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

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 3:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8651720)
And Houston also has future plans for expanding its light rail; a subway is not feasible here.

If heavy rail was proposed it should be elevated. A subway in a flood prone city seems like a bad idea. But yeah IIRC, Houston also plans to aggressively expand it's "BRT" routes in the coming years many along freeways which would surely make use of the toll lanes.

ardecila Aug 7, 2019 3:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651322)
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.

Hmm yeah. The "downtown connector" is just a euphemism for a freeway stub. At least the latest version of the design is slightly better than shown in the OP's video, with the last few blocks of the connector being pushed into a trench and a new pedestrian bridge at Andrews St.

Still, the removal of Pierce Elevated is significant, that's nearly a mile less freeway encircling downtown Houston.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 4:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8651580)
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.

Completely agreed!

lio45 Aug 7, 2019 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 8651395)
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.

This would be difficult in Houston half the year, though.

In Seattle you're fine with an umbrella, in Quebec in January you're fine with winter clothes... but in Houston you are guaranteed to arrive in your destination covered in sweat, and you may even have some sort of heat stroke on the way. (It's actually much easier to prevent such problems in extreme cold - just dress appropriately - than in extreme heat.)

Hard to blame them for preferring to move about in their little air-conditioned personal capsules (a.k.a. cars).

The North One Aug 7, 2019 4:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651702)
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.

lol @ you pulling straight out lies out of your behind. As opposed to this project which you likely wont be alive to see finished?

This isn't LA this is Houston and as far as I know there is no subway component to this mega highway boondoggle.

It's a colossal mistake any way you slice it, you can do mental gymnastics all you want.

JManc Aug 7, 2019 4:28 PM

We literally just had a conversation about how much Houston floods and you bring up the lack of subways.

COtoOC Aug 7, 2019 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8650927)
Honestly, for a freeway project in Houston this one is remarkably progressive. It removes half of the downtown freeway loop completely, removing the barrier on the south and west sides of downtown Houston. The other half of the downtown freeway loop gets pushed below ground, where it can be covered by park space, convention center expansion, stadium parking decks, or (maybe) private development.

It also sinks the Southwest Freeway through Midtown, where the Main St corridor will benefit urbanistically.

Basically, it's Houston's Big Dig, and should have many of the same urban benefits that Boston experienced whether the trenches get decked over or not. Those who are screaming about a "boondoggle freeway expansion" are deliberately ignoring the very real freeway removals and remediations that are part of the project.

One thing I don't really get, and they're doing it here in Denver, is placing "decks" over freeways. All that does is ensure that 20 years later, either you can't add more lanes, or to add more lanes costs billions of $$$. I think they're digging the trench in Denver to accommodate one more future lane, but I think it was an unnecessary expense.

jtown,man Aug 7, 2019 4:39 PM

I am really enjoying the debate here guys. I see everyone's point but I wonder how much it would cost the city/state/feds to buy up all the homes in floodplains? Obviously, we would want people justly paid for their properties so this could be astronomical in costs. Maybe do it house by house when funds come up?

Also, and I'll keep repeating this, "progressive" ideas area great, but they usually lead to higher prices. If a city is to be serious about environmentalism and density, they HAVE to become friendlier to development. You rarely see this though.

COtoOC Aug 7, 2019 4:40 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.

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.

That's an interesting interchange over the freeway. Is it a "diverging diamond" interchange? Those are becoming more popular in the U.S.

The North One Aug 7, 2019 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8651802)
We literally just had a conversation about how much Houston floods and you bring up the lack of subways.

No the conversation was diverted to Melbourne as if that's a city investing everything in highways the way Houston is.

Chicago3rd Aug 7, 2019 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8651819)
Also, and I'll keep repeating this, "progressive" ideas area great, but they usually lead to higher prices. If a city is to be serious about environmentalism and density, they HAVE to become friendlier to development. You rarely see this though.

Totally agree. First point, expense, I don't think we are measuring total cost of how things are actually have been costing us. But over all 100% agree.


P.S. Katy Freeway the widest freeway in the world was obsolete by the time they completed its improvements.

lio45 Aug 7, 2019 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8651802)
We literally just had a conversation about how much Houston floods and you bring up the lack of subways.

Out of curiosity, as a normal Houstonian, what would be your personal cap on the maximum distance you'd accept to walk to go to your job or the store at this time of year?

