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METRORail University Line


ricco67

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The 2003 referendum says hello.

Then perhaps the suburbs should say goodbye. That is what this is about. It is a compromise of political necessity in order to preserve a system of municipal appointees and cronyism.

Personally, though, I'm with you. I will be voting NO on general mobility payments. I want a political battle. I want to radically alter METRO's charter (with legislators from Lubbock giving their input). I want that organization torn apart and rebuilt, and I'm glad to have you on my side...even though you can't vote because you live in Boston.

Edited by TheNiche
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Then perhaps the suburbs should say goodbye. That is what this is about. It is a compromise of political necessity in order to preserve a system of municipal appointees and cronyism.

Honestly, I wonder how bad it would be if the suburbs withdraw from METRO's service area. Sure, there would be a huge decrease in sales tax base, but METRO would be able to focus on a much smaller and more concentrated service area. Perhaps the surrounding municipalities would be able to generate their own bus systems.

Personally, though, I'm with you. I will be voting NO on general mobility payments. I want a political battle. I want to radically alter METRO's charter (with legislators from Lubbock giving their input). I want that organization torn apart and rebuilt, and I'm glad to have you on my side...even though you can't vote because you live in Boston.

Haha, glad to hear it. And yeah it does suck, oh well. I'll be following from up here. :)

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I agree, why are the burbs relying on Metro? They can't get their own bus service? Metro is between a rock and a hard place. Trust they have plans to build the line sooner with federal funding. It's a simple scare tactic by Metro by saying the University Line, the most important part of the system, wouldn't be considered for another decade. All damn politics, and Culberson is a scared puppet with no backbone and vision for whats best for Houston.

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I agree, why are the burbs relying on Metro? They can't get their own bus service?

Well, citizens of (for example) Katy are paying the 1% Metro sales tax, so they want what they paid for.

srsly.

you want in on services provided by the COH, annex yourselves, then you get COH service.

Metro also gets funding from the 1% sales tax that burbs like Katy are paying.

Edited by kylejack
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Well, citizens of (for example) Katy are paying the 1% Metro sales tax, so they want what they paid for.

Metro also gets funding from the 1% sales tax that burbs like Katy are paying.

They are paying for it because they entered into an agreement with METRO, they should lobby their municipalities to exit the system if the dollars are spent on things that affect them indirectly instead of directly.

about 1% of my property tax goes to schools that I don't benefit from directly because I don't have a child.

a portion of that tax is NOT diverted to other things I can directly benefit from because I don't have a kid.

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They are paying for it because they entered into an agreement with METRO, they should lobby their municipalities to exit the system if the dollars are spent on things that affect them indirectly instead of directly.

You're the one saying that they should ask for services "provided by the COH." The services are not provided solely by COH, they're also provided by Katy.

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The problem is Houston is so far behind in transit the suburbs don't understand to get the commuter rail system the interior rail system with the links has to be built first. Roads and bridges, that's old work being redone over and over, with a lot of lobbying. This is the only place on Earth with such a backwards transit system in such an advanced society. Get mad that Houston isn't considered world class, but we are looked at as a lawless wild west by most, and for the most part those views are accurate on the highest level.

Edited by Slick Vik
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Slick we are neither backwards nor lawless in Houston. We are gauche on a world class level, but that comes along with being a giant oil town and center of the nasty petrochemical industry that is more or less immune to the extremes of the business cycle that afflict older industrial cities. The majority of Houstonians don't pine for a world class mass transit system b/c it doesn't fit our over the top, banal, consumption values. Nothing about traffic congestion or air pollution has slowed in the least the in-migration of people from all over the world that come here b/c they know they can make a living here, build a steel mill in the middle of a residential neighborhood, open a hole in the wall restaurant, whatever.

Noticed in today's Chron that Phillips 66 is building its world HQ on BW8 at Briarforest. Like the rest of the corporations in the exploding "energy corridor" way out west, Phillips has voted no to locating inside the loop where densification advocates like you hold on to the dream that historyless Houston will become something it never has been or will be - a rustbelt American or centuries-old European city that developed from a walking rather than motorized culture.

