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Posts Tagged ‘downtown’

Southeast and Harrisburg line openings delayed again

sigh Metro acknowledged Wednesday that it will be unable to open its two new light rail lines this year as promised, the latest in a series of delays and controversies associated with the rail system. Less than two months ago, Metropolitan Transit Authority officials said the agency’s Green and Purple lines would open in December […]

Rearranging the traffic

Not sure how much of an effect this will have. Among the 200,000 motorists who traverse Interstate 45 just south of downtown every day, a fair number find themselves weaving frantically from lane to lane as they approach the connection with U.S. 59. State transportation officials hope to reduce the stress felt by these drivers, […]

The trouble with the Southwest Freeway

I think the problem is easy enough to identify. The solution is another matter. Houston-area transportation planners are considering some novel strategies – at least for Texas – for managing traffic to ease congestion on U.S. 59 between downtown Houston and the Sam Houston Tollway. Among the steps that may be considered are clearing accidents […]

A bike lane to connect to bike trails

Makes sense. Houston may get its first protected on-street bike route as early as October, as city officials prepare to convert a lane of Lamar Street downtown into a two-way cycling path connecting the popular Buffalo Bayou trails west of downtown to Discovery Green and points east. The nearly three-quarter-mile connector, from the east end […]

The downside to downtown’s boom

More traffic, less parking, and lots of construction. Where have we heard those complaints before? Construction crews are clearing city blocks once dedicated to surface parking, readying the sites for multistory office buildings, hotels and residential towers. Adjacent sidewalks and traffic lanes are cordoned off, and two major downtown cross-streets are tied up with light […]

Bringing commuter rail into downtown

From The Highwayman: As has been reported, the Gulf Coast Rail District is studying the best possible routes for commuter rail in the Houston area, and one of the biggest challenges is bringing the trains into downtown. From the looks of the initial analysis of the U.S. 290 corridor, the trip to the central business […]

And we (finally) circle back to food trucks

We’ve done HERO, we’ve done vehicles for hire, what other high profile issues are there out there? Oh yeah, food trucks. I’d almost forgotten they were still an agenda item, but they’re back and they should be getting a vote soon. Proposed changes to three major ordinances could provide food trucks with new freedom. While […]

Transforming the GRB Convention Center

I don’t think I’d realized that there was a renovation of the George R. Brown Convention Center in the works, but after reading this story, I’m excited about it. By late next year, people strolling the George R. Brown Convention Center plaza can take in restaurants, sidewalk cafes, landscaped walk-ways and a water fountain. At […]

Commuter rail status

There’s still a push for commuter rail in Houston. With freight trains on Houston area tracks teeming with cargo, supporters of commuter rail to the suburbs are focusing on three spots where they can potentially build their own lines for passengers. The Gulf Coast Rail District – created in part to find a way to […]

B-Cycle keeps racking up good numbers

Great to see. From meager beginnings, Houston’s bikesharing program has blossomed into a big draw for visitors and locals looking for a quick ride. For the first six months of 2014, Houston B-Cycle logged 43,530 checkouts, according to agency data. The system had about 2,000 checkouts in all of 2012, the year it started with […]

Astrodome Park: The population isn’t the problem

Greg Wythe addresses one of the central questions about the proposed Astrodome Park in this comment that I thought was worth highlighting on the front page. As it turns out, there are a number of apartments situated to the east and north of the Dome. Checking Census data, the counts on the area “un-highlighted” in […]

Could Astrodome Park actually work?

Lisa Gray asks a good question about the proposal to turn the Astrodome into green space. Could that really be a park like Discovery Green? It’s easy to imagine that green space being useful, say, for a Super Bowl party, tailgating during home games, or as an extension of the Rodeo. But outside of those […]

City drops bid for downtown post office

So much for that. The city of Houston has withdrawn from bidding on the downtown post office, Mayor Annise Parker wrote in a letter to City Council members Tuesday. City officials said they wanted to keep their options open in bidding on the site, saying it could have a number of uses, chief among them […]

Metro unveils draft bus re-imagining

Here’s your proposed new bus system. Transit planners kicked off a major shift in Houston bus service Thursday, betting that the benefit of faster service on key routes will outweigh riders’ concerns about adjusting to new schedules and service patterns. The Metropolitan Transit Authority on Thursday released a draft of its “reimagining” plan, intended as […]

The city and the downtown post office

Not sure what all the fuss about this is about. Developers eager to purchase the high-profile U.S. Postal Service site downtown – envisioned in recent years as a park, outdoor amphitheater or a development with housing and entertainment venues – are competing for the property with the city of Houston, which is considering putting its […]

More demolitions coming

Good. Houston next week will launch an effort to scoop up dangerous properties left to rot in so many aging neighborhoods, raze them and resell the land. Officials say the program, approved unanimously Wednesday by the City Council, could more than double the number of buildings demolished each year, help the city recover more of […]

The downtown lifestyle

Demand for residences in downtown Houston is up. For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies. The 34-year-old consultant left The Woodlands two years ago for a one-bedroom apartment in the Post Rice […]

