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Old 05-28-2018, 12:40 PM
 
1,252 posts, read 544,568 times
Reputation: 1052

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
Sam - Yes, we are talking over much longer periods of time than one year with projects like this. How many miles would you like to attribute to the Big Dig? I think you are going to struggle to find a way to consider it longer than the cheaper, higher capacity 8.5 mile Second Street Subway.

Seriously Sam, why do you feel a need to argue with everything I say no matter what I say? We have gotten into it on all these sort of topics before and we end up agreeing on the major points almost every time when we get down to it.

If I were to say the sky is blue I think you would spend an hour writing a line by line response on how the sky is really more of a cyan. Really, what are you getting at? It is getting old.
Noting that the Big Dig went WAY over budget and took much longer than anticipated due to complications they ran into, which can technically happen to any mean or mode of transit during the construction phase. Also another thing about the Big Dig is the project was not just solely about reducing traffic congestion through downtown or adding lanes or even improving the highway. Equally the project was ALSO about restoring the vibrancy in the Downtown core of Boston that the elevated freeways carved right through. Putting them underground gave them space for new parks / recreation areas, and space to build. Seattle's Alaskan Way viaduct conversion is another example of a project that costed them exponentially more than expected due to the bore getting stuck.

As for your current post...

respectfully speaking here... You tend to come off a massive mass transit re-work in the metro (while is absolutely needed and would be absolutely great to have) - would fit everyones needs / lifestyles and ultimately condemn users for using automobiles when Atlanta and its metro has indeed grown and ENCOURAGED its citizens to become a car dependent city. It is true, we do need better transit and we definitely do need more alternatives than just driving, it should be noted that NO city on this planet can ever function on just mass transit alone. It just isn't practical to support itself (both for commuters and whatever organization sustains it.)

You also tend to bash people who are struggling to make ends meet thus commuting for suburb to work in traffic while practically teasing them that you walk / or use MARTA and don't have to sit in traffic. This is "cool" that you use MARTA, I will not knock that..and if I could feasibly have used MARTA to bypass traffic, I would have (and did when it was feasibly possible.) but you must realize man, you are a minority...MOST people in the metro are not so lucky to live anywhere near mass transit.. I could see your argument holding a bit more weight if Atlanta had a transit system like that of Chicago's or New Yorks already in place but you're beating down on people who really don't have much a choice... You keep saying move closer but you gotta realize most people live in the suburbs for a reason

-- Crime
-- Affordability
-- Space (which is especially important if you have a family)
-- School District

ect...

The thing is very basic, don't criticize the masses until you are in their position. I personally would have loathed living anywhere ITP. It's a beautiful place don't get me wrong but its just not for me. You can't tailor the population of the metro to meet your desires..thats just not how it works...

Yes... Atlanta DOES need a better transit system
No... Reducing road lanes (except for the exception of adding transit) will not make the situation any better

Chicago's metro is somewhere around 10 million last I checked it and even they still deal with traffic congestion. the issue though is...Chicago has like 10 different ways to reach 1 destination.

The solution isn't to "discourage driving" (especially while its the only means of transportation through most of the metro.) but "encourage transit" will go alot further.

 
Old 05-28-2018, 01:31 PM
 
10,140 posts, read 7,137,613 times
Reputation: 3132
N4C- Again, we agree on all the major points. I say over and over that I am not advocating transit just to be mean to drivers or put down drivers. But someone needs to call out the hard truths that we all seem to be aware of. We need to focus more on mass transit and since things like money and right-of-way are finite there are going to be times that comes at the expense of drivers.

I guess if people are just looking for a place to vent about traffic then I am just raining on the parade by pointing out solutions that people don't want to hear.

I mean if we want to get on the tangent topic of how transit is the "only" reason to remove lanes and also how to avoid big boon dongle projects like the Big Dig and Alaska viaduct then we only need to look at projects where they simply remove urban highways. Money is saved, the world still turns, the downtowns are still vibrant, and traffic still sucks.

Do people really just want an echo chamber to vent about traffic? I guess I already come off as harsh so I will be direct here too: do we need to create a new thread that is a "safe space" for drivers to just vent about traffic that us urbansit folks will just stay out of offering solutions that most apparently are already on board with?
 