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The problem is Houston is so far behind in transit the suburbs don't understand to get the commuter rail system the interior rail system with the links has to be built first. Roads and bridges, that's old work being redone over and over, with a lot of lobbying. This is the only place on Earth with such a backwards transit system in such an advanced society. Get mad that Houston isn't considered world class, but we are looked at as a lawless wild west by most, and for the most part those views are accurate on the highest level.

I don't agree with this statement. Why does Houston have to have this inner city light rail in addition to commuter rail when you don't see that in other world class cities? Why can't Houston build something other cities of its size have? Like the BART, MARTA, or the DC Metro Rail? Why does Houston have to settle for a funky street rail?

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srsly.

you want in on services provided by the COH, annex yourselves, then you get COH service.

That's all well and good in the abstract, but Houston will not annex residential areas. It's much more lucrative to annex only the commercial areas that don't vote, don't use too many services, nad just send money to the center. There's also some issues with ahving to annex some really poor areas to make up for the more upscale annexations.

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Slick we are neither backwards nor lawless in Houston. We are gauche on a world class level, but that comes along with being a giant oil town and center of the nasty petrochemical industry that is more or less immune to the extremes of the business cycle that afflict older industrial cities. The majority of Houstonians don't pine for a world class mass transit system b/c it doesn't fit our over the top, banal, consumption values. Nothing about traffic congestion or air pollution has slowed in the least the in-migration of people from all over the world that come here b/c they know they can make a living here, build a steel mill in the middle of a residential neighborhood, open a hole in the wall restaurant, whatever.

Noticed in today's Chron that Phillips 66 is building its world HQ on BW8 at Briarforest. Like the rest of the corporations in the exploding "energy corridor" way out west, Phillips has voted no to locating inside the loop where densification advocates like you hold on to the dream that historyless Houston will become something it never has been or will be - a rustbelt American or centuries-old European city that developed from a walking rather than motorized culture.

Your last paragraph is silly. Signed,

Chevron, Shell, KBR, Plains Exploration, Devon, Reliant, NRG, CenterPoint, Waste Management, Deloitte, Baker Botts, EOG, Enterprise, Kinder Morgan, Apache, Marathon, Chase, United, Price Waterhouse, BHP, Total, Williams, Comerica, Amegy, Bank of America, Hess, Calpine, AIG, Baker Hughes, and so many more that have NOT chosen to locate outside the beltway.

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I wasn't making any claim that lots of major corporations don't choose to locate inside the loop, just that a burgeoning Uptown-like scene is developing far from the central core and with not a bit of respect for "walkable" urbanity and coherent mass transit of the types envisioned by advocates like Peter Brown, Houston Tomorrow, etc.

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I wasn't making any claim that lots of major corporations don't choose to locate inside the loop, just that a burgeoning Uptown-like scene is developing far from the central core and with not a bit of respect for "walkable" urbanity and coherent mass transit of the types envisioned by advocates like Peter Brown, Houston Tomorrow, etc.

It should be noted that the Energy Corridor wants rail to come down I-10 though.

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It should be noted that the Energy Corridor wants rail to come down I-10 though.

Both the Energy Corridor and Westchase (the Philips 66 site is in Westchase) have management districts whose charters provide for expenditures on improvements to transportation infrastructure. I'm sure that METRO would welcome that they desire to contribute funds to the cause, if their interest is sufficient to warrant them putting their money where their mouths are.

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Both the Energy Corridor and Westchase (the Philips 66 site is in Westchase) have management districts whose charters provide for expenditures on improvements to transportation infrastructure. I'm sure that METRO would welcome that they desire to contribute funds to the cause, if their interest is sufficient to warrant them putting their money where their mouths are.

Since it's in at least the Enery Corridor's master plan, I'm sure that they'd at least be willing to help fund their own station and local infrastructure. However that would not be the case for the rest of the line.

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Since it's in at least the Enery Corridor's master plan, I'm sure that they'd at least be willing to help fund their own station and local infrastructure. However that would not be the case for the rest of the line.

Well isn't that a fancy thing, that one government entity can wish another government entity's capital expansion plans into existence and have anonymous people on the internet using that proclomation as a talking point?

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Well isn't that a fancy thing, that one government entity can wish another government entity's capital expansion plans into existence ...

