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Old 05-11-2015, 10:40 AM
bu2
 
9,344 posts, read 5,986,515 times
Reputation: 3771

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I did a quick check on density of the surrounding counties based on the 2014 census estimates-people per square mile:
DeKalb 2,586
Cobb 2,026
Gwinnett 1,871
Clayton 1,833
Fulton 1,748

Then its a big drop:
Forsyth 783
Douglas 662
Rockdale 657
Henry 633
Fayette 548
Cherokee 508
Hall 458
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,111 posts, read 4,133,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
We should be focusing "mass" transit on areas where there is a mass of people. That means the 5 core counties. Its just not efficient to build to Gainesville. Nor should we be encouraging "mass" density in jobs and people that far out. The more jobs get spread out, the more difficult it is to transport people, whether by roads or transit. Hall County needs to stay a suburban, low density type county for the forseeable future. There's plenty of land and opportunities in the 5 core counties.
This is even more important to me than expanding transit everywhere. I really really wish metro Atlanta would enact urban growth boundaries to (1) counter sprawl, (2) increase the proclivity of denser, better-connected urban neighborhoods, and--this part gets forgotten a lot--(3) to preserve the rural way of life for exurban counties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
I did a quick check on density of the surrounding counties based on the 2014 census estimates-people per square mile:
DeKalb 2,586
Cobb 2,026
Gwinnett 1,871
Clayton 1,833
Fulton 1,748

Then its a big drop:
Forsyth 783
Douglas 662
Rockdale 657
Henry 633
Fayette 548
Cherokee 508
Hall 458
Good finds.

Don't forget employment density as well. Many people use MARTA to commute to and from work.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,047 posts, read 822,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
This is even more important to me than expanding transit everywhere. I really really wish metro Atlanta would enact urban growth boundaries to (1) counter sprawl, (2) increase the proclivity of denser, better-connected urban neighborhoods, and--this part gets forgotten a lot--(3) to preserve the rural way of life for exurban counties.
But this is Georgia, where urban growth boundaries would be decried as "socialist big government centrally planned MARXIST COMMUNISM", never mind the fact that too many people who use those terms have no clue what they mean.

- skbl17
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,111 posts, read 4,133,344 times
Reputation: 2894
Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 View Post
But this is Georgia, where urban growth boundaries would be decried as "socialist big government centrally planned MARXIST COMMUNISM", never mind the fact that too many people who use those terms have no clue what they mean.

- skbl17
Yup.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:04 PM
 
5,853 posts, read 5,193,393 times
Reputation: 3921
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
HRT must be fully grade separated, except for that one section in CTA.
Well it is not necessarily just one section of the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Heavy Rail Transit system that operates through at-grade road crossings.

It is outlying sections of the CTA Purple, Yellow, Brown, Pink HRT lines that operate through at-grade road crossings, some of which are at some very busy roads. There are probably about around at least 30 or so at-grade road crossings with at-grade sections of HRT lines within the CTA HRT system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
If you want to use commuter rail, powered by third rail, then call it that, but the 2 technologies are different.
I know that the two technologies are different.

I just used the sections of the LIRR that operate with a third rail through at-grade road crossings as an example to illustrate that there are high-capacity passenger rail lines that operate through at-grade roads at somewhat fairly high speeds and with very high frequencies like Heavy Rail Transit service does mostly on grade-separated right-of-ways.

I agree that HRT must be (or should be) fully grade-separated.

But the examples of the CTA Purple, Yellow, Brown and Pink HRT lines as well as examples like the 3rd rail-powered commuter rail lines of the LIRR and MNR (Metro North Railroad) commuter rail systems illustrate that we can operate regional HRT lines at high volumes, high frequencies and relatively high speeds through at-grade road crossings through outlying areas with lower volumes of automobile traffic if absolutely need be.

Though, like cq, I prefer that HRT lines be totally and completely fully grade-separated to maximize train speeds and minimize (if not eliminate) any potential conflicts with automobile traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
I think the commuter rail lines should use overhead power, to keep the air cleaner and cut down on cost of a 3rd rail.
Those are some excellent points about why commuter rail lines should use overhead power, which I agree with.

But with Metro Atlanta already having an excellent foundation for a regional high-capacity rail transit system in place with MARTA, and with many sections of existing freight rail trackage being near, at or overcapacity with freight rail traffic, any future expansion of the Atlanta's region's high-capacity rail transit network should probably utilize the same Heavy Rail Transit technology that MARTA uses.

