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Old 02-05-2010, 03:54 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,590 times
Reputation: 12
@KoaKine, your point doesn't hold water. All you need to do is look at the laundry list of cities across the country (of similar size or smaller than Rochester) that are planning or have built light-rail or streetcar systems in the past 10 years. Kenosha WI, Savannah GA, Austin TX, Fort Worth, TX, Columbus OH, Little Rock Arkansas... IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR COMMUTE TIME IS! I can't stress this enough. It's a quality of life issue as well as an investment in our city and region. The DOT has just changed it's policy on this and you should read it closely... Major Federal Public Transportation Policy Shift to Highlight Livability, Economic Development, and Environment (http://tinyurl.com/y9x88k8 - broken link)

Also, transit projects like streetcars and light rail are typically not funded by the Fed alone. It will take a combination of funds from the city, state, fed, and private sector to get the project off the ground and a well planned public transit system can pay for a good portion of itself over time. Guess what will never pay for any of itself... a paved road.

PLEASE CONTACT ME via Rochester Subway : Subway Maps, Posters, Movies, and Subway History. History of Rochester and the Abandoned Rochester Subway System, Rochester NY. to get involved in a streetcar initiative for Rochester!
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:18 PM
 
29,141 posts, read 33,153,982 times
Reputation: 5760
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgover77 View Post
@KoaKine, your point doesn't hold water. All you need to do is look at the laundry list of cities across the country (of similar size or smaller than Rochester) that are planning or have built light-rail or streetcar systems in the past 10 years. Kenosha WI, Savannah GA, Austin TX, Fort Worth, TX, Columbus OH, Little Rock Arkansas... IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR COMMUTE TIME IS! I can't stress this enough. It's a quality of life issue as well as an investment in our city and region. The DOT has just changed it's policy on this and you should read it closely... Major Federal Public Transportation Policy Shift to Highlight Livability, Economic Development, and Environment (http://tinyurl.com/y9x88k8 - broken link)

Also, transit projects like streetcars and light rail are typically not funded by the Fed alone. It will take a combination of funds from the city, state, fed, and private sector to get the project off the ground and a well planned public transit system can pay for a good portion of itself over time. Guess what will never pay for any of itself... a paved road.

PLEASE CONTACT ME via Rochester Subway : Subway Maps, Posters, Movies, and Subway History. History of Rochester and the Abandoned Rochester Subway System, Rochester NY. to get involved in a streetcar initiative for Rochester!
I agree and I feel that Upstate metros need to think in terms of a regional outlook anyway, including the aspect of public transportation.

There was a time that many cities, big and small, that used rail for transportation. Great American streetcar scandal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think it would help Rochester and other Upstate NY cities become more competitive as other areas are investing in some form of rail transportation.

Here's a good thread about this topic: http://www.city-data.com/forum/gener...ight-rail.html
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Was in Western New York but now in Hilo Hawaii
1,234 posts, read 2,730,285 times
Reputation: 391
I give up!
I have never seen a city/town/community so self centers and blind to reality in all my years. I grew up in LA county Population 6 mill give or take I listened to them cry about only having a bus system and wanting a rail anything! they finally got it and its been what 20 years and its still loosing money ridership is at 20% and it runs in 4 county's. Your argument as god as it looks doesn't hold water either you wont get the city/ county to help no federal will help and the public hates change so they don't want it and if you think a privet Co. will come in and do it themselves in this city that hasn't shown growth in how long? Your just fooling your self! the argument that its quality of life no commute is off. If it takes me 15 mins. to drive to town (not to get drunk at a club) why would I get on a rail system and take longer? that's not improving my life. I will agree with this city and most others do need a better public transportation (this is why I sat back and watched this thread to see how the discussion went) but with grandiose plans for such a nice system it wont happen jst look at Ren Square why did that fail the same will happen here .
Start smaller then grow!
Good luck
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:31 PM
 
