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Big E

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  1. Once again, if there was a massive demand for that level of development, it would have already happened. The fact is, there just isn't enough latent demand to justify the expense of downtown redevelopment in most cases. Just like lack of office demand has curtailed the building of new office buildings. While there is a demand for residential development, its all happening outside of downtown, in areas where its cheaper to build, in more established or more popular up and coming neighborhoods. Downtown will continue to see piecemeal development for as long as this holds. You'd do better praying for another oil-fueled skyscaper boom.
  2. Not enough to actually stop construction. My feeling is that all of this is largely speculative building at this point, like what Houston went through prior to the Oil Bust. Maybe they are counting on Silicon Valley's bubble bursting soon, and many companies relocating outside of California so save money.
  3. An attempt to pass a federal law would probably be unconstitutional and be considered federal overreach. Eminent Domain would be expensive and counter productive for cities, and the courts take a dim view on eminent domain for the sole purpose of economic development. The fact is, if there was an economic drive to redevelop these lots, they'd already be redeveloped. The lack of demand for downtown development is why most of them still exist.
  4. Considering all the world class, roofed stadiums Houston has, it makes sense that Houston gets a lot sports events; Houston has the venues for it.
  5. Basically what @texan said. Taken altogether, its a lot of land, especially for being at the center of the city. You could build a sizable skyscraper on any one of those blocks. When you look at the rest of each block, you realize that, outside of the two highrises, the majority of the blocks are parking lots, one is a parking garage, and two are are occupied by low rise commercial buildings (one of which is a car dealership) whose owners would probably be happy to sell out to a new developer. A Methodist church and low rise, unassuming apartment complex make up the remaining two blocks. There are already parking lots under the Pierce Elevated. If they are just tearing down the structure, the parking lots would just be left intact and continue to be used to make money.
  6. Pretty sure all of those proposals, other than the Convention Center one aren't happening.
  7. It should be remembered that those pictures were merely one idea that was presented. Nothing concrete has been said specifically about what they are going to do with the excess ROW created by removing the Pierce elevated, or what will actually be placed on the I-69/I-45 cap (the cap itself is being built so that buildings and development can happen on it).
  8. I mean, its the 20th, not the 25th. Its not like everything is closed today. If it was Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, yeah, that would make sense. But its just a normal weekday.
  9. The most that's gonna happen to that land is that its going to become a series of parking lots for a few years till developers scoop them up and develop them. They were throwing around this idea for a "skypark" but that looked like an overly ambitious pipe dream and nobody's even mentioned that in any official capacity in months. Extending a canal from Buffalo Bayou to the location of the Pierce elevated isn't possible because the Downtown Connector will block the route, not even getting into the issue of existing utilities and such that would have to be dug up.
  10. Once again, you can't prove a negative, or the absence of something. Just like you can't walk into an empty spotless, room, and prove that a murder never took place there at any point in its history. You haven't even established traffic patterns on Polk between Houston and EaDo. You've offered no information to back up your claim. The onus is on one making a claim to prove it. The baseline assumption is that the removal of Polk's crossover will have no effect on the rail crossing, and both Houston and TxDOT have not shown that they are operating outside this baseline idea. I've already given reasons for why that would be, looking at the design of the streets, street directions, distance, etc. If you've got cards to play, now's the time to play it partner. The ball is in your court.
  11. I don't recall calling you names. I merely asked for evidence. Usually people who don't have evidence, try some form of deflection from this fact, like claiming "Well, if I give you evidence, you'll just poke holes into it". Of course that's the point of any debate or discussion; to weigh the evidence presented. You were the one who made the claim regarding Polk's closure and its effect on the train situation. I'm merely asking you to back it up. If you can't do that, just say so.
  12. The only two people who I've seen harping on it are you and Samagon, and you are the only two people who have been harping on it lately besides that one other guy, but he complained about how much its removal would effect bikes specifically, and that had nothing to do with you and Samagon's complaining about how it would effect the rail road crossing. You can't prove a negative. If you have some impact study hidden around proving that it will, in fact, negatively effect traffic as far it effects the train crossing, then produce it. Otherwise, you're complaining about something you don't even know will be an issue yet, and that you have no proof will be an issue. I already posited questions to you in my last comment which you have not deigned to answer. You offered no real evidence to back up your initial assertion that getting rid of the Polk crossing at the interstate will effect the crossing at the rail line. I'm giving you the chance to backup that assertion. If you can't actually back it up, I've got no other recourse but to dismiss it, barring some other evidence being presented.
  13. We don't even know how much traffic carries all the way from downtown to the rail crossing, and vice versa. As I said before, the rail crossing is over a mile away from where Polk crosses the interstate. Traffic could disperse into any number of directions between those two points. And, as I already pointed out, Polk is a one way going Eastbound, away from the crossing, beyond Avenida, so its not carrying traffic all the way from downtown. Avenida never appears to be particularly busy outside of major events, and isn't designed to carry much traffic, so doubtful Polk's getting much traffic from there. You are the one who made the initial claim that removing Polk would negatively effect traffic vis-à-vis the rail line. So demonstrate how that's possible using real traffic analysis. First, you have to demonstrate how much traffic carries through on Polk from one side of the highway to the other in either direction. Then, we would have to determine how much traffic actually goes all the way to the crossing after crossing over from downtown, and vice versa. That's a lot of information and variables that you have failed to provide. Then, we would have to analyze how difficult it would be for traffic using Polk going into downtown to get to Polk on the other side post NHHIP and how difficult it would be for traffic to move from Leland to Polk going the opposite direction. Are you really prepared to analyze all this? In either case, what is material to the discussion is that Polk won't change beyond removing the crossing. Any problems with traffic taking Leland and running into a train are problems that already exist, because traffic can already default to Leland over Polk in either direction. Removing the highway crossing at Polk doesn't really effect this in any way.
  14. And yet planners and commentators are always pointing specifically to Europe, and holding it up as some kind of gold standard, notwithstanding that actual vehicle traffic in cities like London can be downright abysmal. Nobody's really saying you can't have options. But America will never be Europe. Its an ideal we'll never reach at this point. If want to emulate anyone, I think it should be Japan, which basically had to completely rebuild after WWII. But that would mean encouraging policies that the urban planning types and politicians don't like here in America, like privately owned public transportation, and a zoning system that is highly permissive and not dedicated to extremely strict separation of specific zoning types, and "as-of-right" development permitting.
  15. The cities are taking the railroads to task through the FRA. That's the process they need to go through. As far as I'm concerned, that is taking them to task.
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