- Transocean Has Leased the Entire Enclave Place Building in the Energy Corridor [HBJ]
- Endress+Hauser To Build New Facility in the Lower Kirby District in Pearland [Houston Chronicle]
- Inside the Forthcoming Mondrian Luxury Condo in the Museum District [HBJ ($)]
- 1959 Greater Houston Builders Association Parade of Homes’ ‘Giveaway House’ on the Market [Culturemap]
- Restored Gus Wortham Park Golf Course Reopens in the East End [Houston Chronicle]
- New Permit Applications Point To Bobby Heugel and Justin Yu Planning New Bar in Southern Goods Space [Eater Houston]
- More Than 140,000 Cubic Yards of Harvey Storm Debris Ultimately Removed from Bayou Drainage System [Houston Public Media]
- Study Finds Houston’s First Light Rail Line Has Helped Reduce Air Pollution [The Urban Edge]
Photo of White Oak Bayou: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool
Re: Mondrian Luxury Condo
Another high-priced glass box …. in a transitional neighborhood with no style or appeal to anyone but the developer and the people they con into thinking it is ‘beautiful’. That section of Caroline St deserved better.
That LRT pollution study sounds complete backwards. Replacing a rail line with an at grade bus line should have no noticeable impact on pollution.
What this study does clearly show is that residents living around the light rail were subjected to up to a 24% increase in pollution due to construction of the rail lines prior the lines opening.
So Gus Wortham is a golf course again. Big whoop! It should have been the site of the proposed botanical gardens, yet some how in a city that cares next to nothing for preservation, the petty outcry managed to “preserve” what could have been a better use of public space and open to more than just golfers. Houston your preservation priorities are skewed!
tyranny of the minority will become an increasingly common phrase
city cynic: I don’t have any artistic style but that place looks pretty good to me. What’s wrong with it? Honest question here…
“That LRT pollution study sounds complete backwards. Replacing a rail line with an at grade bus line should have no noticeable impact on pollution.”
joel, I’m trying to understand your comment. An at grade rail replaced multiple bus lines. I think you have that “complete backwards”.
I remember when buses crowded Main Street, especially downtown. The exhaust fumes were strong enough to burn eyes and throats. The particulates were visible. Now that buses no longer run down Main Street, this is no longer the case. There’s no doubt that construction of the light rail caused pollution. I lived several blocks away and the increase in dust was noticeable. However, if you point is that the completed rail hasn’t reduced pollution, I respectfully disagree.
@Big Tex, but there’s no evidence at all to say it has. Whatever cars have been removed from Main Street have been added to parallel streets + increased wait times at cross streets + cars at additional intersections that were added in.
We spent billions on the rail. A mere fraction of that would have provided low emission buses.
First Joel attacks the credibility of the article, claiming that light rail has increased air pollution. And then, when the absurdity of his claim is pointed out, he changes his argument (“shoulda done low-emissions buses, not light rail”).
I can’t predict what new line of attack Joel will choose if he reads my comment, but let’s just say that light rail is a form of low-emissions bus and all go home happy.
I don’t follow. I threw out a couple reasons why light rail should be increasing pollution rather than reducing. If there’s evidence of light rail reducing emissions I’d certainly be interested in someone providing because the study referenced was junk. Anecdotal references of standing on main st. downtown does not address this.
Buses do not require additional intersections with stopping/starting cars which is a significant portion of a cars emissions. Light rail does. Buses don’t require diverting traffic to other roadways not modified to handle additional traffic (i.e. more cars stopping at lights). Light rail does.
My comment was in response to that, yes, while a section of Main St. may seem less polluted we need to focus on the bigger picture of car emissions and reducing stop/starts.
@joel: The question is whether the introduction of light rail reduced greenhouse emissions. The findings of the study, which used air monitors before and after the introduction of light rail, suggest that it did. And this, in spite of your objections about construction, about the unrealized possibility of “low-emissions buses,” or about the increase in idle time of cars at affected intersections. In spite of all of that air monitors detected a decrease of car-and-bus-related pollutants with the introduction of light rail.
And it’s not hard to see how this could be. Each rider on the train is a car removed from that route. Each train car is a bus removed from that route. Unless and until electric buses are an option, all of this is a net benefit no matter how much you cavil at light rail.
If the claim being put forth in the article is that building LRT has caused there to be less pollution than some baseline scenario, well okay that’s fine, but we need to know what the baseline scenario is. Joel is almost certainly correct to suggest that there would have been alternative ways to allocate METRO’s resources (or the resources of the federal government and other relevant entities) that would have resulted in lower emissions.
It strikes me as unlikely, however, that emissions were ever a priority. The efficacy of transit and regional mobility were clearly not priorities; and they were then Houston should be expected to have built out a very comprehensive BRT system — and it would probably have lower overall transportation emissions than it presently has as a consequence of that. Again…these things were not priorities.
If you want to see what priorities are in governance, look to those who govern. These persons, especially in matters concerning an entity like METRO that lacks any threat of accountability to the voting public, should not and cannot be expected to approach policy issues with clean hands. METRO needs a new charter. The Houston region needs a comprehensive and regional approach to transportation planning. The state legislature badly needs to intervene.