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Old 08-10-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I think the main problem in the United States is that subway systems are viewed as a luxary for a city, while other countries view subway systems are a necessity for a city.

The American mentality nowadays for building mass transit is to look for the cheapest option possible, even though it may not be the best option as the cheapest option could possibly hurt them in the long term.
New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC are the only cities that have basically fulfilled their master plan when it comes to its subway system. Every other city has fallen quite short of that and is a testament to how mass transit isn't viewed as a high priority when it comes to cities with growing populations.

Many of you probably didn't know this but only 5 of the top 20 largest cities in the United States have subway systems(New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco).


I think subways are a little overrated. I don't enjoy being underground traveling in a dark tunnel for long periods of time. Its really noisy and dark down there (and claustrophobic), though some subways are better than others but I wouldn't put NY, El and DC systems in the better category. The noise of the train is magnified several fold when traveling underground in a tunnel, so it can get extremely noisy and headache inducing. Unlike more modern systems overseas they don't have sound insulation on the tunnel walls, rail cars, etc. The crumbling delapidated stations in NYC are dark, dirty, poorly maintained. Even the train cars are not pleasant to look at and appear as if they were built in the 19th century. This is supposed to be the best example of a subway system in N. America? They might want to try something better because this is terrible.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think subways are a little overrated. I don't enjoy being underground traveling in a dark tunnel for long periods of time. Its really noisy and dark down there (and claustrophobic), though some subways are better than others but I wouldn't put NY, El and DC systems in the better category. The noise of the train is magnified several fold when traveling underground in a tunnel, so it can get extremely noisy and headache inducing. Unlike more modern systems overseas they don't have sound insulation on the tunnel walls, rail cars, etc. The crumbling delapidated stations in NYC are dark, dirty, poorly maintained. Even the train cars are not pleasant to look at and appear as if they were built in the 19th century. This is supposed to be the best example of a subway system in N. America? They might want to try something better because this is terrible.
Subway systems may not be the prettiest type of mass transit but it gets the job done in terms of efficiently moving large amounts of people from one location to another. I wish more US cities had them.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Cincinnati actually built a subway but ran out of money and now its all boarded up and never thought of again.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Originally Posted by Ohky0815 View Post
Cincinnati actually built a subway but ran out of money and now its all boarded up and never thought of again.
Such a shame. Cincinnati's subway system would've probably been similar to Cleveland.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Such a shame. Cincinnati's subway system would've probably been similar to Cleveland.
It is a shame, they dug it all out, built the platforms, etc but its just sitting there underground. I can actually walk across from my house and go down to the exit where the subway would have come out. I cant go in of course. Then they want to build a streetcar system that only goes a block or so. Clearly we dont know how to have financial priorities.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:53 PM
bu2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Yes DC is both commuter rail and subway.
But I think mostly meant to carry suburbanites into and out of the city.





I wouldn't say that. A well-designed system can be a real booster to the local economy. Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, SF, LA, even Atlanta and Tampa have seen major commercial development along their light rail lines. Something I think other transit modes aren't really known for. Even Tucson AZ, believe it or not, has seen an economic transformation of downtown since the streetcar was installed. Or rather reinstalled.


Place-based development and streetcar transforming downtown Tucson

"Since 2006, when Tucson voters approved the $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Plan that included the modern streetcar, downtown has seen aggressive redevelopment that has brought dozens of new restaurants, night clubs, bars and shops which have transformed it into a vibrant entertainment district," the Daily Sun reported.

Atlanta doesn't have light rail, only heavy rail.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:57 PM
bu2
 
9,969 posts, read 6,425,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I think the main problem in the United States is that subway systems are viewed as a luxary for a city, while other countries view subway systems are a necessity for a city.

The American mentality nowadays for building mass transit is to look for the cheapest option possible, even though it may not be the best option as the cheapest option could possibly hurt them in the long term.
New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC are the only cities that have basically fulfilled their master plan when it comes to its subway system. Every other city has fallen quite short of that and is a testament to how mass transit isn't viewed as a high priority when it comes to cities with growing populations.

Many of you probably didn't know this but only 5 of the top 20 largest cities in the United States have subway systems(New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco).
Depends on how you define "subway system." Atlanta's is underground through downtown Atlanta and downtown Decatur. Chicago has elevated trains. BART is elevated throughout much of its run.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:59 PM
bu2
 
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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.
There's considerable question whether St. Louis and Buffalo are benefitting.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Detroit came close to having a subway system. One that would have underground lines in the downtown area with EL-lines farther out.

But at the time (1915), the city's streetcar transit system was operated by a private company. Then Mayor James Couzen (a former founder of Ford Motor Company) wanted to buy the private company in an effort to reduce the cost of fares, but planners had suggested that the money spent buying the company meant the city wouldn't have any funds to build the subway system (unless taxes were raised). The city would have to first finance the subway system and then buy the company at a later date when the debts are all paid. The Mayor rejected this plan and instead had the city build it's own streetcar system that offered cheaper fares than the private transit company. The city eventually bought the company several years later, but plans for a subway system were never mentioned again due to the now extensive streetcar network. By 1930, Detroit boasted about having the most extensive inner-city streetcar system in the country with fares cheaper only to that of the subway system in NYC (which is greatly ironic).

By the 1940s when the freeways were being planned, subways were proposed again. This time, they would parallel the freeways similar to how they are in the Chicago area but still with underground lines through downtown. But I think this time around, it was seen more like a pie-in-the-sky proposal and cost was more of a factor than in previous attempts. The freeways were federally funded and so mass transit likely wasn't or didn't have as much.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I guess you missed the cities I clearly listed that could definitely benefit from having a subway?
I saw the list, I just disagree.

NYC is the only U.S. city with really a strong need for heavy rail capacity. If anything, there are too many U.S. cities with heavy rail, not too few. Small cities abroad like Oslo have higher heavy rail ridership than our second largest city. That tells you all you need to know.

Even the older, urban-type cities of Philly, Boston, DC, Chicago, and SF do not have very strong heavy rail ridership compared to cities outside the U.S.
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