U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-19-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
oh please, not this again. I can't speak to the Portland streetcar, but the lowert energy efficiency of transit is mostly driven by very low volume services - in low density areas, or at very off peak times. Services that are provided mostly to transit captive customers, as a social service rather than as an attempt to reduce energy usage.

if you want to make your city's transit system more efficient the easy way to do it is to eliminate all the most lightly used bus lines. Of course that would leave many poor, elderly, handicapped, young, and documentless with no means to get around.
Yup, like Portland's streetcar. Not that it's really a form of transit aimed at people dependent on others for their transportation... like most of these recent rail projects, it does a better job servicing the up-and-coming neighborhoods than the poor ones. The other problem is there's simply too many poor neighborhoods for rail to hit them all. The Streetcar's $150 million eastside expansion just started running fewer than two months ago, so we'll see what that does to the falling ridership numbers. I wouldn't expect a lot. Budget constraints cut service even before it began. $150 million pays for a lot of buses, if that were really the concern. But it's more about redevelopment and property values. In other words, it's about fiscalization and the tax-base.

In Sacramento, you could make the city's transit system more efficient by just running buses along the light rail routes. Even now that the buses have been rerouted to act as feeder routes with low ridership, they're still less expensive to operate than our light rail system. But buses aren't sexy. Pretty cool, huh? Spend hundreds of millions to build something that costs more to operate than the bus in the hopes of gentrifying an area and bringing in private development.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,815 posts, read 10,717,818 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
In Sacramento, you could make the city's transit system more efficient by just running buses along the light rail routes. .
Im pretty sure we've had other discussions here of the merits of street cars vs buses, and the situations where each has comparative advantage. I don't want to rehash that.

The accusation about car vs transit efficiency is not about streetcars (which are a tiny proportion of total transit in the US) nor is it about heavy rail (generally more efficient in BTU per passenger mile than bus). Its about a fundamental misunderstanding of bus service on the part of anti transit folks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Florida
862 posts, read 1,216,349 times
Reputation: 1407
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
How about *gasp* walking, a mile takes what 15-16 minutes?
Why walk when you can drive? It's easier and faster.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 02:57 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,214 times
Reputation: 1348
Getting back on topic, it's unfortunate these concepts aren't developed with business models to show how realistic a fully developed model might be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 04:54 PM
 
642 posts, read 961,780 times
Reputation: 505
Default Keep Austin Wired!

The main advantage 'The Wire' has over other forms of mass transit is the real estate issue the guy discusses in the video. Creating any sort of ground-level transit is really expensive mainly because of all the land rights issues involved. Those projects are also likely to compete with existing transit infrastructure, further contributing to the cars vs. mass transit mutual exclusivity conundrum. For gondolas all you need is to prop up a few towers and stations, connect them with a cable and BAM!, instant right-of-way.

It seems a lot of people are quick to cut down the idea saying they lack speed and capacity. Trains obviously win on the capacity front, but few places lack the density to justify a rail project. If the cable cars managed to exceed their capacity....here's an easy solution: Design the stations and towers so they can be vertically expanded, creating a 'second story' to the cable line. The upper line could serve as an express route while the lower could be a local route with more frequent stops.

What they lack in speed they make up for in ride quality, relative privacy, and lack of a schedule to adhere to. All of these are definitely factors that drive people to use private automobiles in the first place, and could motivate these same people to get out of their car for a second.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:50 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,626,304 times
Reputation: 9193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Yup, like Portland's streetcar. Not that it's really a form of transit aimed at people dependent on others for their transportation... like most of these recent rail projects, it does a better job servicing the up-and-coming neighborhoods than the poor ones. The other problem is there's simply too many poor neighborhoods for rail to hit them all. The Streetcar's $150 million eastside expansion just started running fewer than two months ago, so we'll see what that does to the falling ridership numbers. I wouldn't expect a lot. Budget constraints cut service even before it began. $150 million pays for a lot of buses, if that were really the concern. But it's more about redevelopment and property values. In other words, it's about fiscalization and the tax-base.
I work a couple blocks away from the new Eastside streetcar line in Portland.

It's practically empty every time I see it--even at peak times like rush hour. On the other hand every bus I can get home on going east-west to my home in SE Portland is standing room only packed--sometimes to the extent that they have to stop letting on more passengers.

The problem is that they seemed to have built the Eastside streetcar for future development ideas rather than current transit needs. There's already a well-used bus line on NE Grand/MLK that's more useful since it goes all the way up into the neighborhoods further up in NE Portland. The streetcar however just goes from downtown up through the edge of the Rose Quarter/Lloyd District down NE Grand/MLK to the OMSI museum. The Rose Quarter/Lloyd District is already served by much faster MAX trains(5 stops!) along with multiple bus lines, so why bother taking a slower street car?

The area that they'll use the streetcar to market however is the Inner Eastside Industrial area stretching along the east side of the river--a district of older light industrial properties, warehouses, older stores, auto dealerships--and more recently some newer trendy bars and restaurants. While it's valuable for businesses that can't go anywhere else on the inner eastside like furniture warehouses or car shops, it's also basically the last frontier for the ongoing gentrification of the close-in eastern neighborhoods. So, the theory is that the city and local developers will have their eyes on turning the area down to the OMSI museum into a sort of new Little Pearl District to reference the highly successful venture in redevelopment on the north side of downtown. But considering Portland already has plenty of areas like that already, do we really need another district of hip bars and expensive condos? Right now it's actually an somewhat intersting mix, with some old blue collar dives along with expensive restaurants and Portland's only vaccum cleaner store/museum...

