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Old 02-09-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Rail wouldn't have hurt Detroit had they built it, and it would have been along rail lines that we saw redevelopment if any were to happen there. So in that sense, rail would have helped Detroit.

But unfortunately they do not have rail, so what they are presently dealing with will have to be done without rail unless the city and state wishes to build a rail system in their largest city in the state.
Why?

You haven't really seen that in Seattle, that's for sure. Commercial Core was pretty well developed prior to light rail so it's not quite fair to say that light rail hurt it. There just wasn't that much potential for easy redevelopment there as there were in other areas like First Hill, Belltown, Denny Triange, SLU, Capitol Hill, LQA, Ballard/Fremont. You do, however, have the International District. There's lots of low hanging fruit there for redevelopment. Light rail runs through the heart of the International District, unlike First Hill, Belltown, Denny Triangle, SLU, Capitol Hills, Ballard/Fremont. The International District has seen very little redevelopment in comparison with Belltown, Denny, or SLU. It's not even close.

Again, I wouldn't say that light rail hurt the ID just because it didn't develop like most of the downtown area did, most of which is not served by LINK. It's just not a big factor either way. One thing it has been is expensive. That really hasn't hurt Seattle. Seattle (and WA) are in a position the Detroit is not, however, and can afford big investments for something that maybe will become influential sometime down the road but clearly will take more than a decade to matter. But it's not a gimme as Cleveland demonstrates. That's been around for 60 years and still nobody really uses it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Cleveland is doing better than Detroit for a rust belt city. I never said rail was a singular factor that decides if a city is going to prosper or not, you just made that assumption.

Having rail, Cleveland is in a better position than Detroit to rehab itself.
Not necessarily. It might be irrelevant to Cleveland's redevelopment as Buffalo's rail system is. Buffalo's Metrorail subway system only goes up and down Main Street, and it's ridership is also low, primarily because it's not rail that attracts people or businesses.

Buffalo's commercial and business redevelopment has taken place primarily in downtown, in the area east of Main Street just north of downtown (the Medical Corridor), and in North Buffalo. Buffalo's residential redevelopment has and continues to develop on the city's West Side and in North Buffalo. There's been some residential projects in downtown, probably with fewer than 100 dwelling units completed per year, although maybe that will pick up.

Of these areas, only the Medical Corridor is near the subway. All the rest of the areas are well west of the Metrorail route. In fact the success of the redevelopment from downtown north between Delaware and Richmond Avenue has resulted in considerable gentrification in the neighborhoods west of Richmond Avenue, pushing residential populations even further away from the subway line.

East of Main Street, many of the residential neighborhoods of the East Side have been abandoned, and some have been returned to urban prairie so there's little population there to use the subway.

While the subway was touted as a great boon to redeveloping the city of Buffalo, nothing has ever come from it, primarily because its route was decided upon for political expediency not for reality. When the city decided to build rail transit, it chose the more expensive option of a primarily underground route between downtown and the UB Main Street Campus. At the time, the city owned the ROW to the Belt Line RR which was largely abandoned but which at one time had run through many of the city's residential/industrial neighborhoods in a big circle that included downtown. It was feasible for LRRT with improvements in the roadbed, new viaducts, and new stations. For the same price as the subway, using LRRT and existing above ground ROWs, Buffalo could have had rail all around the city as well as out to the airport and to the new UB campus.

Obviously, LRRT lacked the big price tag (would not have made as much money for the politically connected developers who more or less have run the city for ages) and cachet of a subway system (would not enable Buffalo to compete with Toronto). Never underestimate the role that the stupidity, selfishness, and short-sightedness of local politicians played in the destruction of American cities.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Why?

You haven't really seen that in Seattle, that's for sure. Commercial Core was pretty well developed prior to light rail so it's not quite fair to say that light rail hurt it. There just wasn't that much potential for easy redevelopment there as there were in other areas like First Hill, Belltown, Denny Triange, SLU, Capitol Hill, LQA, Ballard/Fremont. You do, however, have the International District. There's lots of low hanging fruit there for redevelopment. Light rail runs through the heart of the International District, unlike First Hill, Belltown, Denny Triangle, SLU, Capitol Hills, Ballard/Fremont. The International District has seen very little redevelopment in comparison with Belltown, Denny, or SLU. It's not even close.

Again, I wouldn't say that light rail hurt the ID just because it didn't develop like most of the downtown area did, most of which is not served by LINK. It's just not a big factor either way. One thing it has been is expensive. That really hasn't hurt Seattle. Seattle (and WA) are in a position the Detroit is not, however, and can afford big investments for something that maybe will become influential sometime down the road but clearly will take more than a decade to matter. But it's not a gimme as Cleveland demonstrates. That's been around for 60 years and still nobody really uses it.
I don't think this is clear, rail isn't a singular thing to success. Having rail doesn't hurt, but it isn't a guarantee that a city will be successful. Seattle has an extensive bus system before ever having light rail, but that hasn't stopped them from building and expanding a light rail system because it will help their city and their metro.

If a rail system isn't working, it is because there aren't jobs or development along those lines or it might be a larger economic problem that rail just can't solve. Rail alone doesn't fix problems of a city, but having rail doesn't hurt a city.

No one has ever said Cleveland having rail is the reason it is being held back.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Not necessarily. It might be irrelevant to Cleveland's redevelopment as Buffalo's rail system is. Buffalo's Metrorail subway system only goes up and down Main Street, and it's ridership is also low, primarily because it's not rail that attracts people or businesses.

Buffalo's commercial and business redevelopment has taken place primarily in downtown, in the area east of Main Street just north of downtown (the Medical Corridor), and in North Buffalo. Buffalo's residential redevelopment has and continues to develop on the city's West Side and in North Buffalo. There's been some residential projects in downtown, probably with fewer than 100 dwelling units completed per year, although maybe that will pick up.