Old 05-28-2018, 02:48 PM
 
1,252 posts, read 544,568 times
Reputation: 1052
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
N4C- Again, we agree on all the major points. I say over and over that I am not advocating transit just to be mean to drivers or put down drivers. But someone needs to call out the hard truths that we all seem to be aware of. We need to focus more on mass transit and since things like money and right-of-way are finite there are going to be times that comes at the expense of drivers.

I guess if people are just looking for a place to vent about traffic then I am just raining on the parade by pointing out solutions that people don't want to hear.

I mean if we want to get on the tangent topic of how transit is the "only" reason to remove lanes and also how to avoid big boon dongle projects like the Big Dig and Alaska viaduct then we only need to look at projects where they simply remove urban highways. Money is saved, the world still turns, the downtowns are still vibrant, and traffic still sucks.

Do people really just want an echo chamber to vent about traffic? I guess I already come off as harsh so I will be direct here too: do we need to create a new thread that is a "safe space" for drivers to just vent about traffic that us urbansit folks will just stay out of offering solutions that most apparently are already on board with?
Well I will definitely agree that transit needs to be addressed long before anything on the financial scale of a Big Dig project were to take place. Atlanta is LONG overdue for it..and I mean LONG overdue. To the decree where I can't realistically forsee how they intend on keeping it a functional metro with the explosion of population growths, densifications, and a transit system literally designed for the 80's (although I give props as it does look like they are trying to work up some plans.. some pretty optimistic stuff seems to be in the works, although suburban areas for now still seem out of luck...hopefully that will change soon.)

With a good transit system, the interstates ITP "should" be more than enough, provided there's redundant transit.. yes..I do believe there could be road improvements to go above and beyond that...but transit seriously needs attention before any of that.

OTP is a different animal...and sometimes I feel that people generalize that transit is the cure-all.. where I believe (largely due to sprawl) that transit would probably be far less effective to commuting around OTP suburbs than vehicles will..unless obsurds amount of money were spent creating impractical transit routes that is... I mean...it can be done... its just nowhere near as fundamentally easy as it is generalizing the population will be commuting to the core of the city...where especially in Atlanta metro that isnt always the case... Because this, this is one reason that I say even though we need these transit systems..it doesn't necessarily mean that we can forgo or ignore our roads and highways...they also need attention...

There are some roads that service too many suburban communities with absolutely no alternatives to them and these roads are often encumbered with like 20 intersections... some of them would greatly benefit (in a sense of traffic atleast, not sure about in a sense of area and prestige) to be converted to super arterials with optional tolled overpasses over congested intersections or (my personal dream network) a concentrated attempt at designing suburban connectors built much like Ronald Reagan Pkwy, basically a 2 lane avenue with grade separation or basically high capacity avenues designed with the intent on keeping traffic away from the perimeter or suburban surface streets unless they need to be there. Such a system would not be intended to connect interstate to interstate, but more so community to community.

Then lastly the outer perimeter keeping trucks away from the congested areas of the downtown area... you see what I am trying to imply is these roads do more than just commute people into downtown and are particularly a vital part of Atlanta's transportation infrastructure, the issue here is today they're literally the ONLY part of most of Atlanta metro's transportation infrastructure, they can't necessarily be replaced.. they can (and some need to) be improved but its going to take a coordinated plan on both mass transportation AND road planning (and more to it than just slapping down 16 lane super highways, designated corridors with planned routes and the planned type of traffic using those routes.)


In short... its not going to be cheap or easy...but if done right it will be lightyears better than what Atlanta has today... we don't need to reduce roadways to reduce congestion, we just need to make sure they aren't the only means of transportation and control the kind of traffic / development surrounding them.
 
Old 05-28-2018, 04:07 PM
 
5,799 posts, read 5,151,198 times
Reputation: 3871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Well I will definitely agree that transit needs to be addressed long before anything on the financial scale of a Big Dig project were to take place. Atlanta is LONG overdue for it..and I mean LONG overdue. To the decree where I can't realistically forsee how they intend on keeping it a functional metro with the explosion of population growths, densifications, and a transit system literally designed for the 80's (although I give props as it does look like they are trying to work up some plans.. some pretty optimistic stuff seems to be in the works, although suburban areas for now still seem out of luck...hopefully that will change soon.)

With a good transit system, the interstates ITP "should" be more than enough, provided there's redundant transit.. yes..I do believe there could be road improvements to go above and beyond that...but transit seriously needs attention before any of that.

