PEARLAND FINDS ITS PARK AND RIDE SPOT Metro will build a Park & Ride lot on 12 vacant acres at the gateway to the Southfork subdivision, at the southwest corner of Highway 288 and Airline-Ft. Bend Rd. (otherwise known as County Road 59): The board also authorized staff members to execute a design-build contract with the unidentified property owner that ‘will allow them to build the complex in accordance with Metro’s specifications and do it quicker,’ [Pearland assistant city manager Jon] Branson said.
The facility will be a base for commuter shuttle buses between the Pearland area and Houston, including the Texas Medical Center. It is expected to provide much-needed traffic relief for residents who live in or near Shadow Creek Ranch and Pearland Town Center, [Metro vice president Kimberly] Slaughter said.
The Texas 288 corridor averages about 96,000 vehicle trips a year, Branson said.
When the shuttle facility opens this fall, it will have parking to accommodate 750 vehicles. Another 750 parking spaces will be added later, Branson said.” [Ultimate Pearland]
METRO JUST MEANS AFTERPARTIES ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION On the way to asking a larger political question, a personal testament to the moderating influence of going car-free: “See, in the past month I’ve had absolutely no problems getting to where I want to go. I can grab groceries, visit friends. The other day I took my primary romantic interest to dinner and a movie. We hopped a few buses to the Marq*E, headed back across town on a 20-Long Point to Ninfa’s/Navigation, then grabbed two buses back to her place. Thing is, it was a 3:30pm movie. You can get anywhere on the bus, but you have to do it *early*, because if you stay out too late the buses stop running. Transit doesn’t alter your mobility, it alters your lifestyle. I can hop a 40-Telephone and grab some extra-large CFS at the Dot Coffee Shop. But I can’t do it at 3am. I can catch a 25-Richmond to the drum and bass night. But to get home will require an expensive cab ride, unless I jet the party when other people are still showing up. Basically, transit has an incredible power to make you square.” [Keep Houston Houston]
It’s now a whole lot easier to figure out how to get around Houston using public transit: Metro routes have at last been embedded in Google Maps. Which means if you use Google to plan a local trip, figuring out how to get there by bus or rail is now as simple as choosing “By public transit” from a dropdown menu. Schedule info is right there too.
So far, the public transit option shows up whenever you use Google Maps to get directions in Houston — or you can start from a separate Google Transit gateway here. Not yet activated for Houston: Google’s Transit Layer, which in other cities lets you see all the routes at once.
Even more convenient: If you can get Google Maps on your mobile phone, you now have access to bus and train directions and schedules there too. Here’s a video demonstrating how that works:
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We all know riding bikes on trafficked Houston thoroughfares is dangerous. Finally, though, someone’s doing something about it.
No, not putting in bike lanes—that would be absurd. A notice on the Metro website reads:
METRO will soon equip its local fleet with bike racks to help you navigate congested streets on your way to bike trails, work, school or other destinations.
Join us as we kick off this new chapter in METRO transit history. [emphasis added]
Let’s hope this attempt to take bikes off the streets is effective.
Photo: Flickr user richardmasoner