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Old 07-18-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
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Very good interview with a knowledgeable source:

Red Line Q&A: An Interview with Klaus Philipsen | Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Inc.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:03 PM
 
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jonjj -- get us the Yellow Line, please!?!?! I beg you.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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CPHA: Why doesn’t the Red Line run under Fayette Street to Charles Street so that it connects with both the light rail and metro?

KP: This is one of the options that was evaluated. While excellent connectivity to the existing metro is a high priority and a line under Fayette would connect more directly to the existing metro entrance at Charles center, such an alignment would be further away from the Inner Harbor, from the Convention Center, from Oriole Park and M&T stadium, all major destinations that should have good connections. The Red Line cannot be a “one trick pony” that puts one aspect above all other. Also, the tunnels and the stations have to fit under the street width to avoid conflicts with building basements and foundations. Located under Lombard Street as proposed, the Red Line connects to Metro at the Inner Harbor Station via a pedestrian tunnel. It also connects directly to the Central Light Rail Line at the Howard Street Station.


I'm not from Baltimore but I work in the transportation planning field and I've been following this saga for years now. This argument is so ludicrous and is clearly coming from people who might have a good academic idea about transit but don't have a lot of practical, everyday experience with it.

Fayette to Charles to Lombard would be no further away from the Inner Harbor than the current "preferred" alignment and it would only be one block further to the Convention Center or either stadium. The idea that a lot of conventioneers are going to be using the red line to get there is outrageous. Middle America doesn't do 'public transportation' and they certainly don't do it in a strange city.

The red line is going to be used almost exclusively by Baltimoreans to get to and from jobs/events in and around downtown and to transfer to one of the other lines - and nearly none of them will care if they have to walk two blocks instead of one to get to Camden Yards. (Has anyone seen how far the Broad St. Subway is from Citizen's Bank Park?)

What will boost ridership on the line and make the whole system more useful in tying the city together is direct connections between all 3 lines . . . and I think that's exactly why a direct connection to the metro is being avoided - because the transfers between the two lines would overwhelm the two car trains they have set up for the red line. It's astoundingly pennywise and pound foolish to build a tunnel without accommodations for future expansion. It's one thing to build a short platform now to save money and extend it later as ridership grows because platforms are relatively inexpensive but it's another thing entirely to dig a tunnel and leave no room in the station area for longer platforms.

At peak periods that line is going to be a nightmare. They don't have enough rail cars to run 3-minute headways but even if they did, the platform length is limiting them to 10,000 people an hour. How in the world do they expect to handle everyday rush hour when they can only move 5,000 people per hour let alone any concert or sporting event? The whole thing is just idiotic.

Last edited by drive carephilly; 07-19-2013 at 08:39 AM..
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:35 AM
 
5,289 posts, read 6,123,415 times
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"..At peak periods that line is going to be a nightmare. They don't have enough rail cars to run 3-minute headways but even if they did, the platform length is limiting them to 10,000 people an hour. How in the world do they expect to handle everyday rush hour when they can only move 5,000 people per hour let alone any concert or sporting event? The whole thing is just idiotic..."

*Lmao..
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:47 PM
 
6,895 posts, read 10,471,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
CPHA: Why doesn’t the Red Line run under Fayette Street to Charles Street so that it connects with both the light rail and metro?

KP: This is one of the options that was evaluated. While excellent connectivity to the existing metro is a high priority and a line under Fayette would connect more directly to the existing metro entrance at Charles center, such an alignment would be further away from the Inner Harbor, from the Convention Center, from Oriole Park and M&T stadium, all major destinations that should have good connections. The Red Line cannot be a “one trick pony” that puts one aspect above all other. Also, the tunnels and the stations have to fit under the street width to avoid conflicts with building basements and foundations. Located under Lombard Street as proposed, the Red Line connects to Metro at the Inner Harbor Station via a pedestrian tunnel. It also connects directly to the Central Light Rail Line at the Howard Street Station.

