HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #861  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2020, 6:12 PM
bilbao58's Avatar
bilbao58 bilbao58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homesick Houstonian in San Antonio
Posts: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by papertowelroll View Post
BRT would still need its own ROW to be successful. There is no room on the surface streets to make that happen.
Just a thought: There is plenty of room on surface streets if the intention is to reduce and/or eventually eliminate the use of cars.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #862  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2020, 6:24 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbao58 View Post
Just a thought: There is plenty of room on surface streets if the intention is to reduce and/or eventually eliminate the use of cars.
Eliminate the use of cars? I know you said "eventually" but really, in Austin Texas, you think there will be a time sans some great technological leap in the future where there are no cars?

Now, to your much more rational point, reduce cars. I agree. There are plenty of routes in Austin which can be expanded by eminent domain.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #863  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2020, 7:52 PM
wwmiv wwmiv is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Austin -> San Antonio -> Columbia -> San Antonio -> Chicago
Posts: 3,961
Even if our goal is to have 25% transit share in 2040, there will be more cars on the road then than now I’m Austin because of our explosive growth. Busses are NOT a solution, period.

We aren’t gonna be eliminating or reducing cars no matter what happens.
__________________
Metropolitan Central Texas 2018: 5,672,404 (+19.98% over 2010):
San Antonio: 1,532,233 (+15.43%) + Metro Suburbs: 985,803 (+20.94%)
Austin: 964,254 (+22.00%) + Metro Suburbs: 1,204,062 (+30.04%)
Killeen/Temple Metro: 451,679 (+11.44%) + Waco Metro: 271,942 (+15.77%) + Bryan/College Station Metro: 262,431 (+14.77%)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #864  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 5:24 AM
bilbao58's Avatar
bilbao58 bilbao58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homesick Houstonian in San Antonio
Posts: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
Eliminate the use of cars? I know you said "eventually" but really, in Austin Texas, you think there will be a time sans some great technological leap in the future where there are no cars?

My point, really, is that it won't kill any Austinites if some streets are permanently closed to make way for transit. Drivers will just have to drive on the plentiful remaining streets, though maybe those streets will be a tad more congested, which might get drivers out of their cars and onto transit. Make things easier for transit, not easier for cars. I can imagine closing Congress Avenue from the Capitol to the river, or even further south, to create a transit mall. Or if not Congress, then one of the streets running parallel to Congress.

And there's nothing irrational about the idea of eventually eliminating the use of private cars, especially if it's in limited, specific parts of town. "Eventually" is a REALLY long time.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #865  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 11:07 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbao58 View Post
My point, really, is that it won't kill any Austinites if some streets are permanently closed to make way for transit. Drivers will just have to drive on the plentiful remaining streets, though maybe those streets will be a tad more congested, which might get drivers out of their cars and onto transit. Make things easier for transit, not easier for cars. I can imagine closing Congress Avenue from the Capitol to the river, or even further south, to create a transit mall. Or if not Congress, then one of the streets running parallel to Congress.

And there's nothing irrational about the idea of eventually eliminating the use of private cars, especially if it's in limited, specific parts of town. "Eventually" is a REALLY long time.
I get the thinking but...

1. Austin doesn't have "plentiful remaining streets." I don't think outsiders understand this. Austins street network is not built for the city that it is today and that's honestly a good thing for people like us if the proper transit infrastructure can be built to mitigate this.
2. Congress is 6 lanes wide with parking on both sides. So maybe 8 lanes wide? There is no reason on Earth that should be a transit mall. It would look dead as hell. Now, I like the idea of making it "car-lite."
3. Eliminating cars in "specific parts of town", ok. Eliminating cars period? That is what I got from your statement, sorry.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #866  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 12:29 PM
Citylover94 Citylover94 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 254
Austin seems to have a pretty nice grid of wide streets especially downtown with a decent network of arterial streets outside of downtown with most streets still following a grid pattern for the most part. I just don't see how that is so different from other similar sized cities. The highway network isn't that high capacity compared to some other cities of similar size, but the local street network does not seem under capacity compared to other cities. Boston has a worse local street network than Austin manages to have a good transit system. I bring up Boston because it is known for having a poorly designed under-capacity local street network and I just don't see how Austin with a regular grid of 3-6 lane streets downtown and large arterial streets connecting the rest of the metro can be considered to not have plentiful streets for transit. There are plenty of wide streets downtown that could easily have a transit reservation and room for cars with the same being true of the arterial streets that extend out from downtown.

TLDR: Austin's road network doesn't seem subpar unless it is only compared to other cities in the southwest, but when compared to many northeastern and midwestern cities of similar size it seems pretty comparable and has plenty of space for transit.