A far less trivial example than Houston's internecine battle over transit and its funding is that Region C (Dallas area) has in its water plan a 72,000-acre reservoir on the Sulphur River in Region D (far northeast counties of Texas). Needless to say Region D does not have this reservoir in its plan, and has lived with the threat of it for thirty years. I was thinking of this because the smaller Lake Ralph Hall is also coming to the Sulphur basin, and it was a good day to be Ralph Hall recently with his successful passage of the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012. I think he even used it as an occasion to wax about how some causes are so grand and so urgent that they transcend bipartisan rancor.

And now, The Niche and mfastx, I have made it plain that my sympathies lie with rural interests; you may set aside your quarrel a moment and join together in peaceful shared derision/incomprehension. Happy to oblige in the name of amity.

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  • 3 months later...

In Istanbul right now, and just saw Blue Mosque among other things today. Light rail has a stop right in front of it. If a light rail can be made in this historic area, no excuses for university line going down richmond. Houston just doesn't want to get things done in transit, end of story.

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not fond of apples to apples, eh?

been there myself a few times Slick. would make more sense and be so much nicer if there were no (zero) individual vehicles or mass transit except walking at all in that entire several block area around Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi.

so I don't get your point.

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So I'll drag this thread out of the 'expired' basket... what's the real issue with getting the University line done?

Is it money? Afton Oaks animosity? Lack of resolve?

My feeling is that linking downtown, Uptown, and everything in between is pretty much going to make or break the investment that's already been made for light rail. My (other) opinion, is that once Uptown dedicates some right of way down Post Oak, the city / state / federal dollars will make the University line happy regardless.

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It is a lot of the first two, and a little bit of the third.

Honestly, the University Line should be placed lower on the list of projects. There is substantial opposition, not the least of which is the Representative for that district. METRO should mothball planning for the UL and begin looking at the Phase III line on Washington Avenue. There is far less opposition there. In fact, there is substantial support. It would also connect downtown and the Galleria through the Northwest Transit Center. This would allow the Uptown Line to be built. Sure, there are good reasons for the UL, but if opposition prevents an effective line from being built, de-emphasize it and go elsewhere. Eventually, it will get done.

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not fond of apples to apples, eh?

been there myself a few times Slick. would make more sense and be so much nicer if there were no (zero) individual vehicles or mass transit except walking at all in that entire several block area around Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi.

so I don't get your point.

The rail saves time going from the port. In general istanbul metro once complete will be very impressive. If they can build it with the obstacles of archaeological finds and earthquakes why can't houston have a world class system?

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The rail saves time going from the port. In general istanbul metro once complete will be very impressive. If they can build it with the obstacles of archaeological finds and earthquakes why can't houston have a world class system?

Does the government in Istanbul allow the kind of opposition we have here to influence its decisions?

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The rail saves time going from the port. In general istanbul metro once complete will be very impressive. If they can build it with the obstacles of archaeological finds and earthquakes why can't houston have a world class system?

[/exile]

Structures built from concrete and masonry in accordance with International Building Codes that are enforced in developed countries by governments that aren't rife with corruption are vastly preferable to wood frame structures that are built under the same set of assumptions. (Yet wood frame structures are generally favored in the United States because they are more cost effective, more forgiving, and less labor-intensive in a country where labor is expensive and cumbersome. An American developer intending to turn a profit should only build with concrete when they are deprived of every other option.)

So why do you suppose I should have to walk ten stories up to my $10/night penthouse on a windy day, because the hotel staff has decided to disable the elevator in this five-year-old concrete and masonry highrise? And once I get there, why do you suppose that the solid concrete wall behind my bed sounds like rats are chewing through it during the strongest gusts?

And would you consider the city that I'm in to be more "world class" because there are three dozen more buildings just like my hotel being hastily constructed by an effective government decree within a mile radius--of which a half dozen or more have turned out to be real estate scams for which construction activity has halted? Maybe that has something to do with why there are so many Bentleys on the road. Would you consider a city like this to be somehow less provincial because the grand new suspension bridge is already rusting through and occasionally drops portions of its decking into the river below? But it looks really really cool, framed by mountains and sea, even if it can't fulfill its intended function of moving trucks safely from the port in a way that bypasses the chaos of the center of the city.

