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  #61  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 1:13 AM
JAYNYC JAYNYC is offline
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
and were Austin’s to reach 4-5 million
Austin's estimated 2018 MSA is ~2.1M and has suffered unbearable congestion for at least the last 30 years. No one - I repeat - no one - would want to live in an Austin with twice as many residents as it currently has, and I don't see Austin coming close to reaching 5 million residents in the next 100 years (if ever) due to lack of infrastructure in its core to support that type of growth.

If the present growth trends continue (and they are inevitably prone to slow down), Austin will likely pass San Antonio (which has an estimated 2018 MSA of ~2.5M) at some point, but ironically San Antonio's core infrastructure is much more capable of supporting urban and suburban growth.
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  #62  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 1:33 AM
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Oh, I don’t think Austin will reach that size either. For all the reasons we’ve been going over. I’m talking hypotheticals; if Austin were to reach Seattle’s size, and if Dallas and Houston were to reach 10+ million as some forumers believe will happen, could that happen in a red state?
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  #63  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 1:35 AM
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Oh, I don’t think Austin will reach that size either. For all the reasons we’ve been going over. I’m talking hypotheticals; if Austin were to reach Seattle’s size, and if Dallas and Houston were to reach 10+ million as some forumers believe will happen, could that happen in a red state?
Again, being a red or blue state matters little. See California hardly building housing thus leading to higher costs, which means it loses tens of thousands of people per year to other states. Texas gets a lot of those people. It's major cities have good mixes forming of both urban and suburban. Houston for example has seen significant infill over the last 10 years, in addition to having large suburban growth. Austin has as well. DFW has seen the same but with the corporate relocations being largely suburban, they've seen more spread out growth there. I also don't see neighboring states booming economically, so Texas receives those residents as well (Arkansas, Louisiana, and even a few states over into MS or FL).
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  #64  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 4:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Trae View Post
Again, being a red or blue state matters little. See California hardly building housing thus leading to higher costs, which means it loses tens of thousands of people per year to other states. Texas gets a lot of those people. It's major cities have good mixes forming of both urban and suburban. Houston for example has seen significant infill over the last 10 years, in addition to having large suburban growth. Austin has as well. DFW has seen the same but with the corporate relocations being largely suburban, they've seen more spread out growth there. I also don't see neighboring states booming economically, so Texas receives those residents as well (Arkansas, Louisiana, and even a few states over into MS or FL).
I understand all of this. But we are talking about hypothetically doubling Dallas and Houston’s current metro size and scale. All of Texas’ to-date low-regulation, high-growth, low-tax policies have worked well at getting the Texas Triangle to where it is now. My line of thinking is that these policies’ positive results will hit a ceiling sooner than later, and in order for the Triangle to reach that next level, state budgets will have to be allocated a lot differently than they are now. Otherwise you’ll end up with an American version of KL or Jakarta; the congestion is so bad in Jakarta that the Indonesian government is just up and leaving, building a new capital ala Brasilia.

The question is, will the Triangle’s current growth be enough to flip Texas blue, thus allowing for the region to transform to its fullest potential?
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  #65  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 4:57 AM
wwmiv wwmiv is online now
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For those who are talking about how growth slows as a city matures, I have two points:

A: what evidence is there that any of DFW, Houston, Austin, or San Antonio are maturing? If anything, they are still young cities with plenty of growth potential left.

B1. Even if you assume (without evidence from point A) that growth will slow as each of the metro areas grows, the state will still grow substantially solidifying it’s status as the most populous southern state and second most populous state in the country.

B2. For instance, for the four large metros (assuming boundaries do not expand to capture new exurbs), let’s assume that the rate of growth between 2010 and 2018 will continue for the following 8 years until 2026. After that, the rate of growth will decrease by 25% for the following 8 years until 3034 as steam is let out of the engine. Then, as the brakes are slammed on to Texas’s cities’ growth engines as they finally fully mature, the last 8 years’ growth rate is 50% that of the previous 8 leading to the following population in 2042. For the remainder of Texas, I assume that the population remains stable because there are very few positive growth indicators outside of the big 4. Some areas will slightly increase, some will decrease. On balance, growth in places like Waco and Killeen will balance with losses throughout rural Texas.

Total: 37,337,071
Dallas-Fort Worth: 10,645,771
Houston: 10,039,564
Austin: 3,604,672
San Antonio: 3,568,666
Balance: 9,478,398

B3. Of course, the reality is that so much could happen in the next few decades to affect international migration, domestic migration, and fertility rates, that it is difficult to project beyond a 10 to 15 year time horizon except in isolated circumstances.

