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 12-27-2012, 01:22 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,552,220 times
Reputation: 746

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
IThere are lots of corridors where seperate ROW is justified and yet volume does not justify heavy rail.

They are being built BOTH to increase mode share for transit, which even mixed traffic streetcars do more than buses (and in seperate ROW the economics of rail are better) AND to shape development patterns. Which latter is NOT a seperate issue from transport and energy issues. Denser, more urban places, tend to have shorter trip length, and higher bike/ped share (and lower non transport energy usage) than less dense. The density impacts on trip length, and bike/ped, which are hard to realize without high transit usage (which in many cases means streetcars) are too often left out of the discussion of the TRANSPORT impacts of transit.
A physically separated rail right of way which has crossings at grade is called light rail, not streetcar. Some light rail has worked quite well--such as in San Diego--other light rail has been a colossal dud, such as in San Jose.

Where's the evidence that streetcars increase mode share over buses. If you do an apples to apples comparison--similar frequency and hours of operation between bus and streetcar--there's no reason to think streetcars will do better. Often crappy bus service is compared with souped up streetcar service, so of course the streetcars do better. In heavy, mixed flow traffic, streetcars are slower than buses. Buses can move around traffic obstacles, streetcars can't. The Portland streetcar travels at an average of 6 miles per hour. Since a brisk walk is 4 miles per hour, some Portland folks say they can walk faster than the streetcar.

Local transit, often described as "the last mile" is definitely important in dense cities. A lot of cities need more of that transit, but that doesn't say it should be provided by streetcars.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-27-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,153 posts, read 16,251,117 times
Reputation: 12770
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
If it gets incremental passengers the bus does not - and shifts from SOV, then that would be a net gain in energy efficiency over the bus.
True. But the If doesn't occur in most situations, which is why light rail uses half again as much energy as buses, even though many of them are, as you say, very inefficient. Just because it's overall stupid doesn't mean there aren't examples of light rail working well. You have your San Diegos as well as your San Joses and DARTS

Quote:
I wish I had a dollar for each time I have explained that that includes low volume bus routes that are not there to compete with cars, but to provide basic mobility for those who cannot drive.
And? The average car includes Ford Expeditions. The difference is the people who choose to drive Expeditions pay for their wasteful choices. You're convinced that people who cannot drive are entitled to expensive, inefficient, and all around stupid welfare transit. I'm the complete opposite. Universal Welfare Transit of Last Resort is stupid transit, and I'm not a fan. But it is the philosophy most transit agencies operate under in America, although that trend is shifting.

Quote:
They are being built BOTH to increase mode share for transit, which even mixed traffic streetcars do more than buses (and in seperate ROW the economics of rail are better) AND to shape development patterns. Which latter is NOT a seperate issue from transport and energy issues. Denser, more urban places, tend to have shorter trip length, and higher bike/ped share (and lower non transport energy usage) than less dense. The density impacts on trip length, and bike/ped, which are hard to realize without high transit usage (which in many cases means streetcars) are too often left out of the discussion of the TRANSPORT impacts of transit.
Oh, on that I agree on the development pattern parts. It's why I'm so against stupid transit that you think everyone is entitled to. If transit service is spread so thin it's nearly useless everywhere, you'll never see any difference in development patterns because... well, no one relies on transit except as a welfare benefit which they can get anywhere anyway thanks to the minimum level of service at any cost mentality. All it does is perpetuate costly, ineffective, undesirable transit of last resort and keep people in their cars.

I disagree that buses can't do just as good a job, however. The problem with rail is you can do 5-10x (or more) as much with BRT as you can with light rail and streetcars with the same money. BRT wouldn't really work for the UW extension since it runs through a three mile long underground tunnel. The downside is that it's so expensive and so slow to construct it'll be another four years or so until it beings service. Meanwhile BRT covering 20 times as many miles will be completely operational by the end of 2013 despite being proposed and funded 12 years later than Link, all while costing a small fraction of just the three mile UW extension. It already carries more ridership than the Link system and is beating projected ridership handily. Ridership projections for Link have been continuously revised down and continuously fails to meet the ever lower expectations.

Here we are, six years late and billions of dollars over budget and still years away from competition. If there are no further delays or setbacks, it should only take 20 years, 10 years late, and a 100% cost overrun. Meanwhile, you have RapidRide carrying more passengers, beating projection numbers, scheduled for completion next year (five years total) with most of it already running.

And it's not just Seattle's RapidRide. The same comparison holds for LA's expensive light rail lines and OC's BRT.
http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/a...inalReport.pdf

Obviously, there's the same intent to use BRT as a development tool as with rail. Whether either come to fruition is a different matter. The university village TOD concept never really kicked off here in Sacramento. There's a new stripmall with apartments at the back... and that's about it.
Here's the townhomes: aka strip malls, some new some old. Very TOD.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=65th+...172.3,,0,-0.42

Here's Elvas Avenue: You can clearly see the roomy dedicated bike lane and green space separating the road and pedestrian friendly sidewalks!
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Elvas...329.47,,0,8.45

Further down, you can see where they did actually implement the TOD plan. It looks very appealing.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Elvas...332.73,,0,4.02

A block away (facing away from the new Redevelopment project) from the station. Definitely lots of TOD going on here:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Elvas...2,57.4,,0,1.66
Now that Redevelopment is dead in California, will it look like that for another 15 years like it did when it was waiting for Redevelopment moneys? 30? Who knows.

