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m1ek's Achievements


Crossroads (1/14)



  1. Don't know where they got 300' from. Everybody else seems to be settled on about 135'. Nonetheless, this is still way too wide to navigate the corners downtown, as the city has indicated. So it ain't gonna be able to run anywhere _useful_ in the street.
  2. Our DMU will have a turning radius of 300 feet, according to the Seaholm station study (which I finally found), compared to 100 feet for many light rail vehicles (and 100 or less for streetcars). This means that our shiny Cap Metro DMUs will never, ever, ever run in the street where they have to actually make a turn.
  3. They won't say for sure, but the city saidin the first issue of their two-issue run of "OnTrack" that it was due to cornering issues, since the train would have had to transition from 4th street to 3rd street before making it to Seaholm. And unlike Camden, our downtown isn't full of blocks with no economic value which we could cut a chunk off to make cornering more feasible. And don't forget - even going all the way to Seaholm only addresses the downtown worker on Congress, and not particularly well at that, compared to running down Congress itself. It doesn't do one darn thing for the large population of potential additional transit users at UT and the Capitol, both of which were served directly by the 2000 proposal. If you don't know anything about the 2000 plan, I recommend reading more of my crackplog - I cover the route in many places; the Crestview Station use cases is a good start - just think of the "direct route" as the 2000 light rail route, as I clearly indicated in the post. North of Lamar/Airport, the 2000 light rail proposal used the same right-of-way as commuter rail (although the 2000 proposal said they'd rip up existing track so the whole thing could be double-tracked, which could probably have been scaled back in a re-float). I'm very familiar with the River Line by this point after Lyndon Henry's crowd tried to use it as an example of why it's not misrepresenting to call this line in Austin "urban light rail". I served on the UTC from 2000 through 2005; and stood on the street corner at 6th&Congress waving pro-light-rail signs at motorists on election night in 2000. I was one of the "anti" speakers at several events before the election in 2004, having to carry the entire load of the "pro-transit but we're about to build a bad rail line" crowd by myself as everybody else just bought the baloney about how central Austin would get served later if we held our noses and voted yes. Hell, I was on KXAN at one point, interviewed in my front yard. So perhaps at this point you could credit me more than some anonymous jackass on this stuff, OK?
  4. Nope, the comparison being done here was with a DEMU running in a similar alignment - so the DEMU would be even worse off if it had to stop at red lights than the LRV. Well, that's a very difficult assertion to support. You mean that you don't think running directly past UT and the Capitol and right down Congress where essentially everybody working at all three employment centers would just WALK to work rather than having to take a shuttle bus wouldn't amount to more riders? If so, you're the one guy in the world who thinks that; even Capital Metro admits otherwise with their projections of 1000 riders per day on this line vs. 15000 or so per day in 2000.
  5. That's misleading. LRT, with reserved guideway, can operate at the speed limit of the roadway essentially all the time. City buses (and streetcars) are constrained by the speed of the cars in front of them, which is quite often zero.
  6. No, Hiawatha added new in-street runningway in order to get all the way to the jackpot, as it were. Critical difference in philosophy - commuter rail usually doesn't add any track at all; they go where the track is already. Yes, they only had to add a small section (not as long as our 2000 proposal would have needed) but the point still stands - they made the train go where the people want to be rather than just running it on existing tracks which don't make it near the activity centers. 3 stations is a non-trivial amount of extra street-running by any measure - similar to many other light rail starts. Austin would've had 3 to 6 in-street stations in their comparable 2000 proposal (not counting the continuation out of downtown to the south, which would have been discarded in a re-float proposal which was being worked as late as '03). Our "street-running" section for commuter rail is a short part which actually predated the paving of the street in question. Nothing new is being built in the street to bring the train close enough for most downtown workers to be able to walk to work. The only station "downtown" is right in front of the Convention Center - a half mile or more from the geographic center of the big office buildings. As for LRT vs. streetcar - yes, the shared-lane vs. exclusive-lane feature is a critical distinguishing factor. Streetcars are the ones that are "no better than buses" in most ways because of this.
  7. I know very little about Ottawa, but I looked at the system a bit this morning - it is very similar to Austin's, but at the "circulator" end it hooks up to a true BRT system running on what they call "the transitway" -- i.e. like if our Rapid Bus system was ever going to get built, AND had its own lane, AND had overpasses of most major intersections AND still got to change the remaining lights to green as it approached, then it'd sort of be the same thing. And still, with all of that, only 10,000 per day - which is pitiful compared to light rail starts most recently in Minneapolis and Houston. I also don't know what their downtown is like. Transfers from rail to (something else) work better as parking difficulty/cost rises, but there's always (no matter what) a huge drop-off in choice commuters once you require that transfer.
  8. Every successful (defined as "brings new people on to transit - i.e. people who previously drove") rail system in the last 20 years in this country has included some elements of street-running. You're confusing streetcars (really ARE stuck in traffic, and no better than buses) with LRT (has its own lane; controls the traffic lights; far far far faster and more reliable than buses). Including Denver's. Without running on the street downtown, it would have been a disastrous failure. As for DMUs vs. electrically-driven traditional LRT cars, DMUs seem nicer until you factor in the pollution, unstable cost of diesel fuel, and the fact that typical DMUs don't turn as well or accelerate/decelerate as quickly as typical electrically-driven LRT trains. This is, by the way, part of the reason why the initial efforts to get the commuter rail line to go all the way to Seaholm fell by the wayside. The trains couldn't transition easily from 4th to 3rd without condemning the middle of a block. (Some parts of the 2000 light rail route might have corners that tight; I can't remember offhand; but also even on a marginally big-enough corner, the train would have to slow down so much that you'd suffer 3 times - once for the poorer turning radius, and once each on deceleration and acceleration).
  9. It's actually about 120 million now, and yes, these transfers are going to destroy ridership among choice commuters just like they did in South Florida. We have some modest park-and-rides on the edges of downtown which are serviced via the Dillo which are a completely unattractive option to automobile commuters - so providing that same level of service for our train line is particularly useless. Today's crackplog about Crestview Station is probably worth a read. Note that the 2000 light rail proposal would have brought people directly to UT, the Capitol, and downtown, in a fashion similar to other successful light rail starts. The model we're following for this commuter rail project has never succeeded in this country (shuttle-bus OR streetcar transfer).
  10. I'm a bit late finding this discussion. Forgive me. As for "transition into traffic" - it doesn't run in the street (except for the two block section west of I-35; and there's really no 'transition' there). This isn't light rail, remember. As for how it's going to work: follow this crackplog and the links to Christof's recent article about circulators, and why they don't work. We're doomed - choice commuters will stay away in droves (like they have from Tri-Rail) when they learn that they actually need to take a shuttle bus to their office from the train station.
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