TxDOT Likely To Cut Funding for West Loop Bus Lanes, Ship Money South

TXDOT LIKELY TO CUT FUNDING FOR WEST LOOP BUS LANES, SHIP MONEY SOUTH Proposed Dedicated Bus Lanes on Post Oak Blvd., Uptown, HoustonIn a move that could spell doom for the Post Oak Bus Rapid Transit project, TxDOT’s planning director said Thursday that his agency is now recommending it ax a $25 million commitment to expanding connecting bus service along the West Loop. The plan called for elevated bus lanes  running along 610 from Post Oak Blvd. to the Northwest Transit Center near the Katy Fwy. and 610. The agency now claims that the $25 million would be better spent on an improved Texas 288–Beltway 8 interchange. [The Highwayman, previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Uptown Houston   

27 Comment

  • Of course, Culberson would never make a phone call to the folks over at TXDot and tell them how they should be spending our money…

  • Wonder which of the projects requires the most concrete?

  • This is probably good news in disguise. First, funding from TxDOT to put the BRT line on elevated bus lanes on 610 would have made it so that there cannot be a stop at Memorial Park. Second, they were going to build the incline to the elevated bus lanes steep enough that it would have prevented any sort bus lane to light rail conversion. Yes, $25M is lost because of this, but I don’t think it is going to kill the dedicated bus lane in Uptown. In fact, it will probably make it better because there will be more of an opportunity for quality destinations and fiscally smart investment decisions i.e. making the dedicated bus lane to light rail conversion cheaper and possible.

  • This is a better direction with limited funds. Especially with the coming SH 288 median toll road. Will move more commuters than this bus concept.

  • TxDoT has to be one of the top 5 most backward state DoTs in the entire country–which means they’re one of the most backward DoTs in the world. If I could clean house and fire everybody who works there then re-hire on a case by case basis, I would do it in a second.

  • The Houston developer’s battlecry, “Moar roads!”

    I think Shady hit the nail on the head. This was supposed to improve the light rail system utility by giving it a semi-direct connection to the Galleria, but it seems Culberson will go out of his way to impede Metro. They’re his own personal Obama.

  • Busses for Uptown now THAT is classy LMAO

  • TXDOT is in the business of moving people first and foremost, not providing for toy trains or listening to money grubbing politicians. if this makes more sense in their traffic studies then I’d be keen to trust them over those of us that haven’t seen any of this analysis.

  • @joel – actually TXDOT seems to busy themselves more these days with billboard regulation and private toll road agreements. Their mission is not as clear as you make it seem. Additionally, they are heavily influenced by politicians like Culberson, since federal funding makes up a large part of their project budgets.

  • Well tomorrow is Election Day but welcome to representation without representation. It is a shame, transportation cannot be solved annually or it would be fiscally responsible.

  • BRT on Post Oak is a colossally dumbass idea. It should never be built. We need a subway under Westheimer and elevated rail over the west loop.

  • Shovel-ready elevated rail!

  • Culbertson is the worst kind of politician, it’s all about his very narrow views and exactly zero thought nor care for the greater good. I was no fan of this bus line down Post Oak, however Culbertson will work against any mass transit initiative in his district that isn’t tied to cars and highways, he will actually give back money dedicated to his district to further his crusade against Metro and today he’s essentially Unapposed so 2 more years of this guy. How to you go from Bush Sr, to Archer to Culbertson? It’s like reverse evolution from a district that should be smarter.

  • TBH, I felt like the at-grade dedicated bus lanes down Post Oak were probably going to cause as much of a local traffic snarl as they might alleviate regionally. Better P&R service for Uptown will do wonders for it as an office submarket, but they need more funding than this to really make it a project that is worthwhile.

    And I have to concur with the powers that be on this one, METRO’s mission suffers from any expansion of fixed-guideway rail-based transportation. Rail consumes entirely too many resources, both financial and in terms of precious few opportunities for new rights-of-way in developed urban clusters, so that having even a small system (which is all that METRO can afford to build and operate if its rail-based) is mutually exclusive to having a much larger pavement-based system that is compatible with all types of buses, vanpools, carpools, etc., that is easier to integrate as a system featuring both express and local service, and that is less subject to functional obsolescence (such as from self-driving vehicles).