OTP is a different animal...and sometimes I feel that people generalize that transit is the cure-all.. where I believe (largely due to sprawl) that transit would probably be far less effective to commuting around OTP suburbs than vehicles will..unless obsurds amount of money were spent creating impractical transit routes that is... I mean...it can be done... its just nowhere near as fundamentally easy as it is generalizing the population will be commuting to the core of the city...where especially in Atlanta metro that isnt always the case... Because this, this is one reason that I say even though we need these transit systems..it doesn't necessarily mean that we can forgo or ignore our roads and highways...they also need attention...

There are some roads that service too many suburban communities with absolutely no alternatives to them and these roads are often encumbered with like 20 intersections... some of them would greatly benefit (in a sense of traffic atleast, not sure about in a sense of area and prestige) to be converted to super arterials with optional tolled overpasses over congested intersections or (my personal dream network) a concentrated attempt at designing suburban connectors built much like Ronald Reagan Pkwy, basically a 2 lane avenue with grade separation or basically high capacity avenues designed with the intent on keeping traffic away from the perimeter or suburban surface streets unless they need to be there. Such a system would not be intended to connect interstate to interstate, but more so community to community.

Then lastly the outer perimeter keeping trucks away from the congested areas of the downtown area... you see what I am trying to imply is these roads do more than just commute people into downtown and are particularly a vital part of Atlanta's transportation infrastructure, the issue here is today they're literally the ONLY part of most of Atlanta metro's transportation infrastructure, they can't necessarily be replaced.. they can (and some need to) be improved but its going to take a coordinated plan on both mass transportation AND road planning (and more to it than just slapping down 16 lane super highways, designated corridors with planned routes and the planned type of traffic using those routes.)


In short... its not going to be cheap or easy...but if done right it will be lightyears better than what Atlanta has today... we don't need to reduce roadways to reduce congestion, we just need to make sure they aren't the only means of transportation and control the kind of traffic / development surrounding them.
Those are excellent comments and points.

Though, those of us who might like to see some expanded and/or added roadway capacity as a means of alleviating traffic must keep in mind that any transportation plan that involves tearing down even a relatively modest number of existing homes and businesses most likely will be dead-on-arrival politically.

Metro Atlantans and North Georgians just generally are often extremely resistant to the idea of any new roadway infrastructure that is larger than a four-lane parkway with a landscaped median being built.

Metro Atlanta and North Georgia residents also generally are often even more extremely resistant to any new roadway infrastructure being built that proposes to take existing homes, businesses and even undeveloped land and open space.

That extreme public resistance to the construction of large-scale new road infrastructure is one of the major reasons why the erstwhile proposed Outer Perimeter encountered severe public resistance while it was an active proposal in the late 1990's and early 2000's and was eventually officially cancelled in 2003.

You can have a good regional transportation plan, but it most likely is not going to include any new large-scale highway construction, particularly along the lines of a revived proposed Outer Perimeter superhighway... Especially in a metropolitan region and state where many residents view proposals of new large-scale highway construction projects (like the aforementioned Outer Perimeter superhighway) as a personal affront and a mortal threat to their extremely beloved Southern Appalachian/Blue Ridge Foothills suburban/exurban lifestyle.

Severe resistance by a robust and deceptively supremely powerful coalition of ITP/Intown Atlanta neighborhood activists, local/regional/national environmental activists, local landowners and local county governments (particularly in counties like Forsyth, Cherokee, Bartow and Paulding) are a major reason why Atlanta does not have an Outer Perimeter superhighway today and likely is never going to see one built.

That particular coalition that took down the Outer Perimeter takes great pride in being thorns in the sides of Georgia politicians until they decide to retreat from whatever unpopular large-scale road construction proposals (both real and perceived) they may be pushing.
 
Old 05-28-2018, 04:54 PM
 
4,500 posts, read 2,983,586 times
Reputation: 2949
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
Sam - Yes, we are talking over much longer periods of time than one year with projects like this. How many miles would you like to attribute to the Big Dig? I think you are going to struggle to find a way to consider it longer than the cheaper, higher capacity 8.5 mile Second Street Subway.
I didn't try to.

