FPSF Moving Next to the Astrodome; I-10 Toll Hike Delay; Secrets of the I-45 Redo Plan


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  • Looks like west side land values will skyrocket while this thing is being built.

  • No mention of whether the Uptown BRT will be constructed as a ready-for-rail project now that Culberson has mellowed out. Regardless, this should create some semi-urgency to get the University Line going as it will be the link that stirs the drink for public transit in Houston in the 2020s.

  • Re Bike Accidents: Bikes are not a legitimate mode of transportation in Houston, we don’t have the climate, the infrastructure, and most importantly the culture of biking. It is extremely dangerous, and one can argue till they’re blue in the face that bikes have the same legal rights as cars, but having the right and it being a smart idea are not the same.

    There’s a law that says if a blind person extends his walking stick into the street, the traffic must stop and let hims pass, but I don’t see any blind people stupid enough to actually test that law.

    The Critical Douche crown is not helping the situation at all, they’re just pissing off drivers and making them more hostile than they would normally be.

  • “Cypress Creek Parkway”: lipstick on a pig. It’s still FM 1960.

  • Oh boy, the anti-bike crowd is out again. The infrastructure is extremely cheap and easy to develop compared to roads. The culture is changing as the infrastructure develops. The climate is actually pretty good for cycling. 95 degrees is actually a lot more pleasant than the 25 degrees many other bike-friendly cities contend with, and we have at least 8 months out of the year when daytime temperatures are fairly pleasant (compared to more like 4 in the North East).

    No, the critical mass crowd isn’t helpful, but they are merely a symptom of the lagging infrastructure.

    The car commuters should be thanking the cyclists rather than berating them. Every day I commute by bicycle is a day my car isn’t slowing you down in traffic.

  • @commonsense
    The law is the law. If you don’t like the law and believe that bike-riders should be second class citizens, then do something to change the law. In the meantime, don’t blame the victims. We are all equally responsible on the roads.

  • Maybe in the suburbs where you live no one bikes. I’m sorry but to get around a few miles inside the loop it makes a lot of sense. More and more people will continue doing it and more infrastructure will be built for it but none of that affects you since you live far away from Houston.

  • @commonsense Biking is a perfectly legitimate mode of transportation here. I regularly bike or walk to do all of my errands. The leafy streets in Montrose make for just a very slightly sweaty trip when I don’t try to go too fast in July/August. Probably the same amount of sweat you get when hiking a quarter mile from an air conditioned car across an un-shaded parking lot. The rest of the year is not bad at all, and very pleasant Nov-Apr.

  • @commonsense: Lots of good stuff used to be hard, dangerous or even impossible in Houston, but we didn’t let that stop us. The shitty way things are isn’t the shitty way they have to be.

  • Yes, we all know it’s legal to ride your bike on most roads in Houston. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise some kind of judgement for your own safety and the safety of others. Riding a bike during the early morning commute down San Felipe before the sun comes up is just stupid. I used to see some idiot doing this every day. He was endangering himself and all the people who suddenly have to slam on their brakes and change lanes when they see him.

    The guy in the article wonders how the person who hit him didn’t see him, says he’ll never get that. What an idiot. People don’t see 2 ton automobiles and hit them all the time. How many people have been hit when they didn’t see the train downtown? It’s a little bigger than a bike. Do you really think everyone is always going to see your little bicycle in time? Are you willing to bet your life on it?

  • The HP article did not mention Critical Mass at all. Cycling as a mode of transportation has existed for a long time–even in Houston. Whether cyclists are commuting to work, school (I don’t know of many 10 year olds who drive cars) or for enjoyment, they should be safe. If drivers feel inconvenienced, they can be the ones who get off the road.

  • Wait, I missed something regarding the reroute of I-45 apparently. They’re moving I-10 north to the freight rail line? Is this going to impact the Hardy Rail Yards and the brand new Burnett light rail? That’s a major redevelopment to impact the near northside. If moving the freeway screws that up, it’s going to be a huge redevelopment disaster for that area.

  • Man I hate trolls.

  • @commonnonsense
    I ride my bike to work 8 months out of the year via Brays Bayou bike trail to the TMC. How is bike not viable when I use it more than my car and gets me to work faster?