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 4:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651794)
lol @ you pulling straight out lies out of your behind. As opposed to this project which you likely wont be alive to see finished?

Am I?

Quote:

Mr Andrews shook up the race ahead of November’s election in August with the allocation of $50 billion towards a massive underground rail network linking Victoria’s rail lines and providing an alternative route to the airport.

It would include 90kms of new trackwork, 12 new stations and would revolutionise the public transport system by taking away the need for travel from suburban centres through the city before connecting to other lines.

But it wouldn’t be complete until 2050 at the earliest and the state’s opposition says the budget could blow out to more than $100 billion.
-https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/victorian-government-reveals-26km-20-lane-missing-road-link/news-story/1ed73666a20ba51c569452d5431f6230

https://www.news.com.au/national/vic...a9f97edbfaa77c

Along with this post: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...1&postcount=35

So please let me know what I lied about and what I pulled out of my ass.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651794)
This isn't LA this is Houston and as far as I know there is no subway component to this mega highway boondoggle.

It's a colossal mistake any way you slice it, you can do mental gymnastics all you want.

This isn't mental gymnastics. I like the highway. You don't. That is okay. It is going to be built.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 4:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COtoOC (Post 8651822)
That's an interesting interchange over the freeway. Is it a "diverging diamond" interchange? Those are becoming more popular in the U.S.

I'm not sure as, IIRC, Australia drives on the left but it looks to be Single Point Urban Interchange(SPUI).

homebucket Aug 7, 2019 4:58 PM

If Houston can't do subways, why not build elevated heavy rail like BART? In the outer Bay Area suburbs it acts as commuter rail and helps to greatly reduce freeway congestion. Especially if Houston is anticipating continued growth, even with added freeways, eventually they'll reach capacity of these new freeways and they'll have to expand lanes again. At least with rail, it'd be more sustainable as you can do things to increase capacity by running longer trains or more frequent trains, without building more infrastructure. Also, elevated rail is more aesthetically pleasing than football field wide freeways, and massive overpasses and messy interchanges.

homebucket Aug 7, 2019 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 8651842)
Totally agree. First point, expense, I don't think we are measuring total cost of how things are actually have been costing us. But over all 100% agree.

P.S. Katy Freeway the widest freeway in the world was obsolete by the time they completed its improvements.

Case in point, if the Katy Freeway is already obsolete, why do they think the answer is more freeways?

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 5:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8651802)
We literally just had a conversation about how much Houston floods and you bring up the lack of subways.

It boggles the mind but shows a lack perspective on his part. I am not sure if Houston can support heavy rail but subways are a big issue. I am not sure if this is accurate but I have read the freeways are built below grade as means for flood control during extreme events.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 5:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The North One (Post 8651840)
No the conversation was diverted to Melbourne as if that's a city investing everything in highways the way Houston is.

You are being extremely disingenuous. That is not at all why Melbourne was brought up. I brought up Melbourne because another poster made an asinine comment as if these sorts of projects don't happen anywhere because they were planning mistakes made by urban planners when freeways were being built en masse, agreeably irresponsibly. That is how I interpreted the original comment.

On top of that Houston isn't only investing in freeways:

https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/index.aspx

Projects: https://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/CurrentProjects.aspx

Quote:

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

I then made a list of cities and states doing the opposite and predicting a response that this is American thing I used Melbourne as an example but should you wish I have other cities in India, Europe, Asia, and I believe even South America of recently expanded, U/C, or proposed large widenings I can give examples of.

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 8651858)
Case in point, if the Katy Freeway is already obsolete, why do they think the answer is more freeways?

Because they failed to take into account latent demand and thus an inadequate number of lanes were built. Look at parallel routes and see if those fare any better. Likely they are congested too.

The North One Aug 7, 2019 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651851)

This isn't mental gymnastics. I like the highway. You don't. That is okay. It is going to be built.

It's about bad urban planning and good urban planning. This project is objectively bad.

Cool? I mean I don't really care, if Houston wants mega highways by all means do it. But I'm not going to act like its a good solution to the transportation needs of a major city.

Chicago3rd Aug 7, 2019 5:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 8651858)
Case in point, if the Katy Freeway is already obsolete, why do they think the answer is more freeways?

Agreed.


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