People who oppose the Uptown Line continue to oppose the Uptown Line

Film at 11.

A plan for faster bus service along Post Oak, the centerpiece of a larger project to remake Uptown’s Main Street, continues to divide its supporters and transit skeptics, even as work accelerates and commuters brace for limited lanes through the holiday season.

The latest dust-up over the dedicated lanes is over a request to the Transportation Policy Council of the Houston-Galveston Area Council to commit an additional $15.9 million in federal funding to the project. The Uptown Management District and its associated tax increment reinvestment zone, the agency rebuilding Post Oak, also would commit to an additional $15.9 million.

The council is scheduled to meet and decide the issue on Oct. 27.

The request has drawn ire from skeptics, who contend the two bus-only lanes planned for the center of Post Oak will ruin traffic patterns and draw few riders. Many have called it the latest transit boondoggle for the Houston area, which they say will end up costing taxpayers more and provide limited benefit.


“This project is on budget and fully funded,” said John Breeding, the management district’s president.

Breeding cast the request as a way to shift more of the funding to federal sources, freeing up local money for additional work related to the project.

The dedicated bus lanes are part of a broader remake of Post Oak. The street will continue to have three lanes in each direction with turn lanes. Officials also are adding landscaping and large trees to provide shade, new pedestrian street lighting and wider sidewalks.

The project budget remains estimated at $192.5 million, though some costs have fluctuated.

I kind of can’t really tell what the fuss is about, since the project remains on budget, but then this is a rail-like project and not a road project, which means the rules are just different. As a reminder, the I-10 explansion cost a billion and a half more than we were originally told it would, and the I-45 project is going to cost billions, with overruns certain to happen as well. Somehow, that sort of thing never bothers the people who so vociferously oppose this kind of construction. Go figure.

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4 Responses to People who oppose the Uptown Line continue to oppose the Uptown Line

  1. Bob Jones says:

    As someone who lives in the area, what was a rather nice little esplanade of a road, is looking more like two-seven right at Houston Intercontinental. IN fact, with buses blasting black-diesel from the center lanes all day, I can only assume the congestion will be apoplectic. The strategic vision I hope pans out, but not looking good.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    Bob Jones, what buses are blasting out black diesel? That hasn’t been since the 1980s. Now, all of the buses run on natural gas. But, I agree that it’s not looking good. The elites who want to save the planet wouldn’t deign to ride the bus with the hoi polloi. They will cruise on by in their Mercedes, but they will vote for the right candidate and maybe hold up a sign on a weekend, to assuage their guilt and point the finger at someone else.

  3. Joel says:

    similar tale: austin just spent over $200M to add a single toll lane (each way) to MOPAC that – wait for it – only has two places to enter/exit that are actually within city limits. so unless your trip is precisely from downtown to allandale, you couldn’t use the express lane even if you wanted. they currently sit mostly empty. did i mention the project went over budget and took about 18 months longer than expected?

    yet i haven’t seen or heard a peep of complaint from the usual “taxpayer” groups.

    meanwhile, just try to run a train line through austin, and all you will hear about is how our single existing line went over budget (by less), and was delayed (by less), and has no ridership (every train i see is full).

  4. Joel says:

    ps – we also had a big kerfuffle when they wanted to make one lane on guadalupe/lavaca (a main north/south surface street passage through downtown) for busses.

    that was a few years ago. i live in the immediate area, and it doesn’t seem to have affected traffic at all.

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