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Old 01-25-2013, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
709 posts, read 964,105 times
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As envisioned in the updated metro strategic plan released this week, I foresee two new metro tunnels in DC being attainable now from a financial perspective.

My top takeaways from the report:

+ Metro estimates it would cost $3.3 billion for a relocated blue line from Rosslyn via M Street in downtown DC and onward to Thomas Circle. (I see this as "Phase 1" of a relocated blue line with ability to extend eastward towards Union Station and eventually over to H Street NE and Hill East.)

+ Metro estimates it would cost $2.7 billion for a relocated yellow line from the Pentagon via 10th Street SW and NW and onward to Thomas Circle. (I also see this as "Phase 1" of a relocated yellow line with ability to extend further north or northeast, possibly through Bloomingdale and Washington Hospital Center.)

+ Metro views the DC Streetcar as having "little" impact in regards to increasing line core capacity and relieving overcrowding on Metrorail lines through the core. (I realized this years ago since streetcars are a low-capacity transit service. I even read in a D.C. Transit Alternatives Analysis report not too long ago about "high-capacity, high-quality transit like streetcars". lol.)

+ WMATA is taking the lead on planning for the new east-west and north-south lines through DC while it is not taking the lead on Metrorail extensions in the outer suburbs. (Good news since D.C. is staking too much of its mass transit future on streetcars. Note: I like streetcars but not as a replacement for grade-separated light-rail or heavy-rail or long distance travel through the city in mixed traffic.)

+ Metro estimates a cost of $1 billion to build pedestrian tunnels connecting the Farragut stations and Gallery Place-Metro Center.

The report:
http://odd.greatergreaterwashington....ategicplan.pdf

I think the following should be established immediately:

+ Dedicated funding stream for WMATA
+ DC should create a transit fund for its portion of the proposal (dedicated tax - resident/commercial, developer contributions, etc.) I will gladly pay a tax dedicated for Metrorail expansion in DC and other transit upgrades.

A combined $6 billion cost for two new tunnels is reachable from a funding perspective and quite reasonable for the overall benefits, even if only getting it to Thomas Circle. DC could then have the option of extending heavy-rail even further through the city (especially the east side)

Last edited by revitalizer; 01-25-2013 at 11:29 PM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:45 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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1 Billion for new pedestrain tunnels , only in DC....you might as well beef up and expand the Streetcar network make it a Light Rail network.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:09 AM
 
202 posts, read 472,732 times
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When you say relocate do you mean move the existing tracks? What do you think the Metro needs?

Here in the SF Bay Area we have BART and a couple of years ago they spent like $80m on a new station 1-2 miles from an existing one and $150m to add a lane to the freeway and resurface it. The added lane basically started at the end of BARTs tracks and got rid of the space between the two directions of traffic on the freeway. A LOT of people drive in from the outer areas so to me it made no sense to not extend the tracks. The last proposals I saw made mention of bridging the track over the freeway (5 lanes) and then running it along side in mostly residential areas...

The reason I make the comparison is that it sounds like they want to spent a lot of money on the Metro within the city of DC before extending it to outer areas, maybe I read your bullets wrong. Is that what you need in DC? Or are there areas where extending the lines out further first makes more sense? Not that they'd do what makes sense but I'm curious.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
709 posts, read 964,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
1 Billion for new pedestrain tunnels , only in DC....you might as well beef up and expand the Streetcar network make it a Light Rail network.
The $1 billion cost for doing both pedestrian tunnels sounded a bit high, but maybe it includes costs like utility relocation, etc. Beefing up the streetcar network to a light rail or medium-capacity transit network is something I definitely support.

Actually, I wrote a research paper a year or so ago on the need for multi-modal, rapid-rail transit network in DC. This includes light rail, medium capacity transit, and heavy rail. DC could build some of the streetcar lines as medium-capacity, "Light Metro" lines. This would be for three or four car trains, smaller stations, and simpler entrances/exits (ie reduced costs). I proposed an underground line for Georgia Ave (north-south, Silver Spring to Shaw metro) and a east-west link starting from Dupont Circle (connect with west side red line), over to Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights (connect with green line), Georgia Avenue (connect with other medium capacity line), Washington Hospital Center complex (needs better transit), then to Rhode Island Avenue (connect with east side red line) and then possibly up Rhode Island Ave to spur redevelopment along that corridor. DC needs better east-west rapid rail connectivity well north of the downtown core. My east-west medium capacity, rapid rail line would provide it. I used some non-US examples of medium capacity transit lines in Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Asia (Taipei, Taiwan) to help build my case. In the US, I think we need to develop a language for transit capacity between light and heavy.

