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Old 11-23-2010, 01:00 PM
624 posts, read 1,103,924 times
Reputation: 147


I want light rail in Omaha so bad that I actually want to do something to make it move along faster and in the right direction. I was thinking of making a website that could gather support for the Idea of light rail and in specifically for the near future, my Bellevue line. For now I just made sort of a PSA powerpoint that I'll post for all the gray area people that don't know too much about light rail and it's benefits, so hopefully I can sway them for light rail and gain some support. Would any of you here support the website and or the cause? Here is the Powerpoint.

[LEFT]Bellevue Light Rail[/LEFT]
[LEFT]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRP8fIjPREAdblUcIZ2ufyM9O32hhpgh MuSzakgHk4BOQ1tXWqcgA (broken link)
[LEFT]Charlotte North Carolina Modern Light Rail[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Making two communities, one[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Omaha’s First Light Rail Transit Line[/LEFT]
Omaha’s Future

The Omaha metro area is growing. More people are coming to Omaha for work and play, and one of the first effects to come to mind are those of congested roads and dirty air. We need to address this before it gets out of hand. There are multiple ways to fix a traffic problem, but perhaps the most exciting way is by rail transit. Specifically light rail. It’s gaining popularity across the globe as the benefits can be seen in living color in many cities across the U.S. If Omaha wants to experience these benefits, it must take it’s future by the reigns, become transit proactive and consider Light rail as a real possibility in the near future.

What is Light Rail Transit (LRT)?
[LEFT]Light Rail Transit can be described as a massive people mover, a form of mass transit. LRT is a form of train transit that utilizes rails to cover relatively large distances (relative to city limits)at high speeds(up to 65mph), with limited stops. It travels in it’s own right of way and is unaffected by automobile traffic. Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) are powered by electricity, delivered by an overhead power line or an electrically charged third rail. Most newly built systems use LRV’s that are powered by the overhead wire.
Light rail is often wrongly called streetcar, or trolley. It is wrong to call light rail these because they are totally different modes of transportation. Streetcars, or trolleys are forms of rail transit, but are not meant to transport people long distances, but rather shorter distances and in a denser area such as a Central Business District (CBD). They are meant to make frequent stops in mixed traffic, meaning the rails are in the street, and the vehicles riding them must obey all traffic signals, and speed limits. They are not LRT.
An example of a good LRT service is St Louis Missouri Metro’s Metrolink.
With there being zero automobile shared right of way, this is a great
example of a true LRT system.

Why Light Rail?

Light rail is becoming more popular across the U.S. because it is often the best choice for congestion relief. This is usually true if there is no further room for lane expansion on freeways and main roads, or if the city is minded against the ever growing use of the personal automobile. But there are more reasons to choose Light Rail over other solutions.
Economic strength: Near stations, businesses pop up because of the guaranteed exposure to the public by way of rail. Rails and stations do not move unlike cars that simply pass by day by day. CBD’s fed by imovable rails benefit because of the guaranteed ride people have.
Green Thinking: LRV’s are powered by electricity, meaning zero emissions. LRV’s recycle the energy they create by braking, and use it for the next acceleration. They are the ultimate in efficient machinery. They also take cars off the road, meaning cleaner air to breathe.
Popularity: People like to just hop on a train to get where they need to be. It is a far less stressful ride when you aren’t thinking about how you’ll pay back the person that just cut you off.
Safety: If you aren’t driving your car, then you very well can’t get into an accident.

About Bellevue Light Rail

Bellevue Light Rail , otherwise known as the “Red Line” is a proposed modern mass transit train that connects Bellevue to Downtown Omaha, Eppley Airfield and places between. It’s service area is about 14 miles long with twelve stations spaced between one and two miles apart. South of Downtown Omaha, it uses 13th street and the right of way next to Burlington Northern SantaFe Rail Road(BNSFRR) freight train alignment west of Fort Crook Rd. to access Bellevue and Offutt Air Force Base, while on the north side of Downtown, it follows alongside Abbott Dr. to connect to Eppley Airfield. Through Downtown Omaha, it uses an underground tunnel to speed up travel through the CBD as well as eliminate the possibility of accidents between the Light Rail Vehicle(LRV) and automobiles. The vehicles used would be modern low floor electric models using the overhead wire for power.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzToIydfeVj5eNd5FAIk5LKkGMFq3Si _4X45QL4cOjm90CCQ4V (broken link)
[LEFT]Siemens S70 LRV

Why Bellevue?

