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Houstonian in Iraq

Metro Light Rail Southeast (Purple) Line - Latest news on construction

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The Southeast line, which would run through the Third Ward from downtown to Palm Center, has generated relatively little controversy compared with the ongoing debate over a route for the planned University light rail line.

That's surprising, considering that building the Southeast line on Scott, Wheeler, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Griggs

Edited by Houstonian in Iraq

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It's a tough call.

Scott Street down to Griggs is the right place to put it, but there's a lot of opposition from those that live along Scott Street between Wheeler and Griggs.

Unlike Afton Oaks, where residents might lose a 1-3 ft strip from their yards, I think that Metro would have to take a row of homes on both sides of Scott to make this work. The houses along there are probably 10 feet from the ROW (that's my guesstimate), so any widening is going to require not just property, but probably the loss of the entire house.

As much as I understand the opposition to taking those houses, I still say Scott Street to Griggs (rather than Wheeler to MLK through MacGregor Park) is the right route for the line.

It's a mistake to miss the OST/Scott intersection, plain and simple. In the event that the Wheeler/MLK route is chosen, Metro apparently plans to run "signature bus" service along Scott and OST, but it's not the same.

As one of the speakers at last week's forum said (paraphrasing), we're building this rail line for the ages. This system will last for 200 years, so don't let the politics of a handful of current residents determine the route. Put it where it needs to go.

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Its been known for a while now that the people living in the Southeast area are as they were before and thats in favor of rail and expanded mobility options. I still say that METRO should proceed with LRT instead of that gloried bus service they are proposing. To say that the ridership levels are the reason LRT isnt being implemented is stupid and im not buying it.

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I don't quite know if Delay is the blame for this particular problem of their needing to increase their numbers. A few years ago, it was practially a done deal that they would get rail.

But if this means that this will increase the number of lines gets, then I would be all for it. I do agree that an OST line is sorely needed in the future.

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It's a mistake to miss the OST/Scott intersection, plain and simple. In the event that the Wheeler/MLK route is chosen, Metro apparently plans to run "signature bus" service along Scott and OST, but it's not the same.

That's my basic stance. If they hit OST/Scott then they'll have ridership in the area south of Braes Bayou that is high enough to support LRT conversion. If not, then I'd think that there might be some legitimate doubt.

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People with money cause the problems, damn you Afton Oaks.

The people on the east end are more blue collar and welcome some mass transit.

Afton Oaks love their yards and driving their H2's and Suburbans too much. -_-

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I dont understand this "doubt". This line is going in an area that is transit dependant. Looking at the number of bus routes this line will cross and help to be shortened, im not getting the doubt factor. i think it is a bunch of BS. I am starting to see a little pattern here.......

Areas that are transit dependant that were originally slated for LRT are now being presented with BRT or GRT or whatever other colorful term they use to call these glorified busses. These very same areas are mostly populated by brown skinned and black skinned people. Just what the hell is going on here? Areas that are transit dependant, but not dependant enough to receive LRT? Its a bunch of BS and im not buying it!

Every single line that was slated for LRT that will now not be getting it is mostly populated by brown skinned and black skinned people, many of which are transit dependant.

METRO is going to have to come up with a better line than the one they are towing. The current line doesnt pass the sniff test!!!

Is anyone else seeing the same pattern? Are the heavily transit dependant areas not worthy of LRT from the start?

Garbage!!!!!!!!

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Heres a list of the current bus lines that will come into contact with the Southeast Line outside of the downtown area busses.

5 Southmore

26 Outer Loop

27 Inner Loop

29 TSU/UofH

36 Lawndale

30 Cullen

40 Telephone RD

42 Holman

52 Scott

60 South MacGregor

68 Brays Bayou

80 Dowling

87 Sunnyside

If the MLK routing is chosen, add the 77 MLK to the list. I think i have covered most of them. 13 or 14 bus routes, not counting the other busses the line will come into contact downtown, doesnt seem like a little feed to me.

Edited by Houston1stWordOnTheMoon

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That's my basic stance. If they hit OST/Scott then they'll have ridership in the area south of Braes Bayou that is high enough to support LRT conversion. If not, then I'd think that there might be some legitimate doubt.

During the planning meetings on the SE side there were very vocal complaints about this intersection. I remember one couple who had just opened a new business at/near the intersection and the tracks would have taken down her business. If i remember correctly there was also a pastor of some church there complaining.