I'm not from Baltimore but I work in the transportation planning field and I've been following this saga for years now. This argument is so ludicrous and is clearly coming from people who might have a good academic idea about transit but don't have a lot of practical, everyday experience with it.

Fayette to Charles to Lombard would be no further away from the Inner Harbor than the current "preferred" alignment and it would only be one block further to the Convention Center or either stadium. The idea that a lot of conventioneers are going to be using the red line to get there is outrageous. Middle America doesn't do 'public transportation' and they certainly don't do it in a strange city.

The red line is going to be used almost exclusively by Baltimoreans to get to and from jobs/events in and around downtown and to transfer to one of the other lines - and nearly none of them will care if they have to walk two blocks instead of one to get to Camden Yards. (Has anyone seen how far the Broad St. Subway is from Citizen's Bank Park?)

What will boost ridership on the line and make the whole system more useful in tying the city together is direct connections between all 3 lines . . . and I think that's exactly why a direct connection to the metro is being avoided - because the transfers between the two lines would overwhelm the two car trains they have set up for the red line. It's astoundingly pennywise and pound foolish to build a tunnel without accommodations for future expansion. It's one thing to build a short platform now to save money and extend it later as ridership grows because platforms are relatively inexpensive but it's another thing entirely to dig a tunnel and leave no room in the station area for longer platforms.

At peak periods that line is going to be a nightmare. They don't have enough rail cars to run 3-minute headways but even if they did, the platform length is limiting them to 10,000 people an hour. How in the world do they expect to handle everyday rush hour when they can only move 5,000 people per hour let alone any concert or sporting event? The whole thing is just idiotic.

Good points.. but the city's transit history is playing out here... just like on the Central Light Rail Line which some may argue was built just to get people from the suburbs to the downtown/ stadiums and the airport. If you follow that logic, then what was stated makes perfect sense.. Get people from the suburbs to the Inner Harbor and the Stadiums and to get those middle americans who may not want to walk through the throngs of rowdy teens from the Convention Center four blocks over to the Inner Harbor, Harbor East, and Fells

The other more sinister aspect of all this is that.. correct.. they DONT want it to be easy to transfer from one to the other because that makes it difficult for some to be able to get downtown and travel around to sights and "scare" the tourists. Why else would the our system be so disjointed in the first place. It is designed to be City to suburb and not City to City or even suburb to suburb.. You go downtown/sporting events directly and back out.. Not from some inner city neighborhood to downtown transfer then go to someplace else in the City.. that is what the bus is for..Now I dont think in reality it has worked out that way I described.. but from a planning/design perspective that appears to have been the INTENT and society adapted and you still have the problems downtown that the planners thought would have been thwarted by designing the system in this manner.. Subway ending at Johns Hopkins from owings mill? Come on..I know they ran out of money with the feds and all but still.... I hope I am wrong but it just seems that way.

If they have to cut stations on the red line to make it more financially feasible or faster I wonder which stations will get cut.......hmmmm
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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I don't see the problem with the way the two light-rail systems will be connected via a pedestrian subway downtown. Transferring between the two major Chicago subways involves walking about a ¾ a city block underneath the two subway rail lines and it works great. Many people and many types of people use the brightly lit tunnel each train trip. We (I guess they now since I live I Baltimore now) also have a massive underground pedestrian subway ('pedway'), complete with retail shopping and restaurants, connecting Metra Electric, CTA subway and CTA elevated trains. I think it will be fine here as well.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:59 PM
 
