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  #11101  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 3:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Scottk View Post
So they will cut down all of the nice trees in the middle of the street.

Sweet

Edit to add: I am all for this and think it makes sense but it is a shame that some of the biggest trees downtown might be lost because of this.
Totally agree. It does look as if some of the trees will be preserved, but the primary tree canopy from Tremont to Arapahoe looks like it would need to be replaced- which really sucks. Though the overall canopy would be larger at the end of this project by 100 trees. Hopefully they will consider this and work to transplant if possible and replace with trees that have a trunk diameter greater then a pencil.
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  #11102  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Denvergotback View Post
But isn't there also the other side of that argument? Lets face it, even though we have light rails and buses going out throughout a great portion of the suburbs, majority of suburbanites refuse to take public transportation.
Great overall comment; nice compare and contrast with Dallas; excellent take on downtown's relationship to freeway transportation.

With respect to 'suburbanites' adopting to light rail it's going to be an ongoing process and more attention needs to be given to first and last mile issues. But there is life in the suburbs and if one doesn't work downtown then for many it will be "why bother" or for infrequent ventures "we'll just drive."

Especially for 'we older folk' the allure of downtown Denver would be different. One advantage with Denver is that the city core is also the focus of most of the cultural arts and sports venues. If your parents live on the west side of Parker then Arapahoe Rd provides good access to the I-25 light rail. Otherwise it's off to Nine Mile Station down Parker Rd.

Once the Central 70 project is completed there will be the express lanes for those who want to zoom along. For I-25 there's little hope for that.

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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Hopefully they will consider this and work to transplant if possible and replace with trees that have a trunk diameter greater then a pencil.
Why don't they just plant palm trees? Works down here.
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  #11103  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
GWhy don't they just plant palm trees? Works down here.
Just till we shut off your water. AZ's basically CO and CA's bitch on this one.
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  #11104  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 7:17 PM
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I'm going to steal a post from the Salt Lake Transit thread to discuss an issue that needs to be taken care of by Denver (since RTD won't do it): covering the Broadway light rail station. This is the number one station in the system that needs to be turned into an enclosed station with upgraded amenities due to the sheer number of transfers that occur here and because it was the land area to make it happen. Something like this would be the wet dream option:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
My ideal, as I have said before, is an ARTIC (Anaheim, California) style station. This station has very few train tracks (2 for Amtrak/Metrolink, with 2 in the future for High Speed Rail), but it has a grand entryway that serves to lift passengers up from street level onto an elevated walkway that connects to the tracks:





I think if we had very simple, yet grand and elegant head-house which conveyed people up to the walkways, then we wouldn't need to move the tracks from where they are. We'd need to build canopies to cover the platforms, sure, but we wouldn't need to incorporate them into a grand train hall. We will never be impressive for having a multiplicity of tracks, but we can provide a great civic space that builds civic pride that is designed to be fundamentally convenient to use.
But really all that's needed is a canopy and some basic ameneities. If we can get a rebuilt Civic Center Station for $31M, how much would a basic glass/fabric canopy, a manned ticket booth, restrooms, and a convenience booth cost?
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  #11105  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
So they will cut down all of the nice trees in the middle of the street.

Sweet

Edit to add: I am all for this and think it makes sense but it is a shame that some of the biggest trees downtown might be lost because of this.
Yah that's sad and since they were planted around 1981-82 and 83 it will take 30+ years or so for the new trees to catch up..
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  #11106  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 7:40 PM
CastleScott CastleScott is online now
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Why don't they just plant palm trees? Works down here.
Well TakeFive they could put in steel palm trees like at the northeast corner of 88th Ave and Wadsworth. I bet when the In-N-Out's are built there will be steel palm trees at each joint. Since I live in Sacramento now I'm amazed how the palm trees around here put up with the low 20s temps that happens here during the winter months..
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  #11107  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 8:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
I'm going to steal a post from the Salt Lake Transit thread to discuss an issue that needs to be taken care of by Denver (since RTD won't do it): covering the Broadway light rail station. This is the number one station in the system that needs to be turned into an enclosed station with upgraded amenities due to the sheer number of transfers that occur here and because it was the land area to make it happen. Something like this would be the wet dream option:



But really all that's needed is a canopy and some basic ameneities. If we can get a rebuilt Civic Center Station for $31M, how much would a basic glass/fabric canopy, a manned ticket booth, restrooms, and a convenience booth cost?
Count me in! You realize ofc how my Urban Signature Line would enhance the Broadway Station as a hub and transfer point I assume.

