- DGM Buys 21.5-Acre Industrial Plant Site Near Intercontinental Airport [Houston Business Journal]
- Luxury Apartment Complex Dubbed The Mark at CityPlace Springwoods Village Proposed Near ExxonMobil Campus [Houston Business Journal]
- The Residences at CityWest Start Going Up This Month Near Phillips 66 Campus in Westchase [Prime Property]
- Houston’s Construction Industry Expected To Grow Almost 2.5% in the Next 5 Years [Houston Business Journal]
- More Than 2 Dozen New Luxury Tenants Secured for Under-Construction River Oaks District [Houston Chronicle]
- Gatlin’s BBQ To Move in May to Larger Restaurant at 3510 Ella [Food Chronicles]
- Upper Kirby Sushi Standby Cafe Japon Closes, Rumored To Resurface in EaDo as Japon Sushi [Culturemap]
- The Case for Streetcars and Bus Rapid Transit in Houston [OffCite Blog]
- 30 Pelicans Found Dead or Injured; All Tangled in Stray Fishing Gear at Galveston’s Pier 19 [Galveston County Daily News ($)]
Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool
Not that I don’t appreciate the promotion of BRT over light rail, and not that I don’t appreciate that the author has to pander to ‘the people moving into new luxury apartments’ just in order to be published in OffCite or taken seriously by its audience…but yeah seriously I think that he’s got the transit argument backward.
It’s supposed to offer a high level of service at a low cost so that it will become the least bad option for the greatest number of commuters. Transit should not be approached as a tool for encouraging urban development. The costs will always exceed the very limited effects. For the money, there are better tools in the box.
Public transportation is for the public, correct? So, why are we spending tax payer’s dollars to make it appealing to luxury apartment dwellers?
If we would like more people to take the public transportation (which benefits us all – especially those of us who continue to drive), make the buses better and cheaper. Lo and behold, more people will take them. For what it would cost to build a streetcar for 1 neighborhood, we could give everyone inside the loop a year long bus pass. (I have no idea if that last sentence is true.)
“Public transportation is for the public, correct? So, why are we spending tax payer’s dollars to make it appealing to luxury apartment dwellers?”
Not trying to be confrontational or trolling. To be fair, a majority of the ‘tax payer’s dollars’ are made up with dollars of the affluent. Including those of luxury apartment dwellers, either directly or indirectly.
anon, i think it goes along similar lines to the issue that 10% of americans hold 95% of the financial wealth in this country. just as we can’t advocate for handing over 95% of the country’s spending to the top 10% without the entire country collapsing and taking the 10% down with them, we can’t spend 95% of tax revenue on affluent districts traffic issues without the entire city collapsing around them and taking everyone down.
affluence is built and maintained by that of the surrounding community and its workers, not by those holding the wealth. focusing tax revenue in targeted districts would allow other parts of town to fall in severe disrepair impacting the abilities and mobility of it’s workers in which case the whole town sinks and all wealth slowly picks up and vanishes. we spread out tax revenue for the benefit of the affluent because based on studied economic examples and principles it’s the best thing to do for all involved parties, not just to chastise them.
guess that was heyheyhouston and not anon up there. didn’t like the transit article either though. they start off alluding to long lines of traffic and then transition to surface street solutions, but these two are entirely separate issues. i don’t agree that mass transit should be developed simply as a tool for reducing traffic as it’s only priority though, which is why i think it’s tax subsidized anyhow and not funded by the free market. in a city like Houston where the cost of transportation can severely impair worker mobility we should be focused on using these tax funds to build better infrastructure in connecting the various parts of town, not just focus on reducing traffic in heavy commercial districts. it’d be interesting to see a large-scale comparison in which a city redirects all mass transit funding into tax subsidies (and let the free market sort out the rest) for encouraging new commercial/business districts and see which ends up with the lowest commute times down the road, but that’d only be feasible in a more swedish type society where homeownership is practiced on a much smaller scale and worker mobility is greater.
if the goal is to simply increase ridership numbers then this can easily be accomplished without spending any taxpayer money or laying more tracks; just up the gas taxes and index them to inflation, institute congestion pricing inside the 610 loop, provide tax rebates for mass transportation (already done by the feds to some degree) and voila; you’ve just increased ridership by multitudes. whether taxing personal vehicles or taking a cut off sales taxes, you’re still getting the money one way or another but only one of those options has the potential to increase ridership exponentiallly. of course that begins to impact freedom of choice so it has its limits, but other communities have decided to go just that route.
I agree with you about the benefits of tax distribution. Same goes with Social Security. Life is a little nicer when there aren’t thousands of irresponsible (who wouldn’t save for retirement) old people living on the streets eating cat food. The comment was more of a focus on where the “tax payer’s” money comes from why anon should not be surprised. Everyone is happy to tell you where to spend other people’s money. And occasionally the people contributing are going to want to see some of it back in their neighborhoods.