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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2015, 8:56 PM
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Obviously, we know that MLS is the best bet. I wasn't attempting even remotely to appeal to peoples' rational side, but more-so their romantic, idealistic side. Great things don't start out practically. Also, rodeos? In downtown Austin? Are you kidding me? No thanks. Doesn't really fit with our culture or urban landscape.
Have you been to the rodeo? Houston has the largest rodeo in the world and it raises hundreds of millions of dollars and takes over NRG Park and they fill the 70,000 seat NRG Stadium for 3 weeks straight. Rodeo's aren't some cows and horses. They are great entertainment and I suggest you check one out.

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No offense, but you might not belong in Austin if you think turning I-35 into a 5-lane highway in each direction is a good idea (also, you're acting like we don't have a highway?). Pretty much every rational person in Austin believes that's a horrible idea. Expanding highways just makes traffic worse, in the long run. We have to get people out of their cars. Cities are for people, not cars. You're advocating ideas straight out of the 1950's.
I've been living in Austin for the past 15+ years and I grew up in Houston. You can have both. 35 is the main artery from Mexico to Canada. You have tremendous amounts of cargo and people passing through each day. You need the highway to support that. I realize no one wants the Katy Freeway in Austin, but we have to be realistic about what cuts through our lovely little city and build the infrastructure to support it. And you're not going to get enough people out of their cars to ever make Austin like NYC or Chicago where you can take the train or subway or other mass transit. Build a highway and complement it with mass transit. Relieve some traffic with options but enough sticking our head in the sand because we don't want 35 to be what it needs to be.
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  #62  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2015, 9:39 PM
SMC SMC is offline
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I've been living in Austin for the past 15+ years and I grew up in Houston. You can have both. 35 is the main artery from Mexico to Canada. You have tremendous amounts of cargo and people passing through each day. You need the highway to support that. I realize no one wants the Katy Freeway in Austin, but we have to be realistic about what cuts through our lovely little city and build the infrastructure to support it. And you're not going to get enough people out of their cars to ever make Austin like NYC or Chicago where you can take the train or subway or other mass transit. Build a highway and complement it with mass transit. Relieve some traffic with options but enough sticking our head in the sand because we don't want 35 to be what it needs to be.
We also have to be realistic and realize there is nowhere to put 5 lanes each way on I-35 throughout central Austin. Having freeways like Houston is not something Austin should aspire to.

It is frustrating to hear the "public transit/walking/getting out of cars will never happen in Texas" argument. There is no everlasting rule that says Texas, and particularly Austin, can't make better decisions for the future. Populations change, and I think with Austin's traffic situation, it is hard to see how Austin is successful over the next 50 years without serious changes in transportation behavior.
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  #63  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2015, 9:48 PM
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We also have to be realistic and realize there is nowhere to put 5 lanes each way on I-35 throughout central Austin. Having freeways like Houston is not something Austin should aspire to.

It is frustrating to hear the "public transit/walking/getting out of cars will never happen in Texas" argument. There is no everlasting rule that says Texas, and particularly Austin, can't make better decisions for the future. Populations change, and I think with Austin's traffic situation, it is hard to see how Austin is successful over the next 50 years without serious changes in transportation behavior.
I understand that a 10 lane freeway is not possible with the current landscape, but it is what is needed so whether we bury it, double deck, whatever the option, I'm just saying we need 5 lanes or more in each direction from Georgetown to Buda to handle what we have.

And yes, we can become less vehicle dependent, but we need the roads to accommodate what we have and what's coming. The car isn't going away or this town isn't getting any smaller so lets address all fronts.
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  #64  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 12:57 AM
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Have you been to the rodeo? Houston has the largest rodeo in the world and it raises hundreds of millions of dollars and takes over NRG Park and they fill the 70,000 seat NRG Stadium for 3 weeks straight. Rodeo's aren't some cows and horses. They are great entertainment and I suggest you check one out.
Yes, I have, way out at the Travis County Expo Center where it belongs, and thought it was lame. Not really my scene. Not really for city folk.

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I grew up in Houston.
You didn't even have to tell us this. It was obvious. Don't Houston my Austin, bro.

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You can have both. 35 is the main artery from Mexico to Canada. You have tremendous amounts of cargo and people passing through each day.
Right, but we shouldn't. These people should be going around Austin, not through it. We need to make passing through Austin harder, not easier. I know they're in a hurry, but there's a city here; where people live. We don't want all that crap coming through our city.

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you're not going to get enough people out of their cars to ever make Austin like NYC or Chicago where you can take the train or subway or other mass transit.
Yes we are. There's no other option. You can't build highways through cities. That's a dumb, outdated idea. We have to make Austin urban, not suburban, as you'd like.
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  #65  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 5:18 AM
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Yes, I have, way out at the Travis County Expo Center where it belongs, and thought it was lame. Not really my scene. Not really for city folk.
That's just opinion. It doesn't make it so for other people in this city.


I agree we need I-35 expanded. It'd be better if it were underground through DT, but it needs to happen. It's a federal highway and handles the most Mexican truck traffic in the U.S. Would it be better if they took 130 around Austin? Of course! But the reality is they aren't doing it. I'd love to ban truck traffic through town and relegate it to 130, but I haven't seen any traction in that direction.