The basics-plus for half of the $31 million?
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  #11108  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 8:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
covering the Broadway light rail station... how much would a basic glass/fabric canopy, a manned ticket booth, restrooms, and a convenience booth cost?
That Anaheim ARTIC station was $185 million.

But something like this would probably be $40 million (probably less with a fabric canopy):





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Last edited by Cirrus; Jan 25, 2018 at 9:50 PM.
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  #11109  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 9:01 PM
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---------
Logo Designs by Michael Lawson

Seattle has everything in place to become the next great transit city.

Geography
Seattle geography is ideal. Not unlike San Francisco or other coastal towns it's got those big puddles of water. The various limiting geographic factors make it ideally adaptable for transit.

Bell Cows
Seattle has long been blessed with home-grown companies. Just among the Fortune 500 companies there's Costco, Microsoft, Paccar, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser, Expedia and Expeditors International of Washington. If you're not an experienced big rigger then you might not be aware that Paccar sells Peterbilt, Kenworth, DAF & Leyland Trucks. Expeditors is a logistics company.

Every collection of bell cows needs a Lead Dog

Thanks to Amazon, Seattle is now America’s biggest company town
November 30, 2017 By Mike Rosenberg - Seattle Times
Quote:
Amazon so dominates Seattle that it has as much office space as the city’s next 40 biggest employers combined. And the growth continues: Amazon’s Seattle footprint of 8.1 million square feet is expected to soar to more than 12 million square feet within five years.
I've also read that Amazon is looking at having 10 million SF by the end of 2019; let's go with that number. That is the equivalent of 15 buildings the size of 1144 15th Street. And Amazon is all about being downtown.

Seattle/King Co/Sound transit et al has had their stumbles and bumps over the last decade as any metro area will but two things are notable for me. First they spent a good chunk of money building a tunnel to a key part of town. You know it was money well-spent when ridership climbs 50% within months of opening. Secondly, they went back to the drawing board on the RapidRide routes but the eventual execution and costs have resulted in well functioning routes.

But what really made Seattle the sole Platinum winner?
Any metro the size of Seattle that can convince voters to approve $54 billion in new taxes for future transit investments surely deserves Platinum.
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  #11110  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 10:51 PM
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Bus Rapid Transit versus Light Rail

Recently I worked by darndest to convince a Phx transit fan, exit2lef, that BRT was the next great thing. Problem was he wasn't buying what I was selling. I think his problem is that like Cirrus he knows too much.

His view is that BRT is NOT train-like, even a little bit like many transit advocates try to claim. One example is the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy pushes that notion. Admittedly Cirrus has mentioned the differences in ride and appeal.

exit2lef asserts that if a corridor is worth substantial investment then it should be in light rail and not BRT. He believes that by the time you spend the money to do BRT the right way and consider the shorter lifecycle of buses, you might as well spend a little more and ride the rails. He has experience riding Boston's BRT as well as Seattle's RapidRide buses and he was disappointed in both cases. There's no question that the average Joe and Juanita and especially choice riders think that light rail is much better than buses.

That's the BRT view from the desert.
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  #11111  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2018, 11:37 PM
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Your friend is both right and wrong:

1. Light rail *is* substantially better than buses. BRT is absolutely not rail-like and absolutely should not be considered a peer of or permanent substitute for rail. Saying it's rail-like is a counterproductive shortcut that ends up justifiably turning off anyone who likes rail, which is most of the people who support transit in the first place.

2. But fiscal reality being fiscal reality, we cannot build rail everywhere we want to have a good transit line. Sorry.

3. The "good BRT is just as expensive so you may as well do rail" argument only holds water above a level of around 25,000 riders/day. Above that, it's sort of true sometimes, depending on circumstances. Below that, not really.

4. Seattle's RapidRide is not BRT. But it *is* just about the most efficient thing you can do in terms of increased ridership per dollar spent, and it's easy & fast to implement. Every city should absolutely mimic RapidRide on all its major bus lines, starting yesterday. The trick/subtlety to the RapidRide concept is that it's really just doing buses correctly, as opposed to a major investment in new rapid transit. Don't think of it as mutually exclusive with building rail or even with building BRT. Think of RapidRide as the pretty good improvement to existing buses that you can make right away, while you spend the next 20 years planning and funding your big new line (or the next 40, if you're dealing with a corridor that's several spots down your list of priorities).