B4. At this point, Austin and San Antonio are likely to be a single urban entity with these populations.

B5. This is still significant growth. Period. Yet still smaller than California today.

B6. If nothing changes for Chicago, it’ll clearly be in the same tier with DFW and Houston at ~10 million. A consolidated Bay Area and D.C.-Baltimore would perhaps also be in this tier, but no others. None of the five will capture LA+IE let alone NYC.
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Metropolitan Central Texas 2018: 5,672,404 (+19.98% over 2010):
San Antonio: 1,532,233 (+15.43%) + Metro Suburbs: 985,803 (+20.94%)
Austin: 964,254 (+22.00%) + Metro Suburbs: 1,204,062 (+30.04%)
Killeen/Temple Metro: 451,679 (+11.44%) + Waco Metro: 271,942 (+15.77%) + Bryan/College Station Metro: 262,431 (+14.77%)

Last edited by wwmiv; Oct 28, 2019 at 5:08 AM.
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  #66  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 5:12 AM
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The problem I see is people try to equate voting Democrat as you are for transit, for urban projects, etc. Meanwhile if you vote red, then you're somehow against those things. It's not mutually exclusive. Texas cities has seen an increase in favorability for transit and urban development and it's been this way for going on 20 years now. Even the most red major Texas city, Fort Worth, has seen those increases and now has a rail line to DFW Airport and new development around its downtown.

One thing I appreciated about Texas that I didn't realize when I left for California was there is definitely a more diversity of ideas and opinions. It's not an echo chamber like California is. The housing issue in CA is way worse and it's because those same people "voting blue" tend to vote against any dense housing development because of some mundane reason like views or shadows. Like the only problem the "red state leaders" have had with Austin's growth so far has been the huge increase in homeless but that was entirely due to a city law the mayor passed.

Not only that but the Texas metro growth is suburban, and to a much smaller extent urban.
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  #67  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 5:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JAYNYC View Post
Austin's estimated 2018 MSA is ~2.1M and has suffered unbearable congestion for at least the last 30 years. No one - I repeat - no one - would want to live in an Austin with twice as many residents as it currently has, and I don't see Austin coming close to reaching 5 million residents in the next 100 years (if ever) due to lack of infrastructure in its core to support that type of growth.

If the present growth trends continue (and they are inevitably prone to slow down), Austin will likely pass San Antonio (which has an estimated 2018 MSA of ~2.5M) at some point, but ironically San Antonio's core infrastructure is much more capable of supporting urban and suburban growth.
I am a fairly long time Austin resident (1996), and I do agree that at this point in time we are not equipped to handle 4 million residents. Still infrastructure is likely to improve as the years progress, so who knows? I do disagree with your assertion that congestion has been "unbearable" for at least the last 30 years. It wasn't that way when I arrived in 96. Congestion really set up shop in Austin in the early 2000s, probably around the time the city population hit 700,000 and the metro topped maybe 1.3 or 1.4 million. It can be very nasty, but I still don't consider it to be "unbearable". Overall congestion (24 hour traffic patterns in addition to rush hour commute times) in Houston and Dallas seems much worse to me, and there is no way congestion on Austin freeways comes close to places like DC, LA, Atlanta, or the Bay Area. Also, surface streets tend to flow pretty well throughout the day. Having said all that, I admit to feeling concerned that all the office building construction downtown and adjacent to downtown around the capitol complex and new medical center will finally produce a rush hour gridlock of spectacular proportions. Central Austin is in desperate need of some kind of fairly high capacity rail transit solution in addition to a multi billion dollar (and incredibly disruptive) rebuild of IH35. I am not optimistic that it will happen in my lifetime. Keep in mind, though, I am in my mid 70s.
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  #68  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 12:18 PM
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Austin's traffic is pretty bad. Even compared to Houston and Dallas. Was over there just last weekend and 35 was a total parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
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  #69  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 4:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
I understand all of this. But we are talking about hypothetically doubling Dallas and Houston’s current metro size and scale. All of Texas’ to-date low-regulation, high-growth, low-tax policies have worked well at getting the Texas Triangle to where it is now. My line of thinking is that these policies’ positive results will hit a ceiling sooner than later, and in order for the Triangle to reach that next level, state budgets will have to be allocated a lot differently than they are now. Otherwise you’ll end up with an American version of KL or Jakarta; the congestion is so bad in Jakarta that the Indonesian government is just up and leaving, building a new capital ala Brasilia.

The question is, will the Triangle’s current growth be enough to flip Texas blue, thus allowing for the region to transform to its fullest potential?
Why would they hit some theoretical ceiling though?