I remember too many of the neighborhoods along Scott complaining about their neighborhood being divided in half or having access limited. Of course METRO officials couldn't really assuage their concerns.

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Heres a list of the current bus lines that will come into contact with the Southeast Line outside of the downtown area busses.

5 Southmore

26 Outer Loop

27 Inner Loop

29 TSU/UofH

36 Lawndale

30 Cullen

40 Telephone RD

42 Holman

52 Scott

60 South MacGregor

68 Brays Bayou

80 Dowling

87 Sunnyside

If the MLK routing is chosen, add the 77 MLK to the list. I think i have covered most of them. 13 or 14 bus routes, not counting the other busses the line will come into contact downtown, doesnt seem like a little feed to me.

That also means the 52 Scott will be eliminated in this corridor and curtailed to terminate at the OST/Scott transfer center as another Sunnyside circulator. Plus it would be split in three routes: the route number would have to be changed for McGowen and 52 Hirsch cuz that will terminate outside UH/TSU. And if MLK is chosen, don't even think about riding 77 MLK downtown along the Gulf because that will be gone if the BRT comes thru.

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Every single line that was slated for LRT that will now not be getting it is mostly populated by brown skinned and black skinned people, many of which are transit dependant.

METRO is going to have to come up with a better line than the one they are towing. The current line doesnt pass the sniff test!!!

Is anyone else seeing the same pattern? Are the heavily transit dependant areas not worthy of LRT from the start?

Garbage!!!!!!!!

The Uptown line will also be BRT. There may be many different colored skins there but mostly "blue blood".

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The University Line was projected to have over 15,000 riders per day....double the next most popular line. The other lines were proposed as BRT because METRO feared that the proposed ridership on those lines would not qualify them for FTA funding.

There are no criteria for the race of proposed riders...or income.

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I dont understand this "doubt". This line is going in an area that is transit dependant. Looking at the number of bus routes this line will cross and help to be shortened, im not getting the doubt factor. i think it is a bunch of BS. I am starting to see a little pattern here.......

Areas that are transit dependant that were originally slated for LRT are now being presented with BRT or GRT or whatever other colorful term they use to call these glorified busses. These very same areas are mostly populated by brown skinned and black skinned people. Just what the hell is going on here? Areas that are transit dependant, but not dependant enough to receive LRT? Its a bunch of BS and im not buying it!

Every single line that was slated for LRT that will now not be getting it is mostly populated by brown skinned and black skinned people, many of which are transit dependant.

METRO is going to have to come up with a better line than the one they are towing. The current line doesnt pass the sniff test!!!

Is anyone else seeing the same pattern? Are the heavily transit dependant areas not worthy of LRT from the start?

Garbage!!!!!!!!

Si basura!

Houston1stWordOnTheMoon you should go speak before METRO's Board of Directors. Make sure and call me if you do, i'll be right behind you. i'd love to see their faces. a few years ago i sent a letter to city council on another METRO topic and i got to meet Ms. DiLibero herself. I think she wears Depends now.

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During the planning meetings on the SE side there were very vocal complaints about this intersection. I remember one couple who had just opened a new business at/near the intersection and the tracks would have taken down her business. If i remember correctly there was also a pastor of some church there complaining.

I remember too many of the neighborhoods along Scott complaining about their neighborhood being divided in half or having access limited. Of course METRO officials couldn't really assuage their concerns.

There are definitely access problems for some of the neighborhoods along Scott Street. There are a few streets (Ruth, Blodgett, Wentworth and Arbor) that are dead end streets east of Scott. The proposed LRT/BRT could definitely give them some serious access problems unless existing median cuts are left open there.

As far as the taking of land goes...I understand the fear and irritation of those that would be affected, but at the same time, I don't think you should let the concerns of a relatively few residents and business owners outweigh a route that would provide greater benefit to the public as a whole.

The Scott-Griggs-Palm Center alignment would require more property acquisition than the Scott-Wheeler-MLK-Palm Center alignment, and much has been made of that fact. However, let's look at the numbers for a second:

Scott-Griggs-Palm Center - requires acquisition of 127 whole parcels and 138 partial parcels; requires relocation of 91 residences and 78 businesses. Total length = 6.84 miles.

