HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Mountain West

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #7761  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 7:31 PM
i-215's Avatar
i-215 i-215 is offline
Traffic Engineer (EIT)
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Inland Empire (CA)
Posts: 3,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
Speaking of buses, I saw a MAX bus running the 205 route today on 5th East. I didn't have time to open my camera app, so you'll just have to trust my eagle eyes. Something is clearly going wrong with that service. I'm pretty sure it isn't permanent, but I wonder how long it will last.

With more funding, more MAX-type services would be awesome.
Wait... so one of the buses intended for 35M was running on a random regular route?
__________________
Life is nicer at 70 miles per hour
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7762  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 10:28 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by i-215 View Post
Wait... so one of the buses intended for 35M was running on a random regular route?
Yep.

It's possible that UTA has extra MAX buses. The one time I rode a FrontRunner bus bridge, when a train had broken down in the Narrows, it was a MAX bus that came to pick us up.

Also, since all the MAX stations, even the center ones, are on the right side of the bus, it shouldn't matter if it is a MAX-branded bus or not. Meaning, a bus shortage should not be the reason they are not using the bus lanes.

Yeah, I agree its all very weird.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7763  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2018, 11:54 PM
jubguy3's Avatar
jubguy3 jubguy3 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: SL,UT
Posts: 955
UTA runs MAX buses elsewhere pretty frequently. I see them out and about once a month or so.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7764  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 4:36 PM
Always Sunny in SLC Always Sunny in SLC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 233
I don't think Issac posted this, so I will. I could not agree more with his statements. Now is the time to get serious about complete streets. The downside we are always told of SLC is their wide streets that take away from an urban environment that prevails in places like downtown Portland, but those very same wide streets with their ridiculously wide parking strips offer awesome opportunities to add in biking facilities and lanes that would be best in the nation. Once the network is extensive and as SLC continues to densify, those lanes will be one of the crown jewels of the city.

https://www.buildingsaltlake.com/com...-conversation/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7765  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:06 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by jubguy3 View Post
UTA runs MAX buses elsewhere pretty frequently. I see them out and about once a month or so.
Yes, let's play a new game of 'Spot the MAX'! The person who finds the bus farthest from the official MAX route wins internet fame.

I rode one once to the Lehi FrontRunner station, but that was a bus bridge so I won't count that. My real farthest sighting will have to be the 205 route at 5th east and 45th south.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7766  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:08 PM
RC14's Avatar
RC14 RC14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 496
^
I've seen them on South Temple in the past.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7767  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:08 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Always Sunny in SLC View Post
I don't think Issac posted this, so I will. I could not agree more with his statements. Now is the time to get serious about complete streets. The downside we are always told of SLC is their wide streets that take away from an urban environment that prevails in places like downtown Portland, but those very same wide streets with their ridiculously wide parking strips offer awesome opportunities to add in biking facilities and lanes that would be best in the nation. Once the network is extensive and as SLC continues to densify, those lanes will be one of the crown jewels of the city.

https://www.buildingsaltlake.com/com...-conversation/
I totally agree with this. If there is any place in the world that could bring 'complete streets' to their full potential, it is Salt Lake City. And more bike infrastructure is always awesome.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7768  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:09 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
^
I've seen them on South Temple in the past.
Alright, I guess you're in the lead now.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7769  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:20 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Sometimes being a railfan in Utah is hard. You get to see all sorts of cool trains headed to other places that we don't get to ride here. Case in point, today I saw three of these:


They are on their way from Sacramento to Philadelphia. This isn't the picture I took, but rather one that shows one in action pulling Comet Cars. The ones I saw were being pulled by Union Pacific diesels through Murray, parallel to the FrontRunner line.

It made me realize how sad I will be to watch the Stadler EMU's get hauled away to California when they're done building them here.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7770  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 5:26 PM
RC14's Avatar
RC14 RC14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 496
A few months ago I saw a BART metro rail car on a flat bed truck, driving west through parley's canyon.

Last edited by RC14; Apr 21, 2018 at 3:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7771  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 6:46 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
That is a really cool picture! Thanks for sharing!



