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  #881  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2013, 7:46 PM
CAGeoNerd CAGeoNerd is offline
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Originally Posted by joeg1985 View Post
I dream of the day that Elk Grove Blvd. is a walkable low rise oasis in the greater Sacramento area. The future is all about urbanizing the suburbs. Making the suburbs more walkable and more sustainable. This would go along way towards making that happen.
The problem isn't being walkable, it's that people don't want to walk.
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  #882  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 5:17 AM
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Not true. People want to walk in places that are interesting, safe and engaging--so much so that they will drive long distances to visit those places, walk around, and drive home. Walking around is exactly what people do when they go to a mall, or a theme park, or Denio's, or when they drive to Midtown for Second Saturday or the Sunday Farmer's Market or the Antique Faire or some other special event. They make a special effort to go to those places because people do want to walk around--they just want it to be fun.

People don't like to walk in places that are boring, dangerous and have nothing to do, which is why people don't walk much in modern suburban neighborhoods unless they absolutely have to, or they're doing it strictly for exercise value.

Neighborhoods that are more interesting and serve multiple uses, designed to accommodate the pedestrian and other forms of transportation, and have enough people living in them to support businesses interspersed throughout the neighborhood, become inherently "walkable" because walking becomes interesting. Living in such a neighborhood saves you the extra trouble and expense of driving there--and if the businesses in the neighborhood also offer things that are useful to residents, you can take care of most of life's needs while on foot, while also being entertained by the neighborhood.

Of course, you still might need a car sometimes. Walkable neighborhoods also have room for cars, they just don't have first priority.
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  #883  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 1:46 AM
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Not true. People want to walk in places that are interesting, safe and engaging...........Walkable neighborhoods also have room for cars, they just don't have first priority.
Exactly! When cars are givin first priority you take the human demention out of cities. Who would want to walk wedged between some busy suburban arterial and seas of surface parking?

I went down to visit my sister in orangvale last year and she wanted to pick up some fishfood from a petstore that was alittle less that a mile away from her apt. I suggested we walk.(I don't own a car... I walk and bike where i live) We walked maybe a third of a mile when the sidewalk disapeared for no aparent reason. So we just had to walk on the shoulder. Then we spent roughly 15minutes waiting to get across the intersection of madison and hazel before we finally got a walk signal. Can you imagine having those kinds of infrustructure gaps and delays for vehicles? Oi! Anyhow it makes perfect sense that no one would want to walk under those conditions.

Also I rode the light rail there for the first time on that visit. It also was not a pleasant experience. We started at the station in Folsom by the outlet mall. My first surprise was that the ticket machine didn't take cards, so we had to walk up to a nearbye gas station to get some cash. Then we had to wait a good 30min for a train to arrive (though if i recall it was a weekend, so that is somewhat forgivable). The train was high floor and and the station was not really elevated to you had to take a step up onto the train and then multiple steps up to your seats. How does this work for the handicapped? The seat arrangement was such that you have to face the other riders, which obviously is not preferable. At our second stop a man two rows up pressed the door open button and threw a bottle of piss out onto the station. At the next stop a large drunk man (he was still drinking out of a Tallboy) sat facing us and spent the next 20 minutes harrassing us. During the whole trip i couldn't help but notice that the line doesnt seem to run adjacent to anything of interest. Seemed mostly to run along industrial areas and some grundgy fringe suburbs. Also the stations were heavily littered with trash. We made it downtown in decent time and on the ride back the riders were all more pleasant. Anyhow, my point is I can understand why people wouldn't use RT becuase it doesn't seem to go anywhere useful and it isn't a particularly pleasant to ride.... Or at least thats how it seemed from my one
experience.
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  #884  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 4:05 AM
CAGeoNerd CAGeoNerd is offline
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I'm not talking about walking around in a place of interest. I'm talking about the person who lives in suburbia not wanting to walk to their corner shopping center. People don't want to walk a mile or two, plus back. They are lazy. They jump in their cars and drive. Doesn't matter if there's a nice walking path. Making Elk Grove Blvd. walkable is funny because no one walks around there to get anywhere. Everything is spread out over large distances so people drive.
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  #885  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 4:41 AM
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People aren't any less lazy in Midtown, San Francisco or New York than they are in Elk Grove. People in walkable places walk more because they don't have to walk one or two miles from a residential area to a shopping center, they walk a few blocks or just down to the corner store. Generally, neither the residence nor the corner store has a parking lot, so driving is less convenient. The person making the trip is just as lazy, but the balance of difficulty has shifted.

