or Harris County, for that matter, want. A few politicians are acting against the project for their own self-interest. That is all. But it doesn't indicate how the majority of the population feel one way or another. And nobody has actually asked them either. This was never a major campaign issue, so no election was a referendum on the subject and no county wide votes have been held on it either.

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29 minutes ago, Big E said:

If you don't care about the positives of the project, then why should anyone give anything you say any weight? Its clear your just biased from the beginning, so talking to you about the project is pointless.

 

No, that's not clear. One of the prevailing messages in this thread is that its not actually all that clear what the majority of people in Houston or Harris County, for that matter, want. A few politicians are acting against the project for their own self-interest. That is all. But it doesn't indicate how the majority of the population feel one way or another. And nobody has actually asked them either. This was never a major campaign issue, so no election was a referendum on the subject and no county wide votes have been held on it either.

You mad Big E? Hell yeah I’m biased on the project. The positives don’t outweigh the negatives at the moment. You prob don’t mind adding another layer to the mental wall dividing some of these minority neighborhoods but as a minority I do. And speaking on people wanting options, I’m talking about public transit specifically not this highway project. The Metro bond passed easily. That’s the most recent poll that shows where Houstonians are at on transit. It’s a much different picture from the 2004 referendum that barely passed. 

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8 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I’m talking about public transit specifically not this highway project. The Metro bond passed easily. That’s the most recent poll that shows where Houstonians are at on transit. It’s a much different picture from the 2004 referendum that barely passed. 

But we are not talking about transit here. We are talking about this highway project, and there has been no referendum on it. And the majority of people in Harris County supporting transit does not translate to the majority of people in Harris County not supporting this project. This isn't a zero sum game, and if/then does not come into play here.

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9 minutes ago, Big E said:

But we are not talking about transit here. We are talking about this highway project, and there has been no referendum on it. And the majority of people in Harris County supporting transit does not translate to the majority of people in Harris County not supporting this project. This isn't a zero sum game, and if/then does not come into play here.

So what Big E decides who and what can be talked about in each forum? gtfoh The point I was making doesn’t take much to understand. All I was saying is there seems to be a growing number of Houstonians becoming much more vocal about not wanting another highway from TxDOT, while support for more public transit continues to grow. The positives sound great but all of that is going to take money outside of this project. So while conceptually it looks great, I’m not going to spend the next 10+ years watching my city under construction for the IDEA of something. 

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2 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So what Big E decides who and what can be talked about in each forum? gtfoh The point I was making doesn’t take much to understand. All I was saying is there seems to be a growing number of Houstonians becoming much more vocal about not wanting another highway from TxDOT, while support for more public transit continues to grow. 

Did I say that? In any case, its considered bad form in any forum to bring up things that are off topic. And as I've said before, your declaratory statements have no basis in fact. "Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." You say "there seems to be a growing number of Houstonians becoming much more vocal about not wanting another highway from TxDOT"? Prove it. A referendum on a completely different project proves nothing. 

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11 minutes ago, Big E said:

Did I say that? In any case, its considered bad form in any forum to bring up things that are off topic. And as I've said before, your declaratory statements have no basis in fact. "Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." You say "there seems to be a growing number of Houstonians becoming much more vocal about not wanting another highway from TxDOT"? Prove it. A referendum on a completely different project proves nothing. 

So none of that data proves anything? That’s hilarious. All of that conceptual stuff looks great to people who won’t have to spend the next 10+ years next to a bulldozer. The current project does nothing but create an even deeper divide between those that live in 2nd/3rd Ward and the rest of the city. I’m all up for discussion but I can speak for a lot of people in 2nd Ward cause I live here. Many people here rely on transit to move around, some don’t even own cars. 

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56 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I’m all up for discussion but I can speak for a lot of people in 2nd Ward cause I live here.

Anecdotal evidence at best. Even then, you and your friends don't speak for the entire second ward.

56 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Many people here rely on transit to move around, some don’t even own cars. 

That would only be relevant if the project was being done to specifically benefit them. It isn't. And most people in the Greater Houston region do own cars and do drive them and the entire region is car centric. One small neighborhood not having a high rate of car ownership means little in regards to this project.