Quote:
Seriously Sam, why do you feel a need to argue with everything I say no matter what I say? We have gotten into it on all these sort of topics before and we end up agreeing on the major points almost every time when we get down to it.
I feel the need to point out when you post blatant falsehoods in some attempt to bolster your argument. The Big Dig was not $22 billion for 1.5 miles of highway. That is plain false. The project cost was under $15 billion for more than 5 miles of underground and underwater highway, a new bridge, a direct airport connection, new parks, and new public transit projects. The remainder of the cost is interest, which is a financial issue, not a project cost. You framed it as just for a little section of road. That's dishonest debate tactics. And when anyone is completely dishonest with their so-called proof, I will call them out on it. The reason I call you out constantly, is because you do this constantly.

Same reason I called out the guy who posted the image of the "50-lane Chinese highway traffic jam" as so-called proof that no matter how wide you make a highway, it fills up. That was, of course, easily debunked.

Note that I did not call you out on the claim that a single light rail train line can carry the same capacity as a 12-lane highway. Because, yes, if you manage to have a full capacity two-car light-rail train pass through a point every 65 seconds, that will equal the design capacity of a 12-lane freeway (cars going 60 MPH, spaced 176' or 2 seconds apart, with all cars being single occupancy). More realistically, you'd need a train about every 50 seconds. So, yeah...it's technically possible. Others called you out and asked for proof, which you didn't give. I just gave it to you, and you are free to use it in future posts.

Quote:
It is getting old.
Then stop being dishonest. Numerous people have sent me a PM thanking me for calling out false proof in debates, specifically on many of your posts. I don't care if I agree with someone or not. I've called out people I agree with for using knowingly false information. I try to research and provide proof of claims I make (and I have made mistakes), and I check on others' proof.
 
Old 05-28-2018, 05:06 PM
 
311 posts, read 110,550 times
Reputation: 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
N4C- Again, we agree on all the major points. I say over and over that I am not advocating transit just to be mean to drivers or put down drivers. But someone needs to call out the hard truths that we all seem to be aware of. We need to focus more on mass transit and since things like money and right-of-way are finite there are going to be times that comes at the expense of drivers.

I guess if people are just looking for a place to vent about traffic then I am just raining on the parade by pointing out solutions that people don't want to hear.

I mean if we want to get on the tangent topic of how transit is the "only" reason to remove lanes and also how to avoid big boon dongle projects like the Big Dig and Alaska viaduct then we only need to look at projects where they simply remove urban highways. Money is saved, the world still turns, the downtowns are still vibrant, and traffic still sucks.

Do people really just want an echo chamber to vent about traffic? I guess I already come off as harsh so I will be direct here too: do we need to create a new thread that is a "safe space" for drivers to just vent about traffic that us urbansit folks will just stay out of offering solutions that most apparently are already on board with?
If the only solution to transit you always suggest is people moving next to a Marta rail then of course they aren’t going to take you seriously or want to hear it. Lmao.
 
Old 05-28-2018, 08:00 PM
 
10,140 posts, read 7,137,613 times
Reputation: 3132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
...
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otakumaster View Post
If the only solution to transit you always suggest is people moving next to a Marta rail then of course they aren’t going to take you seriously or want to hear it. Lmao.
Not the "only" suggestion, but the main one. Right there with congestion tolling.

What solution do you have in mind?

Last edited by jsvh; 05-28-2018 at 08:15 PM..
 
Old 05-28-2018, 08:11 PM
 
10,140 posts, read 7,137,613 times
Reputation: 3132
Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
I feel the need to point out when you post blatant falsehoods in some attempt to bolster your argument. The Big Dig was not $22 billion for 1.5 miles of highway. That is plain false. The project cost was under $15 billion for more than 5 miles of underground and underwater highway, a new bridge, a direct airport connection, new parks, and new public transit projects. The remainder of the cost is interest, which is a financial issue, not a project cost. You framed it as just for a little section of road. That's dishonest debate tactics. And when anyone is completely dishonest with their so-called proof, I will call them out on it. The reason I call you out constantly, is because you do this constantly.
"The Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T), known unofficially as the Big Dig, was a megaproject in Boston that rerouted the Central Artery of Interstate 93, the chief highway through the heart of the city, into the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel.

...

The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest..."



These are not "blatant falsehoods". These are you nitpicking details that don't change the point. Fine call it 5 miles and $15 Billion. The point is that the boondoggle of that is the second street subway is still getting you more length and capacity for your dollar.

The bigger point being, transit is the better value in urban areas for our finite infrastructure resources, which is something you seem to agree with when we get down to it.
 
