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Guest Plastic

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Guest Plastic

To go westward we've got 2 or 3 highways in Houston. I-10,Westpark Tollway and 59.

I think we need another for the people in Southwest to get home. Starting at 10 and Braes Bayou(Meyerland) build a tollaway. It would continue along Braes Bayou to 59. It would intersect right at the 59-Beltway intersection. it would find some open ways and go inbetween W.Belfort and W.Airport. Then it would intersect HWY6 just North of Sugarland Airport. It hten would go to The Grand Parkway just North of 90 Alt.

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HELL TO THE NO

Seriously, I've come to the conclusion that tollways don't do a damn thing for traffic except exacerbate it. The current rush to build lots of them is ill-informed and guided only by greed.

Edited by westguy
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To go westward we've got 2 or 3 highways in Houston. I-10,Westpark Tollway and 59.

I think we need another for the people in Southwest to get home. Starting at 10 and Braes Bayou(Meyerland) build a tollaway. It would continue along Braes Bayou to 59. It would intersect right at the 59-Beltway intersection. it would find some open ways and go inbetween W.Belfort and W.Airport. Then it would intersect HWY6 just North of Sugarland Airport. It hten would go to The Grand Parkway just North of 90 Alt.

No, BUT...I would readily favor a continuous limited-access parkway similar to Memorial Dr. that runs all the way through the TMC and that terminates near UH.

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I think we should build an additional tollway to every county bordering Harris just to make the commute for everyone who wants to move there more convenient. We wouldn't want their decision to live 50 miles from downtown to involve any tradeoffs. We'll just drain the city tax base as a favor to them.

We can be especially thankful to Fort Bend for their wonderful support in Congress for our train system, which is designed to improve mobility for city dwellers. And a toll road through Bellaire will provide so many benefits to Houstonians in terms of their quality of life, why not??

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Guest Plastic

IF we make it a tollway it's alot more likely to get built and it pays for itself.

SO if I called it The Braeswood Freeway you would be more likely to support it?

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IF we make it a tollway it's alot more likely to get built and it pays for itself.

SO if I called it The Braeswood Freeway you would be more likely to support it?

Do you lack any political sense at all? To get backing, you have to use words like "Parkway" and propose that the roads be partially sunk, with lots of trees, many large sculptures, and the removal of concrete around the water. Then you have to add in canoe/kayak landings and bike trails, all interspersed with soccer fields in more 'ethnic' areas. You have to make it more of a parks and recreation project than a transportation project.

Its not that it couldn't be tastefully done with widespread backing, but you've got to learn to communicate more effectively.

P.S. As for the rest of you, suburbanites are people too. They deserve a rapid commute as much as urbanites deserve decent public schools.

Edited by TheNiche
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I am not sure what you are saying. The tax base point was aimed at people leaving the city and taking their property taxes with them by lowering housing demand and sales taxes in the city. The point was not the cost of the project. All of the arguments apply to freeways as well as toll roads.

I made a choice to pay up and live inside the Loop in order to avoid freeways. As a result, my budget is limited in other areas. If people in the suburbs want the same convenience to their workplace, they have it within their power to make a similar choice. A toll road just gives a windfall to those people who bought houses in the middle of nowhere. They will be able to sell those houses at a premium after they get a toll road that leads straight to their driveways.

Also, most people on this board (I would venture) like the continued development of the city into a more interesting place with urban living alternatives... A toll road just lessens the forces that are driving that trend.

P.S. As for the rest of you, suburbanites are people too. They deserve a rapid commute as much as urbanites deserve decent public schools.

Suburbanites are people who have made their choice of tradeoffs, just as many people in the city have. Since no one is talking about taking away suburban schools, isn't the better argument to say that city dwellers deserve transportation options as much as suburbanites? If that is the case, why does Sugarland feel it gets a veto over a city train system??

:wacko:

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I am not sure what you are saying. The tax base point was aimed at people leaving the city and taking their property taxes with them by lowering housing demand and sales taxes in the city. The point was not the cost of the project. All of the arguments apply to freeways as well as toll roads.

