Headlines: Waiting for Trains in the East End; Waiting for Dunkin’ Donuts in Montrose

Photo of gate at Pine Vale and Hill in Aldine: Robert Boyd via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10 Comment

  • Has anybody ever died in an ambulance while waiting for a train to pass? I can’t imagine it hasn’t happened at least once.

  • If the ONLY corridor under consideration is the West Belt Subdivision, then I’d hope that ambulances would know to take Harrisburg east and west or Lockwood north and south to access the East End without any concern over West-Belt-railroad-related delays. The only reason that it should be a problem for emergency vehicles in that stretch is human ignorance.

    Funny, though, I’ve never seen trains sitting still on that stretch. Elsewhere, yes, but not on such a busy corridor.

    I feel like the selling points on this project are flim-flammy. I think that there’s a more substantive back story that doesn’t play as well in the media. I’m not saying that the project isn’t worthwhile, mind you; only that most people arrive at crappy opinions for the wrong reasons and that the powers that be are mindful of that fact.

  • As long as some of those trains take at that awful crossing at Cullen, some people have probably died of old age waiting for the crossing arms to come up (though if you know the neighborhood, all you have to do is get to Milby from behind the old Fingers and you can cross under at Polk. You’re welcome.) That said, while it’s nice that everyone is suddenly so aware of the inconvenience and potential danger of these trains, it isn’t as though this were a new thing. That one Union Pacific line parallel to Harrisburg is just as unpredictable and twice as loud as the one in the article; it runs immediately adjacent to homes for miles. I know; I’ve lived by both. It did this for decades before I got here and no one has done anything about it that I know of, but I suppose that’s the price paid when the neighborhood’s skin isn’t quite as light and its homes aren’t quite as expensive. I understand, though; when the town-home dwelling white folks aren’t happy, nobody’s happy.

  • Chris,

    I can guarantee you that is not only the ‘white folks’ that live in those town-homes. We live in a day and age where you don’t need to have a certain skin color to succeed, you just need to care a little. A lot of folks in the area don’t care enough to learn english, so I don’t think they would care enough to demand things to get done, but they get done anyways, because polititians want votes. Streets that have heavy traffic in affluent areas, like Montrose or Westheimer, are torn up and will probably remain torn up, and we can all agree that it made more sense to connect the light rail from downtown to uptown, but the government is ok with redoing streets and providing grants to economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, affirmative action style, because they want those votes.

    That being said, it’s more likely that they’re looking at the train intersections not because the ‘hipster town home dwelling white folks’ complained, but because developers have something in mind.

  • what about the train that runs through Richmond, Westheimer, San Felipe,Bellaire, Beechnut, Braeswood, and Bellfort, with no overpass or underpass other than Westpark or the freeway?

    Can we fix this too?

  • There’s a reason Houston’s “logo” has a train on it. They were here long ago and made Houston what it is. They take all that “stuff” to and from the ship channel and elsewhere. Then developers move in and people start complaining.

  • Let’s talk about what this means in real terms.

    What happened when the quiet zone went in in the First Ward? Every street got closed. Holly, Goliad, Hickory, Johnson, Colorado, Sabine, Silver, Henderson, all gone. The neighborhood was cut in two. The grid died, leaving something that looks like the cul-de-sacs-and-thoroughfares of the ‘burbs.

    Now, Cullen could probably use an underpass. Sampson/York too. But what’s gonna happen in the East End when stuff gets value engineered out?

    Nance – gone.
    Commerce – gone.
    McKinney – gone.
    Milby – gone.
    Leeland – quite possibly gone.

    All those little side streets you like to ride your bike or walk your dog on because there’s low traffic, these will all be severed. And for what. So UP can operate remote-controlled locomotives? This is not a positive development.

  • Now you people can’t get along with trains??

  • Jeff Davis,

    Neighborhoods and community groups pushed for quiet zones. A result of quiet zones is to eliminate risk by closing minor streets.

    Unless the groups that demanded to have a quiet zone will want to come up with money for proper signals and crossing arms to reduce risk, streets will have to b closed.

  • Does anybody know how many trains cross Westheimer at Highland Village on a daily basis?