I think we should get better mass transit to give people options. I think businesses should offer more work-from-home opportunities. But I don't see the automobile going anywhere.
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  #66  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 6:25 PM
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Yes, I have, way out at the Travis County Expo Center where it belongs, and thought it was lame. Not really my scene. Not really for city folk.
That's just about the most ignorant statement I've ever read.
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  #67  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 9:38 PM
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I understand that a 10 lane freeway is not possible with the current landscape, but it is what is needed so whether we bury it, double deck, whatever the option, I'm just saying we need 5 lanes or more in each direction from Georgetown to Buda to handle what we have.

And yes, we can become less vehicle dependent, but we need the roads to accommodate what we have and what's coming. The car isn't going away or this town isn't getting any smaller so lets address all fronts.
How do you know that adding a couple lanes to I35 in each direction will handle what we have? Let alone what we will have in 10-15 years when there are another 800,000-1,000,000 people in the area? How do you know they wouldn't fill up immediately, encouraging more people to live farther out?

Nevermind that we just built a superhighway (with the highest speed limit in the country) connecting Buda to Georgetown that's only an extra 10 miles out of the way and takes the same amt of travel time during rush hour...

I'd rather spend the boatload of $$$ it would cost to do this on more efficient modes of transportation that move more people. I'm okay with improving I-35 as much as we can (there's a lot of ways it could work better without adding lanes, like fewer exits). I think the idea to bury it downtown, add a lane with variable pricing (central Austin only), and sell the vacated land to pay for it is a great idea. But somehow doing two new (free?) lanes from GTown to Buda? It would be a waste of a LOT of $, in my opinion.

And by the way, I'm a city guy and I've been out to the Austin Rodeo twice and had a great time! However, it sure feels more appropriate to me to have the rodeo out there than in an city arena parking lot like San Antonio does it. Feels more authentic to have it outside the city.
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  #68  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2015, 5:54 PM
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Speaking of professional sports stadiums. (Not a future UT basketball arena. I think it should stay on campus if at all possible.)

I believe another good location for something like the Detroit example above would be on East Riverside somewhere between IH-35 and 71. There is plenty of land that could be easily developed/redeveloped with much less opposition and trouble (I'd hope) than any downtown location. It is an up and coming area that will eventually become somewhat of an extension of downtown as it urbanizes. Building an arena with a bunch of mixed use development around it would serve to further accelerate that urbanization. (I would think MLS would like that.)

Accessibility shouldn't be a problem. A locale in that vicinity provides good public transportation options. Cap Metro buses serve it fairly well from what I can tell. Eventually, based on the light rail plans voted down, I would expect rail/gandola/whatever to go from downtown to the airport through Riverside Dr. For those who aren't on board with public transport, it would be easily accessible by car from either IH-35 or Highway 71.

I see little downside to it, but I have not seen anyone ever suggest that area. Maybe there's something wrong with it that I'm not seeing..
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2015, 7:54 PM
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Whoa, this convo has really blown up since last I checked. A few musings and thoughts after reading...

First off we can all agree that the transportation situation is less than perfect and while I did mention the city should look into building one more road crossing the river such as Trinity, I only added it with direct relation to a possible new arena on the Statesman site. While I-35 would obviously play a part, so would every other roadway leading to the arena and lest we forget that the current arena is right up along I-35. This topic has really split into two with one branching into transportation which we have a thread for.

I really like what Detroit is doing regarding their arena. I would not only hope the city moves in that direction I would actually send that rendering to the mayor and my district councilwoman as an example of what could be done.

I keep seeing the word "little" used with Austin and while we are not big with regards to metropolitan population, we are far from being a little city. Going by what Angelo Angelou stated last month during the yearly economic summit, Austin itself is well into the 900,000 range stating we are about 40,000 below San Jose's population.
It may not be official census estimates but I doubt his numbers are far off from reality.. We are on the verge of becoming a 1 million pop city. As for the Metro, we are basically in the same catagory as San Antonio.

As for major leagues, MLS is our best chance. NFL is unlikely and reality is it's going to be difficult for San Antonio to land an NFL team. Their recent attempt in trying to get the Raiders showed that even the owner of the Raiders wanted a new stadium built closer to Austin. For an NFL franchise to work, both metros would have to evenly be tapped into. Combined that makes a market of nearly 4.5 million which is still smaller than Houston's metro and the DFW metroplex.

As for arena placement, the closer to DT the better. I've never been to either the Dell Diamond or the Cedar Park Center. They are way too far for it to be worth going. Those may be okay in terms of serving Williamson County and the northern part of Austin but they don't serve the entire metropolitan area, definitely not south of the river. Austin is the core city and the center of the metro so an arena in or next to DT would be the best choice in terms of access.
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2015, 10:02 PM
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Combined that makes a market of nearly 4.5 million which is still smaller than Houston's metro and the DFW metroplex.
Well, yes, but that's because those are both top-10. The hypothetical combined A/SA metro if 4.5M would be top 15.
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 12:13 AM
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Just messing around (without Photoshop).

