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Old 06-12-2007, 10:28 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,498,162 times
Reputation: 510

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
Texas cities do have a lot to offer...BUT (and this is coming from a born and raised Texan) they are simply too sprawling and auto-dependent for someone looking for an urban lifestyle.

Being a big city is not all about sky scrapers (although they are nice). Houston has bigger and more abundant sky scrapers than almost any city in Europe, but almost any city in Europe I would consider more urban and city-like than Houston. To me, a city is really about walkable neighborhoods and a community attitude. Texas cities just don't have that like cities in the Northeast, Chicago, or San Francisco.

It's sad because Texas cities could be and could have been so much more. Fifty plus years ago there was an extensive trolley system in Houston. People lived within a decent distance from downtown and it had a very urban feel to it. People had stores they could walk to and people took street cars around the city. Something that would resemble anything you would find in NYC, Chicago, or San Francisco. But while those cities kept their transit systems and expanded them, Texas cities ripped their's up. They sprawled, became dependent on the automobile, and the urban feeling of the city never was the same.

There are some really neat old buildings on the Northend of downtown Houston, for example. Historic, mid-rise brick buildings, some with really great architecture. But so many of them are abandoned! The downtown almost completely shuts down after 5pm. My friend lives in Midtown and I went down there to grab some food one day after 5 and there was nothing open! On the weekend downtown is deserted.

Again, it's sad because there is so much potential but Texas cities picked a different path and are now attempting a MUCH belated (and possibly futile) attempt to revive areas of their cities that have been neglected for a generation. I hope them the best, but knowing Texas's history and generally the attitude of people down there (especially in regards to public transit) I am not holding my breath.
First, let's be clear about the fact that there are still thousands of Houstonians that walk pretty much everywhere they go. Downtown may be a ghost town from 5 to 10, but there's midtown, which is fairly dense. Still, you make very good points. But while the European, urban look is not there, the urban attitude is. It's because of that I say that nobody can take away Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio's credibility as a real city.

Also, we shouldn't be so sure that people from northern cities are looking for that type of lifestyle down here. Some like Houston as is.

Now, we can agree that a lot of Houston's set up is suburban-ish, but what if over the years lightrail expanded even out into the suburbs? As far as saying that most people down here don't want to give up their cars, well, I think you've got to give them more credit than that. Me, for one, I love my car but I wouldn't mind using it less than I needed too. With gas prices going the way they are, who would mind? Plus, there are a lot of green people in the city. I have an idea that most would go for public transportation. Except for maybe the more "ritzy" part of Houston.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 392,576 times
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Commuter rail will reach three suburbs (Clear Lake area, Cypress, Sugar Land) in just a few years. That's a big start.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:45 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,498,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
Commuter rail will reach three suburbs (Clear Lake area, Cypress, Sugar Land) in just a few years. That's a big start.
Yeah, but how many stops per town? That's the question.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,760,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
Commuter rail will reach three suburbs (Clear Lake area, Cypress, Sugar Land) in just a few years. That's a big start.
And another three after that (Katy/Cinco Ranch, The Woodlands, and Kingwood).
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 392,576 times
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Yeah, but they won't happen before 2012 like the others will.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,760,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
As long as people know that the DFW MSA is bigger than the Houston MSA...I'm fine with Houston proper being bigger than Dallas proper...but it's just boundaries..DFW MSA is bigger than Houston MSA and ranks 4th in the nation behind NYC, LA, and Chicago MSA's
MSAs are also boundaries. Does anybody in Chicagoland think that Kenosha is part of Chicagoland? Some people define Chicagoland as Chicago and its ILLINOIS suburbs. Some add NW Indiana to that. Very few would add WI.

In the Census 20 years from now, they might add Rockford and Milwaukee metros to Chicagoland. You see its also boundaries. Everything is just boundaries. Sometimes it is not accurate. In reality, DFW would rank as the 6th largest MSA. Baltimore-Washington and SF-San Josť would rank larger if the MSA's were accurate.

