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Old 11-02-2017, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,752,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
I was also going to say Seattle. Seattle voters actually rejected Federal funding to build a heavy rail subway in Seattle back in the 70s, and now since that city is booming they are investing so much time and money just for a light rail. So clearly that was a huge mistake.

And the dumbest part about this is that Federal funds were going to pay for it, so why turn it down...?
If their governor was anything like Bobby Jinderp then he turned it down to make a statement. We had the opportunity to secure funding for a commuter rail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:58 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,127 posts, read 23,642,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
Vancouver's system isn't light rail. The system is driverless and powered by the third rail. Neither is Taipei's.
Definitions differ, the brown line in Taipei is often cited as light rail as is skytrain and that has to with vehicle size. I mentioned them because the post I was responding to was highlighting features that make light rail operate like heavy rail and that there are grey zones that come with varying definitions and those lines are basically at the edge of that.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa - St. Louis
1,090 posts, read 1,626,549 times
Reputation: 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric324 View Post
Agreed. But what they're building now still resembles rapid transit more than traditional at-grade light rail overall. Seattle just passed a $54 Billion measure for light rail expansion (On top of two previous measures). Those are typical HRT-level costs. If it was at-grade it would have been less than 1/4 of that.
A lot of that probably has to do with the high cost of property, ROW, easements, etc. in the Seattle area and it's super hilly topography also. St. Louis has a totally grade separated light rail system that's larger than Seattle's, it has subway and elevated portions, and it was nowhere near that expensive. We could probably build out the rest of our system, which would double the size of our system, for about $5B max.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,112 posts, read 1,305,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
If their governor was anything like Bobby Jinderp then he turned it down to make a statement. We had the opportunity to secure funding for a commuter rail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
Actually, I believe it was the voters, the actual people of Seattle ó and not politicians ó that turned down this rapid transit system, which was going to be paid for by the Federal government too by the way. The Twin cities turned down the same offer as well. I donít understand why voters would turn this down. I guess itís just NIMBYism at its finest. Itís really a shame imagining what could have been as both cities really couldíve used this and Iím sure both really wish they had these today. Instead all the money went to MARTA in ATL and BART in the Bay Area.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,534 posts, read 3,686,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Actually, I believe it was the voters, the actual people of Seattle — and not politicians — that turned down this rapid transit system, which was going to be paid for by the Federal government too by the way. The Twin cities turned down the same offer as well. I don’t understand why voters would turn this down. I guess it’s just NIMBYism at its finest. It’s really a shame imagining what could have been as both cities really could’ve used this and I’m sure both really wish they had these today. Instead all the money went to MARTA in ATL and BART in the Bay Area.
This is correct. The voters had the final say.

I have been studying this in recent days to answer some questions. To put it simply, in 1968, the rail transit measure was considered too big for a still smallish Seattle. Botton line, most Seattleites were living in the present and didn't think traffic was that big of a deal. They loved their cars and didn't want Seattle to become a New York or Chicago. Additionally, they didn't care for all the other non-transit capital projects that were thrown in (a mistake). In 1970, with the repackage, the economy had tanked with the Boeing recession. The sentiment was similar. Not the time to to invest in a major rapid transit system.

While we can look back at this as short-sided today, we have to remember the mindset in 1968 and 1970.

Here is one of the best articles I have found on the subject.

How Seattle blew its chance at a subway system

Last edited by pnwguy2; 11-02-2017 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:03 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,127 posts, read 23,642,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
This is correct. The voters had the final say.

I have been studying this in recent days to answer some questions. To put it simply, in 1968, the rail transit measure was considered too big for a still smallish Seattle. Botton line, most Seattleites were living in the present and didn't think traffic was that big of a deal. They loved their cars and didn't want Seattle to become a New York or Chicago. Additionally, they didn't care for all the other non-transit capital projects that were thrown in (a mistake). In 1970, with the repackage, the economy had tanked with the Boeing recession. The sentiment was similar. Not the time to to invest in a major rapid transit system.

While we can look back at this as short-sided today, we have to remember the mindset in 1968 and 1970.

Here is one of the best articles I have found on the subject.

How Seattle blew its chance at a subway system
I think you can still solidly make a case it was short-sighted. Atlanta wasn't a bustling metropolis and went for it. The federal government was going to pick up a massive portion of the cost and that by itself would have been a huge influx into the regional economy in addition the far greater potential productivity that the system itself actually brings. As you see in your article, the plan polled well initially at the time. However, there was a turning point when General Motors came in to help bolster funding for the opposition campaign. Seattle basically got played, that's all.

Seattle certainly is trying to make up for it now, but mass transit costs per mile in the US are really high these days and Seattle currently has one single, fairly short line under use.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
3,929 posts, read 2,213,027 times
Reputation: 2610
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I think you can still solidly make a case it was short-sighted. Atlanta wasn't a bustling metropolis and went for it. The federal government was going to pick up a massive portion of the cost and that by itself would have been a huge influx into the regional economy in addition the far greater potential productivity that the system itself actually brings. As you see in your article, the plan polled well initially at the time. However, there was a turning point when General Motors came in to help bolster funding for the opposition campaign. Seattle basically got played, that's all.

Seattle certainly is trying to make up for it now, but mass transit costs per mile in the US are really high these days and Seattle currently has one single, fairly short line under use.
I also think that Seattle natives never wanted to live in a large major city. Seattleites always seem to get angry when new districts get up zoned and height limits raised. There was a huge uproar when south lake union was supposed to get a bunch of tall skyscrapers because the views would be blocked. I think this is why Seattleites kept rejecting rail transit, since rail transit signifies that you live in a major city. Seattle has a phobia of change and growth, but it still comes and only makes things only worse, it seems like finally there are more transplants living in Seattle than natives and Seattle has finally accepted that it's a fast growing major city and has taken on many major projects such as the light rail and the Viaduct replacement tunnel.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,112 posts, read 1,305,291 times
Reputation: 1825
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
This is correct. The voters had the final say.

I have been studying this in recent days to answer some questions. To put it simply, in 1968, the rail transit measure was considered too big for a still smallish Seattle. Botton line, most Seattleites were living in the present and didn't think traffic was that big of a deal. They loved their cars and didn't want Seattle to become a New York or Chicago. Additionally, they didn't care for all the other non-transit capital projects that were thrown in (a mistake). In 1970, with the repackage, the economy had tanked with the Boeing recession. The sentiment was similar. Not the time to to invest in a major rapid transit system.

While we can look back at this as short-sided today, we have to remember the mindset in 1968 and 1970.

Here is one of the best articles I have found on the subject.

How Seattle blew its chance at a subway system
Thank you for the info. I still think it was very shortsighted, but at least it makes sense to me now. The article was well written and a very interesting read. It did a great job showing the perspective of the voters back then that voted against it. I get it now. I like how they gave some info on the transit plan too, as I was very curious about that:

Quote:
The Forward Thrust vision for transit was a 47-mile, 30-station rail rapid transit system with four lines running out of downtown to the corners of the city and across the lake to Bellevue, to be built by 1985. The measure wouldíve also funded 90 miles of express bus service, and over 500 miles of local bus service to feed the rail system.
This sounds like a really good deal too. It definitely sounds like this couldíve been one of the better subway systems in the US somewhere in the tier below DC and Chicago. It really is a shame that this was not built. But I do have to say that 4 lines with only 30 stations sounds very odd. Just imagine though, now all this money and effort going to establishing a transit system in Seattle now would probably have been going to expanding this already existing Rapid transit system.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:51 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,127 posts, read 23,642,005 times
Reputation: 11611
Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Thank you for the info. I still think it was very shortsighted, but at least it makes sense to me now. The article was well written and a very interesting read. It did a great job showing the perspective of the voters back then that voted against it. I get it now. I like how they gave some info on the transit plan too, as I was very curious about that:



This sounds like a really good deal too. It definitely sounds like this could’ve been one of the better subway systems in the US somewhere in the tier below DC and Chicago. It really is a shame that this was not built. But I do have to say that 4 lines with only 30 stations sounds very odd. Just imagine though, now all this money and effort going to establishing a transit system in Seattle now would probably have been going to expanding this already existing Rapid transit system.
It was going to operate the way that BART, Washington Metro, and MARTA are run where there were further out suburban stations placed further apart and interlined central sections that shared track and stations. It was a pretty good starter network and were it built in that time, it probably would have or would currently be undergoing expansions and added infill stations.

If Seattle or the Twin Cities had built their systems of this era, there’s no question in my mind that they would be contenders for being in the tier of urban, walkable cities under NYC.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,112 posts, read 1,305,291 times
Reputation: 1825
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
It was going to operate the way that BART, Washington Metro, and MARTA are run where there were further out suburban stations placed further apart and interlined central sections that shared track and stations. It was a pretty good starter network and were it built in that time, it probably would have or would currently be undergoing expansions and added infill stations.

If Seattle or the Twin Cities had built their systems of this era, thereís no question in my mind that they would be contenders for being in the tier of urban, walkable cities under NYC.
What a shame. I really wish these measures could have passed. Iíd be kinda pissed if I were someone in Seattle or the Twin Cities today hearing about this. Itís kind of funny in a way that Atlanta ended up getting all the funding instead. I havenít been to the Twin Cities, but I feel like Seattle wouldíve made much greater use of something like this over Atlanta, and Iíd imagine the Twin Cities too.

But this is really great for Atlanta though. Iím sure this decision that they made will pay off for them in the future as the city continues to grow and add infill.
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