Last edited by Citylover94; Mar 9, 2020 at 12:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #867  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 2:47 PM
SIGSEGV's Avatar
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is online now
He/his/him. >~<, QED!
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Loop, Chicago
Posts: 2,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
I get the thinking but...

1. Austin doesn't have "plentiful remaining streets." I don't think outsiders understand this. Austins street network is not built for the city that it is today and that's honestly a good thing for people like us if the proper transit infrastructure can be built to mitigate this.
2. Congress is 6 lanes wide with parking on both sides. So maybe 8 lanes wide? There is no reason on Earth that should be a transit mall. It would look dead as hell. Now, I like the idea of making it "car-lite."
3. Eliminating cars in "specific parts of town", ok. Eliminating cars period? That is what I got from your statement, sorry.

It sounds like access to downtown might be the issue, which means there should be plentiful capacity once one is downtown for surface reservations. Unless I misunderstood... Calgary, which seems to be a bigger downtown than Austin, does fine with just a surface reservation .

It looks like Austin has a very N-S orientation. Do many people commute past downtown in either direction? If so that might help justify a subway through downtown. Otherwise, unless the rest of the network is going to be grade separated, Austin would probably be better off making sure the LRT network is expansive enough to be useful rather than grade separating downtown to appease motorists or be slightly faster through downtown. The issue of course is that the LRT would have to have signal priority at intersections to not be super slow in a surface reservation, which would piss off motorists.
__________________
And here the air that I breathe isn't dead.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #868  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 6:58 PM
bilbao58's Avatar
bilbao58 bilbao58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homesick Houstonian in San Antonio
Posts: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
I don't think outsiders understand this.
I have lived in Austin. Granted it was in the mid-to-late-seventies, but it's not like I've never been back since then.


If Houston can do this to Main Street, Austin can do something (even better?) on the wider Congress Avenue.


Main Street
by bill barfield, on Flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #869  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 8:28 PM
Makid Makid is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,769
Is the idea to reduce vehicle use by encouraging transit or is it to improve transit without being a detriment to cars?

Here in Salt Lake City, the LRT line (Trax) runs in the center of the various streets in a dedicated ROW. The sections south of the Downtown area and into the southern suburbs all operate in a separate ROW. Even the primary East/West tracks run in the center of the street until the line is close to the airport (west) & university (east).

This did lead to a change in behavior:

Prior to the opening of the initial line in December 1999, approximately 15% of Downtown workers used Transit. Today, nearly 28% use transit for their commute to Downtown Salt Lake. Additionally, the University of Utah when from around 10% transit share to nearing 40% transit share (extension opened in December 2001).

While the idea of an underground section may sound good. Think of the additional service that you could get elsewhere with the ground level option. Additionally, as the system needs to expand it will be cheaper and easier to add additional spurs and extensions.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #870  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 9:01 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbao58 View Post
I have lived in Austin. Granted it was in the mid-to-late-seventies, but it's not like I've never been back since then.


If Houston can do this to Main Street, Austin can do something (even better?) on the wider Congress Avenue.


Main Street
by bill barfield, on Flickr
I never disputed this idea. I disputed the idea of making Congress carfree.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #871  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 9:04 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
It sounds like access to downtown might be the issue, which means there should be plentiful capacity once one is downtown for surface reservations. Unless I misunderstood... Calgary, which seems to be a bigger downtown than Austin, does fine with just a surface reservation .

It looks like Austin has a very N-S orientation. Do many people commute past downtown in either direction? If so that might help justify a subway through downtown. Otherwise, unless the rest of the network is going to be grade separated, Austin would probably be better off making sure the LRT network is expansive enough to be useful rather than grade separating downtown to appease motorists or be slightly faster through downtown. The issue of course is that the LRT would have to have signal priority at intersections to not be super slow in a surface reservation, which would piss off motorists.
Great point. If your destination is downtown, so what if it is marginally slower than if there were a tunnel?

Don't get me wrong, I hope Austin gets the damn tunnel lol
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #872  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2020, 9:36 PM
bilbao58's Avatar
bilbao58 bilbao58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Homesick Houstonian in San Antonio
Posts: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
I never disputed this idea. I disputed the idea of making Congress carfree.
All I said is I can imagine it, and I added that if it couldn't be done on Congress (I imagine) it could be done on a parallel street. You're arguing about an idea that I only said was imaginable (to me) and now you're quibbling about the details of something that, again, is only imaginary.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #873  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2020, 2:55 PM
M II A II R II K's Avatar
M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 49,215
Phoenix light rail expansion plans on track despite COVID-19 declining ridership

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news...4-66e812d677d7

Quote:
.....