  • Good, this would have created more traffic problems with minimal if non-existent benefits.
    That’s why I always vote Republican, no I don’t agree with every single policy, but on the whole they can be relied on to make the same decision I would have made, and that adds a certain peace of mind and predictability for foreseeable future, which makes me more confident in making certain business decisions and long term real estate investments, without worrying that some Commie would push their agenda with no rhyme or reason.

  • Fatboy Culberson will probably get two more years today, which gives Metro rail/mass transit leaders two years to find a pro-rail Republican in the 7th congressional district to kick his sorry anti-rail bribe-taking ass. Houston and rail will outlast/outlive Culberson, but we can get rid of him in 2016, and get Houston out of the Culberson transit dark-ages. In 2016 Houston is going to retire Culberson, so he can go play with Eric Cantor and learn what happens to politicians who forget that voters run the world, not piss-poor doo-doo ass trash like them.

    This is actually good news, as the BRT was a horrible idea for such a glam/prestigious area, where sleek modern rail is the answer. This gives us time to tweak Houston rail plans as we prepare to show Culberson the door.

    2016 can’t come soon enough: goodbye to Culberson and hello University/Uptown MetroRail.

  • I think most of the anti-public transit folks are just very provincial and don’t get too far away from their home state. There’s a big, transit filled world out there, yet yall act like these concepts are beyond the means of Houstonians. It’s quite bizarre.

    By voting Republican, all you’re doing is making the problem worse Commonsense. Texas has been booming for the better part of two decades and where’s all the infrastructure?

  • @Dom, rail is not infrastructure, it’s a trophy project just to show we have one but doesn’t do anything worthwhile for the city. The fact that city work centers have been decentralized and are spread out all over the city is mitigating the traffic problem. A lot of companies are listening to their employees and are moving offices to Energy Corridor, Woodlands, SugarLand, etc. We have lots of land and no natural obstacles to spread out unlike other cities which will always have to move more people to the same small area.

  • Let’s compare the square miles in Houston city limits to your mass transit utopias, Dom. Also factor in the worthless METRO admin and how much we are paying for these golden trains.

  • Every suburban office tower (suburban meaning outside the city limits) is like tax dollars slowly slipping away. People commuting to those things from their suburban enclaves are like lost customers.

  • TxDOT is the worst. I dont know anyone who likes TxDOT no matter if they are left or right. Even my contractor friends dont like TxDOT they just fear them. They have too much power and are accountable to no one.

  • As a colossal idiot, someone with no ability to think outside the box and a man with a very small penis, I always vote for republiCAN’Ts too. They give me a voice and and keep me from having to think too much.

  • @ Various People: I am personally not against transit, I’m against the suboptimal use of a finite pool of resources. On a related note, I am pro-educating-voters-about-state-and-municipal-finance. I also acknowledge that each of these political preferences is hopelessly doomed. I blame you, the voters, and you’ll get what you deserve.

    @ commonsense: Although we happen to be in agreement on this narrow issue, voting Republican or the mainstream alternative is hardly an assurance that your interests are well-represented. That is especially true with respect to METRO, a single-purpose entity managed by the employees of appointees of mayors that are empowered on the basis of state law. There’s not really any reliable systematic means of voter accountability.

  • Correction. TxDOT isnt the worst, METRO takes that title. Metro spends millions with nothing to show for it. TxDOT actually get things done, but they solve few problems and only fit their agenda.

  • Where do these comments come from stating that the BRT project would have caused congestion? The buses wouldn’t have had signal priority on POB. No lanes were being removed. It was basically just going to be an extra-wide median. The only pain would have been construction (admittedly not insignificant, but temporary). The TxDOT portion wouldn’t have interfered with regular traffic on the freeway. And having a bigger portion of commuter traffic to Uptown office buildings come via transit would have hurt things exactly how?

    The BRT is exactly what Houston needs, the bus-haters need to just go away. At some point we will start appropriating roadway space for BRT and improved bus service all over the urban core, and we should. And increase frequency too (cue the complaints of, “there’s too many buses, they get in my way” – well too bad).

  • Maybe with Repubs in charge now they figured they could get federal funds for the elevated bus lanes and use TxDot money on 288.

  • I wasn’t aware of the lack of signal priority for buses on the Post Oak Blvd., but actually that disappoints me too because it impacts the level of service that can be offered by the buses. With or without signal priority, I think that the budget on this project was too limited for all the good that it has the potential to do (both for buses and general traffic) if the Post Oak reconstruction project were more ambitious.