Unlike other very large major metro regions with regional commuter rail service in North America, the Atlanta metro region does not seem to have the excess freight rail capacity and trackage on which to operate a high-capacity and high-frequency of regional commuter rail service.

This is especially the case in the northwest quadrant of the Atlanta metro region where freight trains already may often sit in gridlock from the Howell Junction area northwest into Cobb County where one of the largest and busiest freight rail multimodal transfer yards in the entire Western Hemisphere is located in the Austell area.

The existing freight rail network needs to be expanded just to accommodate the sharply rising volumes of freight rail traffic that is moving through the area....Something which makes any attempts to operate high-capacity passenger rail transit on existing freight rail tracks an impossibility throughout much of the Atlanta metro region in many cases.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system (an HRT system which was intended to be a regional high-capacity rail transit system in light of the Atlanta region's severely-constrained freight rail network) to power an expanded regional rail transit network would mean that transfers could be minimized....Meaning that, for example, more one-seat regional rail transit rides could be provided between important centers of regional activity like the world-leading Atlanta Airport, etc, and fast-growing heavily-populated outlying areas like the I-75/I-575 Northwest, GA 400 North and I-85/I-985/GA 316 Northeast corridors, etc.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system also means that commuter trains could use the same exact transit facilities that the MARTA HRT system uses for its rail transit operations as needed.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system basically means regional commuter rail service could be provided on HRT tracks in the form of express, zone and skip-stop regional HRT service.

As for cost....We are not going to be able to avoid the cost of making long overdue upgrades and expansions to our regional transit network.

Like I cited earlier, the Toronto region is currently in the process of spending $32 BILLION to upgrade and expand its regional network.

Metro Atlantans most often always seem to scoff at spending just a fraction of the $32 billion amount that Toronto is spending on its transit network alone....An amount that many metro Toronto residents don't think is enough and an amount that does not even include the amount of money that the Toronto region and other very large major metro regions in North America have spent on their road networks.

A figure like $32 billion may seem like an astronomical amount to Metro Atlantans and North Georgians who have grown accustomed to spending not even the bare minimum amount on transportation over the last 2 decades or so, but $32 billion is about what it takes just to keep a multimodal transit system functioning at a acceptable level of service.

If we are talking about getting the current undersized bare bones transit network up to an acceptable level of service for an expansive very large major metro region like Atlanta in the early 21st Century, we are probably talking about having to spend somewhere between $40-50 billion at the very least.

If we are talking about getting BOTH the transit and the road network up to a more acceptable level of service in the early 21st Century, we are probably talking about having to spend somewhere around $50-60 billion at the very least.

The reality is that being a very large major metro region that is a ground and air transportation nexus for the entire Southeastern North American continent is a business that is extremely expensive.

We have tried to save money on transportation over much of the last two decades by either ignoring the problem and hoping that it would just eventually go away somewhere else or by hoping that someone else would pay for it (the Feds)....But we are very quickly approaching a point where we can no longer ignore our overwhelming transportation problems in the name of saving money that we refuse to collect and/or generate.

International cities like Hong Kong (with its partially-privatized high-capacity transit authority that is reported to be worth an estimated $250 billion in value) show us that we can come up with the multiple tens-of-billions of dollars if we are willing to utilize creative financing with the help of our very robust private sector.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,787 posts, read 16,795,176 times
Reputation: 5133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Well it is not necessarily just one section of the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Heavy Rail Transit system that operates through at-grade road crossings.

It is outlying sections of the CTA Purple, Yellow, Brown, Pink HRT lines that operate through at-grade road crossings, some of which are at some very busy roads. There are probably about around at least 30 or so at-grade road crossings with at-grade sections of HRT lines within the CTA HRT system.


I know that the two technologies are different.

I just used the sections of the LIRR that operate with a third rail through at-grade road crossings as an example to illustrate that there are high-capacity passenger rail lines that operate through at-grade roads at somewhat fairly high speeds and with very high frequencies like Heavy Rail Transit service does mostly on grade-separated right-of-ways.

I agree that HRT must be (or should be) fully grade-separated.

But the examples of the CTA Purple, Yellow, Brown and Pink HRT lines as well as examples like the 3rd rail-powered commuter rail lines of the LIRR and MNR (Metro North Railroad) commuter rail systems illustrate that we can operate regional HRT lines at high volumes, high frequencies and relatively high speeds through at-grade road crossings through outlying areas with lower volumes of automobile traffic if absolutely need be.

