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-   -   Houston’s $7 billion solution to gridlock is more highways (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=239922)

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 8651291)

That's right, uprooting people due to lack of urban ideals isn't a viable plan.

No.

You don't uproot people because of their politics or preferences.

You uproot them to save their lives, to minimize future costs, both disaster-based and on-going operations.

You make changes to reduce future risk to everyone, and to allow government to operate more efficiently delivering more service for less tax.

That should be a win-win across the political spectrum.

If its not, oh well. Time to impose on those who feel they are entitled to free money every time their house floods; or just because they want the same services as everyone else, even if it costs government twice as much to deliver them, .......but at the same price everyone else pays, of course.

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 3:10 AM

I find this resistance to change very peculiar.

When forest/meadow/dessert became suburbia, that was was apparently fine change.

When a highway was blown through, which resulted in many homes and businesses bought out, that too was fine.

But when someone says, take the highway out.............that's not ok?

When someone says tear the home down and put the farm back or the forest or the desert, that's not ok?

So change is fine......as long it promotes pollution, sprawl, bad planning, higher costs, less efficiency and a poorer, more at-risk citizenry.

But change is awful, if it improves safety, reduces risk, reduces pollution, promotes integration, and makes government more efficient.

Really?

Reverberation Aug 7, 2019 3:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 8650783)
lol of course --- its no secret texas loves them some highways. especially anything they can build skyhigh flyovers for no reason.

I support this. I also support light rail, heavy rail, high speed rail, helicopters, hyperloop, etc. basically any and all means to get as many people into and out of the city.

accord1999 Aug 7, 2019 3:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651124)
Again this is effectively the case already in Toronto. Its not quite a 'ban' but the Provincial Planning laws and policies set minimum density requirements, along with requiring sidewalks and various other 'urban' amenities such that the suburban style of the '90s and prior years is now exceedingly rare in new construction here.

Why are we using Toronto as a model city? It has one of the least affordable housing markets in the world (median house price is over C$800K but median household income is only around C$72K) and also has terrible commute times. No surprise that these were the two top issues in the most recent city elections.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...sues-1.4857377

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 8651222)
I wonder how effective commuter rail is in Albuquerque.

2500 trips/day from APTA's Q1 ridership report.

mhays Aug 7, 2019 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 8651308)
Fine. Let's stop driving in Houston. So we've got buses (stuck in the same traffic as cars except where HOV/Transit/dedicated bus lanes exist), light rail (limited in Houston, no political will to get it really extended as far as it needs to), and of course walking/bicycling. You've got a metro area that's spread out to hell and over 6 million people. How do you expect to be able to get around town? What if one half of a couple works in one area and the other one works in a completely different area? Seriously, Houston isn't going to be able to be weaned from the automobile anytime soon. Getting rid of two parts of the downtown ring is a very good thing, both visually and bettering commute times. Yes, that means the other two parts are going to be even wider than before, but I'm not sure how else you can do this.

At any rate, Houston is a commuting disaster already. No amount of mass transit infrastructure is going to fix this, unfortunately.

Aaron (Glowrock)

The topic is called "more highways." My post was about that, not about taking lanes away from the current system. Did you think some of the other posts were mine, which is the only way your post makes any sense?

Once you calm down, it's obviously possible to put the GROWTH of the transportation system into something other than traffic capacity...that's where transit, density-enabled walking, and so on come in.

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 3:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8651393)
Why are we using Toronto as a model city? It has one of the least affordable housing markets in the world (median house price is over C$800K but median household income is only around C$72K) and also has terrible commute times. No surprise that these were the two top issues in the most recent city elections.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...sues-1.4857377


2500 trips/day from APTA's Q1 ridership report.

I didn't identify Toronto as a 'model city' in the aggregate sense. I identified an example showing something was possible, and had been done elsewhere.

That's all.

I fail to understand the over-reaction on your part.