Scott-Wheeler-MLK-Palm Center - requires acquisition of 93 whole parcels and 110 partial parcels; requires relocation of 64 residences and 35 businesses. Total length = 6.03 miles.

Therefore Scott-Griggs-Palm Center requires acquisition of 18.6 whole parcels/mile, and 20.2 partial parcels/mile. There will be 13.3 residences lost/mile and 11.4 businesses lost/mile.

The Scott-Wheeler-MLK-Palm Center route requires acquisition of 15.4 whole parcels/mile, and 18.2 partial parcels/mile. There will be 10.6 residences lost/mile and 5.8 businesses lost/mile.

The bottom line is: relatively equal land, homes and businesses will be lost regardless of which alternative is selected. Therefore, why not choose the alternative that will serve the most riders and allows for the greatest stimulation of development. That would be the alternative that delivers riders one block from OST/Scott...the Scott-Griggs-Palm Center alignment!

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The bottom line is: relatively equal land, homes and businesses will be lost regardless of which alternative is selected. Therefore, why not choose the alternative that will serve the most riders and allows for the greatest stimulation of development. That would be the alternative that delivers riders one block from OST/Scott...the Scott-Griggs-Palm Center alignment!

Cause the other people were more vocal against the route.

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The other lines were proposed as BRT because METRO feared that the proposed ridership on those lines would not qualify them for FTA funding.

Like the successful Red Line? Part of its success rest on the fact that it acts as a "hub and spoke" system with various bus routes that forces some riders onto the LRT. The same thing will happen with the SE line and the Eastend line. The argument METRO is using to justify those glorified busses is weak, stupid and it stinks!

With the proposed line for the BRT i would be one very pissed off pappa to have my home and or property taken away inorder to make way for a different type of bus instead of the trains i voted for. If the people in the SE corridor are not worthy enough for trains, trash the entire project altogether. I will not support the removal of personal property inorder to make way for busses. Im not comfortable with the promise to upgrade to LRT when METRO thinks it is ready. The BS is knee deep and rising.

To Musicman-- It would not be a good idea for me to speak at these meetings. If you havent noticed, i dont give a damn about diplomacy or feelings when i believe in something that i think is right. I will leave that to others that have those talents. I dont possess them.

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I dont see why all these parcels are needed. Ive seen preliminary schematics for Wheeler and i believe only 6 feet of new ROW needs to be taken. Unless they are planning to make Scott or Wheeler grand boulevards with grand oak trees lining the rail line, why is so much land needed.

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Part of the issue is the fact that some of the homes are right up against the sidewalks. If some row is needed that that would impact quite a distance, but it would basically make that parcel of land unusuable.

My only real concern is the trees that are located above the power lines, I hope that the wires would be strong enough to withstand a few of those branches falling during a good storm. Heaven forbid a tree should fall. If that were to happen, i'm sure they can get it back up and running in under 24 hrs.

Then again, if we had a storm powerful enough to blow down a few trees, I don't think anyone would be going anywhere regularly for a couple of days.

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I work off MLK and Ost across the street from Macgregor Park, and I was wondering when and if they have an idea to what properties will moved for the ROW.

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Its been known for a while now that the people living in the Southeast area are as they were before and thats in favor of rail and expanded mobility options. I still say that METRO should proceed with LRT instead of that gloried bus service they are proposing. To say that the ridership levels are the reason LRT isnt being implemented is stupid and im not buying it.

A report METRO has online says the reason is because the FTA gave them a MID-LOW evaluation and that for LRT to be implemented, it must have a MID-HIGH rating.

--------------

I was reading the GRT (Guided Rapid Transit) document because I was confused as to what GRT and BRT exactly were. LRT and BRT fall under the umbrella of GRT; they both can be guided.

After looking at this document, it seems to me that BRT is a better choice for short distances. Why spend millions more if BRT will do the same job?

So what are the advantages of LRT over BRT anyway? I think long distance, LRT would be a better option, but not short. Is LRT that much quicker in speed or what?

Edited by lockmat

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After looking at this document, it seems to me that BRT is a better choice for short distances. Why spend millions more if BRT will do the same job?

BRT is cheaper short or long route. Since both are on dedicated paths, i'm not sure why you believe BRT is better only for short distances.

