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Old 10-20-2014, 05:01 AM
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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
I know a lot of people like to ignore this fact for some reason but most American cities are pretty far from each other and very spread out, especially compared to cities in those countries you listed.

Most American cities just aren't built for subways.
I agree, but as urbanlife said, city to city distances matter little. How spread the city itself is matters. There are some American cities that are built for subways, but most of them already have subways.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I agree, but as urbanlife said, city to city distances matter little. How spread the city itself is matters. There are some American cities that are built for subways, but most of them already have subways.
Yeah that is what i meant about spread out.

and yes the cities that are built for subways already have great subway systems.
However most of our cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Milwaukee understandably won't be building a subway line in the near future.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Yeah that is what i meant about spread out.

and yes the cities that are built for subways already have great subway systems.
However most of our cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Milwaukee understandably won't be building a subway line in the near future.
A number of those cities already have light rail systems in place. And I think Atlanta already has a subway system.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:20 AM
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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Yeah that is what i meant about spread out.

and yes the cities that are built for subways already have great subway systems.
However most of our cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Milwaukee understandably won't be building a subway line in the near future.
I won't go that far. Cities like Boston, Philly and even NYC in a way have weaker rail system for their size. European cities continued to extend and build subway systems as in recent decades. True, density decreases more for American cities, but places like Eastern Queens and parts of Boston (southern part, mainly) lack frequent rail service.

Atlanta does a rapid transit system, though not a particularly extensive one.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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If we had not first built expressways, would there be so many outlying low-density suburbs?

Perhaps if European cities had not built out their great subway systems, they'd be more like American cities today.

Good infrastructure spurs good development--whether it's a walkable city or an outer suburb, you need the infrastructure in place (or being constructed) in order to encourage development.

In a sense, "you get what you pay for" applies here.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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I believe light rail and bus ways are the new thing.

An example of one planned in NorCal:

Smart Train North Bay Sonoma Marin | SMART – Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit | Passenger train and multi-use pathway project

I wish SoCal and other areas had more light rail like Ventura County.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Because

A) They actually have the money
and
B) Their politicians have the foresight to invest in these things

Our politics and economy is too grounded in immediate results and returns. Long-term investments are a huge no-no for our shortsighted system.

EDIT: Whoops, I was thinking about why those nations build those systems so frequently compared to us. As for why they build them better and more efficiently, it's because:

A) They have a more educated populace, meaning more engineers, thus meaning more and better-built systems

and

B) They don't have politicians hellbent on stopping any and all progress, so they can construct systems according to the original plans and don't have to make compromises that water down the systems
Could it also have to do with private contractors building the lines that make it cost a fortune here in the US?
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:20 AM
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
45,988 posts, read 41,959,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
Could it also have to do with private contractors building the lines that make it cost a fortune here in the US?
see:

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...ruction-costs/
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
But how is a rail cheaper or less maintenance, then a simple wire over the track? To replace a rail, the line could be out of service for weeks. A wire could be replaced overnight.

The third rail runs on the ties which would be there anyway and are relatively low-maintenance, as is the rail itself. Catenary requires overhead support structures over the entire system.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P47P47 View Post
The third rail runs on the ties which would be there anyway and are relatively low-maintenance, as is the rail itself. Catenary requires overhead support structures over the entire system.
The cost comes because it has to be completely separated from people so they don't electrocute themselves. With overhead cables, trains can be safely run down streets with little to no separation.
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