Toronto is not evil. Its land values are determined in part by the fact its one of the fastest growing urban regions in the developed world.

That will spike your land prices. There's a separate discussion to be had, in a Toronto-centric thread, where we can debate what policy changes would lower commutes and moderate the pace of housing/rental price increases.

But this, is not that thread. This is about a proposal to expand an already very large freeway system, in Houston.

Los Angeles has been there, and done that (as has Toronto at a lesser scale) and both can tell you that that neither decreases land prices, or for that matter holds them steady, nor is it good for the environment or government finances.

Put simply, the best solution for Houston involves different ways to manage congestion and growth.

TexasPlaya Aug 7, 2019 4:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651365)
No.

You don't uproot people because of their politics or preferences.

You uproot them to save their lives, to minimize future costs, both disaster-based and on-going operations.

You make changes to reduce future risk to everyone, and to allow government to operate more efficiently delivering more service for less tax.

That should be a win-win across the political spectrum.

If its not, oh well. Time to impose on those who feel they are entitled to free money every time their house floods; or just because they want the same services as everyone else, even if it costs government twice as much to deliver them, .......but at the same price everyone else pays, of course.

Yea no. This is old freeway infrastructure in the heart of downtown Houston where all of the major US interstates meet and it's utterly laughable to think you can just replace that or mitigate that in this reality.

JManc Aug 7, 2019 5:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651356)
You and I simply have completely different perspectives.

Toronto had a 'Harvey'.........it was called 'Hazel'.....only a Tropical Storm by the time it made its way to Toronto in 1954........but dumped enough rain to kill double-digits and wiped out dozens of homes in river valley areas.

The response was to ban new housing in river valleys AND to tear down most that had already been built. Conservation Authorities were created to ensure this level of catastrophe never repeated itself.

For the most part, this plan was executed properly, one or two influential areas got to keep most of their homes, and instead got dams, dykes/berms or other protections.

But today Toronto is remarkably green for a big city, because it has thousands of acres of valley parkland, natural and manicured, where no homes or businesses are allowed.

It was simple, matter-of-fact response to one disaster........never-again.

The same way Australia banned handguns after a violent massacre (a disaster of a different kind)

Much of the world believes in solutions. The persistent objection in the U.S. that we must accommodate people who are wrong is bizarre. No! Change is needed.

Homes within the 25-year flood line must go.

Once you do that, prioritizing those homes that also represent a significant operational cost to maintain due to inefficient land use............

You then move on to penalizing homeowners and businesses who cost the government more money.

Take up more land, pay more tax; use more water, pay more, more power, pay more, have more garages (presumably due to greater use of roads), pay more.

Implement that, and inefficiently laid out homes become worth less and the government will buy them out at a discount, on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis.

You are comparing a city in the 1950's which was a fraction of its (and Houston's) current population with a much different climate, topography and elevation. You are talking 25 year flood plains but we are well beyond that here; much of the county is dotted with 100 and 500 year floodplains. We are talking about a considerable population spread across these areas with some of the most expensive real-estate are located around there. It's simply not a realistic notion to even entertain.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by authentiCLE (Post 8650870)
Perhaps the solution isn't to just build more lane miles? The city is reliant on cars because they don't provide an alternative.

"isn't just" and you are correct. But part of the solution is to build more of these freeways and widen them. They just need to get more serious about their transit. I wish LA would be rebuild its freeways downtown in the same way Houston is. It would help tremendously. Instead the planners scream induced demand and do nothing while traffic continues to get worse and the state keeps bleeding people to Texas, a state with wider freeways. Go figure.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hudson11 (Post 8651109)
woah, is it 1960?

Tell that to Florida. And NC. And Arizona. And California. And Oklahoma. And Florida. And a grocery list of countries around the world.

This is proposed in Melbourne

https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0...b9f00a8e24f96c

Hopefully it happens. This isn't the 1960's. This is 2019. These proposals will continue until you die. So have fun repeating yourself like record every time a project like this is proposed. You will see it more and more as freeway usage continues to grow.