556 posts, read 829,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
The other more sinister aspect of all this is that.. correct.. they DONT want it to be easy to transfer from one to the other because that makes it difficult for some to be able to get downtown and travel around to sights and "scare" the tourists. Why else would the our system be so disjointed in the first place. It is designed to be City to suburb and not City to City or even suburb to suburb.. You go downtown/sporting events directly and back out.. Not from some inner city neighborhood to downtown transfer then go to someplace else in the City.. that is what the bus is for..Now I dont think in reality it has worked out that way I described.. but from a planning/design perspective that appears to have been the INTENT and society adapted and you still have the problems downtown that the planners thought would have been thwarted by designing the system in this manner.. Subway ending at Johns Hopkins from owings mill? Come on..I know they ran out of money with the feds and all but still.... I hope I am wrong but it just seems that way.
As a still outside observer, I think you're absolutely right. It's just such a backward, short sighted attitude on behalf of the city and the powers that be. Sure, better intra-city transit would make it easier for people who are up to no good to get to new places and make new trouble. But that I don't think it would have any real impact on crime en Baltimore. The bad and good are so diffuse. Who is going to ride transit for 20 minutes to commit robbery when they can just walk a few blocks? Even better question - who is going to depend on transit for their get away?

On the other hand, better intra-city transit makes it easier for people who want to work to get between home and work. In a city that depends on tourism for so much of the economy, low wage service employees can't always live near their jobs. It's ridiculous to expect some to ride the bus for 1+ hours each way just to bus tables or mop floors. When a community makes it difficult for poor people to get around, then you're just adding fuel to the eternal flame of poverty. The solution to poverty-driven crime is not isolating the criminals (and by default their law abiding neighbors). The solution for crime is better policing in the short term (visibility is just as important as enforcement), and education/jobs for the long term (and by long term, I mean 1-2 generations!).
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picardlx View Post
I don't see the problem with the way the two light-rail systems will be connected via a pedestrian subway downtown. Transferring between the two major Chicago subways involves walking about a ¾ a city block underneath the two subway rail lines and it works great. Many people and many types of people use the brightly lit tunnel each train trip. We (I guess they now since I live I Baltimore now) also have a massive underground pedestrian subway ('pedway'), complete with retail shopping and restaurants, connecting Metra Electric, CTA subway and CTA elevated trains. I think it will be fine here as well.
The red line is supposed to connect directly with the current light rail (future blue) line. It would be more or less just going upstairs to the light rail platforms.

It's the metro (future green) line that doesn't connect (not directly anyway) with the existing light rail and won't connect directly with the red line. It isn't necessarily a problem now but it will be as the rest of the system gets built out - especially as the metro/green line gets extended.

The distance between the proposed red line station on Charles St. and the existing metro station on Charles St. is going to be +220 yards. Far enough that the station design includes airport style moving walkways as a tacit acknowledgement that it's a friggin' long way to ask people to walk to transfer.
For comparison purposes the distance between the Red and Blue lines in Chicago (I assume you're talking about Monroe) is ~140 yards. As another point of comparison a red line station under Fayette St. would be 125 yards from Lex Market or 105 yards from Charles St. Station (assuming the red line didn't pass directly beneath the metro station).

I understand that the future Yellow Line is supposed to run over or under Charles St. and this might also be part of the problem but there are alternatives - like moving the yellow line to Light St.

Volumes have been written on the so called "transfer penalty" - basically how transit riders all over the world don't like to walk far to getting to or from a station and the less convenient a transfer, the less likely people are to make it. The more uncertainty involved in making a transfer (will I just miss my connection, how long will I have to wait?) the less likely casual riders are to invest the time and the more likely people on journey-to-work trips are to seek out other modes.

http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/hand...8/52971233.pdf This is a really good study on transfers in Boston - If you want to skip the methodology for the meat you can skip to page 47.

To me, if you're spending $1.7 billion on a huge infrastructure project why wouldn't you just spend $1.9 billion to do it right the first time. And while you're spending all of that money - wouldn't you want it to justify its cost by pulling in as many riders as possible?
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:47 AM
 
2,465 posts, read 3,173,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
Good points.. but the city's transit history is playing out here... just like on the Central Light Rail Line which some may argue was built just to get people from the suburbs to the downtown/ stadiums and the airport.
Every major city has a transportation wish list. Which line winds up getting built often comes down to money, timing, motivated politicians and the path of least resistance all lining up. It helps when the project has a promising future. The light rail line went where it went because the right-of-way was already there. But yeah, you're right in that it's history repeating itself. The decision to build a single-track line was a disaster and the red line strategy seems to be more of the same shortsighted, parochial thinking.

