Sunday, December 16, 2012

Texas ain't France, Brits do Houston, TX vs. world, fastest growth, premium toll lanes, and more

Continuing with the leftover misc items from last week...
Finally, enjoy this video of British travel expert Simon Calder exploring Houston in 48 hours for The Independent in the UK.

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5 Comments:

At 8:27 PM, December 16, 2012, Anonymous Rich Robins said...

Thanks as always, Tory, for sharing that information. By the way, does Texas really need to let the spendthrift ways of Washington D.C.

http://www.USDebtClock.org

bring us further down, economically? We could become even more of an economic powerhouse if we abolish D.C.'s ability to impose on us its federal income taxation (which didn't even exist before 1913). Who wouldn't like to finally get to opt-out of the Ponzi Scheme known as Social Security? It's already bankrupt and even as they keep increasing the minimum retirement age, we'll also be means-tested out of collecting by the time we're otherwise eligible.

Might anyone here be interested to know that the Texas Nationalist Movement's Facebook page is growing by typically over a thousand new Likes per day:

http://www.facebook.com/texasnatmov

TNM's total quantity of Like already dwarfs the quantity of Likes for the Facebook pages for the Texas Democrats OR the Texas Republicans, by the way.

Texas Secession's details are analytically addressed here:

http://www.texasnationalist.com/index.php/question-a-answers

I would like to invite anyone who is interested to call into Monday night's show and ask questions:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/texasnationalist/2012/12/18/tnm-this-week

Who predicted that the Berlin Wall or the USSR would fall, until they did? These are potentially exciting times... :-)

 
At 5:18 PM, December 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before they put in premium toll lanes on the West Belt, how about some elevated toll lanes on the West Loop or ANY kind of through express lanes? There would be no exits between Bellaire and 290. Through traffic ONLY.

 
At 5:26 PM, December 17, 2012, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I completely agree with that. 610W needs some elevated express lanes.

 
At 11:41 AM, December 21, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before the implement premium toll lanes on Beltway 8, I think they should price the non-EZ Tag lanes out of existence.

These non-EZ Tag lanes:
-cause delays (therefore cost $) for EZ tag drivers
-slow all traffic, and since traffic speeds are slowed, HCTRA can collect less revenue per hour from EZ tag drivers. Therefore, it is costing HCTRA money. If rush hour traffic speeds were increased, I believe some people not currently using the Sam would start using the Sam.
-are a safety hazard, especially at the North collection plaza. Unfortunately, it's not that rare to hear about a truck crashing into stopped cars.
-Are the main limitation to widening the tollway in terms of ROW. "South" tollbooth (just north of Westheimer) has 18 total lanes of toll collection, with 6 EZ tag and 12 non-EZ tag. There are 6 feeder lanes. It appears there is exactly ZERO ROW remaining to expand here. The North tollbooth has some ROW remaining only if they relocate their employee parking lot and build a tunnel under the feeder. However, it has fewer toll lanes to begin with: 14 toll lanes and 6 feeder lanes.

Here's what I'm wondering: is there some stipulation that HCTRA has to keep the normal cash lanes? If not, could they be asked to increase prices in the most congested areas (the three areas on the west side of BW 8), with the goal of removing all cash lanes by, let's say, 1/1/2016? We could make it a point of local pride, saying the Houston is or should be at the forefront, and not rely on old technology. After all, we were one of the earliest agencies with any pass-through tolling, and the first with a fully automated tollroad...etc. etc.

Do you know anyone that could answer these questions?

 
At 11:56 AM, December 21, 2012, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I have forwarded your comment to an old contact I have at HCTRA. Will let you know if they respond (if they don't respond here).

I agree with you about the cash lanes at rush hour. Kinda blows my mind that many people don't get ez-tags. I don't think there's anything stopping them from going all ez-tag, other than potential lost revenue, which might be large. I do like the idea of increasing the cash price more to encourage more people to move to ez-tag.

 

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