Houston is going to overtake DFW for sure--it is only a matter of time. It is in Houston's best interest not to overtake Chicagoland. We'll treat you and the rest of Texas the way Chicagolanders treat downstaters.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,473 posts, read 14,969,563 times
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No, MSA does not have boundaries, they judge MSA's by commuting stats. The sphere of the Chicago area reaches Wisconsin. That's why there is talk of it being added to the metro. Just like here in DC, West Virginia is counted in it's MSA. Baltimore and DC are not MSA's. It's a CSA. SF-San Jose is also a CSA but should be an MSA, though because many people in San Jose work in San Francisco.

Houston-Galveston will take over DFW how? DFW has been growing faster than Houston-Galveston for nearly 20 years now. In fact, it's slowly widening the gap. DFW shows no sign of slowing down whatsoever. Their economy is diverse and the housing prices are cheap. And what exactly do you mean how Houston would treat the rest of Texas?
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,473 posts, read 14,969,563 times
Reputation: 5076
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post

Now, we can agree that a lot of Houston's set up is suburban-ish, but what if over the years lightrail expanded even out into the suburbs? As far as saying that most people down here don't want to give up their cars, well, I think you've got to give them more credit than that. Me, for one, I love my car but I wouldn't mind using it less than I needed too. With gas prices going the way they are, who would mind? Plus, there are a lot of green people in the city. I have an idea that most would go for public transportation. Except for maybe the more "ritzy" part of Houston.
Honestly, what does it matter that it expands into the suburbs. This is the one mistake and the only mistake I think Dallas made with it's light rail. Get all the lines you can in the city of Houston. Worry about the suburbs later. But Houston has a strong car culture. Just like LA which is also hassled for it's lack of rail transportation. No matter if you want to give it up a little, people from older more urban cities would live to give up their car period. You just cannot do tha in Houston. At least not yet. I would love to see it though.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 392,576 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
No, MSA does not have boundaries, they judge MSA's by commuting stats. The sphere of the Chicago area reaches Wisconsin. That's why there is talk of it being added to the metro. Just like here in DC, West Virginia is counted in it's MSA. Baltimore and DC are not MSA's. It's a CSA. SF-San Jose is also a CSA but should be an MSA, though because many people in San Jose work in San Francisco.

Houston-Galveston will take over DFW how? DFW has been growing faster than Houston-Galveston for nearly 20 years now. In fact, it's slowly widening the gap. DFW shows no sign of slowing down whatsoever. Their economy is diverse and the housing prices are cheap. And what exactly do you mean how Houston would treat the rest of Texas?
Well, no it hasn't. Dallas-Fort Worth use to be separate metros until just a few years ago (maybe 1990), I believe. It isn't widening the gap either, maybe closing it. Houston has been growing faster since about 2003, and the both flip-flop in yearly growth every year. I think DFW may always be that few hundred thousand ahead, but nothing larger than that.

But hell, Houston doesn't feel like Texas at all. I went back there this weekend (to Galveston), and it felt like "America". DFW feels straight up "Texan". When I was we were driving from Arlington to I-45 (along I-20), I was thinking "man, this REGION is big". We passed up all these different cities. Each with different police, street signage, etc. In Houston, I was more like "man, this CITY is big". I think Houston is in its own world (which I like). I wouldn't treat Texas any different no matter where I lived.

Anyway, end rant...
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:34 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,498,162 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Honestly, what does it matter that it expands into the suburbs. This is the one mistake and the only mistake I think Dallas made with it's light rail. Get all the lines you can in the city of Houston. Worry about the suburbs later. But Houston has a strong car culture. Just like LA which is also hassled for it's lack of rail transportation. No matter if you want to give it up a little, people from older more urban cities would live to give up their car period. You just cannot do tha in Houston. At least not yet. I would love to see it though.
In these days, I just don't see it this way. You would have to take a poll of an entire city to know exactly who-wants-what. How do you know that more than half of the city is only driving because they have no choice?
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