People walk around in places of interest because they like to walk around. They're still lazy, but if you make walking easier and don't subsidize driving, the lazy choice will be to walk rather than drive in their own neighborhoods, instead of driving to walkable places.
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  #886  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 5:49 AM
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Often, transit plans depend on who the willing partners are. The city of Ranch Cordova is interested in a streetcar to help make their "downtown" more amenable to urban development. West Sacramento has taken the lead on streetcar from their city hall across the river to Sacramento because they too want to promote more urban growth, and understand that a linkage to downtown Sacramento (facilitating commuters and shoppers in both directions) is the best way to do that.
I understand that, but funding being set aside I feel that SMF, Roseville, Folsom, and Elk Grove are the logical endpoints of a light rail system, whether some of the communities want it or not. West Sac I wonder if it should be light rail to Davis with a couple stops in West Sac or a streetcar.

And while I'd like to see a denser Rancho Cordova, wouldn't a streetcar along Watt or Sunrise make more sense (outside of a central city route)?

Looks like the cost of a Rancho streetcar was estimated at about $110 million, which is cheaper than the recent blue line extension to CRC that cost $270 mil.

I guess I'm saying I'd like to see light rail before streetcars, and if streetcars then central city first. If Rancho wants to tax themselves for a streetcar more power to em.

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Originally Posted by ozone View Post
I would assume you live in the suburbs.
Nah, I live car-light in an Oakland neighborhood with good BART access. I was raised mostly in Elk Grove as it was going through growing pains (and share joeg1985's hopes for a walkable EG Bvld) so there might be some suburban bias hidden inside me.
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  #887  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 6:01 AM
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If Rancho wants a streetcar they will pretty much have to tax themselves or compete for TIGER funding along with everyone else, it isn't necessarily something that Regional Transit selects of their own accord. Streetcars are about one-third as expensive per mile as light rail, all else being equal, but they don't have the speed or capacity of light rail--which is why they're better for moving people short distances within a city, vs. functioning as an intercity commuter vehicle.

A streetcar line along Watt (say running between Watt/I-80 and Sunrise) makes a certain sense, as a high-frequency replacement for the bus routes that currently run that way. But there is no city government to work with there at all, and the rich folks in the hidden neighborhoods off Watt Avenue would scream bloody murder at the thought of more transit in their neck of the woods. Sunrise would work the same way--probably a route from Sunrise/Folsom to Sunrise Mall, but you'd need buy-in from Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, and risk the ire of another comparatively-wealthy unincorporated area. The folks in Rancho Murieta would not be pleased.

The line-to-the-airport idea is hugely expensive, runs through a lot of areas that still flood, and nobody lives there, because it still floods. It just won't happen soon, and probably shouldn't. A dedicated BRT/express bus lane from Sacramento Valley Station to the airport via I-5 would be technically simpler and a lot less expensive to implement.

A regional transit district can't just march in and tell a city "You folks are getting light rail whether you want it or not!" They work for the subject cities, not the other way around.

Regional growth depends on a strong core city, but a lot of the development community is stuck on the idea that we can be a region of nothing but suburbs, to the point where they depopulated our downtown long ago to avoid the risk that it might become a strong urban center. Knitting together our urban fabric has to start from the center, and the only way to do that is by replacing the traditional downtown urban transit mechanisms.
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  #888  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 6:23 AM
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Stop speaking such sense WBurg! You could probably run a heck of a bus route to the airport with the money you'd spend on rail.
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  #889  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2013, 12:39 AM
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The line-to-the-airport idea is hugely expensive, runs through a lot of areas that still flood, and nobody lives there, because it still floods. It just won't happen soon, and probably shouldn't. A dedicated BRT/express bus lane from Sacramento Valley Station to the airport via I-5 would be technically simpler and a lot less expensive to implement.
- W.Burg if I recall that's exactly what I suggested a couple of years ago and you dismissed it. Glad to see you are coming around to my way of thinking.

I challenge the propaganda that rail lines create denser development. How is that the case in Sacramento? We've had light rail since 1987, 26 years and hardly any infill around the stations. I call it light-fail.
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  #890  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2013, 5:08 AM
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We're still growing at a steady clip and even with super efficient cars / low fuel costs will need some sort of mass transportation. Might as well build it now while its cheaper.

I guess better service along the existing track and bus lines should be given priority to laying new track. But at some point I would like to see a more comprehensive rail system for the area.

