Comment of the Day: Flooding Downtown with Under-Freeway Parking

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FLOODING DOWNTOWN WITH UNDER-FREEWAY PARKING “I’d rather see parking garages under 45 and 59 than retail. I’d rather not have to worry about car fires and 18-wheeler accidents on the roof of my building. The insurance costs would be incredible. Tens of thousands of parking spaces could be made under 45 and 59. Vast quantities of free, or very cheap, parking would reduce the demand for surface parking in the Downtown area. Owners of empty lots would be more inclined to develop the empty lots if drivers were no longer willing to pay $10 to $20 per car for every sporting event. For $1 parking I’d be willing to walk half a dozen blocks or hop on the light rail to get to my destination. Direction way finding for parking for out-of-town visitors would be easy — ‘park under the freeway.’ Developers would gain an advantage as supplying parking levels would no longer be a given necessity of building in Downtown Houston. Even typical parking garage congestion come rush hour wouldn’t be an issue due to the linear nature the 45 and 59 garages would have to take. Multiple entrances and exits could face Pierce and Chartres with dedicated right-of-way lanes to the street. Line the lengthy parking garages with a spine of moving sidewalks so ‘prime’ parking spots are minimized. You’ll always be five minutes from a rail stop.” [Thomas, commenting on Headlines: Metro’s New Bus Plan; The Score Next Door] Illustration: Lulu

13 Comment

  • hmm, I hardly agree with the majority of what you are suggesting. I was just in NYC and there were plenty of buildings underneath the highways. It is a big city. let the growth come in any space possible. It makes it interesting / less planned.

  • It’s funny we should have this conversation so close to the TxDOT meeting concerned with the very elevated freeways in question!
    check it out:
    1st meeting is tonight at Aldine Ninth Grade
    School, 10650 North Freeway, Houston, TX.
    If you can’t make that one, there will be another on the 19th at Jefferson Davis High School,
    1101 Quitman St., Houston, TX.
    Both are from 5:30-7:30 pm.
    BTW, I’m for getting rid of elevated freeways in downtown all together. This would be that chance. Let your voices be heard either way.

  • I am starting to think Swamplot picks these “Comments of the Day” to elicit reactions WITHOUT looking at the previous comments or even thinking ….

    I repeat … they already have parking under both US-59 and I-45 and both are heavily used.


  • I believe the parking under 59 currently is reserved for the use of the Convention Center? Can someone confirm that?

    I kid you not, this is what the TxDOT rep said:
    ‘TxDOT spokesman Danny Perez said the tunnel was taken off the list of reasonable alternatives because of engineering challenges.

    “There would be no available space for roadway shoulders within a tunnel,” Perez said. “This creates a safety hazard in the event of an accident and greatly reduces access for emergency vehicles.”

    Vehicles also would face slower speeds in a tunnel, Perez said, defeating part of the purpose of the widening and its ability to handle the growing traffic demand planners predict.’
    Now TxDOT is just trolling the public.
    A.) No shoulder in a tunnel? Are all tunnels the same size? Can we not build a bigger tunnel?!
    B.) Slower speeds in a tunnel?! Compared to what?! What we have now? The Autobahn? I10 at 5pm?
    I call total BS on TxDOT.
    We need the city of Houston to step in ASAP

  • I’ve seen parking under the freeway before near the Mexican Consulate. I do feel that retail would be more interesting. I’d rather see large underground garages like the one I saw in Geneva, Switzerland. It keeps surface level land for more important things.

  • how about we just tear that peirce elevated down.

  • “they already have parking under both US-59 and I-45 and both are heavily used.”

    So there’s demand, and we can’t discuss increasing the supply? Sheesh!

  • To increase the supply you would need to add another elevated freeway. TxDOT is going to allow multi-level parking under the existing freeways as they occasionally tear the freeways down (like the Pierce elevated a few years ago). Besides, who would pay for it? the city? I don’t think so ….

  • Typo: TxDOT ISN’T

  • Yeah, don’t get this. It already exists. Is the commentator from Houston?

  • @5

    Hah, slower speeds in the tunnel…build it and I promise to prove them all wrong every time I use it.

  • I have a better idea – demolish the Pearce Elevated and do not put it back.