I applaud Houston and can't wait until this beauty is built along with it's downtown rebuild and expansion.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651124)
There should be no communities w/'shittier' schools.

That is a failing in dire need of correction.

All schools in a state should be state-funded and administered and school boards should be entirely abolished.

Lest you think this is some how radical the Canadian Province of New Brunswick abolished school boards a generation ago; and the province of Quebec is moving to do the same now.

They are an anachronism.

Planning laws should also ban the construction of anything else 'suburban'.

Again this is effectively the case already in Toronto. Its not quite a 'ban' but the Provincial Planning laws and policies set minimum density requirements, along with requiring sidewalks and various other 'urban' amenities such that the suburban style of the '90s and prior years is now exceedingly rare in new construction here.

*****

There is nothing dystopian about correcting mistakes, about prioritizing the wise investment of tax dollars or removing people from regulatory floodplains where houses never should have been allowed in the first place.

The notion that such an idea is scary is beyond peculiar.

Your ideas are simply those grounded in wishful and ideological thinking and not that of reality. Good luck on telling those people they will be relocated into a denser development and their car? gone! HAH.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651322)
Here's a general view of the plan regarding the core.

https://cdn.bisnow.net/fit?height=48...VZ51gep8F0dKl0
https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/...ear-eado-65467

Basically a small stretch of the least invasive highway circling downtown could possibly be removed, meanwhile everything around it gets a massive expansion fueling suburban growth for the next generation and removing thousands from their homes. How progressive.

Yet your proposal suggests less modes available and the removal of freeways and worsening congestion. How progressive. Not to mention informing over 100,000 people they will be relocated because you don't like their lifestyle. Real progressive.

Meanwhile TxDOT's proposal addresses congestion, offers alternatives with tolled lanes and aligning with Houston's BRT which would inevitably make use of such lanes offering new modes of transport, reconnects neighborhoods, builds caps to reconnect neighborhoods in areas with expanded freeways, offers more green space, and IIRC redesigns certain streets to be more ped friendly. Yeah not progressive at all. No improvements. Nada.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651398)
I didn't identify Toronto as a 'model city' in the aggregate sense. I identified an example showing something was possible, and had been done elsewhere.

That's all.

I fail to understand the over-reaction on your part.

Toronto is not evil. Its land values are determined in part by the fact its one of the fastest growing urban regions in the developed world.

That will spike your land prices. There's a separate discussion to be had, in a Toronto-centric thread, where we can debate what policy changes would lower commutes and moderate the pace of housing/rental price increases.

But this, is not that thread. This is about a proposal to expand an already very large freeway system, in Houston.

Los Angeles has been there, and done that (as has Toronto at a lesser scale) and both can tell you that that neither decreases land prices, or for that matter holds them steady, nor is it good for the environment or government finances.

Put simply, the best solution for Houston involves different ways to manage congestion and growth.

Yet like Toronto, Vancouver(B.C.) and Portland using anti-suburban/car centric policies also share highest COL and horrid congestion as well. So what is your model city and why should it apply to Houston? You're cherry picking certain policies that have led to disastrous results for their respective cities. Yet somehow you are thinking you will use them and reinvent the wheel somehow having all of the positives you envision but none of the negatives which have become prevalent with those policies.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmanc (Post 8651090)
you lost me at relocating 120,000 people. That's more dystopian than any freeway expansion...of which is not the most ideal solution but it is what it is. My suburb is about 80,000 and in very floody area and if that were to 'go away', the plans for these freeways would not change since 80,000 people is a drop in the well in a metro of 7 million. Those 80,000 people would move to other suburbs with similar property values, not the city where homes cost 2-3x and shittier schools.