58 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So none of that data proves anything?

What data? You've offered nothing.

59 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

All of that conceptual stuff looks great to people who won’t have to spend the next 10+ years next to a bulldozer.

Everyone in the city is going to have to put up with that construction, including other neighborhoods. That fact alone is not reason enough to stop any project.

1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

The current project does nothing but create an even deeper divide between those that live in 2nd/3rd Ward and the rest of the city.

This project creates nothing. The freeway is already there. The divide happened decades ago, before many of the current residents were born, and will still be there, whether this project goes through or not.

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6 minutes ago, Big E said:

Anecdotal evidence at best. Even then, you and your friends don't speak for the entire second ward.

That would only be relevant if the project was being done to specifically benefit them. It isn't. And most people in the Greater Houston region do own cars and do drive them and the entire region is car centric. One small neighborhood not having a high rate of car ownership means little in regards to this project.

What data? You've offered nothing.

Everyone in the city is going to have to put up with that construction, including other neighborhoods. That fact alone is not reason enough to stop any project.

This project creates nothing. The freeway is already there. The divide happened decades ago, before many of the current residents were born, and will still be there, whether this project goes through or not.

So the way this highway is currently designed is ok why? You’re clearly in favor of a project that is going to destroy and displace countless businesses, homes, etc. for the next 10+ years for what, to save people 5 minutes in traffic? I don’t speak for all of 2nd Ward you’re right but you don’t seem to care either way. And my point of bringing up public transit is to bring more awareness to the countless billions we spend on highways. The fact TxDOT hasn’t evolved to want to incorporate other modes of transit or local ideas is ridiculous. I’m happy to see push back from community leaders and local grassroots movements. All of that for whatever reason seems to not mean much to you along with any current data we have about how Houstonians want to travel.

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11 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So the way this highway is currently designed is ok why?

Seriously, stop putting words into my mouth. I said nothing about the highway's design as it is. I am completely fine with it as is? No. honestly, I would have preferred to tunnel the entirely of I-45, but I know that's not going to happen. I understand that I'm not going to get everything I want. However, I am not violently opposed to this project. I think it does more than enough good to make up for any issues I would have had with the design.

 

13 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

You’re clearly in favor of a project that is going to destroy and displace countless businesses, homes, etc. for the next 10+ years for what, to save people 5 minutes in traffic?

It is not going to destroy "countless" anything. People have already gone over the numbers of what will and will not be destroyed in this thread. Some of the stuff that is being destroyed, like Clayton Homes, is already slated for demolition anyway. Most of the residential buildings being destroyed are multi-family residential primarily populated by renters, who will just rent somewhere else. The businesses are car centric, dime a dozen garbage joints that nobody in this thread actually cares about, like used car dealerships, fast food joints, and gas stations. And no, this isn't only going to save people time in traffic. If you had actually been paying attention to this thread, people have actually brought up other benefits, such as making transit improvements, removing dangerous low hanging bridges that trucks smash into, and other improvements to make the road safer and more modern.

 

18 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 I don’t speak for all of 2nd Ward you’re right but you don’t seem to care either way.

I do care. I also have perspective. Its unfortunate when people lose their homes, but this is just something that will happen with any major infrastructure project. I've have perspective to see the greater benefit of the highway and how it will benefit the region, beyond the few homes to be removed.

 

20 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

And my point of bringing up public transit is to bring more awareness to the countless billions we spend on highways. The fact TxDOT hasn’t evolved to want to incorporate other modes of transit or local ideas is ridiculous.

As I've said earlier in this thread, rapid transit is not their prerogative. Its METRO's. And, as has already been brought up in this thread, transit improvements ARE PART OF THE PROJECT. Stop expecting TxDOT to do something it wasn't even brought in to do in the first place. It wasn't brought in to put in a mass transit system. It was brought in to improve a highway.

23 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 I’m happy to see push back from community leaders and local grassroots movements.

Well that makes one of us.

23 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

All of that for whatever reason seems to not mean much to you along with any current data we have about how Houstonians want to travel.

