Monday, August 19, 2019

Flooding plan, faster cheaper Ike Dike, new MetroNext video, bad fad road diets, good gentrification, and more

A lot of items in the backlog this week, and I'm on vacation next week so probably won't have time to post, so here's your two-weeks worth! ;-)
"Houston is a top U.S. city for STEM grads and engineering talent with more than 300,000 educated millennials and 240,000 STEM workers. STEM talent powers some of the largest industries in Houston, from energy to life science and manufacturing. 
Houston also offers these UHD and other STEM students a top-tier job market. According to the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, Houston is the second best U.S. metro area for STEM workers. 
Technology, in particular, is thriving. According to the Partnership's most recent edition of Houston Facts, with more than 223,000 tech workers, Houston has the 12th largest tech sector in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of Houston’s high-tech workers are employed in industries other than computers and software."
"The Cascade Policy Institute released a detailed study of a road diet plan whose effects include worse traffic congestion, less transit service, and no significant increase in bike and pedestrian traffic that had been projected. The study, “The New Sellwood Bridge: Promises Unfulfilled,” is a valuable case study of how the local politics of transportation and smart growth led to unfortunate outcomes."
  • The age of winner-take-all cities. Cool graph of metros by GMP. Houston is 5th largest metro by population in the country, but drops to #7 ranked by GMP, getting edged out by DC and SF.  Interesting fact: even with substantially fewer people, if you combine SF and San Jose's GMP they're notably larger than Chicago. That's the power of tech. 
"The top 25 metro areas (out of a total of 384) accounted for more than half of the U.S.'s $19.5 trillion GDP in 2017, according to an Axios analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data."
Finally, I wanted to end this week's post with Metro's new MetroNext plan overview video, which I think is pretty well done getting it all packed into only two minutes. In particular, they do a good job explaining the MetroRapid BRT rail-like benefits, which the public isn't familiar with. Last week they officially approved the bond referendum for this November's ballot.

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At 7:14 AM, August 20, 2019, Blogger George Rogers said...

Who cares if Houston has a lower GMP per capita, but can you afford a house.

At 9:37 AM, August 20, 2019, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Exactly. What matters is cost-of-living adjusted incomes.

Per capita rankings always bug me, because they reward cities for policies that drive out lower and middle income jobs and people, especially through housing supply limits.

At 7:28 PM, September 02, 2019, Blogger George McKee said...

Just took my first look at MetroNext today. I thought it was interesting that they propose to build 5 times as many miles of Bus Rapid Transit than they do light rail, for only 50% more money. Put electric buses on the BRT routes, and what's the functional difference?

At 7:38 PM, September 02, 2019, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Almost none! Well, except the buses can re-route as needed if there's a problem or blockage ;) Metro is monitoring electric bus options, but none of them are cost-effective enough yet, and they have performance issues with air conditioning, which is pretty critical here!


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