- Valley Metro has accelerated some projects, taking advantage of less vehicle traffic on the road while more people stay home. — The projects Valley Metro is currently developing in Phoenix, a new downtown transfer hub, an extension into south Phoenix and an extension to the now-closed Metrocenter Mall won't be ready for passengers until 2024. — Major roads in downtown Phoenix are under construction right now as Valley Metro prepares to create a light rail hub on Washington and Jefferson streets and Central and Third avenues. The new hub will allow riders to transfer between the existing light rail line and the line that eventually will head down Central Avenue into south Phoenix.

- When complete in 2024, the downtown hub will create a light rail loop around Phoenix City Council chambers, the Calvin C. Goode building and a portion of the CityScape development. The hub will include four new light rail stations for transferring lines. The goal is to create a more pedestrian and transit-oriented feel in the centerpiece of downtown, Smith said. There no longer will be vehicle traffic allowed on Central Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets only pedestrians, buses and light rail. — The most anticipated and controversial light rail extension will start at the new downtown hub and run south on Central Avenue to Baseline Road. The extension will whittle Central Avenue to two vehicle lanes from four, which has drawn ire from some nearby business owners and residents.

.....








__________________
ASDFGHJK
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #874  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2020, 4:49 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
self-important urbanista
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 2,444
^ After six long months of work-at-home exile, I’m now working again in my office in downtown Phoenix and commuting via a combination of bicycle and light rail. It’s great to see how much progress has been made over the long hot summer. It appears that construction crews have been able to move quickly with less traffic on the streets. When this work is done in 2024, the Phoenix Metro Area will go from having one really long light rail line (nearly 30 miles) to two shorter but still substantial lines intersecting downtown.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #875  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2020, 7:13 PM
Doady's Avatar
Doady Doady is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
Even if our goal is to have 25% transit share in 2040, there will be more cars on the road then than now I’m Austin because of our explosive growth. Busses are NOT a solution, period.

We aren’t gonna be eliminating or reducing cars no matter what happens.
Dallas-Fort Worth area has the largest light rail network on the continent (150km) but it also has easily the worst transit ridership and mode share of the big four in Texas, one of the worst in the country (12 boardings per capita, 1.5% of commuters using transit). Despite their lack of light rail, Austin and San Antonio still have much better transit ridership and mode share than Dallas (19 and 20 boardings per capita, 2.7% and 2.2% mode share, respectively). Transit in Dallas doesn't even come close to Austin and somehow you use Austin as example to attack buses. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Of course you can look at places outside Texas like Las Vegas (31 boardings per capita, 4.1% commute mode share), Seattle (63 boardings per capita, 8.6% mode share), Honolulu (70 boardings per capita, 7.9% mode share), Halifax (83 boardings per capita, 12.5% mode share), and Winnipeg (98 boardings per capita, 13.4% mode share).

You can also look at cities with the most successful modern light rail systems like San Francisco, Calgary, Portland, they all have massive bus ridership. In the San Francisco-Oakland area, light rail gets around 220,000 boardings per weekday, heavy rail 450,000, commuter rail 90,000, while buses get around 850,000. Portland gets 120,000 boardings per weekday on its light rail system compared to 180,000 on its bus system. Calgary gets 310,000 boardings per weekday on its light rail compared to 260,000 on its buses.

Light rail can't function in isolation. Cities need to build the foundations for light rail for it successful. A light rail line, like ANY transit line, needs to be part of a wider and comprehensive network. Dallas for example only finally saw ridership growth after massive expansion of bus services last year. Ridership grew by 14% in 2019 (+30% for buses, -2% for light rail).

Winnipeg, Las Vegas, Quebec City, these are probably the best candidates for new light rail systems right now. Systems each around 70 million boardings annually, the ridership getting too much for buses to handle. That's why you build light rail. Light rail is not a solution for low ridership. Light rail is a solution for high ridership. You build light rail because the ridership is too high, not because the ridership is too low. With ridership of 30 million, Austin probably is not at that point yet, but with enough commitment (bus expansion, TOD) it can get there.

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #876  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 5:04 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 8,209
Doady is absolutely right.

It is not referred to as a transit SYSTEM for nothing. None of the parts can be optimized working in isolation. Each part of the system complement the other which Dallas has failed at miserably.

Just as freeways will not be used if there are very few interchanges to get onto it, rapid transit will not get properly utilized when there is very little local service to connect the people to it.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #877  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 5:40 AM
electricron's Avatar
electricron electricron is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Granbury, Texas
Posts: 3,159
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Dallas-Fort Worth area has the largest light rail network on the continent (150km) but it also has easily the worst transit ridership and mode share of the big four in Texas, one of the worst in the country (12 boardings per capita, 1.5% of commuters using transit). Despite their lack of light rail, Austin and San Antonio still have much better transit ridership and mode share than Dallas (19 and 20 boardings per capita, 2.7% and 2.2% mode share, respectively).

