Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Comments on Greater West Houston Sub-Region Mobility Plan, presented at TPC on 8/28/15

Comments on Greater West Houston Sub-Region Mobility Plan, presented at TPC on 8/28/15

The main challenge facing Greater West Houston is one of basic math and geometry; there is no more room for automobiles on the roadways, given the way we have used automobiles in the past, which has been in single occupant mode.

Adding more capacity to support VMT is not a measure of success in the war against congestion, any more than buying a bigger pair of pants is a measure a success in the war against obesity, as Stephen Klineberg points out. 

Harris County, METRO, the Management Districts, and nearby cities like Katy have to collaborate, design, fund, and execute a multi-decade strategy to bring higher-density transportation solutions to West Houston. Transit also demands pedestrian and bicycle friendly infrastructure. We have very little of that.

I have lived in unincorporated Harris County for almost 23 years, and have been paying METRO taxes all that time, and I see nothing in the way of local transit after paying all of that money, which I think is shameful. METRO is to blame for the way it has operated over the decades, and local governments and politicians are also for blocking and bleeding away funding that might have gone to expanding the transit network. There is plenty of blame to go around.

I refuse to believe that “suburban transit” is an oxymoron. I recently rode from Denver to Boulder and back again, on Denver's RTD suburban motorcoach, and the bus was full at 10 pm on a weekday.

Sitting at the Wiehle-Reston East METRO train and bus station near suburban Herndon, Virginia this summer, I watched buses bring in people from the suburbs who then make their way by train to their jobs at Tyson's Corner, or anywhere in and around Washington DC. The train will be built out all the way to Dulles Airport. Where is the train to Bush Airport, or to Hobby?

Denver and Washington DC had plans, conceived decades ago. We have no plan for suburban transit in West Houston. It's high time to get one.

Transit in Houston has degraded into a “divide and conquer” political symbol or device, wielded by both between Democrats and Republicans, who tend to live inside Loop 610, away from us “common folk”. We who live in the suburbs are not interested in politics, we just want solutions. Thank you.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Please oppose HB 1998

Dear Rep. Elkins,

Please oppose House Bill 1889 by State Rep. Will Metcalf, which would make it difficult or maybe impossible to build high-speed passenger rail from Houston to Dallas.

I-45 is chock full from Houston to Dallas, they have no money to expand it, it's dangerous to drive on it, it's a pain to go through the TSA ''groping'' line and very costly to fly, and who wants to take Greyhound bus from Houston to Dallas? Yes, we absolutely need high-speed passenger rail in Texas!

Last year on vacation I had the chance to take the HSR train from Beijing to Shanghai in China. That was that amazing. Fast, clean, smooth, on time, and less costly than flying.

Why China, and why not Texas?

Peter Wang

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happenings in the I-35 Corridor

Open House - Lone Star Regional Rail

Where: Carver Cultural Center
226 N. Hackberry St.
San Antonio, TX 78202

When: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015
5 pm - 8 pm

Purpose: The purpose of the Lone Star Regional Rail project is to improve mobility, accessibility, transportation reliability, modal choice, safety and facilitate economic development along the I-35 corridor in central and south Texas.

Description: The Lone Star Rail District (LSRD), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and TxDOT, is proposing a regional passenger rail service connecting communities along the I-35 corridor between the metropolitan areas of Austin and San Antonio. As envisioned, the Lone Star Regional Rail Project would span approximately 120 miles across Williamson, Travis, Bastrop, Hays, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Bexar counties. FHWA and TxDOT welcome all comments from interested individuals, organizations, or businesses regarding alternative alignments and station locations, as well as any social, economic, or environmental impacts related to the Lone Star Regional Rail Project.

Contact: Rail Planning Section Manager
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 486-5137