But you're both asking the wrong question:

The problem with staking out a hard-line position in any "rail vs bus" debate is that a hard-line position presupposes that transit quality is a simple black/white duality consisting of either "good trains" or "bad buses" (or vice versa), and you're stuck with bad buses up until the day your open your train. But the reality is that transit quality is a continuum with a lot of gray in-between the black and the white, and there are many many places where it makes sense to spend the money to be somewhere in the middle of the continuum, rather than all the way at one side or the other.

Everyone instinctively understands that. Because even light rail is just a spot on the continuum, far below the theoretical maglev subways that occupy the extreme high-end of the quality spectrum. And even the most hard-liner rail advocate knows that it's completely impractical to replace *every* bus route with rail. Put in those terms, nobody can argue with the continuum. Unless they're trolls who just want to argue.

So stop making it about BRT vs rail and start making it about finding the spot on the continuum that makes the most sense given the specific technical, political, monetary, and temporal facts for each individual corridor you're dealing with.
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  #11112  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2018, 8:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Just till we shut off your water. AZ's basically CO and CA's bitch on this one.
Kinda but only in extreme drought conditions.

AZ/Phoenix metro does get a significant amount of water from their own mountain runoff and collection of reservoirs. From the excess of water they have been getting over what is needed they have injected into underground aquifers, over three years worth of water insurance. A lot of their water accomplishments ofc go to politics and significantly to the original Dad Babbitt, Bruce who was a governor and later Secr. of Interior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Your friend is both right and wrong:
Well articulated. Here's to continuums.

To be fair what I was really selling was re-imagined green streets combined with BRT. We got off on a BRT v light rail discussion from there.

Of the $16.7 billion in new Phoenix taxes (2015) in Transportation 2050, light rail is to get about $5.8 billion. BTW, this is city-specific and not metro although they will get matching funds from MAG the county-wide metro tax revenue. I was wanting to abscond a portion of that for use on BRT/green streets (more bang for the buck). He never mentioned green streets improvements, not that he was uninterested but clearly unconcerned. He was definitely concerned with preserving every $ designated for light rail.

With respect to bus service he's in favor of enhancing service according to priority routes and as money becomes available to upgrade to new buses, etc. TBH, their bus service is not that robust to worry about all-door boarding etc as a priority just yet. Frequency is being improved and better service overall is planned.

Phoenix is on course to break ground in 2019 on their next light rail segment, a 5-mile trip through the So Phoenix barrios. They are hoping for an FTA grant under the Ladders of Opportunity Transportation Empowerment Pilot (LadderSTEP) program.
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  #11113  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2018, 8:36 PM
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Thanks to Amazon, Seattle is now America’s biggest company town
November 30, 2017 By Mike Rosenberg - Seattle Times

I've also read that Amazon is looking at having 10 million SF by the end of 2019; let's go with that number. That is the equivalent of 15 buildings the size of 1144 15th Street. And Amazon is all about being downtown.
The article is full of it. Amazon isn't the largest office user in Seattle...Microsoft has 14 msf. They were omitting a lot of owner-occupied space (as brokerage reports usually do) and it was only within city limits.
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  #11114  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
The article is full of it. Amazon isn't the largest office user in Seattle...Microsoft has 14 msf. They were omitting a lot of owner-occupied space (as brokerage reports usually do) and it was only within city limits.
How is omitting Microsoft, which is in Redmond, being shady? It's talking about office space in Seattle
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  #11115  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 9:05 PM
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Logo courtesy City/County of Denver

Part One

What if Fastracks had never happened?
  • There would be no $450 million DUS transit center. Maybe they would have cobbled together money for an above ground bus center?
  • There would be no Train to the Planes
  • Would investors even have been interested in developing the DUS neighborhood? Certainly it would have been a poor imitation of what it is today.

Looking Back
The transit center project built by Kiewit started in 2010. The W Line had started construction in 2008. By 2011 Denver was pinging on various city ratings as a Top Five City for attracting millennials. Fastracks was a primary driver for Denver's image at that time.

About the same time and following national investors/developers initial surge in coastal cities they started looking around for other attractive cities to invest. The Two Buzz Word things they were looking for was a vibrant urban area (attracting millennials) and transit. No doubt in my mind that without Fastracts and all those millennials that the surge into building apartments (etc) in Denver would have been much slower and half as intense and dense. The pattern of investing in Denver just accelerated from there.

The Return on Investment of Fastracts has been eye-popping

True story
The first three buildings in the DUS neighborhood that were sold went to European investors for all cash: the two wing office buildings and the Cadence apartments. Had transit expert Jon Orcutt from NYC suggested to the buyers they better first check the APTA ridership numbers because they were less than impressive our European friends would merely have smiled and proceeded with their purchases. Interesting 'we Americans' tend to obsess over quarterly results whether with transit or stocks. Europeans in contrast are famous for taking the (very) long view (like decades). They would have looked to the $450 million new transit center, the train to the planes and the obvious energy in developing downtown Denver, smiled and said "Denver has decades to worry about building up the ridership numbers for all the new lines. We like what we see."