Still waiting on that mythological data...

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6 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So the way this highway is currently designed is ok why? You’re clearly in favor of a project that is going to destroy and displace countless businesses, homes, etc. for the next 10+ years for what, to save people 5 minutes in traffic? I don’t speak for all of 2nd Ward you’re right but you don’t seem to care either way. And my point of bringing up public transit is to bring more awareness to the countless billions we spend on highways. The fact TxDOT hasn’t evolved to want to incorporate other modes of transit or local ideas is ridiculous. I’m happy to see push back from community leaders and local grassroots movements. All of that for whatever reason seems to not mean much to you along with any current data we have about how Houstonians want to travel.

TxDOT is required to spend 97% of its budget on roads(according to something I saw a couple of days ago), so there will never be an y emphasis from them on transit.

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10 hours ago, Big E said:

No, that's not clear. One of the prevailing messages in this thread is that its not actually all that clear what the majority of people in Houston or Harris County, for that matter, want. A few politicians are acting against the project for their own self-interest.

it isn't clear what the people in farther outlying areas want either. and at the same time there are a lot of politicians that represent outlying areas that are acting for this project for their own self interest as well.

10 hours ago, Big E said:

That is all. But it doesn't indicate how the majority of the population feel one way or another. And nobody has actually asked them either. This was never a major campaign issue, so no election was a referendum on the subject and no county wide votes have been held on it either.

this is very absolutely true.

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

TxDOT is required to spend 97% of its budget on roads(according to something I saw a couple of days ago), so there will never be an y emphasis from them on transit.

so what you're saying is that now that the project has been put on hold, we need to do our part to ensure it is stopped entirely, and then need to lobby out state to change the rules for how TxDOT spends their money.

it's such a mindlessly cyclical argument.. Houston is developed as a car centric town so we have to develop with that in mind, meanwhile, TxDOT is forced to spend 97% of their budget on roads. well, we the people should demand change, but we can't because we've been forced to drive cars.

it reminds me of the scene in idiocracy where they're talking about plants and electrolytes. Brawndo has what plants crave! It's got electrolytes! '...Okay - what are electrolytes? Do you know? Yeah. It's what they use to make Brawndo.' But why do they use them in Brawndo? What do they do?''They're part of what plants crave.'But why do plants crave them?'Because plants crave Brawndo, and Brawndo has electrolytes.

Edited by samagon
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38 minutes ago, samagon said:

it isn't clear what the people in farther outlying areas want either. and at the same time there are a lot of politicians that represent outlying areas that are acting for this project for their own self interest as well.

Which I've never discounted, nor have I ever seen anyone in this thread discount either, but I've seen people in this thread act like the actions of a few inner city politicians equals everyone in Houston opposing the project, not the other way around. I've also seen people try to discount the support provided by other such inner city politicians. It works both ways, and my point has always been that nobody has actually asked the general population how they feel about the project, and maybe they should.

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

TxDOT is required to spend 97% of its budget on roads(according to something I saw a couple of days ago), so there will never be an y emphasis from them on transit.

Right I saw that as well. I believe it’s in the TX Constitution. And that’s my argument, why are we ok with this? You would think the agency would evolve with time but it’s like they’re stuck in the past. 

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8 hours ago, Big E said:

Seriously, stop putting words into my mouth. I said nothing about the highway's design as it is. I am completely fine with it as is? No. honestly, I would have preferred to tunnel the entirely of I-45, but I know that's not going to happen. I understand that I'm not going to get everything I want. However, I am not violently opposed to this project. I think it does more than enough good to make up for any issues I would have had with the design.

 

It is not going to destroy "countless" anything. People have already gone over the numbers of what will and will not be destroyed in this thread. Some of the stuff that is being destroyed, like Clayton Homes, is already slated for demolition anyway. Most of the residential buildings being destroyed are multi-family residential primarily populated by renters, who will just rent somewhere else. The businesses are car centric, dime a dozen garbage joints that nobody in this thread actually cares about, like used car dealerships, fast food joints, and gas stations. And no, this isn't only going to save people time in traffic. If you had actually been paying attention to this thread, people have actually brought up other benefits, such as making transit improvements, removing dangerous low hanging bridges that trucks smash into, and other improvements to make the road safer and more modern.