Though, like cq, I prefer that HRT lines be totally and completely fully grade-separated to maximize train speeds and minimize (if not eliminate) any potential conflicts with automobile traffic.



Those are some excellent points about why commuter rail lines should use overhead power, which I agree with.

But with Metro Atlanta already having an excellent foundation for a regional high-capacity rail transit system in place with MARTA, and with many sections of existing freight rail trackage being near, at or overcapacity with freight rail traffic, any future expansion of the Atlanta's region's high-capacity rail transit network should probably utilize the same Heavy Rail Transit technology that MARTA uses.

Unlike other very large major metro regions with regional commuter rail service in North America, the Atlanta metro region does not seem to have the excess freight rail capacity and trackage on which to operate a high-capacity and high-frequency of regional commuter rail service.

This is especially the case in the northwest quadrant of the Atlanta metro region where freight trains already may often sit in gridlock from the Howell Junction area northwest into Cobb County where one of the largest and busiest freight rail multimodal transfer yards in the entire Western Hemisphere is located in the Austell area.

The existing freight rail network needs to be expanded just to accommodate the sharply rising volumes of freight rail traffic that is moving through the area....Something which makes any attempts to operate high-capacity passenger rail transit on existing freight rail tracks an impossibility throughout much of the Atlanta metro region in many cases.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system (an HRT system which was intended to be a regional high-capacity rail transit system in light of the Atlanta region's severely-constrained freight rail network) to power an expanded regional rail transit network would mean that transfers could be minimized....Meaning that, for example, more one-seat regional rail transit rides could be provided between important centers of regional activity like the world-leading Atlanta Airport, etc, and fast-growing heavily-populated outlying areas like the I-75/I-575 Northwest, GA 400 North and I-85/I-985/GA 316 Northeast corridors, etc.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system also means that commuter trains could use the same exact transit facilities that the MARTA HRT system uses for its rail transit operations as needed.

Using the same 3rd rail HRT technology that MARTA uses to power its HRT system basically means regional commuter rail service could be provided on HRT tracks in the form of express, zone and skip-stop regional HRT service.

As for cost....We are not going to be able to avoid the cost of making long overdue upgrades and expansions to our regional transit network.

Like I cited earlier, the Toronto region is currently in the process of spending $32 BILLION to upgrade and expand its regional network.

Metro Atlantans most often always seem to scoff at spending just a fraction of the $32 billion amount that Toronto is spending on its transit network alone....An amount that many metro Toronto residents don't think is enough and an amount that does not even include the amount of money that the Toronto region and other very large major metro regions in North America have spent on their road networks.

A figure like $32 billion may seem like an astronomical amount to Metro Atlantans and North Georgians who have grown accustomed to spending not even the bare minimum amount on transportation over the last 2 decades or so, but $32 billion is about what it takes just to keep a multimodal transit system functioning at a acceptable level of service.

If we are talking about getting the current undersized bare bones transit network up to an acceptable level of service for an expansive very large major metro region like Atlanta in the early 21st Century, we are probably talking about having to spend somewhere between $40-50 billion at the very least.

If we are talking about getting BOTH the transit and the road network up to a more acceptable level of service in the early 21st Century, we are probably talking about having to spend somewhere around $50-60 billion at the very least.

The reality is that being a very large major metro region that is a ground and air transportation nexus for the entire Southeastern North American continent is a business that is extremely expensive.

We have tried to save money on transportation over much of the last two decades by either ignoring the problem and hoping that it would just eventually go away somewhere else or by hoping that someone else would pay for it (the Feds)....But we are very quickly approaching a point where we can no longer ignore our overwhelming transportation problems in the name of saving money that we refuse to collect and/or generate.

International cities like Hong Kong (with its partially-privatized high-capacity transit authority that is reported to be worth an estimated $250 billion in value) show us that we can come up with the multiple tens-of-billions of dollars if we are willing to utilize creative financing with the help of our very robust private sector.
Hong Kong has serve limitations in the available land, something Atlanta has no problem with. Until ARC and the state grow balls and set urban growth boundaries, fund transit and road at the same level Atlanta metro will always be car-congested.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,498,128 times
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Aren't there some sort of major restrictions on trains that can run on shared trackage w/ freight v transit trains?