These past 26 years there has been easy land to sprawl into, but it's getting harder.
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  #891  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2013, 8:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ozone View Post
- W.Burg if I recall that's exactly what I suggested a couple of years ago and you dismissed it. Glad to see you are coming around to my way of thinking.

I challenge the propaganda that rail lines create denser development. How is that the case in Sacramento? We've had light rail since 1987, 26 years and hardly any infill around the stations. I call it light-fail.
I guess there is no problem with LRT, there is problem with the suburbs. In my opinion around every station we have to build retail and residential buildings to develop more efficient and quality living, thats what they trying to do in many european cities, even in bay area. Problem is that people in rancho cordova or folsom would NEVER like that kind of development. Once you ride RT gold line, look at people on every station from rosemont to folsom, everyone quickly jumping in their cars on the RT parking lots and driving to their favorite suburban mchouses. These people are not willing to live in developed areas, most of them riding PT just because of packed 50. So all tax money that go to these projects is just WASTE. Root of the problem is that many people in Sacramento thinking too much about suburbs. Im pretty sure that streetcar in midtown connecting to sacstate and medical center would be much better and would really make city more vibrant and thriving. Instead, everybody thinking about natomas and elkgrove....
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  #892  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2013, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by v.o.r.t.e.x View Post
I guess there is no problem with LRT, there is problem with the suburbs. In my opinion around every station we have to build retail and residential buildings to develop more efficient and quality living, thats what they trying to do in many european cities, even in bay area. Problem is that people in rancho cordova or folsom would NEVER like that kind of development. Once you ride RT gold line, look at people on every station from rosemont to folsom, everyone quickly jumping in their cars on the RT parking lots and driving to their favorite suburban mchouses. These people are not willing to live in developed areas, most of them riding PT just because of packed 50. So all tax money that go to these projects is just WASTE. Root of the problem is that many people in Sacramento thinking too much about suburbs. Im pretty sure that streetcar in midtown connecting to sacstate and medical center would be much better and would really make city more vibrant and thriving. Instead, everybody thinking about natomas and elkgrove....
I could not agree with you more. I've always said that people who imagine light-rail to be a sign of our maturing urban nature have it all wrong. It was built for the convenience of the suburban commuter first, and foremost. To me LRT only exacerbates the problem by allowing those who might otherwise move the central city, in order to avoid the commute-by-car, to remain in the suburbs.

It's interesting that even in the City of Sacramento there has been very little in-fill around the stations. If light-rail is not primarily for the suburban commuter then I would like the supporters of LRT to explain that.

The residents of Sacramento's Central City need to stop thinking light-rail is about us just because it happens to run through our neighborhood. Even if some residents use it, it's not for us. We need some kind of transit system that works for us.
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  #893  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2013, 11:26 PM
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It's like the problem with BART, where it was really designed to bring suburbanites to the financial district, not as a metro that facilitated movement around the inner region. I mean four lines all parallel through the entire city of SF...what were they thinking? Portland has a fairly suburban oriented light rail system but the streetcar does a good job of covering downtown and the eastside.

What would the best route be for a central city (Sac) streetcar? And should the money be spent on one?

And yeah I think we're all disappointed there hasn't been more tod/infill. I would love to see a Rancho Cordova or North Sacramento that looks like something form the Rosslyn corridor in DC (granted a metro with quadruple our population).
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  #894  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 2:29 AM
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What I had in mind for an airport bus line was maybe a bit different--a high-frequency express bus line that basically runs back and forth between the train station and the airport, every 15-20 minutes, using I-5, ideally with a HOV-striped middle lane for the bus. Actual BRT is something different--it's more like light rail, with its own dedicated travel lane, stations instead of minimal bus stops, and vehicles with multiple entry/exit doors. If what you were talking about was a dedicated BRT route running north through Natomas on its own right-of-way to the airport through the suburbs-to-be north of North Natomas, then yes, I probably scoffed at that, because BRT infrastructure isn't much cheaper than light rail infrastructure. Especially if you include features like a bridge crossing over the American River and a trestle running through the stretch between North Natomas and the airport that still floods. When operating costs are taken into account, BRT is more expensive per passenger. The problem with any dedicated transit line through that particular bit of floodplain is that it provides additional excuses for more greenfield development. And it is continued greenfield development that has drawn energy away from infill in our existing urban footprint.