Light rail can't function in isolation. Cities need to build the foundations for light rail for it successful. A light rail line, like ANY transit line, needs to be part of a wider and comprehensive network. Dallas for example only finally saw ridership growth after massive expansion of bus services last year. Ridership grew by 14% in 2019 (+30% for buses, -2% for light rail).

Winnipeg, Las Vegas, Quebec City, these are probably the best candidates for new light rail systems right now. Systems each around 70 million boardings annually, the ridership getting too much for buses to handle. That's why you build light rail. Light rail is not a solution for low ridership. Light rail is a solution for high ridership. You build light rail because the ridership is too high, not because the ridership is too low. With ridership of 30 million, Austin probably is not at that point yet, but with enough commitment (bus expansion, TOD) it can get there.
I am not going to disagree with your data nor your opinions. But I would like to point something out, DART built a light rail system because that is what they were told to do by the local taxpayers willing to subsidize it. Democracy in action to the hilt, voters being sold a rail solution for public transit and gullible enough to vote yes because we have to do something to reduce air pollution and clear traffic congestion.

Well, the rail solution has not worked as well as many had hoped with the belief that if you build it riders will ride it. Drivers continue to drive their cars. What has reduced traffic congestion, highway expansion that many pundits say will only increase traffic congestion in the future - but as of now, traffic congestion is way down.

The only times in the last few decades where DART actually saw an increase in ridership was when Dallas has had an economic slump. But pro business policies locally has kept that to a minimum, therefore the continuing low public transit ridership. The results is all based upon the local economy, do not let the so called experts suggest otherwise with multiple red herrings.

But here is the good news, if the local Dallas economy turns sour, a public transit system is in place to move any potential ridership increase, and is not on some planners drawing board waiting to be built.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #878  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 11:38 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
self-important urbanista
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 2,444
The DART debate had been dormant since March. Now, it has re-emerged for no apparent reason with the same back-and-forth arguments we've heard before. Did the argument grow restless during quarantine and just need a chance to get out into the world again?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #879  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 10:13 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
Unicorn Wizard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,692
I don't think total system ridership tells you what kind of physical infrastructure you need to provide a certain type of service.

City A might actually have pretty high ridership but the geography favors a network typology of hundreds of local bus routes each with a few thousand riders per day. City B might have low transit ridership, but a large proportion of it is in one or two corridors and rail is needed for capacity. An extreme example might be a random city in Brazil that doesn't have a metro yet versus somewhere like Lausanne, Switzerland.

I think with Dallas, the city's sprawl would favor a grid of local buses. But that would also be too slow for cross town travel. And if you are going to invest a lot of money into dedicated cross town infrastructure, you might as well funnel all your riders on to it, and if you do that it might as well be rail.

The dilemma for Dallas is that probably needs both DART rail and a local bus grid at the same time, but it couldn't afford both. Houston "cheats" by having some freeway transit lanes that were paid for using highway money. But I wonder how much those HOV lanes really cost per mile and when you consider how few people use them I wonder if a DART rail set up would actually be better.

Ultimately what might work best for Dallas IMO is to keep up with what they have, and then make up for what they lack in terms of local bus routes with better last-mile pedestrian and bike infrastructure. How close do local bus routes actually have to be to one another? If sidewalks and walkability is poor and there are physical barriers like a highway or a drainage ditch then you need more than one route in that general area. But if the last mile stuff was better people would be willing to walk further. For disabled or indigent patrons, the city would subsidize more partially privatized ridesharing type stuff with handicap van taxis. Treat local bus routes almost like BRT lite with stuff like signal priority and queue jumpers too, and then a single bus with one driver could do more trips per day and increase frequency with less overall capital investment.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #880  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 10:49 PM
Doady's Avatar
Doady Doady is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
The DART debate had been dormant since March. Now, it has re-emerged for no apparent reason with the same back-and-forth arguments we've heard before. Did the argument grow restless during quarantine and just need a chance to get out into the world again?
Someone attacks buses as a solution and promotes light rail for a city that already has the best transit ridership in Texas, and you think I brought up Dallas as a counter-argument for "no apparent reason" and you even get upset about it?

The title of this thread is "Light Rail Boom" and Dallas has constructed the most modern light rail. No other city comes close. Dallas is the face of this thread, and if you that bothers you so much, go whine somewhere else.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:39 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.