Being sad for what I cannot have makes me want to do math. Let's assume with new transit funding, UTA is able to get FrontRunner double-tracked. That's $600 million-ish, and would be part of UDOT's construction budget, which this year alone was $1.3 Billion.

Then there is the electrification, which would be much more expensive. How to pay for that? I've argued before that a loan from the Federal Railroad Rehabilitation program is the best bet. That program guarantees up to $35 billion worth of projects, and hasn't been well-utilized. It's biggest use so far has been the Amtrak locomotive order, which was $563 million. Amtrak will pay that money back using the money saved by the more efficient locomotives.

Electrifying would cost about $1.1 billion - $850 to electrify and $250 for new trains (calculated in previous posts). Could UTA pay that amount off using the savings by going electric?

This guy, who already did the math, shows that a diesel commuter train like FrontRunner can cost $10.125 per mile to run, whereas an electric train would cost $3.60 per mile to run.

Those are just the fuel costs. Everything else about running a train would remain the same.

Let's imagine UTA decides to double train frequency to every 15 minutes - meaning we should double the dollar amount to $7.20 per mile. That is still 71% of the cost of a diesel train, meaning that UTA could run twice as many electric trains as diesel trains and still pay 29% less than it does to operate now. That 29% would go towards paying off the loan to electrify the line and buy new trains.

Page of THIS PDF document (a state audit from 2010.) shows that the operating cost of FrontRunner North is about $20 million. Double that to get the full length from Ogden to Provo and we get about $40 million to operate FrontRunner for a year.

So, if UTA wants to pay off $1.1 billion dollars using 29% savings from $40 million.... I'm already getting a bad feeling about this... it would take them...
95,192 years.

Rats. So I guess that won't work.

But how about using that savings to pay off the electric trains? $11.5 million per year would pay off $250 million in 22 years.

So the new plan: The state needs to pay the $600 million to double-track and the $850 million to electrify. UTA could then buy electric trains without any additional money, and could run those trains at double the frequency they currently operate now with no additional operating costs.

It could happen.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7772  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2018, 4:25 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
Interesting article on Lehi preparing a TOD zone around 5 of 6 future TRAX station sites in their city, and American Fork creating a TOD around their FrontRunner station:

https://www.heraldextra.com/business...917646d8f.html

Here is the map of Lehi, showing the TRAX stations and the TOD areas:


I've seen various projected maps of station locations from MAG, and I think this is the firmest confirmation I have yet seen of where the stations will actually go. I think they are all going in good places.
Between the Adobe station, the station in Lehi by the old Utah Southern Railroad Depot (second from last on this map) and the main American Fork station (not shown), I think we are going to get some awesome urban LRT stations and a very useful TRAX extension. I hope it gets to American Fork soon!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7773  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2018, 4:53 PM
Always Sunny in SLC Always Sunny in SLC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 233
Lehi has done such a craptastic job of developing their city, that I wish that LRT money could go toward other projects. Expanding BRT in Utah or SL County or even to the mythical double tracking and electrification of Frontrunner. I think the best those LRT stations will ever be are commuter parking lots. I suppose that is better than driving.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7774  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2018, 5:01 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
The idea is to get transit infrastructure in place as early as possible, so that the local environments can grow around it. It may look like Lehi is a lost cause since it is already so developed, but I am very hopeful that the game is not over yet. If Autonomous cars really do render parking lots irrelevant - and there is a very high probability they will - then most of the land surrounding these cookie-cutter office buildings becomes vacant again, ready to be built on. More roads could be built there, true, but also more pedestrian features. So while Lehi Round 1 went to the cars and sprawl, Round 2 could turn out very differently - so long as there is good transit in place bringing in large amounts of pedestrians so that pedestrian-oriented infrastructure will be justified.

As far as priorities go, I think extending TRAX down to American Fork needs to be as much a priority as FrontRunner improvements, the BRT network, and downtown TRAX improvements. UDOT is spending over a billion dollars per year on roadway improvement and expansion. Working on one transit project at a time is not going to be enough to keep up. We need more of a marvel-universe sort of thing, where multiple projects get worked on in phases. And I would argue that TRAX to American Fork is a critical phase 1 project.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7775  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2018, 2:28 PM
Makid Makid is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,440
It does at least look like plans are in the work for FrontRunner:

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46308354&ni...ans-for-future

Quote:
Cardon said it may be more important for FrontRunner's future to improve the existing system by adding another set of tracks and electrifying the trains now pulled by diesel locomotives, a switch that will improve air quality.