This is San Antonio's MLS stadium on the Statesman site. I used it just for its comparable size. The partial roof would likely be on the west side, though. I oriented it along Congress and the horseshoe on the south end so everyone gets some sort of view of DT.

The red line is a Trinity bridge. The blue line is just an extension of the road connecting Congress to the new Trinity extension through the site. The green box is a parking garage. That could be done partially undgerground with a few above ground levels. That would allow for some MU above. The orange box is for MU development.

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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 3:43 AM
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Regarding the Brackenridge Hospital site:

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That location would be ideal, and then the Erwin land can be converted to innovation district to make it like a swap of uses.
I don't think the Erwin Center land can be used for the Innovation District. I think the whole reason it would be torn down is because of future expansion of the teaching hospital.

And I was only partially right about the Innovation District. That will actually be built north of 15th St. and west of Trinity where some of those hideous state parking garages are now.

Parking garages to become med school's "innovation district"
Austin Business Journal
October 31, 2013


The proposed plans for the Brackenridge Hospital site were covered in an Austin Business Journal article last fall.

Plans for Brackenridge hospital site entering second phase
October 10, 2014


Quote:
A mixed-use development is all but certain for the site, with uses that complement the new Dell Medical School and the new hospital as a priority.
I personally think UT should build their own basketball arena on camous, and the city should use the Brackenridge Hospital site to build a mixed-use concert venue/special events center surrounded by other uses that complement the Dell Medical School.

And if Detroit can build a mixed-use facility on 12.37 acres, I don't see why Austin can't do the same thing on a 14 acre site.

Doing all that would ensure that the plans for the South Central Waterfront District remain intact.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lzppjb View Post
Just messing around (without Photoshop).

This is San Antonio's MLS stadium on the Statesman site. I used it just for its comparable size. The partial roof would likely be on the west side, though. I oriented it along Congress and the horseshoe on the south end so everyone gets some sort of view of DT.

The red line is a Trinity bridge. The blue line is just an extension of the road connecting Congress to the new Trinity extension through the site. The green box is a parking garage. That could be done partially undgerground with a few above ground levels. That would allow for some MU above. The orange box is for MU development.

A spot like that on the river deserves an open air stadium with gorgeous city views. If the city council thinks smart, and encourages investment in a beautiful high tech stadium with potential investors toward MLS, retractable roof, that can hold 20-25,000 people for games and close up to hold 18-20,000 intimately for shows. With the backdrop of the city behind it, it could be one of the most iconic and intimate stadiums in the country, kind of the Austin way.
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 8:45 PM
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A spot like that on the river deserves an open air stadium with gorgeous city views. If the city council thinks smart, and encourages investment in a beautiful high tech stadium with potential investors toward MLS, retractable roof, that can hold 20-25,000 people for games and close up to hold 18-20,000 intimately for shows. With the backdrop of the city behind it, it could be one of the most iconic and intimate stadiums in the country, kind of the Austin way.
I agree. An outdoor stadium would be great in that location. I even like the arena in Detroit with retail, etc. though it would be a horrible idea for COA and UT to collaborate on this. UT needs their arena on campus grounds while Austin can have its own stadium/arena at South Shore. I feel strongly about separating UT and Austin and I think even small cities should never combine college and city affairs.
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 10:49 PM
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What would be ideal is a small, intimate basketball stadium on the parking lot just south of the UT soccer field and a soccer-specific stadium on the Statesman site with a retractable roof so that it could also be used for concerts and other big events. And instead of Trinity as a bridge over the river, make it a tunnel under the water so that they don't have to demolish the boat house they just built. Also, it would be cool if there were bike lanes and sidewalks in the tunnel so that people could park on the north side of the river and walk across to the games, preferably singing and chanting like these blokes:

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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2015, 11:46 PM
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What about a UT-only arena on Clark Field?
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 12:00 AM
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If it's a choice between destroying a parking lot and destroying a green space to build an arena, I'm going with the parking lot practically every single time.
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  #78  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 12:09 AM
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With each parking lot that vanishes there's fewer places for gameday tailgating, which is a great atmosphere.

Always tradeoffs either way you go.
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  #79  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 3:33 AM
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With each parking lot that vanishes there's fewer places for gameday tailgating, which is a great atmosphere.

Always tradeoffs either way you go.
Exactly. So let's see some plans on revamping Gregory gym.
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  #80  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 3:34 AM
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That's an excellent point about tailgating. Normally I have a knee-jerk anti-surface-parking reflex, but in this case I gotta step off. Or... do we eventually have to accept that tailgating is going to be another casualty of Austin's maturation from awkward adolescent to young adult? Not yet, but eventually...?

The idea of an intimate basketball arena seems like a good one, because it would make for a more enjoyable experience and it would look like games were better-attended than with a giant half-empty echoing building like Erwin. Also, I've been to a couple of concerts at the Erwin and the acoustics are just atrocious. A large concert hall should be built specifically for music rather than going with yet another multi-purpose cavern that fails to do justice for any one purpose it's trying to serve.
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