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Old 03-04-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,887,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apm193 View Post
If they travel off of the street, or have their own lane, then are they really street cars? That sounds more like light rail. Its not very fair to compare a bus that has to travel in a normal lane with a street car that gets its own lane. What I'm talking about is if you compare a street car that travels on a regular street with a bus, then the bus would in most cases be faster. A bus lane would mean much lower infrastructure costs, greater flexibility and a higher average speed.
Now you are comparing a streetcar in mixed traffic to a bus in a bus only lane. Thats apples and oranges. The streetcar can have its own lane too. Then it would be as fast as a bus in a bus only lane. I personally think that's a waste of lane capacity (unless you have extremely frequent service), but if that the way you want to do it.

And yes, many streetcars can and do travel off street. But my idea of a streetcar and what I was talking about is, middle of street running, in mixed traffic, with the streetcars having priority. Thats the way they historically operated.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,887,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVAunit1981 View Post
Repair the damage? What damage? Can you show me pictures of the damage?




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Old 03-04-2013, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVAunit1981 View Post
Geologic: You're really stating that "car-dependent living arrangement with few or no attractive outdoor public spaces" killed Detroit?
Really?
I grew up there, and left the area as soon as I was able. So did most (nearly all) of the clever people. The ones that stayed seem to be the ones who had no alternatives.

Why did we leave?
Partly, it was the lack of jobs. But mostly because the city lacked the attractive urban features that would attract people - and employers - to the Downtown area.


GM's Detroit Renaissance Center HQ - YouTube

GM and others came together in the 1970's to build the Renaissance Center downtown. But if you visit the place you will see that it is built like a fort, defending itself from the city around it. It is not easy to get in and out of it, even by car. And the Ren-Cen does nothing to attract pedestrians, bikes, or even buses. It is the worst sort of car-driven development, in a city than has many bad examples.


The Fort, in the "Motor City" - do you feel like you want to walk there?

Detroit earned its fate by destroying the vital, living tissue of a city and turning it into a sterile landscape that one wants to traverse in a car, at the greatest possible speed.

It is now trying to save itself by building a Light Rail system down Woodward Avenue. With that, I give it a chance - and I genuinely want to see it succeed. But maybe it should change its name to: "The former Motor City, now recovering," to show it understands the car-dominance was the problem, and it is ready to move on. It can start a new social enterprise: AA, Automobile Anonymous - for cities in a recover mode.

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,923 posts, read 3,639,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
If it wasn't a disaster, then why are we now spending billions of dollars trying to repair the damage? Why did LA go from being a beautiful, clean, non-congested city with highly efficient rail system, to a smog polluted, congested hellhole that takes hours to get anywhere?
Haven't read most of the thread, but feel like chiming in here. The smog was actually worse when the streetcars were here than it is now. And it's more congested because there are millions more people here. And the rail system was only highly efficient in romantic retrospective. The reality is that ridership was plummeting for years until the streetcars were replaced with buses. Buses were an improvement from a transit perspective, but people (me included) love trains, so back they come. The new streetcars will be much more comfortable than the old ones though, so they can be considered better than buses.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:51 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,268,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
Haven't read most of the thread, but feel like chiming in here. The smog was actually worse when the streetcars were here than it is now. And it's more congested because there are millions more people here. And the rail system was only highly efficient in romantic retrospective. The reality is that ridership was plummeting for years until the streetcars were replaced with buses. Buses were an improvement from a transit perspective, but people (me included) love trains, so back they come. The new streetcars will be much more comfortable than the old ones though, so they can be considered better than buses.
I don't think buses were a real replacement for streetcars. during the streetcar era, 90% of the LA population traveled by streetcar. do you think 90% of the population of LA today uses the bus? it's nowhere near that. no more than 5 or 6% uses the bus today. the respective ridership numbers are miles apart. it would be more accurate to say the streetcar was replaced by the private automobile. because 95% of the population today travels by private automobiles and the 'ridership' load of automobiles today is similar to the early streetcar system.