Light rail does spur development, but not the sort of high-density development you're thinking of. Like its predecessors, interurban electric railroads and steam commuter railroads, it encourages suburban villages based around the train lines. Before the advent of the automobile, they tended to cluster around the station, and in the post-automobile era, "park-and-ride" lots became common. This messed up a lot of older commuter-rail towns, as their downtowns were often scarred to make room for a couple blocks of park-and-ride.

Streetcars are a bit different--they encourage a medium range of density. Midtown, Oak Park and East Sacramento are products of the streetcar--a mixture of single-family homes, small multi-family buildings and commercial strips, with the highest-intensity uses where the lines all converged downtown.

Generally, if a neighborhood is already built out, adding a streetcar or LRV line doesn't drive much development--but infill in those neighborhoods can take advantage of rail transit's presence, since it needs less auto infrastructure. If the transit isn't built first, you end up with places like North Natomas and Laguna West--entirely car-dependent, heavily zoned and physically segregated neighborhoods that lack walkability.

That being said, while there isn't a ton of infill around light rail stations, it certainly exists, at least in the central city, and more is underway. While some may assume that Light Rail has cooties because suburban commuters ride it, I disagree with that assessment and ride it very frequently. I'd rather have them riding Light Rail than driving--it reduces peak-hour commuter loads by tens of thousands of cars every day, and reduces parking demand by an equal amount. If not for Light Rail, even more blocks of downtown would be filled with urbanity-deadening parking lots and parking structures.
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  #895  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 2:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Korey View Post
What would the best route be for a central city (Sac) streetcar? And should the money be spent on one?

And yeah I think we're all disappointed there hasn't been more tod/infill. I would love to see a Rancho Cordova or North Sacramento that looks like something form the Rosslyn corridor in DC (granted a metro with quadruple our population).
There have been a couple of studies done to design a central city streetcar--one in 2008, another in 2011, based on a partnership between the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento. The first study's route started at West Sacramento city hall, ran up West Capitol past Raley Field and over the Tower Bridge, up Capitol Mall and north on 7th/8th Street using Light Rail lines. The line then turned east on K Street to a loop around the Convention Center, with its farthest eastward point at 15th Street before looping back around to return to West Sac.

The 2011 study made two changes: instead of running on Capitol Mall, the line was projected to run north up 3rd Street (which is due for two-way conversion soon anyhow) to the Sacramento Valley Station passenger depot. It would join Light Rail tracks on 7th and 8th south to K Street, run down K to 13th and loop around the Convention Center, but with a "tail" continuing down K Street to 19th Street, where the line would reverse just short of the Union Pacific mainline.

The other feature of the 2011 plan was a set of potential expansion lines from downtown to other neighborhoods. One ran south down 3rd Street into Southside, for an extension to future development south of Broadway. Another ran down 15th/16th to Broadway. Theoretically, if there is a way to cross the Union Pacific tracks (currently not feasible without a bridge, and a bridge isn't feasible at K Street) it could continue as a route into East Sacramento to Sac State.

Another option not explored but I happen to like: Run south on 15th/16th and connect with existing Light Rail and use the Bee Bridge to run over the UP mainline, and turn south at Alhambra Boulevard or 34th Street to Broadway/Oak Park, terminating at Stockton/Broaday--or even continuing south down Stockton Boulevard to the city limits.
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  #896  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 4:45 AM
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That being said, while there isn't a ton of infill around light rail stations, it certainly exists, at least in the central city, and more is underway. While some may assume that Light Rail has cooties because suburban commuters ride it, I disagree with that assessment and ride it very frequently. I'd rather have them riding Light Rail than driving--it reduces peak-hour commuter loads by tens of thousands of cars every day, and reduces parking demand by an equal amount. If not for Light Rail, even more blocks of downtown would be filled with urbanity-deadening parking lots and parking structures.
WBurg I've never heard anyone suggest that light-fail has "cooties" because suburbanites ride it. You seemed to have missed the point.

Not a ton of in-fill is an understatement. Actually looking at all the infill built since light-fail started operations I'd say it's made no appreciable difference.