+1000

glowrock Aug 7, 2019 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 8651395)
The topic is called "more highways." My post was about that, not about taking lanes away from the current system. Did you think some of the other posts were mine, which is the only way your post makes any sense?

Once you calm down, it's obviously possible to put the GROWTH of the transportation system into something other than traffic capacity...that's where transit, density-enabled walking, and so on come in.

Excuse me, mhays? While I might have commented specifically on your post, my comments were aimed at many of the comments here. I stated my thoughts on eliminating part of the elevated loop around downtown Houston (and removing the Pierce Elevated is a HUGE benefit), saying that the required increases of the east side highway is justified. I'm perfectly calm, not to mention I lived in Houston (hell, right in the dead center of downtown!) for a number of years, so I think I have at least a little bit of a right to type my thoughts.

So please, can we avoid the holier than thou attitude? ;)

Aaron (Glowrock)

Sun Belt Aug 7, 2019 1:18 PM

Great move. Cities need to invest in their infrastructure. Houston is doing that.

Sun Belt Aug 7, 2019 1:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651494)
Tell that to Florida. And NC. And Arizona. And California. And Oklahoma. And Florida. And a grocery list of countries around the world.



Hopefully it happens. This isn't the 1960's. This is 2019. These proposals will continue until you die. So have fun repeating yourself like record every time a project like this is proposed. You will see it more and more as freeway usage continues to grow.

I applaud Houston and can't wait until this beauty is built along with it's downtown rebuild and expansion.


Or basically every state that is experiencing high growth. States that are growing today and tomorrow are doing the same exact thing that the other states did in the past, when they were growing.

It's funny to watch people pretend that their city and state didn't do the same exact thing and had they not done the same exact thing, then they would be a shadow of their current situation.

2050 Texas population will be around 54 million. Obviously Texas is going to need new, wider, expanded roads.

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 1:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651496)
Your ideas are simply those grounded in wishful and ideological thinking and not that of reality. Good luck on telling those people they will be relocated into a denser development and their car? gone! HAH.

What the hell is with the attitude. Cut it!

I haven't personally insulted you or anyone. Lets discuss facts, supported by evidence.

Quote:

Yet your proposal suggests less modes available and the removal of freeways and worsening congestion. How progressive. Not to mention informing over 100,000 people they will be relocated because you don't like their lifestyle. Real progressive.
Again w/the insulting tone and sarcasm. Keep that up and I see a suspension in your future.

I'm not proposing anyone be relocated because of how they voted, or because they like to drive, own more than 1 car, or because they like the colour pink.

If you widen a highway, you will buy up homes and businesses to do so, those people will have to be relocated.

Its not as if there is any development without displacement. The question is which displacement is more desirable from an economic and environmental perspective?

I am suggesting 'forcing' moves on people whose homes have been or are likely to be flooded; which will save their lives and the lives of their children and save them insurance premiums, co-pays and everyone else disaster relief $$$.

I am suggesting that since your not going to move everyone in Houston whose in a floodplain in the near term (too many people/properties) that within the affected group, you prioritize based on maximum savings operationally for the taxpayer. That's a fiscally conservative position in case you missed that.

Also I proposed tax reform which rightly says you should pay your own way to live as you wish. I would not deprive anyone of that right, I would simply deny them a subsidy from my wallet to live a more expensive lifestyle.

It it requires another 10 yards per home to extend water service vs. serving a central home, then you pay more for your water, if you requires 10 yards more wire for electric, you pay for more for electric, if there's more yards of paved road per person, you pay more for roads.

There's no socialist plot there; that's conservative 101; no wealth redistribution to support other people's lifestyle choices.

I do support redistribution to help the sick/injured, those down on their luck.

The government can reach in to my pocket for an extra $1,000 to help those folks out.

But it cannot do so because someone wants a 3-car garage. If you want that, pay for it yourself.