 

I do care. I also have perspective. Its unfortunate when people lose their homes, but this is just something that will happen with any major infrastructure project. I've have perspective to see the greater benefit of the highway and how it will benefit the region, beyond the few homes to be removed.

 

As I've said earlier in this thread, rapid transit is not their prerogative. Its METRO's. And, as has already been brought up in this thread, transit improvements ARE PART OF THE PROJECT. Stop expecting TxDOT to do something it wasn't even brought in to do in the first place. It wasn't brought in to put in a mass transit system. It was brought in to improve a highway.

Well that makes one of us.

Still waiting on that mythological data...

I do see the positives of this project but I also don’t want to see our city torn up for the next decade plus. And nobody cares unless it’s your home, your business. 

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17 minutes ago, Big E said:

Which I've never discounted, nor have I ever seen anyone in this thread discount either, but I've seen people in this thread act like the actions of a few inner city politicians equals everyone in Houston opposing the project, not the other way around. I've also seen people try to discount the support provided by other such inner city politicians. It works both ways, and my point has always been that nobody has actually asked the general population how they feel about the project, and maybe they should.

well I've seen plenty of people in this same thread talk about how good this will be for people who drive cars without knowing what the people who drive cars actually want. so many people, we just have to let them build it, and if we don't let them build it, then nothing will be built.

this bolded part is beyond asinine, it is TxDOT's duty to maintain our highways, whether this project goes forward or not doesn't mean they get to toss up their hands and say 'well, we tried, sorry Houston, you are SOL with this freeway in perpetuity', they are still on the hook to maintain and update as our city needs.

people here may not be saying it, but TxDOT is suggesting it, and many stories about the project seem to suggest that this is a you take it or leave it prospect, and that just isn't a thing.

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8 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Right I saw that as well. I believe it’s in the TX Constitution. And that’s my argument, why are we ok with this? You would think the agency would evolve with time but it’s like they’re stuck in the past. 

Amending the state Constitution is difficult. It takes a 2/3 majority vote in the Legislature, then approval by voters in an election. There is no way we will see TxDoT rules change any time soon. The current majority in the Legislature hates rail with the heat of 1000 suns, considering it a commie plot to take over the state and steal our precious bodily fluids. They also seem to think that we were given two feet to be able to cover up to three pedals in a road vehicle.

TxDoT has no choice in the matter - the agency has to follow the Constitution and statutes.

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23 hours ago, samagon said:

it's such a mindlessly cyclical argument.. Houston is developed as a car centric town so we have to develop with that in mind, meanwhile, TxDOT is forced to spend 97% of their budget on roads. well, we the people should demand change, but we can't because we've been forced to drive cars.

It's not cyclical at all.  You are the guys tilting at windmills saying the money should be spent elsewhere when it's not even legal OR part of what's being evaluated here.  

Before you can effectively advocate for change to the system to get us out of this "cycle," you might as well understand how the system works and start there, no?  I'd say the lack of any understanding there has led to pretty "mindless" arguments.

That and the unbelievable arrogance that simply by not supplying freeway capacity the city would densify as people happily move from the suburbs into the core, when it's way more likely it would result in the exact opposite of what you want . . . decentralization.  

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On 8/15/2021 at 11:47 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I’m all up for discussion but I can speak for a lot of people in 2nd Ward cause I live here. 

For some perspective:

Second Ward population < 20K

Houston MSA population > 7MM

Let's discuss . . . 

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i am pretty sure if you asked all 7mm "Houstonians" if tripling the width of the highway next to Minute Maid Park was a good idea the plurality would say no.  but maybe thats just me remembering that 290 has been the butt of jokes for damn near two decades now. 

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12 minutes ago, crock said:

i am pretty sure if you asked all 7mm "Houstonians" if tripling the width of the highway next to Minute Maid Park was a good idea the plurality would say no.  but maybe thats just me remembering that 290 has been the butt of jokes for damn near two decades now. 

