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How do you get to work?  

104 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you get to work?

    • Walk
      6
    • Bike
      5
    • Drive
      79
    • Metro - Bus
      6
    • Metro - Train
      8


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Two-three days a week I drive. The other days it's either a combination of METRO bus and rail or bus only, depending on which routing I'm in the mood to take that day. I currently live in the Braeswood area and work just west of the Galleria, so driving is the fastest, but I save money when I take METRO (but it takes longer). Regardless of whether I do the bus-only route or the combined bus and train, it takes about the same amount of time. Usually I do the light rail because I like riding it. However I'm job hunting and hopefully will end up working downtown or in the Medical Center. Then it will be METRO most days for me, except for when the weather is extremely unpleasant.

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The Katy Freeway. What a drag it is. To drive out of Cinco Ranch is enough at 6 in the morning. Then you have to drive about 25 miles to Downtown. It is frustrating to me. I usually take the Addicks Park&Ride on the Metro Bus. It's quicker than Kingsland Blvd. When I am in that traffic though, I want to scream.

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The Katy Freeway. What a drag it is. To drive out of Cinco Ranch is enough at 6 in the morning. Then you have to drive about 25 miles to Downtown. It is frustrating to me. I usually take the Addicks Park&Ride on the Metro Bus. It's quicker than Kingsland Blvd. When I am in that traffic though, I want to scream.

No offense, Cinco, but if the commute is that horrible, why do you live out there? I find it hard to have much sympathy for anyone who has moved to the far west suburbs in the last twenty years when it comes to griping about the Katy Freeway. It's not like it's a new problem or anything -- it was pretty awful back in 1985 and everyone knows that the commute from the Katy area to downtown is terrible. So why live out there if you work in town?

And, I meant what I said about no offense. I'm not trying to be insulting or anything with this post. Just trying to understand the reason why so many people here choose to live out there, knowing the traffic is going to be a nightmare, and then constantly complain about it after they have moved to the Katy area.

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No offense, Cinco, but if the commute is that horrible, why do you live out there? I find it hard to have much sympathy for anyone who has moved to the far west suburbs in the last twenty years when it comes to griping about the Katy Freeway. It's not like it's a new problem or anything -- it was pretty awful back in 1985 and everyone knows that the commute from the Katy area to downtown is terrible. So why live out there if you work in town?

And, I meant what I said about no offense. I'm not trying to be insulting or anything with this post. Just trying to understand the reason why so many people here choose to live out there, knowing the traffic is going to be a nightmare, and then constantly complain about it after they have moved to the Katy area.

Because of the area. It's a good area and I don't want to move from it. It has a good quality of life, too. Why do people live in the Woodlands, Kingwood, Pearland, or Sugar Land?

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So you're saying the rest of us in the city lives in slums? :)

Personally, all that couldn't keep me IN the 'burbs. The quality of life improves significantly when you move towards town. You gain several hours a week of your life, your commuting costs are next to nothing, and you're able to enjoy more time with your kids or send them to some of the better private schools here and STILL be able to take them to a movie or dinner at night AFTER they do their homework.

Ricco

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BTW: My work is all over town, so I have to drive most frequently.

Depending on what's going on, I'll generally park somewhere along the line and ride metro in. (The valet's generally know me well enough to keep my car downstairs if I tell them I'll only be a few minutes. God bless them.

Ricco

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So you're saying the rest of us in the city lives in slums? :)

Personally, all that couldn't keep me IN the 'burbs.  The quality of life improves significantly when you move towards town. You gain several hours a week of your life, your commuting costs are next to nothing, and you're able to enjoy more time with your kids or send them to some of the better private schools here and STILL be able to take them to a movie or dinner at night AFTER they do their homework.

Ricco

I totally agree Ricco. When I moved to Houston my office was in Westchase so I lived in Westchase. Then my social life started to center around Montrose and other inner loop areas. Then my office moved to the Galleria area and my short commute more than doubled. After my recent move into town, I have about the same drive to work but am much closer to the rest of my life outside of work. I'm averaging an extra 4-5 hours per week now that I used to spend driving between the inner parts of town and home in Westchase that I now have free to do other things. Granted I don't have kids to take care of in the evenings but that extra time is worth every penny of extra housing costs I'm paying. And those extra housing costs are being offset by an estimated $25 per month in saved gas and about $30 per month in saved tolls.

But, to each his own.

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Just felt the need to add my two cents...

I grew up in the southwest part of town (Westbury/Bellaire). Why didn't I stay there when I got married and had kids? One reason, the houses were cheaper and nicer and newer in the 'burbs, there was less crime in the 'burbs, and the schools were much better than HISD. So, there you have it, affordable housing, better schools, and less crime. I realized that there are trade-offs; worse commute, less entertainment (arts, music, zoo), but I knew these things going in. If I was single again, I'd probably live in Downtown Houston in a heartbeat, because I loved the excitement of the city, but when you have kids, other considerations come into play. (I'm guessing I'm a lot older than others posting to this site!) HA!

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Kids will change your life and your urban attitude. It did for me.