  • Does anyone know who to complain to about the I-45 project? It is so immeasurably stupid I don’t even know where to begin, but some concerns would be the safety changing lanes in a 10 lane highway, the environmental impact of same, how much this interferes with east-west traffic (and vice versa), and how an accident or flooding on the combined road would shut down ALL north south traffic (and all east-west traffic, since it forces you to drive through downtown or up to 10). It also begs the question why on earth is TXDOT realligning the lanes on I-45 at I-10 for the entire summer if they are just going to turn around and do this project in 5 years? Meanwhile the d-nozzles who live in the AMLI 2121 will have their own system of “parkways and spurs” to crash their audi A4s on, while those to the East and South will get cancer from this monstrosity. All for a SkyPark that will never get built? I understand they need to come up with projects to justify funding, but why can’t they focus on fixing existing roads or doing something that would actually help people, like putting up a divider to prevent last minute mergers on the 59 northbound / louisiana split?

  • @commonsense
    So dozens of innocent people mowed down and killed by distracted drivers are stupid, and had it coming. I sure hope none of your family and friends ever ride their bike down the street, scumbag, because attitudes like yours what causes people like them to get hurt.

    “Houston doesn’t have the climate”
    Yeah it can get hot outside, but there’s a lot of shade, especially on the side streets where it’s safer to ride. Besides, as more people ride, they will figure out it’s not a big deal to show up somewhere informal slightly sweaty. And riding a bike doesn’t have to be the Tour de France — you don’t have to be exerting more energy than walking to go three or four times as fast. Considering how fat and out of shape everyone is, more people should be moving around outside. What better way than joyfully pedaling down a tree-lined boulevard, wind in your hair, traveling to your destination?

    “Houston doesn’t have the infrastructure”
    Parts of Houston’s bike infrastructure are enviable. The MKT/Heights trail and the present and future Bayou Greenway paths are wide, pretty, isolated, and probably faster than driving in rush hour traffic. Once you get off Washington or Montrose or Shepherd or whatever you realize that most streets aren’t covered up in maniacally speeding cars all the time. There’s some bad chokepoints and intersections that you have to cross, but add in the future utility corridor paths, bike lanes, and greenways and you’ll have world-class “infrastructure”. And it’s flat!

    “Houston doesn’t have the culture”
    It’s getting it, whether you like it or not.

    I’ll concede that uptown, the villages, and Spring Branch are pretty awful places to ride because of all the cutoff cul-de-sacs. These are the areas that need the most work, not the Loop, which is pretty good for bikes and getting better all the time. It’s easy to get trapped in some bike-vs-car upper-middle-class pissing match, but keep in mind that a lot of people who ride bikes in Houston do it because they’re poor and can’t afford a car. Ultimately, safer streets and better attitudes will lead to a safer, healthier, better city for everyone.

  • I’m not advocating mowing down bicyclists, but I can see how easily someone can accidentally hit one. They are the wrong size and more importantly the wrong speed to be in a lane full of 5k pound metal tanks with hundreds of horsepower.

    Bicycling as a commuting device is extremely limited, you only see filthy hippies going to a job of no consequence (hence no olfactory requirements) or hard core health nuts who show up at the office in their ballet style tights and drink a green goop of unknown provenance for breakfast. For everyone else living in Houston, it’s not a realistic option in the least.

    Bicycling for recreation is great, but it needs to be in the designated areas, the numerous trails that are not on the roads, and even inside low density low traffic neighborhoods (kids in the suburbs). I’m not against bikes at all, I even rode MS150, but I know going down Westheimer in the right lane at 20mph is suicide.

  • ugh, I-45 redo is a perfect reason to not buy a house. looks like we’ll have to wait until long after the next market bubble pops.

  • Agree w/ commonsense on this one. Houston doesn’t have the weather or the culture of biking. This isn’t Austin, folks.

    Biking in the streets endangers everyone. Keep it on the sidewalks or the bike paths. They’re the scumbags doing 15 mph in a 35 zone.

  • We dont have the weather for transportation with bikes. Which is exactly why you never see motorcycles, convertibles, pedestrians, runners, skaters, farmers, construction workers, laborers, or anyone else outside, ever in the city of Houston. Makes sense to me!

  • @Commonsense

    Quit with the stereotypes. I work in a professional office and my job requires a graduate degree. I shower at the gym before coming up to the office and eat a goop-free breakfast.

    The reason Westheimer is suicide for a cyclist (and I agree it is) is simply because the infrastructure was not designed with bikes in mind. It’s a major thoroughfare with no shoulder. But in most parts it could be without giving up any car lanes. Commuting by car would be pretty hairy too if we had stuck with rutted dirt roads.

    No, we are not going to get 90% of commuters going by bike, but we can make cycling a much more viable alternative. Amsterdam was not a cycling friendly city 50 years ago, but now it’s known worldwide as a cycling city.

  • I was looking at this strava heat map thinking it meant, how many poor souls were suffering from what could only be the ‘heat’ of houston. Unbeknownst to me, the heat map is actually how often cyclists ride in houston. Wow! Someone should tell them the weather is bad for riding.


