Headlines: Culberson Blocks Funding of Uptown Line; New Aurora Picture Show Premiere

Photo of razed Ross Ave. house: Cleveland Advocate

26 Comment

  • I really dislike John Culberson. I hope he loses.

  • Gus,

    Can you do some follow up investigation on the Bagby construction item? At Innerlooped they won’t reveal their sources, so it is hard to get riled up over a rumor. It really would be unfortunate if Public Works reverses course on their Bagby plan without due public comment.

  • Ditto on the Bagby story; I’d really like to know more before getting too riled up. Or, let me know what backroom I need to go to for city planning meetings.

  • dick move by culberson, but all his concerns are perfectly valid. i still think richmond rail is a hilarious idea. put it on westheimer and i’d say you’re onto something, but that would of course would require such a huge and inefficient waste of money…just like the richmond rail.

  • I agree with you dan. What people like Culberson don’t realize is that there are many people in Houston and Harris County rely on public transportation to get to jobs, errands, medical appointments etc. Not everyone can afford a car and the expenses related to ownership of a vehicle, some are not able to drive, etc. If anything, Metro needs an overhaul to provide better service. We need to have public transit for the far flung suburbs in Harris County, and not just weekday park and rides.

  • “‘Rape House’ razed on Ross avenue” really should have been re-written with reserve for a ridiculous use of rampant alliteration.

  • Culberson just plays to his ultra conservative base in the burbs. He brings in the bucks to make the highways as wide as they are long, but stops funds for any kind of socialist nonsense like public transportation. With his gerrymander district lines, he cannot ever be defeated. So, this kind of move is a no-brainer for him.

  • Hanabi-chan,

    How are you going pay for it?

    Killing the rail funding is actually beneficial because the Metro could spend the money on a flexible bus system that actually moves people.

    People you talk about that need public transportation are against rail in large numbers and they commented at public meetings to that effect. The problem is when Metro builds a rail line, many bus lines have to be sacrificed for it. This makes things more inconvenient for these people you claim we should help. If you want to help them, you would celebrate the killing of the light rail lines and push for better bus routes and circulator buses.

    The light rail is a toy for the upper middle class to use and to put on a brochure for out of towners, not a benefit to transportation in Houston.

  • @kjb434: can you please name another large city that doesn’t have a reasonable public transportation system? We need real investment in METRO. You think traffic is bad now? The population is only going to get larger.

    As for buses, they get stuck in traffic. Trains do not.

    It is not only the middle class who ride (or would ride) the rail. Have you been on the current rail line? Have you been to other cities where *everyone* rides the train? And anyway, what would be the problem with encouraging more middle and upper class people to get out of their cars?

    You want to bring $ to the city? You need to make it attractive to planners. Want a SuperBowl, etc.? Better find a way to move all those people around.

  • Urban rail transit is about density. The fact of the matter is that yes, the increased density is largely for the benefit of high income people. It really has very little to do with serving the needs of low income people. But density is the entire point of the city. Otherwise we’d all live in Midland-Odessa instead of Houston.

  • @ kjb434

    You’re right kjb434, if we were to spend the 1.4 billion dollars on bus systems, we would have a better transportation system.

    The problem is this, you don’t get that kind of federal money for buses. You get it for rail. Why? B/c of the same prejudice that riders have for taking buses (study after study shows that ppl prefer rail vs. buses) is the same reason you don’t get the federal $. Byass for rail. And its probably a correct byass. Property value doesn’t increase w/ buses. Buses routes are hard to understand and xfers eat valuable time. Rail is simple to understand, permanent, efficient, less polluting, and pleasing to the eye.
    You have to realize that Metro competes against other metropolitan transp. agencies. Congress isn’t going to just hand over $ so you can get more buses.

  • Culberson is just simply an idiot. METRO’s bus system is far from ‘excellent,’ lol, is that a freaking joke? Buses are far inferior to light rail and it isn’t even close. cost efficiency wise, capacity wise, ridership wise, pretty much every category light rail wins. Those who are opposed to light rail in Houston are just closed minded.

    Those of you who are calling for that money to be put in our bus system need to educate yourselves. For 30+ years METRO put all of their money into a bus only transportation system and it has resulted in one of the worst public transportation systems in the country.

    Please, someone give me an example of a good transportation system without rail. San Antonio? Austin? Give me a break.

    Culberson is only doing this because a few wealthy residents in his district don’t want “that danged train” in their neighborhood.

    It sickens me that people on this site are actually agreeing with this jerk. His concerns are valid? That’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard, LOL.

    He isn’t the least worried about METRO’s finances and even if he was, he should know that light rail is MORE EFFICIENT than buses. If the feds are paying capital costs, it should be a no brainer. More ridership plus more efficiency. How can anyone be stupid enough to oppose this?

    Culberson is just a puppet, doing this to please wealthy voters and ensure that he stays in office. What a joke.

    If anyone replies to me, please include your example of an effective bus-only transportation system. Otherwise, you will be ignored.