Seattle, Austin and Denver
Seattle had Amazon; Austin was the next big thing in tech; Denver had Fastracks. It's just that simple. Over-simplification? Sure just ask the Mayor of each city and they'll give you a laundry list of features. But those three booming metro areas boiled down to one primary driver in each case. For Denver Fastracks was the catalyst that led Denver to be second only to Seattle for number of cranes.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Jan 28, 2018 at 9:16 PM.
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  #11116  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jbssfelix View Post
How is omitting Microsoft, which is in Redmond, being shady? It's talking about office space in Seattle
I said "full of it" not shady. Many articles reported on this report without differentiating that it was within city limits. Further, as I've pointed out, they didn't catch everything even within Seattle. As a Seattle construction guy I say it's BS.
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  #11117  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 4:50 AM
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Logo courtesy of RTD

Part two

Time Value of Money

Cirrus is right in the sense it does no good to worry or fret over what you didn't do yesterday or a decade ago. Places like Nashville can only decide what is best to do now and move forward. But that doesn't mean that Denver doesn't get credit for doing what it did when the voters approved FasTracks and it was subsequently built.

I can recall observing various additional work that was being done in conjunction with the W Line. That is when EngiNerd proclaimed that actually the W Line was a drainage project masquerading as a light rail line. There were other types of work done as well. There were 3 street bridge reconstructions and IIRC Sheridan was redesigned and regraded for safety when the new bridge was built. There was also three pedestrian bridges, two light rail tunnels, one pedestrian tunnel and 4.26 miles of bike paths. Except for the projects directly related light rail, presumably all this other drainage and bridge work was on some masterplan to be done and some unknown point in time. Thanks to FasTracks it's now done and at post-recession costs of construction.

This is also true of every line to varying degrees. They weren't just laying X miles of track. Each line included a lot of utility specifically drainage work as well as other misc. improvements. All this infrastructure work is now completed (except N Line) and all of it was contracted on the basis of much lower costs than it would cost today if RTD was just starting.

Not only at lower construction costs but Federal grants payed for half the costs in most cases. While not unusual at the time it's hard to say if that kind of matching funds will be available in the future.

Regardless of any specific numbers of riders at the moment Denver metro can be grateful that they created Fastracks when they did. The Time Value of Money means we are talking about some serious money. A few million here, a few million there and soon we're talking about $billions saved.
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  #11118  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 3:39 PM
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A simple question

Diving deeper into Nashville's plan for better accuracy and clearer picture I learned that Nashville and the Davidson Co voters who must approve of the plan are one and the same; they merged in 1963. Knowing that, the plan should have a good chance of passing.

Nashville's transit plan includes 5 light rail lines, 4 BRT/Rapid Ride routes and a section of subway. The subway is estimated to cost a little less than $1 billion and is to be 1.8 miles long. The whole plan is estimated at $5.2 billion in 2017 $'s.

Nashville has a reported population of 684,410; Denver has a reported population of 682,545. They are the same size.

Question: What's to prevent Denver from coming up with their own transit plan with a ticket closer to $2.5 billion?
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  #11119  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 3:57 PM
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MOAR TOD

Evans Station heating up? Developer requests 8-story rezoning
January 29, 2018 by Andrew Kenney/Denverite
Quote:
A local developer has visions of high-density development on a block that’s currently lined with low-rise warehouses. In a new rezoning application, LCP Development requested permission to build up to eight floors at 2065 S. Cherokee Street, in the Overland neighborhood.
What about zoning?
Quote:
City plans mark the area for “transit oriented development,” which is the same kind of higher-density areas that are rising up around stations like 38th and Blake. The developer wants the city to designate the land as residential mixed-use
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  #11120  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 4:45 PM
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Question: What's to prevent Denver from coming up with their own transit plan with a ticket closer to $2.5 billion?
Sales tax competition from other municipalities for one and the population of Nashville accounting for 1/3 of the metro versus Denver accounting for 1/4- less ability to move the needle in the metro area. Not saying that it's not possible for Denver to float a sales tax increase to fund a transit measure, and it's probably something that will happen in the next couple of years as the transit plan firms up, but it seems like threading the needle in Denver to ensure that retail stays competitive is harder than in Nashville.
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