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  #7881  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2018, 6:29 AM
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RC14 RC14 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hatman View Post


The BRT line starts in the bus bays at Salt Lake Central Station. From there the buses enter 200 South on their own lanes (not via a slow bumpy driveway), since the road is elevated at that point to get over the FrontRunner/UP tracks. While TRAX is in the median, the bus lanes will take the outside lanes as their exclusive lanes, with protected bike lanes separating bus lanes from the single car lane in each direction.

Side stations at 500 West would be awesome.

At 400 West, the bus lanes will switch from the outside lanes to the median. Here bus signals will detect when a bus is present at a stop light and will let the bus have its own brief phase, allowing it to move ahead of cars. It will then cross the three lanes of traffic without needing to worry about cars, moving from the outside to the inside of the road (or visa versa).


From this point on, the buses would resemble TRAX or a Streetcar in every way except for being guided by tracks. Electric buses could be used to be smooth and quiet. Center platforms would make boarding fast and easy. A high frequency would be possible, especially if a network of fast bus lines is built down 700 East. And, when the bus lanes ended, the buses could keep going and run regular bus routes. You don't need dedicated bus lanes in order to make buses work, but you do need tracks to make a streetcar work.

But these are just my thoughts, and I enjoy reading everyone's opinions here. We have the opportunity to do something cool here, what with a mostly clean slate and lots of new money to work with.
I think having separate, dedicated lanes for TRAX and BRT would be overkill. Would it be possible to upgrade the TRAX ROW on 200 south to allow BRT and let buses stop at Old Greek Town station? Similar to what Makid suggested?
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  #7882  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2018, 6:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Liberty Wellsian View Post
I wonder if brt would be better for S Temple as well. Multiple bus lines breaking off the trunk line and heading into the Avenues.
You would get higher frequency on S Temple and a greater transit coverage area. It could be done with the existing bus lines by upgrading the buses and adding dedicated row with platforms to S Temple. All of the benefits of a streetcar (and then some) minus the rail.



I do like 900 S for a streetcar(one capable of running on the same rail as Trax on 200 w). I think there is a ton of development potential along 900 s and I don't think that 900 So. serves as a good line to cluster service. Further 5th, 6th, and 8th (not to mention half of 4th)are a substantial barrier between that area and the University Trax line. A Trax spur between central ninth and ninth and ninth is definitely on my wish list.
These are good thoughts. I didn't think about having buses fan out into the avenues.
After reading your comments, I do agree that South Temple would be better suited for BRT and 900 South for a street car. The Avenues seems like a community that would utilize transit and multiple BRT lines would give them more access to transit than a single streetcar line.
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  #7883  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2018, 2:24 PM
Makid Makid is online now
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Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
I think having separate, dedicated lanes for TRAX and BRT would be overkill. Would it be possible to upgrade the TRAX ROW on 200 south to allow BRT and let buses stop at Old Greek Town station? Similar to what Makid suggested?
I don't think it would be possible without shutting down this section of Trax for a while due to it being built with gravel base as opposed to concrete base. This would require pulling out the track and base and then putting it back down into a concrete frame. This could be 3 to 4 months I think. I would hope though that if they did upgrade the track work, they would also do the section between 2nd south and South Temple. The whole section to the Central Station was done on the cheap and doesn't fit in with the rest of the SLC track work since it is concrete embedded.

I am also not sure if the stations would work or not as they are/were designed as Trax only stations. Station reworking could be done easier overnight though.

Outside of the track work, the only remaining issue is just running the trains opposite of traffic.

Slightly different subject but related in a way, there was a study from BYU that showed that removing mid-block left turns removed accident rates by more than 80% (I can't remember the exact percentage this morning). We also know that making pedestrians cross all lanes of traffic to reach the other side of the road for a transit connection can be both dangerous and inefficient.

I am wondering combining these 2 and reworking how the world thinks about bus lanes could work. Maybe making Salt Lake City/Salt Lake County a test bed for this concept.

Initially, we would just need a preferably straight route that has a center lane currently (State Street, Redwood Road, 5400S, 7th East, etc.), buses with doors on both sides, and then adding a center concrete median down the current center lane on the chosen road. Full width except for where the left turn lane is.