and I would hardly think the diesel-engine driven buses that began 'competing' with streetcars in the 40s and 50s were an improvement. they were noisy and they spewed thick clouds of black diesel exhaust fumes in your face as they drove past you. diesel engines are also much dirtier than electric engines, because in California at least electric power is generated primarily by hydropower, natural gas and (later) nuclear power, solar and wind which are all much cleaner sources than coal and diesel. less than 1% of the state's electric power comes from coal (CA has no significant coal reserves).
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:11 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,978,960 times
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I guess one could see travel by bus a soical ;at elast i the past alos. use to be in the 60's air travel was a pleasure also with good meals ;plenty of room i seat and people were polite. Most things ahve chnaged just as we use to not lock our doors.Never wooried about walk locally at nite. Violence seem to be pretty widely distribayted now days in comparison.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:09 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
223 posts, read 339,260 times
Reputation: 329
I'm not sure who is building the apartments, but there are a lot of them. They are trying to turn this area were there was an old Pearl brewery into some upscale urban area. I'm not sure how many are actually occupied. Right now there is an offer of i believe $1 million to anyone who builds a 15,000 sq ft grocery store downtown. There are definitely enough buildings to do it. I hear they are talking about building one. Wish they would use some of the empty buildings. I'm not exactly sure how to revitalize the downtown area. They have been talking about it for years. Maybe some incentives for businesses to go there. Most new companies set up shop on the outskirts and build big sprawling buildings. All I know is $92 million would go a long, long way towards some kind of plan. A street car is not going to change a thing. As I said, the little fake ones we have are rarely used. The tourists use them I'm guessing, but not many others. A lot of restaurants just close at 2 or 3 pm, because after everyone gets off work, downtown is pretty dead. The key does seem to be to get people to actually live there, but again, there just aren't a lot of reasons to do that. Hopefully something will change. I just really can't imaging that kind of money being put towards such a thing. I don't see how anyone could think that is a good idea. We'll see what happens.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,739 posts, read 9,855,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apm193 View Post
The street car was obviously a very important invention and revolutionized the way people got around cities. They were also very impressive machines that had the ability to move large numbers of people quickly. Something that a horse carriage could not do.

But over time they were replaced by [1] better forms of transport. Primarily buses. Buses are usually faster, have a [2] smoother ride, and do not require [3] expensive infrastructure. Today most street cars are just [4] relics of the past, an interesting way for tourists to get around on. I think this is really the only reason to have street cars. Every day [5] commuters want transportation that can get them to their destination quickly and comfortably. And buses do that better than street cars.
[1] The automobile / bus is more convenient, but not "better". They waste resources, surface area, belch noxious fumes, and leave all manner of detritus (ex: tire fragments, oil) behind.
[2] ?! Have you ridden a bus recently? Miserable experience !
[3] Rail infrastructure is far cheaper over the long run than pavement. There are tracks still in operation that were laid in the 1870s (authenticated by mill stamps on the rails). Rail rolling stock lasts far longer than buses.
[4] Absent public subsidy of paved roads and infrastructure, streetcars would have been the dominant form of urban land transport.
[5] No facts in evidence to support that conclusion.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,739 posts, read 9,855,005 times
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Whether you like or hate steel wheel on steel rail, barring a technological breakthrough, it will eventually become the dominant form of land transport in the 21st century.
Reasons:
[] Energy efficiency [] Space efficiency [] Scalability

The automobile / petroleum / paved road paradigm is going to decline, due to the expense.

As populations increase, and thus passenger and cargo loads increase, the only mode of land transport that can effectively and frugally function under those conditions is electric traction rail.

The future is not bright for the automobile or bus, regardless of its power source.

Light rail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One line of light rail has a theoretical capacity of up to 8 times more than one lane of freeway (not counting buses) during peak times. Roads have ultimate capacity limits that can be determined by traffic engineering. They usually experience a chaotic breakdown in flow and a dramatic drop in speed (colloquially known as a traffic jam) if they exceed about 2,000 vehicles per hour per lane (each car roughly two seconds behind another). Since most people who drive to work or on business trips do so alone, studies show that the average car occupancy on many roads carrying commuters is only about 1.2 people per car during the high-demand rush hour periods of the day. This combination of factors limits roads carrying only automobile commuters to a maximum observed capacity of about 2,400 passengers per hour per lane. The problem can be mitigated by using high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and introducing ride-sharing programs, but in most cases the solution adopted has been to add more lanes to the roads. Simple arithmetic shows that in order to carry 20,000 automobile commuters per hour per direction, a freeway must be at least 18 lanes wide.

