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Old 08-14-2014, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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NYC was not nearly as dense when the subways were first being built, as it is today (NYC population peaked in the 70's, I believe, and is only now catching up to that previous peak). And no, they didn't have fancy tunnel boring machines to do the work. Thinking in terms of labour cost alone, adjusted to current market rates, it is cheaper and faster to build subway tunnels nowadays with a boring machine. So why do we refuse to think in terms of any kind of heavy rail unless a city approaches NYC density, when this density simply could not exist without a well-established underground city? And we wonder why no other US city has come close to NYC density...

I could buy the argument that it's just too expensive, if we weren't spending $Bns on highway expansions, interchanges, express lane systems, and even tunnels, and if hundreds of $Bn's of capital weren't currently pouring into condo booms in our major cities. Transportation is expensive, period. So get over it, because we do need it. And streamline the process--there's really no good reason why all of our highways, bridges, tunnels, and rapid transit have to cost several times the equivalent systems in Europe, which is a major reason why local municipalities can't build much of anything without getting the Fed's to sign on, which depends on national politics as much as or more than local transportation issues...(go ahead and add a decade onto whatever time frame you had in mind...).
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: The City
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Actually in many if not most areas where the subway are located they were many times more dense than they are today. That would also be similar for Boston and Philadelphia as well
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I'm not from Denver but ummm...that's how LRT is usually built anywhere. A traffic lane or two has to be removed. IIRC most of the streets you mentioned are three to four lane one-way arterials. Looks like there would be plenty of room to accommodate surface rail. And if its going to be running in mixed traffic then the lane isn't being taken away, it's just being shared. More people riding transit means less cars and congestion on the road. That's the goal isn't it?
Honestly, you couldn't take traffic lanes from Colorado Blvd. without causing worse traffic chaos than already exists. There are many busses on the streets I've discussed, and the busses cause the traffic to slow. Colfax is only two lanes in each direction and no turning lane. Buildings are up to the street, and ripping out historic buildings is not an option.

They've discussed a street car for Colfax, but the problem is that streetcars obstruct traffic, and get caught in it. Maybe Denver is an odd city in that it's purposely increasing density within the city via infill projects. The Cherry Creek district is definitly gaining in density. A new high density development is beginning on Colorado Blvd. and that stretch of Colfax has been rezoned for higher density and taller buildings. IMO, adding a subway would where I mentioned would support all the higher density as it's built. And it's already fairly dense.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Very few spots in Denver are anywhere close to the density near Los Angeles subway lines. As for traffic problems, with limited road space and budget a choice must be made whether to accomodate transit that flows well (grade separation) or cars. Cars can also go to a parallel street, and if the transit is well used may carry more people in the same space as a traffic lane Boston's green line definitely does.
If you jammed a LR line down the middle of E. Colfax, you'd only have one traffic lane in each direction, and parallel streets are already jammed during peak traffic times.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:32 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post

They've discussed a street car for Colfax, but the problem is that streetcars obstruct traffic, and get caught in it. Maybe Denver is an odd city in that it's purposely increasing density within the city via infill projects. The Cherry Creek district is definitly gaining in density. A new high density development is beginning on Colorado Blvd. and that stretch of Colfax has been rezoned for higher density and taller buildings. IMO, adding a subway would where I mentioned would support all the higher density as it's built. And it's already fairly dense.

But the biggest obstruction to automobiles...are other automobiles. I'd rather be stuck behind one streetcar, than stuck behind a hundred private automobiles - which the people in the streetcar would be driving in - if there were no streetcar option available to them. The higher capacity of streetcars lets you run fewer streetcars so you don't have to run as many buses, so they help reduce traffic congestion in that regard. Subways have the highest capacity but (literally) costs ten times as much.

Average cost of modern surface light rail: $50 million per mile.
Average cost of a modern subway: $500 million to $1 billion per mile

Examples of projects under construction:

Denver East Corridor LRT actual cost: $1 billion for 23 miles of light rail
------------------------------------->> or $43 million per mile

San Francisco Central Subway actual cost: $1.6 billion for 1.7 miles of subway
------------------------------------>> or $850 million per mile

I think a city like Denver would go near broke trying to build the latter.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:44 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
But the biggest obstruction to automobiles...are other automobiles. I'd rather be stuck behind one streetcar, than stuck behind a hundred private automobiles - which the people in the streetcar would be driving in - if there were no streetcar option available to them. The higher capacity of streetcars lets you run fewer streetcars so you don't have to run as many buses, so they help reduce traffic congestion in that regard. Subways have the highest capacity but (literally) costs ten times as much.

Average cost of modern surface light rail: $50 million per mile.
Average cost of a modern subway: $500 million to $1 billion per mile

Examples of projects under construction:

Denver East Corridor LRT actual cost: $1 billion for 23 miles of light rail
------------------------------------->> or $43 million per mile

San Francisco Central Subway actual cost: $1.6 billion for 1.7 miles of subway
------------------------------------>> or $850 million per mile

I think a city like Denver would go near broke trying to build the latter.
The San Francisco subway is high as subway construction costs go.

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...ruction-costs/

The Denver East Corridor isn't light rail, its surface rail running mostly in area without much in the way.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:51 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
When you live here, you're not "oohing and ahing" at the views on your way to or from work. And the streets I suggested for subway service are urban areas where your view is of storefronts/buildings, not mountain vistas.
I do live here and I enjoy the view each & every day!
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:54 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,406 times
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Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Are you from Denver or familiar with it?

You really can't run light rail down Colfax, Colorado Blvd. or Speer. This triangle would cover the urban core of Denver. And while these streets aren't as dense as Manhattan, they're close to, if not as dense as the neighborhoods surrounding the subway lines in L.A.

If you've ever driven down the three streets I've pointed out, you know how horrible traffic can be. And these streets are gaining density. With all the development going on in Cherry Creek North, the traffic is going to be horrendous. Colorado Blvd. is adding density as well, and everyone in Denver knows what a traffic nightmare it is. My suggestion of subway is becase there is nowhere to build LR along these streets without removing traffic lanes, which would defeat the purpose. Streetcars would be right there in the traffic.

What about running Light Rail or Street Cars on 14th with no cars and traffic light priority?
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:10 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The San Francisco subway is high as subway construction costs go.

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...ruction-costs/

The Denver East Corridor isn't light rail, its surface rail running mostly in area without much in the way.


The Central Platte Valley extension serves all the major sports venues in the Denver downtown area.
Opened in 2000 at total cost of $48 million for 1.8 miles of double track light rail. That's only what $24 million per mile? Wow. Not sure why it was so cheap but that's bargain basement for a light rail, and in a busy urban area.


Central Platte Valley RTD
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,280,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think a city like Denver would go near broke trying to build the latter.
I don't expect Denver to ever build a subway. But it's interesting that Denver continues to increase density witin the city without doing anything to handle the extra traffic. The overall LR system is more for commuting from far out 'burbs to downtown, not getting around the urban parts of the city. The bus system is fairly decent and there are probably more bike commuters than in many other cities.
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