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Old 08-21-2014, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
Washington DC building a separate Blue Line through Georgetown and downtown.
This would be a great idea & will also cut down on vehicle congestion. Parking throughout Downtown DC stinks!
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,078,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Expresways and major arterial roads clogged with traffic aren't very aesthetically pleasing either, yet we can put up with a few of them in every major city, because we need them. Granted, I wouldn't want to live next to one. But neither would I want my front yard to face a busy highway. In some respects, you can think of housing next to El trains and major highways as moderate/affordable housing--which is also needed in any city. You can't just have everything be luxury skyscrapers and mega malls.

So aesthetics are not the major issue here. It's a matter of perceptions of what we "need" in a given city. Once traffic congestion gets to a certain level (as all growing cities inevitably will), you need alternative transportation that's not beholden to the traffic--whether it be in the form of a subway, El train, light rail, or BRT. The fact is that all transportation will have some effect on aesthetics, with the subway having the least visual impact of all.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james777 View Post
You are right. We could print money even faster than we are and build subway systems in every city. The real question is: In which cities would there be enough riders so that the cost would justify building a new subway system? I don't think there are any. The big problem is that along with our industrial decline, our big cities have been depopulated. Compare the population figures for the city alone (not the metro area) for Detroit, Cleveland, St Louis, and Baltimore for the years 1950 and 1960 with today. Even Philly has suffered a huge decline in population, but fortunately it already had a good subway system before the population decline began.
We can print money fast enough to make your head spin and it won't do a darn thing to our financial picture. The U.S. dollar is the most inelastic currency in the world, and we the entire first world faces declining birth rates.

The biggest thing that killed subway systems is white flight. The entire generation did not want to live in cities near minorities. Millenials are already bucking the trend of white picket fence, 30 minute highway commutes.. because they don't mind sharing their environment with others. The yuppies seem to like urban communities with bicycle facilities, transit, and walkable neighborhoods.

Cites, if you want to attract the next generation of talent.. invest in transit. California and NYC are kicking the rest of the country's tail in private sector tech job creation.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Is it at all possible to build an express route for the DC Silver Line, to where it bypasses certain stations?
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:20 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
Is it at all possible to build an express route for the DC Silver Line, to where it bypasses certain stations?
You'd an extra track for that.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:24 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
How fast can light rail go and realistically how many cars can be in a train. It seems this is morte the wave of the future and seems scale the current development pattern better.
The speed difference between light rail and rapid transit can be small; Seattle's light rail is faster than the NYC subway. Of course, it has less stops in the same distance so it's hard to compare.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You'd an extra track for that.
I haven't looked at the schematics, but if they have cross-over tracks at every station, could that work?

This article talks about what I suggested:

A Silver Line express without more tracks? - Greater Greater Washington

And the photo:

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:46 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
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joke Insurance View Post
I haven't looked at the schematics, but if they have cross-over tracks at every station, could that work?

This article talks about what I suggested:

A Silver Line express without more tracks? - Greater Greater Washington

And the photo:
An express service would only work if the frequency is low enough for commuter rail running at say every 20 minutes it would be possible with careful scheduling (and a third track in a few spots in say some stations for trains to pull over / pass if needed) but with rush hour frequencies, no. The LIRR does express in places by making all tracks one-way. Besides being horrible for reverse travel, it's not possible on a rapid transit line, especially one that continues to the other side of the city center. Skip stop service is clumsy, because you lose frequency and harder to go from station to station. I suspect it wouldn't save enough time to be worth it. How long does it take to go from the current terminus of the Silver Line to downtown DC? [found it: 19.6 miles, taking 46 minutes] The future terminus? The Silver Line is rather long for a rapid transit line.

This is a good discussion, though I don't agree with all his conclusions:

Are Express Trains Worth It? | Pedestrian Observations

So, you have your urban rail line. It’s mostly above ground, so constructing new express overtakes is feasible. It has decent frequency, and carries trains to destinations at a variety of distances from city center. But it’s not an overcrowded subway line that brushes up against line capacity, requiring all trains to run at the same speed. Do you run express trains?

Proper subways are incapable of running express trains without dedicated express tracks due to their high frequency. On a line with a train every 10 minutes it’s feasible to mix trains of different speeds with timed overtakes; on a line with a train every 2 minutes, it’s not.


The bolded is not true of the silver line. Its rush hour is every 6 minutes; where it shares track with the blue and orange, it's obviously impossible, the frequency is once every 2.4 minutes.

Edit: I noticed that the DC subway is on "AM Rush" frequency from 5:30 am to 9:30 am. Rather different from NYC, where on some lines it's still on late night frequency till 6 am and frequency gets ramped up at 7 am.

Last edited by nei; 08-23-2014 at 01:19 PM..
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,670 posts, read 8,740,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not really, I just wasn't sure whether if it was what the OP was looking for. Elevated rail is annoying in some setting. Felt like I'm driving through a tunnel:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/As...0aafc4ac84110e

This one is even more claustrophobic:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wi...79f2291cc5d76c

Also a racket if you have an apartment on or near that street. As far I can tell, only Philadelphia has that elevated set up in the US. It's relatively rare in western Europe, too, though I think Paris has a couple of examples. It's a style not built anymore. Chicago has that in downtown, but outside of downtown the elevateds mostly don't run over a street but in their right of way. Boston had that, but they demolished their above street Els.
Newer elevated rail doesn't have to look like your examples. In Vancouver the elevated parts of the Skytrain have a fairly small footprint.
This link shows it in the suburb of Richmond.

http://goo.gl/jfAcgk
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,460,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Newer elevated rail doesn't have to look like your examples. In Vancouver the elevated parts of the Skytrain have a fairly small footprint.
This link shows it in the suburb of Richmond.

http://goo.gl/jfAcgk
Looks more like a monorail system like the one in Detroit.
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