Quote:

Meanwhile TxDOT's proposal addresses congestion, offers alternatives with tolled lanes and aligning with Houston's BRT which would inevitably make use of such lanes offering new modes of transport, reconnects neighborhoods, builds caps to reconnect neighborhoods in areas with expanded freeways, offers more green space, and IIRC redesigns certain streets to be more ped friendly. Yeah not progressive at all. No improvements. Nada.
I don't recall arguing whatever that the project proposal had no good ideas in it; I recall opposing it as a package deal.

I don't think its the optimal package.

If the changes I propose, for instance, had the effect of shifting 120,000 people from areas of near-zero transit use, to areas within the existing reach of the LRT, you don't need any new transportation infrastructure to serve them, except possibly a few more LRT trains.

I'm also not suggesting that that relocation/tax change will eliminate the need to repair some existing freeways or serve some pre-existing growth.

I would prefer to see that done by further extension of the LRT system, by improvements in 'active transportation', and commuter rail.

Quote:

Yet like Toronto, Vancouver(B.C.) and Portland using anti-suburban/car centric policies also share highest COL and horrid congestion as well. So what is your model city and why should it apply to Houston? You're cherry picking certain policies that have led to disastrous results for their respective cities. Yet somehow you are thinking you will use them and reinvent the wheel somehow having all of the positives you envision but none of the negatives which have become prevalent with those policies.
First off, knock-off the hate of Toronto and other places people live.

High property values in those cities are not a function of anti-car policies.

Did you miss that that North America's busiest freeway is in Toronto (401)?

The property values are a function of desirability as a place to live; along with speculation in the housing market, money-laundering, Air BnB (and like) offerings, amongst other things.

Apologies to Houston, no insult intended, but its property values are much lower and that will not change because a few thousand people are moved out of floodplains or its highway system stops expanding.

That will not cause Houston property values to triple.

No one is suggesting that Houston will obtain Toronto or Vancouver's transit modal share in the next 10 or 20 years.

Only that it should aim a bit higher than it is, to grow that number a bit more, such that new highway capacity is no longer required.

Instead of those cities, why not talk L.A. where highway expansion has largely come to an end in favour of a massive build-out of transit?

Why not talk another sprawling oil city, Calgary,AB which is building its massive 'Green Line' LRT, not a new expressway?

This is not a left/right issue; its a public policy issue.

I perceive, and would suggest that the evidence supports, that my proposal is more cost effective over a 25 year period than the one on the table.

Its math.

Its not personal or ideological (unless you're opposed to math)

The North One Aug 7, 2019 2:44 PM

Melbourne is building a subway, nice try.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8651584)
What the hell is with the attitude. Cut it!

I haven't personally insulted you or anyone. Lets discuss facts, supported by evidence.



Again w/the insulting tone and sarcasm. Keep that up and I see a suspension in your future.

I'm not proposing anyone be relocated because of how they voted, or because they like to drive, own more than 1 car, or because they like the colour pink.

If you widen a highway, you will buy up homes and businesses to do so, those people will have to be relocated.

Its not as if there is any development without displacement. The question is which displacement is more desirable from an economic and environmental perspective?

I am suggesting 'forcing' moves on people whose homes have been or are likely to be flooded; which will save their lives and the lives of their children and save them insurance premiums, co-pays and everyone else disaster relief $$$.

I am suggesting that since your not going to move everyone in Houston whose in a floodplain in the near term (too many people/properties) that within the affected group, you prioritize based on maximum savings operationally for the taxpayer. That's a fiscally conservative position in case you missed that.

Also I proposed tax reform which rightly says you should pay your own way to live as you wish. I would not deprive anyone of that right, I would simply deny them a subsidy from my wallet to live a more expensive lifestyle.

It it requires another 10 yards per home to extend water service vs. serving a central home, then you pay more for your water, if you requires 10 yards more wire for electric, you pay for more for electric, if there's more yards of paved road per person, you pay more for roads.

There's no socialist plot there; that's conservative 101; no wealth redistribution to support other people's lifestyle choices.