Old 05-28-2018, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
1,843 posts, read 2,066,718 times
Reputation: 2041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
You say "rail as the main form of transport" is unrealistic then in your next sentence you mention New York City which is one of multiple places where the majority of people commute by rail.

And isn't that really a lesson in how we should not wait to build more rail transit options (or at least not have ripped out the dozens of rail transit lines cover the Atlanta metro in the past)?

What do you think the alternative is? The trillions we are spending on roads is not cutting it. We are dropping a billion at a time just trying to keep highway interchanges updated, let alone costs of something like the "Big Dig" which costs $22 Billion for 1.5 miles. Compare that to the often-critiqued-for-being-expensive new Second Avenue Subway Line in NYC which has ~three times the capacity and is 8.5 miles in length for ~$17B (elsewhere new subway is being built for many times cheaper).

Does that mean Atlanta needs to become NYC and have a majority of people commuting by rail next year? No. But it does mean we can learn a thing or two from how larger cities are moving people around if we want to continue to grow. There are no larger cities that effectively move people around and do it 90%+ by car.
What I wanted to be taken from that "rail as the main form of transit" sentence is the "rail in all directions"part.


Because that's what everyone is asking for, to bring rail to within 1/2 mile of where' Atlantans are going, which would take a...


lattice work of rail lines which is unrealistic.


And unless you have a solution to lower the cost of construction in 21st century America that has unions, requires umpteen environmental studies, and nimbys suing right and left...

then it's waste of everyone's time to continue repeating the same talking points without addressing everything that comes along with it.

Sharing the freight lines isn't feasible. In fact, some trains idle (they can't turn off engines because brakes, etc. require engine) by people's homes for 18 hours waiting to move at all! Atlanta's tracks can't handle the all of the trains now.


And in true Atlanta fashion, I'm sure Norfolk Southern hasn't invested in or upgraded any nearby infrastructure in decades.


In a perfect world, we could possibly one day become a city with 1/3 of all trips handled by rail.

So can we support and fine-tune our roads that will continue facilitating the movement of our food, materials, delivery of our online orders without bashing everything associated with our existing surface road infrastructure that is our lifeline?

Atlanta's spread out, suburban, and tree-filled footprint is what people move here for.

The 300-400 people per acre required for sole dependence on rail isn't going to happen.

With a lot of effort you might be able to buy the land for a corridor through existing properties to get one or two completely new tracks built for either commuter or heavy rail, but I don't much more than that is realistic for this area.







This article, which foolishly uses 2nd Ave Subway project like it's in anyway a typical example of costs,...

Also cites Atlanta's study of the cost of bringing heavy rail or light rail for the Eastside Extension, and say that light rail came in only slightly cheaper than heavy.

So if true, I'm for MARTA's heavy rail just to be extended if possible, and the light rail could be limited to beltline and areas inside beltline.

https://www.citylab.com/transportati...the-us/551408/

Last edited by architect77; 05-28-2018 at 09:09 PM..
 
Old 05-28-2018, 09:41 PM
 
4,500 posts, read 2,983,586 times
Reputation: 2949
You left out the next sentence from your own source!! "The project also included the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel (extending Interstate 90 to Logan International Airport) (3.5 miles), the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the space vacated by the previous I-93 elevated roadway." And further down on the page: "A number of public transportation projects were included as part of an environmental mitigation for the Big Dig. The most expensive was the building of the Phase II Silver Line tunnel under Fort Point Channel, done in coordination with Big Dig construction."

Picking one part of the project while using the entire project cost plus remaining financial costs as proof...you still don't see the issue here??? That would be like me remodeling my entire house, then claiming the bathroom cost that much.

Quote:
The point is that the boondoggle of that is the second street subway is still getting you more length and capacity for your dollar.
Sure. But "capacity" is but one part of the puzzle. It actually needs to be able to get people to and from places without too much extra work on their part in order for them to switch.

Also, note that you are saying the project will cost $17b for 8.5 miles. Keep in mind that The Big Dig was supposed to cost under $3B, but ran into construction issues that drove the cost up. Only two miles of the 2nd Street are currently open...lots can happen.... And also, wasn't a lot of the tunnel boring done in the 70s?

Quote:
The bigger point being, transit is the better value in urban areas for our finite infrastructure resources, which is something you seem to agree with when we get down to it.
In certain parts, yes. I also suggest that some road projects are a better value than something like the streetcar. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
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