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Author Topic: Austin, TX  (Read 52491 times)

Bobby5280

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #250 on: August 10, 2021, 01:47:29 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Certainly more demand that upgrading US-290 all the way to middle of nowhere I-10 with 900 AADT.

Congrats for missing/ignoring the points I made about the existing corridor earlier. Austin is certainly far more worthy to have an Interstate corridor going East and West of the city than freaking Killeen.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #251 on: August 10, 2021, 01:49:47 PM »

^ Looking at actual traffic demand and real figures… it says otherwise.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #252 on: August 10, 2021, 11:11:40 PM »

Again, you are ignoring my earlier points about the existing US-290 corridor going West of Austin being a pretty crappy route and the fact lots of people will drive out of the way to avoid taking such routes over a long distance. The population of the Killeen metro is a tiny fraction of the Austin metro's size. Any city with a 1 million residents just within its city limits alone (not to mention the rapidly growing suburbs) rates having at least one East-West Interstate going through the region.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #253 on: August 11, 2021, 01:18:14 PM »

The problem is looking at this as one corridor being "worthy" or it being "embarrassing" that a corridor isn't a full freeway/interstate. The Killeen area pols want this, the Austin area ones don't. Furthermore, the Killeen area politicians are districted to promote their constituents' interests, the Austin ones to ignore those interests.

So much of this discussion has been agitation over lines on a map simply to make the map pretty. It's silly.
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armadillo speedbump

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #254 on: August 11, 2021, 01:26:27 PM »

The problem is looking at this as one corridor being "worthy" or it being "embarrassing" that a corridor isn't a full freeway/interstate. The Killeen area pols want this, the Austin area ones don't. Furthermore, the Killeen area politicians are districted to promote their constituents' interests, the Austin ones to ignore those interests.

So much of this discussion has been agitation over lines on a map simply to make the map pretty. It's silly.

Exactly.

Plus once built, much of Austin (and Houston) will use parts of I-14 to reach Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and of course Midland and San Angelo. 

(Though I'd prefer my usual incremental 4-lane, bypass, expressway for cost savings approach.)
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TheBox

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #255 on: August 23, 2021, 01:41:20 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 01:43:27 PM by TheBox »
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #256 on: August 23, 2021, 02:10:28 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?

I remember reading that there had been a plan in the 1970s to extend I-27 to Houston via Abilene and Temple (with the Northwest Freeway as the final leg). The Brenham bypass may have been designed with these plans in mind.
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longhorn

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #257 on: August 24, 2021, 05:59:02 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?

Glad they built it out, 36 needed in that little stretch.

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1756166,-96.4238187,3a,75y,205.95h,77.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sWnYhjr9erSZkaePBvN5AfA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

In the past 15 years TXDot has made 195 a two lane divided road between Killeen and Georgetown and yet nothing done to 290. Must be alot small towns that are influential and do not want to be left behind by a 290 reroute outside of their towns.
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AcE_Wolf_287

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #258 on: August 27, 2021, 02:05:44 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?

I remember reading that there had been a plan in the 1970s to extend I-27 to Houston via Abilene and Temple (with the Northwest Freeway as the final leg). The Brenham bypass may have been designed with these plans in mind.

that could work out, but i don't think its necessary for I-27 to go that way, maybe down along US 83 to laredo... anyways a 3di bypass or spur in the Austin area would work perfectly instead of a whole new 2di insterstate... it wouldve been better if the useless I-14 ran through west-east through the area
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #259 on: August 27, 2021, 02:06:58 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?

I remember reading that there had been a plan in the 1970s to extend I-27 to Houston via Abilene and Temple (with the Northwest Freeway as the final leg). The Brenham bypass may have been designed with these plans in mind.

that could work out, but i don't think its necessary for I-27 to go that way, maybe down along US 83 to laredo... anyways a 3di bypass or spur in the Austin area would work perfectly instead of a whole new 2di insterstate... it wouldve been better if the useless I-14 ran through west-east through the area

The plans don't exist anymore.
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bwana39

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #260 on: August 27, 2021, 04:07:04 PM »

Still wondering what made and why was TX-36 at Brenham so important that they bothered making it the other half of the limited access bypass expressway there, instead of all of it being US-290?