Jakarta also has a sinking problem much worse than any city in America so it's more than just the crowds. Texas does need to increase its social services and I can see the property tax issue getting out of hand for residents who aren't able to afford their gentrified area. But it won't be an Illinois situation as Texas as a whole is pretty prosperous so it'll balance out over time. It could also increase its minimum wage, because areas like Austin and Dallas have had high jumps in rent/housing costs.

Turning blue does not mean an area will reach its potential. Texas is fine being almost a 50/50 state, with the Texas Triangle leading the balance. I do not want it to become a California where it's an echo chamber of the same ideas. Too much redtape for residential construction, gasoline prices double that of neighboring states, poor primary schools aside from the most costly residential areas, a small middle class, and an out of control homeless population. I also don't want it to be a Mississippi with little social services and not much economic opportunity.

Right now Texas is in a sweet spot. It's conservative and progressive ideas together are making it an absolute powerhouse. It has a strong middle class, relatively low-cost of entry into good school districts due to lower housing costs, increasing transit infrastructure, new corporate relocations on an almost monthly basis, recreational space growing due to philanthropy and other donations, and an overall increase in quality of life because of all these things coming together.


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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Austin's traffic is pretty bad. Even compared to Houston and Dallas. Was over there just last weekend and 35 was a total parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
Yeah I took the MoPac Tollway during rush-hour a couple weeks ago and was amazed at the traffic not moving on the freeway portion. Then the street traffic downtown was pretty bad. On the flipside, Austin's rush hour lasts like 90 minutes so by the time we finished our meals, the freeways were clear by 6:30p. That's still heavy traffic time for Houston and DFW, and most larger metro areas.

Last edited by Trae; Oct 28, 2019 at 4:26 PM.
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  #70  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 4:55 PM
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Very interesting.. Since Dallas's suburbs are growing north along Central Expressway (75) towards Oklahoma and parts of 75 are being upgraded to interstate standards, I wonder will that corridor one day become part of the interstate system?
Making US 75 into I-45 would make sense, many parts of it are already built to interstate standards through Oklahoma. Not as many parts north of Tulsa though, US 169 would probably be the most direct route from Tulsa to Kansas City. I don't think the political will (or funding) is there in either Oklahoma or Kansas to do this anytime soon, especially with Missouri and Arkansas building I-49 to replace US 71 which will connect Kansas City to New Orleans (and its seaport), and also connects the fast-growing Northwest Arkansas area to the interstate system.
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  #71  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 5:04 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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Austin's traffic is pretty bad. Even compared to Houston and Dallas. Was over there just last weekend and 35 was a total parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
IH35 from 183 on the north to 71/290 on the south (central Austin basically) can jam up at any time almost around the clock, but it tends to happen mostly in the immediate downtown area. Mopac gets sticky for about four hours in the morning and again in the late afternoon with the worst of it being peak rush hour. Other Austin freeways and toll roads usually do not completely jam up even in peak rush hour. My experience has been that overall there is much more generalized congestion on Houston and Dallas freeways. I recently drove from Austin to Hobby Airport in Houston on a Saturday afternoon. Traffic was monstrous all the way through Houston. It took me close to an hour and a half to make it to Hobby once I hit Houston traffic just east of Katy. I've had similar weekend experiences trying to drive around DFW area freeways, especially in the mid-cities area and on LBJ Fwy.
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  #72  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 5:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
I understand all of this. But we are talking about hypothetically doubling Dallas and Houston’s current metro size and scale. All of Texas’ to-date low-regulation, high-growth, low-tax policies have worked well at getting the Texas Triangle to where it is now. My line of thinking is that these policies’ positive results will hit a ceiling sooner than later, and in order for the Triangle to reach that next level, state budgets will have to be allocated a lot differently than they are now. Otherwise you’ll end up with an American version of KL or Jakarta; the congestion is so bad in Jakarta that the Indonesian government is just up and leaving, building a new capital ala Brasilia.

The question is, will the Triangle’s current growth be enough to flip Texas blue, thus allowing for the region to transform to its fullest potential?
Texas is already flipping blue and I'd say it's purple right now. The state is just so crooked that it seeks multiple ways to keep the red status quo. I saw more Trump posters and signs in Upstate NY than I did here in suburban Houston. Which is saying something...