    METRO already has a ‘flexible’ bus system, and ridership is paltry at best. In fact, they are even having to cancel some routes due to the inefficiency of buses and the extremely low ridership that the generate.

  • If Culberson is truly concerned about the finances of METRO, he should be pushing for them to reduce their General Mobility payments, NOT try and thwart meaningful and important transportation projects that will benefit his district greatly.

  • Regarding Culberson, everyone knows by now that his stance against Metro is being underwritten by deep pockets in Afton Oaks who don’t want a rail line because they have no use for it. Plus the idea of mass transit in their neighborhood is frightening to them.

    Regarding rail versus buses, it’s true that a BRT with a dedicated lane would probably be just as good as a train. But if you’re going to go through the trouble of creating a dedicated BRT lane with signal priority and all of that, you might as well do light rail instead. It will cost more, but it will be cleaner and more appealing.

  • Building rail along Richmond will create construction jobs, engineering jobs, jobs for people who make rails, and railcars, and electrical switches. De-funding rail will kill off all those jobs. I thought Republicans like Culberson were pro-job creation? Oh, never mind.
    And mfastx, just so you know, Austin now has light rail, though on dedicated tracks so it does not take up traffic lanes, similar to what Dallas has done. You can catch it on 4th Street and ride it all the way out to the far northern suburbs.

  • Furious Jam,

    Good points, but light rail would generate more ridership than BRT, so there are advantages.

  • Some of you arguing that buses are better than rail seem to forget that we had an election about this. The people of this city chose to build rail. The decision is not made by a few expert elites waving sheafs of statistics, it’s made by the people, who know what they want.

  • He is absolutely awful. I’m moving to the East End in large part because of the rail. If I’m able to move from one place to another without being shackled to my car. The busses suck. I’ve had to ride them before. They are slow. They get stuck in the same traffic that everyone else is in. They stop every four blocks.

    I can ride my bike down to the museum, lock up, hit the train, and be at an Astro’s game in 20 minutes. And that’s during rush hour. Plus, I don’t have to pay for parking.

    I think the whole issue with Culberson is that he’s a closet racist. And I feel that his constituents in the burbs are probably mildly closeted racists. Why else would someone move 30 miles from work, other than to forget that there are minorities and actual problems in the world. It makes me sick. I’ll be so happy when the etnic makeup of this city forces them to come to terms with reality.

  • Light rail is joke in Houston and it always will be. Bus Rapid Transit is a BETTER solution and it costs 1/10th the price of light rail. We could have 200 miles of BRT for the price of 20 miles of light rail track. Anyone who thinks light rail is a better solution to BRT is simply ignorant of the facts.

    Not that it matters cars are 1000% better than buses and trains will ever be. As long as Houston has plenty of parking, a bus/train will never beat a private car.

    Go take a look at all this train served utopias. People don’t ride the train because they love trains. They ride the train because they have NO OTHER CHOICE. They ride the rails because the powers that be in those cities have restricted parking, ignored vehicular infrastructure, and added massive tolls at the bottlenecks.

    The only reason people are riding out light rail now is because parking in the Med Center is either expensive, inconvenient, or non-existent. That and the fact that Metro stopped running buses on Main Street, which used to serve many routes that have now become SLOWER since you have to take bus and transfer to the train.

    Cars rule. Cars = freedom. I’m glad our great city has been built to accommodate them.

  • Anyone comparing the cost of light rail to the cost of a bus is shortsighted. I am in this city for the long-haul.

  • @ dan: Actually, according to METRO’s own operating statistics, the buses are faster than light rail. And I can drive my car, park for free on the street, and walk to MMP to watch an Astros game in 20 minutes. It’d actually take a fair bit longer to walk to light rail, wait for light rail, ride light rail, depart light rail, and then walk to MMP. Also, I’d be more likely to sit down in the dried urine residue of the great unwashed.

    @ mel: All costs can be compared. It’s just that concepts of time value of money are the great equalizer, and that indeed the short-term costs are more impactful in such an analysis than are the long-term costs. But hey, if I am shortsighted, at least I’m intellectually honest and logical about it. What’s your excuse?

  • Houston needs effective mass transit. The rail projects at present are silly at best. They are “at grade”, which means that they are at street level and compete with other traffic. The rail lines must be elevated to really help the traffic situation. We obviously can’t go underground like other cities.

  • Another way to look at rail in the med center is that it was a gift to the med center using tax dollars. The med center is able to use cheaper land for parking for nurses and maintenance folks because they can now ride the rail. Doctors of course want to drive to the front door and now they have fewer employees to compete with.

  • Uhm, in other cities, the subway is not the class divide that you imagine. Everyone uses it, because it’s the most efficient and best option, because cars JUST DON’T FUCKING WORK AT HIGH DENSITY. That is a fact you can’t change.

    Poor transit is one of the main reasons I am looking to move. I have a nice car, but I hate being dependent on it.

  • Got to love our tax dollars going to subsidize people in River Oak’s backyards, uh last I checked they can afford it..

  • Every time I rode the rails it was crammed with riders of every economic segment.