How can you be so sure that if we didn't have light-fail we'd have more parking lots and parking structures? On what grounds do you base that assumption...your support of, and attraction to light-fail? Considering the low number of riders, the demographics of the riders and the type of employment I'd say you'd be totally wrong about that. As I said earlier I think light-fail has just made it easier for some people to remain in the suburbs. And light-fail certainly hasn't been the boon to K Street as the early proponents promised. If anything it made it worst. If we had spent the same about of money on an urban street car system that connected downtown with inner neighborhoods -Midtown and East Sac, Southside Park and Land Park, Alkali Flats and Old North Sac, Curtis Park and Oak Park, etc. we'd have a lot more infill and a stronger downtown.
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  #897  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:12 AM
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Well, actually, before light rail was built, there were a lot more parking lots downtown, on blocks cleared during the redevelopment era. One of my more prized possessions is a gigantic 4'x4' aerial photo of downtown Sacramento taken in 1974, showing most of the downtown core north of P Street and west of 16th Street. Just from a rough count, there are about 15-20 city blocks that were parking lots in 1974 (and were neighborhoods before the 1950s/60s redevelopment era) that are now occupied by buildings of one type or another--mostly by offices, but some by new residential buildings. And "not a ton" of infill actually is an understatement, in that there actually has been a lot of recent infill just in the past few years, as urban planning theory, zoning codes, and city government have caught up with the idea of residential urban infill. We're in the middle of a small infill boom--maybe you don't get out enough to see it!

I think you're under the impression that light rail was intended to bring massive population density to the central city and stop people from wanting to live in the suburbs--it wasn't. It is intended primarily as a commuter system, as that's what light rail is intended to do--move commuters in and out of a downtown core. That's not all it is good for, a point seemingly lost on you, and light rail (or any other transit system) doesn't stimulate infill in and of itself (which requires other changes like zoning policy, limitations on outward suburban growth, and enough economic pressure to drive demand for infill/TOD housing.) Streetcars (which don't work quite like light rail) are actually better at being "density-oriented transit" because they move within a neighborhood or between adjacent neighborhoods rather than throughout a region. But light rail does what it is designed to do--and by that metric, it's one of the most successful systems of its type in the country.

I suppose I'm not really sure what your expectations are for the central city, Ozone. Do you expect to everyone in the Sacramento region to live downtown?
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  #898  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:45 PM
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I think you're under the impression that light rail was intended to bring massive population density to the central city and stop people from wanting to live in the suburbs--it wasn't. It is intended primarily as a commuter system, as that's what light rail is intended to do--move commuters in and out of a downtown core.
Actually, if you'd glanced at my earlier replies would see that I fully understand why light-fail was built. Pretty much what you just said. I just suggested that w/o it some of those people probably wouldn't have stayed in the suburbs. You can't have it both ways. Admit it's just another form of suburban transport while touting it's supposed benefits to urban growth and health (w/o proof).

Quote:
"Streetcars (which don't work quite like light rail) are actually better at being "density-oriented transit" because they move within a neighborhood or between adjacent neighborhoods rather than throughout a region."
Am I against all light-rail systems? Not at all! But I think Sacramento's light-rail is a fiasco and I do not support throwing good money after bad. Until they increase the number of riders on the existing lines and we build a proper 'metro' system for the central city and inner suburbs I'm not supporting any expansion of LRT. BTW I'm not suggesting a specific form of transport so don't assume the word 'metro' means subway. A streetcar and/or special buses with dedicated lanes would be great. I don't see why it is so hard for people around here to grasp this concept.

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But light rail does what it is designed to do--and by that metric, it's one of the most successful systems of its type in the country.
For sure, in some communities it has made a difference but in others, clearly it has not. By what measures should we judge it's success? What percentage of our region's population rides light-rail? How many do so to get to work or to shop downtown? Let's look at the costs- to build and operate it and compare it to the number of riders and see just how successful it really is. What if say 1/4 of the riders are people just using it as an alternative to the bus -and not to get to work or spend any appreciable money downtown?

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I suppose I'm not really sure what your expectations are for the central city, Ozone. Do you expect to everyone in the Sacramento region to live downtown
Of course, I don't. You have even posted graphics that have shown just how much the population in the Central City has declined over the years. WBurg do you think the central city is even close reaching a saturation point in population growth? Do you think we shouldn't encourage more people to live in the central city? If you don't have higher expectations for the central city I'm a little concerned.
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  #899  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:35 PM
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Actually, if you'd glanced at my earlier replies would see that I fully understand why light-fail was built. Pretty much what you just said. I just suggested that w/o it some of those people probably wouldn't have stayed in the suburbs. You can't have it both ways. Admit it's just another form of suburban transport while touting it's supposed benefits to urban growth and health (w/o proof).
If you want some proof, please show me yours. You don't seem willing to put forth any facts, any numbers or any studies, just your opinions about how you think things should have turned out.

