Houston Creepin on a Come Up

Well well.  Lookit what Houston’s been up to on the down low:

Re-alignment of 45 to tear-out Pierce Elevated freeway

They’re really doing some things down there. I suppose when you have terrible weather, you have to be smart with your urban design in order to compete and attract.  I kid.  I love what they’re doing with transit and trails, so this is not surprising.

Looking at the details, the removed Pierce Elevated doesn’t unlock a lot of land, but it does reposition a TON of underdeveloped sites along both sides of it.  It doesn’t do a lot to reconnect the grid underneath it where the grid is already well connected between downtown and Midtown.  Everything between is an absolute gold mine for infill where they can harnass their growth and focus it inward towards a more sustainable future.

Along the west side of town, they’re boulevarding, parkway-ing if  you will, the segment between the Buffalo Bayou and downtown.  This will probably have a more significant impact from a grid interconnectivity standpoint.

They’re also proposing to plow the new 45 alignment through a dreadful public housing project where they can then shift those affordable units to mixed-income developments near jobs and transit in the area between downtown/midtown without being isolated and concentrated in the current no-man’s land condition.  Right where affordable housing needs to be in order to provide humane living conditions and access to opportunity and the step ladder out of these residents’ current condition.


  • Oakclifbar

    Wait, I thought the traffic engineers at txdot were idiots that didn’t understand “complex” concepts like induced congestion, but here they are proposing the things you propose, kind of like the cf hawn tear down. How do you juggle so many conflicting theories at the same time? Maybe it’s the dunning-Kruger effect. Or maybe an urban planners skill set is limited to drawing squares on a grid and pontificating on theories they have no concept of, like complexity theory.

  • Walton

    Can we let the Mayor and City Council know of this plan when discussing 345, so they can see that other cool kids are doing this too? Its not just the hippie commie liberals of Portland or New York either, but real Texans are telling TxDot how they want their city to be.

  • WalkableWPB

    The title of the post: I see what you did there. Respect.