29,141 posts, read 33,153,982 times
Reputation: 5760
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoaKine View Post
I give up!
I have never seen a city/town/community so self centers and blind to reality in all my years. I grew up in LA county Population 6 mill give or take I listened to them cry about only having a bus system and wanting a rail anything! they finally got it and its been what 20 years and its still loosing money ridership is at 20% and it runs in 4 county's. Your argument as god as it looks doesn't hold water either you wont get the city/ county to help no federal will help and the public hates change so they don't want it and if you think a privet Co. will come in and do it themselves in this city that hasn't shown growth in how long? Your just fooling your self! the argument that its quality of life no commute is off. If it takes me 15 mins. to drive to town (not to get drunk at a club) why would I get on a rail system and take longer? that's not improving my life. I will agree with this city and most others do need a better public transportation (this is why I sat back and watched this thread to see how the discussion went) but with grandiose plans for such a nice system it wont happen jst look at Ren Square why did that fail the same will happen here .
Start smaller then grow!
Good luck
I think it's about options in terms of transportation. LA is totally a car dependent area. So, I can see how it is losing money there.

With Rochester, I think being a more dense metro could help, as you could spread it into adjacent counties as well and gives people that live further out from the city an option of taking rail into the city for work instead of driving a car all of the time.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:47 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,590 times
Reputation: 12
@KoaKine you're funny. You moved out of LA because everyone was "crying" for a subway and now you're in NY crying about something you don't need to be crying about? That's hilarious.

But seriously, you're wasting everyone's time with your pessimism, and honestly it's tiresome.

Look, any operation that is focused on moving people around will lose money by itself. RTS is subsidized, Amtrak is subsidized, all our roads and highways are subsidized, airports and even the airlines themselves are subsidized. Subsidized by you. The "bottom-line" is not all black and white. The value of these systems can only really be calculated over time and in the overall growth of an entire region. You'd probably also argue that all the sidewalks in the city should be torn up because we can drive everywhere we need to go.

You're from LA. That's fine. I'm from Queens NY. The Long Island Railroad and NYC Subway system have made my life and the lives of 10's of millions of other people infinitely easier and spurred economic growth in ways you can't even begin to imagine.

But I'm not lobbying for a giant commuter rail network. And I actually agree with you in that Rochester (as it is today) can't support that.

I am advocating for a short streetcar line — 4 to 6 miles — to connect the University of Rochester with Main Street and the East Ave district. That is a very achievable goal for a town like Rochester.

Here are some of the highlights and benefits of a Rochester Streetcar line as I see them:

• A streetcar line that runs east/west through the center of the city connecting some of the most vibrant and vital areas of Rochester (UofR, Cornhill, Four Corners, Main/Clinton, Eastman Theater, and Museums)

• The line would form a belt thru the heart of downtown which RTS bus routes could feed into as they would run north/south. The streetcar line would become the "spine" of a new RTS route map... essentially replacing the infamous "hub and spoke" system and doing away with all the bus traffic at Main and Clinton.

• Streetcars are highly visible and a very attractive amenity for potential city residents and businesses. They would become another selling point for our area.

• A streetcar wouldn't ship people to Toronto to spend there money elsewhere. It would serve the people and businesses in our area.

• Buses don't attract many "riders of choice". But Streetcars appeal to middle and upper-middle-class people who have money to spend in stores, restaurants, and area businesses.

•*Developers are attracted to areas with streetcars because those streetcar lines represent a commitment to lasting, high quality transit service that they can count on for years to come. A bus route can disappear over night.

• Streetcars are generally much less expensive to install and maintain than any other form of rail. Much of the infrastructure and the right-of-ways are already there (streets).

• Rochester had one of the most extensive streetcar networks in the world. For 50 years Rochester streetcars were widely used. They were privately owned & operated and were profitable. Streetcar lines are being built again all over the country and work just as well now as they did in the 1950's when the federal government pulled the rug out from under them. So I'm not proposing something that's completely new here.