The Super Bowl is making us get stuff done

Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. The 2017 Super Bowl not only will drive thousands of football fans to Houston, it will put a hard deadline on projects from office and hotel construction to a light-rail extension, a local developer said Wednesday. Ric Campo, CEO of Houston-based Camden Properties and chairman of the […]

Zipcar expands in Houston

Very cool. A car-sharing service on Wednesday expanded from spots on the Rice University campus to other locations in Houston, providing city residents with another option for transportation. Zipcar is making available 25 vehicles in 10 different locations in Houston including the downtown area, Mid-town, Greenway Plaza, and Upper Kirby. “We want the locations to […]

Finally doing that front door facelift

Better late than never. Renovations started this week on the historic Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing on the north end of downtown. The more than 100-year-old structure, now behind a fence as construction begins, is getting a $5.3 million facelift from Houston First Corp. and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. They hope the new design will […]

End of year B-Cycle report

B-Cycle has been in Houston for nine months, having launched in early April. So far, it’s done pretty well. The B-Cycle system’s 29th station was christened earlier this month in front of Clayton Homes. Officials said they hoped to provide new customers for bike-sharing and new opportunities for low-income families. “The more you use the […]

The new justice complex

It’s a big deal. Houston leaders are in the early stages of planning a new police headquarters and courthouse complex that Mayor Annise Parker said could be the most important project on which she will work during her six-year tenure. There is little question the city’s criminal justice facilities are fading. Houston’s central jail at […]

More security cameras coming

You’re being recorded, like it or not. Houston is adding 180 downtown surveillance cameras despite shrinking national security grants and research showing that video feeds only sometimes improve public safety. By early next year, the Houston Police Department will have nearly 1,000 camera feeds available. Most record public areas around downtown, stadiums and event spaces […]

Drinking al fresco

From the Things You Might Not Have Realized department. “It is a commonly-held belief that it’s illegal to walk down the street drinking a beer in Texas. However, that is not always the case.” Those words, which we recently happened upon at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission website, sparked wary excitement. We’d always chafed under […]

Austin B-Cycle coming

Took ‘em long enough. Service will launch Dec. 21 with 110 bikes and 11 stations, including one sponsored by the Chronicle. The full project will be completed by March 1, 2014, with expanded stations planned to service the UT-Austin campus, Riverside Drive, Zilker Park, and East Austin. These first locations were whittled down from the […]

The lost canopy

Very disappointing. Metro officials on Thursday scaled back plans for an iconic downtown Houston transit hub where three rail lines will cross after board members grew frustrated with what they called inexcusable delays and cost overruns. “This has been mismanaged from the get-go, and there cannot be situations where things are not budgeted fully,” Metropolitan […]

Reminder: I-45 public meeting tonight

From The Highwayman: As officials take another step in the process of widening Interstate 45 from downtown north to the Sam Houston Tollway, one option to essentially make the teardrop-shaped inner loop created by I-45 and U.S. 59 an odd confluence of I-45 running along both sides of the business district remains a possibility, according […]

Six new B-Cycle locations announced

From the B-Cycle monthly newsletter: 6 NEW B-stations coming this month! We are happy to announce our new locations! When we launched our pilot program in May of 2012 we were anxious and excited to see how Houston would respond to a bike share program. As you are probably aware, the reaction has been incredibly […]

Food trucks going un-mobile

It’s a trend. Matti Merrell and Rodney Perry first parked their Green Seed food truck on a Third Ward street in 2011. Within a year Food & Wine named it the No. 9 vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the U.S. Last year, the pair opened on Almeda, just around the corner in the neighborhood south […]

On closing Main Street to cars downtown

Houston Tomorrow runs a post by Kyle Nielsen that he originally published in May advocating for more of Main Street downtown to be like Main Street Square, that is, closed to automotive traffic. What if we were to close Main Street to motor vehicle traffic and make it an exclusively pedestrian and bicycle corridor? It […]

Parking Panda

Interesting Parking Panda, an online parking reservation system, launches Tuesday in Houston and Dallas. The site’s already up and running, taking reservations for lots around many area venues, including Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center. The concept is pretty simple: Go online, find the parking lot you want, based on price and […]

On using B-Cycle

The Chron had a nice lifestyle section story about B-Cycle last week. B-cycles are appearing all over downtown and Midtown. You may have seen them, parked at racks with self-serve kiosks, where riders are able to enter their payment information, detach the bike and go. B-cycle is a program of Houston Bike Share, a nonprofit […]

Here come the hotels

Lots of downtown hotel construction going on, or about to go on. The area around the George R. Brown Convention Center is about to see a burst of hotel construction as developers plan several new projects, two of which will offer more moderately priced rooms. The new projects are planned for sites just outside the […]

H-GAC approves Uptown transportation funding

Good. Houston-area transportation officials approved a plan Friday to use $61.8 million in federal funds to help build bus-only lanes along Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area. [...] The project, sponsored by the Uptown Management District, widens Post Oak to add two center lanes for buses that will shuttle riders from two Metropolitan Transit […]