Some good news: the shutdown of all exits between I-10 and Loop 610 took less time than expected. Between the work on the Loop and the work on US 59, two of my main routes to many of the places I go are fubared for the foreseeable future, and there are very few good alternatives. And even when all is said and done, the eternally bottlenecked stretch of I-45 known as the Pierce Elevated, which I drive every damn day to and from work, will remain a three-lane parking lot. We can't expand the rail system in this town fast enough for me.
Which brings me to the recent news that the County Commissioners have suddenly and collectively dropped their commuter rail expansion plans like a bad habit, something for which the Chron spanked them. Thanks for nothing, guys.
How about that new Westpark Tollway, huh? Just don't drive on it when it rains.
Though the Westpark is operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority, contractors for the Texas Department of Transportation built the Post Oak exit because it runs adjacent to new West Loop frontage roads the state is constructing. The two agencies are now trying to sort out who's to blame for the flooding trouble and what can be done to remedy it.
"A temporary fix was in place last week that I understand reduced the problem but evidently didn't eliminate the problem altogether," said Janelle Gbur, Transportation Department spokeswoman. "Our area engineer has asked for a design review and recommendation to permanently fix the problem."
Patricia Friese, spokeswoman for the tollway agency, said county engineers are also examining the situation but responsibility lies with the state.
"It's in TxDOT's court to figure out what the problem is and find a solution to implement it," Friese said.
Gbur, however, said the ramp "was built as designed by the consultant under contract to HCTRA."
Up north, reader Rob in Humble forwarded me the following email:
Notice to everyone...Metro Route 55, designed to send busses from Greenspoint, down 1960 , left on Timber Forest, right on Upper Lake, past Oaks Elementary, left on Lake Houston Parkway to Kingwood and back. From 5 am to 11 pm, 20 minutes each during peak, 40 minutes during off hours, with stops all over the route...Just what we need.
Public Hearing to protest Metro decision, Tuesday Nite (May 25), Oaks Elementary, 7 pm. Get everyone out...I mean get everyone out to let them know that no one wants a bus route through our community. Please. We need to have 200 minimum. It will affect all of Atascocita. Pass this on. If successful, this is only the beginning for Metro out here.
Are you aware of the 2025 Plan and what it would mean to the roads in and around Houston? There have been several opportunities already for public comment, but they've not been well publicized. The Gulf Coast Institute has a lot of info here, including PDFs that highlight proposed additions/widenings/etc in each City Council district. Check it out. And also check out this Chron op-ed in which Mayor White is challenged to deliver what he promised regarding transportation solutions.
Finally, I believe we can now declare the entire debate about light rail in Houston to be over. My mother-in-law, who according to Tiffany has never taken public transportation by herself before in her life, rode the light rail into downtown this week because she didn't want to get gouged for parking. Instead, she drove from her house down Bissonet to the Museum District and found street parking near that stop. She enjoyed the ride and was very happy to be let off a block from where she needed to be. One downside: she didn't get to go by the fountain at Main Street Square. Next time, for sure!Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 23, 2004 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack