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Old 03-26-2010, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
638 posts, read 791,595 times
Reputation: 232

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Quote:
Originally Posted by domergurl View Post
Indy should have gotten a transit system up and running during the late 90's/early 00's, when the economy was going gangbusters. Now is not the time to convince people who are unemployed, uninsured to pony up cash for a rail system. They should focus on upgrading indygo and making it a viable option.

Your right with Indygo. Their service is abismal. Louisville has a bus system that is twice as large serving a population nearly half of Indy's.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:25 PM
 
369 posts, read 518,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
Your right with Indygo. Their service is abismal. Louisville has a bus system that is twice as large serving a population nearly half of Indy's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
Well Salt Lake City seems to do very well with light rail. This city is just as spread as Indy and it has a smaller overall population.

Now Indy can attempt to embrace another solution to the problem of moving people through the city (rail and increased bus service) or rely on the same tactics that encourage sprawl (poor bus service and adding lanes to existing freeways). The choice is yours.
You have mentioned Louisville and Salt Lake City. Did either of these two cities spend over a billion dollars on a football field and seats? If you factor in the Hoosier Dome/RCA Dome and the other facilities, we are likely talking billions. We were told "If you build it, 'they' will come!" The 'they' is always said to be businesses, etc.. That really didn't bring that many Fortune 500 headquarters to Indy. I highly doubt a mass transit system costing additional billions will cause any more growth than what we have seen with the stadiums. You only have a certain amount of taxes people are willing to pay. We have invested billions in sports (K-12 and professional), meeting space, and green space/parks. Eventually the tap runs dry. I think we have hit a dry spell. Until things change (either massive government cuts or social upheaval all over the Globe except the US), there likely isn't going to be as strong as support for this as there might have been 10 years ago.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: San Diego
1,759 posts, read 2,901,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravekid View Post
The plan is clear: Spend a ton of money for rail transit to Fishers and Greenwood for rush hour times only. This money would be spent much better subsidizing buses running from the suburbs to downtown and dropping off at around three strategic locations in the downtown core.
I seriously can't find where it is said that the train will only run during rush hour. Can you please say how you know this?
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:25 AM
 
369 posts, read 518,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wh15395 View Post
I seriously can't find where it is said that the train will only run during rush hour. Can you please say how you know this?
Indy Connect | A Central Indiana Public Transportation Initiative (http://www.indyconnect.org/commuterRail.htm - broken link)

"From Indy, to the suburbs and back: A ground-level, commuter train service could run north to Fishers and south to Greenwood, with multiple station stops in Indianapolis. This service could run all day from Union Station in Indianapolis to the near north side and the near south side and with less frequent runs to the suburbs."

I looked at the map on this page:
Indy Connect | A Central Indiana Public Transportation Initiative

The red line shows the commuter rail route. The thing is, there are two parts to this red line. The entire route goes from Fishers to Greenwood, _but_ only one section is listed as "high frequency all-day service." That section runs from the fairgrounds to just north of I-465 on the south side. I question what exactly this means. Since they want to be so vague with this billion dollar spending spree, I will go ahead and speculate on my end. My belief is that since the folks behind this say it is needed for congestion, then that means they want it for rush hour traffic issues. Outside of the rush hours, traffic isn't that bad. I just went last Tuesday from Cumberland on the east side to 146th Street and 37. The trip might have taken 25 minutes. Traffic wasn't light, but it wasn't heavy either..this was right around 3PMish.

I guess it is time that someone ask them point blank what they mean about this. Like I said, I have talked to a lot of folks who think they can now live in Fishers and Greenwood and would be able to hop on the train and go downtown at night for eating out or hitting up the bars and clubs, and then ride back late at night. I think IndyConnect know the need outside of the M-F rush hours just won't be there, so I predict this fancy people mover will only run out of Marion County M-F. I could see some special trips for when there are major events in the city: Colts games, Lighting of the Monument, Mini-Marathon, Race for the Cure, parades, State Fair, and SkyConcert (if they ever bring it back).

So I admit it doesn't say it will run just during the M-F rush hours, but it doesn't say it won't either. In fact, with such a huge price tag, the details are pretty vague.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
638 posts, read 791,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravekid View Post
You have mentioned Louisville and Salt Lake City. Did either of these two cities spend over a billion dollars on a football field and seats? If you factor in the Hoosier Dome/RCA Dome and the other facilities, we are likely talking billions. We were told "If you build it, 'they' will come!" The 'they' is always said to be businesses, etc.. That really didn't bring that many Fortune 500 headquarters to Indy. I highly doubt a mass transit system costing additional billions will cause any more growth than what we have seen with the stadiums. You only have a certain amount of taxes people are willing to pay. We have invested billions in sports (K-12 and professional), meeting space, and green space/parks. Eventually the tap runs dry. I think we have hit a dry spell. Until things change (either massive government cuts or social upheaval all over the Globe except the US), there likely isn't going to be as strong as support for this as there might have been 10 years ago.
You are comparing apples and oranges. A stadium is a fixed structure that benefits cities in a completely different manner than mass transit. I agree in some ways that the Colts stadium benefitted Indy in a miniscule manner, however to lumping transit with sports franchises is not fair. Look at Salt Lake City, Denver, Dallas, Houston, and even Albuquerque, NM have starter systems. Salt Lake City and Denver and actually begun to reap the benefits of their installed systems. Densities nearest to the stations are increasing, along with real-estate values and venues to cater to the new wealthy influx. I belabor Arlington County VA but if you ever want an idea of what good planning around mass transit will do for an urban environment look at a google map of the area.

