By Car, By Bus, By Rail

June 24, 2009

The Northwest Transit Center sits on the north west corner of the interchange. Fourteen routes pass through the transit center, from 4a.m. to 12.30p.m., going from the Sam Houston Tollway all the way to Downtown and the Magnolia Transit Center. As well as several shorter routes taking passengers through Memorial and the Galleria. Also, as noted before, Metro’s 2012 plan proposes a light rail line stop at the Northwest TC, connecting the site to the greater network of rail lines.

buss Map: transportation


Metro

Under Construction

June 23, 2009

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Here’s a collection of wonderful construction photographs of the I-10 / 610 interchange, courtesy of KatyFreeway.org

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Walkability

June 23, 2009

Walkability MapWalkscore.com ranks cities and neighborhoods on their walkability.  Here is a snapshot of our sites current levels of walkability- which is about average for Houston.

Jumping K-Rails

June 22, 2009

THOUGHTS ON OUR FIRST SITE VISIT

Existing Conditions

Once, when I was about 13 or 14, we had some massive flooding out in Humble. Highway 59 was totally under water starting just north of FM 1960 going almost all the way to Kingwood. We lived in a neighborhood right off of the highway and I remember wading out to the freeway with my cousin. We just sat there in the middle of this concrete speedway.  It was quite the experience. Remembering walking along the deserted highway always brings to my mind Stephen Vincent Benet’s short story, By The Waters of Babylon.  There was something powerful about being there, in that space, totally unprotected, small, and vulnerable. Maybe that is where this whole obsession started.

We made our first “official” site visit to our site on an early Sunday morning.  After consuming unhealthy amounts of caffeine, and recovering from the shock of finding other people actually awake at 7am on a Sunday, we made our way to the empty Northwest Transit Center Park and Ride. Read the rest of this entry »

The 610 West and I-10 interchange is the second busiest bottleneck in the nation, with 295,000 vehicles per day and 25,181 annual hours of delay. It is only second to LA’s Us-101 at I-405 with 318,000 vehicles per day and 27,144 annual hours of delay.
Here are the other 8 bottlenecks featured in the top ten of Worst Bottlenecks in the Nation:

bottlenecks

Source: American Highway Users Alliance

After a bit of research, I found out some exciting news about the Northwest Transit Center which is located on the north side of the 610 loop and I-10 intersection that happens to be our site.

Yesterday we talked about the importance of the transit center because of its location and the fact that it is a major point of exchange of people from all around the city. Well it just got even more important. It turns out that this center is the last stop on the new Uptown Metro line. This of course means that people from Memorial park, the Galleria, Westheimer, Richmond and more will be able to walk a couple of blocks and ride to our site with relative ease. The amount of people that will be able to visit our proposal increases dramatically with this vital connection.

The uptown rail is part of the new building program that Metro just started and is set for completion in 2012. If we look a little more ahead, Metro will eventually build the University line which will connect all of the light rail lines creating a network that will allow mobility to and from most of Houston’s major urban centers.

houston2012

IMAGE: Houston Metro’s light rail lines 2012

OffCite.org

Inevitable Dross

June 8, 2009

Cities produce waste, not unlike living organisms. Alan Berger advices us to accept the residual space that comes as a direct consequence of urban living, and embrace it as a possibility for innovative design.

“To expect a planned city to function without waste (such as in a cradle to cradle approach), which represents the in situ or exported excess not only in its growth but of its maintenance, is as a naïve as expecting an animal to thrive in a sensory deprivation tank. The challenge for designers is thus not to achieve drossless urbanization, but to integrate inevitable dross into more flexible aesthetic and design strategies.”


scan_Drosscape

PHOTO: Interchange Construction at Interstate Highways 610/10, Houston, TX

Drosscape

Highway Space in Use

June 7, 2009

Washington Street Skatepark

SKATEBOARDING THE UNDERPASS
Built in 1999 by a group of skaters, the Washington Street Skatepark is the first of its kind in San Diego. The skatepark is most interesting in that it was built on the residual space left along the edges of a highway underpass.

skatepark

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