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View Poll Results: Better transit?
Charlotte 18 41.86%
Houston 25 58.14%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-02-2018, 03:04 PM
 
1,973 posts, read 2,577,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Yeah I don't remember Metrorail in Houston ever calling itself a rapid transit system.
OK, even if Houston folks don't call it rapid transit (even though the title Metrorail strongly implies it as I know of no named metro rail systems -- most notably the huge, excellent one in DC, that are NOT rapid transit systems), I just am not a fan of glorified streetcar systems in big cities doing the work of rapid transit -- that is, lines extending several miles -- sometimes 10, 15 or more miles out. I do think limited streetcars in around CBD's can be useful, like the heritage system in Dallas or the limited systems in Charlotte and Seattle, but not as the 'main' rail system in a huge metropolis like Houston, which could easily have supported HRT or at least high-capacity, grade separated LRT ... like what Charlotte already has.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,247 posts, read 25,947,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
OK, even if Houston folks don't call it rapid transit (even though the title Metrorail strongly implies it as I know of no named metro rail systems -- most notably the huge, excellent one in DC, that are NOT rapid transit systems), I just am not a fan of glorified streetcar systems in big cities doing the work of rapid transit -- that is, lines extending several miles -- sometimes 10, 15 or more miles out. I do think limited streetcars in around CBD's can be useful, like the heritage system in Dallas or the limited systems in Charlotte and Seattle, but not as the 'main' rail system in a huge metropolis like Houston, which could easily have supported HRT or at least high-capacity, grade separated LRT ... like what Charlotte already has.
That I won't find disagreement with. I don't know if the density is there to support HRT but if Atlanta has it, Houston can definitely have it. But what Houston has is nothing like what St Louis has. Both call itself light rail but St Louis LRT runs like a HRT system.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
586 posts, read 427,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
That I won't find disagreement with. I don't know if the density is there to support HRT but if Atlanta has it, Houston can definitely have it. But what Houston has is nothing like what St Louis has. Both call itself light rail but St Louis LRT runs like a HRT system.
Thatís not necessarily true. Houston is more spread out and has really heavy car-centric culture at the moment.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,575 posts, read 3,334,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
high-capacity, grade separated LRT ... like what Charlotte already has.
Charlotte light rail doesnít appear to be grade separated looking at the photos on nycsubway.org. Grade separated implies that itís mostly underground or mostly above ground. Do you mean that it operates on its on right of way instead of on the street?
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
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Originally Posted by meep View Post
That’s not necessarily true. Houston is more spread out and has really heavy car-centric culture at the moment.
Atlanta isn't part of the thread so I'll only say this once here. Houston does have a higher urban density and it's urban area is actually smaller in size than Atlanta's. If you go by MSA, half of Houston's MSA is actually swamp, grassland, lakes, bayous, etc. The Houston area is slightly more compact than Atlanta. But that's the end of that.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,412 posts, read 2,226,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Atlanta isn't part of the thread so I'll only say this once here. Houston does have a higher urban density and it's urban area is actually smaller in size than Atlanta's. If you go by MSA, half of Houston's MSA is actually swamp, grassland, lakes, bayous, etc. The Houston area is slightly more compact than Atlanta. But that's the end of that.

Charlotte implemented light rail at the right time during it's growth to prepare for the southern march of people to the southern cities. Atlanta's Marta has done phenomenally well. Dallas Dart System has issues but it is able to serve a huge number of people and is continuing its build out. Denver has a nice system. Raleigh/Durham finally got theirs approved and is underway.

Houston's greatest strength is also it's weakness Oil/Gas/Energy. And because of this they have been reluctant to use Light rail and high speed rail as it's not going to line anyone's pockets. Just as their economy is still top heavy with Oil and gas and why they bled jobs last year when gas was really low. They have got to do do better. There is a reason Toyota and all the other companies have moved to their operations to Dallas and why Houston was never on Amazons list. For such a huge city it's a one trick pony. Hopefully the city leaders will start to diversify more than they already have and look into the future.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:07 PM
 
536 posts, read 361,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taynxtlvl View Post
Charlotte implemented light rail at the right time during it's growth to prepare for the southern march of people to the southern cities. Atlanta's Marta has done phenomenally well. Dallas Dart System has issues but it is able to serve a huge number of people and is continuing its build out. Denver has a nice system. Raleigh/Durham finally got theirs approved and is underway.

