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Old 01-28-2008, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
124 posts, read 467,398 times
Reputation: 72

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
The crime rate on MAX is actually only about 1 incident per 100,000 riders. There have been a few high profile crimes that happened at stations, and this has made people associate crime with the train lately. In the 5 neighborhoods that have seen the trains move in recently, 5 have seen crime actually decline, and 2 have seen it increase.
I have yet to be mugged, robbed or stabbed in my car. I bet the comparisons of number of people robbed, mugged and attacked in their cars is much lower than that of those people that ride MAX and Tri-Met. I'd like to know where you get your numbers about crime rates decreasing because that's not what is being reported here by the news stations and the blogs that keep an eye on it. Every area that MAX has moved into has seen an increase in crime.
Quote:
Everyone seems to have issues with mass transit, and want everyone ELSE to take it so traffic isn't so congested. I'm sure Portland would be much more fun to drive in if those 102,000 riders were trying to drive to work.
I'm sure Portland would be even more enjoyable if they'd actually build roads instead of wasting it on overpriced, crime-infested mass-transit. $50 million for a tram? That money would have been much better spent on road improvements. As somebody that drives for a living I think I know a little bit about how the road situation affects business here. There have been several large businesses that wanted to move here until they saw the current problems with the roads, then they said no way and went elsewhere.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,631,388 times
Reputation: 1581
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Rhino View Post
Now I don't know much about Portland, but do you really think that the presence of a train station creates crime? I would think that since poor folks are most likely to use public transportation, it makes sense to put train stations in those neighborhoods and the fact that there's a train station there is an independant factor in this.


I never use public transportation, but I'd definitely use it if we had an efficient system a la DC.
Go take in a few trips on the Chicago CTA and see if you feel the same way.
Try the south redline or greenline, not the tourist lline that runs from Ohare.

You are usually safe when you're on the subway, especially at rush hour. But it's getting off and/or waiting for the train later at night for 10-20 minutes that scares me. All alone with the creepy crawlers just waiting for the opportune time.

I'll take my 5000 lbs SUV anyday over that crap.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,824,906 times
Reputation: 446
OK. The main thing that I think is getting missed here is that we're talking about two different types of systems.

From what I can gather, the Portland MAX (and the CTA) are intra-city systems with many stops and frequent departures, making it easy for someone to get on, commit a crime, and get off at the next block. Or get off, commit some neighborhood crime, then catch the next light rail car and leave.

What the railway between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids would be is an inter-city system. It's really much more similar to Amtrak than the MAX. There would be one big main station in Iowa City, probably something with a big parking garage and bus terminal and no neighborhood stops. One big station, likely with some staff and security, is a lot easier to monitor and keep safe than twenty neighborhood stops. Then there would be another big station in Cedar Rapids, and potentially a smaller station in North Liberty and the CR airport, although those could probably be just platforms without being unsafe.

Another thing keeping crime down would be the fact that unlike the MAX, the trains would probably only run every hour or half hour at the most. There simply wouldn't be time for a criminal to jump off, commit crime, and jump back on before getting caught. If a criminal wanted to commit a crime on the train, they'd find themselves in for a rather long ride.

I can't speak for the problems that Portland might have, but I know that light rail systems work well in cities across the country, from Denver to Dallas and Minneapolis. At some point, gas is simply going to become so expensive that most people are just going to have to suck it up and commute. The days of the happy motorist are, for better or worse, coming to an end.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,631,388 times
Reputation: 1581
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpHawkeye View Post
OK. The main thing that I think is getting missed here is that we're talking about two different types of systems.

From what I can gather, the Portland MAX (and the CTA) are intra-city systems with many stops and frequent departures, making it easy for someone to get on, commit a crime, and get off at the next block. Or get off, commit some neighborhood crime, then catch the next light rail car and leave.

