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JamesL

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Posts posted by JamesL

  1. I doubt there'd be "no question" that if it was tunneled or elevated for a short stretch there'd be fewer riders, in most cases grade separation increases ridership.  Especially if it were integrated with the downtown tunnel system. 

     

    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.

  2.   I'm curious how much they saved by just building at grade.

     

    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.

    • Like 2
  3. There's obvious problems with the current station. I've never been inside, but I can only assume there are no waiting areas. There's way too many people sleeping outside of the building, getting into fights, harassing people walking by, etc. There's nothing wrong with taking the Greyhound, its a great way to travel, but this station needs to be cleaned up or moved out.  

     

    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.

    • Like 3
  4. I was walking around yesterday and noticed that there appears to be a light rail track that goes along Holmes from the MetroRail depot for 1.7 miles.  The rails are rusted, and there's bushes growing into it, so it's not used very often if at all.  Any ideas what it is?

     

    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.

    • Like 1
  5. Well what'd'ya know. Nearly $40M in unspent funds. Perhaps this will get a second look? 

     

    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.

    • Like 1
  6. One thing anyone should know is that parking lanes use less space than driving lanes. It's the same concept that makes driving down that one section of Westheimer east of Montrose so harrowing. A full driving lane could be converted to a parking lane and still leave enough space for a bike lane. I've seen it happen. As nice as it is, bikers don't need a full lane.

     

    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.

  7. 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.

    • Like 1
  8. Most of the blocked sidewalks in question are not ADA-compliant. Both COH and Metro should have addressed this during the planning period.

     

    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.

  9. Orlando just built a rail line that is longer than all of ours combined.

     

    ...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.

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