• Let's say the cost per track mile is $2-3 million (a total initial investment of $18 million). Funding could come from a combination of...
- federal funding (Small Starts program, SAFETEA-LU, and grants)
- state grants
- local funding (local-option sales tax, parking revenue, tax break agreements, etc.)
- public-private partnerships
- philanthropic sources
- city bonds?? (I'm not an economist so I may be getting overly creative here)

• Over time as streetcar ridership increases RTS/bus ridership would probably increase as well resulting in increased fare revenue


I'm looking forward to continuing this conversation and hearing ideas. I plan on outlining this idea further at RochesterSubway.com in the coming months.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
1,293 posts, read 2,663,216 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgover77 View Post
Let's say the cost per track mile is $2-3 million (a total initial investment of $18 million). Funding could come from a combination of...
- federal funding (Small Starts program, SAFETEA-LU, and grants)
- state grants
- local funding (local-option sales tax, parking revenue, tax break agreements, etc.)
- public-private partnerships
- philanthropic sources
- city bonds?? (I'm not an economist so I may be getting overly creative here)
Please don't raise my taxes any more than they already are.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Was in Western New York but now in Hilo Hawaii
1,234 posts, read 2,730,285 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgover77 View Post
@KoaKine you're funny. You moved out of LA because everyone was "crying" for a subway and now you're in NY crying about something you don't need to be crying about? That's hilarious.

Reread my post in no where I said I moved because they were crying fo a commuter system! In fact I didn't give any reason why I moved!

This is why this thread let alone forum is the way it is just a bunch of miss quotes



You're from LA. That's fine. I'm from Queens NY. The Long Island Railroad and NYC Subway system have made my life and the lives of 10's of millions of other people infinitely easier and spurred economic growth in ways you can't even begin to imagine..
If you want to use the NYC commuter system as a model for Rochester or any other city under 1 million have fun banging your head against a block wall. Yes it works well I have ridden it many many times with out complaint in fact I'm happy its there I hate driving in the city. But Rochester is NOT NYC. compare apples to apples not apples to plums. Yes I compaired a large city to a small one I did it to prove that rochester isn't a high density city if you think it is well I quess wake up and go to one and look around. A Denver vs. Rochester doesn't even compare either.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Rochester
200 posts, read 330,383 times
Reputation: 209
Hey people, nothing personal, but you need to proofread your stuff. It's hard to decipher what exactly you're trying to say much of the time with all the run-on sentences, misspellings, and missing punctuation. It takes away from your overall argument. Again, nothing personal.
No one in their right mind is trying to compare Rochester to NYC. Fifty years ago, Rochester - Denver would have been a closer comparison, but because of Denver's CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING AND OPENNESS TO NEW IDEAS over that span (which is apparently sorely lacking in Rochester) that is no longer a fair comparison either.
I wonder if people really understand how taxes work. If the population shrinks, your taxes don't shrink, they go up. The smaller the tax base, the more slack each of us has to pull up to cover the difference. The state is not going to salt the roads less if fewer people are driving on them. If we bring more people in, the less we each have to pay. Using mgover77s numbers (only because I don't have time to get my own, and they seem to have studied this stuff a lot more than the rest of us put together) $18 million would basically break down to a dollar a person in NYS, and that's if it was TOTALLY subsidized by tax dollars. If that brought in, lets say, 10,000 taxpayers over ten years (being kind of conservative, as that is just a slight increase over what the Rochester-area population is increasing at now) that would mean that our tax base would get another 10,000 people paying it down. Doesn't sound like a lot. In the Rochester metro, there are (as of 2000) ~ 500,000 taxpaying individuals. That one dollar investment could potentially cut your taxes by 2% (i.e. you pay $4000 annually in property taxes, this could save $80. EVERY YEAR.) It's not about how much money you put into anything, but how smart you are with that money.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
1,293 posts, read 2,663,216 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron4040 View Post
Hey people, nothing personal, but you need to proofread your stuff. It's hard to decipher what exactly you're trying to say much of the time with all the run-on sentences, misspellings, and missing punctuation. It takes away from your overall argument. Again, nothing personal.
No one in their right mind is trying to compare Rochester to NYC. Fifty years ago, Rochester - Denver would have been a closer comparison, but because of Denver's CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING AND OPENNESS TO NEW IDEAS over that span (which is apparently sorely lacking in Rochester) that is no longer a fair comparison either.
I wonder if people really understand how taxes work. If the population shrinks, your taxes don't shrink, they go up. The smaller the tax base, the more slack each of us has to pull up to cover the difference. The state is not going to salt the roads less if fewer people are driving on them. If we bring more people in, the less we each have to pay. Using mgover77s numbers (only because I don't have time to get my own, and they seem to have studied this stuff a lot more than the rest of us put together) $18 million would basically break down to a dollar a person in NYS, and that's if it was TOTALLY subsidized by tax dollars. If that brought in, lets say, 10,000 taxpayers over ten years (being kind of conservative, as that is just a slight increase over what the Rochester-area population is increasing at now) that would mean that our tax base would get another 10,000 people paying it down. Doesn't sound like a lot. In the Rochester metro, there are (as of 2000) ~ 500,000 taxpaying individuals. That one dollar investment could potentially cut your taxes by 2% (i.e. you pay $4000 annually in property taxes, this could save $80. EVERY YEAR.) It's not about how much money you put into anything, but how smart you are with that money.
I agree with a few of the posts on this thread. A rail would be a great revitalation project for the city. This is rational, as most major cities have them.