Could a commuter train share tracks with HRT like MARTA?
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:14 PM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
5,104 posts, read 3,614,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikigod311 View Post
Aren't there some sort of major restrictions on trains that can run on shared trackage w/ freight v transit trains?
Yes.
Quote:

Could a commuter train share tracks with HRT like MARTA?
MARTA is de facto commuter rail the further out it goes from Atlanta.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:50 PM
 
5,853 posts, read 5,193,393 times
Reputation: 3921
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
This is even more important to me than expanding transit everywhere. I really really wish metro Atlanta would enact urban growth boundaries to (1) counter sprawl, (2) increase the proclivity of denser, better-connected urban neighborhoods, and--this part gets forgotten a lot--(3) to preserve the rural way of life for exurban counties.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 View Post
But this is Georgia, where urban growth boundaries would be decried as "socialist big government centrally planned MARXIST COMMUNISM", never mind the fact that too many people who use those terms have no clue what they mean.

- skbl17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Until ARC and the state grow balls and set urban growth boundaries, fund transit and road at the same level Atlanta metro will always be car-congested.
Because the Atlanta metro region has so many counties (29 counties officially in the Atlanta metro area, 39 counties officially in the Atlanta metro region) and because of the highly conservative and libertarian culture that dominates the region and state politics, urban growth boundaries are a political impossibility in Metro Atlanta and Georgia politics and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Too many counties in the Atlanta region (and in the northern half of Georgia) want to get in on the highly prosperous growth and economic boom that the Atlanta region has enjoyed over the last 7 decades for an urban growth boundary to ever be enacted.

The outer-suburban, exurban and rural counties that dominate the state's political climate are not going to cut themselves out of the growth and prosperity that Metro Atlanta and North Georgia have enjoyed by enacting an urban growth boundary that would prevent development from coming to their outlying areas.

The metro regions where urban growth boundaries have been enacted in North America (Portland, Oregon and Toronto) have unique situations that have allowed urban growth boundaries to be enacted politically at the state/provincial levels of government in their respective areas.

Portland has a far more liberal and far less conservative/libertarian cultural and political environment than Georgia as well as having areas of heavily wooded mountainous nature preserves to both the east and the west of the city that the voting public wanted to preserve. Portland also has far fewer counties in its metro region that compete against each other for economic development opportunities.

Toronto had an area north of the city that was a major source of drinking water for the area that the voting public wanted to protect in addition to having a far more liberal and far less conservative/libertarian cultural and political environment than Georgia. Toronto has a provincial government in Ontario that often has imposed regional solutions on the Toronto region when the various local/municipal governments have feuded....Like the forced merger of the various metro governments in Central Toronto into one municipal government a few years back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Hong Kong has serve limitations in the available land, something Atlanta has no problem with.
That is a good point that Hong Kong has significant limitations in the amount of available land that its exceptionally robust rail transit system has to serve.

But Atlanta also has very significant limitations in the size of its regional road network and in the amount of road space that it has available to handle the growing volume of traffic that is being generated by the region's exploding population.

Atlanta also a very aggressive land speculation and real estate development sector....So generating the multiple tens-of-billions of dollars that will be required to get the region's multimodal transportation network up to early-mid 21st Century standards should not be a problem as long as the region's domineering real estate development community continues to be aggressive about building new development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Until ARC and the state grow balls and set urban growth boundaries, fund transit and road at the same level Atlanta metro will always be car-congested.
Even if (and when) the state starts funding transit at the same level as roads in the Atlanta region (which the state has also been pretty dismal when it comes to funding roads as well), automobile congestion will still be a problem....Like how traffic congestion continues to be a problem in more transit-intensive large major metro regions like NYC, DC, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, etc...

Traffic congestion is not just a problem because of the severe lack of transit infrastructure in the Atlanta region....Traffic congestion is a problem (and will continue to be a problem) because of the region's very large and fast-growing metropolitan population and the increasingly limited amount of road space that population can use.

Improving, upgrading and expanding the Atlanta region's transit network will not bring about an end to congestion or even alleviate or relieve severe traffic congestion, but it help to noticeably slow down the rate at which traffic congestion worsens by giving many more commuters options to move around other than having absolutely no other choice but to drive on a severely-congested and highly-constrained road network.

Last edited by Born 2 Roll; 05-11-2015 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 05-11-2015, 04:57 PM
 
1,117 posts, read 1,001,029 times
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Lexington, KY, has an urban growth boundary that was designed to protect horse farms from sprawl.
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