Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Houston Light Rail Sims

I always find these simulations interesting. Watch the development that changes in the last few frames from a large industrial property to a large big box development. It's somewhat obvious from the simulation that urbanism was left out of consideration.

Houston METRO Light Rail from NC3D.com on Vimeo.

H/T George B.


Brian Bundridge said...

A couple of things popped out from this.

The sounds of the LRV's sound like the Skoda Streetcars.

They have strobe lights which will probably help visibility of these tiny vehicles =P Still, it is a nice touch.

It also appears that the LRV's are Siemens?

Robert said...

Wow -- that is some great CGI. My favorite part has to be the accuracy through Greenway Plaza -- right down to the Frost Bank branch.

I also found it amusing that they project the the industrial area adjacent to the LRT turning into big box. Though the parking lots are smaller than we would see for a similar development away from the MetroRail. Never the less -- I would not be surprised if big box did take advantage of light rail in Houston -- they don't know any better. And look at the Green Line through San Diego's Mission Valley -- it's stimulated significant big box development around these stations:

Fashion Valley - the mall
Hazard Center - Hazard Center shopping center, with Borders and other such stores
Mission Valley Center - Macy's, Target
Fenton Parkway - Costco, Ikea

There has been very little TOD built along the orange line, which has been up running for more than ten years now.

Light rail isn't all that it takes to build livable neighborhoods. We also need high gas prices or other impetus for folks to live close together. In essence, you need to give people a reason to ride the light rail.

Christof Spieler said...

The development at Lockwood is, unfortunately, pretty accurate. That's an actual project; the developer, Frank Liu, has been trying to find tenants for building retail up to the sidewalk but the only tenant he's found so far is CVS, which is building its typical pad site box on the corner part of the site. The problem is that the East End is a poor neighborhood (though not a run-down or dangerous one) and retailers don't see a market there. So I fear that what's in the video will come to pass.

Brina -- those LRVs are Siemens S70s, already in operation on the existing Main Street line in Houston. The strobes are accurate, and so are the sounds. However, the new lines (shown in this video) will actually use CAF cars.