A study set to be released in August will detail those improvements, including what's expected to be a higher price tag and a longer construction schedule than for the original project because service will continue through the project, he said.
And as for Trax:

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/...expansion.html

Quote:
While the tech corridor expansion will help accommodate the massive volume of traffic passing through the area each day, work that's been underway for the past year and a half by the Point of the Mountain Development Commission has concluded that a hefty investment in public transit development will also be necessary to maintain quality of life issues in the area, help address the valley's horrendous air quality and prevent commute times from expanding to the point of dissuading new business development.
Quote:
In spite of the dearth of current, active public transit projects, Herbert said the future will include additional state funding for public transportation infrastructure expansions.

"I think what we need to do is invest strategically in all our transportation systems, that would include mass transit," Herbert said. "We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars and we’ll spend additional hundreds of millions of dollars continuing on mass transit. We’re not going to stop, it will be a matter of both."

Herbert also added that changes enacted by the Legislature in this year's session to how UTA is managed included tweaks that likely will create new funding opportunities for transit projects.

"(Now) we can take our typical transportation fund and expand it beyond just roads, highways and byways into, in fact, mass transit," Herbert said. "That’s the first time we’ve been able to take money from one bucket and put it into another bucket.

"With this new governance structure, I think you're going to see very strategic investments and continuing to make sure we have optimal benefit for transportation."

UTA board member Alex Cragun said public transportation expansion will be critical in accommodating the expected growth along the Wasatch Front while also helping to address air quality issues and preserving a place that people will be drawn to.

"Investing in roads is important but, in terms of our long-term growth, we can’t build more roads out of this problem," Cragun said. "The end goal to reduce our pollution is remove cars from the roads. And that will require further investment in public transportation."

Cragun, who is also the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party and former director of transit advocacy group, Utah Transit Riders Union, said the increasing population density in the area lays good groundwork for efficient transit expansion, like new TRAX lines.

"As long as there is a demand for service in those areas, we should be talking about light rail," Cragun said. "We need to be making sure that we’re not only planning and building rail in a smart manner, but aligning that around housing and economic opportunities that sustain people."
It looks like it will be possible that in the next few years, upgrading FrontRunner and Trax to at least American Fork will be starting.

I was unaware of the study for upgrading FrontRunner. I am glad that it is being studied and can't wait to read it when it is released in August.

With the changes that allow State funding for Transit, I do think that next session we will see funds provided for the extension of the Blue Line. Depending on the possible surplus amount, I can see $100 Million given to the project as well as an earmark for 5% of future new revenue until the project is complete.

Of course, with the above, project completion can be a loose term in that if they just say for Trax or Transit growth, the funds could be directed for other items after the Blue Line is extended.

Last edited by Makid; Apr 26, 2018 at 3:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7776  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2018, 3:22 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
That is perfect news for FrontRunner's 10th birthday. I have a really good feeling that this is coming faster than most people expect.

Quote:
Thursday, UTA is celebrating the decade since the train's first phase opened on April, 26, 2008, by handing out free smartphone grips and other items at FrontRunner stations from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., while supplies last.
UTA celebrates FrontRunner's 10th anniversary as it plans for future

Happy Birthday!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7777  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2018, 3:12 AM
Makid Makid is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,440
Next session hopefully a similar article can be written about Utah:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-p...426-story.html

Billions from gas tax and vehicle fees will go to transit projects, California officials announce

$2.4 Billion in transit projects from Gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.

I think Utah could do with $500 Million (could include another $250 Million from a budget surplus).