Well, sure, if you phrased it that way.  Why not add the word "ugly" and "polluted" to the question, and then were completely disingenuous by adding, "Have you ever parked your car for an Astros game on the other side of 59?  Think how difficult it will be to cross now!"  I'll give you the under on the percentage of respondents believing that means they'd actually need to dodge cars on two freeways.

Now ask the same question with the caveat, "You won't see anything because you'll be walking through a park."  What would they say?

So I'm not sure what this proves, other than leading questions can be, er, misleading.  "What's your opinion on the increase in crime, sir?"

 

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1 hour ago, crock said:

i am pretty sure if you asked all 7mm "Houstonians" if tripling the width of the highway next to Minute Maid Park was a good idea the plurality would say no.  but maybe thats just me remembering that 290 has been the butt of jokes for damn near two decades now. 

 

41 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

Well, sure, if you phrased it that way.  Why not add the word "ugly" and "polluted" to the question, and then were completely disingenuous by adding, "Have you ever parked your car for an Astros game on the other side of 59?  Think how difficult it will be to cross now!"  I'll give you the under on the percentage of respondents believing that means they'd actually need to dodge cars on two freeways.

Now ask the same question with the caveat, "You won't see anything because you'll be walking through a park."  What would they say?

So I'm not sure what this proves, other than leading questions can be, er, misleading.  "What's your opinion on the increase in crime, sir?"

 

Yeah, Crock's suggested polling question is beyond disingenuous.  It is full-on dishonest.  (No one is proposing to triple the width of the highway next to Minute Maid Park.)

 

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yeah, only a more than doubling of the main lanes of the freeway (from 9 to 19), and the addition of 6 feeder lanes, that's certainly not triple! (it's only 2.777)

and definitely not even in the area code if we're talking about the ROW owned by TxDOT, which goes from 220 to 550, that's so far from triple it's not even funny, it's merely a doubling!

which I mean, what Crock said, IMO is just as preposterous and disingenuous as suggesting that all 7MM people (less those in 2nd ward) would be opposed to the state constitution being updated to reflect something a bit less archaic for how the transportation budget is spent.

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21 minutes ago, samagon said:

yeah, only a more than doubling of the main lanes of the freeway (from 9 to 19), and the addition of 6 feeder lanes, that's certainly not triple! (it's only 2.777)

and definitely not even in the area code if we're talking about the ROW owned by TxDOT, which goes from 220 to 550, that's so far from triple it's not even funny, it's merely a doubling!

which I mean, what Crock said, IMO is just as preposterous and disingenuous as suggesting that all 7MM people (less those in 2nd ward) would be opposed to the state constitution being updated to reflect something a bit less archaic for how the transportation budget is spent.

Not disingenuous at all, Sam.

Please outline your theory for getting a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature and a simple majority of Texas voters to decrease highway funding in favor of increased funding for transit that will largely benefit residents of hated cities?

What tea leaves are you reading that says that this is anywhere near feasible given recent political trends.  We can't even enact mask mandates.  Maybe if we just tell people it's "less archaic" they will happily subjugate their personal preferences?  (I suppose it's more realistic than forcing them to move into cities wholesale, which has also been suggested on here.)

What's the phrase?

Out of touch?  (Maybe even galactically so?)

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3 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

Well, sure, if you phrased it that way.  Why not add the word "ugly" and "polluted" to the question, and then were completely disingenuous by adding, "Have you ever parked your car for an Astros game on the other side of 59?  Think how difficult it will be to cross now!"  I'll give you the under on the percentage of respondents believing that means they'd actually need to dodge cars on two freeways.

Now ask the same question with the caveat, "You won't see anything because you'll be walking through a park."  What would they say?

So I'm not sure what this proves, other than leading questions can be, er, misleading.  "What's your opinion on the increase in crime, sir?"

 

What park are you referring to exactly if we were to word things to have people lean in the direction of tripling the width of the freeway? If you're talking about that cap park, then you're def being disingenuous. That thing is all conceptual with no planned source for funding. 

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