- <<The fares are reasonable. I am sure they are heavily subsidized. Houston
Metro's commuter buses are almost three times as expensive per mile as
TRE's. The fares in Dallas, including the TRE, have gone up since March.
The TRE costs 50¢ more now between Big D and Fort Worth. This is due to the
major funding source, sales tax, plummeting after the Y2K crash.>>
What do you mean plummeting? Did the Metroplex lower sales taxes after 1
Jan 00? Did they actually experience problems in the new year? A year head
start on the recession?
<<I've had problems with Mapquest before. They seem to do alright with
small towns but their estimates break down in big cities. Their travel
times by auto are apparently close to the ideal.>>
They probably assume that you'll be traveling at the speed limit. Time
spent at traffic lights or in slow downs is compensating by speeding the
rest of the time. They show that it takes more than three hours to get from
my San Antonio house to the University of Houston. I can make that trip in
about two-and-a-half hours, but I'm doing 84 mph, not 70.
<<For instance, most hours of the week, it will take you more than an hour
to get from downtown Houston to downtown Galveston, fifty miles, but an hour
is what they show. At rush hour, which is turning into all day in Houston,
or with weekend beach traffic, it takes an hour and a half.>>
It's only bad all day on the west side, West Loop 610, Energy Corridor,
Galleria, 290 near 610, and I-45 as passes next to downtown. I've never had
problems on the inner loop Gulf Freeway unless there's an accident. And
Hardy Toll is apparently sparse all day long, maybe because it parallels the
toll-less North Freeway.
<<I would suspect the same applies between Dallas and Fort Worth. Traffic
on I-30, which the railway parallels, is usually just creeping along when
I've seen it, at least on the Dallas end. Unless you travel the entire
distance by car close to the speed limit, you're not going to be able to
drive the 32 miles between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth in 38 minutes, or
a fifty miles per hour average, which would include time spent on local
streets getting to and from I-30.>>
So the train is worth it much of the time. That's the only advantage that
Metro has during rush hour: it can use the HOV lanes, but as you said, only
to downtown and back. Of course, slugging is free except for the driver.
<<Obviously, what slows the train down is the half-dozen stops in between
Dallas and Fort Worth.>>
Well, it has to make some stops, otherwise it falls under your criticism
below of the Metro HOV.
<<If you compare this with the average running speed of a Houston commuter
bus, forty-two miles per hour, it seems slow. But the Houston HOV commuter
bus doesn't make any intermediate stops, so the comparison is misleading.
For instance, Houston Metro's 228 Addicks makes no stops between the end of
the line at the Addicks park & ride and Smith and Congress in downtown
The same could be said for Kingsland (my slugging stop-over), Kuykendahl,
<<If you want to go to, say, shopping or the hospital at Gessner Rd.,
shopping at West Belt, to work at Dairy Ashford Rd. or Eldridge Rd., or you
live near one of those locations or residential areas around Heights Blvd.,
Post Oak Rd., Bingle Rd., Bunker Hill Rd., or Wilcrest Rd., you either can't
do it by transit or else it's by eight-mile-per-hour local bus. I think it
is better to have a thirty percent reduction in speed and serve a larger
area, rather than the downtown workday niche market that Houston Metro has
We'll see what the Katy LRT has in store for their specific lines. The
Metro Solutions map still shows Westheimer road being avoided at all costs
(Galleria via Katy Fwy? What??).
OK, then, how do increase access to this commuter bus, or hypothetical
train, without the five minutes it would take to get off the freeway and
serve the Heights? Inner loop Katy is below grade, so build on top of it,
with the train running at grade. The Southwest Freeway is also being
The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to make
some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
ideas here on this discussion?
- Chris Loyd said:
>The previous days' discussion has inspired me to conceive of how to makeI've been getting a bit concerned that the discussion on Houston was
>some parts of Houston or San Antonio carfree. I will write it up and post
>it on my website, but would it go against Mr Crawford's wishes if I proposed
>ideas here on this discussion?
getting very deep and possibly not of real interest to people who
don't live in Texas. I have to confess, in fact, that I have only
been skimming the postings myself.
I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developments
in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
into detailed planning for these cities.
I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in the
coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
when it gets very far along.
