Having harped on the issue, I'm glad to see the question of where the light rail lines east of downtown will run if the new soccer stadium is built on the land now being considered by the city is being discussed.
Bob Eury, president of Central Houston and executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District, said Tuesday that the probable front-running option being considered is to approach downtown's east side on Texas Avenue.
Currently, maps on the Metropolitan Transit Authority Web site show the East End and Southeast lines coming together on Capitol, a block south of Texas, and continuing into downtown on Capitol.
Also on the site is a Final Environmental Impact Statement, completed when Metro still intended to use Bus Rapid Transit rather than light rail on the lines, which shows the route split between Capitol and Rusk. The new proposal employs that tactic, Eury said.
By approaching downtown on Texas, he said, the tracks would "pass by the front door" of the soccer stadium between Dowling and Hutchins. Then they would angle south under U.S. 59 toward Avenida de Las Americas.
From there, a westbound track would continue on Capitol, passing a block from Minute Maid Park, while an eastbound track would run on Rusk, passing the convention center. Each would follow the direction of street traffic and cross the current Red Line at Main.
Eury cautioned that "various options are available," and that "none of this is final." Metro, he said, "is going to make the determination." Metro spokeswoman Sandra Salazar would only say that Eury's description was correct "and most importantly, that the plan has not been finalized, as we are working through the Federal Transit Adminstration process."