As far as I'm concerned, this is all fine and well. I'm happy to live in a provincial city because I think that life is better here, simpler, easier to enjoy. There are bigger cities that are more developed. Some of them even bother to treat their wastewater; but mostly, they're just as provincial with the same attitudes having been scaled-up in terms of pathological groupthink, hassle, pollution, and expense. The same sort of comparisons could probably be made on some level between Houston and New York, Manchester or London. To compare Houston and Istanbul, you have to compare two cities for 'world classiness' that not only exist at a different scale, but with governments, cultures, and economic systems that are totally alien between the one and the other. It is a totally asinine and superficial effort. Please stop.

[exile]

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The rail saves time going from the port. In general istanbul metro once complete will be very impressive. If they can build it with the obstacles of archaeological finds and earthquakes why can't houston have a world class system?

The rail is more necessary in that location because hoofing it up and down that hill between the Spice Market and the entrance to Topkapi suck. I know, I've done it more than once.

Istanbul's subway is state-of-the-art, as is its light rail system, but I don't think it's comparable to Houston simply because people in Houston want to go farther faster. I'm not sure what my point is here, but the two cities and their light rail systems just don't feel comparable.

The most impressive part of Istanbul's transit system is the use of modern funicular connections to link neighborhoods of different elevations.

And as for being "world class" -- A surprising number of people in Houston waste a surprising amount of energy wondering what it will take to make the city "world class." Here's a hint -- World class cities don't worry about whether they're world class, or not.

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Who cares? When progress is stymied in one area, move to another. Would you prefer they do nothing at all simply because some people think the ULine is important, or would you prefer progress overall until the political climate changes?

Your quesion can be answered in several ways. Take the east end, southeast, and the Red rail lines expansion. Yes, I'm extremely happy that they are moving forward with something. I wasn't aware they were as far ahead on the Redline as they were. They even have a segment of it elevated. But it still doesn't change the fact that these areas of town are not exactly integral parts of town with real points of interest. I would've much rather seen the University Line built out and connecting vital sections. That would've been better at connecting the city as a whole.

Your idea of studying other routes would be great, only if it was actually being brought to the table.

Edited by scarface
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The rail is more necessary in that location because hoofing it up and down that hill between the Spice Market and the entrance to Topkapi suck. I know, I've done it more than once.

Istanbul's subway is state-of-the-art, as is its light rail system, but I don't think it's comparable to Houston simply because people in Houston want to go farther faster. I'm not sure what my point is here, but the two cities and their light rail systems just don't feel comparable.

The most impressive part of Istanbul's transit system is the use of modern funicular connections to link neighborhoods of different elevations.

And as for being "world class" -- A surprising number of people in Houston waste a surprising amount of energy wondering what it will take to make the city "world class." Here's a hint -- World class cities don't worry about whether they're world class, or not.

I'm staying deep on the Asian side, and ride the new M4 line daily. I can confirm it is very fast, feels like the fastest subway I've taken. About 25 km in 6-8 minutes.

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I would've much rather seen the University Line built out and connecting vital sections.

You are ignoring what is the reality. The ULine funding is currently being blocked, and METRO cannot afford to build it without that funding. So, my point was that it doesn't matter what you or I would rather see. What matters is that ULine is blocked. In this scenario, I think METRO should explore moving forward on another planned route that will connect downtown and the Galleria that is not in John Culberson's district...such as Washington Avenue corridor, where people WANT the rail.

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You are ignoring what is the reality. The ULine funding is currently being blocked, and METRO cannot afford to build it without that funding. So, my point was that it doesn't matter what you or I would rather see. What matters is that ULine is blocked. In this scenario, I think METRO should explore moving forward on another planned route that will connect downtown and the Galleria that is not in John Culberson's district...such as Washington Avenue corridor, where people WANT the rail.

Did that bill get through the senate? Culberson is living in the stone ages and/or corrupt. Either way in a sane society he'd be fed to sharks.

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Your quesion can be answered in several ways. Take the east end, southeast, and the Red rail lines expansion. Yes, I'm extremely happy that they are moving forward with something. I wasn't aware they were as far ahead on the Redline as they were. They even have a segment of it elevated. But it still doesn't change the fact that these areas of town are not exactly integral parts of town with real points of interest. I would've much rather seen the University Line built out and connecting vital sections. That would've been better at connecting the city as a whole.

