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Everything posted by JamesL

  1. They're looking for input on where the new stations should be located. http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/Houston-B-cycle-Expansion.html
  2. I don't understand what you're referring to.
  3. All trains crossing Bagby and westbound trains crossing Smith are always 100% empty of passengers.
  4. Because METRO doesn't get to decide whether to close traffic lanes.
  5. There is no question that a line of 1/2 or 1/4 the length would have lower ridership. Ridership is driven by jobs, residences, and other destinations within walking distance of the stations and by connections to bus routes. A line that didn't reach the TMC or Reliant would have dramatically fewer of these. Dryden/TMC is the highest ridership station in the system.
  6. Like this one? http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/mobility/MTFP
  7. Rule of thumb is it costs twice as much to elevate and four times as much to tunnel. So instead of the original ~8 mile Red Line we could have had 4 miles elevated (UHD to Rice) or 2 miles of subway (UHD to McGowen). There's no question that either of those would have had fewer riders and therefore a lower benefit/cost ratio. As for syncing signals for the east-west lines, there's only so much that can be done without un-syncing the north-south streets. But yes, there are a lot of ways the Green and Purple Lines could have been designed better through Downtown.
  8. Did you think about doing some investigation before you made assumptions? Of course there are waiting areas inside for passengers. The people loitering outside aren't passengers. I live in the area and I'm pretty sure Greyhound isn't the cause of the issues you cite. In fact, they've been keeping their block under control lately. It's the combination of other things in the surrounding area (Pierce Elevated, McDonalds, convenience stores) that are the real draw for vagrants.
  9. Yes, it was used for testing the original LRVs. It's on UP property and either reverted to them or they won't let METRO use it anymore or something. I seem to recall a story about an LRV hitting at UP truck that had driven under a crossing gate.
  10. Central Station Main is technically part of the East End line which involved no federal money. The leftovers can only be spent on the line they came from, i.e., North or Southeast and can only be spent on items within the Full Funding Grant Agreement.
  11. No. Functionally obsolete simply means that it's not wide enough to carry as many cars as they'd like it to.
  12. Not usually. Taking a typical 12 foot traffic lane to a 9 foot parking lane frees up 3 feet - entirely in the door zone of the parked cars, a very unsafe place to ride.
  13. At least it will block freeway noise for the neighborhood. There's something to be said for that.
  14. Apparently the testing of the communications system is a lengthy process and has to start over because a fiber line was also cut. In addition, there are tests that have to occur during a Red Line outage which can only happen on particular weekends (no Texans game, etc.). They also don't want to open during the rodeo because it's such a resource-intensive time for them and the convention center garage will necessitate some nighttime service interruptions. At the same time I'm sure they're glad to have some breathing room considering the ongoing axle counter and vehicle delivery issues.
  15. The same thing occurred to me. The answer, I think, is that at the time the lines were planned trains from the East End line were supposed to turn up Main Street to the intermodal terminal. So we're stuck with this as a legacy of poor planning past.
  16. Contract was just awarded to construct the Beekman crossing. http://ridemetro.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=928
  17. That is not correct. They were all ADA compliant. The ADA has provisions for pinch points which they met. http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=705&meta_id=8203 Not saying the designers were smart, but they did comply with the regulations and their contract. Ultimately it was METRO's failing for not writing better specs in the design-build contract.
  18. Back on topic, was the question ever answered? $6.5 Million per year is METRO's annual HOT revenue. The project cost $67 million but 80% came from federal grants. http://www.ridemetro.org/AboutUs/Board/PublicHearings/pdfs/Draft-FY15-091714.pdf http://abc13.com/archive/8550407/ To be clear, METRO is not involved in the Katy Managed Lanes.
  19. The blocks between Main and Fannin have turnouts for the track connections to Main Street. A train on the diverging route will overhang to the outside, hitting the platform edge if one were built. ADA specifies very tight tolerances for gaps between the train and the platform so moving the platform edge away from the track wouldn't be possible.
  20. A road is a depreciating asset and costs money to operate and maintain. It's never "paid for."
  21. Th new CAF cars actually look a good deal angrier than the Siemens vehicles. http://blog.chron.com/thehighwayman/files/2014/01/CAF0108_BTC_01.jpg
  22. http://ridemetro.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=849 If you really want to know a lot about METRO's land holdings.
  23. ...that runs once every 150 minutes during midday and not at all after 10pm or on weekends. Not something that makes me the slightest bit envious. Ten bucks says its ridership (free fare period not withstanding) never surpasses the Katy Freeway Park & Rides, currently about 6,500 boardings a day. Perhaps the most important criterion for pedestrian friendliness is distance between safe places to cross the street. Crossing the street is where people get injured and killed. Think 249 inside the beltway where there have been multiple fatalities in the past year.
  24. And don't forget the initial late change to an underpass was because the city belatedly decided to step up with some funding.
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