That's the challenge with inner loop living. It's great for adults (DINKS and Singles) but when you have kids there are a lot of other challenges.

My friends without kids say "I'll NEVER live outside Loop 610". I used to say that, too. Then reality sets in.

School, finding a decent house in a good hood, nice neighbors for the kids to play with, etc.

Inner loop Houston can't support the traditional family unit right now, but hopefully it will one day.

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Inner loop Houston can't support the traditional family unit right now, but hopefully it will one day.

I tend to disagree with this statement, simply because there are a lot of nice inner loop neighborhoods with lots of kids living in "traditional" families, as well as some not so traditional (but equally loving and stable) family units. Yes maybe the houses aren't as new or as affordable and some of the HISD schools aren't as good (although there are some excellent HISD schools inside the loop), but I don't think you can say that the inner loop neighborhoods can't support families when thousands of families live in those neighborhoods. Yes, maybe downtown and midtown aren't prime places to raise children yet, but lots of places here are.

And you are right, having kids does change you. If I ever have any I might feel differently, although at this point if I ever do find a partner and we decide to adopt children, I think we'd definitely give careful consideration to some of the nicer inner loop areas. But at the moment, that's all still a long way off.

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It's about being priced out, and having to settle for less house or townhome living inside Loop 610. Upper middle class housing really does not exist in the city.

There are plenty of 2/1 with a one car garage optoins with 1200sf out there, but it tough to live in that with children. Timbergroe Manner is a good example of this size home.

This article in the Chron sums it up pretty well.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2673461

INSIDE THE LOOP

Finding happiness as an Inner Looper

Many young buyers don't want to give up the perks of living near downtown, but few can find what they need inside the Loop for less than $200,000

Buying inside the Loop can be a personal statement. Dara and Laura Childs wanted to hang on to the perks of living in the middle of the city.

They lived in a 1,550-square-foot house in the Houston Heights until a baby boy was born. Suddenly the home felt too small. There was no nursery for 3-week-old Noah. "His crib was at the top of the stairs," Laura said.

The couple started looking for a house in February and closed in April on an 1,840-square-foot home in Timbergrove Manor. They paid $172,000 for the house, but they knew it was not even close to their taste. It would take two-and-a-half months of remodeling and an additional $90,000.

--------

Close to 300K for 1,800 sf. is no bargain. And even then, the schools are questionable, and the area is gem or junk.

That's why people end up in the burbs.

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  • 6 months later...

I just bought my patio home (townhome with no common walls) for $180K. It has three bedrooms and two baths with a two car garage.

It is just north of I-10 west of TC Jester. Its before you cross the big bridge on TC Jester.

This neighborhood is being revitalized. Most of the homes are in a delapidated state.

I work at 290 and Hollister and drive from the above location. I use to live by Westheimer and Kirby in the Upper Kirby area. The move to the new house has cut off 15 minutes of my commute. Plus I'm going the opposite way that most traffic is going.

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If my offer on this condo goes through I'll soon be taking the montrose>59>westpark way into Westchase in the morning instead of coming all the way around the beltway from Pearland.

Saving a ton in tolls and some in gas.

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My commute is changing from a combination of driving and taking METRO to a weekly trip to IAH and flight to wherever I'm working that week. And on the occassional week I'm in Houston for work, it will be driving to a client site or when I'm really lucky, walking about 20 feet from the bed to my desk to tele-commute.

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  • 1 month later...

As my handle implies, I live in the neighborhood right behind the University of Houston. I brought this house for well under 200k. I grew up in this neighborhood, and my wife and I wouldn't think of living anywhere else.

The only drawback are the schools. In this neighborhood, it's either find a magnet school or shell out the $$ for private school.

I currently drive to work. I'd take METRO, like I did when I lived in midtown and worked downtown (sometimes I even walked), but there's really not a convenient way to get between the University of Houston and Greenway Plaza. The options are either to take the 77 MLK downtown and then transfer to the 25 Richmond (which requires a bit of a walk because the 25 doesn't go through the downtown transit center) or take the 42 Holman (whose route through Third Ward is slow and circuitous) to midtown and catch the 25. METRO did have plans to begin a new route straight down Wheeler and Blodgett directly to Wheeler Station (which TSU and UH students could have used for easy access to the train and bus routes westward), but then Frank Wilson came along and put that idea (along with some other proposed bus routes that actually made sense) on indefinite hold.

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I commute from The Woodlands to the Galleria via car. I'd love to take a bus, but it only runs to Downtown, Med Ctr, and Greenway Plaza from The Woodlands. Taking an exchange would add too much time to the current 40-45 minutes in my car.

We are planning to move the office downtown in the next two years, and I'll be getting that bus pass for sure.

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  • 1 month later...

I rode my bike from the Heights to downtown on bike to work day, and I'm trying to take the bus more often, but frankly, I spend too much time on this forum in the morning, so I am usually late and have to drive. :(

But, I am working on it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The project will be wonder, but me and the rest of the people in the White Oak Bayou Association (WOBA) really want this project to connect from Shepherd to 11th street by TC Jester. That will connect the White Oak Bayou trails towards downtown. We also would love the trail to follow the MKT right of way under TC Jester along the tracks to Memorial park. Imagine living along this trail and you can take a bike to Memorial Park!