The Trax Blue Line extension and FrontRunner upgrades are the top 2 items for the State to have funded. I would not be surprised to see funding for these 2 big projects happen in the next session.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7778  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2018, 4:42 PM
bob rulz bob rulz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Salt Lake, UT
Posts: 622
And hopefully better late night service.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7779  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2018, 6:01 PM
Always Sunny in SLC Always Sunny in SLC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
The idea is to get transit infrastructure in place as early as possible, so that the local environments can grow around it. It may look like Lehi is a lost cause since it is already so developed, but I am very hopeful that the game is not over yet. If Autonomous cars really do render parking lots irrelevant - and there is a very high probability they will - then most of the land surrounding these cookie-cutter office buildings becomes vacant again, ready to be built on. More roads could be built there, true, but also more pedestrian features. So while Lehi Round 1 went to the cars and sprawl, Round 2 could turn out very differently - so long as there is good transit in place bringing in large amounts of pedestrians so that pedestrian-oriented infrastructure will be justified.

As far as priorities go, I think extending TRAX down to American Fork needs to be as much a priority as FrontRunner improvements, the BRT network, and downtown TRAX improvements. UDOT is spending over a billion dollars per year on roadway improvement and expansion. Working on one transit project at a time is not going to be enough to keep up. We need more of a marvel-universe sort of thing, where multiple projects get worked on in phases. And I would argue that TRAX to American Fork is a critical phase 1 project.
I appreciate your optimism. The walkability or lack of it I think will be very hard to change because of culture, topography and money. I would like to see more dollars spent in areas that already have better prospects because of the layout of the built and political environment. The counter to my argument is adding transit to areas does tend to change the way people view transit. Reading the article about the money being spent on the new I-15 project and listening to many of the comments coming out from the past legislative session, I have been struck by the change in conversation from 20 years ago. I remember watching a Rod Decker interview about the prospect of raising taxes (I believe) to pay for the initial line before the Olympics and the sentiment then was SO different. Now the anti mass transit voices are hardly speaking or have changed their minds. I almost convinced myself, but I will stick with my original opinion.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7780  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2018, 9:12 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,078
I don't begrudge opinions so long as they are thoughtful, well explained, and come with a .

I've been thinking of something for a while now and today is as good a day as any to post it.

What if there was a giant parking garage near Salt Lake Central Station, which was not connected to the Salt Lake City street grid (except for emergency and maintenance access) - but was instead connected to the Interstate system?

The idea is that people driving and carpooling into downtown would get off on dedicated ramps and enter the parking garage without ever dealing with - and adding congestion to - the local street network. They would then have immediate access to TRAX and the bus routes at Salt Lake Central Station, just as if they had shown up on FrontRunner.

This would create an influx of new TRAX and transit riders downtown. It would mean fewer cars on the streets in downtown SLC. It would be like giving all of downtown one main parking lot and making the rest a pedestrian zone, as if the entire downtown were one big mall.

Does anyone know of a parking lot accessible only by a freeway/highway/limited-access-road? I can think of one location in Oregon, but it isn't very urban:

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5764.../data=!3m1!1e3

Perhaps you have some insight, I-215, if such a thing is possible under current freeway design standards?

I've added this idea into my Downtown Google Maps, link in my signature line. It looks like this:

(To see it in Google Maps, you will need to click 'on' the 'additional buildings' layer)

Obviously the big dark square is the parking garage. I imagine something many levels tall, able to hold many hundreds of cars. This would allow for ramps to connect in above the street level. There would be six ramps 4 for I-15 and 2 for I-80. Once the car is parked the drivers and passengers would connect to Salt Lake Central Station by elevated walkways, shown in my picture as wide pink shapes. These walkways would connect directly to the TRAX and BRT platforms (as well as the FrontRunner and Amtrak platforms, if those were wanted).

Clearly there would be a toll to use this garage. Parking should cost money, the transit should be free!

Parking lot size requirements for downtown could be eliminated. Parking lot maximum sizes could be enforced. Most of the city's parking needs could be switched to the public garage at Salt Lake Central Station. More pedestrians would pass through the station, making businesses in the area much more valuable. A grand 'head house' could welcome not just train passengers, but everybody entering downtown by train, bus, and car. (And airplane, if the east-west commuter rail line is built!)

The purpose here is that TRAX and FrontRunner can only be effective at bringing a finite number of people downtown. Some locations will always be hard for transit to reach. We don't want to perpetually have massive traffic jams downtown - we want to have wide sidewalks and bike lanes and places for a city to be for people. If we can get people out of their cars and into transit, even if the switch happens just on the edge of the commercial business district, then everybody wins.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Mountain West
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 1:55 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.