Of course there needs to be LRT in the Omaha metro area, but why Bellevue for the first line?
Cost: The Red Line would be the cheapest to build out of all of the other potential lines because it is the shortest, and much of it rides along existing freight rail corridors.
Service: The Red Line would directly serve many of what Omaha considers it’s biggest attractions, including the new TD Ameritrade Park, the Qwest Center, Union Station, and the Henry Doorly Zoo. With connections to buses and potential Street car routes, you can get nearly anywhere in town with the Bellevue Light Rail Line.
Potential: The Red Line runs right through the 13th Street Business District. The area could use an uplift and the line would provide the boost the area needs to be a major attraction for Omahans and it’s visitors. In Bellevue, there are many large areas of open land along the route and near stations that could be easily developed into great mixed-use places to live, work and play. The light rail would boost the numbers of people using the zoo, TD Ameritrade Park, and the Qwest Center, while lowering the need for the large parking lots that currently take away from Downtown’s attraction.
Need: Sarpy county is the area outside of Omaha proper that has the most daily automobile commutes into Omaha.
Where would it go?

Now that you know why Bellevue Light Rail, take a look at all the great locations you could access with the line at these twelve station Locations. Don’t live close to a station? The line would offer Park & Ride at six of the twelve stations, as well as bus connections at all.
Eppley Airport
Carter Lake (Abbott Dr. & East Locust)
Ballpark (13th & Cuming)
Convention Center/Area (10th & Cass)
Union Station (9th & Pacific)-Park & Ride
Martha (13th & Martha)
Zoo-Park & Ride
Veteran’s (13th & Missouri Ave.)
Harrison (13th & Harrison)-Park & Ride
Fontenelle (Fort Crook Rd. & Camp Brewster Rd.)-Park & Ride
Bellevue (Fort Crook Rd & Cornhusker Rd.)-Park & Ride
Offutt-Park & Ride
Google Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=105241503070826185013. 00049415de14ce43fc49d&ll=41.239351,-95.932102&spn=0.062347,0.181103&t=h&z=13
What you need to do
[LEFT]It’s obvious that LRT is good for any city, but what can you do to ensure that Omaha will be the next big role model for public transport?
Be active in the community: If you think we need better public transportation, then let your voice be heard! Attend the upcoming 2010-2011 long range transportation meetings and let your opinion be known.
Be open to transit improvement taxes: Many that live in Omaha think it is the tax capitol of the U.S., but when compared to other cities, we’ve got it good. Be open to accepting or advocating any public transportation taxes. Omaha’s public transportation system is extremely lacking only because we don’t pay the money for a good one. If we want the bells and whistles, we must pay for them.
Know this: Although light rail is very expensive, it has, in many other cities, been proven to spur billions in growth, well over paying back what we would ever initially put into it.
A Bellevue starter line will most likely spur the building of more light rail lines because of how popular it will be after we all discover how great it is. Omaha just hast to make the initial move to have the mind for smarter people moving and instead of our future be sprawling and bleak, our future will be dense an prosperous. [/LEFT]

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Old 11-23-2010, 02:03 PM
Location: Chicago, IL
77 posts, read 150,379 times
Reputation: 34
Have you ever thought about making a Twitter account for your transit plan? I'd follow you Might be a good way to connect to people in Omaha that are like-minded or various politicians/people in power and get them thinking about transit in Omaha. Just saying.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:03 PM
Location: Omaha
481 posts, read 1,152,812 times
Reputation: 211
These folks are one step ahead of you.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:35 PM
816 posts, read 1,418,746 times
Reputation: 228
Originally Posted by laserdisque View Post
These folks are one step ahead of you.
Except they have not updated in years. Omaha needs fresh ideas and people with the will to keep pushing.

I would LOVE to see some of Busguy2010's ideas come to fruition, but sadly I think people like those on ketv and wowt's forums may hinder that progress.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:08 PM
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,928 posts, read 19,142,988 times
Reputation: 9155
I think the website would be a good idea, maybe along with a Facebook page. If you could show some tangible support for the project, you might get the city council to listen.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:31 PM
624 posts, read 1,103,924 times
Reputation: 147
Hey everybody. I wanted to let you all know I've made a forum for the group. If you join the forum now, you will have a say in the group name and logo, and how the wabsite should be mapped out and what it should include. Please join this and invite any and all friends. Gonna need all the support we can get!

Forum - Home
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:32 PM
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,703,819 times
Reputation: 1215
Awesome, just joined. I'm Axel.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:39 PM
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,928 posts, read 19,142,988 times
Reputation: 9155
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:00 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,234 posts, read 7,263,107 times
Reputation: 6700
A system I would like to see would be a Mag/Lev type of passenger train running in the median strip of I-80. The R.O.W already exists. Wind Generators could provide the electricity to power the train. The track could be built on pillars that would raise it high enough so snow drifts would not be a problem. The Mag/Lev could run in weather too bad for airplanes. Some kind of battery/capacitor storage system would have to be built to store surplus electricity for times when enough wind power is not available.

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Old 11-25-2010, 03:31 PM
624 posts, read 1,103,924 times
Reputation: 147
Anybody else plan on joining? I think the name is about to be decided and I'd like to see anybody's ideas. They may be better than what the options are thus far, and I want to use the best name I possibly can, so please join up, show support for rail transit and give us your thoughts.
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