So what are the advantages of LRT over BRT anyway? I think long distance, LRT would be a better option, but not short. Is LRT that much quicker in speed or what?

There are really no advantages. BRT is way cheaper per mile and requires less maintainance. No speed difference because they both have dedicated paths.

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BRT is cheaper short or long route. Since both are on dedicated paths, i'm not sure why you believe BRT is better only for short distances.

I thought BRT is better short distance (for instance inside the loop) because there might be more stops and what's the point of LRT if it's going to stop so frequently?

And LRT would be better long distance (further out to the suburbs) because of fewer stops and it could go faster.

But I'm only for BRT if they intend to give it dedicated lanes where other cars wouldn't have the ability to get in them. I'm not for just bus lanes in which cars could get in the way. It just seems like a waste of space.

But they do intend to give BRT dedicated paths don't they since they plan on converting it to LRT when ridership demands it?

Does LRT have an advantage b/c of more possible seats?

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I thought BRT is better short distance (for instance inside the loop) because there might be more stops and what's the point of LRT if it's going to stop so frequently?

And LRT would be better long distance (further out to the suburbs) because of fewer stops and it could go faster.

But I'm only for BRT if they intend to give it dedicated lanes where other cars wouldn't have the ability to get in them. I'm not for just bus lanes in which cars could get in the way. It just seems like a waste of space.

But they do intend to give BRT dedicated paths don't they since they plan on converting it to LRT when ridership demands it?

Does LRT have an advantage b/c of more possible seats?

design determines number of stops. has nothing to do with type of vehicles.

BRT and LRT have dedicated lanes by definition...however the current light rail system interacts with traffic therefore hi speeds cannot be achieved.

more seats perhaps but more cost as well.

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design determines number of stops. has nothing to do with type of vehicles.

BRT and LRT have dedicated lanes by definition...however the current light rail system interacts with traffic therefore hi speeds cannot be achieved.

more seats perhaps but more cost as well.

I must not be explaining myself very well.

In a place that's more dense like inside the loop, there would be more stops. I'm not saying just because BRT is being used that there will be more stops. I'm simply saying you would think there'd be more stops inside the city because of its density, and therefore higher speeds wouldn't happen and LRT's higher potential speeds wouldn't be necessary.

And yes, by defintion they have dedicated lanes. But are there places where they actually will? If so, especially if they're to go out to the suburbs, LRT would be more efficient. Since you would think there'd be less stops, LRT, if it has a dedicated lane, would have the ability to achieve it's quicker/faster speeds.

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I must not be explaining myself very well.

In a place that's more dense like inside the loop, there would be more stops. I'm not saying just because BRT is being used that there will be more stops. I'm simply saying you would think there'd be more stops inside the city because of its density, and therefore higher speeds wouldn't happen and LRT's higher potential speeds wouldn't be necessary.

And yes, by defintion they have dedicated lanes. But are there places where they actually will? If so, especially if they're to go out to the suburbs, LRT would be more efficient. Since you would think there'd be less stops, LRT, if it has a dedicated lane, would have the ability to achieve it's quicker/faster speeds.

The way that LRT and BRT have and will be implemented in Houston, there are essentially no differences in levels of service. LRT vehicles can be hooked together and provide more seats, but most of the time that is not justified by ridership...and it almost certainly won't be justified for routes to Magnolia Transit Center or out to Griggs...of course, it remains to be seen how they'll change up the bus routes, so take that conclusion with a grain of salt. There are differences in capital and operating costs per passenger, however. BRT has the advantage in each.

METRO did a study several years ago to assess the business community's perceptions of LRT vs. BRT and found that developers preferred having LRT. It has a 'cool factor' associated with it that is apparently not captured by operating and cost characteristics alone.

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The way that LRT and BRT have and will be implemented in Houston, there are essentially no differences in levels of service. LRT vehicles can be hooked together and provide more seats, but most of the time that is not justified by ridership...and it almost certainly won't be justified for routes to Magnolia Transit Center or out to Griggs...of course, it remains to be seen how they'll change up the bus routes, so take that conclusion with a grain of salt. There are differences in capital and operating costs per passenger, however. BRT has the advantage in each.

METRO did a study several years ago to assess the business community's perceptions of LRT vs. BRT and found that developers preferred having LRT. It has a 'cool factor' associated with it that is apparently not captured by operating and cost characteristics alone.