Quote:
If you follow that logic, then what was stated makes perfect sense.. Get people from the suburbs to the Inner Harbor and the Stadiums and to get those middle americans who may not want to walk through the throngs of rowdy teens from the Convention Center four blocks over to the Inner Harbor, Harbor East, and Fells
If all you want to do is to get people downtown then by all means, build a bunch of radiating lines and don't worry about where/if they connect - but then save yourself a ton of money and just build a bunch of streetcar lines. If you're just going 4 miles on route into downtown then there's no need to bother with tunnels or expensive underground stations with moving walkways.

OTOH, if your interest is in growing into a modern city where people have reasonably quick access to jobs and amenities all over the city then those routes need to move through the city quickly and they need to connect with each other. There may be little reason for people on one side of Baltimore to go to the other right now - but if you're thinking about the future at all then you should be comfortable with the idea that 25 years from now they probably will be.

People from the city and the county are already using the existing system - with more lines that trend will only deepen. Tourists to any city don't put a dent in transit ridership. I mean real tourists. Not people from the suburbs who come into the city on a Saturday night. Look at the Pennsylvania Convention Center - the new entrance is within plain sight of the Race/Vine Station on the Broad St. Subway and is less than two blocks from the Market-Frankford El. Both lines combined carry 315,000 daily riders. Conventioneers coming from outside of the Philly metro are making up maybe 0.1% of the ridership. The only time there is a bump in ridership from the Convention Center is for things like the Flower Show, the Auto Show and the Mummers and it's because the crowd is almost entirely people from the city or the suburbs.

Quote:
The other more sinister aspect of all this is that.. correct.. they DONT want it to be easy to transfer from one to the other because that makes it difficult for some to be able to get downtown and travel around to sights and "scare" the tourists. Why else would the our system be so disjointed in the first place.
This is the problem with pontificating. There are a lot of reasons you've ended up with a disjointed system. 1. Tastes change and finances change. In the late 60s through the early 80s it was all about modern subways/rapid transit running from downtown out to the suburbs. We got BART, MARTA, DC Metro, PATCO, Baltimore Metro and Miami Metrorail. In the 90s light rail was all the rage because it was cheaper and less intrusive.

2. Administrations change. Large infrastructure projects typically take 20 years from concept to opening. A lot of mayors, governors and planning chiefs get to add their own spices to the stew.

3. Money. People might have great ideas but all the ambition in the world won't make up for being broke.

4. Grand ideas about future expansions (that successive regimes scale back or change) that leave the good connections up to the next phase.

5. Lack of vision and/or lack of experience.

Quote:
It is designed to be City to suburb and not City to City or even suburb to suburb.. You go downtown/sporting events directly and back out.. Not from some inner city neighborhood to downtown transfer then go to someplace else in the City.. that is what the bus is for
That's the way it is now and everyone knows it was a mistake. What we're talking about here is how things should be done and whether or not it's worth debating it more before another mistake gets made.

Quote:
..Now I dont think in reality it has worked out that way I described.. but from a planning/design perspective that appears to have been the INTENT and society adapted and you still have the problems downtown that the planners thought would have been thwarted by designing the system in this manner.. Subway ending at Johns Hopkins from owings mill? Come on..I know they ran out of money with the feds and all but still.... I hope I am wrong but it just seems that way.
Planners don't make decisions on what gets built and what doesn't. They make recommendations. Politicians make decisions. If you think light rail is expensive - a metro/subway costs at least twice as much. In any case, that style of subway is what the feds were pushing back in the 70s. The Baltimore Metro does exactly the same thing that PATCO in Philly does and more or less the same thing that Miami Metrorail does.

[/quote]If they have to cut stations on the red line to make it more financially feasible or faster I wonder which stations will get cut.......hmmmm[/quote]

If it were me I would drop one station from the west side and I would drop the last two stations from the east side. Build them later.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,041 posts, read 20,926,079 times
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Seems like they could save a lot of money by reducing the amount of subway.
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