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Old 10-04-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,244 posts, read 4,376,829 times
Reputation: 2723

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post

The only legitimate argument you could make is that if people feel traffic is not a problem and they move futher away, thus adding to miles driven per person per day in the aggregate.
Add more lanes, people keep moving further out. I can't see that working any other way.

I don't want Atlanta's sprawl to continue. Now, I do not worship the concept of density like some people do, but I do want to see Atlanta continue to develop a stronger sense of urbanity . Do we really want to model after places like Dallas and Houston? Because that's what we will get if we continue to add lanes and make longer commutes easier. We have plenty of suburban options for folks in the metro. Continuing the sprawl will just lower land values of already developed land and destroy the remaining rural areas in and around the metro. Who want's that?
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,154 posts, read 16,152,860 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
If this were part of a 5-7 mile system that connected regions of the city that needed, I could see getting behind it.
That's the plan. It will connect with the BeltLine and create a cross-downtown transit connection.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,244 posts, read 4,376,829 times
Reputation: 2723
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Look, nobody is saying that we should just add new roads and not think of anything else. However, you can't be against any new capacity and hold off on all expansion on the pipe dream of transit that may or may not ever happen. If it does happen, we can all agree that it is a long way off even if the gears magically sprang into motion tomorrow. No matter how you slice it, we need some immediate relief. When they expanded the connector in the late 70s, it took until the mid 90s for traffic to reach the same level. If we can buy 15 years, maybe that will give us time to come up with a better long term solution, but we can't sit idly by waiting for that time to come.
I think that is a fair and reasonable approach.

My only issue is that every time a congestion issue pops up in Atlanta, the solution is more lanes. Everytime. When do we start to divert the money from more road expansion to rail development? Do we continue to spend money on a temporary solution? We have to start somewhere, and as far as I am concerned, we should stop wasting money on temporary fixes and start developing a long term solution.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,154 posts, read 16,152,860 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
My only issue is that every time a congestion issue pops up in Atlanta, the solution is more lanes. Everytime. When do we start to divert the money from more road expansion to rail development? Do we continue to spend money on a temporary solution? We have to start somewhere, and as far as I am concerned, we should stop wasting money on temporary fixes and start developing a long term solution.
That's why the $1 billion for HOT lanes along 75/575 should be diverted for commuter rail along the same corridor and others. Let's start with this huge investment and make a long term solution instead of building Lexus Lanes. I think we need state legislators to actually use mass transit, then and only then will they realize how important it is to our future growth.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:48 PM
 
9,907 posts, read 6,897,659 times
Reputation: 3012
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcorndog View Post
Or instead, you can look at the projections based on each individual project. Why would you look at every mile of road built in the entire country to try to calculate the return on investment on a project that will effect less than 0.01% of the cars in the country?

That would be like using the entire stock market's history to predict what an IPO will likely do in the future. The two are unrelated and you have to look at the individual situation.

C'mon son. Logic.
But we were not comparing specific projects. I am sure we can find specific road projects that are both better than and worse than your arbitrary standard of $36k per rider cost. However, on a whole / on average roads don't meet your requirement.

It is more like using the full history of average stock returns across the entire airline industry to predict what return to expect when deciding to invest in Airlines or another industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcorndog View Post
1st, the streetcar project is not light rail.
Streetcars vs. Lightrail for Atlanta Beltline?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcorndog View Post
The numbers I gave were not based on capacity. The highway lane has a higher capacity than the 24,000 I quoted. That was my guess as to how many people actually would ride a lane just like the 2,400 (should be 2,500) projection is for the streetcar.

2nd, you could ad capacity to the system, by running more streetcars, but there is no point in building this capacity if there is need for it. The projections call for 2,500 daily trips. That is the demand. The fact that one day far, far off in the future that same 2.5 miles could carry 10,000 people doesn't matter because that demand is never guaranteed. Do you really envision 10,000 people per day clamoring to make that 2.5 mile trip between two niche tourist attractions?