I remember reading that there had been a plan in the 1970s to extend I-27 to Houston via Abilene and Temple (with the Northwest Freeway as the final leg). The Brenham bypass may have been designed with these plans in mind.

The towns that wanted loops in the Bush, Clinton, and Bush eras got them. Palestine has a loop. Lufkin got a loop. Athens got a loop, Some of them already lost their ability for freeway usage, but they are there.  You know why we have 35 MPH traffic through towns on US-59 and US-287? The local powers that be fought the loops.  The feeling on the local front was that the local small business would be forced out of business and supplanted by regional or national chains. Two things happened and have rendered it moot. Local businesses allowed their property to degrade and regional and national chains came anyway. 

The single outlet retail store was nearly nonexistent during the 00's and 10's.Outside the convenience store segment, there is a mild resurgence of single outlet retailers, but they tend to be specialty stores and they can only exist because rents are down somewhat because retail stores are becoming fewer and fewer.
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sparker

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #261 on: August 27, 2021, 09:32:28 PM »

The problem is looking at this as one corridor being "worthy" or it being "embarrassing" that a corridor isn't a full freeway/interstate. The Killeen area pols want this, the Austin area ones don't. Furthermore, the Killeen area politicians are districted to promote their constituents' interests, the Austin ones to ignore those interests.

So much of this discussion has been agitation over lines on a map simply to make the map pretty. It's silly.

Exactly.

Plus once built, much of Austin (and Houston) will use parts of I-14 to reach Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and of course Midland and San Angelo. 

(Though I'd prefer my usual incremental 4-lane, bypass, expressway for cost savings approach.)

Chances are that if/when I-14 is built through or around Lampasas, a limited-access facility along US 183, tolled or free, will be deployed north to interchange with it.  It probably won't receive (or even be considered) for Interstate status, but it'll perform a similar function to what Toll 249 will do farther east -- connect the mostly rural I-14 corridor directly to a major city.

And when the I-14 backing legislators and TxDOT cobbled up the corridor, they bought into it as a standardized Interstate route -- no Midwest-type expressway unless that were to be an interim configuration during the development process.  But the alternate mixed concept may well find its way to TX anyway: it's possible -- even likely -- that the non-I-27 portions of the P2P corridor will be built to a combination freeway/expressway configuration -- freeway bypasses around significant towns, interchanges at major intersecting highways, and expressway segments with at-grade intersections in between.   
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mrose

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #262 on: August 28, 2021, 02:52:39 AM »

A Houston-Austin interstate corridor has always felt like a no-brainer to me, and I always thought any theoretical I-14 that came about would be tailor-made for this corridor. Building a long distance corridor 50-60 miles north of this and only touching the College Station area is rather head-scratching to me.

I think the western part and linking it into the Port-to-Plains system does make some sense though.
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sparker

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #263 on: August 28, 2021, 03:09:22 AM »

A Houston-Austin interstate corridor has always felt like a no-brainer to me, and I always thought any theoretical I-14 that came about would be tailor-made for this corridor. Building a long distance corridor 50-60 miles north of this and only touching the College Station area is rather head-scratching to me.

I think the western part and linking it into the Port-to-Plains system does make some sense though.


As the cliche' goes, ya gotta be in it to win it!.  Activists from San Angelo, Killeen, Temple and B/SC wanted I-14 to serve them and acted on that; so far no party from Austin has posited anything similar regarding a corridor toward Houston.  Our TX and environs poster contingent could supply -- and have done so on many occasions -- a multitude of reasons why this situation has occurred.     
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #264 on: August 29, 2021, 10:50:20 AM »

The idea that highway corridors will only be built in areas where power brokers behave like bigger whores than anyone else is truly groan-inducing. Most of the proposed I-14 corridor would be a giant waste of money. The segments inside the Triangle between I-35 and I-45 and perhaps the leg between Midland and San Angelo (also part of proposed I-27W) are only portions that have any legit reasons to be built. The rest of it is PORK.