The issue though, is that the streetcar doesn't seem to have much current use. It's much faster to take a east-west bus from downtown or SE Portland to get to the part of town currently--and to go from OMSI all the way to NW Portland on the street-car is a long wait. The old streetcar had the same problems as far as being slow(I beat it by walking from my work in the south edge of downtown to Powell's Books plenty of times)--but at least it served a main area through NW Portland and downtown that got a lot of ridership and worked for tourists staying downtown as well.

Just like the tram, which is both a local joke and somewhat of a potential tourist attraction, Portland seems to ignore it's current transportation needs in favor of grandiose ideas for the future. The tram was supposedly to alleviate the problems getting to the OHSU hospital campus(which is a major medical facility built on top of the steepest hills in Portland) and to anchor the South Waterfront District(which is the endpoint of the west-side streetcar). However, the South Waterfront District has been sort of a bust--a lot of residential high-rises built just as the condo market collapsed in Portland--along with a lack of any street-level retail that’s made other neighborhoods in Portland so attractive. It could be useful in the future if you had more businesses to go to in the South Waterfront area--other bio-tech/high-tech or retail, however right now, it's the most expensive parking shuttle in the world. It looks cool though, and the view is good of Portalnd and the river--so at least try to play it up as something for out-of-towners to drop a few bucks on to ride...

Portland needs to address current transportation needs first, before getting into costly projects for future development scenarios. They've cut bus services to the eastside neighborhoods that have no other way to get there via public transit as well as raised prices, so we're paying more for less service. I don't know why they don't look at options like bus rapid transit in parts of NE and SE Portland along major arterial routes instead of these costly light-rail lines they are building to suburban towns that don't even seem to want the--like the new MAX line to Milwaukie, which is a sleepy, suburban town south of Portland on the river where there's a lot of local opposition to light rail in the first place. Start building transit to serve the places that need it in Portland.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:51 PM
 
9,385 posts, read 9,548,809 times
Reputation: 5790
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Right, because no families with little children, elderly or even people with sprained ankles need to get around the city, everyone's a fit 20 year old living in a perfect climate . What a silly comment, time is money and people with busy lives want to get to where they're going as easily as is viable.

Agree that gondola's as public transit are a good idea in specific situations and terrains that warrant them, but they're an add on to a developed public transit system, you can't cheap out and try to use them as the backbone of your network in a normal North American city because they're too slow, have too little capacity, and are too delicate mechanically at that kind of length. For short hops from RT stations up elevated terrain, a river, or chronically congested overpass to a single big transit destination they're ideal.
Put a baby in a carriage. Plenty of Elderly people can walk just fine, literally any other form of Public transportation is more effective than a gondola, unless you are scaling a mountain. Even light rail like the green line (when its above ground) is not all that much faster than walking. (and slower than biking)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:42 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,542,871 times
Reputation: 746
The underlying fallacy in proposals for gondolas or other exotic transit is the notion that the problems of transit are primarily technical, figuring out the mode. As Deezus' post clearly illustrates, the problems with transit are political and geographic. Who is this transit line supposed to transport, from where to where? How many people want to go along this corridor? How would this route connect with/interact with other routes? When you figure these questions out, the question of what mode flows from them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,434 posts, read 18,347,278 times
Reputation: 11924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Portland needs to address current transportation needs first, before getting into costly projects for future development scenarios. They've cut bus services to the eastside neighborhoods that have no other way to get there via public transit as well as raised prices, so we're paying more for less service. I don't know why they don't look at options like bus rapid transit in parts of NE and SE Portland along major arterial routes instead of these costly light-rail lines they are building to suburban towns that don't even seem to want the--like the new MAX line to Milwaukie, which is a sleepy, suburban town south of Portland on the river where there's a lot of local opposition to light rail in the first place. Start building transit to serve the places that need it in Portland.
Yeah, I always wondered why they didn't start building a replacement bridge for I-5 along with light rail tracks over the the Columbia River to extend into Vancouver, WA eons ago. I'm sure the bi-state beaurocracy has a lot to do with stalling it, but in the bigger picture it's a lot more logical than these silly streetcar extensions. The one from NW Portland and the Pearl into downtown is great, but it didn't really need to go beyond that. I will admit the tram up to the hospital looks pretty cool when driving into the city, but it really does seem more like a gimicky tourist attraction rather than a practical trasnit option.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,434 posts, read 18,347,278 times
Reputation: 11924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Portland needs to address current transportation needs first, before getting into costly projects for future development scenarios. They've cut bus services to the eastside neighborhoods that have no other way to get there via public transit as well as raised prices, so we're paying more for less service. I don't know why they don't look at options like bus rapid transit in parts of NE and SE Portland along major arterial routes instead of these costly light-rail lines they are building to suburban towns that don't even seem to want the--like the new MAX line to Milwaukie, which is a sleepy, suburban town south of Portland on the river where there's a lot of local opposition to light rail in the first place. Start building transit to serve the places that need it in Portland.
Yeah, I always wondered why they didn't start building a replacement bridge for I-5 along with light rail tracks over the the Columbia River to extend into Vancouver, WA eons ago. I'm sure the bi-state beaurocracy has a lot to do with stalling it, but in the bigger picture it's a lot more logical than these silly streetcar extensions. The one from NW Portland and the Pearl into downtown and PSU is great, but it didn't really need to go beyond that. I will say the gondola/tram up to the hospital looks pretty cool when driving into the city, but it really does seem more like a gimicky tourist attraction rather than a practical transiit option.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 12-21-2012 at 11:01 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top