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You bet. I can't wait for that. I could fly down that thing to downtown. I agree with kjb's suggestions or wishlist as well. It sure would be nice to connect the TC Jester trail to the 7th Street trail.

Of course, I was also kind of hoping the LRT would eventually run down that corridor. Not sure what other Heights residents think of that, but I thought it would be great. So, I'm torn between the bikeway and the rail...just so long as the Toll Road authority keeps their mitts off of it.

:)

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I don't know. I know that METRO LRT maps show this corridor as a possible route for the northwest line. I also see the bikeways project. And HCAD shows this corridor to be 50 feet wide. Can you squeeze two rail lines and a 10 foot bike path in there?

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I don't know.  I know that METRO LRT maps show this corridor as a possible route for the northwest line.  I also see the bikeways project.  And HCAD shows this corridor to be 50 feet wide.  Can you squeeze two rail lines and a 10 foot bike path in there?

I would think you probably could. That would be awesome if it was light rail and a hike and bike trail. Especially since I believe this was the corridor that was once talked about to have a tollway.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I would think you probably could.  That would be awesome if it was light rail and a hike and bike trail.  Especially since I believe this was the corridor that was once talked about to have a tollway.

It is, so the sooner they fill it with something else, the better. Another thread showed the bikeways to be 10 feet wide. Looking at the Main Street line, it looks to be no more than 25 feet wide at the stations. So, I suppose it is possible, but would they put them next to each other?

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Keep in mind that if that corridor is used for the 290 commuter line, the trains will likely be bigger, louder, and faster than the light rail is. We're probably talking a train several cars long pulled by a full-size locomotive (hopefully electric but I've seen no mention of that which probably means we'll be stuck with diesel). There won't be as many stops along the route, and the trains will be in a dedicated right of way, so operating speeds will be faster. This may discourage development of a hike and bike path in the same corridor. Ideally I'd love to see both, and it could be done, with appropriate barriers between the path and the tracks. But commuter rail may require a wider right of way than the light rail does, because the equipment is often much, much bigger. Many commuter rail cars are wide enough to allow five seats across the width of the car, plus a wide aisle. Houston's light rail vehicles (and most other LRVs) are wide enough for four seats and a fairly narrow aisle.

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ssullivan:

Thanks for ruining my dream rail/bike scenario. :huh:

I was about to say that commuter rail would go down Center Street, but if you look at the map in the first post on Dallas vs. Houston thread, it shows the commuter line going through the Heights. However, I've also seen LRT go through there.

Obviously, the preferred route for commuter rail is down Center, since they already have freight rail there, but who knows.

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The prefered route would the heights to avoid the frieght line along center.

From section along center street to Memorial Park the freight line is way too busy. The US 290 corridor is not as busy and commuter rail would be fine. Commuter rail having a dedicated track from I-610 to downtown would be the best option.

The commuter rail to sugarland is going to have issues because Union Pacific has a lot of rail traffic on the line heading out to sugarland already.

If Union Pacific doesn't want the commuter rail they don't have let use their lines. Metro can't do anything about it.

Commuter rail has to run on a schedule to be reliable for riders. Union Pacific would have to ensure the lines allow for the schedule and have the freight trains work around this schedule. This could very well mean more freight trains in the night.

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I think the proposed commuter rail line to Missouri City will use dedicated rails adjacent to the UP tracks, similar to the current setup of the light rail test track along Holmes Rd. This would solve the problem of integrating freight train schedules with the commuter trains.

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I was thinking that would be the choice. I hope the cost of that was considered in there proposals.

The UPRR corridor is perfectly situated for the lineI'm sure they will be able to negotiate to get the property along that corridor.

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The commuter rail feasibility study Edwards and Kelcey produced for HGAC regarding the UP line paralleling 90A did include the cost for a second track. Union Pacific representatives made it clear at the study's steering committee meetings (I was at most of them) that the ONLY way commuter rail would work on that line is if an entire second track (not just a handful of passing sidings) were added. They even suggested that in a couple of places three tracks (!) would be necessary.

The 100-year-old bridge crossing the Brazos River in Richmond would need to be replaced with a wider one, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From that article:

"The APTA study also noted that of the 98 percent of Americans who drive to work, 94 percent are the sole occupant of their automobile."

That's just sickening. There should be a law requiring everyone to carpool at least one day a week.

Also from the article:

"The campaign is intended to de-emphasize the inconvenience and social stigma associated with using public transportation, focusing instead on the positives. Among these positives: the health benefits of getting fresh air while waiting at the bus stop, the chance to meet interesting people from a diverse array of low-paying service-sector jobs, and the opportunity to learn new languages by reading subway ads written in Spanish."

I think this is one of those paragraphs that was meant to be serious, but is actually unintentionally funny. The more I read and re-read that paragraph, the funnier it gets. It's almost like a satire a la National Lampoon or Saturday Night Live.

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