Light rail is a form of suburban transit, but that's not all it is useful for, and it is a fundamentally different sort of suburban transit than the automobile. Suburban sprawl isn't the fault of light rail, it's the fault of suburban developers who saw more profit in turning farmland into suburbs, using federal highways and other government-subsidized methods to promote greenfield growth. Suburban developers have no interest in public transit and site their new growth areas far from light rail right-of-way because there is no region effort to prevent them from doing so.

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Am I against all light-rail systems? Not at all! But I think Sacramento's light-rail is a fiasco and I do not support throwing good money after bad. Until they increase the number of riders on the existing lines and we build a proper 'metro' system for the central city and inner suburbs I'm not supporting any expansion of LRT. BTW I'm not suggesting a specific form of transport so don't assume the word 'metro' means subway. A streetcar and/or special buses with dedicated lanes would be great. I don't see why it is so hard for people around here to grasp this concept.
Increasing ridership on a regional level requires reaching the areas where people already are--and in Sacramento, that means a bigger horizontal reach. A central city specific system like a streetcar line would not conflict with light rail--the two work together, as they do in Portland. Portland's light rail also runs out to their suburbs, but has three times the ridership because of Portland's efforts to limit suburban growth to an existing growth boundary, and land use policies designed to work with transit rather than to ignore it. What you call a failure of RT and Light Rail, I'd call a failure of Sacramento County's planning efforts to constrain suburban development--their policy since the 1950s has been "the more sprawl, the better" which works against the potential efficiencies of rail. Put blame where it's due!

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For sure, in some communities it has made a difference but in others, clearly it has not. By what measures should we judge it's success? What percentage of our region's population rides light-rail? How many do so to get to work or to shop downtown? Let's look at the costs- to build and operate it and compare it to the number of riders and see just how successful it really is. What if say 1/4 of the riders are people just using it as an alternative to the bus -and not to get to work or spend any appreciable money downtown?
I'd judge the success of light rail by daily boardings and farebox recovery. Currently Light Rail gets about 50,000 boardings a day, which places it at #11 nationwide for Light Rail systems--not spectacular, but not bad, and we blow away some other similar metros like San Jose for transit use. Most of the busiest LRV lines are eastern/midwestern cities with more density. Our farebox recovery is about 25% (25 cents of each dollar in the budget comes from fares), again pretty good for a western city: MUNI in San Francisco has a 22% farebox recovery rate.

Another 50,000 a day use the bus. People don't use Light Rail as an alternative to the bus, because generally there aren't bus lines that run parallel to Light Rail lines--routes are designed to complement and feed into Light Rail lines. The fact that RT stopped issuing transfers hampers this mode switch, and that's a policy I'd advocate changing that would improve ridership.

Total transit ridership in the Sacramento region is low, but again, that's because there has been little regional effort to limit outward growth, and employment centers have left the central city. It's still a highly consolidated job center, with about 11% of regional jobs, and a significant percentage of downtown workers do ride Light Rail to get to their jobs downtown. Sure, people whose jobs aren't located near Light Rail lines are unlikely to take Light Rail to work, but that's not Light Rail's fault--it's the fault of the lack of regional planning that allows horizontal development away from transit lines.

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Of course, I don't. You have even posted graphics that have shown just how much the population in the Central City has declined over the years. WBurg do you think the central city is even close reaching a saturation point in population growth? Do you think we shouldn't encourage more people to live in the central city? If you don't have higher expectations for the central city I'm a little concerned.
You already know what you just said is a bunch of malarkey, but I'll clarify since you obviously want it repeated. The central city could easily double its population within its own footprint by promoting infill and adaptive reuse, and through expansion of the CBD into nearby brownfield sites, triple. But that won't happen until greenfield suburban growth is halted or dramatically reduced--which means an end to suburban freeway expansion. Cordova Hills is a prime example--but the only reason Cordova Hills is in play is because of the Elk Grove Connector, a highway expansion.

Light rail isn't the enemy of streetcar and other rail-borne transit--they are natural partners, as they were when Sacramento had eleven locally operated streetcar lines and three electric interurban railroads with their own local streetcar lines. Highways are. They come from the same pool of transportation funds, but it is money spent on highway expansion, not money spent on light rail, that steals money from urban transit projects. The resulting suburban tract homes that result from new highways are the result of greenfield land policy.
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Old Posted May 10, 2013, 10:03 PM
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ozone ozone is offline
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I have a question for W. Burg. Is it possible to run the light-rail line along the UP tracks that run through Midtown?
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