Houston's greatest strength is also it's weakness Oil/Gas/Energy. And because of this they have been reluctant to use Light rail and high speed rail as it's not going to line anyone's pockets. Just as their economy is still top heavy with Oil and gas and why they bled jobs last year when gas was really low. They have got to do do better. There is a reason Toyota and all the other companies have moved to their operations to Dallas and why Houston was never on Amazons list. For such a huge city it's a one trick pony. Hopefully the city leaders will start to diversify more than they already have and look into the future.
Just because Houston is the headquarters of many pills companies didn't mean that the price of gas is cheaper or there is a big support local when it comes to buying gas.
Houston is no different from Charlotte, ATL or Dallas when it comes to driving and car culture so I don't see any weight in your argument.

The only difference between the Houston system development and that of DFW is that Houston suffered because of the politics played by Delay and Culberson. Houston is more dense and Dallas or ATL, it didn't make the cut for Amazon but do what? That's just one company. In the last ten years Houston was in the top five for relocations just about every year.

Please don't spread untruths or wild generalizations. Houston, Dallas and ATL have been Kings of relocations for a while now and fire many years Houston led the pack. It's structure was not that different a few years ago when it was leading the pack so I don't see why it's structure would be a factor now.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:53 PM
 
1,973 posts, read 2,577,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
Charlotte light rail doesnít appear to be grade separated looking at the photos on nycsubway.org. Grade separated implies that itís mostly underground or mostly above ground. Do you mean that it operates on its on right of way instead of on the street?
Fair point. Charlotte's system is largely grade separated, esp in/near downtown where the line is elevated in some downtown stations, esp at the big bus, LRT, streetcar hub at the convention center, and it travels elevated or below surface, often along RR ROW in other places... In a number of spots, though, it is along the surface with grade crossings that are electronically protected: flashing lights, gates, cross-bucks, etc...

Ö unlike Houston's, though, there is no street (streetcar-like) running at all. Charlotte's is entirely private ROW -- not unlike Cleveland's Blue and Green Line LRT, although Cleveland's is entirely grade separated and, indeed, in a subway downtown, 6 miles east and largely along the 2-mile Waterfront Line section downtown.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,575 posts, read 3,334,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
Fair point. Charlotte's system is largely grade separated, esp in/near downtown where the line is elevated in some downtown stations, esp at the big bus, LRT, streetcar hub at the convention center, and it travels elevated or below surface, often along RR ROW in other places... In a number of spots, though, it is along the surface with grade crossings that are electronically protected: flashing lights, gates, cross-bucks, etc...

… unlike Houston's, though, there is no street (streetcar-like) running at all. Charlotte's is entirely private ROW -- not unlike Cleveland's Blue and Green Line LRT, although Cleveland's is entirely grade separated and, indeed, in a subway downtown, 6 miles east and largely along the 2-mile Waterfront Line section downtown.
I’ve ridden a good number but less than half the light rail in the US and I haven’t ridden light rail in Charlotte or Houston. I think that I’d like the speed of Charlotte and the frequency of Houston. They run 6 minute headways all day, not just rush hour like here in LA. Doesn’t make up for the slow speeds. It’s amazing how much ridership they get considering they apparently only run 2-car trains.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM
 
53 posts, read 7,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
OK, even if Houston folks don't call it rapid transit (even though the title Metrorail strongly implies it as I know of no named metro rail systems -- most notably the huge, excellent one in DC, that are NOT rapid transit systems), I just am not a fan of glorified streetcar systems in big cities doing the work of rapid transit -- that is, lines extending several miles -- sometimes 10, 15 or more miles out. I do think limited streetcars in around CBD's can be useful, like the heritage system in Dallas or the limited systems in Charlotte and Seattle, but not as the 'main' rail system in a huge metropolis like Houston, which could easily have supported HRT or at least high-capacity, grade separated LRT ... like what Charlotte already has.
It is the 'main' rail system just by default of being the only one in Houston at the moment. It is a light-rail service as per rolling stock, but the functionality and mostly inner-city coverage clearly indicate it as a tram system. So again, in no way is the city trying to 'pass off' or 'use' that rail as rapid transit.
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