Houston Metro bus. Photo: TTMG.

As Metro continues to re-imagine our transit system, the board came down this week in favor of measures that would increase ridership rather than expand coverage: "After lengthy discussion, the board voted to recommend to its planning staff that 80 percent of resources should be put toward the goal of getting more people on the bus" (KUHF).

Metro also decided that it can't afford to build any of the versions of the Central Station transit hub that were drawn up for the design competition that Metro held back in 2012 --- not even the design by Snøhetta, which had been rather quietly declared the winner: "[B]oard members instead chose the cheaper option of spending $1.05 million to build a basic canopy. . . . 'This has been mismanaged from the get-go, and there cannot be situations where things are not budgeted fully,' chairman Gilbert Garcia said during a board meeting. 'This is precisely why we get criticism.'" (Houston Chronicle; further analysis on Swamplot.)

Winning design of Central Station. Rendering: Snøhetta.


The Architect's Newspaper reviewed Mid Main, the transit-oriented development to be built in the next few years on the block bound by Main, Travis, Berry, and Holman in Midtown. The 363-unit residential complex, to include 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space as well, was designed by Rogers Partners out of New York with assistance from Rice University professor William T. Cannady and Gensler: "Activity on Main --- whether it be passing vehicular traffic or pedestrians visiting the surrounding businesses --- will be visible to residents, while passersby on the street will be able to see what is going on in the community spaces of the multi-level development. This permeability with the surrounding environment seeks to imbue the project with the excitement generated by Mid-Main’s many bars, restaurants, and retail shops . . . " (A/N Blog).

Mid Main Transit-Oriented Development. Rendering: Rogers Partners.


Texas Monthly chronicled the resurgence, and history, of Market Square. And more permits rolled in to keep taking more chunks out of the Astrodome (Swamplot).

by Allyn West

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Read Houston architect Ben Koush on all the Central Station designs.

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