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Old 12-22-2012, 03:06 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,137,944 times
Reputation: 5398

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoopLV View Post
You understand it incorrectly. Read up on it, if you care to. You will discover that our once great infrastructure was systematically dismantled. The profitability of today's rail is the result of decades of ripped-up track and closed-down lines. And the various light rail systems all turned a profit -- some better than others -- but a decent profit none the less. Railroad stock was once THE stable, long-term investment. It was better than utilities and municipal bonds. It was just as safe and returned better dividends.

We didn't abandon rail for cars. The switch was shoved down our throats.
Nonsense but also irrelevant.

For a balanced view on the subject see

http://www.publicpurpose.com/nz-uslrt000131.pdf

"Light Rail: The Reality. The spatial structure of the modern US urban area renders new
light rail systems a highly ineffective and expensive strategy for traffic reduction, mobility
and access. The new light rail systems have generally failed relative to the evaluation
criteria. They have failed to materially reduce traffic congestion and are more expensive
than express bus systems and motorway expansion. Moreover, the planning process has
been insufficiently objective."
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
5,737 posts, read 12,034,261 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by newopty View Post
Maybe we should have a thread "Which is the most corrupt city or state?". Four of the last nine governors of Illinois ended up in jail. Can anybody beat that record?
Waterbury, Connecticut comes to my mind.

Look up what Phillip Giordano and Joseph Santopietro got in jail for. Giordano's was much worse
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,638,218 times
Reputation: 8987
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
How it happened isn't relevant at this point. If you feel it's something that needs to be changed, you have to come up with a way of changing it. Even if the US's car-centrism was the result of some vast auto industry conspiracy, we have to deal with what we have.

In most of the country what we have is a lot of roads, communities that are spread out around the road network, and that don't retrofit well to a mass transit type transportation network (which really needs density to be effective.)
The thing that irks me is the "forest for the trees" types who point to unprofitable modern rail in this country and completely neglect the fact that once upon a time we had the rail system that was the envy of the world.

It was FAR harder to install rail in Europe -- they had narrower streets, crazy street patterns (which were great for defending cities from mounted soldiers, not so much for vehicular traffic). Europe came to US to learn how to make rail work.

And now that we have crippled our system, the defeatists cry in unison, "Can't be done. We're a car culture. Blah. Blah. Blah." Putting our old rail system back into place would be a great idea. But we're not interested in doing great things anymore. And we've become so damned lazy, that unless we can park 10 feet away from our destination it's too much of a hassle.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:25 PM
 
9,952 posts, read 8,441,593 times
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It's more than that, Scoop. It would basically mean redesigning communities away from the suburban SFH model to a higher density attached house/apartment model. Some people want that. Up till now, more havent . The ones that do, move to the older cities that were built around that model.

The old cities of Europe were designed to be walkable, because up until the last 150 years or so., walking was all they had. Mass transit layers on top of that (or actually underneath - think subway). Pretty well. Not so much with a spread out, low density suburb.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:46 PM
 
13,477 posts, read 9,597,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
It's more than that, Scoop. It would basically mean redesigning communities away from the suburban SFH model to a higher density attached house/apartment model. Some people want that. Up till now, more havent . The ones that do, move to the older cities that were built around that model.

The old cities of Europe were designed to be walkable, because up until the last 150 years or so., walking was all they had. Mass transit layers on top of that (or actually underneath - think subway). Pretty well. Not so much with a spread out, low density suburb.
I dunno BBMW, the bus systems seem to work out here in the burbs with some admitted hiccups. Same concept, except the bus has a stigma attached to it that light rail doesn't. If I could take light rail to work, I'd do it in a minute even if it was a bit expensive. Your mileage may vary.

If they ran light rail on Rainbow, Charleston, Flamingo, Tropicana, Jones, Eastern, you don't think it would work? It would have to be intelligently designed of course, which would mean some expenditure for studies on where people are actually traveling to, but I think it could be accomplished. I do not however, believe it will be.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:58 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,137,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
I dunno BBMW, the bus systems seem to work out here in the burbs with some admitted hiccups. Same concept, except the bus has a stigma attached to it that light rail doesn't. If I could take light rail to work, I'd do it in a minute even if it was a bit expensive. Your mileage may vary.

If they ran light rail on Rainbow, Charleston, Flamingo, Tropicana, Jones, Eastern, you don't think it would work? It would have to be intelligently designed of course, which would mean some expenditure for studies on where people are actually traveling to, but I think it could be accomplished. I do not however, believe it will be.
Read the paper I quoted. In virtually every case you would do better to add a lane in each direction and a few more buses.

There is virtually no problem for which light rail is the correct solution.

My view says it all goes away over the next twenty years as we get automated vehicles to haul people continuously where they want to go. Robot electric jitneys. If I was a young man I would not consider a career as a las vegas cab driver.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,471 posts, read 20,002,503 times
Reputation: 22370
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
I dunno BBMW, the bus systems seem to work out here in the burbs with some admitted hiccups. Same concept, except the bus has a stigma attached to it that light rail doesn't. If I could take light rail to work, I'd do it in a minute even if it was a bit expensive. Your mileage may vary.

If they ran light rail on Rainbow, Charleston, Flamingo, Tropicana, Jones, Eastern, you don't think it would work? It would have to be intelligently designed of course, which would mean some expenditure for studies on where people are actually traveling to, but I think it could be accomplished. I do not however, believe it will be.
I agree, a well-designed bus system can rival light rail, but you're forgetting one major point: we live in a monkey-see-monkey-do world, where costs don't show up on people's radar screens.

1950's: "So you're going to buy a car! Why!!! That streetcar is only one block away, it will save you a ton of money. Think about the expenses of owning car!!!"

"But all my other family and friends are buying cars. I want one too!" Monkey-see-monkey-do!

2012: "Every major city in the country is now embracing light rail or street cars! Yup! Thery're more expensive than buses, who cares!! I want it! I want it! I want it!" Monkey-see-monkey-do!

Dallas now has one of the most enviable, city-wide light rail systems (DART) in the south, and now?
Houston and San Antonio and Austin: How embarrassing! We're going to show Dallas ours will be better and more extensive!" Monkey-see-monkey-do!

As far as building light rail lines to sparsely built areas of a metro area, what does this create? Islands in the stream! See what's happening in L.A., Portland, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City where they have light rail stations in low density areas? As you'd expect, low-to-mid-to highrise construction grows up around those stops, creating islands in the stream! Same thing would happen here in Las Vegas if a light rail line terminated in the far NW!

Will light rail come to Las Vegas in this monkey-see-monkey-do world? No, we may never get a light rail line between Freemont and the Airport (which should have been built 25 years ago!) but light rail lines to other parts of the Valley, now that's a more monkey-see-monkey-do sure thing!
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR / Las Vegas, NV
1,808 posts, read 3,266,278 times
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Light rail alone does not work. It has to be part of a regional transit system. The rail has to run to the high density employement area (The Strip for this conversation). Then you feed the rail with the busses. After the initial expense of construction, which is typically 40-50% paid by the Feds., light rail is actually cheaper to operate than busses. I seriously doubt it would ever go down the strip though. Rail lines take years to construct and the disruption to the casino's would be too much. Plus you would be lucky to to have one lane in each direction left.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Victoria, BC Canada
39 posts, read 51,887 times
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To me the issue is access to the Strip , and not downtown. On my last visit, my sole mode of transportation were city buses. Getting to downtown via the WAX was fast and easy. So was accessing Boulder Hwy from downtown.

The north-south and east-west grid system for Las Vegas public transit lends itself well main light rail lines and smaller feeder bus routes.

Greater Vancouver operates with four main lines and small buses feed in into light rail stations. The model should be able to be replicated in Las Vegas as well, if of course local politicians want to see it work.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:31 AM
 
13,477 posts, read 9,597,589 times
Reputation: 17430
Quote:
Originally Posted by bledsoe3 View Post
Light rail alone does not work. It has to be part of a regional transit system. The rail has to run to the high density employement area (The Strip for this conversation). Then you feed the rail with the busses. After the initial expense of construction, which is typically 40-50% paid by the Feds., light rail is actually cheaper to operate than busses. I seriously doubt it would ever go down the strip though. Rail lines take years to construct and the disruption to the casino's would be too much. Plus you would be lucky to to have one lane in each direction left.

But we have the existing monorail that hides along the strip, just to the east. If they extended that over to McCarran and connected it with the RTC station downtown, it could work. Especially if they started offering baggage service like the Plaza is doing. The Plaza is first local hotel to offer free bag service to the airport - VEGAS INC

They could run the new extension to McCarran in an area convenient to UNLV as well. If that new stadium ever gets built, people are going to wish there was an alternative to cars when a major event lets out.
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