I do support redistribution to help the sick/injured, those down on their luck.

The government can reach in to my pocket for an extra $1,000 to help those folks out.

But it cannot do so because someone wants a 3-car garage. If you want that, pay for it yourself.



I don't recall arguing whatever that the project proposal had no good ideas in it; I recall opposing it as a package deal.

I don't think its the optimal package.

If the changes I propose, for instance, had the effect of shifting 120,000 people from areas of near-zero transit use, to areas within the existing reach of the LRT, you don't need any new transportation infrastructure to serve them, except possibly a few more LRT trains.

I'm also not suggesting that that relocation/tax change will eliminate the need to repair some existing freeways or serve some pre-existing growth.

I would prefer to see that done by further extension of the LRT system, by improvements in 'active transportation', and commuter rail.



First off, knock-off the hate of Toronto and other places people live.

High property values in those cities are not a function of anti-car policies.

Did you miss that that North America's busiest freeway is in Toronto (401)?

The property values are a function of desirability as a place to live; along with speculation in the housing market, money-laundering, Air BnB (and like) offerings, amongst other things.

Apologies to Houston, no insult intended, but its property values are much lower and that will not change because a few thousand people are moved out of floodplains or its highway system stops expanding.

That will not cause Houston property values to triple.

No one is suggesting that Houston will obtain Toronto or Vancouver's transit modal share in the next 10 or 20 years.

Only that it should aim a bit higher than it is, to grow that number a bit more, such that new highway capacity is no longer required.

Instead of those cities, why not talk L.A. where highway expansion has largely come to an end in favour of a massive build-out of transit?

Why not talk another sprawling oil city, Calgary,AB which is building its massive 'Green Line' LRT, not a new expressway?

This is not a left/right issue; its a public policy issue.

I perceive, and would suggest that the evidence supports, that my proposal is more cost effective over a 25 year period than the one on the table.

Its math.

Its not personal or ideological (unless you're opposed to math)

First off if you have an issue with my posting take it up with a moderator. I have not insulted you only criticized your opinions which are well within the forum guidelines and rules. Once again I have no attitude and you ought to chill out.

Furthermore your weird posting structure makes it weird to read so I'll respond to the best of my abilities without quoting each individual sentence.

Once again, your ideas have no grounding in reality. It is pure fantasy. Good luck convincing people to change their lifestyles and better luck putting policies in place to force them to do so.

I applaud Houston and their vision. This proposal will lead to a less congested freeway network, give people more options to travel, and reconnect neighborhoods around the core.

You misunderstood my criticisms of Toronto. The city is great and I do not hate it. In fact quite the contrary. I am well aware about the 401 traffics counts though how long it holds that title is anyone's guess.

No offense, but you didn't post much worth responding to rather a rehash of what you said. The only reason I responded because you seemed to have gotten very offended by my criticisms and as I said at the start don't make grim predictions of me being suspended. If it is an issue take it up with a moderator and if they message me and tell me tone it down I will. But you are of no authority here and I disagree with you I did or came close to violating forum rules. I didn't use any form of ad hominem against you, only criticized your opinions.

PS, it is hilarious you use Los Angeles of an example of what to do right. Have you seen LA's rail ridership? Bus ridership? Numbers dropping by the month? Extreme homeless problem? Human shit cleanup crews being needed due to amount of human feces around the city? Poverty? Income inequality? Congestion? Housing costs? Yeah, LA is a great model city.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651654)
Melbourne is building a subway, nice try.

The one estimated at 100 billion and a liberal opening date of 2050 with current work not scheduled to begin until 2022 and only 10 billion in funding secured or were referring to another one? Many countries are building subways. LA is building a subway. What is your point?

Melbourne has many road projects going to the tune of billions.

JManc Aug 7, 2019 3:41 PM

And Houston also has future plans for expanding its light rail; a subway is not feasible here.


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