SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//index.php)
-   City Discussions (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//forumdisplay.php?f=24)
-   -   Houston’s $7 billion solution to gridlock is more highways (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=239922)

JManc Aug 7, 2019 5:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 8651844)
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?

Not very far for work, it would have to be quicker or as quick as if I drove and I've walked a couple of miles to the store. I walk 3-4 miles most days for exercise so the heat doesn't phase me.

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?

What? No. The Katy Freeway expansion is no where near here (several miles west of downtown, past 610) and the infrastructure in question here is old and was designed and built 30-40 years ago. It's also where most of the major freeways in town converge; 10, 59, 45 and 288.

homebucket Aug 7, 2019 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8651896)
What? No. The Katy Freeway expansion is no where near here (several miles west of downtown, past 610) and the infrastructure in question here is old and was designed and built 30-40 years ago. It's also where most of the major freeways in town converge; 10, 59, 45 and 288.

Thanks for the clarification. I'm not familiar with Houston, but it's just that the article cited the Katy Freeway expansion as an example of lane widening not working and resulted in induced demand.

"The $2.2 billion widening of the Katy Freeway, making it one of the biggest in the world, ended up increasing average commute times for roughly 85 percent of drivers who used the 23-lane road."

Isn't it a concern that that would be a likely outcome with this proposed project as well?

JManc Aug 7, 2019 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 8651900)
Thanks for the clarification. I'm not familiar with Houston, but it's just that the article cited the Katy Freeway expansion as an example of lane widening not working and resulted in induced demand.

"The $2.2 billion widening of the Katy Freeway, making it one of the biggest in the world, ended up increasing average commute times for roughly 85 percent of drivers who used the 23-lane road."

Isn't it a concern that that would be a likely outcome with this proposed project as well?

I think the issue with the Katy Freeway expansion is that it was only done part of the way; from 610W to westward to the Beltway..and that part does flow fairly well..for Houston. The stretch between downtown west to 610W is old and obsolete.

If they do the things they are planning to do in the stuff above, they need to go all the way and not address part of the problem. At some-point, they will need to reexamine aforementioned stretch of the Katy Freeway.

llamaorama Aug 7, 2019 5:47 PM

I’ve noticed that most people on social media don’t like this project. It’s going to be a decade of inconvenience as they tear up downtown yet most likely the congestion will come back.

For some reason highway projects and funding can fall out of the sky with no mainstream public interest whatsoever behind them.

Chicago3rd Aug 7, 2019 5:59 PM

A great article

https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/k...at-6261429.php

We moved there right after it finished. I do remember that all the communities that voted against rail right away during that rehab have all signed onto rail right away in all future expansions.

Houston's problem is not creating a more comprehensive transportation plan. And the city really does need to create a reason for people and companies to stay in. When we left in 2013 there was a lot of talk about the donut city....good strong expansion in the center, blight starting in the inner suburban area and development at the edge of the city. If we would have bought in Houston we would have had to live out in Katy and Richmond area...even though we preferred the inner loop area by far...we couldn't afford to live there. And again no one calculates the whole cost to build, maintain, drive , and health and environmental costs into the total equation. If Houston had a more comprehensive plan.....it would be unstoppable.

JManc Aug 7, 2019 6:03 PM

Speaking of freeways, I see that you are in Providence, are there still plans to relocate portions 95/195 (forgot which one)

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 6:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651700)

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.

This is a personal insult. You didn't disagree with my idea, that would require either a simple statement "I prefer"............ or a factual statement "quoting the study from the University of......I can show this assertion to be incorrect"

Calling someone's idea a 'fantasy' is nothing but a childish insult. It is unworthy of any intelligent poster.

I have, in fact, presented clear evidence that all my ideas have already been implemented at various scales elsewhere in the world. This factually precludes the possibility that they are fantasy.

You may not like those ideas. That's fine, that's your right. In the same was you may have a favourite colour. But that doesn't make your favourite 'right' based on the evidence.

You have not presented one shred of evidence that any of my ideas are unworkable in general, or in Houston in particular. Nor have you presented any evidence in favour of your own preference.

