December 03, 2004
Mayor says no toll road thru Heights

Via Anne, I see there's good news for those like me who are appalled at the idea of a toll road cutting through the Heights.

The mayor also agreed to work on an agreement on possible community uses, including a bike-and-hike trail, for the right-of-way being acquired by the County Toll Road Authority through the Heights.

"Our elected officials won't support a toll road built through the Heights over community objections. I've spoken with Harris County officials about exploring uses such as walking and bicycling trails," Mayor White said.

Having the Mayor's opposition to this idea on the record is a very good thing. The question then becomes, what about a light rail line on that corridor, as it was suggested Metro might want in this Press story? Anne asks "Would the mayor and the Heights residents support that?"

Well, speaking for myself as a Heights resident, I favor light rail in general, and favor in principle a line close enough to walk to from my house. This article that Anne linked about the noise of such a line does raise a good point, though. My experience riding the light rail suggests that ours is a pretty quiet train, but it's by no means silent. I haven't heard any screeching noises (the train runs right past my office, so I see and hear it every day), but that may change as the system ages. If this is a serious proposal and not just a bit of speculation, then I would expect my neighbors to raise the noise issue and to be rather demanding about it, and we'd oppose or support depending on the reassurances we got. Fair enough?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 03, 2004 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack

YES! So tired of hearing how folks who live halfway to San Antonio or Austion deserve to be downtown in 20 minutes. Let them eat gridlock!

Posted by: Ginger on December 3, 2004 12:09 PM

Fair enough. =)

FWIW, monorail advocates would tell you to support elevated transit, such as monorail, because it is silent and there are no accidents.

Posted by: Anne on December 3, 2004 1:44 PM

Thanks. :-)

As for monorail, I have two primary objections. One is that I believe all of that elevated infrastructure will be at least as problematic (in different ways) than an at-grade line. You'll still have a lot of stuff on the street to get in the way of cars, and now you're also blocking the view. Second, of course, is that all that elevated infrastructure makes monorail a lot more expensive, which means it'd be a lot less likely to actually happen.

If the money is really there, and if the platform problem can be shown to be less of a big deal than I think it is, then I'd be happy to support monorail. As things stand now, I think the noise problem will be easier to deal with. But I could be persuaded otherwise.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on December 3, 2004 2:15 PM