What the railway between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids would be is an inter-city system. It's really much more similar to Amtrak than the MAX. There would be one big main station in Iowa City, probably something with a big parking garage and bus terminal and no neighborhood stops. One big station, likely with some staff and security, is a lot easier to monitor and keep safe than twenty neighborhood stops. Then there would be another big station in Cedar Rapids, and potentially a smaller station in North Liberty and the CR airport, although those could probably be just platforms without being unsafe.

Another thing keeping crime down would be the fact that unlike the MAX, the trains would probably only run every hour or half hour at the most. There simply wouldn't be time for a criminal to jump off, commit crime, and jump back on before getting caught. If a criminal wanted to commit a crime on the train, they'd find themselves in for a rather long ride.

I can't speak for the problems that Portland might have, but I know that light rail systems work well in cities across the country, from Denver to Dallas and Minneapolis. At some point, gas is simply going to become so expensive that most people are just going to have to suck it up and commute. The days of the happy motorist are, for better or worse, coming to an end.
Gas is only $3/gallon. If your car gets 20mpg average that is only $3 for 20 miles. Maybe $10/day in gas. $250/month. That is nothing really considering what else people pay for each month. With an efficient car you can cut that in half.

I dont think people are going to give up their cumfy, quick, convenient car for a train they have to wait a 1/2 hour for every day. It only works in bigger cities because there the train is LESS hassle than a car; ever drive in Dallas or Minneapolis traffic?? Or Chicago to Milwaukee traffic?? Here in Iowa it would be more of a hassle to take a train.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 817,496 times
Reputation: 119
I think it is absolutely crazy that more passenger trains aren't being proposed between cities throughout the Midwest and all over the world, for that matter.

They aren't convenient, private, and they never really are direct to your destination but there is no other alternative.

Many of the largest international oil producers are controlling gas prices based on "unproven reserves". $3 / gallon? Haha, that is laughable to even think that price will remain steady.

There are too many factors that will play into rising gas prices to list and there are absolutely none which imply they will lower for any lengthy period of time.

Here we are one shot away from conflict with Iran(4th largest oil producer) and they are the only middle east country with the resources to shut down the Straight of Hormuz which roughly 1/3rd of the worlds oil supply passes through. Russia, just today delivered the last truckload of nuclear fuel to power up Iran's first nuclear reactor. This is now my friend and the second that plant is powered up if the US doesn’t blow it up Israel will.

Right there your gas prices go through the roof. That is not sometime in the future and there is not "time to figure it out", that is today.

Btw, Saudi Arabia (world’s largest producer) has 260Billion Barrels of proven reserves. Over the next 15 years Saudi oil demand will double to 13.6 million barrels a day. There oil fields are currently in decline...they can't double their output. Where are you going to get your oil?

See what I mean? Build some frickin' trains.

Last edited by Steve_W; 01-28-2008 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,755,555 times
Reputation: 1209
Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4guy View Post
Go take in a few trips on the Chicago CTA and see if you feel the same way.
Try the south redline or greenline, not the tourist lline that runs from Ohare.

You are usually safe when you're on the subway, especially at rush hour. But it's getting off and/or waiting for the train later at night for 10-20 minutes that scares me. All alone with the creepy crawlers just waiting for the opportune time.

I'll take my 5000 lbs SUV anyday over that crap.

So are you saying that the area around the greenline/redline are rough because of the CTA?

I never said that public transportation is completely safe. I never said anything like that. I said that I don't think that the presense of the train has anything to do with whether or not it's a bad neighborhood and your post has nothing to do with that.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:08 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,265,462 times
Reputation: 11174
I dunno, I grew up in Coralville and have lived alone in Chicago for 7 years. I've taken every train line in Chicago and dozens of bus lines. I take either the Red, Brown or Blue line on a daily basis, don't own a car. Taken the train at 10pm, 1am, 3am, 5am...never once had anything remotely bad happen, or ever seen anything dangerous.

I know crimes DO obviously happen on public transit, but the actual rates of crime are extremely small compared to the amount of people using the service. Chicago sees around 1,600,000 people a day boarding a train or bus. It's kinda annoying what a bad rap public transit gets compared to the huge benifits it gives the community - including everyone who drives (all those riders are keeping cars off the roads). Everyone thinks it's for poor people or full of crime. It's really not, especially at rush hour when most people ride you see tons of upper class people just trying to get to work/back.

