Debating "No Limits", our traffic is better than you think, DFW vs. Houston rail, F500 HQs, and more
The backlog of smaller misc items is getting a bit out of control, so here we go...
- After my post last week on the No Limits branding campaign for Houston, the Urbanophile weighed in with his more negative opinion. While I agree it’s a bit generic, that’s all it needs to be. People all over the country know there are jobs here, and they’re getting offers if they’ll move here, they’re just wary of the quality of life. This campaign is designed to overcome negative stereotypes and alleviate that fear, not carve a distinctive brand (as cool as that would be). I’m also going to disagree a bit too on the lack of playing up opportunity here: "No Limits" is definitely a message implying the levels of opportunity here. I don’t think you could use the same brand with a straight face with another generic, stagnant, mid-size city.
- Dug Begley at the Chronicle does a good job articulating contrasting approaches to rail by Dallas and Houston. Although I think we've made mistakes, I think we've definitely done a better job than Dallas by getting half their ridership with only a seventh of their track mileage. We've been more prudent with our dollars and routings, and used the much more flexible and inexpensive Park-and-Ride HOV express buses for commuters instead of trying to make commuter rail work in a decentralized city with dozen major job centers.
- Forbes ranks Houston America's #1 industrial boomtown while LA, Chicago, and the northeast continue to decline.
- Bagby Street reconstruction project won a CNU award last week for Best Street. I live on it, and I have to admit they did a pretty impressive job. Let's hope it serves as a model for a lot of other street reconstructions around Houston.
- Luxury bus service starts between Dallas and Austin. Looks like a great service, but I'm concerned about the high pricing vs. Megabus...
- Christof Spieler of the METRO Board explains the thinking behind the METRO bus system re-imagining plan, once with better graphics and elsewhere with better bullet points.
- The Antiplanner dissects Austin's horrible light rail plan.
- We're only the 14th most congested metro in the U.S., which is not bad for being the 5th largest metro area. A lot of smaller metros are worse than us.
- Houston is home to half of the Fortune 500 companies in Texas. Take that, Dallas, who even gets credit for the Exxon HQ even though it only has a few hundred employees vs. 10,000 on the campus here. And we're #2 nationally behind NYC.
- Texas and Houston both get an A+ for small business friendliness by Governing magazine.
- Finally, the new June Houston Economy at a Glance newsletter from the GHP is up if you'd like to take a look, including details on our recent growth, exports, employment, and airport traffic. United has pulled back since the Continental merger, but other international airlines have been pushing into IAH in a big way to make up the difference.
Labels: costs of congestion, economy, governance, headquarters, identity, infrastructure, Metro, mobility strategies, quality of place, rail, rankings