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Old 08-14-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,283,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
What about running Light Rail or Street Cars on 14th with no cars and traffic light priority?
Interesting idea! When I worked downtown, I drove from Stapleton because I have to drop kids off at school along the way. The bus isn't practical. But I have neighbors who take the bus for convenience. From Stapleton to downtown typically takes over 30 minutes to travel what, 7 miles? It's a slow go. The East Rail line will eventually be an option for people, and probably faster than a bus.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:10 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,194,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
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

It was probably cheap per mile because most of it was existing railroad ROW.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
956 posts, read 1,774,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Plenty of cities would benefit from having a rapid transit subway system like Portland, St. Louis, Buffalo, Denver, and Pittsburgh. I could name a lot more.

Instead of building more roads and highways, this country should put a stronger emphasis on seriously improving mass transit. Countries in Asia and Europe have no problem investing in mass transit for the long term. America on the other hand would rather wait until there is a huge problem and then try to fix it with a less efficient option in which they will run into the same problem 10-20 year later. It's a shame that this country used to be a world leader in the late 19th and early 20th century when it come to mass transit. Boy "how the mighty have fallen" as this country is arguably the worst 1st world nation when it comes to mass transit. Countries like Brazil and Argentina have already surpassed us when it comes to mass transit efficiency.
Yep, I won't deny that unfortunately public transit is a lower priority in this country, vs. other countries. And that yes unfortunately, there are a lot of U.S. cities that never built traditional subway systems. Still though even in cities that don't have heavy rail subways per se, there are a lot of cities that have decent light rail systems. Saint Louis has Metrolink, with it going all the way east to an Air Force base on the Illinois side, plus splitting into 2 branches west of St. Louis city. One of them going to Lambert Airport, and the other goes to a suburban area just slightly southwest of the city. There are discussions to expand the system, and it's a hybrid system where there both are totally underground portions(mostly near downtown Saint Louis), above ground, and grade level portions. Also Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte have light rail systems, to my knowledge. I've only ridden Metrolink of all those light rail systems, and I thought it was pretty decent, and not too much different in convenience and speed to ride on between stops, vs. a hard rail subway system.

Google map for Metrolink, as well:
MetroLink
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:17 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
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...).
The problem with subways and light rails and other public transportation projects is both cost an rail line can cost as much as an highway and they are of limited use. An highway can carry both people and cargo but public transit only carries people. Highways can work 24/7 with very little staffing but public transit needs more staffing. This is why highways are preferred.

Where public transit works is when there is an lot of demand going to an single place or an set of places along an route. I don't think they cost more than Europe, but Europe has an different transit problem(much higher gas prices and old cities designed before street cars and not on grid). An subway no matter what vehicle it carries be it an tunnel with an highway or an tunnel with an train is going to be expensive no matter what and so very few will be built.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:29 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,988 posts, read 41,959,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Where public transit works is when there is an lot of demand going to an single place or an set of places along an route. I don't think they cost more than Europe, but Europe has an different transit problem(much higher gas prices and old cities designed before street cars and not on grid). An subway no matter what vehicle it carries be it an tunnel with an highway or an tunnel with an train is going to be expensive no matter what and so very few will be built.
European subway construction costs are generally cheaper than American ones. Sometimes much cheaper. See above link. The much higher gas prices are due to taxation, they're a created political choice. A subway even if elevated takes up much less space than a highway, and the users don't require space for parking. In high demand situations, a subway can carry much more people than a single highway, though in the US outside of NYC there aren't many of those situations.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, S.F. Bay Area
374 posts, read 366,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Well yeah, but this is light rail.

I think the thread is about high capacity, heavy rail systems, usually thought of as "subway", "metro", etc. Most of MUNI rail runs in traffic and has more bus-like capacity.

And the MUNI extension just goes to Chinatown, not North Beach.
MUNI vehicles are heavier than BART ones, I believe. And its clear that they're designed primarily for high-speed tunnel purposes and not for street level activity. The design of the system layout is that of a light-rail but the vehicles themselves I believe (although I may be wrong) are heavier than BART cars and do in fact because of their weight, tear up the streets they drive on. Its a flawed light-rail, not necessarily intentional but it does act as a heavy-rail. I see that MUNI is classified as lightrail, but its also a good demonstration of what heavy-rail would be like if it were obstructing traffic. (Only the Breda design however, the Boeing designs were slower and lighter, like a light-rail). They also go as fast as NYC subways do. Not average, but top speeds.