By contrast, light rail vehicles can travel in multi-car trains carrying a theoretical ridership up to 20,000 passengers per hour in much narrower rights-of-way, not much more than two car lanes wide for a double track system. They can often be run through existing city streets and parks, or placed in the medians of roads. If run in streets, trains are usually limited by city block lengths to about four 180-passenger vehicles (720 passengers). Operating on 2 minute headways using traffic signal progression, a well-designed two-track system can handle up to 30 trains per hour per track, achieving peak rates of over 20,000 passengers per hour in each direction. More advanced systems with separate rights-of-way using moving block signaling can exceed 25,000 passengers per hour per track.
....
A four track advanced rail network moving 100,000 passengers per hour can theoretically replace the equivalent of 41 lanes of superhighway... in the space of 4 road lanes. In addition to the advantages of scalability, rail infrastructure is far more durable and thus less expensive over the long run.

As to the issue of speed, some of the fault lies with the government... as in the Fed Railroad Administration's medieval regulations.
Some cogent comments on the mess created by Uncle Sam:
Passenger Rail for the Shasta Route: Table of Contents
{*US regulations require a very high carbody strength for political reasons, which adds several tons of weight to a vehicle.}

High-speed rail in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
High-speed rail in the United States currently consists of one high-speed rail service: Amtrak's Acela Express runs on the Northeast Corridor from Boston via New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, to Washington, D.C.at speeds averaging 68 mph (109 km/h) for the entire distance but briefly reaching 150 mph (240 km/h) at times.
SIXTY EIGHT MPH AVERAGE is embarrassing.

As to the claim that buses are "faster"... no bus can approach the performance of rail.
High-speed rail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include 200 km/h (120 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (160 mph) or faster for new track. In Japan, Shinkansen lines run at speeds in excess of 260 km/h (160 mph) and are built using standard gauge track with no at-grade crossings. In China, high-speed conventional rail lines operate at top speeds of 350 km/h (220 mph).
PCC streetcar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maximum speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Weight 35,000–42,000 lb (15,900–19,100 kg)
Traction system 4 x 55 hp (41 kW) motors
Capacity 52–61 Seats (90+ crush load)
Car length 46–50.5 ft (14.0–15.4 m)
Contrast with Scania bus
Scania at IAA 2010: Scania buses and coaches – travel in style | Scania Newsroom
Passenger capacity: 4×2: 49+1+1 seats; 6×2: 57+1+1seats.
Engines: 400 or 440 hp 12.7-litre Euro 5 engines; The 360 hp 9.3-litre engine
DART.org - Newsroom Bus Facts
Bus length: 40 feet
Bus capacity: 41 seated
Bus curb weight: Diesel - 29,740 lbs ; GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) - 39,500 lbs.
In short, a 1930's PCC streetcar with a 210 HP motor, and weighing more than a bus, carrying more than a bus, and can accelerate / decelerate faster than a bus, outperformed buses with 360 to 440 HP engines.

Science of Railway Locomotion
"At the same constant speed, on level ground, drawing the same load, any steel wheeled railway vehicle already in motion, will use only 5% (1/20) of the energy consumed by any large pneumatic tire road vehicle already in motion. Upon starting and initial acceleration, any steel wheeled railway vehicle will only use 10% (1/10) of the energy demanded by any large pneumatic tire road vehicle. Further, only in the case of railroads, Train Resistance, or Rolling Resistance, is inversely proportional to GCW (train weight). This means, the heavier the train, the more energy efficient it becomes."
At a 20:1 advantage over rubber tire on pavement, it is a viable means to reduce fuel consumption. Transitioning 80% of cargo and passenger service to electric traction rail would not only eliminate the need for petroleum imports, but would have many beneficial side effects - reduced air pollution - improved quality of life - less surface area consumed - reduced traffic congestion for the remaining vehicles on the road.

This sums up WHY getting America "back on track" is vital to restore prosperity.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
550 posts, read 1,092,223 times
Reputation: 650
Mass transit will increase when there's a demand for it.

Currently there's not a demand for it in most of the US.
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