I made a choice to pay up and live inside the Loop in order to avoid freeways. As a result, my budget is limited in other areas. If people in the suburbs want the same convenience to their workplace, they have it within their power to make a similar choice. A toll road just gives a windfall to those people who bought houses in the middle of nowhere. They will be able to sell those houses at a premium after they get a toll road that leads straight to their driveways.

Also, most people on this board (I would venture) like the continued development of the city into a more interesting place with urban living alternatives... A toll road just lessens the forces that are driving that trend.

P.S. As for the rest of you, suburbanites are people too. They deserve a rapid commute as much as urbanites deserve decent public schools.

Suburbanites are people who have made their choice of tradeoffs, just as many people in the city have. Since no one is talking about taking away suburban schools, isn't the better argument to say that city dwellers deserve transportation options as much as suburbanites? If that is the case, why does Sugarland feel it gets a veto over a city train system??

:wacko:

You should appreciate the suburban-urban freeway connections that we have. That's what allows people to move to the suburbs rather than being pressured to move into the city. By maintaining a relatively low demand for inner-city housing, prices stay low enough for you to afford.

By the way, why is it bad that some neighborhood would be able to sell their homes at a premium? Aren't higher prices an indication that a significant civic improvement has been made that people place great value upon?

Also, if you want an urban environment, then you should realize that there is a very strong connection between demand for inner-city apartments and occupancy in downtown's office buildings...but the top managers of corporations that lease space in those buildings are most likely to live in the suburbs and won't decide to locate the company downtown if the commute is too difficult for them and the suburban portion of their labor force. So you want to make it easy for people to commute. Then, urban environments are created because there are jobs to support the fraction of downtown employees that value commute/urbanity/culture/etc. over schools/yards/etc.

P.S. The southwest side around Braeswood is pretty dense...at least as dense as a large chunk of the Inner Loop. Does that mean it might one day become [gasp] urban?

Edited by TheNiche
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Guest Plastic

Now, it would serve the innercity too. For years people in Lower Sharpstown VIllage around Fondren and Belfort have had no direct way to get into Downtown or out of the city.

This would not only serve those out in the suburbs but inner city too.

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I'm honestly not sure what your point is. I chose to live in this area because it was more "urban" than master-planned communities in exurbia.

I'm sorry, did I reply to you, resident of Westbury? No, I did not. <_<

In fact, I can't hope to comprehend why you're against my parkway concept. It'd help out your land values a lot to have another limited-access route to the TMC and UH, especially if it were also a linear park and flood control project, all rolled into one.

By the way, I'm in no way endorsing Plastic's concept. I just like the way that Memorial Drive/Allen Parkway works and would like to see it replicated. That's all.

Edited by TheNiche
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Guest Plastic
Along Brays Bayou, 610 and 59 are roughly five miles apart. Go any direction from the intersection of Fondren and West Bellfort and, in less than five miles, you'll hit a freeway or tollway.

Umm there's still no direct way into Downtown. DT is to the Northeastof there so that mean you have to go either North or East to get there. GO East and you have to ride hrough several stoplights to 610 and S.Post Oak. Go north and you have to do the same thing to get to 59 and Fondren.

Same thing at W.Belfort and HWY 6. There's no highweay for miles.

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OK, so are we talking about the Westpark Toll Road model or Memorial Drive? Memorial Drive has stoplights... the part toward downtown is a basically a freeway. I would note that you may perceive that freeway to have a lesser impact than typical freeways b/c it follows the model of a huge chunk of the country and eschews feeder roads. If that is the model, any freeway will be much more amenable to the affected community.

The point regarding home values in Fort Bend is that the premium would reflect an investment that carries a negative impact for people in the city itself.