Even with there being an organizational effort to promote I-14 any new projects outside the Copperas Cove-Killeen-Belton area will be very difficult to complete. Anything new is going to proceed far more slowly than what we're seeing with I-69 in Texas. I would only expect new I-14 mileage to get built inside the Triangle for the foreseeable future. Lampasas might have an outside shot at getting a new freeway bypass or loop built since it is at the junction of US-281 and US-190. But that probably won't happen for a very long time. Efforts to improve US-281 as a relief route for I-35 might do more to get a freeway going through Lampasas than I-14.

Meanwhile the Austin region is still growing. Traffic counts along US-290 and TX-71 are going to keep going up, likely at much higher levels than US-190. At some point the actual functions of the highway network will take priority over political whore-ism.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #265 on: August 29, 2021, 12:49:47 PM »

^ That stretch of US-190 has volumes that are only slightly less than the US-290 or SH-71 figures. There’s certainly demand on that corridor to at least something more than a jagged 2 lane road.

Certainly more demand that upgrading US-290 all the way to middle of nowhere I-10 with 900 AADT.
And for the record, the build it, they will come argument seems moot when you consider I-10 dips down to a mere 4,000 AADT west of Fort Stockton. Not seeing where all this freight movement is coming from.

And how much of the 15,000 AADT (clearly not all long haul to El Paso traffic) east of the western US-290 split that remains on I-10 is truly continuing to Houston? There’s San Antonio, I-37 South to Corpus Christi and the Valley, etc…

I don’t think much would change if you upgraded it for the “big picture”, given these facts.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 12:53:13 PM by sprjus4 »
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sparker

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #266 on: August 30, 2021, 04:42:01 AM »

The idea that highway corridors will only be built in areas where power brokers behave like bigger whores than anyone else is truly groan-inducing. Most of the proposed I-14 corridor would be a giant waste of money. The segments inside the Triangle between I-35 and I-45 and perhaps the leg between Midland and San Angelo (also part of proposed I-27W) are only portions that have any legit reasons to be built. The rest of it is PORK.

Even with there being an organizational effort to promote I-14 any new projects outside the Copperas Cove-Killeen-Belton area will be very difficult to complete. Anything new is going to proceed far more slowly than what we're seeing with I-69 in Texas. I would only expect new I-14 mileage to get built inside the Triangle for the foreseeable future. Lampasas might have an outside shot at getting a new freeway bypass or loop built since it is at the junction of US-281 and US-190. But that probably won't happen for a very long time. Efforts to improve US-281 as a relief route for I-35 might do more to get a freeway going through Lampasas than I-14.

Meanwhile the Austin region is still growing. Traffic counts along US-290 and TX-71 are going to keep going up, likely at much higher levels than US-190. At some point the actual functions of the highway network will take priority over political whore-ism.
^ That stretch of US-190 has volumes that are only slightly less than the US-290 or SH-71 figures. There’s certainly demand on that corridor to at least something more than a jagged 2 lane road.

Certainly more demand that upgrading US-290 all the way to middle of nowhere I-10 with 900 AADT.
And for the record, the build it, they will come argument seems moot when you consider I-10 dips down to a mere 4,000 AADT west of Fort Stockton. Not seeing where all this freight movement is coming from.

And how much of the 15,000 AADT (clearly not all long haul to El Paso traffic) east of the western US-290 split that remains on I-10 is truly continuing to Houston? There’s San Antonio, I-37 South to Corpus Christi and the Valley, etc…

I don’t think much would change if you upgraded it for the “big picture”, given these facts.

I-14 is as much a developmental route as anything else, regardless of which section (West Texas or Triangle) you're talking about.  The Triangle-based backers, being farther along with their plans (even to the extent of laying out a "I-214" loop around the BSC area) will almost certainly see implementation before anything west of Copperas Cove with the exception of the M/O-to-San-Angelo section, a most useful "SIU" for the whole corridor.  In that respect, the comments in the above post are somewhat prescient; the more warranted sections will in all likelihood be built first.  But West Texas folks are probably looking past their present oil-based economy; if burning the stuff domestically will be rare (despite the efforts of some regional politicos) in 30 years or so, using it to manufacture plastic or other chemicals won't take up much of the loss, so they'll need other things to perk up the economy -- and providing locations for that alternate activity will take precedence.  Thus the I-14 and P2P push -- at least the construction efforts will provide some work over a couple of decades.  Whether that'll work or not is a matter for future analysts -- right now the local boosters and legislative representatives at both the state and national level want to churn the pot.  Ironically, it's not only urban activists citing induced demand as a byproduct of roadbuilding, it's these same folks touting the developmental capabilities of new/upgraded freeway facilities -- in fact, they're counting on induced demand to work its magic and somehow provide the traffic flow that is supposed to not only keep the region viable but also attract prospective employers to deploy new places for the population to work.  In reality it's a pretty tall order -- but it's also one of the few things that provides a modicum of hope to an area that, according to the just-released census maps, is either static or declining in population.  They may indeed be developmental whores -- but in their own minds they're the proverbial "whores with hearts of gold", hoping to jump-start a sputtering regional economy.