Unlike fixed stadiums, transit provides a permanent convenience factor. Locales closest to stations can rely on permanent pedestrian foot traffic, additionally those very businesses donít have to wait for a game, or convention to be in town to reap direct benefits. Mass transit encourages density, now Iím not advocating the Manhattanization of Indy but clusters of 8 to 10 story condo and apartment dwellings surrounded by dense townhomes would increase the population of downtown Indy and raise tax revenue. This added tax revenue comes from the fact that most families will still chose to live further out consequently occupiers of these dwellings will mostly be empty nesters and young starters. Additionally revenue for IPS with no additional kids. Mass transit would also aide the tourism sectors of the city, once itís connected to the airport. Tourists and conventioneers alike would have the availability of being whisked into downtown on a train. In terms of encouraging larger corporations to settle within the city, well the jury is still out on that one. There isnít enough data that supports or deflates that one.

The three benefits I listed above however would be a boon to the success story that is downtown Indy. Real tangible benefits do exist from transit.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:16 AM
 
369 posts, read 518,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
Salt Lake City and Denver and actually begun to reap the benefits of their installed systems. Densities nearest to the stations are increasing, along with real-estate values and venues to cater to the new wealthy influx. I belabor Arlington County VA but if you ever want an idea of what good planning around mass transit will do for an urban environment look at a google map of the area.
I read that Denver is pulling a lot of folks for outdoor recreation as well. Again, if you can't compare fixed stadiums to rail, how can you honestly compare Denver and Salt Lake City, both within hours drives of some of the best outdoors in the nation, with Indy? This is more "if you build it, they will come" type logic. I agree that if we do have this, property values go up, but what the hell do I get out of that? So downtown Indy, Greenwood, and Fishers property values go up dramatically, and I get what, maybe a 5% boost, if that? I want the exact same rail system within miles of my home just like what Fishers and Greenwood is getting. I won't get that, I will get the joke rail line they want to put on Washington Street, which likely will be a turn-off to downtown commuters because it will take a long time to get downtown on that. Again, stealing from others so a select few benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
The three benefits I listed above however would be a boon to the success story that is downtown Indy. Real tangible benefits do exist from transit.
So a couple of billion over the last 20ish years and over the next 30 isn't enough, gotta have more billions to make "downtown Indy" successful. Why is it that only those homes downtown get to be worth a quarter of a million? Why can we spread the wealth around to everyone else?
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
638 posts, read 791,595 times
Reputation: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravekid View Post
I read that Denver is pulling a lot of folks for outdoor recreation as well. Again, if you can't compare fixed stadiums to rail, how can you honestly compare Denver and Salt Lake City, both within hours drives of some of the best outdoors in the nation, with Indy? This is more "if you build it, they will come" type logic. I agree that if we do have this, property values go up, but what the hell do I get out of that? So downtown Indy, Greenwood, and Fishers property values go up dramatically, and I get what, maybe a 5% boost, if that? I want the exact same rail system within miles of my home just like what Fishers and Greenwood is getting. I won't get that, I will get the joke rail line they want to put on Washington Street, which likely will be a turn-off to downtown commuters because it will take a long time to get downtown on that. Again, stealing from others so a select few benefit.



So a couple of billion over the last 20ish years and over the next 30 isn't enough, gotta have more billions to make "downtown Indy" successful. Why is it that only those homes downtown get to be worth a quarter of a million? Why can we spread the wealth around to everyone else?
Have you ever heard of the phrase that you have to start somewhere? Every city that exhibits character to draw a robust tourist sector has to start on one neighborhood, as rebuilding the entire city is first cost prohibitive and second impossible. Baltimore, MD took their tired empty warehouse laden water front and turned it into the Inner Harbor, a jewel of the city. Tourists flock in droves to dine, shop and enjoy the views. The investment within this small area has slowly begun to trickle out to other areas of the city, fells Point has now been fully revitalized. Little Italy has revitalized, and so has the downtown area between the Inner Harbor and Mount Washington. They also added a subway and light rail to connect most of these areas and built the fabulous Orioles stadium The Baltimore of today is far better than the Baltimore of thirty years ago.

Pittsburgh is another example. They instituted the Renaissance, focusing mainly on the triangle area, (roughly the small geographic area near the three rivers). The initial investment the city has made in this area has slowly filtered though out the rest of the downtown area, reinvigorating the city and arguably slowed the youth drain the city had experienced for nearly 40 years. They also instituted a light rail system at a cost far higher than Indy could ever experience, as they must deal with industrial pollutants, and difficult geography, hills, mountains, valleys, rivers and the like. They also built two new sports arenas for the Steelers and the Pirates. Itís truly amazing what a city will do, when it sees its own demise nearing.