Many, many people who work in downtown, including CEOs, CFOs and other upper managers, live in the city. You apparently think that everyone in the city lives in apartments and hold lower level positions. My point was that demand in the city is being driven by people who hate the commute, and that is making the inner Loop a much more interesting place (FYI, I would include Bellaire in the inner city "doughnut hole" of redevelopment, but Southwest Houston is in the doughnut itself). However, you would like to let suburbanites have their cake and eat it, too.

As far as rents... affordability affects the neighborhood you choose in the city, but there are neighborhoods in the city for most levels of income, really. The only way you will get more of those pretty residential highrises is if land values keep going up.

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The bottom line is trying to pave our way out of traffic problems is the wrong answer. There's a concept called mass transit that is going to have to be embraced at some point. Be it rail or rapid busses or whatever, at some point not everyone is going to be able to bring their individual car into the city. If for no other reason, (& there are other reasons), we will eventually run out of parking space once they get to the major employment centers. The answer is to find ways to move more people, not more cars.

I don't know what sort of reaction was expected at the suggestion of basically putting freeways or expressways down the middle of some of Houston's stable & desirable neighborhoods. Is the direction of this thread a surprise to anyone?

Arguing non-existent, non-proposed freeways is sort of a waste of energy, though, when serious proposals have been made about putting toll ways through places like beside the railroad tracks through Oak Forest and right down the middle of Memorial Park & down beside the railroad that runs west of River Oaks and between West U & Bellaire.

Edited by rps324
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Well said, RPS. I don't think there is any chance a freeway could be built bordering River Oaks or even West U. Even the Heights raised hell when TXDOT tried to expand the I-45 ROW, and the Museum District/Montrose managed to get 59 sunk in a 7-year construction project. I assume R.O. political clout is the reason that Metro hasn't proposed a train down Westheimer--I would think that route would make a lot of sense.

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I think we need another for the people in Southwest to get home. (following Breaswood outside the Loop)

You make a good observation on a weakness of the original Houston freeway plan formulated in the early 1950s. Extending the South Loop westward towards US 59 would have provided a more grid-like design for Houston's freeways, which would have been more efficient. Just yesterday I observed a huge backup on US 59 inbound at 3PM for vehicles trying to connect to 610 southbound. (The backup to 610 north seems to be eliminated by the completion of work on 610 to the north.)

That being said, any talk of building anything along Breaswood is pure hot air and just serves to incite anti-road members of HAIF. When there was a proposal to add a third lane in each direction some years back, local neighborhoods protested. (The same happened on W. Bellfort.) This weakness in Houston's transportation system is just something that we'll have to live with forever, and as others mention, improvements to US 90A will provide an alternative for some.

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I think Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway are some of the most scenic stretches of road in Houston, and I think they work well as east-west thoroughfares between Uptown/Upper Kirby and Downtown. But I just don't see the need to convert North and South Braeswood into parkways, at least not between 610 and 59. In this area, access to TMC and UH is already good, and property values are already very high--especially closer to 610. That property values along Brays Bayou closer to 59 are lower probably has more to do with the presence of low-rent apartment complexes in the area than it does with transportation issues. The land along Brays Bayou is already park-like for much of its length, and the bayou has already been channelized for purposes of flood control, though, admittedly, it has gone over its banks before. Supposedly, the detention basins and other improvements currently being constructed in this watershed will lessen the possibility of flooding. Time will tell.

I'm not completely anti-road, but I don't (as rps324 puts it so well) believe we can just pave our way out of our traffic problems. I think rps also makes a good point about "putting freeways or expressways down the middle of some of Houston's stable & desirable neighborhoods." And I'll go ahead and extend this observation to some of Houston's most stable and desirable suburban neighborhoods as well. I used to work in Kingwood, so I'll use it as an example. There are portions of this community that are much more than five miles away from the nearest freeway. But imagine the uproar that would ensue if someone proposed turning Kingwood Drive or Northpark into freeways, tollways, or even aesthetically pleasing (and efficient) parkways. I think that the same would be true of the Woodlands, or Clear Lake City, or any other master-planned community where the only access to major freeways is along streets with considerable commercial and/or residential development.