And the extension currently goes to Chinatown but plans indicate its possibly going all the way to the Marina or it may terminate at North Beach. The intention is to replace the capacity Stockton bus so I'm doubtful and city plans don't necessarily indicate that they'll cap the system at Chinatown.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
The problem with subways and light rails and other public transportation projects is both cost an rail line can cost as much as an highway and they are of limited use. An highway can carry both people and cargo but public transit only carries people. Highways can work 24/7 with very little staffing but public transit needs more staffing. This is why highways are preferred.

Where public transit works is when there is an lot of demand going to an single place or an set of places along an route. I don't think they cost more than Europe, but Europe has an different transit problem(much higher gas prices and old cities designed before street cars and not on grid). An subway no matter what vehicle it carries be it an tunnel with an highway or an tunnel with an train is going to be expensive no matter what and so very few will be built.
Nowadays subway systems can be automated and still run at high frequency throughout the day, for example, the Vancouver Skytrain. This eliminates much of the labor needs. And highways do need to be staffed 24/7 at a minimum in the sense that you need people available to resolve accidents and other emergencies (roads require much, much more man power to do this than transit systems), as well as road maintenance, and traffic enforcement.

I never said subways and light rails could ever REPLACE highways. In any city, it's obvious that you need more miles of highways and roads than you do mass transit. It's just that when you have a critical mass of vehicle congestion, you need to consider alternatives to continue to grow. Beyond a certain point, building and expanding highways is self-defeating. You never get rid of the congestion. You create more stuff that needs maintained and eventually re-built. You only marginally increase capacity. You REMOVE tax-revenue developing properties and businesses and greenspace to expand roads and provide parking. You could never build enough roads and highways (let alone the parking...) to get the critical mass of people into a world class city like NYC, London, Tokyo, or even many of the smaller but still vibrant European and Asian cities. Heck, just look at Vancouver vs. Seattle. The tax revenue that sustains services in these cities simply could not exist if not for the subway system IN ADDITION to the highways.

In fact, automobile congestion density should matter more than "conventional" population density. Conventional density would naturally follow, given that subsequent development tends to occur on premium rapid transit lines. We're currently seeing even in decidedly un-dense cities like Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver, ect., pretty much most cities that have built well-designed and well-managed rail systems in the last few decades.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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I should also point out that in the effective subway systems, it is possible to get within walking distance of most, if not all, major destinations within the city, often with park-and-ride options and frequent bus service at the edges and any gaps in the system. It is not just about "a bunch of people needing to get to a single location" anymore! That's the difference between a transit system and a transit line. You can't just build a transit line and argue that a transit system wouldn't work well, any more than you can build a single highway and complain that most cars are still just using the local roads. And safe, convenient pedestrian access to/from stations is just as important as on/off ramps are for highways. And of course, if you built only ONE highway going from ONE suburb to downtown, guess what, that highway is only going to work for people who all have to go to the same place.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:59 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,954,813 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalacticDragonfly View Post
MUNI vehicles are heavier than BART ones, I believe. And its clear that they're designed primarily for high-speed tunnel purposes and not for street level activity. The design of the system layout is that of a light-rail but the vehicles themselves I believe (although I may be wrong) are heavier than BART cars and do in fact because of their weight, tear up the streets they drive on. Its a flawed light-rail, not necessarily intentional but it does act as a heavy-rail. I see that MUNI is classified as lightrail, but its also a good demonstration of what heavy-rail would be like if it were obstructing traffic. (Only the Breda design however, the Boeing designs were slower and lighter, like a light-rail). They also go as fast as NYC subways do. Not average, but top speeds.

And the extension currently goes to Chinatown but plans indicate its possibly going all the way to the Marina or it may terminate at North Beach. The intention is to replace the capacity Stockton bus so I'm doubtful and city plans don't necessarily indicate that they'll cap the system at Chinatown.
You're confusing light rail with streetcars/trolleys/trams. Light rail has always been heavier and faster than the streetcars.

The muni metro is a premetro system - it takes advantage of the versatility of light rail while avoiding the costs of expensive tunneling on the less busy parts of the system.

the Breda LRVs are a little heavier than the BART cars but it's an apples and oranges comparison. Also, the rails are normally set in concrete that's separate from the rest of the road bed. It's not likely that the LRVs are responsible for much road damage since they're essentially separate structures.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
You're confusing light rail with streetcars/trolleys/trams. Light rail has always been heavier and faster than the streetcars.

The muni metro is a premetro system - it takes advantage of the versatility of light rail while avoiding the costs of expensive tunneling on the less busy parts of the system.

the Breda LRVs are a little heavier than the BART cars but it's an apples and oranges comparison. Also, the rails are normally set in concrete that's separate from the rest of the road bed. It's not likely that the LRVs are responsible for much road damage since they're essentially separate structures.
I like the Muni system with how it functions, and it is good to see the system finally expanding downtown. That is something that should have happened decades ago.
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