The segment of I-10 from Junction west to I-20 has always been a low-AADT corridor (I've always wondered why I-10 wasn't routed through San Angelo to join I-20 at M/O; the population base is greater and S.A. also had Goodfellow AFB); that situation has been exacerbated in recent years by the increased importance of DFW as a major distribution hub (for both rail and road commerce), so more and more truck traffic shifts to I-20 at the split in recent years.  IMO, the retention of US 190 west of Brady as "I-14S" is a purely political "make-work" concept; it'll likely be the last section of that corridor to be developed, if at all. 
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #267 on: August 30, 2021, 04:19:30 PM »

The idea that highway corridors will only be built in areas where power brokers behave like bigger whores than anyone else is truly groan-inducing. Most of the proposed I-14 corridor would be a giant waste of money. The segments inside the Triangle between I-35 and I-45 and perhaps the leg between Midland and San Angelo (also part of proposed I-27W) are only portions that have any legit reasons to be built. The rest of it is PORK.

Even with there being an organizational effort to promote I-14 any new projects outside the Copperas Cove-Killeen-Belton area will be very difficult to complete. Anything new is going to proceed far more slowly than what we're seeing with I-69 in Texas. I would only expect new I-14 mileage to get built inside the Triangle for the foreseeable future. Lampasas might have an outside shot at getting a new freeway bypass or loop built since it is at the junction of US-281 and US-190. But that probably won't happen for a very long time. Efforts to improve US-281 as a relief route for I-35 might do more to get a freeway going through Lampasas than I-14.

Meanwhile the Austin region is still growing. Traffic counts along US-290 and TX-71 are going to keep going up, likely at much higher levels than US-190. At some point the actual functions of the highway network will take priority over political whore-ism.
^ That stretch of US-190 has volumes that are only slightly less than the US-290 or SH-71 figures. There’s certainly demand on that corridor to at least something more than a jagged 2 lane road.

Certainly more demand that upgrading US-290 all the way to middle of nowhere I-10 with 900 AADT.
And for the record, the build it, they will come argument seems moot when you consider I-10 dips down to a mere 4,000 AADT west of Fort Stockton. Not seeing where all this freight movement is coming from.

And how much of the 15,000 AADT (clearly not all long haul to El Paso traffic) east of the western US-290 split that remains on I-10 is truly continuing to Houston? There’s San Antonio, I-37 South to Corpus Christi and the Valley, etc…

I don’t think much would change if you upgraded it for the “big picture”, given these facts.

I-14 is as much a developmental route as anything else, regardless of which section (West Texas or Triangle) you're talking about.  The Triangle-based backers, being farther along with their plans (even to the extent of laying out a "I-214" loop around the BSC area) will almost certainly see implementation before anything west of Copperas Cove with the exception of the M/O-to-San-Angelo section, a most useful "SIU" for the whole corridor.  In that respect, the comments in the above post are somewhat prescient; the more warranted sections will in all likelihood be built first.  But West Texas folks are probably looking past their present oil-based economy; if burning the stuff domestically will be rare (despite the efforts of some regional politicos) in 30 years or so, using it to manufacture plastic or other chemicals won't take up much of the loss, so they'll need other things to perk up the economy -- and providing locations for that alternate activity will take precedence.  Thus the I-14 and P2P push -- at least the construction efforts will provide some work over a couple of decades.  Whether that'll work or not is a matter for future analysts -- right now the local boosters and legislative representatives at both the state and national level want to churn the pot.  Ironically, it's not only urban activists citing induced demand as a byproduct of roadbuilding, it's these same folks touting the developmental capabilities of new/upgraded freeway facilities -- in fact, they're counting on induced demand to work its magic and somehow provide the traffic flow that is supposed to not only keep the region viable but also attract prospective employers to deploy new places for the population to work.  In reality it's a pretty tall order -- but it's also one of the few things that provides a modicum of hope to an area that, according to the just-released census maps, is either static or declining in population.  They may indeed be developmental whores -- but in their own minds they're the proverbial "whores with hearts of gold", hoping to jump-start a sputtering regional economy.