I don't want to insult or offend anyone, and I don't want to start a flame war. I just think that the cons of converting one or more Braeswoods into freeways/tollways/parkways/whatever outweigh the pros.

While it is true that we cannot just pave our way out of our problems, and the appropriate solution entails the right mix of transportation options, that doesn't necessarily mean that we should stop paving everything. And while it is true that access to the TMC and UH is already good, that doesn't mean that it couldn't be made better.

By the way, the reasoning that "property values along Brays Bayou closer to 59 are lower probably has more to do with the presence of low-rent apartment complexes in the area" is a perfect example of circular reasoning. In essence, you seem to argue that property values (a function of rental rates) are low because rental rates (which are a function of property values) are also low. There was a time that rental rates/property values were relatively low in the Montrose/6th Ward/4th Ward/Rice Military areas, but that changed with time, and its hard to deny that having easy access via a scenic road and linear park system helped these areas when their time came.

I also think that your comparison of these areas to suburban communities is a weak analogy, but if you want to discuss that, then I'd refer you to the NASA Bypass, a freeway being built by TXDoT that will allow for greater connectivity into the Clear Lake City area. The road project has already provided the impetus for TWO condominium high rise projects that appear to be doing very well. I think that's an excellent example of how people can and do vote with their feet on this very issue.

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OK, so are we talking about the Westpark Toll Road model or Memorial Drive? Memorial Drive has stoplights... the part toward downtown is a basically a freeway. I would note that you may perceive that freeway to have a lesser impact than typical freeways b/c it follows the model of a huge chunk of the country and eschews feeder roads. If that is the model, any freeway will be much more amenable to the affected community.

The point regarding home values in Fort Bend is that the premium would reflect an investment that carries a negative impact for people in the city itself.

Many, many people who work in downtown, including CEOs, CFOs and other upper managers, live in the city. You apparently think that everyone in the city lives in apartments and hold lower level positions. My point was that demand in the city is being driven by people who hate the commute, and that is making the inner Loop a much more interesting place (FYI, I would include Bellaire in the inner city "doughnut hole" of redevelopment, but Southwest Houston is in the doughnut itself). However, you would like to let suburbanites have their cake and eat it, too.

As far as rents... affordability affects the neighborhood you choose in the city, but there are neighborhoods in the city for most levels of income, really. The only way you will get more of those pretty residential highrises is if land values keep going up.

Yes, there are a lot of business leaders inside the Loop; there are a heck of a lot more that are outside the loop, however. River Oaks is only the tip of an ice berg of 'Upper Crust' households that extends westward toward the Energy Corridor. If you're familiar with PRIZM NE psychographic data, you'll probably understand the implications. There are also lots of these kinds of households scattered throughout the exurbs. Lots in the Champions area, Woodlands, Sugar Land, and elsewhere. The more of these business leaders and the professional labor force that can reach downtown efficiently, the more likely they are to put their businesses there...which is GOOD for promoters of an urban environment. If you make it too difficult, these key decision makers will just opt to lease space in one of Houston's many edge cities, spuring more office and housing construction around them rather than nearer to downtown.

Case in point: Citgo. They moved into the Energy Corridor. You might assume that some fraction of their employees are going to live in the Inner Loop because of cultural preferences, enduring a long reverse-commute as a result. But if they'd moved into downtown, then you could almost certainly expect that this die-hard fraction of urbanists would be joined by many more people that would prefer a short commute. That said, there's also going to be a die-hard fraction of suburbanites, likely including a few key decision-makers--these people must be satiated.

My bottom line: the best way to get what you want is to provide people with choices, be it for housing options, transportation options, or other public infrastructure options. When almost everybody is happy, almost everybody wins...at least in the long term. You've got to live and let live.

The only people that won't be happy with options seem to be the ones that want everyone to think and live the way that they want to live.

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We can be especially thankful to Fort Bend for their wonderful support in Congress for our train system, which is designed to improve mobility for city dwellers. And a toll road through Bellaire will provide so many benefits to Houstonians in terms of their quality of life, why not??

