From the Offcite blog:
Wednesday, Mayor Annise Parker gave Christof Spieler, Chair of the Cite editorial committee, a big hug after swearing him in as a Metro board member. A picture of their embrace landed on page B3 of Thursday’s Houston Chronicle. It was a landmark moment for the Rice Design Alliance and Cite. Spieler joined the Cite team 11 years ago while still a graduate student at Rice, wrote numerous articles on Houston’s transit, and guest edited several issues. In the current issue of Cite (81), he contributed “Are We Setting Up Commuter Rail to Fail?” Written months before Spieler knew he would be appointed a Metro board member, it went to press before the announcement of his nomination by Mayor Parker but is now reaching mailboxes after his confirmation. This rare bird of an article is one last critical and independent analysis by Spieler, who because of his new position inside the system cannot speak without representing the city government and Metro.
That article, which drew on and combined a number of themes explored on his Intermodality blog, is well worth reading. The issue isn’t whether or not we do commuter rail, since at least for now there is a lot of political support for it, it’s whether or not we do it right. There are a lot of ways to do it wrong, and if we do we’ll be stuck with it. Go read what Spieler has to say, and hope we get it right. David Crossley has more.