Houston movie, sweatiest city, Census ranking, airport rail failure, TTC speed limits, TSU railTwo thumbs-up for "Hot Town, Cool City". A whole new perspective on our hometown that will make you proud. A completely full River Oaks theater broke out into spontaneous applause at multiple points throughout the movie. Keep an eye out for it on DVD, probably through the web site.
It's been a long day and week, so just a few miscellaneous pass-alongs tonight.
- Houston is again saved this year from being named America's Sweatiest City, which seems to be a competition between Phoenix and Miami.
- New Census release with metro population numbers. Houston has steadily moved from 10th largest metro in 1990 to #8 in 2000 (passing Detroit and Boston) and #7 in 2005 (passing DC). We had the 5th-most population numeric-addition from 2004 to 2005 at 103K. We have a good shot at #6 by 2010 (pass Miami) and top five by 2020 (pass Philly).
- A USA Today blog post on how BART rail transit to the San Francisco airport has fallen far short of ridership expectations. Here's my thinking on airport rail from a comment on an earlier post:
I'm not a fan at all of rail to the airports. Astronomically expensive for very low ridership. Express shuttles to the new intermodal center make much more sense.
It's not just the multiple job centers that are a problem. Here's why they don't get many riders: business travelers want convenience and don't care about the cost, so they either pay for parking (outbound) or use a taxi or rent car (inbound). Leisure travelers are usually couples or families, and they either load up the car with luggage and head out there (or get dropped off), or, inbound, they get picked up by friends or family locally. Who wants to manage a family with children and luggage on transit? When you get down to it, the only people who drag luggage on to transit for the long slog to or from the airport are young singles with little money for other options and no friends willing to give them a ride. It's a very, very tiny percentage of fliers.
- Kuff on the Trans-Texas Corridor speed limit debate. The private operator will pay the state more if it can get higher speed limits to better compete with I35. Erik doesn't think it will quite become the "Texas Autobahn," but it might get close.
- Finally, don't miss Christof's excellent arguments for making sure the new Universities light rail line is well integrated with both the TSU and UH campuses. Part 1. Part2.