:D:D:D:D

they shoulda fired that fool...

anyways, i agree, im glad that there is a decent freeway here and that people have a choice of what kind of lifestyle they want, but its unfair for people in the city to have the suburban people wrecking neighboorhoods just so they can shave 30 minutes off a commute. 30 minutes isnt really that long compared to 30 years living in a house only for it to be torn down or be majorly reduced in value by some stupid freeway.

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The areas with the lowest property values are closest to 59, which is already a direct link to downtown, albeit not an especially scenic one.

Because it goes through a largely undeveloped area, the NASA Bypass is minimally disruptive compared to the buyouts that would be necessary for the expansion of North and/or South Braeswood, roads that are currently lined with residences and businesses. I doubt that residents of Clear Lake would be in favor of converting Bay Area Boulevard, El Dorado, or Clear Lake City Boulevard into limited-access parkways.

But I never said anything about linking the neighborhood to downtown--there's nothing to say about that. It already is. I talked about linking it to other activity/employment centers for which access is presently good but not excellent.

And as I already pointed out, the exurban-freeway topic is a weak analogy. I wish that you'd read my earliest posts. Then you might spot that I proposed that the whole project include the roadbeds being sunk so that the transportation project doubles as a flood-control project. Another benefit that I didn't harp on, but figured was intuitive, was that road noise would be substantially reduced. The whole idea isn't that different from the proposal put out by the Katy Corridor Coalition a while back, except that it has many more benefits and is more scenic. There doesn't have to be almost any Right-of-Way expansion at all, except possibly a very few homes at the corners, where mostly-grade-level ramps would have to be placed.

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Isn't good access good enough? I already know that you'll say it's not, so we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

Actually I agree. Good access is in fact good enough...but excellent access is still better. And I really don't mind debating hypotheticals. I find it enjoyable to come up with an idea that would be implementable (even if it is a challenge), and to discuss it at length. Ideally, I'd like to see more of that kind of thing on this forum. That said, Plastic's freeway idea (among his other ideas) would not have been enjoyable almost at all because it is completely unrealistic and poorly thought out.

I completely agree that we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. The topic has been done to death.

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Guest Plastic

You guys have writte a whole lotta stuff. But I would build this for people who currently have no access to freeway. SOlving our current traffic problem is another.

Mass transit improves but studies show the transit plan by Metro will only relieve 1% of the traffic. If we beuilt HOTlanes liek on The Katy I think those will have an impact.

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Having quick access to a freeway shouldn't be considered a right awarded to all Americans.

No, but if there is a sufficient tax base and they want a freeway and can pay for a freeway...then let them pay for it. I just don't see what's so bad about giving the greatest number of people what they want.

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Plastic was one off the reasons took a sabatical from this forum (plus i was getting much busier at work) since it seems he isn't putting much thought into any of his post. A little research and reading up would easily prevent him from posting most his content.

I'm trying to figure if he has drive along Brays Bayou to figure out where to put his new road.

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To go westward we've got 2 or 3 highways in Houston. I-10,Westpark Tollway and 59.

I think we need another for the people in Southwest to get home. Starting at 10 and Braes Bayou(Meyerland) build a tollaway. It would continue along Braes Bayou to 59. It would intersect right at the 59-Beltway intersection. it would find some open ways and go inbetween W.Belfort and W.Airport. Then it would intersect HWY6 just North of Sugarland Airport. It hten would go to The Grand Parkway just North of 90 Alt.

kjb-glad to see you back-you have missed any number of bizzare and sometimes humorous postings by Plastic.

My reply to Plastic:

"Starting at 10 and Braes Bayou(Meyerland) build a tollaway." :wacko:

That is where once again you fell completely off any measure of reality.

Buy a map.

B)

...and keep offa those "tollaways"... :lol:

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Guest Plastic

Hey I went to college and have a high IQ. I think when I said by meyerland the idea of Braes Bayou and 610 was where I was talking about was clear.

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