The segment of I-10 from Junction west to I-20 has always been a low-AADT corridor (I've always wondered why I-10 wasn't routed through San Angelo to join I-20 at M/O; the population base is greater and S.A. also had Goodfellow AFB); that situation has been exacerbated in recent years by the increased importance of DFW as a major distribution hub (for both rail and road commerce), so more and more truck traffic shifts to I-20 at the split in recent years.  IMO, the retention of US 190 west of Brady as "I-14S" is a purely political "make-work" concept; it'll likely be the last section of that corridor to be developed, if at all. 

This also points to why nobody in Austin is pushing for an interstate connection to Houston - as far as they're concerned, the intercity infrastructure they have is working just fine. Maybe a high-speed rail connection will be nice, but as far as freeways go, the biggest question is what to do about the urban and regional projects that have been proposed.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #268 on: August 30, 2021, 04:52:30 PM »

If they only care about intercity infrastructure then why would they push for HSR which would be harder and costlier than a freeway? Any city leader than can’t see beyond infrastructure in the city is someone I believe should take a course to understand why regional mobility/infrastructure is just as important.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #269 on: August 30, 2021, 04:59:04 PM »

If they only care about intercity infrastructure then why would they push for HSR which would be harder and costlier than a freeway? Any city leader than can’t see beyond infrastructure in the city is someone I believe should take a course to understand why regional mobility/infrastructure is just as important.

1. Intercity infrastructure is controlled by TxDOT
2. TxDOT is largely controlled by representatives from the two near-megacities in Greater Houston and the DFW Metroplex.
3. Austin rarely gets what it seeks from the state due to partisan politics
4. Given these constraints, it's wiser to focus on the projects you can control, rather than ones you can't.
5. The status quo provides minimal hindrance on mobility to and from Houston (there are two 75 mph routes between the cities). Only roadgeeks who think that any two major cities should have an interstate shield between them actually care about this, and it's not coming from a largely rational place.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #270 on: August 30, 2021, 05:01:55 PM »

If they only care about intercity infrastructure then why would they push for HSR which would be harder and costlier than a freeway? Any city leader than can’t see beyond infrastructure in the city is someone I believe should take a course to understand why regional mobility/infrastructure is just as important.

1. Intercity infrastructure is controlled by TxDOT
2. TxDOT is largely controlled by representatives from the two near-megacities in Greater Houston and the DFW Metroplex.
3. Austin rarely gets what it seeks from the state due to partisan politics
4. Given these constraints, it's wiser to focus on the projects you can control, rather than ones you can't.
5. The status quo provides minimal hindrance on mobility to and from Houston (there are two 75 mph routes between the cities). Only roadgeeks who think that any two major cities should have an interstate shield between them actually care about this, and it's not coming from a largely rational place.
I understand all of that but I was responding to your perception of how Austin city leaders think. I am solely basing my criticisms of them from what you said as I don’t know jack squat about Austin or its leaders other than the city leans blue.
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #271 on: August 30, 2021, 05:31:35 PM »

If they only care about intercity infrastructure then why would they push for HSR which would be harder and costlier than a freeway? Any city leader than can’t see beyond infrastructure in the city is someone I believe should take a course to understand why regional mobility/infrastructure is just as important.