Although I can understand and associate with the 'cool factor', it's just stupid.

I think it would be best to implement the BRT and when congestion and necessity to ride it come, the 'cool factor' won't be a factor at all.

And the fact that they're pretty much the same in terms of getting people around at the same rate and have the same ammenities like same grade entry, makes me wonder why METRO only plans on eventually building LRT when ridership 'demands it,' as if LRT has some kind of advantage.

Would LRT produce less pollution?

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I must not be explaining myself very well.

In a place that's more dense like inside the loop, there would be more stops. I'm not saying just because BRT is being used that there will be more stops. I'm simply saying you would think there'd be more stops inside the city because of its density, and therefore higher speeds wouldn't happen and LRT's higher potential speeds wouldn't be necessary.

And yes, by defintion they have dedicated lanes. But are there places where they actually will? If so, especially if they're to go out to the suburbs, LRT would be more efficient. Since you would think there'd be less stops, LRT, if it has a dedicated lane, would have the ability to achieve it's quicker/faster speeds.

because a place is dense doesn't mean there are more stops. The more stops there are then the more like normal bus service it is. I think rail should augment current bus service vs. replace it. if you need to go a short distance on main then take a bus....if you need to go farther, then hop on the rail because there are less stops and hence it would be faster. Some of the stops are just too close which causes longer travel times.

stops are placed by design. METRO's design was to get rid of main street bus service and use light rail like a bus going along at slower speeds.

The BRT will have it's own lane but the advantages (faster travel times) will be lost because it will be intermingling with

vehicular traffic. Commit that to memory!

You have stated that LRT would be more efficient if it goes to the suburbs. I will reiterate. METRO's design is to use the rail as a bus replacement with numerous stops. Therefore your statement saying there will be LESS stops in the burbs is not correct based on their design of the preliminary line. The dedicated lane CAN result in quicker faster speeds IF it does not intermingle with vehicular traffic which is a design issue.

Edited by musicman

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Would LRT produce less pollution?

I would imagine so, but it's hard for me to make a comparison because I'm not an engineer. Both vehicles require energy to operate, so some amount of pollution is going to be released, whether from an internal combustion engine or at a power plant feeding the grid. The important difference, I suppose, is that BRT releases its pollution along the route, whereas LRT's pollution effects are at the power plant, which is usually somewhat more isolated from urban areas. So I'd expect that the advantage would go to LRT on the pollution issue.

Does that mean that it's worth the extra cost? Well that, I don't know.

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The BRT will have it's own lane but the advantages (faster travel times) will be lost because it will be intermingling with

vehicular traffic. Commit that to memory!

I thought what makes BRT different from just regular buses is that it's separate from other traffic? It may not be physically separate, with curbs on each side, but it will at least have it's own lane in which other vehicles will not be permitted.

Plus, just like LRT, it will have technology that will signal to stop lights to give it the right-away to crossing traffic.

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because a place is dense doesn't mean there are more stops. The more stops there are then the more like normal bus service it is. I think rail should augment current bus service vs. replace it. if you need to go a short distance on main then take a bus....if you need to go farther, then hop on the rail because there are less stops and hence it would be faster. Some of the stops are just too close which causes longer travel times.

I have to disagree with you on this one. I like the way that DART is set up, where there are relatively frequent stops in downtown Dallas and much less frequent stops in less dense areas. But as you applied your explanation to the Red Line, yes that does make sense.

Plus, just like LRT, it will have technology that will signal to stop lights to give it the right-away to crossing traffic.

Yeah, that doesn't really work too well. On countless occasions, I have witnessed the LRT vehicles stop at a light for extended periods of time. The one time that I've ever riden it, it stopped frequently in between stations for no apparent reason.

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Although I can understand and associate with the 'cool factor', it's just stupid.

I think it would be best to implement the BRT and when congestion and necessity to ride it come, the 'cool factor' won't be a factor at all.

And the fact that they're pretty much the same in terms of getting people around at the same rate and have the same ammenities like same grade entry, makes me wonder why METRO only plans on eventually building LRT when ridership 'demands it,' as if LRT has some kind of advantage.

Would LRT produce less pollution?

Unfortunately stupid things can be true.

The "cool" factor is important for image. Some people wont ride the bus because of its bad image. But riding a train, well they feel they won't be frowned upon. There sure are people on HAIF that believe this.

