What the East End Overpass Might Look Like; The Secret Carpool Lane to the Beach

Buffalo Bayou, Downtown Houston

Photo of Buffalo Bayou: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


11 Comment

  • The East End line overpass renderings look like crap, as expected. Leave it to METRO to half ass a project. Time to clean house.

  • RE East End overpass: “What people saw at the meeting wasn’t a complete design for the overpass, but conceptual models showing what could be done with the structure. It included things like landscaping and lighting and places for people to gather under the overpass. ”

    Yes, because gathering under an overpass is EXACTLY what we need more of (in any part of town). I’m super glad that Metro is highlighting that amenity. Now throw some Crape Myrtles and Yucca along the side, and it looks like any TXDoT overpass. Well played, Metro, well played.

  • At this point the overpass isn’t a big deal. Cars will still be able to access the businesses on Harrisburg, which was the original main reason for its opposition. As far as the design; it sounds like they’re going to try to save some money…so we can expect something underwhelming. There’s an opportunity here however to design something singular and iconic….futuristic, monorail-like, but you need to pay truly creative minds….yeah, right, not gonna happen . It’ll be a boulevard barge with chintzy symbology.

  • JD, I was thinking the same thing. Also, the reason this is an overpass rather than an underpass is due to soil contamination. So, yes, let’s encourage a gathering place where the soil is known to be contaminated. Bring the kids!

  • And so not to be just another “hater” without any positive ideas to add, here’s what I think Metro needs to consider when designing this thing; a common reason for opposition has been, “that it will divide the community”. So in order to flip that possibility around on its ear, they need to design it so that it’s light and airy, not a mass of concrete/graffiti magnet. Make it so that it’s almost all structural supports, pylons, trusses or whatever they’re called with lots of air and space underneath, so that one can see through to the other side. And make the supports beautiful, like mini Eiffel Towers. Make this thing appear to be launching the Metro train into the sky, place off the Space City theme…lift off…and play off the railroad theme too, since the railroad is the real reason for the treason. Evoke an old-time railroad bridge, the ones with the undersides that looked like a bunch of pieces of lumber assembled randomly, rub it in their faces, masses of sticks and girders that cast magnificent shadows at interesting angles all day long. Make it something that attracts people and holds their attention, something that they can’t stop looking at…instead of something that repels and repulses, that sucks the joy and inspiration from their very core. To those Metro managers who might read this; you’re in the on-deck circle, the stadium’s packed….you’ll have one at-bat. Are you ready? Are you even prepared to stand in the batter’s box? The team needs a home run. This is it. Your chance to send the crowd into a frenzy, with a memory that will last a lifetime for all involved and those who have yet to be born. Don’t screw this up…

  • Already looking forward to the day this nasty looking overpass is torn down and eventually replaced with an underpass, and it hasn’t even been built yet! If hypothetically, this same dilemma was to present itself during future construction of the University Line, the soil would of no doubt be cleaned and and an underpass would be built, no questions asked. Not right METRO!

  • Really? Now this has regressed into a class warfare thing? How do you know if this would have happened on a University Line? Do you have some magic ball that tells you this? When the conversation goes to hypothetical’s you know the person is grasping at straws. And honestly, does anyone think of, Latina’s??!!!, when they think of The Woodlands? I think they need to look at demographics and pic another part of town.

  • Dana-X said it right. This thing has to be “light and airy”.

    The East End overpass needs to be an art piece, an asset to the community. An eyesore with art painted on it won’t quite work, it’ll still be a barrier. I really hope METRO doesn’t try to include vehicle lanes, it will just make the thing wider and harder to hide.

    I’m not saying the overpass needs to be from the space age, but at least put some creative genius into it. Why not hold an unpaid conceptual design competition? (I know the past design competition with METRO was a flop on METRO’s end, but maybe they can change things around). The designs don’t have to be full fledged engineered details. The competition could be done in a month or shorter to encourage simple designs. METRO could then pull ideas from each strong concept and incorporate them into the final design.

    This project could either enhance METRO’s reputation or destroy it. I hope they make the right decision.

  • RE: “Latinas of The Woodlands” –
    Oh yeah this is a thing!
    They are an invasion, a force to be dealt with! They park anywhere. Leave their shopping cart wherever. Speak loudly everywhere. Give their kids everything. Leave their trash everyplace.
    There’s money to be made off them, so, Get On It!

  • Houston’s hoods are full of latinas regias, and more are on the way. When my mother’s friends visit town and go househunting with a REALTOR®, they hit up the Gwoodlans, Keiti, Cinco Rancho, y las Jaits.

    Apologies to anyone who no habla Spanglish.

  • Coming soon! White Ladies of Sugar Land. Wait, that would be racist and self segregating! GASP!