However, I disagree that a rail by itself will bring people to the city. There are too many other major problems that must be addressed before I would vote on a proposition such as a rail system. Schools, crime and taxes are far more important to residents, such as myself, than a rail system alone. Even if the city built a full subway system tomorrow, I would still leave the city if my wife and I had a kid. We will not put a child through the city school system. The taxes in the city are among the highest in the country already. The city is the seventh highest out of all the townships in the county.

On top of that, a dollar a person may seem cheap. But the state is trying to close a massive budget gap. Patterson is cutting services that cost much less than $18M. Its all the little things, from all the unions, all the special interest groups, all the government groups and all the agencies that add these "cheap" services that create our massive budget.

If we are able to fix the tax problems and can actually spur some growth, I will not have a problem with a rail system. But we cannot afford another service, not with a budget gap and a declining population in our city. I do not foresee growth, not until we fix our taxes. I see a slow decline, as Buffalo has since the fifties. Rochester is essentially the same as Buffalo, with a few more big businesses. Jobs are the drive for a better city.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:00 PM
 
29,141 posts, read 33,153,982 times
Reputation: 5760
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese9988 View Post
I agree with a few of the posts on this thread. A rail would be a great revitalation project for the city. This is rational, as most major cities have them.

However, I disagree that a rail by itself will bring people to the city. There are too many other major problems that must be addressed before I would vote on a proposition such as a rail system. Schools, crime and taxes are far more important to residents, such as myself, than a rail system alone. Even if the city built a full subway system tomorrow, I would still leave the city if my wife and I had a kid. We will not put a child through the city school system. The taxes in the city are among the highest in the country already. The city is the seventh highest out of all the townships in the county.

On top of that, a dollar a person may seem cheap. But the state is trying to close a massive budget gap. Patterson is cutting services that cost much less than $18M. Its all the little things, from all the unions, all the special interest groups, all the government groups and all the agencies that add these "cheap" services that create our massive budget.

If we are able to fix the tax problems and can actually spur some growth, I will not have a problem with a rail system. But we cannot afford another service, not with a budget gap and a declining population in our city. I do not foresee growth, not until we fix our taxes. I see a slow decline, as Buffalo has since the fifties. Rochester is essentially the same as Buffalo, with a few more big businesses. Jobs are the drive for a better city.
What you mentioned is why I feel that using existing rail would probably be the way to go right now. Again, something similar to what Syracuse had in OnTrack, which used the NY, Susquehanna and Western Railway. Just make sure you have more platforms and ones that are more visible.

If there is enough room, the Terminal for Amtrak could be a central point for the system too. I believe the rail where the terminal is located is on the NY Central rail. It seems to follow a similar path that the old subway used and it could also have seasonal service to Charlotte Beach. If it is successful, it could extend to Churchville to the West and Fairport to the East.
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