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Old 04-23-2008, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Lower Michigan
3,086 posts, read 990,869 times
Reputation: 5289

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Sounds like a BIG waste of money. Why didn't they keep the rail systems they had in the past ? Oh , Must be they never got used so now let's build another?
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:01 PM
 
45 posts, read 258,879 times
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People used it, but this new-fangled thing called an automobile was quite alluring. Imagine the ability to go anywhere whenever you wanted. Nevermind what it has cost us to put gas into these cars. It's actually a little known fact that GM used to buy light rail systems in major metros under a 3rd party name and slowly dismantle them. So even when it made and still makes sense to have mass transit (SF Bay area, LA, etc.), people's infatuation with the automobile combined with the wheeling and dealing of GM in collaboration with the government spelled the doom of light rail in most metros. Thankfully, most are coming back to their senses and reestablishing them. It just won't work here with the mentality of most of the population. Mass transit almost always puts the urban core into conflict with the suburbs, which in turn often takes a racial tone even in cities with relatively even demographics. With metro Detroit's history and the lopsided demographics of both the city and suburbs, you can put a knife into light rail right now here in Detroit.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:17 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,985,696 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowcat View Post
People used it, but this new-fangled thing called an automobile was quite alluring. Imagine the ability to go anywhere whenever you wanted. Nevermind what it has cost us to put gas into these cars. It's actually a little known fact that GM used to buy light rail systems in major metros under a 3rd party name and slowly dismantle them.

With metro Detroit's history and the lopsided demographics of both the city and suburbs, you can put a knife into light rail right now here in Detroit.
General Motors builds mass transit vehicles. They are called buses. Washington just bought a bunch of their hybrid "green" buses.

Just tell me what an extremely expensive light rail running down Woodward is going to do that buses cannot do.

If you say that they are not safe - then the same issue will apply to light rail.

If you say they are not on time - then spend a fraction of what you would pay for light rail to get them on time.

If you say that the project will provide jobs and contracts for construction - then just call it what it is.

I just need for someone to say what it is that light rail from Jefferson to Eight Mile will do - except give some people a photo op for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:13 PM
 
1,854 posts, read 2,300,558 times
Reputation: 1864
This light rail would be beneficial to Detroit because it would make public transportation much more fast and efficient within the city of Detroit, and would most likely encourage investment and development.

This is because there would be only 10 or so stops from the northern edge of Downtown to the state fairgrounds, a distance of over 8 miles. Right now, the Woodward buses have stops every couple blocks, so it is extremely SLOW.

Also, the light rail would have its own right-of-way (so it won't share its lanes with cars), and would be able to change a traffic light from red to green, so that it wouldn't have to stop. THESE THINGS MAKE IT MUCH FASTER than buses.

Also, the Woodward Avenue Corridor has many architecturally significant and historic neighborhoods along it where ALOT of people still live. These neighborhoods which you subarbanites have never been to - the North End, the New Center, Palmer Park Apartments, Grixdale, Chaldeantown, and of course HIGHLAND PARK - might see re-investment if a fast, reliable, and safe rapid transit that could whisk them to and from downtown was built right next to them.

What needs to happen in order for this line to work, is a marked improvement in public safety, so that people won't be afraid to use the system.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:12 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,985,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
This light rail would be beneficial to Detroit because it would make public transportation much more fast and efficient within the city of Detroit, and would most likely encourage investment and development.

This is because there would be only 10 or so stops from the northern edge of Downtown to the state fairgrounds, a distance of over 8 miles. Right now, the Woodward buses have stops every couple blocks, so it is extremely SLOW.

Also, the light rail would have its own right-of-way (so it won't share its lanes with cars), and would be able to change a traffic light from red to green, so that it wouldn't have to stop. THESE THINGS MAKE IT MUCH FASTER than buses.
First of all, the proposal would include 13-15 stops. Let's call it 14 stops. That means a stop about every four blocks. Next, let's talk about speed. The Woodward Limited bus schedule calls for buses to make it from six mile to Jefferson in 22 minutes (Route #475). If light rail could average 30 miles per hour, it would cover the same distance in 12 minutes.

