Reason TV features Houston, Portland vs. Austin rail, hurricane protection, greenways gamechanger, fast tech and fast cars in TexasThis week's items:
- Texas #1 in tech job growth rankings.
- Texas has the highest average posted highway speeds in the nation. Nice.
- xkcd does a pretty cool graphic on the worst hurricane to hit each part of the country. As you can see, Katrina and Ike dominate pretty wide swaths. But then you can see large parts of the coast where it has been decades since their big hurricane, which I think partially explains the slow response to proposals like the Ike Dike - fearful memory of these events can fade quickly and it can be a long time until the next "big one", so people and politicians get complacent. We've got to find a way to keep up the political will to make the Ike Dike happen. It will pay for itself with a single even semi-direct hit.
- The Austin American Statesman does an in-depth piece on the pros and cons of light rail in Portland and what lessons Austin might learn. I think it does a reasonable job on balance, but I do think they left out a major factor: Austin’s summer heat and what that does to the misery of walking, biking, and transit. It's also worth pointing out that the rail feature pointed out by the Intel employee they interview - he can work productively vs. driving - also applies just as well to bus service, including express commuter buses.
- National coverage on how the bayou greenways initiative here is a gamechanger for Houston.