Thursday, January 3, 2013

Disco Green without disco or green.

We all woke up New Year's morning to news that preventing the so-called fiscal cliff involved giving the wind energy industry huge tax credits and pretty much nothing to do with averting anything that would actually have to do with deficits or the items that got us into this mess in the first place. This is American politics in 2012/2013 however so we shouldn't be too surprised by this, knowing as we do that the true reason for this deal was incumbent protection.

Enough of that however. I'm sure that the National pundits are going to have a field day so I'll leave it to them. What does concern me is the state of Houston as 2013 begins.

Folks, It's not that good.  

Having a big New Year's Eve party planned down in Discovery Green complete with KC and the Sunshine Band is a nice little thing but it's pretty clear that no one considered the fact that it might rain. Because of this Houston's official New Year's celebration involved (another) Art Car parade and some people up on stage dancing in black spandex and disco wigs.  No matter your definition this is not "world class".

Putting on a brave face the Houston Chron tells us that, once again, Inner Loop development is about to explode transforming Houston into a David Crossley envisioned wonder land of multi-family dwellings and business commuters shoe-horned into light rail cars alongside sweaty bicyclists and, presumably, the homeless.

While this all sounds lovely the lack of planning surrounding the NYE party should give you pause. If the city cannot successfully pull off a big bash in the face of a little moisture then what are the odds your Inner-Loop commute is going to devolve into a mud-run adventure when the real rains hit in the Spring? With a MetroRail that can be shut down seemingly by condensation and buses that are having difficulty not hitting pedestrians the future of commuting in Houston might involve Japanese-style sleeping tubes at your office. When you think about it though, if Houston Metro is KC and the Sunshine Band (and I mean no disrespect to the band) then whatever is going to be left over after the rains fall is spandex clad dancers. Besides, Houston has demonstrated a proclivity to not maintaining things over the long-haul and our city is not so built out to be static, so it can't be too long before your workplace is located to somewhere the train won't go.

My advice then is to continue to live where you want to live, in the style of dwelling you want to live in and take the mode of transportation to work that best serves your needs.  I understand this might seem like heresy to those of a central planning mindset but it sure beats showing up to work with a muddy tire track down your backside.

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