Please explain the rationale that says it is worth $371 million to save 10 minutes (not really even that since the station downtown would have you connect with the People Mover to get to Jefferson).

No cost benefit analysis can conclude that this is a great idea. It is what it is - a way to try and get federal funds to help some companies make money.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
262 posts, read 729,626 times
Reputation: 89
It sounds good, But who is going to pay for it? The Taxpayers of Detroit oh ok! I see Kwame coming to Birmingham and asking for help and then talking them into having the rail run all the way to Birmingham and back to Downtown Detroit, I can see L Brooks Patterson now Laughing at Kwame and telling him go on back Home, Mr Biggie Deals LOL!!!
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:37 PM
 
1,854 posts, read 2,300,558 times
Reputation: 1864
Check out the following link

http://www.dtogs.com/PublicDocs.html

It shows twelve stations/stops. There may be 1 to 3 more stops in the Downtown Area depending on the three Downtown alternatives that are being proposed.

http://www.dtogs.com/f/CBD-Alt_Comb_...-02-25_070.pdf

That is why I stated "the northern edge of Downtown" in my post.

It would be expected that the transit line would be slower going through downtown proper. However, the northern edge of Downtown (where the Foxtown Station would be) - to MCNICHOLS (not six mile) would be about 5.5 miles. According to the aforementioned website, there are 9 or 10 stops between "Foxtown" and "McNichols" station, so there will be approximately one stop every 1/2 mile, which is a good Distance between each stop.

That means that a person would be AT THE MOST a 1/4 mile walk from a station. Couple that with having its own right-of-way, and its abililty to change the traffic signal to green as it approaches an intersection, and you have FAST TRANSIT!!!


You stated in your second to last post:
"Just tell me what an extremely expensive light rail running down Woodward is going to
do that buses cannot do."

The following cities have implemented light rail over the past 20 years: Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Saint Louis, Portland, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Jose, Philadelphia, and San Diego. I bet buses could have been used in all of these cities, but they chose light rail. What makes Detroit so different that it cannot have fast public transportation in the form of rail like those other cities? Just answer that question.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
695 posts, read 3,161,909 times
Reputation: 152
Why in the world they would call the one station Hazelwood Ave instead of Holbrook St is beyond me...
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:04 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,985,696 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post

You stated in your second to last post:
"Just tell me what an extremely expensive light rail running down Woodward is going to
do that buses cannot do."

The following cities have implemented light rail over the past 20 years: Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Saint Louis, Portland, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Jose, Philadelphia, and San Diego. I bet buses could have been used in all of these cities, but they chose light rail. What makes Detroit so different that it cannot have fast public transportation in the form of rail like those other cities? Just answer that question.
OK, let's look at the city closest to us that you mentioned - Minneapolis. Their 12 mile system connects the Nicollet Mall, the airport, and the Mall of America. What are the current or proposed major attractions that the Detroit line would serve? Will suburbanites on the way to a concert at Orchestra hall or the Fox park and ride to avoid congestions? Will daily commuters have a reason to park at the city limits and ride downtown? I-75 in rush hour going downtown is not exactly gridlock like Big Beaver and I-75 is.

The Mineapolis route has an annual operating budet of about $20 million. The fares make up only $7 million. I understand that all transit is subsidized, but in the Detroit case, the subsidy would have to come from the city or from Wayne County, neither of which is exactly flush with cash. Do you think Oakland Country is going to pitch in?

I am a supporter of inter city rail, and have posted on the issue. But from a purely economics perspective, it just seems that Detroit cannot come close to making the cases that the other cities you mentioned did in terms of the cost benefit analysis. It is a waste of taxpayers money to provide a benefit when there is not an overwhelming need. It all comes down to priortization.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Thumb of Michigan
4,489 posts, read 6,890,825 times
Reputation: 2534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_T View Post
Saw this story on WDIV today about a proposed Light Rail system running up Woodward Ave. and ending at the city limits. What do you think? Here's a link to the story on WDIV if you would like to watch...

Video (http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/15949758/index.html?taf=ibs - broken link)
It's a good start, but, of course, in my opinion, it's been "a few" years too late!

I just wished it would stretch out into the suburbs instead of ending in the city, but like i said, it's a start and anything is good for Detroit at the moment.
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