Texas cities aren’t really built for pedestrians. They’re not really set up for cyclists or bus-riders or people who take the limited-use commuter rail services in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, either—but new data explains exactly how bad it is to be a pedestrian in the four largest cities in Texas, and it’s pretty bad.
The battle to bring rideshare services to San Antonio started heating up last week, as the City Council held a public hearing to debate whether—and how—Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, etc, should be made legal.
Like a scene from an old western, the streets of big Texas cities are littered with the bleached bones of famous restaurants from afar. Their owners thought they would open here to thunderous applause, only to discover that cracking the Texas code is harder than it seems. Remember Craft, BLT Steak, and Charlie Palmer, in Dallas? Or Bank and Katsuya, in Houston? What about Coyote Cafe, in Austin? The longest-lived, Tom Colicchio’s Craft, lasted only six years.
Just after sunrise on the morning of August 9, 2012, in the Houston suburb of Katy, Scott Catt, a fifty-year-old structural engineer, was awakened by the buzzing of his alarm clock in the master bedroom of the apartment he shared with his twenty-year-old son, Hayden, and his eighteen-year-old daughter, Abby. The apartment was in Nottingham Place, a pleasant, family-oriented complex that featured a resort-size swimming pool and a large fitness center.
Four years ago, things looked bleak for Houston’s Cheniere Energy. It had about $3 billion in debt, its stock price had plunged from more than $40 to less than $1 in a year’s time, and bankruptcy seemed imminent. Cheniere had made one of the biggest wrong-way bets in the history of natural gas, a commodity that is the poster child for wrong-way bets.
Houstonians live in a really big city. We know that people know that, but thanks to an intrepid Reddit user, we now have a succinct visual shorthand for just how big the city really is: Namely, these maps, which overlay the 88 miles of Beltway 8 on top of a number of other major world cities.