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Old 11-03-2014, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drum bro View Post
light rail works good in the suburbs if its a long line and there isnt a lot of stops.

its way better then a bus if theres free areas to park bikes and stuff.
I guess it depends how you define working good, what you describe sounds like it might be used largely for commuting rather than other trips. And while I do agree it's often better than buses, BRT can still work pretty well, see Ottawa whose metro area transit commute mode share is ahead of not only all the Canadian and American LRT metro areas but also many with expansive rapid transit and commuter rail networks.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:45 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
More the former. I ask because I hear people say things like "we need to take away two of the four lanes on this street and give them to streetcars like they did on a street in Strasbourg" or "we need to close off this arterial street to cars because that's what they did in Rome." I'm wondering if the better transit networks in European cities make certain policy proposals feasible there that would be difficult if not impossible to implement here.
Still not completely following you. So what you're asking is if European cities already have better transit, so choosing to give more space / resources to transit is more practical because there's more of a network of other transit for new transit to latch on to? I don't think that's quite right. For example, Nice, France had no local rail transit until the recent construction of a tramway line. There was nothing but buses to integrate; there's some type of commuter rail, unsure how good its coverage is.

Nice tramway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The city turned into an entire street into tram-only. The ridership is high for an American light rail, but not off the charts high for a center city segment: 90,000 for 5.4 miles*, so 17k riders /mile; Boston's subway Green line segment has more riders (not completely comparable, as the green line gets riders further out). They took a lane out for the tramway:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7140...ptYA!2e0?hl=en

in the center city, whole street is tram only:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7053...UfGw!2e0?hl=en

I don't have much familiarity of the area but my impression is prior to the tramway, except for some existing bus lanes there was no policy that was particularly transit friendly. Just a rather compact core. More so than American "transit cities" not sure by how much. One big difference might be there's less need to travel outside the city where travel by transit would be clumsier. But judging by google maps, there are a lot of surrounding suburbs.

*Ottowa's BRT has a weekday ridership of 244,000, for 16? miles

Last edited by nei; 11-03-2014 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Still not completely following you. So what asking is if European cities already have better transit, so choosing to give more space / resources to transit is more practical because there's more of a network of other transit for new transit to latch on to?
Yes. I would imagine there'd be a huge difference in ramifications between shutting down Passeig de Gracia to auto traffic and shutting down Peachtree Street to auto traffic.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:24 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Yes. I would imagine there'd be a huge difference in ramifications between shutting down Passeig de Gracia to auto traffic and shutting down Peachtree Street to auto traffic.
Well, yes. I was trying to pick an example that appears not to have had much transit investment till recently (Nice).
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Well, yes. I was trying to pick an example that appears not to have had much transit investment till recently (Nice).
Well, I suppose the layout of the area matters too. If you have millions of people living in auto-centric suburbia, and a significant percentage of those people are commuting into the urban core by auto, then you're not really accomplishing much by giving a lane of traffic on a major arterial route over to a bus/streetcar.

The DC streetcar is what I have in mind specifically. You have a major arterial (Benning Road/H Street) that feeds traffic into DC from more auto-centric parts of the city and Maryland. Sure, you could give a lane to a bus or the streetcar, but is that really accomplishing anything if most of the car commuters live beyond the reach of the transit network?

It seems to me that some are quick to say "Take that lane away from cars, punish drivers so they'll switch modes." But I'm wondering if that thinking is ignoring the reality of some of these cities. In Nice, giving away a major thoroughfare to trams may have been more feasible because people living outside of the urban core have access to alternative modes. That might not be the case in America, however.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:21 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 BajanYankee View Post
The DC streetcar is what I have in mind specifically. You have a major arterial (Benning Road/H Street) that feeds traffic into DC from more auto-centric parts of the city and Maryland. Sure, you could give a lane to a bus or the streetcar, but is that really accomplishing anything if most of the car commuters live beyond the reach of the transit network?

It seems to me that some are quick to say "Take that lane away from cars, punish drivers so they'll switch modes." But I'm wondering if that thinking is ignoring the reality of some of these cities. In Nice, giving away a major thoroughfare to trams may have been more feasible because people living outside of the urban core have access to alternative modes. That might not be the case in America, however.
A surface transit only lane is really meant for local trips, the accomplisment is improving local transit at the expense of the convenience of those driving in. Usually drivers have plenty of options to drive, a lane for surface transit is only done on a handful of roads, it's giving a few roads to transit, not the entire system. It's a choice on who to prioritize. Part of the throughfare given to the tram isn't major at all, they picked a side road, probably on purpose. It mostly avoids the main arterials. One end of the tramway is right off a highway exit with park and ride, so in a way, adding to driver access rather than subtracting. I'm not sure if Nice travelers have a better access to alternative modes than those in Washington DC. There is a regional / commuter rail system, it doesn't seem more comprehensive than DC's system. Only difference might be higher numbers making trips to DC from longer distances. So maybe buses might be more practical for those without rail in Nice's case than DC. Nice is not the most typical example, is a very topographically constrained region. But you could something atypical about every choice. It does seem rather decentralized once outside of the center city, which makes it a good comparison.
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