The reason METRO can't implement LRT is money. they just don't have the resources to operate a bus system AND try and build a light rail system. Remember public trasportation is NOT A MONEYMAKER!

Is spending billions worth the negligible change in our pollution? METRO would do more for the pollution problem by servicing and maintaining their current buses in a better manner.

As an engineer, I will concur with Niche's comments.

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I have to disagree with you on this one. I like the way that DART is set up, where there are relatively frequent stops in downtown Dallas and much less frequent stops in less dense areas. But as you applied your explanation to the Red Line, yes that does make sense.

Yeah, that doesn't really work too well. On countless occasions, I have witnessed the LRT vehicles stop at a light for extended periods of time. The one time that I've ever riden it, it stopped frequently in between stations for no apparent reason.

Niche, you're quote from our other discussion. I brought it in here since you're referenced DART:

I think that in time, even the conservative suburbs will see the need for extensive mass transit, both inside the city and as commuter routes. Otherwise, the usefulness of the freeways will be entirely negated by massive congestion. But that time has not yet come for most people, and politicians' interests seem to reflect that.

You say in time? Like, 100 years? Dallas is getting ready for 2050, shouldn't we?

I had never gone to DART's sight and browsed until today. I was amazed at the amount of LRT they already have and what they intend to build now and later. Although our cities are very comparable in population, you would think we'd be the ones who needed to be ahead in mass transit.

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I thought what makes BRT different from just regular buses is that it's separate from other traffic? It may not be physically separate, with curbs on each side, but it will at least have it's own lane in which other vehicles will not be permitted.

Plus, just like LRT, it will have technology that will signal to stop lights to give it the right-away to crossing traffic.

Think about this before answering......................Can you drive through any existing city and not have another road cross?

I hope you said the answer is no.

Well the LRT and the BRT are in their own "lane" but since they go through the middle of a city, they will intermingle with vehicular traffic. The BEST designs don't allow this. They will use bridges/underpasses/abandoned rail/utility corridors to minimize interactions with vehicular traffic. But since METRO is using this as a bus replacement system, it is being routed on streets.

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The reason METRO can't implement LRT is money. they just don't have the resources to operate a bus system AND try and build a light rail system. Remember public trasportation is NOT A MONEYMAKER!

As an engineer, I will concur with Niche's comments.

Yeah, I've learned it's not a money maker. But like I referred DART to Niche, they have/are implementing LRT way more than we have or plan to. Do they have some kind of economic advantage that we don't since they're so close to Fort Worth? Or are they just running themselves into the ground financially?

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Think about this before answering......................Can you drive through any existing city and not have another road cross?

I hope you said the answer is no.

Well the LRT and the BRT are in their own "lane" but since they go through the middle of a city, they will intermingle with vehicular traffic. The BEST designs don't allow this. They will use bridges/underpasses/abandoned rail/utility corridors to minimize interactions with vehicular traffic. But since METRO is using this as a bus replacement system, it is being routed on streets.

I thought what you meant by intermingling was horizontal traffic, changing lanes and such. I was talking about it vertically. Just seems like building structures whether they be underground or elevated would be way too costly. I can't imagine that happening in the city, no way. I can't see it working logistically.

Seems like a subway would be the answer to all our needs, but that's for another discussion.

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Niche, you're quote from our other discussion. I brought it in here since you're referenced DART:

You say in time? Like, 100 years? Dallas is getting ready for 2050, shouldn't we?

I had never gone to DART's sight and browsed until today. I was amazed at the amount of LRT they already have and what they intend to build now and later. Although our cities are very comparable in population, you would think we'd be the ones who needed to be ahead in mass transit.

NO, much sooner! 10-25 years. Kind of depends on where our economy goes. Nothing like empty office buildings to possibly alleviate congestion in the interim, you know. But it is beyond me why any city would prepare for 2050 in 2007. Between now and then, so many things will likely change that anything we could possibly do now would produce essentially no benefit that far down the line. Any capital investment will need to be maintained between now and then and will still likely depreciate in the meanwhile. Heck, by then, we'll probably have to reconstruct Main Street all over again.

All we really need to be careful about in the mean time is preserving ROW along critical regional corridors. If we don't, that'll certainly come back to bite us in the ass.