Your idea of studying other routes would be great, only if it was actually being brought to the table.

I think it will be interesting to see how the area grows around the east end line, after the east and southeast lines split, there aren't a lot of stops of interest like the red line has, but who knows what will grow in 5-10 even 15 years?

The southeast line though, there's MacGregor park and 2 UH stops, and while the stop at Leeland and Scott isn't a pretty area now, I am thinking this location is going to get squeezed between the near east end (eado, if you will) and eastwood. Both have been active and upward for more than a few years now, and this stretch of land between these two areas is going to change quickly.

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..such as Washington Avenue corridor, where people WANT the rail.

Nobody sane wants rail on Washington. There's not enough room, and it's too important as an East-West route to screw it up for 30 years while Metro attempts to build rail.

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Nobody sane wants rail on Washington. There's not enough room, and it's too important as an East-West route to screw it up for 30 years while Metro attempts to build rail.

Well, I am comfortable in my insanity.

Speaking of insane, could you explain how this is important as an "East-West route"? I have lived in both the Rice Military and Heights areas for 15 years, and Washington has never been an important thoroughfare during my time here. I-10, of course, is an important thoroughfare, as is Memorial, and even Allen Parkway. Washington has not been. Maybe you have better sources that suggest it is, despite its low traffic counts.

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Speaking of insane, could you explain how this is important as an "East-West route"?...Washington has not been. Maybe you have better sources that suggest it is, despite its low traffic counts.

it's the end-to-end valet parking Red. key amenity and world class beyond anything available on Richmond in Afton Oaks.

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is it me or did the rebirth/bump post re the status of the Univ Line on this Homeric epic thread result in posts about routes to finally connect the system and make possible the Uptown Line everywhere except the proposed Univ Line route?

does that not answer the question of the original rebirther? or perhaps we should continue with the beating of the dead horse until Slick Vic's morale improves.

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Washington is important because it's the main route I take driving East or West through that part of town. It's an easy way to get from TC Jester to anything between there and Downtown. Does anyone really think rail construction would be beneficial to the businesses that are on Washington now? Would rail really help access to the existing businesses, or would it make it so hard to get to them, no one would visit?

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You are ignoring what is the reality. The ULine funding is currently being blocked, and METRO cannot afford to build it without that funding. So, my point was that it doesn't matter what you or I would rather see. What matters is that ULine is blocked. In this scenario, I think METRO should explore moving forward on another planned route that will connect downtown and the Galleria that is not in John Culberson's district...such as Washington Avenue corridor, where people WANT the rail.

It is a lot of the first two, and a little bit of the third.

Honestly, the University Line should be placed lower on the list of projects. There is substantial opposition, not the least of which is the Representative for that district. METRO should mothball planning for the UL and begin looking at the Phase III line on Washington Avenue. There is far less opposition there. In fact, there is substantial support. It would also connect downtown and the Galleria through the Northwest Transit Center. This would allow the Uptown Line to be built. Sure, there are good reasons for the UL, but if opposition prevents an effective line from being built, de-emphasize it and go elsewhere. Eventually, it will get done.

Am I missing something? I was under the impression that the U Line will switch from Richmond to Westpark via Timmons Lane and an elevated bridge over 59. And that this was done to placate Afton Oaks NIMBYs. ... and that METRO knew that they would not be able to obtain full funding and one time so they chose build the North, EE, and Southeast lines first.

Is there still expected to be significant oppostion to the revised route for the U Line?

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is it me or did the rebirth/bump post re the status of the Univ Line on this Homeric epic thread result in posts about routes to finally connect the system and make possible the Uptown Line everywhere except the proposed Univ Line route?

does that not answer the question of the original rebirther? or perhaps we should continue with the beating of the dead horse until Slick Vic's morale improves.

I doubt that anything I wrote answered any of Slick's questions. However, I am amused that my simple suggestion that METRO look to connect downtown and the Galleria by way of a planned, but future, route that is far less contentious was so roundly attacked. You'd have thought I was proposing bus service or something. :)

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