  • @common & Gary D

    One of our senior vice presidents at our oil company commutes via bicycle to our downtown office. He is a rich, white, conservative, clean-cut guy who wears a tie every day – not a hippie. If it’s feasible for him, it’s feasible for anyone.

    Riding a bike on the sidewalk is against the law in most places (though seldom enforced).

    I often find myself forced onto a road with no dedicated bike lane as I pedal around town. It’s not that I enjoy the risk and pissing off drivers – it’s that the bike trail network, though rapidly expanding, is not interconnected enough. There are tons of “gaps” in the network where cyclists have to navigate undesignated streets. The solution is to enhance the network, not issue diatribes against cyclists at every chance on an online blog.

  • Only the pusillanimous think it’s to hot to ride a bike in Houston. Bunch of weenies.

  • The lack of infrastructure hurts and puts bikers at risk for injury/death. The idea that bikes should share normal auto lanes is shortsighted. Hopefully with centerpoint energy right of ways being developed into urban paths then the infrastructure will be there to promote a culture of biking that is safe and not impeding motorists driving on roads with 30-45mph speed limits and putting themselves at risk. Dedicated bike lanes like the lamar street version are the next closest thing. The little strip bike lane on waugh feels like my last ride every time I take it anywhere close to traffic time.

    I was holding out hope they would use the westpark rail grade parallel to run light rail east west from wheeler station instead of tearing up richmond but if not, as its center point right of way, hopefully they make it an urban path down to the galleria/bellaire area that will tie into the museum district/caroline street.

  • Gary Deller: Even if a bike lane is not provided, you can get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk (pretty sure LEOs wouldn’t do this to kids, but you never know).
    I would not commute by bike, but it works for some people.
    Honestly, I don’t like sharing the road with 53′ semi trailers, but instead of complaining or making it difficult for them, I let them merge and change lanes when they need to without a fuss–it’s the law, and it’s the law for all vehicles . All you moaners about cyclists should do the same.

  • maybe cyclists wouldnt get hit by cars so much if they didnt run red lights and ignore stop signs constantly. I had a guy on a bike at night pass me on the right side and run a red light right when i was going to turn right. I very nearly killed him and im sure it would have been considered all my fault if i had run him over.

  • Bikes belong in the street, not the sidewalks where they harass and endanger pedestrians.

  • @ILoveHeightsWalmart, did you come to a full and complete stop at the red light before attempting to turn on it, as required by law?
    Yes, the bicyclist broke the law, but if you didn’t stop completely, then so did you, and two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • I’d rather get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk than be dead. It’s not actually always illegal to ride on the sidewalk. The city of Houston ordinance on the subject says you cannot ride on the sidewalk in what they define as a business district. I ride on the sidewalk to the park near my house all the time. If there are pedestrians on the sidewalk I stop and get off to the side like any reasonable person would. I’ve never had any problems with the police and never a complaint from a pedestrian. People and bikes share sidewalks in the parks all the time.

    I’ve seen people squashed by cars. If I die on a bicycle its not going to be on a road.


  • You all fell into commonsense’s trap. He/she is spewing nothing but ignorant “opinions” with no factual basis.
    Now on to more important things like the I45 redo. What a crap plan that does nothing but reroute traffic around Houston. I don’t see how the plan addresses exiting into downtown from the new 45/69 overlay. Seems anything they do would still cause traffic to backup as people try to exit into down town. Lights that they can’t seem to synchronize today would cause traffic to back up onto the submerged highway. On the plus side, we will have a very expensive below grade bayou system for future flood waters.

  • @Gary Deller: Anyone who can’t safely navigate a vehicle moving at 35 mph around a 15 mph vehicle can’t manage a 20 mph speed difference. If they can’t do that then they can’t negotiate a school zone or a freeway. They are a danger to rest of us, on bikes, in cars and on foot, and should have their licenses revoked.

