How Midtown Apartment Developers Hooked Whole Foods; The Houston ‘Suburbs’ with the Worst Commutes

Yale St. Market, Houston Heights

Photo of Yale St. Market at former site of San Jacinto Stone: Swamplot inbox


8 Comment

  • Commute times are one of the hardest things for a city to fix once they’ve started going bad. Even a seemingly simple modification like the 225 – Beltway 8 interchange gets talked about for years before anything even remotely begins to happen. Commutes in those suburbs are going to continue to get worse long before they get better.

  • I don’t think anyone considers the likes of Dayton, Fresno, Bacliff and some of the others as “suburbs” of Houston in and of themselves. Dayton is a suburb of Liberty; Bacliff is a suburb of Clear Lake; and etc. Commute times from these places aren’t real issues to be concerned with as anyone driving to Houston from these places aren’t representative of the surrounding populations.

  • Exactly what Joel said. Those nerds at Nerdwallet. SIGH

  • It’s statistically significant that of the top 10 worst, Pearland, Friendswood and Bacliff are south east of town. As someone who commutes to this area for work, I can tell you. The roads down here suck, I would not want to be stuck living down in this area.
    They’re widening I-45 between Scarsdale and 518 right now, which adds to the hellishness of it, when they’re done with that they’re widening between 518 and Galveston. So the gulf will be 5 lanes the whole way from 610 out to Galveston. That will help, but the surface streets still suck. Major arterial roads are spread farther apart than they are in other highly populated areas, and the population down here seems to be growing at similar rates to other parts of the city.
    Where once people were happy to leave the area as sleepy little towns that got decimated by hurricanes, not any longer, they want to be closer to the water, maybe they’re banking on sea level rise giving them a beachfront, I don’t know, but the population has outstripped the gulf freeway and other arterial roads, the gulf freeway is being opened up, but the rest of it. I’ll say again, I’m glad I only work in the area.

  • Regarding the downtown post office — retail operations will end at 7 p.m. this Friday. Last mail call!

  • @ joel: Your broader point is well-taken, although… If Bacliff is a suburb to a suburb of Houston which is actually part of Houston then Bacliff is a suburb of Houston. Dayton and Liberty serve as a paired set of cities that function as hubs for a mostly rural county and neither is a suburb of the other; but both have significant commuting relationships with Houston and its suburbs. And Fresno actually does function as a bedroom community to Houston.

    Here you go, have fun.

  • Lots of people I know live in Friendswood and Pearland. Those are definitely suburbs of Houston.

  • Niche, you are correct on your technical breakdown, but I think both of our points are still relevant. This data is only based on 2013 census responses for average commute times with no breakdown of where those commutes are to and from. For closer in burbs located near freeways you can assume many of these people are indeed travelling into town. This becomes much less clear the further out you go and the further away you get from existing freeway infrastructure.
    A 30-min commute from Dayton only gets you to BW8 with no traffic so what exactly is that telling us in regards to infrastructure and traffic patterns? The article is written with the clear of intention of saying these long commutes are tied to Houston traffic, but a lot of it sounds like meaningless data to me.