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Old 04-30-2013, 03:11 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33058

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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
I love street cars, trams, light rail and trains and live in an area that has a rail transit system (albeit, modest compared to many), I also have a romanticized view of them when the system was even larger here, going right through my neighborhood and over beautiful wooden trestles crossing the canyons.

That being said they are abhorrently expensive to build and run, even as we expand our systems here I'm just as much to champion BRT. The infrastructure is mostly there and the actual transport can be more streetcar like, while taking advantage of new technologies in efficiency and longevity. Heck, the NG busses that we have now are clean, quiet and dependable even without a dedicated BRT system in place. I'm often taking the 3 minute walk up to the stop next to my house to go either uptown or downtown on the busses running every 10 minutes. There is always very limited funds to allocate, better to go with systems that prove to be the best bang for the buck.
Exactly! I still think some day we will look back at this light rail building mania and laugh at the money wasted, especially in smaller areas, e.g Denver where "Fastracks" is a commonly used term for "pig in a poke". However, the new Sec of Trans is a big LR advocate according to a story I heard on NPR this morning, which does not appear to be on their website.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:17 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Exactly! I still think some day we will look back at this light rail building mania and laugh at the money wasted, especially in smaller areas, e.g Denver where "Fastracks" is a commonly used term for "pig in a poke". However, the new Sec of Trans is a big LR advocate according to a story I heard on NPR this morning, which does not appear to be on their website.
Light rail and streetcars are different.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Exactly! I still think some day we will look back at this light rail building mania and laugh at the money wasted, especially in smaller areas, e.g Denver where "Fastracks" is a commonly used term for "pig in a poke". However, the new Sec of Trans is a big LR advocate according to a story I heard on NPR this morning, which does not appear to be on their website.
One thing to note is there is a difference between streetcars and LRT.

I bet the Sec. of Transportation is, considering he was the mayor of Charlotte, a big pusher of their LRT system. I do agree with you that some of these cities are getting way ahead of themselves by building LRT when buses and BRT would absolutely suffice, and looking at the ridership numbers is proof positive of this.

However other cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles can't build the stuff fast enough and have the demand to warrant it. Some individual lines in SF, Boston and LA get as much ridership as entire systems in other parts of the country. So in that respect I definitely agree with you.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11716
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Haha yep: The City of Los Angeles : Bringing Back Broadway : HOME

The streetcar is even on their front page. I agree that the streetcar is just a piece of the puzzle.

There is one thing I will say about it, and that is tourists will probably love this thing. It might take a bit of the intimidation factor of DTLA away, at least a little bit.
That's possible.

One thing though...

There are a number of cities building (or attempting to build) streetcars. But if we end up with something like 20 cities having them, then the streetcar loses a bit of its luster, doesn't it? I mean, the Portland streetcar was so "kewl" because nobody else had one. But once a bunch of cities get them, will people be so excited about them?

It's sort of like a kid bringing a new toy to show and tell only to find that 14 other boys in his class have the same toy.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:23 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33058
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Light rail and streetcars are different.
The post I was responding to mentioned light rail.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
That's possible.

One thing though...

There are a number of cities building (or attempting to build) streetcars. But if we end up with something like 20 cities having them, then the streetcar loses a bit of its luster, doesn't it? I mean, the Portland streetcar was so "kewl" because nobody else had one. But once a bunch of cities get them, will people be so excited about them?

It's sort of like a kid bringing a new toy to show and tell only to find that 14 other boys in his class have the same toy.
That could definitely be true.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:37 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
From what I hear it is because they were terrible and nobody liked them.

You heard? Why don't you try riding a streetcar (or light rail) and judge for yourself how good or bad they are? Instead of listening to the mainstream media whose biggest sponsors are the automotive industry? Los Angeles has a very successful light rail system right now that people seem to like just fine, so much that they continue to vote to approve expansion of the system, in addition to funding for a brand new streetcar line.

The Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar Loop is Officially a Go - Downtown Streetcar - March 6, 2013 Curbed LA
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
You heard? Why don't you try riding a streetcar (or light rail) and judge for yourself how good or bad they are? Instead of listening to the mainstream media whose biggest sponsors are the automotive industry? Los Angeles has a very successful light rail system right now that people seem to like just fine, so much that they continue to vote to approve expansion of the system, in addition to funding for a brand new streetcar line.

The Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar Loop is Officially a Go - Downtown Streetcar - March 6, 2013 Curbed LA


Couple things....

1. I said "I heard" because I was not even born when the last of the Southern California streetcars were ripped up. Some people think of them fondly, others remember how impractical, slow and uncomfortable they became in their twilight years. Mostly people think of them fondly because LA did not sufficiently replace them until the 90s.

2. The DTLA streetcar has nothing to do with the LRT system in Los Angeles.

3. Just because LA's LRT is awesome now doesn't mean the Yellow and Red Cars weren't complete crap by the end of its lifetime. Like I said the biggest mistake was not preserving the right-of-ways and in some cases selling them off.

LOL @ the mainstream media comment. I pretty much only read hippy-dippy alternative transportation blogs. Closest to "mainstream" I get is Curbed.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:43 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post


Couple things....

1. I said "I heard" because I was not even born when the last of the Southern California streetcars were ripped up. Some people think of them fondly, others remember how impractical, slow and uncomfortable they became in their twilight years. Mostly people think of them fondly because LA did not sufficiently replace them until the 90s.

2. The DTLA streetcar has nothing to do with the LRT system in Los Angeles.

3. Just because LA's LRT is awesome now doesn't mean the Yellow and Red Cars weren't complete crap by the end of its lifetime. Like I said the biggest mistake was not preserving the right-of-ways and in some cases selling them off.

LOL @ the mainstream media comment. I pretty much only read hippy-dippy alternative transportation blogs. Closest to "mainstream" I get is Curbed.

So where did you get this assumption the Yellow and Red Cars were 'complete crap' at the end of their life? Which 'hippy-dippy blog' gave you that impression? And did they put it into context?

Chrysler automobiles were pretty crappy cars that nobody wanted to buy...and yet the company still received a very large taxpayer bailout when it went bankrupt. How do you explain the double standard?

Maybe it had something to do with the anti-trust activities of GM who bought out
the Yellow and Red Car lines through their front company National City Lines. In violation of the Sherman anti-Trust Act, and hence the front company to disguise their illegal activities an act of which GM was convicted of in 1949. This is not a conspiracy theory. The conviction was held up on appeal. But by then it was too late. National City Lines had done their dirty work. LA's trolley tracks were all but torn up, and nearly all the trolley cars had been set to fire. GM certainly had an interest in seeing to the demise of the streetcar and they did just that. This was pretty much how large corporations often did business back in the day, and perhaps still do. They were ruthless. Despite what you may think, these car companies were not saints.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,105,724 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
So where did you get this assumption the Yellow and Red Cars were 'complete crap' at the end of their life? Which 'hippy-dippy blog' gave you that impression? And did they put it into context?

Chrysler automobiles were pretty crappy cars that nobody wanted to buy...and yet the company still received a very large taxpayer bailout when it went bankrupt. How do you explain the double standard?

Maybe it had something to do with the anti-trust activities of GM who bought out
the Yellow and Red Car lines through their front company National City Lines. In violation of the Sherman anti-Trust Act, and hence the front company to disguise their illegal activities an act of which GM was convicted of in 1949. This is not a conspiracy theory. The conviction was held up on appeal. But by then it was too late. National City Lines had done their dirty work. LA's trolley tracks were all but torn up, and nearly all the trolley cars had been set to fire. GM certainly had an interest in seeing to the demise of the streetcar and they did just that. This was pretty much how large corporations often did business back in the day, and perhaps still do. They were ruthless. Despite what you may think, these car companies were not saints.
And Angelenos rioted in the streets over this injustice!
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