That is unacceptable in intelligent conversation and debate.

Quote:

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.
Again, you have failed to present any evidence to support your supposition.

Induced demand is a reality, established by study and empirical evidence. It is equally a reality that if you keep facilitating car travel and under investing in alternatives, car travel will maintain or grow its modal share, sprawl will continue, and in areas unserved or underserved by transit, the probably of the highway recongesting within a short period of time, is high.

If you believe the above is not the case with this proposal, it is incumbant on you to bring forth evidence. Not conjecture. Evidence.

Quote:

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.

Enough! I have not once, never, ever used the term 'model city'. This is your invention and contrivance.

I have offered examples of where things have been done in other cities.

This idea that one is somehow contrasting Houston to whatever 'Utopia' and saying emulate that City is absurd.

Other Cities are raised collectively as showing that city's that have different political leanings (Calgary is very much a conservative town), vs Toronto, which is not, both support investment in transit over highways.

That NYC with long-standing robust transit; and L.A. a City with historically very little, are both pursing a transit-first vision.

That this is the case because evidence supports that as the best model going forward for every large urban center.

You insist on conflating unrelated issues from property value to homelessness to crime in a discussion about land-use and planning.

That is city-vs-city style insults which ARE prohibited in this forum's code of conduct.

I have kept this discussion clean and policy-driven and have not insulted Houston or any other City, I feel no need to because the facts support my preferred option.

I would appreciate you taking the same high road; and bringing forth evidence-based suggestion, and not conflating that with unsupported preferences.

lio45 Aug 7, 2019 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 8651931)
If we would have bought in Houston we would have had to live out in Katy and Richmond area...even though we preferred the inner loop area by far...we couldn't afford to live there.

You mean that you didn't like the lifestyle you'd have had had you bought in the inner loop instead of in Katy or Richmond, for the exact same budget.

The apples to apples comparison is between a $1M closet-sized condo next to Central Park, a bigger $1M Manhattan condo not as nicely located, a $1M rowhouse in Brooklyn, a nice $1M house in Queens, a huge $1M mansion in the middle of nowhere in Westchester County, or an entire block of properties in the most blighted neighborhoods of Albany for that $1M where you pick one to live in and rent out all the others.

accord1999 Aug 7, 2019 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 8651842)
P.S. Katy Freeway the widest freeway in the world was obsolete by the time they completed its improvements.

A highway being heavily used does not mean its obsolete. The one thing absolutely worse than a brand new highway being full is a brand new highway that's empty.

A new highway that's immediately heavily used is a sign of success, just like a brand new transit rail line having full trains is a sign of success.

Reverberation Aug 7, 2019 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 8651844)
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?

Half a mile, max. Assuming you were walking out of a air conditioned space, the route was partially shaded, and it would take a few minutes for the heat to catch up.

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 8:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8652062)
A new highway that's immediately heavily used is a sign of success, just like a brand new transit rail line having full trains is a sign of success.

I would not agree on either account.

A full (new) highway, or transit line, indicates that there is no room for future growth and you're going to have to start construction all over again on expansion and/or an alternate route.

When you undertake a major work such as a new/vastly expanded highway or transit line, you should be aiming to future-proof.

That is to accommodate growth at least for the next 3 decades, I would suggest 5 would be a better goal.

To build something under-sized such that it is immediately at on the verge of capacity suggests very poor planning indeed.

JManc Aug 7, 2019 8:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8652092)
I would not agree on either account.

A full (new) highway, or transit line, indicates that there is no room for future growth and you're going to have to start construction all over again on expansion and/or an alternate route.

When you undertake a major work such as a new/vastly expanded highway or transit line, you should be aiming to future-proof.

That is to accommodate growth at least for the next 3 decades, I would suggest 5 would be a better goal.

To build something under-sized such that it is immediately at on the verge of capacity suggests very poor planning indeed.

Infrastructure like highways rarely last 50 years. 30 years is about when things start breaking down and needing to be rebuilt. Why would the state invest and over engineer something that will never last its intended lifespan.