I looked, and last year there was 1 "serious crime" for every 1,216,000 boardings in Chicago.

ANYWAY, I'm done ranting, haha. Sorry.

I'm all for light rail between CR and IC. If it's good enough for Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, Portland, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Charlotte to all be actively expanding their infrastrucure, or just now opening their first lines - it's time for Iowa to join in the investment. Why stand on the sidelines just cause Iowa doesn't have any huge cities. I think a lot of people would be very impressed with the state.

Last edited by Chicago60614; 01-28-2008 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:49 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,329,389 times
Reputation: 999
I think that light rail can do well in Iowa if it is set up logically and there is an adequate number of connections and desinations to make using the service worthwhile. Why not integrate a local light rail in with a long-distance light rail. Light rail is a good idea, but may be a hard sell in Iowa and lesser populated areas such as South Dakota and Nebraska.

For the population density of Iowa (low compared to the urban areas of MPLS/St. Paul, Chicago, eastern seabord, and California), it would make more sense for people to drive the Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, Chevy Maibus, and Ford Focuses that are fuel efficient along with the midsize cars such as the Chevy Impalas, Pontiac Grand Prixs, Pontiac G6s, Honda Accords, Toyota Camrys, and Nissan Altimas to get halfway decent fuel economy and have the convenience of getting around easily as opposed to going in a SUV that gets 15 mpg. Longer distances, I sometimes average in the low 30s with highway mileage with my Pontiac. I personally would drive a midsized sedan, which most are in the mid 20s with everyday running around as opposed to a smaller vehicle that gets in the 30s due to better handling of snow and ice and around easier in those conditions. Each to his/her own opinion.
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,631,388 times
Reputation: 1581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_W View Post
Many of the largest international oil producers are controlling gas prices based on "unproven reserves". $3 / gallon? Haha, that is laughable to even think that price will remain steady.

There are too many factors that will play into rising gas prices to list and there are absolutely none which imply they will lower for any lengthy period of time.

Here we are one shot away from conflict with Iran(4th largest oil producer) and they are the only middle east country with the resources to shut down the Straight of Hormuz which roughly 1/3rd of the worlds oil supply passes through. Russia, just today delivered the last truckload of nuclear fuel to power up Iran's first nuclear reactor. This is now my friend and the second that plant is powered up if the US doesn’t blow it up Israel will.

Right there your gas prices go through the roof. That is not sometime in the future and there is not "time to figure it out", that is today.

Btw, Saudi Arabia (world’s largest producer) has 260Billion Barrels of proven reserves. Over the next 15 years Saudi oil demand will double to 13.6 million barrels a day. There oil fields are currently in decline...they can't double their output. Where are you going to get your oil?

See what I mean? Build some frickin' trains.
They've been saying things like this since the 1970s. Yet we are right where we should be given the inflation index.

Could we please stop pretending to be Dallas, Chicago, New York or the east coast? People dont ride trains in those cities to save the environment or because they enjoy it. It is their only practical option because traffic is so bad. Traffic will never be that bad in Iowa.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,210 posts, read 69,499,936 times
Reputation: 16851
Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4guy View Post
Hey, it's Iowa. We're slow and backwards.

Especially compared to Chi-town.
No. You're most certainly not. Here in Scranton, PA I-81 is the main north/south commuter belt through the metro, yet it is only a four-lane road designed to handle a volume of 40,000 vehicles per day that now handles around 80,000 vehicles per day and is expected to hit 100,000 per day in the coming years. During rush-hour people put their flashers on as you suddenly slow from 70 down to 40 as you near the city and congestion worsens. PennDOT has been promising us the widening of a 36-mile stretch of I-81 through the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro for MANY years now with no progress. I'm just resigned to the fact that I'll have to keep pulling my hair out of my head during the evening rush.
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