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Old 08-11-2014, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,550,446 times
Reputation: 29032

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
... 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.
That information about Tucson (where I live) is somewhat of an exaggeration. Mainly because this "modern streetcar" didn't even start to carry passengers until two weeks ago, so how can it have caused "aggressive redevelopment"? As for the "vibrant entertainment district," Tucson has a few more bars and restaurants than it had when I moved here nine years ago, but I doubt if it's even as many that closed during the recession. I used to write engineering proposals so I look at figures like those provided by the Dept. of Transportation with a jaundiced eye. The Mercado District, for example, would have been developed had there been no streetcar.

The streetcar, furthermore, has yet to prove its functionality. A wrongly parked car can bring it to a dead halt and it is a danger in several ways to bicycle riders, a transportation method Tucson has spent millions of dollars for years trying to promote. It remains to be seen if many people beyond those studying or employed at the U of A will actually use it. Because it just goes around downtown on a loop, it's useless for commuters.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
444 posts, read 484,246 times
Reputation: 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
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.
Boston' low ridership is due to the lack of reach of the system. In Boston proper 600k people. In the Metro area 4.6M people. The vast majority of people coming into the city have to use the infrequent commuter rail. Or drive to a heavy rail spur which has terrible parking. If they brought the heavy rail out further it would get tons of usage. Traffic here is terrible, if there was a more convenient way to get in vs pay 400+ a month to park after sitting in a hr plus traffic I am sure people would be all over it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:23 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 1,197,731 times
Reputation: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
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.
I don't think you should talk about what you don't know. I live in the District and almost everyone here under the age of 40 uses metro as their primary source of travel. The neighborhoods in DC that don't have metro stations are begging metro to come to them because it is such a boon to the area. Also, comparing Oslo to LA which barely even has a subway system is completely unfair. DC has the second highest subway ridership in the US with about 700,000 trips a day, with an expected 1 million trips a day in the next 15 years. Oslo has a subway ridership of 200,000 a day. Both have similar populations within the city. So obviously you are anti public transit, but don't spurt out weak facts
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:46 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,157,756 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robdreamz View Post
Really? There are only 12 cities in the US with a heavy rail system:

NYC
DC
Chicago
Boston
Philly
SF
LA
Baltimore
Atlanta
Miami
Cleveland
NY|NJ PATH

All the ones listed above are heavily populated save for Atlanta yet has very decent ridership for such a low density metro. You can't compare us to Europe where owning a car is basically a financial nightmare including the cost of Gasoline.
The NYC subway works well is because it has over 400 miles of track and is one of the largest subway systems in the world to begin with. Every city below Chicago has very limited track mileage in comparison so it doesn't serve the majority of the populace hence low ridership.
But to me PATH and you forgot PATCO (the S Jersey HR version of PATH that serves Camden and Jersey burbs and into Philly) are more just extensions of the larger city they serve. PATH to NYC and PATCO to Philly - both have subways in the urban portions of NJ that run subways into the larger cities

so really its probably just 11 (or 15 if you include Jersey City, Newark, Camden, and Oakland)
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,157,756 times
Reputation: 7738
On the topic and the above - I have my own fantasy map that uses mostly existing ROW and converts some what are today Regional rail lines to LRT Rapid Transit lines for Philly - it is a city that has bones to expand just not the funds - cant see much on the HR front though maybe extending the MFL to the BLVD extension, PATCO to 30th st, and maybe the BSL to the Navy yard.

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...o.k2bFHU6_UMcc
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:52 AM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,288,217 times
Reputation: 4025
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).
Americans have such a backwards view of the world, honestly.

I agree with you. Look at how NYC and Chicago have prospered because of their subway. Toronto is currently in a political slugfest about expanding their pathetically small subway system (for city size) because people just don't want to spend money. Toronto is top 5 in worst traffic cities in North America.

It always comes down to conservatives not wanting to spend any money, even when it has a long term benefit. Subways are vital to cities. Just look at what happens to real estate prices near subway stations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Because all the cities that need heavy rail already have heavy rail.

What U.S. city lacking heavy rail really needs it? I can't think of any. Honestly, outside of NYC, there are very few places in the U.S. with conditions favorable to high density transit corridors.
All of them need subways. Every single metro with a population >500,000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robdreamz View Post
Really? There are only 12 cities in the US with a heavy rail system:

NYC
DC
Chicago
Boston
Philly
SF
LA
Baltimore
Atlanta
Miami
Cleveland
NY|NJ PATH

All the ones listed above are heavily populated save for Atlanta yet has very decent ridership for such a low density metro. You can't compare us to Europe where owning a car is basically a financial nightmare including the cost of Gasoline.
The NYC subway works well is because it has over 400 miles of track and is one of the largest subway systems in the world to begin with. Every city below Chicago has very limited track mileage in comparison so it doesn't serve the majority of the populace hence low ridership.
Buffalo has a system too, and ours has poor ridership because expansions were scrapped and downtown vacated.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:30 PM
 
1,547 posts, read 2,351,636 times
Reputation: 435
Seattle is building one light rail line underground the first section to the university is costing 1.8 billion dollars for 3.2 miles. It will open in 2016 . The system will be built out in 2021 the east link is a combination of underground and elevated rail. When Seattle's 51 miles of light rail . Three street car lines and two commuter rail lines are all running it's expected to have 250,000 passengers a day. And Over 100 miles of rail.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:48 PM
 
1,547 posts, read 2,351,636 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robdreamz View Post
^ Buffalo has a "heavy rail system? I listed the US cities with "heavy rail" and Buffalo doesn't appear.
Buffalo is a light rail system with over head wires just built underground like Seattle's . Heavy rail uses a center track for power.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,800 posts, read 11,770,558 times
Reputation: 5149
China is still building subways, for example:

Xi'an Metro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:08 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,288,217 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robdreamz View Post
^ Buffalo has a "heavy rail system? I listed the US cities with "heavy rail" and Buffalo doesn't appear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironcouger View Post
Buffalo is a light rail system with over head wires just built underground like Seattle's . Heavy rail uses a center track for power.
Affirmative. I stand corrected. I assumed heavy rail = subway.

Subways are a great investment though.
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