Demographics and cost of living are forcing the cities to densify and evolve regardless of the knuckle-draggers in Austin. There was no desire for urban planning or transit 20-30 years ago. Now there is. Millenials are taking over Texas and they want rail and walkable areas.
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  #73  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 6:18 PM
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Don't really have a horse in this race, but just want to interject that California was a reliably red state until the 1990s.
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  #74  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 6:31 PM
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Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
IH35 from 183 on the north to 71/290 on the south (central Austin basically) can jam up at any time almost around the clock, but it tends to happen mostly in the immediate downtown area. Mopac gets sticky for about four hours in the morning and again in the late afternoon with the worst of it being peak rush hour. Other Austin freeways and toll roads usually do not completely jam up even in peak rush hour. My experience has been that overall there is much more generalized congestion on Houston and Dallas freeways. I recently drove from Austin to Hobby Airport in Houston on a Saturday afternoon. Traffic was monstrous all the way through Houston. It took me close to an hour and a half to make it to Hobby once I hit Houston traffic just east of Katy. I've had similar weekend experiences trying to drive around DFW area freeways, especially in the mid-cities area and on LBJ Fwy.
I noticed Austin is getting toll happy lately. I wonder if it does help with the congestion.
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  #75  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 6:43 PM
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I noticed Austin is getting toll happy lately. I wonder if it does help with the congestion.
Hah, sometimes the tolled (one lane each direction) lanes on Mopac are more backed up than the free lanes! I think that when the newly tolled 6 lane stretch of 183 between the airport and 290 east opens up, we will see a lot of savvy local drivers hopping over to that section of road from IH35 to avoid having to drive through downtown. It will also give airport bound traffic coming from the north a speedy way through town. That might relieve traffic a bit. I think the key to it being successful resides in the pricing. It won't help, if they charge the kind of congestion pricing found on the Mopac toll lanes. The other tolled expressways are gradually gaining business, and, frankly, they are the only way to scoot around the greater metro area in many instances, and the fact that there are several of them on the eastern side of the metro bodes well for residential development on land not really all that far from the center of the city. It will add to the sprawl, but it will happen in areas that could use more development.

Last edited by austlar1; Oct 28, 2019 at 6:55 PM.
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  #76  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 6:49 PM
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I dont know why anyone would be getting excited about "texas flipping blue"

What the parties champion policy wise and who they are trying to represent is currently in a massive state of flux and probably will be for another few cycles.

so called "mainstream" republicans and democrats are now undetectable in their respective parties and former fringe policies are becoming centerpieces.

By 2030 what the parties are will be much different from what they were in 2008.

Hell 2008 Obama would hardly make it in the current democratic primary based on his policy positions.
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  #77  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 7:10 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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I dont know why anyone would be getting excited about "texas flipping blue"

What the parties champion policy wise and who they are trying to represent is currently in a massive state of flux and probably will be for another few cycles.

so called "mainstream" republicans and democrats are now undetectable in their respective parties and former fringe policies are becoming centerpieces.

By 2030 what the parties are will be much different from what they were in 2008.

Hell 2008 Obama would hardly make it in the current democratic primary based on his policy positions.
Texas flipping Blue on a local level would mean local governments would regain a lot of autonomy lost to the Republican legislature in the last decade or so and could authorize all kinds of progressive local agenda items (civil rights, environmental, and transit/infrastructure) that the legislature has overturned or threatens to overturn. It would also mean local governments could devise taxpayer supported initiatives (like an additional fuel tax) to support the much needed development of transit infrastructure including perhaps additional commuter rail, light rail, or even heavy rail (subway) investments that are beyond the reach of local governments at the present time. Of course, the legendary frugality of the Texas voter would remain a factor even in a Blue Texas, so change would be incremental at best. One additional benefit would be the redistricting of the states legislative and congressional districts hopefully on a less partisan (I am not holding my breath on that one) basis. Ultimately a shift in the very large Texas congressional delegation will have a lasting impact on affairs in the US Congress. Flipping Blue would make a huge difference.
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  #78  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 7:10 PM
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Don't really have a horse in this race, but just want to interject that California was a reliably red state until the 1990s.
The Republican Governator ruled until 2011. Not too long ago.

Here he is with another California Governor:

Wikipedia
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  #79  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 7:30 PM
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Guys, what nobody seems to understand nor comprehend here in terms of politics is:

Even if Texas turns "blue" there will always be a Yin and Yang in our political system.

In other words, the US won't become a California. The balance of power, checks and balances will always exist. There will never be one single party that dominates America. This is how it is by design and this is why America rose from nothing to dominate the entire world.
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  #80  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2019, 7:34 PM
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^^^ Can’t argue with that. Seemed like Cali was a equal balanced place back then. I would only hope Texas maintains a good balance of moderatism in its future. Same for Florida, another settled swing state.
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