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chempku's Achievements




  1. By doing this you ends up having maybe 100x more protests than the current BRT route.
  2. Try design something within ~50' ROW. I am curious to know how this can be done.
  3. The following is generated by ChatGPT. LRT advocates, try provide an argument against it: "The choice between bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT) depends on various factors, such as cost, capacity, travel time, environmental impact, and accessibility. However, in the case of a car-dependent city like Houston, BRT might be a better option for the following reasons: Cost-effectiveness: BRT is generally less expensive to build and operate than LRT. BRT systems require less infrastructure, such as tracks, overhead wires, and stations, which can significantly reduce construction costs. Additionally, BRT vehicles are often less expensive than LRT trains. Flexibility: BRT can be more flexible than LRT in terms of routes, frequency, and service hours. BRT vehicles can operate on existing roads and highways, allowing for greater route flexibility and faster implementation. BRT can also be implemented incrementally, allowing for a phased approach to expanding the system as demand grows. Faster travel times: BRT systems can achieve faster travel times than LRT systems in certain situations. BRT can use dedicated lanes or signal priority to bypass traffic congestion, resulting in faster and more reliable service. In contrast, LRT often operates in mixed traffic, which can lead to slower speeds and longer travel times. Lower environmental impact: BRT can have a lower environmental impact than LRT due to its smaller infrastructure footprint and lower energy consumption. BRT vehicles can be powered by electricity or natural gas, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution than diesel-powered LRT trains. While LRT might have higher capacity than BRT, it may not be the most cost-effective or practical option for a car-dependent city like Houston. BRT can offer many of the benefits of LRT, such as faster travel times and increased transit access, while being more cost-effective and flexible. Ultimately, the decision between BRT and LRT should be based on a thorough analysis of the specific needs and characteristics of the city."
  4. Maybe because local people will get madder if it's built, .. LRT is not a bike lane or a car travel lane, it need to be connected to somewhere, also it need platforms and wider sidewalks. Squeezing in LRTs in narrower streets essentially kills most car traffic. Note that some existing LRT segments spread into two adjacent streets where the ROW is not wide enough (e.g. the Green/Purple line in downtown, the Red line in museum district).
  5. Maybe METRO didn't try hard enough, but they for sure tried selling the LRT before the BRT. Wikipedia has a page for METRORail, citing some of the efforts and challenges.
  6. I agree that there isn't a referendum asking voters to approve LRT, but the referendum had gone a long process, including community engagements, etc., before it finally went on the ballet. There will of course be people who wouldn't or couldn't participate in these processes got dissatisfied about the METRONEXT referendum, but there is always a trade-off between fairness and efficiency. In fact METRO has tried a couple of times through the years to expand the LRT network (e.g. the Washington Corridor) but were not successful, before all the BRT conversations.
  7. Of course it's not required. But since most voters and experts believe BRT is better than LRT for Houston (otherwise the BRT-emphasized METRONEXT won't be planned and approved), and it seems you don't quite agree with it, apparently it would benefit a lot if you can elaborate why you believe LRT will be a better option, using more concrete numbers, examples, and arguments? The majority could be wrong of course.
  8. Do you have some financial analysis that supported by realistic numbers and assupmtions?
  9. You may not realize the "capacity" you tout about is just one of many metrics planners need to consider. Most of the times the LRT systems in car-dependent cities are highly under utilized. New LRT systems will be under utilized even more, since existing lines already took the best routes. The reality: METRO provides ridership reports every months, free of charge. I randomly select some pre-pandemic numbers, in the pictures below. The busiest P&R stations scores ~2600 per day, which is on-par with many LRT stations. (Actually the ave boardings per mile per day of METRORail is about 2650, which translates to roughly 1400 per station per day.) If the capacity of LRT is so meaningful, P&R should all be converted to light rails, and people rides P&R should have been complaining about the lack of capacity. But is this the case?
  10. I believe it's the right thing to build rail in underdeveloped eastern and northern areas of Houston. People over there are more in need of transit options. You may have underestimated the challenges to get ROW from private parties, even just a few small parcels. Look at what happened to projects like NHHIP and Texas LSR. Ligh rail/subway based TOD can succeed, just like what happened to many other nations. Watch some related Strong Towns videos if you have further doubts about it.
  11. Houston, along with many American cities, don't have the density to make LRT the best option in most cases, period. Any public transit needs to be as fast as cars, from door to door, to effectively attract the middle class (who have cars!). It's simply too expensive to achieve this for LRT without enough population density. "The lines can stay for long time", so are the existing buildings and infrastructure that limits population density.
  12. The key is any type of public transit need to somehow compete against cars. Any arguments about cost, capacity, etc., go down to this. Cities like Houston don't need the capacity LRT provides most of the times, since the city is just not as dense (despite I wish it could be denser) Check out the Inner Katy BRT, METRO clearly stated that P&R will be using the BRT line.
  13. I agree that the P&R in Houston is way better than the LRT in DART. An added benefit of BRT is it creates more synergy with the current P&R system than light rail. It is not designed to accommodate P&R buses for now, but it always has the potential to do so. The transit systems being built, including the Uptown BRT, Inner Katy BRT, a part of the University BRT, and the LRT of DART, ARE competing against highways, unless you believe they should only be designed for people who cannot use cars. I-610 is the reason why the Uptown BRT has such a low ridership now: sitting in the traffic is still faster and more convenient than taking a bus ride for most people. Similarly, the University line compete against I-69 and such.
  14. The public transit system needs to be compatible with real estate development styles and policies. Unlike New York, most U.S. cities won't have the policies that make mass LRT efficient. Houston is actually doing a great job on accommodating high/mid density housing, however it is sadly not enough.
  15. For the BRT vs. Rail debate, I highly recommend visiting the DFW area to get an idea on how light rail fails to compete against "highly congested" highways. Dedicated bus lanes always have the flexibility and potential to carry people faster than light rails. Money talks. The state and federal governments have way more instruments funding highway construction than transit programs. So we'd be realistic, don't waste precious local tax money on something that will deprecate from day one.
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