Epilogue

This blog is closed, and will not be updated going forward.

A few post outlines, which were never published.

Houston’s New Grand Central would have made the case for constructing a large hub for commuter rail, high speed rail, and intercity bus on the site of the Barbara Jordan post office. It was abandoned when that land was sold off to private developers; the terminal schematic was included in A Better Plan for the Downtown Ring.

Rethinking Richmond Rail, Pt. II would have been a follow-up to the original post, offering two alternatives: a high-speed LRT trunk with forks to Westpark and HBU, and a dedicated bi-directional busway. Initial research suggested the busway option would be more effective, and it became the transit component of the Downtown Ring Plan.

Fleshing Out that BRT Plan would have been a follow-up to the Downtown Ring post exploring how iterative expansion of the Post Oak Line could eventually yield a citywide system.

Legalize Purple would have made the case that FHWA should allow all-purple signboards, which were specifically forbidden in the MUTCD after HCTRA used them for the Westpark Tollway. Toronto’s 401 uses a mixture of blue and green overhead signs to differentiate between local and express lanes; a similar purple/green dichotomy would greatly simplify signing for Texan managed lane networks.

Happy New Year would have looked at the decline in American car culture and how that relates to our perception of urban life. Widespread auto adoption occurred during a time when good transit was widely available, suggesting that the car culture was initially more about escaping cities than moving around within them.

Tweaking Houston – Parking would have examined strategies for encouraging parking lots to be less overbuilt. The principal recommendation was to allow credits for parallel parking at a multiple of off-street spaces, e.g., one newly-constructed public parallel spot counts for two or three off-street spots.

Our Values argued that the “redevelopment” benefits of mixed-traffic streetcars were chimerical, since any neighborhood which has sufficient political capital to obtain a streetcar is already affluent enough to attract development without said streetcar.

Most recently, [  a  e  s  t  h  e  t  i  c  s  ] explored the relationship between architecture and public perception. Early LRT systems capitalized on rail nostalgia by adoping an old-school look for stations and facilities, while most busways have been constructed with “contemporary” architecture that quickly becomes dated. Future BRT systems can utilize classical architecture to achieve an aesthetic of permanence.