Mayor Annise Parker and Christof Spieler from April 8, 2010 Houston Chronicle.
Wednesday, Mayor Annise Parker gave Christof Spieler, Chair of the Cite editorial committee, a big hug after swearing him in as a Metro board member. A picture of their embrace landed on page B3 of Thursday’s Houston Chronicle. It was a landmark moment for the Rice Design Alliance and Cite. Spieler joined the Cite team 11 years ago while still a graduate student at Rice, wrote numerous articles on Houston’s transit, and guest edited several issues. In the current issue of Cite (81), he contributed “Are We Setting Up Commuter Rail to Fail?” Written months before Spieler knew he would be appointed a Metro board member, it went to press before the announcement of his nomination by Mayor Parker but is now reaching mailboxes after his confirmation. This rare bird of an article is one last critical and independent analysis by Spieler, who because of his new position inside the system cannot speak without representing the city government and Metro.
The Cite magazine archives are now online and the past articles, many by Spieler, offer an extraordinary record of Houston’s transit development. For example, Trains for Thought was published Summer 2003 before the referendum that approved the light rail lines now being built and remains highly relevant. If you would like to dig even deeper, check out the second issue of Cite, a whole special issue published in November 1982 lambasting plans to build an elevated rail line down Main Street.