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You say in time? Like, 100 years? Dallas is getting ready for 2050, shouldn't we?

I had never gone to DART's sight and browsed until today. I was amazed at the amount of LRT they already have and what they intend to build now and later. Although our cities are very comparable in population, you would think we'd be the ones who needed to be ahead in mass transit.

What is happening in 2050 that i should get ready for?

Dallas had different priorities. Rail was their priority and their freeways suffered as a result. We on the other hand had the worst traffic in the nation in the 70's. Therefore our local and country govts wisely decided to address the issue. We no longer have the worse traffic even with the huge population increase since the 70's.

if staggering amounts of people used mass transit, it would be built. most mass transit agencies are losing ridership.

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All we really need to be careful about in the mean time is preserving ROW along critical regional corridors. If we don't, that'll certainly come back to bite us in the ass.

I stretched it a bit, hah, sorry. It's their 2030 Plan. :)

But yeah, I agree for sure on that point.

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Yeah, I've learned it's not a money maker. But like I referred DART to Niche, they have/are implementing LRT way more than we have or plan to. Do they have some kind of economic advantage that we don't since they're so close to Fort Worth? Or are they just running themselves into the ground financially?

Like i said, it is a matter of priorities. Dallas' freeways suffered because of their light rail system. Our freeway system was our priority. Most people in Houston use freeways daily therefore are reaping the benefits. Can you say most people in Houston use light rail daily? No.

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Yeah, I've learned it's not a money maker. But like I referred DART to Niche, they have/are implementing LRT way more than we have or plan to. Do they have some kind of economic advantage that we don't since they're so close to Fort Worth? Or are they just running themselves into the ground financially?

My understanding is that their cost per mile is a fair bit lower than ours for many of their segments. I've only checked out the one that goes from DT Dallas to Plano, and most of the tracks outside of their downtown area are grade-seperated and look like the test tracks along Holmes Road in Houston. They're basically just narrower-gauge freight tracks with overhead electrical systems. That's a whole lot less expensive than embedding them in concrete as part of a street reconstruction job and placing such frequent stations.

Dallas has also done a very good job obtaining federal funding. That helps a lot as far as financial feasibility at the local level is concerned.

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Guest danax
I had never gone to DART's sight and browsed until today. I was amazed at the amount of LRT they already have and what they intend to build now and later. Although our cities are very comparable in population, you would think we'd be the ones who needed to be ahead in mass transit.

I think passenger rail, either light or heavy, is an investment in the future that we ought to be socking away like a 401K plan. The BRT was disappointing but at least they're going ahead with the infrastructure investment and will lay the rails. I'm all for buying as many BRT lines as quickly as possible then we can convert them over time. Let's get the lines at least designed and in place so that development can start to mold accordingly then, as tax revenue increases inside the loop, keep investing in more lines and start converting the busiest. In 50 years, those of us who are still around will be glad that it was done as car operating costs and traffic are only steadily going to worsen.

It's too bad we're stuck with the above-ground version. The lines do interfere with cars but so do buses......I was just reminded of that yesterday driving behind one while downtown.

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Like i said, it is a matter of priorities. Dallas' freeways suffered because of their light rail system. Our freeway system was our priority. Most people in Houston use freeways daily therefore are reaping the benefits. Can you say most people in Houston use light rail daily? No.

Forgive me, I must have been writing my post while you submitted yours and didn't read it until after I was finished.

And you're right. I stayed in Forth Worth and had to drive to Dallas for a job fair and freeway traffic was bad. And not that I've spent enough time in Dallas to justify this, but is Houston's traffic really that much better off than theirs?

Can I say most people in Houston use the LRT daily? Of course not, that'd be silly to say. We only have 8 miles. They have over 40.

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I thought what you meant by intermingling was horizontal traffic, changing lanes and such. I was talking about it vertically. Just seems like building structures whether they be underground or elevated would be way too costly. I can't imagine that happening in the city, no way. I can't see it working logistically.

I just listed a few things that could be done to minimize the vehicular interactions. Using abandoned right of ways is one that isn't as costly. Plus many times there are less streets in these corridors which would mean less traffic! Again I will repeat...since metro is using this as a bus replacement system, it will interact with traffic.

You have to have vision to make it work.

