Wrecking Baytown Seafood; Widening I-10 Between Houston and San Antonio

Mural on St. Emanuel at Leeland St., East Downtown, Houston

Photo of mural at St. Emanuel and Leeland, East Downtown: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


18 Comment

  • The Houston Public Radio report on income segregation is an eye opener, and it is an issue that absolutely needs to be addressed in a meaningful way. But Austin based housing Advocate John Hennebrenner is dangerously wrong when he says “The City needs to not locate affordable housing options for people of color, exclusively in low income neighborhoods of color.”
    It sounds reasonable enough, but it runs headlong into some harsh realities. First, of course, is political. (Not that Hennebrenner or any other advocates care – though they should for their own sake). More importantly, nationwide, affordable housing is often the only investment poor minority neighborhoods can get. Grocers and other businesses have written the areas off. Upscale housing, that could help to re-integrate the neighborhood – is often scared away, ironically, by the lack of pre-existing investment in the neighborhood. Here in Houston the problem is compounded by a sizable stock of existing, older apartment complexes that are at the end of their useful lives. Whether they show up on any official low-income housing rosters or not, these apartment complexes are our affordable housing, and the conditions in them can be very bleak. They desperately need investment and repair, and every dollar spent on new affordable housing in other areas (like Hennebrenner wants) is a dollar that won’t be spent to address the real problem.

  • Henneberger. It sure would be nice if Swamplot allowed posts to be edited….

  • As someone who travels to San Antonio at least once a quarter, I’ve rarely encountered any traffic from Katy to Sequin – if you’re not doing at least 80, you’ll get run over. My idea – make the new lanes 90+ mph toll lanes and watch them pay for themselves in a matter of months!

  • Income segregation is a basic and natural human condition… I’m a member of a tribe who are better hunters (or just simply luckier ones). I have more than enough food, I could either share it with the lesser tribe in the next valley over and we all do mediocre OR I could make sure my tribe is healthier, procreates better, has time and resources to create better tools and survives. The other tribe has no impact on mine what so ever.

    On a more recent note, income/neighborhood segregation is a very complex issue, but the solutions are not to reduce the upper end in favor of lower end (USSR, Venezuela, etc.) but to induce the lower end to change from within. (The opportunity and special programs already exist to do that)

  • I’ll bet he would be singing a different tune if they were planning on building section 8 down the street from his house.

  • @commonsense: You need that other tribe to mow your lawn.

  • Haven’t had a chance to review the HPR report. When I read “Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream”, one of the points the author made is that people all over need to accept some of the load for ‘undesirable things’ (e.g., landfill, low-income housing, etc.).
    Low income housing down not need to be ugly and unattractive. We’ve seen how incentives help spur residential building downtown. What if we saw similar incentives to build more affordable housing in the city? Now, I think many people don’t mind living next to people of a different economic class as long as they act as responsible, law abiding citizens. A lot of fear I observe from others is based upon the assumption that lower income properties bring blight, crime, drugs, and other problems to a neighborhood.

  • When you’re at Starbucks and get robbed or worse by that other tribe that has nothing is bitter at Fox News Supply Sider Flat Taxers like yourself, you may indeed wish, while you’re waiting for the ambulance, that perhaps you should have cared a bit more for your fellow man in that “other” tribe.
    As for 3 lanes on 10 between Houston and SA, I think it’s longgggg overdue.

  • *down not need = does not need

  • On the rare occasions I travel from H-town to SA there is always traffic from Katy to Seguin.. it tends to taper off after Columbus (Austinites on 71), then you can finally go the speed limit (75+). Before then the 3 lanes go down to two at Sealy and causes urban-like backup. I’m looking forward to 3 lanes all the way, but why do all new lanes nowadays need to be toll lanes? Is this Jersey?

    @NH you must go in off hours. Friday night out and Sunday night back are a nightmare. Esp Sunday night between Columbus and Katy. ugh

  • It’s all fun and games until that other tribe comprises 99% of the overall population in your region and no longer satisfied with the scraps you deign leave for them, and your head is affixed to a pike outside their huts.

  • My primary experience with I-10 between Katy and San Antonio is almost exclusively on Friday nights (heading west) and Sunday night (heading east.) There is an orderly line of drivers doing about 85 in the fast lane, passing the trucks doing 75 in the slow lane. But every 2 minutes somebody zooms past all the vehicles in the slow lane, then dives back in to the fast lane at the last second. This then causes the ‘accordion effect,’ slowing everybody down.

    In those situations having a third lane would make a huge difference to overall speed and safety.

  • I’m thinking eight lanes from Katy Mills to SH 71 in Columbus, six from Columbus to Seguin, the eight again from 130 to 1604 oughtta tide us over until Bob Eckels can get a second high-speed rail line up and running. 46 between Seguin and New Braunfels needs to be six lanes, 75mph each way to rapidly route 35 traffic to 10 (and vice versa) when one of the two is screwed up.

  • If the length of time it’s taking to add additional lanes on I-35 from Waco to Round Rock is any indication, it will take almost a decade before you see a 3 lane interstate between Sealy and San Antonio.
    And to talk of tolling the new lanes…I wish Texas could go back to acting like the large-population, wealthy ( high GDP) state it is. We spent lots of money back in the ’60’s and ’70’s when our economy and population were half the size it is today. Now we act like we’re West Virginia and can’t afford anything. Thanks Grover Norquist!

  • I’ve been saying IH 10 needs more lanes for over 15 years. Traffic between Houston and San Antonio is horrible. They need to add at least 2 lanes in each direction for a total of 4 per side. I make this trip on a regular basis because my mother lives in Hunt, Tx.

  • I don’t understand how TXDOT justifies spending tons of money (on something that is going to cost in maintenance as well) on widening roads. We in the planning field know (and have shown over and over and over again) that widening roads does not alleviate traffic. It particularly does no good on “free” roads. The main culprit is the phenomenon of induced demand–that the availability of something a user sees no expense for will only encourage more users. How much did we pay for the Katy Freeway widening? Hundreds of millions of dollars? It’s relatively new and the only thing that made that trip (if I’m remembering correctly) ten minutes faster is the managed lanes. If people have to pay (and pay more when it is needed more), then they actually consider the full cost of it. Without that, two lanes, three lanes, four lanes…they’re all the same. So why do we keep paying for this?

  • @ Jay: We in the planning field also understand about induced demand that if the public did not see a benefit from new roads then they would not use them and they would therefore not become congested. The other factor in induced demand is that trips tend to shift from parallel roads in the network to the road that got expanded, which has the effect of reducing congestion on the parallel road and also inducing some demand as a consequence.

  • @TheNiche: Yes, you’re right. There are, of course, tons of factors in determining people’s choices in traffic. I don’t think the issue of parallel roads in the network would really apply to the San Antonio-Houston route, though. If people are going to drive that way, they are not going to be driving on the parallel routes to I-10. I would support having the users pay for the road they use (instead of all of us) or a larger variety of options to get between the cities. As always, roads generate traffic. More connections, not wider ones. Different options, not concentrating on one. In a perfect world, at least.