Of these areas, only the Medical Corridor is near the subway. All the rest of the areas are well west of the Metrorail route. In fact the success of the redevelopment from downtown north between Delaware and Richmond Avenue has resulted in considerable gentrification in the neighborhoods west of Richmond Avenue, pushing residential populations even further away from the subway line.

East of Main Street, many of the residential neighborhoods of the East Side have been abandoned, and some have been returned to urban prairie so there's little population there to use the subway.

While the subway was touted as a great boon to redeveloping the city of Buffalo, nothing has ever come from it, primarily because its route was decided upon for political expediency not for reality. When the city decided to build rail transit, it chose the more expensive option of a primarily underground route between downtown and the UB Main Street Campus. At the time, the city owned the ROW to the Belt Line RR which was largely abandoned but which at one time had run through many of the city's residential/industrial neighborhoods in a big circle that included downtown. It was feasible for LRRT with improvements in the roadbed, new viaducts, and new stations. For the same price as the subway, using LRRT and existing above ground ROWs, Buffalo could have had rail all around the city as well as out to the airport and to the new UB campus.

Obviously, LRRT lacked the big price tag (would not have made as much money for the politically connected developers who more or less have run the city for ages) and cachet of a subway system (would not enable Buffalo to compete with Toronto). Never underestimate the role that the stupidity, selfishness, and short-sightedness of local politicians played in the destruction of American cities.
That is probably because it is Buffalo, who says Buffalo would be a great place to work and live? Rail isn't going to make people move there.

As for rail in Buffalo, I am unaware of the story behind it, so I can't really comment about what was right or wrong about that specific system.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:55 PM
 
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Detroit does have the people mover! It's more or less a 2.9 mile carnival ride that runs at 2.5% capacity.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:13 PM
 
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Interesting CityLab article discussing the effectiveness of light rail systems.

Have U.S. Light Rail Systems Been Worth the Investment? - CityLab
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,074,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Interesting CityLab article discussing the effectiveness of light rail systems.

Have U.S. Light Rail Systems Been Worth the Investment? - CityLab
Interesting conclusion. Light rail can only be successful in conjunction with anti-car policies.

I wouldn't call Seattle's successful, at least not yet. I think it might become so. It did also take Sacramento's light rail over a decade before it made any sense whatsoever. Ridership was so low it was actually more expensive by every metric (per boarding, per unlinked trip, per passenger mile) than the buses were despite it running on basically what had been the most heavily used bus routes.

Seattle (and Portland) both definitely have the anti-car policies going. One thing Seattle is doing that Portland is not, however, is simultaneously pushing buses whereas Portland is cutting bus service to pay for its rail service. I think that's part of why you've seen Portland's transit share decrease.
Also, Portland hasn't UGB hasn't really done anything put push growth outside of the UGB. Portland is somewhat unique in that people can just opt out of the whole thing because there's Clark County WA. So really what it's done is just drive people into Clark County WA. Where you didn't have that jurisdictional outlet, a UGB would probably be effective. Transit usage outside the UGB is significantly lower than inside, although transit usage also fell inside the UGB as well. Commute times inside the UGB increased more than outside which isn't surprising at there was largely no investment in roads to accommodate the larger population.
http://urizen-geography.nsm.du.edu/~...B_Portland.pdf

Seattle's RapidRide buses already far surpass the importance of light rail, so the decision to focus on rail by cutting bus service very well could be detrimental to a city.

Last edited by Malloric; 02-09-2015 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:44 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
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Interesting conclusion. Light rail can only be successful in conjunction with anti-car policies.
I guess if not building lots of highways is anti-car. I'd just call not spending more money on surface road transportation.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I guess if not building lots of highways is anti-car. I'd just call not spending more money on surface road transportation.
Apparently not wanting to waste valuable real estate for parking lots and parking garages is considered anti-car as well.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Interesting conclusion. Light rail can only be successful in conjunction with anti-car policies.

I wouldn't call Seattle's successful, at least not yet. I think it might become so. It did also take Sacramento's light rail over a decade before it made any sense whatsoever. Ridership was so low it was actually more expensive by every metric (per boarding, per unlinked trip, per passenger mile) than the buses were despite it running on basically what had been the most heavily used bus routes.

Seattle (and Portland) both definitely have the anti-car policies going. One thing Seattle is doing that Portland is not, however, is simultaneously pushing buses whereas Portland is cutting bus service to pay for its rail service. I think that's part of why you've seen Portland's transit share decrease.
Also, Portland hasn't UGB hasn't really done anything put push growth outside of the UGB. Portland is somewhat unique in that people can just opt out of the whole thing because there's Clark County WA. So really what it's done is just drive people into Clark County WA. Where you didn't have that jurisdictional outlet, a UGB would probably be effective. Transit usage outside the UGB is significantly lower than inside, although transit usage also fell inside the UGB as well. Commute times inside the UGB increased more than outside which isn't surprising at there was largely no investment in roads to accommodate the larger population.
http://urizen-geography.nsm.du.edu/~...B_Portland.pdf

Seattle's RapidRide buses already far surpass the importance of light rail, so the decision to focus on rail by cutting bus service very well could be detrimental to a city.
Sprawl is Clark County, Wa's problem. At the end of the day, there is still only two access points into Oregon from them, so that creates a natural growth barrier for that county.

Also, of course commute times are longer in Portland than Clark County because all those workers are going to Portland. To get a better idea, one just needs to look at the amount of traffic the two access points receive to see how long commute times are for those in Clark County. If they want more roads, then they should be willing to pay for them.
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