Monday, January 09, 2012

Homeless solution, GRB growth, #1 mfg, Metro and rail

The smaller misc items stacked up over the holidays:
"Our top ranked area, Houston, is one of only four regions that enjoyed net job growth in manufacturing in the past 10 years. This year its heavy manufacturing sector expanded by almost 5%. Houston’s industrial growth is no fluke; over the past year its overall job growth has been about the best among  all the nation’s major metros. 
Houston’s industrial success owes much to the city’s massive port and booming energy sector, says Bill Gilmer, senior economist at the Federal Reserve office of Dallas. “Houston is about energy — it’s about fabricated metals and machinery,” he says. “It’s oil service supply and petrochemicals. It’s all paced by a high price of oil and new technology that makes it more accessible.” 
This shift towards domestic energy augurs well for a huge and economically beneficial  shift in America’s  longer term economic prospects, he points out. Cheap natural gas, for example, makes petrochemical production in America more competitive than anyone could have imagined a decade ago. Linkages with Mexico in terms of energy as well as autos has made Texas — which is also home to No. 4 ranked San Antonio and No. 15 ranked Dallas — the nation’s primary export super-power, with current shipment 15% to 20% above pre-crisis levels."
Finally, Reason dissects LA's light rail system in this amusing video interviewing passengers on a ride from LAX to Burbank, while pointing out the huge per-rider taxpayer subsidies involved, how it has led to substantial under-investment in bus service, and the hardships that has caused for transit riders.  And unfortunately Metro seems to be on a similar path here, with ongoing cuts to bus service instead of the huge increase promised in the 2001 referendum.  Sadly, the poor, elderly, and transit-dependent suffer while we pat ourselves on the back as progressives for building light rail. Hat tip to Barry.

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At 2:52 PM, January 13, 2012, Blogger John Sterling said...

I thought of Houston's anemic downtown when I read this article about converting one way streets to two way traffic. I'm sure that simple change would help.


At 3:39 AM, January 15, 2012, Blogger Rail Claimore said...

^Downtown Houston has an unusually low number of two-way streets for a CBD. Usually there will be 2 or 3 in each orientation moderately spaced between a few pairs of one-way streets.


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