Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On-time flights, VC for Houston, and other misc items

A few minor miscellaneous items to roll into one post:
  • Bush IAH ranked second in the nation for on-time departures in 2005: 85%. A nice amenity for our city that should be attractive to businesses.
  • Bush IAH ranked a very respectable fifth in the nation for on-time arrivals in 2005: 81.5%. Certainly beats the heck out of the bottom-dwelling NY airports, where a third of flights are late.
  • Venture capital investments moved up in Houston in 2005 to $163 million, vs. $108m in 2004. Lots of energy and life sciences deals. Unfortunately, we're still well behind Austin and Dallas, which are both over $400m for the year, but we're definitely in the "up-and-coming" category.
  • An ego link. Tom Kirkendall has nice things to say about me and not-so-nice things to say about the Las Vegas monorail, which seems to be hemorrhaging money. My thoughts are in his comments.
  • A pretty comprehensive study disputes the sprawl-obesity link. (thanks to Len Gilroy at Reason for the tip)
  • AP and Drudge have picked up on the story of Chief Hurtt proposing security cameras for Houston.


At 1:37 AM, February 22, 2006, Blogger John Whiteside said...

Re Sprawl and Weight - I'm writing this from a Paris suburb, and was just wondering on my own blog if it's all the walking here that makes it possible for Parisians to eat endless cheese and bread and not get as fat as Americans.

One observation: the walking culture here extends into the suburbs; each evening when I return here from central Paris I'm amazed by how many people are not just riding the bus from the last Metro stop out into the burbs, but using it to get around between a couple of towns out here. And how many people are strolling up and down the main streets of those towns.

Having lived in dense northeastern cities most of my life, I'd also observe that the walking culture doesn't extend into most US cities to the extent it seems to here; when I lived in DC I drove to a suburban job, drove to suburban shopping, etc., simply because amenities in most American cities are poorly developed compared to European cities.

These observations prove nothing, but I wonder if the study is flawed simply because American style sprawl exerts an influence on everyone in a metro area (and European dense development does the same in the suburbs as well as cities).

Food for thought...

At 6:15 AM, February 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Houston VC. I had always heard that the Houston community had access to a lot of pools of capital among private individuals that set back the development of a "mature" VC scene. The E&Y survey may systematically understate the amount of entrepreneurial capital available to Houston start-ups.

At 7:24 PM, February 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a tangent... Have toll moveable sidewalks ever been tried? I recently took a job in the Houston Center complex which is several blocks from Travis and Milam where the main bus traffic goes. I'd be willing to pay for a movable sidewalk that could take me at 5-10 mph unobstructed to a central bus station. Maybe they could run up and down Milam or Travis as well so that the park and ride buses wouldn't have to stop every 2-3 blocks. Just an idea.

At 9:36 PM, February 22, 2006, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Toll moveable sidewalks? Now that's a creative idea. Major problem: they don't do well exposed to the elements, and if you're enclosing them, then you have to question how much sidewalk or tunnel space is left.

I've personally wondered if there's a way to make ski lifts or aerial gondolas work over short distances in cities. I imagine safety and loading/unloading labor would be problematic.

At 12:18 PM, February 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a tangent to the tangent, see:


It's pretty neat, but of little relevance to Houston...



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