La Fisheria Moving Downtown; A Funding Deal for University Light Rail; Midtown’s New Art Crossing


Photo of Downtown: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • Re Metro University line. The only people who were vocal and didn’t want this line were the snobs in Afton Oaks. Of course if you look at his gerrymandered district, you can understand why they would not support this line. Most of it would not benefit but rather the neighboring districts would. It is just a delay tactic that eventually will pass one day.

  • @Metro Rail: I would actually rather the light rail go down westheimer than richmond. I think it would serve more people.

  • Wow, looking at that chart of prices for Firethorne is more than a little frightening. Here’s hoping those issues stay out in the more upstream heavy energy corridor.

  • I love all the “Houston is diverse” accolades that we get. It’s sort of true, but not really. Yes, as a whole, if you look at all the people in Houston, it’s diverse. If you look at WHERE they live, it’s anything but. You have areas that are all black, all white, all mexican, all asian, etc.
    If we were really diverse, we wouldn’t have things like the 288 being some magical racial divide line.
    (* By “all”, I mean “majority”. And if I didn’t use the correct PC term for any of the above, sorry**)
    (** not really sorry)

  • HouCynic, that’s not an accurate analysis at all as any discussion regarding metrorail on this board will involve many folks reiterating the fact that rail is expensive and does not provide the best return on value, especially at-grade rail which displaces traffic and creates a bunch more intersections causing further traffic/pollution (at least in the lower richmond corridor where i lived). These folks didn’t have the same avenues to voice their disapproval through official channels but it was there in the noise. Don’t live off Richmond anymore and metro is literally worthless for me (reverse energy corridor commuter) so of course could care less, but it’s still obviously not the way to go if you’re looking to maximize return on value.
    And Aaron, stop always being a debby downer. I need people to buy, buy, buy!!! Values are dropping in Katy because the rich folks are moving in town. If you’re looking to buy in town now’s your last chance because income inequality means everyone else is getting richer quicker than you. Now is not the time to wait it out, keep buying folks.

  • @ MrEction: This was to be expected. The upper end of the greater Katy market was the most vulnerable to a downturn in upstream energy. The hiring of high-paid engineers, geoscientists, etc. has slowed way down or stopped altogether, and those that are here are probably a bit uneasy about taking on an extra-fat mortgage, so the demand pipeline for the $500,000 Katy McMansion will be drying up. That’s going to skew average and median stats downward, plus lower sales velocity. However, expect demand for more lower and mid-price homes to stay relatively strong.

  • There are buses running up and down Westheimer every 10-15 minutes and many times they are not half full. Why go to the expense of rail when the bus system could be tweaked and actually can get you closer to your destination? After all there is a stop roughly every 600 feet.

  • @james would rather not spend the money on a light rail line for Westheimer when what’s needed is an actual subway line there.

  • Where I live is already diverse enough for my taste. I’m already outnumbered by Meixcans two to one (my wife and the damn chihuahua).

  • ha, is it a coincidence that not less than a month after Gerald Hines calls for more mass transit in Houston that METRO is able to ‘convince’ Culberson to alter his anti-transit language?
    I’ve lived in Houston too long to know this is not coincidence…

  • @ Joel,

    You’re cracking me up! Sounds like the same stuff I hear from home builders…Don’t tell people what’s actually happening because we have product we need to sell. Rather comical that professional economists are only now realizing that their initial 2015 job growth projections for Houston were beyond optimistic. They were utterly absurd. Any layman (pun intended) could look at the plunging rig counts and see what was coming.

    I’m really curious to see what the local housing market would look like with even a 20 percent correction in the S&P? The Federal Reserve and the “working group on financial markets” have done a stellar job reflating all of those paper assets and levitating the market higher. What happens when the music stops again will interesting indeed. :)

  • Oh Joel my dear, you are only talking short term ROI. This is a long term investment. Ridership on the Red line is up significantly. If traffic continues to explode at its current rate and people continue moving inside 610 in the same numbers, you will see a significant jump in ridership. But to your point, it has to service where people live and need to commute to and where major bus lines intersect with established stations. It definitely is a change in mindset for our automobile-centric city and that wont happen overnight. What they also need to do is link the exurbs and satellite cities into the rail system. Then you will see interest and ridership increase but this wont happen over night.

  • HouCynic, you may very well be right, but it still all takes money and that is the topic at hand. If you want people to spend money you need to be able to prove that worth and not just speak euphemistically. I mean, are there really any good links online that explain the positives and negatives about all this? Are their proponents websites that go over these type of details? What percentage does your household spend on debt servicing and what do you consider an acceptable amount? How much is metro paying to service their debt and what percent of their operating budget is it (well over $100MM I believe on annual debt payments)? Again, you may be right, but nobody has shown it to the public and nobody seems interested in communicating the fiscal realities of whats going on and what it takes to accomplish all this. Yes, we’ll need mass transit, but so do a lot of other parts of town that aren’t and won’t be touched by these gentrification trains. In terms of reaching to the exurbs, no, they do not need taxpayer subsidized transit service. They need privatized shuttle services which do exist I believe in many of them. Money would be much better spent on fixing up the near-town districts that currently receive next to no investment rather than trying to overextend ourselves. I would much rather expand our transit service where possible rather than go broke servicing already connected areas. Does that really make me so rude or daft to warrant trivializing my concerns and and calling me “a dear”? You only do yourself disservice by brushing it all under the rug and insulting those you’re trying to persuade, but hey, if you feel that’s your prerogative then so be it.
    I really don’t see it as a mindset issue. Most folks own cars in this city because they have to no matter whether they live next to mass transit or not so I don’t see the reasoning in restricting auto transit just for the sake of pushing through trains. I have three separate bus routes all within a couple hundred yards of me, but I can drive to my destinations in less time it takes to wait for one and they’re completely worthless for transiting to work, which requires me to own a car whether I like it or not.
    The Katy freeway expansion showed a very real statistical reduction in transit times for a huge number of folks. What reduction in transit times have the rails provided and for how many folks? How do these compare to the number of folks being serviced by the Katy freeway? The questions go on and we need to be able to answer them before insulting each other for no reason. The reality is mass transit requires a lot of density, and nothing provides density better than clogged freeways and people who think they’re too good to ride buses.

  • I have a number of friends that live in Firethorne and far west Cinco Ranch. There are other factors at play. The tax rate that is a full 1% more than the established neighborhoods further to the east. Couple that with higher water utility rates and the fact that it takes 20 minutes or more, in some cases, to get to a major highway and the area starts to lose some of it’s appeal.

  • I just saw the disaster that is the east bound line ‘testing’ this weekend. It doesnt even have its own lane and has to actually cross traffic to make its left. Those trains during traffic are going to be an hour off schedule. We just wasted SOOO much money on a glorified bus. I am all for rail, but METRO needs to get out of the rail business.