Portland has had more success, but then they went about if very differently. When Portland was building its light rail and streetcar lines, it actively engaged property owners and demanded concessions in return for routing privileges. Several large properties identified as being underdeveloped were targeted and agreed to redevelop those properties in exchange for the rail lines and stops in proximity to their properties. California cities haven't done that in most cases. Sacramento has relied extensively on public projects to the point it's all but pushed private development outside of the city limits. Really nothing moves here unless its a public project, and public projects are... well, as of now dead, "victims" of California's fiscal mismanagement. Going forward, Sacramento is going to actually have to find ways of attracting private development, something they've ignored for 20 years. Most of the private development followed the middle-class out to Elk Grove, Roseville, and Folsom. It's difficult to attract what really is yuppie development to a city with high crime, few law enforcement officers, high unemployment, an uneducated work force that is unappealing to companies, poor schools... Sacramento's spent the last 20 years ignoring its problems and counting on State jobs and public projects, neither of which seem to be feasible avenues for growth going forward.

Last edited by Malloric; 12-27-2012 at 04:46 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2012, 04:33 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,552,220 times
Reputation: 746
Malloric, thanks for posting that Orange Line document, it seems really interesting. The Orange Line has been a terrific demonstration of what BRT can do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2012, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,153 posts, read 16,251,117 times
Reputation: 12770
What's more interesting is that the Orange Line was initially proposed and then later intended to be converted to light rail. It was only because of the political machinations of LA as a result of the cost overruns with the Red Line that have effectively made that impossible to ever accomplish that buses were considered as a permanent solution. Once that happened and Metro was left holding a completely useless ROW they paid millions for, buses were really the only option to go with. Then cheap substitute that was never considered until all remaining options were exhausted goes on to be what it is today. As of now with the Orange Line hitting in excess of 30,000 passengers a day, it is running into capacity problems. Current signal prioritization doesn't allow for increased numbers of buses, so they'd either have to change it providing less green time for cross-traffic, run two-bus convoys, or get an exemption to run 80-foot articulated buses from CalTrans.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,164,503 times
Reputation: 3124
Rapid Ride in Seattle has not had a smooth deployment but is still beating ridership projections and, as Malloric says, was deployed much quicker than light rail (though worhout some infrastructure completed). However once the tunnel is completed link ridership will soar, and metro will reduce the many buses that operate to UW.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2012, 11:05 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,021,555 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Market Street does need grade separated transit and it has it--a subway with 4 BART stations and 7 Muni Metro light rail stations, with the possibility of having an 8th.

The cable cars sort of take the place of gondolas, at least on some hills.
I realize BART is there, but subways can be intimidating for out-of-towners and carry a stigma. That's why I was specifically referring to tourists, as BART is great for commutes. Above-ground transit tends to provoke a more positive response because people can see it and do so at a distance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2012, 03:51 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,552,220 times
Reputation: 746
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I realize BART is there, but subways can be intimidating for out-of-towners and carry a stigma. That's why I was specifically referring to tourists, as BART is great for commutes. Above-ground transit tends to provoke a more positive response because people can see it and do so at a distance.
Above ground transit is more "legible" or "imagable" or whatever such term because it's easier to see. Buses still carry a lot of stigma in a lot of cities, but less so in San Francisco where they're heavily used by a wide swath of the population.

Incidentally, it's the 100th anniversary of Muni, San Francisco's Municipal Railway, the first publicly owned land transit system in the U.S. Municipal Railway celebrates 100 years - SFGate
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,867 posts, read 10,790,105 times
Reputation: 2561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
You're convinced that people who cannot drive are entitled to expensive, inefficient, and all around stupid welfare transit. .

whether I am or not, is not the point (in the region where I live, expecting all poor, elderly, and handicapped to exit the lower density areas would be problematic - subsidized car purchases/car sharing could provide an option for the poor, though they would not help the other groups so much - I definitely support improved bike infrastructure, which would help the poor here, but only for a subset of trips) The point is that you can't use the average MPG of all transit to dicuss the energy impact of incremental changes to transit service or transit usage.

You have to keep the impacts to the policy being discussed. If you are discussing eliminating all transit you can use the energy usage of all transit (but then you have to also include the impacts of mobility for all). If you are discussing a new transit line (isnt that what we started discussing on this thread?) or usage at the margin, you have to discuss the marginal impacts, which are quite different.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2013, 01:11 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,377,410 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Above ground transit is more "legible" or "imagable" or whatever such term because it's easier to see. Buses still carry a lot of stigma in a lot of cities, but less so in San Francisco where they're heavily used by a wide swath of the population.

Incidentally, it's the 100th anniversary of Muni, San Francisco's Municipal Railway, the first publicly owned land transit system in the U.S. Municipal Railway celebrates 100 years - SFGate
And MUNI streetcars run slower today due to street congestion even with the Market Street Subway than they did in the 20s.

[Read it somewhere can't remember the source]
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2013, 01:15 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,867 posts, read 10,790,105 times
Reputation: 2561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Oh, on that I agree on the development pattern parts. It's why I'm so against stupid transit that you think everyone is entitled to. If transit service is spread so thin it's nearly useless everywhere,.

in greater washington we have low volume bus lines provided for mobility for the poor and otherwise challenged. We ALSO have heavy rail, express buses, and high frequency conventional buses, commuter rail, and soon street cars (in DC and Arlington), light rail (the Purple Line), and BRT (the proposed Montgomery County System). One does not exclude the other.

I mean I doubt the taxes paid by the poor actually pay for their share of the road and street network in my region. No one would suggest not building new highways because of that. Highways are justified on their incremental impact.
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. The time now is 03:22 PM.

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