Drive-Thru Pizza; Wetlands Highrises in Kingwood; Two Light-Rail Lines to Hobby

Photo of Wells Fargo Plaza: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


13 Comment

  • In response to the Kingwood marina and tower; Guess it’s going to take several more Harveys or worse for this city to learn not to build in flood zones and enviromentally sensitive areas. Don’t worry there’ll be way more flooding to come in the future.

  • Please watch the video before commenting. it’s hilarious. Kingwood residents will cringe at the opening sound of water and the video of just water. Good lord, where on earth did Romerica get the idea that more construction was needed in a flood plain? Or, is it their intention to construct the project as a huge retention pond? A floating cinema? Floating restaurants? Best of luck to the people of Kingwood. And canoes-I hope they get free canoes from Romerica.

  • I am a very much for strong government regulation when it comes to developers and environmental issues. I really hate when the Chicago Boys economist types come around and make their free market arguments against environmental regulations. But in the case of this Herons Kingwood Marina Development, I think the markets will do an excellent job ravaging this silly pipe dream development.

  • I know it’s impossible, but service to/from Hobby (or any airport) really needs to be direct to downtown with minimal stops.

  • Light rail to the airport is one of those ideas that sounds great, but is actually very difficult to get the economics to work, especially in comparison to connecting high-density job centers (e.g. CBD, Med Center) to high-density residential areas (e.g Midtown, EaDo).
    Think of it this way: how many days per year do you go to work? How many days per year do you go to the airport? Add luggage to this dynamic, and you can see why most airport connectors struggle for ridership.

  • It doesn’t make sense to me to throw more money at the green and purple lines for extension to Hobby. Who would use that when you can get an uber to Hobby from downtown for $20? Certainly no business people will say “Oh let me make my trip to the airport 45 minutes longer as the train put-puts through southeast Houston” to save eighteen dollars. Maybe UH students and some airport employees who happen to live along the line would use it, but for $1.8 billion dollars, I would rather see Metro partner with the City to fix some of the streets that Metro’s buses have completely torn apart.

  • Re: New Transit Plan
    Extending the lines to Hobby is a good step but a bit expensive when looked at price per passenger mile. As noted in the article, Uptown has a very “target rich” environment for getting the most out of every transit dollar spent on buses.
    If the goal is to serve the most people for the least money, then throw money at more buses with more frequency starting with the highest user density. Then, throw money at the next best option. Rinse, lather, repeat down the list.
    As an Inner Looper, I’ve used the bus infrequently when my car was in in the shop. The current schedules make for large time commitments, which would keep me from using the bus/rail when my car is available.

  • Can’t marina’s be built to flood and spray back down? Honestly, a high rise and a marina both sound like the type of developments you’d WANT to build in a flood zone compared to any other residential/commercial options.
    As for environmentally sensitive, the area was damaged/destroyed when Kingwood was planned. In-fill development in this area would help reduce the razing of far more sensitive/pristine environments in the greater Lake Houston area. Density should always be encouraged, and I’d say even more so in far out exurbs like Kingwood to protect surrounding areas from single family development.
    No idea where someone could possibly get financing for this though. Harvey surely killed it.

  • Oh, look, another tiki bar. Just what this city needed. Yay.

  • I’m with joel on the Kingwood “marina”. The specific area for this construction seems to be partially a quasi detention pond that only connects to the river in floods, which are unfortunately more frequent these days. Seems like if you surrounded the development with the right levees and channels that it would actually solve more problems with drainage than it caused, but I don’t actually know enough to speculate with confidence, presumably someone at the Army CoE does. Anything sensitive to environmental changes in the area probably went over the Lake Houston dam spillway in August 2017 to the extent it wasn’t wiped out by the dam or Kingwood’s original construction..

    Many current residents will not want it for various reasons, but I agree that density is a good thing in a place like that, supposing they build out the roads to provide access. Locals seem to have adopted the stance that further development is bad, so they stand in the way of improving access, then the development comes anyway and we all stay stuck in traffic. But with something of this size, if they don’t build out the roads, no one will invest in it at all, so the obstructionists could win if that angle gets traction.

    It still seems like a really long shot, but if it were built, I would think it would drive value up in the area; it’s not like it’s a carbide plant or heroin addict commune. The “we’re full, go away” approach could stagnate Kingwood in the middle of other growth/improving areas around the region. That’s not a place you want to be.

  • Metro’s current toy trains are simply too slow to serve the airports. Trains to the airport need to be fast, and therefore should be express lines and probably elevated.

  • Can someone explain the advantage of an at grade light rail system like Houston’s over buses? Seems like now that we have a light rail system competing for transit dollars, Metro is reluctant to invest in the bus network. I would think it would be cheaper and more flexible to use buses and create a few “express” routes that connect the airports to each other and to dense business areas.

  • Isn’t that Johnny Steele Dog park a marina every now and then ?

    If we’re going to allow that facility on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, I have no problem allowing a developer build a prone-to-flooding complex in Deadwood. Might end up being the only reason to get on 59 North.