1. Intercity infrastructure is controlled by TxDOT
2. TxDOT is largely controlled by representatives from the two near-megacities in Greater Houston and the DFW Metroplex.
3. Austin rarely gets what it seeks from the state due to partisan politics
4. Given these constraints, it's wiser to focus on the projects you can control, rather than ones you can't.
5. The status quo provides minimal hindrance on mobility to and from Houston (there are two 75 mph routes between the cities). Only roadgeeks who think that any two major cities should have an interstate shield between them actually care about this, and it's not coming from a largely rational place.
I understand all of that but I was responding to your perception of how Austin city leaders think. I am solely basing my criticisms of them from what you said as I don’t know jack squat about Austin or its leaders other than the city leans blue.

They would push for HSR because it would support the local economy (tech, green energy), it would be likely to get federal funding, and it would be harder to oppose locally.

Austin's in a unique position in that its surrounding region largely despises it (though they love the jobs and money it brings in). They have to aggressively advocate for local concerns because nobody else will.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #272 on: August 30, 2021, 05:40:14 PM »

I’m not buying the federal government funding HSR while Texas is trying to the first leg built. I definitely don’t buy it’d be an easier sell than an interstate connection.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #273 on: August 30, 2021, 08:57:59 PM »

2. TxDOT is largely controlled by representatives from the two near-megacities in Greater Houston and the DFW Metroplex.
3. Austin rarely gets what it seeks from the state due to partisan politics

Statement #2 has not been true for the Texas Transportation Commission for at least 15 years. Current Chairman Bruce Bugg is strongly running the commission. He is from San Antonio has been the Chairman since 2017. He is getting the big projects in San Antonio like Loop 1604 and the IH-35 managed lanes done. Previous chairpersons going back to 2004 have been from Odessa, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and Weatherford. The current Houston representative Laura Ryan is mainly focused on highway safety. Current DFW representative Robert Vaughn is minimally involved in commission action. Commissioner Alvin New from San Angelo is very active in promoting projects in West Texas. https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/administration/commission.html

There have been some situations where statement 3 was true, but you can look at the Central Texas Turnpike system (SH 130 and SH 45) as a good example of things getting done in Austin, albeit tolled. The Oak Hill Y project (non-tolled) just getting started is over $700 million. If the planned $5 billion IH-35 project proceeds in its entirety, Austin will get way more than its fair share of statewide funding.

Bobby5280

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Re: Austin, TX
« Reply #274 on: August 31, 2021, 12:24:25 AM »

One point that appears to be going over at least a few heads: more people than just residents of Austin have to drive between Austin and Houston. That includes a growing amount of commercial traffic. And the amount of commercial traffic is really going to shoot up as the Austin region attracts more giant-size distribution centers and factories.

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
I’m not buying the federal government funding HSR while Texas is trying to the first leg built. I definitely don’t buy it’d be an easier sell than an interstate connection.

High speed rail in America is an insanely costly pipe dream. The cost of building a new Interstate highway is a mere fraction of what HSR costs. We're talking tens of billions of dollars for just a couple or so hundred miles of rail. It's ridiculous.

On top of that HSR in most parts of the US wouldn't work all that well. Aside from the oldest American cities in the Northeast Corridor most urban areas are very spread out. HSR works reasonably well in parts of Asia and Europe because many of those cities are densely packed. And they're augmented by a lot of slower speed passenger rail systems. Everyone knows Japan has the "bullet train" -aka the Shinkansen. But that nation is also vastly connected by a secondary rail network. And they have plenty of subways, light rail lines and even trolleys. Most people in Japan don't have to travel far at all to reach a standard train station. In Japan it's not hard to travel from a small town to a big city by train. The same is not true at all in the United States.

American cities are spread-out, especially those in the South and Southwest. You gotta have a personal vehicle. Life is a pain in the @$$ without one. So even if proposed HSR routes in Texas, California and elsewhere could get built it would be a long shot for the trains to attract high ridership numbers. High speed rail networks also cannot function properly without a well developed secondary passenger rail network. The US doesn't have such a thing. American HSR customers would have to drive to some HSR train station in or near a downtown urban center and a pay a fortune to park there. And for what? To take a train a couple hundreds miles? It would probably be easier, cheaper and maybe ultimately faster to just keep driving. Once automobile travel took off in popularity in the US a lot of small town train stations started closing. Many routes were discontinued. Over the past 30 or so years the US has been removing far more rail lines than it has been building.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 12:28:53 AM by Bobby5280 »
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