-- ### --
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
> I don't have any objection to posting ideas for carfree developmentsIt will mostly be a contrast on how one would develop a carfree district in
> in Houston or San Antonio, but I don't think we want this to devolve
> into detailed planning for these cities.
two different urban environments. Downtown Houston is mostly hi-rise, with
a grid street pattern, no zoning, and has a light rail system. Downtown San
Antonio is mostly lo-rise, with twisty, curvy, narrow streets throughout,
zoning, historically preserved, and no light rail system. Since both cities
are in the same State (thus, the laws are the same), and have not entirely
dissimaler cultures, they could be treated as archetypes, not necessarily
detailed case studies.
> I have in mind a detailed planning for a carfree area sometime in theWhen that list is created, there'll be need to focus exactly what is the
> coming year, but I would expect to move that onto a separate list
> when it gets very far along.
difference between carfree_cities and this new list. One might be general
information or discussion, the other could be more specific.
- One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close
to their work is the fact that few people today have only
one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.
--- In email@example.com, mtneuman@j... wrote:
> > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
> > alternative.
> No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
> have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
> day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
> at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
> subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
> vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
> to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
> lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
> No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
> rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
- There are many people who hold onto their same job for years. Besides
myself, most of the people I know have done that. I decided 28 years ago
I was going to bike (bicycle) to work, so I chose a place to live in the
city where I work.
But a majority of the people made the swift shift to suburbia or the
country as soon as they saved up enough for buying a house. So they
commute to the city every day, emitting things out of their automobile
that are know to cause respiratory illness, cancer, stroke and heart
attack, especially when they accumulate with 10 thousand other sources of
the same stuff. And each gallon of fuel burned in an automobile or other
internal combustion engine adds another 22 pounds of the greenhouse gas
carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which adds to the global warming
problem that confronts all of us. But that's the way it is most of the
large cities I know of, and people are not going to stop driving. But it
would be best for all if they at least car pooled -- until they are able
to move in closer -- because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for
120 years, on average. So global warming is essentially irreversible, at
least within our lifetimes, if not our children's lifetime, and their
children's lifetime, assuming humanity lasts that long.
Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too far
away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.
"It is incumbent on us here today to so act throughout our lives as to
our children a heritage for which we will receive their blessings and not
- from a speech he gave in Dickinson, North Dakota, July 4, 1886
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 17:26:23 -0000 "David Forbus" <forbus@...>
> One thing that makes it difficult for people to live close________________________________________________________________
> to their work is the fact that few people today have only
> one job in a lifetime. Many people have jobs that last only
> a few years, then they are laid off or go to a better job.
> In Houston, you could get a new job that is 10 - 20 miles
> from the first. For an apartment dweller this might not be
> much of a problem, but for someone who owns a home, it is.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, mtneuman@j... wrote:
> > > Everything else has been tried, and only rail remains as an
> > > alternative.
> > No, I don't believe EVERYTHING else has been tried. Most people
> > have NOT tried to minimize the distance they need to travel each
> > day. (I mean REALLY minimize it, not just make a feeble attempt
> > at it.) As you say, gas is still relatively cheap (because of
> > subsidies). If people were given rewards for not using their
> > vehicles so much, and the price of gas was increased significantly
> > to fund those rewards, their surely would be more of an attempt by
> > lots of people to be more efficient in their travel budgets.
> > No, it has not been tried elsewhere. But if we go by that
> > rule, nothing new would ever be tried.
> To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
> To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
> Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
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- Neuman said:
>Changing jobs is no excuse for excessive driving. If a job is too farWe have to be careful here. There isn't ANY excuse for "excessive" (whatever
>away, they should either move there, or not take the job. It's a matter
>of whether or not we want a healthy planet in 20 years, or an overheated
>one. We have an obligation to pass down a planet that's livable, and the
>way we're going about it now, it ain't gonad happen.
that may turn out to be) driving. However, in the economy we have built,
which depends utterly on intense specialization of many workers, it is
necessary that people be able to get to the jobs, and to find new ones
when the multi-national they work for goes bankrupt because of accounting
fraud. In a household with two earners, it is often impossible to find a
residence where neither person has to drive.
What we need is to reconcentrate our cities along transit corridors,
so that you can, as in the Reference Design, take public transport to
any job, in a fairly short time and without extreme distance being
(Spoken by a man whose commute takes him across his bedroom.)
-- ### --
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities