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Old 01-24-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,278 posts, read 14,027,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houston-nomad View Post
You can't have rail to the 'burbs until you have rail within town. Otherwise people will take a train in from Sugar Land, then be unable to get from downtown to the Galleria for a meeting or whatever. Or from the train stop to their work. This is step one.
And this is why I changed my stance on the system Houston is building. I think it is the most urban new transit light rail system in the nation. It's like a 21st century version of San Francisco's trolleys which is a great benefit to that city. Hopefully, heavy rail is in the Houston area's future.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
And this is why I changed my stance on the system Houston is building. I think it is the most urban new transit light rail system in the nation. It's like a 21st century version of San Francisco's trolleys which is a great benefit to that city. Hopefully, heavy rail is in the Houston area's future.
Yeah, I'm liking how it's turning out. Using light rail in the urban core, and then have commuter rail coming in from the suburbs.

Here is METRO's commuter rail plan: Commuter Rail

So, four lines are proposed so far for commuter rail. My only complaint with METRO's light rail is how many trains can be used. Most systems can link up at least three trains per station. METRO is only two, but that's not a big gripe. Do wish they could put the Uptown Line in a subway though. I've only read where part of it will be (when it goes under 610 and pops up before the Northwest Transit Center).
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:32 PM
 
11,285 posts, read 16,885,590 times
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Originally Posted by Scarface713 View Post
My only complaint with METRO's light rail is how many trains can be used. Most systems can link up at least three trains per station. METRO is only two, but that's not a big gripe.
Really it's not that they "can't" it's just that they don't want to block an intersection while a train is stopped at a station, which is usually not for that long at all. Once it gets out of the downtown area grid the "rules" can change. Although I don't see what the big deal is for waiting a minute or two for a train. People do that at normal red lights for longer everywhere all the time.

I'd like to see them give more priority to the trains, especially once ridership goes up as I figure will happen once more spots are connected. Less stopping at red lights for them. Maybe they could put the lights on flash so traffic running parallel to the train can go forward after a three/four way stop. I've seen this done with regular railroad lines running along regular roads, like Highway 6 going through Santa Fe which I used to travel a lot when I lived and worked down that way.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,529,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houston-nomad View Post
You can't have rail to the 'burbs until you have rail within town. Otherwise people will take a train in from Sugar Land, then be unable to get from downtown to the Galleria for a meeting or whatever. Or from the train stop to their work. This is step one.
Have you considered that that person could take the bus from downtown to the Galleria and then take the Post Oak Blvd bus down to the commuter rail station at Westpark and 610?

Light rail and commuter rail are separate issues. Light rail is designed for local trips and commuter rail is designed for city-to-suburb (or rarely suburb-to-suburb) trips.

Lightning fast commuter rail to downtown discourages growth in edge cities (such as the Galleria/Uptown district) which were originally designed as suburbs, and depending on the distance from the downtown and immediate environs, are now urbanized. I see an opportunity for a Downtown to Tomball service on that track along 249 since it is hard to get to downtown from there by road.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Inner Loop
789 posts, read 875,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
I'd like to see them give more priority to the trains, especially once ridership goes up as I figure will happen once more spots are connected. Less stopping at red lights for them. Maybe they could put the lights on flash so traffic running parallel to the train can go forward after a three/four way stop. I've seen this done with regular railroad lines running along regular roads, like Highway 6 going through Santa Fe which I used to travel a lot when I lived and worked down that way.
This has really been my only gripe with the Light Rail. Which is why I said I wish they would just elevate the lines. But, if they could somehow give the trains more priority I wouldn't have any gripes at all. I wouldn't even drive my car half the time, if not more.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
8,831 posts, read 8,086,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
Really it's not that they "can't" it's just that they don't want to block an intersection while a train is stopped at a station, which is usually not for that long at all. Once it gets out of the downtown area grid the "rules" can change. Although I don't see what the big deal is for waiting a minute or two for a train. People do that at normal red lights for longer everywhere all the time.

I'd like to see them give more priority to the trains, especially once ridership goes up as I figure will happen once more spots are connected. Less stopping at red lights for them. Maybe they could put the lights on flash so traffic running parallel to the train can go forward after a three/four way stop. I've seen this done with regular railroad lines running along regular roads, like Highway 6 going through Santa Fe which I used to travel a lot when I lived and worked down that way.
Yeah, it's not METRO's fault. It's the short blocks in Downtown Houston's fault. The only solution would be for it not to be on street level. And the rules can't really change since they can't unhook a train when they go into Downtown.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,529,152 times
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Originally Posted by Kenpar View Post
Which is why I said I wish they would just elevate the lines.
Hopefully that will happen so we can have a Chicago-type 'L' in our downtown. We'll consider the Main Street light rail to be the equivalent of the State Street subway.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
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Originally Posted by KerrTown View Post
Hopefully that will happen so we can have a Chicago-type 'L' in our downtown. We'll consider the Main Street light rail to be the equivalent of the State Street subway.
I've always wondered why people call it the Main Street Light Rail line. It's called the Red Line. I remember people in Afton Oaks try to make fun of METRO about that and say "the light rail line doesn't even run on Main Street".
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,529,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarface713 View Post
I've always wondered why people call it the Main Street Light Rail line. It's called the Red Line. I remember people in Afton Oaks try to make fun of METRO about that and say "the light rail line doesn't even run on Main Street".
Because there is no system to speak of yet. (IIRC the State Street subway is the Red Line in the CTA.)
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:51 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
8,831 posts, read 8,086,028 times
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Originally Posted by KerrTown View Post
Because there is no system to speak of yet. (IIRC the State Street subway is the Red Line in the CTA.)
But like half of the line doesn't even run on Main Street. And METRO calls it the Red Line.

Just a small gripe.
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