Now I am not stating that Indy needs to replicate another city. All that I am stating is that investment does filter out to the rest of the city ultimately benefiting all citizens It doesnít happen immediately, however it eventually occurs. You stated that you want a rail line near you, well eventually there could be one if a starter line could at least be built. A completely built out system doesnít happen overnight. Heck, even with all investments in place it takes years. Do to freeway protests in DC during the 60ís federal money that was set aside to build DCís freeway system was instead moved to a transit project. They began building it in 1969 and did not finish the 106 mile system until 2001. That was with most funding in place.

To conclude you stated that I could not compare Denver with Indy if sport arenas could not be compared with mass transit projects. That is poor logic as cities can be compared. Urban developers compare them all of the time. Of course there are differences, Denver has the Rockies while Indy has the prairie. The similarities however outweigh the natural settings of cities. Things like transit, cultural amenities, water treatment, and public services are all things that cities deal with.

When you compare stadiums and transit however, little is in common. The only item I can come up with is funding, is it public or not. Mass transit on the other hand is a fixture of a city like a road or a bridge. Yes a starter system will only benefit a limited number of people, thatís why their called starters. As the system grows and reaches more areas within the city however the greater balance will be served.

To conclude since you threw in the 5% increase number along a mass transit route, I thought Iíd leave you with some interesting facts. Denverís south street saw property value increases of 4% while the overall city declined by 7%. Portlandís Pearl District land values increased by 1000%. Tampa saw a land increase near rail of 400%. And oh no, say it ainít so, 16 lane loving caddy driving Dallas, TX saw an increase in land valleys near transit of 50%. Thatís a bit better that that 4% numberÖ.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:23 AM
 
2,248 posts, read 5,982,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrEarth View Post
There just seems to be a different mentality in Indianapolis regarding cars and transit. This is the city that has tons of car races, and cars a part of the culture here. Nothing will change if people can still fill their gas tanks for under $3 a gallon.

What will proabably happen is that light rail will be proposd, shot down, and the money will be thrown at the exisiting bus service to keep running poorly.
You are right about there being a different mentality here.

As WDCJoe has already mentioned, there are tangible benefits from having transit available. In a city like Indianapolis, that is growing at a decent clip, has a core that continues to become denser (infill), and a good economy, transit is probably the biggest impediment to progress. NOW is the time to do it, instead of waiting for gas to hit $20 a gallon.

Unfortunately, the American way of doing things is to wait until problems arise, and then take action. Therefore, I'm skeptical of whether or not this plan will float at this point in time. People in Indiana just seem to be reluctant to embrace different ideas and concepts, I guess. It's really a shame, too.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:20 AM
 
369 posts, read 518,172 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
Baltimore, MD took their tired empty warehouse laden water front and turned it into the Inner Harbor, a jewel of the city. Tourists flock in droves to dine, shop and enjoy the views. The Baltimore of today is far better than the Baltimore of thirty years ago.
Baltimore is about ready to layoff 600 employees. Obviously the droves of people aren't spending any money, or enough money. This is exactly what Barf Peterson lied about in front of a TV camera prior to his ejection as mayor. He said there and said that the building of Lucas Oil and the expanded convention center would mean no budget problems for Indy. He said it, point blank. It was something like 'If we build these facilities, we wouldn't have these issues.' when asked about the budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDCJoe View Post
Pittsburgh is another example. They instituted the Renaissance, focusing mainly on the triangle area, (roughly the small geographic area near the three rivers). The initial investment the city has made in this area has slowly filtered though out the rest of the downtown area, reinvigorating the city and arguably slowed the youth drain the city had experienced for nearly 40 years. They also instituted a light rail system at a cost far higher than Indy could ever experience, as they must deal with industrial pollutants, and difficult geography, hills, mountains, valleys, rivers and the like. They also built two new sports arenas for the Steelers and the Pirates. Itís truly amazing what a city will do, when it sees its own demise nearing.
It's truly amazing how much politicians will steal from other people when they see _their_ own demise nearing. Why not use Detroit as a shining example? They have a rail line and recently raised taxes for a stadium. Is Detroit a shining example of a great city??
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:24 AM
 
369 posts, read 518,172 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colts View Post
People in Indiana just seem to be reluctant to embrace different ideas and concepts, I guess.
I am not reluctant to embrace different ideas and concepts. I am reluctant to continue to give more and more of my dollars to government. Like I said before, the more government takes from me, the less I have for myself. This means less spending in mom and pop shops, cutting back on unnecessary travel (ie: I don't spend the extra dollar or so in gas once a month to recycle, those three trash bags full of plastics now go with the regular trash...to a landfill), etc.. Why not slam those evil Meridian-Kessler and Butler-Tarkington homeowners who dared to protest their $7,000-$11,000/year property tax bills? I mean don't those greedy rich folks understand it takes money for different ideas and concepts.
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