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[da1] Roads, not transit, help reduce congestion

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Haymitch, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    Pretty interesting read. And I'm happy to beat da1 to the punch.
     
  2. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member
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    Weeeeeeell, while it is a good read, I also find you can skew data for research to fit the point you want to make. Although this one seems to keep the facts straight.

    Houston never really engaged the idea of commuter trains and whatnot, so we'll probably never know what effect trains might have had along major routes (something parallel to I-10, I-59, I-45, 290, leading into downtown and the Medical Center, say).

    It would have been a very costly investment, sure, and this city is so spread out (hell, it's 42 miles from my place in Westchase to my mom in Humble) that there is no way you could have alleviated much of its traffic.
     
  3. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    transit, of the type we're really discussing here, needs population density to be successful.

    to ROXTIA's point, Houston is simply too spread out for modest (in scale, if not real dollars) investments in transit to make much of a dent.

    that said, transit investment can help create density, by spurring development along the transit corridor, creating a kind of virtuous circle.

    but it's hard to retrofit, and cities where transit is successful, NYC, Paris, London, Moscow, have always been densely populated.
     
  4. Sajan

    Sajan Member

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    The problem is what do you do AFTER you get off the train to downtown.

    No one likes to walk.
     
  5. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost clean your room bucko
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    File this one under D for 'derp'.

    Houston's layout is not conducive to any kind of effective mass transit.

    Gotta stop encouraging sprawl first.
     
  6. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member
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    To this point:

    I called METRO to get help on figuring out a bus schedule for my wife to get from our place near Bellaire to SE Houston (almost Pasadena).

    Naturally you have to switch buses downtown.

    This girl gives me these directions (more or less):

    "Take Route X at 9:30 to Downtown Location A

    Cross street take Route Y at 10:15 to Downtown Location B

    Cross street take Route Z at 10:45...."

    I'm like, "I was just on the web site, I'm just making sure of what I read, I don't remember taking three buses. Can't she just skip Route Y and go straight from Route X to Route Z?"

    "Well, I mean, she'd have to walk a block or two...."

    Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. :)

    I can understand people with health issues or knee problems or whatever who can't walk, but obviously most people don't have such a problem. Girl was giving me a three-bus option when the two-buses solution was just fine, just to save my wife five minutes (at most) of exercise and add another half hour to the trip?

    Again:

    Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. :)
     
  7. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Transit has to be tied to changes in development. As property prices increase even in Houston it will get harder and harder to just expand roads while it will be more attractive for developers to maximize floor area, increase density. Even for Houston transit is the only long term solution for congestion.
     
  8. da1

    da1 Member

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    A new report by the Libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation

    :rolleyes:
     
  9. da1

    da1 Member

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    Use google maps
     
  10. da1

    da1 Member

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    Yes, something similar to bart in the bay area
     
  11. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    infrastructure can create density.
     
  12. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    Amazing! I agree with at least one part of what you said!

    That said, transit has been "retrofitted" into every city ever created. Nobody has ever gone into a grass field and built transit in hopes that a city would pop up.

    Many Houstonians would willfully chose to move to a new location and forgo auto transport if other forms of transport were viable ...as has happened in every other city on earth.

    Houston will look very different 20+ years from now. The argument that Houston is this way now and it won't change is rather narrow minded. That's the mentality of a victim.
     
  13. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    If they were truly biased they would be against public investments in both roads and public transit.

    We don't need public transit yet. Not enough marginal benefit for the cost.
     
  14. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    DA1's links were good. Read the bit about:
    Downs-Thompson Paradox

    To be clear, we already have public transit so it's a misrepresentation to say "we don't need it". As the paradox illustrates, the more a city invests in roads (which is always to the detriment of other modes of transport), the more road congestion is generated.

    I liked the analogy, you can't fight obesity by loosening your belt.
     
  15. K mf G

    K mf G Contributing Member

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    i dont read all of da1's posts, but i think he targets the compliance of traffic and environment in concerns to public transportation
     
  16. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    well, well, well. Another win for bigtexxx

    told ya so

    Although my specific beef is spending all this money on trains rather than having a world-class bus system. More roads + world class bus system for transit is the right way to do it.
     
  17. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost clean your room bucko
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    I don't think we need more roads as much as we need to fix the ones we have. Excluding highways, of course.

    I'm skeptical that a world-class bus system would do anything to reduce my 150+ minute 25 mile commute via bus to either Houston airport.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Fix how? Do you mean by adding lanes to existing roads? Do you think even in Houston more lanes can be added to I-59 or any other freeway running through Houston?
    Possibly not buses if they are sharing the road with cars but I am pretty sure a high speed train from downtown to the airports would make it much easier to get to them.
     
  19. MystikArkitect

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    Hempstead Highway, Telephone Road (out to Alvin/Pearland) and possibly Red Bluff need to become Toll Roads. Would help a lot on TOP of a mass transit system.
     

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