Edited by musicman

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And you're right. I stayed in Forth Worth and had to drive to Dallas for a job fair and freeway traffic was bad. And not that I've spent enough time in Dallas to justify this, but is Houston's traffic really that much better off than theirs?

Can I say most people in Houston use the LRT daily? Of course not, that'd be silly to say. We only have 8 miles. They have over 40.

You can't objectively compare traffic in one city vs. another so please don't start. But you can objectively compare traffic in Houston from the past to current. In the 70's with way less population we had gridlock. Now, even with the population increase traffic is bad yes....but had we not addressed the issue, we would still be number 1 for most congested.

Can you say most people in Dallas use light rail on a daily basis even though they have 40 miles? As their ridership numbers show, the answer is no. Cities such as Houston are just too spread out to justify lots of light rail.

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You can't objectively compare traffic in one city vs. another so please don't start. But you can objectively compare traffic in Houston from the past to current. In the 70's with way less population we had gridlock. Now, even with the population increase traffic is bad yes....but had we not addressed the issue, we would still be number 1 for most congested.

Can you say most people in Dallas use light rail on a daily basis even though they have 40 miles? As their ridership numbers show, the answer is no. Cities such as Houston are just too spread out to justify lots of light rail.

In 99% of the cities in America, most people use their cars opposed to mass transit. But just because most people use their cars doesn't mean we neglect it.

And one thing I don't get is that Houstonians seem to think that they're the only city that is sprawled out. With the exception of NY, Boston and some of Chicago, all cities in America are sprawl dominated.

Rail in any form or amount will ever cure our transportation problems if we continue our sprawling ways.

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In 99% of the cities in America, most people use their cars opposed to mass transit. But just because most people use their cars doesn't mean we neglect it.

Lockmat...do you understand that there is more to mass transit than rail? Houston is definitely not neglecting mass transit. your statement "But just because most people use their cars doesn't mean we neglect it." there are many things that become obsolete over time. Houston had many rail lines in the first half of last century. But less were using it and it became too expensive as a result so the money was used elsewhere. and the system was dismantled.

And one thing I don't get is that Houstonians seem to think that they're the only city that is sprawled out. With the exception of NY, Boston and some of Chicago, all cities in America are sprawl dominated.

I don't know which Houstonians you're talking to but your blanket statements are getting very tiring. After WWII most growth in america was as the result of sprawl. I don't think you're providing any information that the intelligent don't already know.

Rail in any form or amount will ever cure our transportation problems if we continue our sprawling ways.

So now your segwaying from light rail to the urban sprawl problems of american cities.

I have to ask your age. what is it?

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I work off MLK and Ost across the street from Macgregor Park, and I was wondering when and if they have an idea to what properties will moved for the ROW.

My boss received a letter from Metro saying they would be contacting us regarding the relocation process if needed. I work in a strip center on the Southwest corner of OST and MLK. There is a Shell station in the middle of MLK that I think they will tear out an will not need any ROW on either side of MLK,Hopefully. The gas station owner said Metro said they might tear it out after all but he wasn't sure. Although I think this construction will hurt business ass did the Spur 5, MLK/Calhoun Realigning, closure, & construction. I am optimistic it will improve business as did the spur 5 construction. Man when they get this Lrt/Grt built with 35 through to Beltway 8, this area might see some revitalization. I do not like to see gentrification per say but the infrastructure in this area really needs to be improved.

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I checked out this route on windows live map. Maybe it's totally different in person, but it seems like there is nothin on MLK. I understand many people in this area might be transit dependant, but is it enough to justify this line? Is Metro hoping for TODs?

Maybe someone who's very familiar w/ this segment of MLK can shine the light where I don't see it.

Edited by lockmat

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I checked out this route on windows live map. Maybe it's totally different in person, but it seems like there is nothin on MLK. I understand many people in this area might be transit dependant, but is it enough to justify this line? Is Metro hoping for TODs?

Maybe someone who's very familiar w/ this segment of MLK can shine the light where I don't see it.

The shining light of MLK is that it doesn't cut through a wealthy neighborhood.

It doesn't serve the HEB at the revitalized intersection of Scott and OST or the nearby transit center, and that will result in substantially less ridership. No TODs are anticipated at this time. METRO is pretty forthcoming about this, but a wealthy neighborhood comprised of mostly single family homes has spoken...all this, and the Chronicle barely ever took notice.

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