There are places it makes more sense and maybe a streetcar could be a viable option. However, the 2.5 mile streetcar route does NOTHING to warrant $90 million. If this were part of a 5-7 mile system that connected regions of the city that needed, I could see getting behind it. However, this plan is crap and the hope that one day it is connected to the Beltline 15 years from now does not convince me that this is a good investment. All it is going to do is be a boondoggle that further turns the population against transit because of how poorly it was planned and how poorly it initially performs. Done right, it could be great, but THIS is NOT how you do it.
Look, I am not going to say this is at all the perfect way to implement a light rail / street car system in Atlanta. If you look at this small project (Yes, $90M is relatively small in transportation projects) on its own it appears a little silly and I am sure anyone can find changes they would make. But it is a start towards a larger network of transit that the city needs. Even if it takes decades to build out like the interstates.

There are good and bad transit and road projects. But my issue is that you seem to have a double standard. What if I there was a $450Mil project to speed up the MARTA trains by 10MPH and save the 260,000 daily riders an average of 5 mins? Are you ok spending the money on MARTA over the 285/400 interchange assuming we find the stats to show the interchange improvements would have less of a time savings for less people?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:09 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,611,285 times
Reputation: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
That's the plan. It will connect with the BeltLine and create a cross-downtown transit connection.
Someday...

Until there is funding in place to get the whole thing done, don't waste the money on this crappy starter line that gets nothing done and will waste away for years until the funding for the rest of the project is available.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:11 PM
 
9,907 posts, read 6,897,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcorndog View Post
Someday...

Until there is funding in place to get the whole thing done, don't waste the money on this crappy starter line that gets nothing done and will waste away for years until the funding for the rest of the project is available.
So we should not have built any of the interstates until we had funding for the entire highway network?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:14 PM
 
9,907 posts, read 6,897,659 times
Reputation: 3012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
So we should not have built any of the interstates until we had funding for the entire highway network?

... Or even the planned highway network in ATL? Should we have never built any interstates in Atlanta since we never built I-485?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:19 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,611,285 times
Reputation: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
But we were not comparing specific projects. I am sure we can find specific road projects that are both better than and worse than your arbitrary standard of $36k per rider cost. However, on a whole / on average roads don't meet your requirement.

It is more like using the full history of average stock returns across the entire airline industry to predict what return to expect when deciding to invest in Airlines or another industry.
We are comparing a theoretical project here in Atlanta versus this real streetcar plan downtown.

Why would you use the full history? Do you really think the conditions from 50 years ago are relevant today? Do you think the landscape from 1970 reflects the reality today? Absolutely not. That is why you would use current data to make projections off of. You might want to look at the entire industry for the past year, but you are trying to look at 100 years of road building and equate that a current decision. That makes no sense.

IT IS A STREETCAR. IT IS NOT LIGHT RAIL. I think you are beyond confused because we are talking about the Streetcar project that is currently being constructed downtown AS A STREETCAR AND NOT LIGHT RAIL. What is confusing about this?

Quote:
Look, I am not going to say this is at all the perfect way to implement a light rail / street car system in Atlanta. If you look at this small project (Yes, $90M is relatively small in transportation projects) on its own it appears a little silly and I am sure anyone can find changes they would make. But it is a start towards a larger network of transit that the city needs. Even if it takes decades to build out like the interstates.

There are good and bad transit and road projects. But my issue is that you seem to have a double standard. What if I there was a $450Mil project to speed up the MARTA trains by 10MPH and save the 260,000 daily riders an average of 5 mins? Are you ok spending the money on MARTA over the 285/400 interchange assuming we find the stats to show the interchange improvements would have less of a time savings for less people?
$90 million is a small investment? Are you serious? It isn't a small investment. The only thing small about it is the return it offers. $90 million should get you more than 2,500 daily trips and the hope that one day at some undetermined point in the future it might connect into the beltline system. I have little hope for a Streetcar system being a valid transportation solution given its very, very low average speed.

If the aggregate savings was better on the MARTA project, it would only make sense to do that. However, MARTA is horribly managed and already several hundreds of millions behind on their deferred, unfunded maintenance, so until MARTA can get this done, I think your hypothetical situation is not something we'll ever have to consider.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:21 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,611,285 times
Reputation: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
So we should not have built any of the interstates until we had funding for the entire highway network?
If the highways were only going to carry 2,500 trips a day, then, yes. You should wait at that point. This streetcar project is nothing more than a federal transportation money grab that does nothing meaningful but waste the "free" money.
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