They could build the rest of the streetcar plans as advertised, but at least build the Georgia Ave line as medium-capacity/"Light Metro" rail and the mid-city east-west line as medium capacity/"Light Metro" rail. Put them both underground but with a smaller cost than heavy rail (ie shorter train lengths, smaller stations, simpler entrances/exits, or even dare I say driverless). I even like the partly-dedicated ROW for the K St streetcar line. If this could happen, I would gladly forfeit some (not all) of the heavy-rail plans. I would also gladly pay a tax to make it happen, and I suspect many other DC residents would too. I think DC needs to get more serious and float a resident/commercial transit tax fund plan to its citizens and businesses.

Last edited by revitalizer; 01-26-2013 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,334,456 times
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None of this, especially the relocated blue and yellow lines, will be done in our lifetimes.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,334,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTalon View Post
When you say relocate do you mean move the existing tracks? What do you think the Metro needs?
He basically means rerouting the blue line away from the orange line so it can become its own separate line through the city, same for the yellow line.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
709 posts, read 964,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatma X View Post
None of this, especially the relocated blue and yellow lines, will be done in our lifetimes.
Why so pessimistic? Please state the reasons why you don't see any of this being done in our lifetimes. "None" is such a strong word and not in my preferred vocabulary.

There is nothing better to killing a plan than pessimism. I'd like to see more optimism, spirit of innovation, and rallying behind things for the betterment of our city and nation. Great/big plans take a vision, leadership, and courage.

Yes, it can happen.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,334,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revitalizer View Post
Why so pessimistic? Please state the reasons why you don't see the being done in our lifetimes.
Just look how long its taking to built the silver line. Originally the entire line was supposed to be done a long time ago, WMATA even built a station at Dulles back in the 70's but has since been turned into a storage room. Now imagining having to bore all of that tunnel, which will be pretty deep, under the Potomac River, deep under M street and Georgetown, then bore tunnel all the way to River Terrace or beyond. That's a lot of work and will take years because like anything else in this country, everything takes forever. Cut and cover isn't an option because it will disturb traffic and businesses for years and making it an elevated line that runs above streets would probably receive so much NIMBY-ism that the idea wouldn't even be considered. Then again making the separate blue line elevated is probably the best idea, and the cheapest.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
709 posts, read 964,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatma X View Post
Just look how long its taking to built the silver line. Originally the entire line was supposed to be done a long time ago, WMATA even built a station at Dulles back in the 70's but has since been turned into a storage room. Now imagining having to bore all of that tunnel, which will be pretty deep, under the Potomac River, deep under M street and Georgetown, then bore tunnel all the way to River Terrace or beyond.
I understand your concerns.

Tunnel-digging technology has improved dramatically since the 1970's.

The development/planning for the silver line was/is not being led by WMATA. The development/planning for relocating blue/yellow lines will be led by WMATA. Previously, WMATA had left it to individual jurisdictions to plan for extensions and expansions. This proposal changes that policy.

The strategic plan envisions a relocated blue and yellow lines by 2040. That gives us a frame of reference for time until proposed completion. That is within my lifetime prospects given that we get behind the plan and see it through.

The plan, as presented, takes the relocated blue line, I'm assuming Phase 1, to Thomas Circle - not to River Terrace. This is indeed doable financially ($3.3 billion) and time-wise.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,334,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revitalizer View Post
I understand your concerns.



The plan, as presented, takes the relocated blue line, I'm assuming Phase 1, to Thomas Circle - not to River Terrace. This is indeed doable financially ($3.3 billion) and time-wise.

So the Blue line would go from Fran-Springfield to Thomas Circle in the 1st phase?
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