  • commonsense (if you can be called that), a correction to some of your statements.
    bicycling is as legitimate a mode of transportation as a car or truck.
    bicycling is a commuting tool used by people from all walks of life at about the same ratio (true, it does get slimmer at the c-level, and more poor people choose to ride).
    bicycling is NOT just for recreation.
    “we don’t have the climate, the infrastructure, and most importantly the culture of biking.” – Wrong, right, right.
    We do have an excellent climate for riding. I’ll take riding in 95 degree weather over riding in 30 degree weather any day of the year. You’ve not ridden in either temperature, so you have no basis on which to comment. so maybe you should keep your unqualified opinion to yourself.
    we don’t have the infrastructure! We need to build it! You’re observant and thanks for agreeing with every cyclist in the city.
    With people like you thinking that cycling is only for recreation? you’re right. education is an important part of changing that culture, and you need some (education, that is).
    “I’m not advocating mowing down bicyclists” – good.
    “I can see how easily someone can accidentally hit one” – hence, why people are advocating for better accommodations.
    “Bicycling as a commuting device is extremely limited” – you’re right. our infrastructure isn’t built to accommodate bicycling. Which, as I said above, needs to change. Put a car in the middle of the amazon rain forest and one could easily say “commuting via car in this rain forest is extremely limited”. Yes, there are no roads. Perceptive, that. So let’s build the infrastructure.
    “Bicycling for recreation is great, but it needs to be in the designated areas” – I agree, when someone is bicycling for recreation, they should stick to the recreating areas. people don’t play Frisbee in the middle of Westheimer, so why should a guy recreating on a bicycle do the same thing? but we’re not talking about recreating, we’re talking about commuting and safety.
    So yeah, about 1% of the money spent on road improvements needs to be spent accommodating bicycling in our city. It probably wouldn’t even cost that much to reduce the number of injured cyclists at the hands of motorists. In our country we are willing to spend billions of our tax dollars to make things safer, and reduce risk of death and injury to small subsets of people every day. So let’s go, as a small business owner who commutes to said small business on his bike and wants to be safer while doing so, let’s do this. Spend some money on making my life safer.

  • Here’s something a little off topic but has to do with putting trails on power easements. Has anyone ever experienced what happens when you ride under the lines down the dirt road in Memorial park? The electromagnetic field actually shocks you where you are touching the frame or handlebars especially during peak Summer usage hours and when sweaty. Not sure if that’s ever been addressed.

  • I love Heights Walmart – were you signaling your intent to turn right? It really helps pedestrians and cyclists if they know what a motor vehicle is going to do at an intersection. The cyclist was not obeying the law, but if he/she assumed you were going straight because you did not use your turn signal you were not obeying the law either.

  • bike people consistently break roads laws and car people consistently fail to see bike people thus there will always be bike people accidents involving death unless the city people decide to create safe bike lanes where the innate tendency of bike people to run red lights is allowed…it’s called brt-bike rapid transit, as opposed to BRT-big rubber tired bus transit.

  • @joedirt,
    I’d much prefer MBL: Managed Bike Lanes.

  • Let’s be realistic here. EVERYBODY breaks the law. People who drive cars speed, run stop signs, drive the wrong way on one-way streets, crash into other vehicles, people, buildings every single day. To place the blame on cyclists is asinine. Yes, many do roll through stop signs or red lights. I submit that they do it for two reasons: 1) They have a far greater visibility range than one in a vehicle and can see oncoming (or side) traffic and 2) It takes a lot more energy for them to get going again after a full stop.
    It would be nice to see Houston start adopting multi-mode intersections as outlined here:
    Cycling in Houston is actually pretty good. I go out on my bike several times a week with my wife and children. I’ll bike to the grocery store if we have a couple of items we needs, over to Walgreens/CVS for a RedBox movie, etc. Being in the city where there are so many tree-lined streets makes it wonderful. You can get a good breeze while still protecting yourself from the sun. Also, most of the cyclists I know are individuals with post-grad/doctoral degrees holding down high-paying jobs downtown or TMC. Hippies aren’t the only ones who ride bikes. Yes, you’ll sweat a bit in the summer, but it’s not the end of the world.

  • From Steve Parker with the Super Neighborhood program, there will be 3 more meetings so all you bicycle people can have input on the Houston Bike Plan. Next one is Thursday at the Kashmere Garden Multi Purpose Center on Lockwood.
    They want input from all riders. Check out Houston Bikeways Program on facebook.

  • It ain’t just “bike people” who consistently break road laws. Any person (driver, cyclist, pedestrian, horseback rider) on the road needs to know and obey the laws, as well as be alert, for everyone’s safety.
    An acquaintance had a visit from LEO while he was in the hospital being treated for a broken ankle. He had been walking the esplanade (like the one on Heights Blvd) in his neighborhood like many other area residents for his daily exercise. As he crossed the street to the next esplanade island a guy taking his kids to school hit him–didn’t even see him. However, there was no pedestrian crosswalk so he got the ticket. Several years ago, a child from the local elementary school riding his bike home was run over, dragged and killed by a woman in her SUV turning out of a parking lot while on her cell phone (she was picking up her own children). She didn’t even see him or know she had hit him until other drivers flagger her down.
    Please pay attention no matter how you get around town.