Northern Light Aug 7, 2019 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8652150)
Infrastructure like highways rarely last 50 years. 30 years is about when things start breaking down and needing to be rebuilt. Why would the state invest and over engineer something that will never last its intended lifespan.

I would offer 2 examples from Toronto.

The first is the Price Edward Viaduct/Bloor Viaduct.

This large bridge connects Bloor Street (downtown Toronto) to Danforth Avenue on the other side of the Don Valley.

It was opened in 1918.

Its not merely that its still standing.....

Its that when built, provision was made for a lower deck which could carry either streetcars or subways.

Important to note here, is Toronto had no subways in 1918, nor would it gain any at all until 1954.

Further, that route wasn't a serious contender for the 1st, or even a second line when this bridge was being built.

Danforth Avenue was a dirt road at the outer limits of Toronto's urban reach.

Yet, in 1966, subways started trundling under this bridge.

That's future-proofing that worked. The bridge still stands today, and the subway operates 53 years on as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Edward_Viaduct

The planner behind this bridge also built a water-treatment (drinking water) plant in Toronto's east end.

It too still operates. It was built to serve a population of 800,000. A number several times larger than the City at the time.

****

As to highways, Toronto's growth and induced demand mean that 60 years of surplus capacity hasn't been achieved on any major highway of which I can think.

However, the rights-of-way were acquired with future expansion in mind which is why the 401 has moved from being 4 lanes (2 in each direction) to 16-18 lanes without purchasing any new land.

In terms of general lifespan, in Toronto, the road reconstruction manual aims for reconstructing a road every 60-70 years, not every 30.

Resurfacing is typically every 20-30 depending on volume of use.

The Chemist Aug 7, 2019 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 8651788)
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).

Shanghai climate in the summer isn't that different from Houston, yet it's incredibly walking friendly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651726)
If heavy rail was proposed it should be elevated. A subway in a flood prone city seems like a bad idea.

I'd say Shanghai is at least as flood prone as Houston is, yet they have the world's largest subway system.

TexasPlaya Aug 7, 2019 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8652278)
Shanghai climate in the summer isn't that different from Houston, yet it's incredibly walking friendly.

Houston isn't Shanghai. Sub tropical climates with a history of pedestrian use and a previously huge underclass have walking cultures.

I would bet if Shanghai and any other major subtropical city had Houston's history and its type of economic development, it would be have Houston's car culture too.

Quote:

I'd say Shanghai is at least as flood prone as Houston is, yet they have the world's largest subway system.
Houston is nowhere as dense to begin to require a subway.

The Chemist Aug 7, 2019 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 8652293)
Houston is nowhere as dense to begin to require a subway.

I didn't say it was. But the poster I was quoting stated that building a subway in a flood prone area was a bad idea, and I was simply pointing out that it can be done.

TexasPlaya Aug 7, 2019 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 8651900)
Isn't it a concern that that would be a likely outcome with this proposed project as well?

When you are growing by a million per decade and in the US (not China or some other command style economy), you are going to quickly reach capacity.

The Katy Freeway (I10 West) passes through downtown, uptown (the Galleria), Memorial City, and the Energy Corridor; those are some very big employment centers with a lot of people. I'm sure you can imagine how much the Energy Corridor grew during the oil boom.

TexasPlaya Aug 7, 2019 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8652294)
I didn't say it was. But the poster I was quoting stated that building a subway in a flood prone area was a bad idea, and I was simply pointing out that it can be done.

I guess I assumed "the cost" was the unspoken issue, not that subways literally couldn't be built in Houston or flood prone areas.

lio45 Aug 8, 2019 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8652278)
Shanghai climate in the summer isn't that different from Houston, yet it's incredibly walking friendly.

As TexasPlaya points out, it's cultural. If it weren't frowned upon to arrive at a business meeting drenched in sweat, then yeah Houston could very well be a walking city.

That's a fully artificial constraint, yet it's pretty important, to the point of being almost unavoidable.

The North One Aug 8, 2019 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8652278)
I'd say Shanghai is at least as flood prone as Houston is, yet they have the world's largest subway system.

I don't get the flood excuse when Houston is building sunken highways at the same time.


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.