The 2 New Main St. Towers Going Up Now; Testing Out Sunday Street Shutdowns

tiny library at black hole coffee house

Photo of converted phone booth outside Black Hole Coffee House, 4504 Graustark St.: Molly Block via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • $52 million on a parking garage at hobby and still no expansion for a rail to the airport. $52 would be a sizeable chuck for a passenger/commuter rail to stop by hobby. The rails that would lead to the airport are already there, just need to get a locomotive and maybe set up a station at the airport.

  • @Adam – I think that would be a really interesting platform to see one of the next mayoral candidates take. I feel like nobody trusts Metro, but if somebody approached the issue in the right way it could really rally a lot of young professional support.

  • Adam, $52 million wouldn’t make much of a dent in the cost of rail to Hobby.

  • @Adam What rails that lead to the airport are already there?

  • I’m with Adam Socki on this one. I know funding is probably tangled in some mess but why invest $52M in a new parking garage when that could provide for a good chunk of the rail connection? I would much prefer to have my car safely parked in my garage at home for free then pay $60+ for parking or even the private shuttles. Bus still doesn’t quite cut it. Houston loves investing in old technology.

  • Rail expansion from where? The med center? That only really works if you can walk to one of the current rail stops to catch the train. Otherwise, you are still driving your car somewhere to park it and catch the rail. And if i have to drive somewhere already, i’ll just go all the way to the airport rather than park in some med center parking garage.

  • @Ryan – Over a quarter million people either work downtown or in the medical center. For short trips leaving directly from work, a Metrorail to one of the airports would make a ton of sense.

  • Parking at a TMC garage cost $12/day, so you’re better off parking at the Fannin terminus. All that aside, wasn’t there once a Metro express bus to IAH, and hardly anyone took it? So it’s thought that simply because something is on rails, folks are more likely to use it.

  • They’re probably building the parking garage because they can pay for it with fees. Fees don’t pay for light rail, will never pay for light rail, and METRO is statutorily limited in terms of its potential to collect tax revenues. So there you go, simple as that.

    Also…$52 million would pay for about a quarter-mile, which for reference is about one third of the distance of the loop that provides access to the Hobby Airport terminal building from Airport Blvd. Meaning, that amount of money couldn’t even get the rail line outside of the airport boundaries. Maybe double or triple that amount and you can get it past the first apartment complex going north on Broadway, which is within walking distance.

  • so why would you close down westheimer to vehicular traffic and not allow businesses to throw a West-Fest? what a waste of half-baked intentions.

  • Ryan: I walk to the rail station near Main & W. Alabama and zip downtown or to TMC / Herman Park / Reliant all the time. No car needed. If I’m lazy, I can skate to the rail.

  • @Nuke Laloosh; I’d love to see this become a political race issue.

    @Drew J: check out some aerials on google/bing. there’s a track already there that could take you directly from downtown to the doors of the old airport terminal.

    @kjb434: depending on how one approached the project, $52 million could do a lot! Especially if using existing ROW. All we need is a locomotive and cars. I found a used 10 car train with a locomotive for sale online for around $1.25 million. Hell, we could get around 50 of those for the same price as a measly parking garage! :)

  • Oh, I think we all misunderstood. Socki was talking about commuter rail. Well that’s just shortsighted on the face of it, never mind the “last mile” problem.

  • ” All that aside, wasn’t there once a Metro express bus to IAH, and hardly anyone took it?”

    @Gisgo, there have been 2. One that existed years ago was a regular transit bus with very limited stops via 45 and the Beltway, now replaced by the 102, which makes local stops along Greens Rd and takes forever (it’s mostly for people who work at the airport and not really suitable for airline passengers toting luggage).

    A more recent attempt was a coach based at a temporary trailer next to the Downtown Transit Center that, for $15, took you straight up 59 to Terminal C. The $15 was worth every penny, and I was sad when that service was discontinued, but every time I took it I was the only passenger.

  • Rail to either airport would make too much sense. Ain’t nobody got time for that.