Bus stops and shelters will be placed in the median at selected points with protected crosswalks to help pedestrians get to these locations. Prepay/ticketed to make boarding faster (or free depending on when this is implemented). The bus would just travel down the inner most (left lane) never having to leave the travel lane to pick up passengers. Give the bus signal prioritization may help if it also included a switch for both left turn and straight so that the bus could push for both to help clear their path.

This is sort of a BRT/Fast Bus hybrid that would be cheaper than BRT, move potentially the same number of people while also getting better transit spread around faster. It also adds more pedestrian crossings which helps improve the pedestrian experience which can definitely help the suburbs improve their walk score and help increase density. To keep costs down, the stops/stations could even be built as islands at first, every 1/4 mile to every mile depending on location. Over time, the spaces in between the islands can be filled in to limit the left turns outside of intersections. The islands would only be able to be accessed by protected crosswalks.

Overall, the initial costs would be what 300K per bus, and using 5400S as an example, it would be roughly $4 Million for the buses (15 minute service frequencies plus backup) and about $5 Million for the islands and protected crosswalks. Even with adding a couple of fancy shelters it could be done with a $10 Million budget.

Would this work?

Last edited by Makid; Jul 7, 2018 at 6:00 PM.
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  #7884  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 5:32 PM
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Hatman Hatman is offline
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Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
I think having separate, dedicated lanes for TRAX and BRT would be overkill.
Overkill now, yes, but the idea is to increase service so much that duplicate lanes become a necessity!
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  #7885  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 5:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Makid View Post
Slightly different subject but related in a way, there was a study from BYU that showed that removing mid-block left turns removed accident rates by more than 80% (I can't remember the exact percentage this morning). We also know that making pedestrians cross all lanes of traffic to reach the other side of the road for a transit connection can be both dangerous and inefficient.

I am wondering combining these 2 and reworking how the world thinks about bus lanes could work. Maybe making Salt Lake City/Salt Lake County a test bed for this concept.

Initially, we would just need a preferably straight route that has a center lane currently (State Street, Redwood Road, 5400S, 7th East, etc.), buses with doors on both sides, and then adding a center concrete median down the current center lane on the chosen road. Full width except for where the left turn lane is.

Bus stops and shelters will be placed in the median at selected points with protected crosswalks to help pedestrians get to these locations. Prepay/ticketed to make boarding faster (or free depending on when this is implemented). The bus would just travel down the inner most (left lane) never having to leave the travel lane to pick up passengers. Give the bus signal prioritization may help if it also included a switch for both left turn and straight so that the bus could push for both to help clear their path.

This is sort of a BRT/Fast Bus hybrid that would be cheaper than BRT, move potentially the same number of people while also getting better transit spread around faster. It also adds more pedestrian crossings which helps improve the pedestrian experience which can definitely help the suburbs improve their walk score and help increase density. To keep costs down, the stops/stations could even be built as islands at first, every 1/4 mile to every mile depending on location. Over time, the spaces in between the islands can be filled in to limit the left turns outside of intersections. The islands would only be able to be accessed by protected crosswalks.

Overall, the initial costs would be what 300K per bus, and using 5400S as an example, it would be roughly $4 Million for the buses (15 minute service frequencies plus backup) and about $5 Million for the islands and protected crosswalks. Even with adding a couple of fancy shelters it could be done with a $10 Million budget.

Would this work?
That would totally work. Sign me up.

Really, those two-way left-turn lanes in the medians are a bad idea that has stuck around long past their usefulness. Driveways should be right-turn in/right-turn out; anything else is just asking for a road to be dangerous and congested. In this age of Google Maps navigation, there should be no excuse for not being able to get to your destination just because you can't get there with a left turn.
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  #7886  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:20 PM
Makid Makid is online now
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I just like the idea of gradual improvements as well. If we can get the island idea going, we can possibly get 10 to 20 hybrid lines going for the cost of 1 BRT line. When ridership would be close to the same but costs as well as overall impact to the community.

What is also nice is that no travel lanes are lost. For additional capacity, just run more buses. Businesses would be able to have more on street parking as they wouldn't lose space for bus stops either.

Lastly, this would also help to increase density between intersections as that is where the transit connections would be.

While this wouldn't work for all routes, this would work for high frequency straight lines only. Those lines that have many turns would be better served with full BRT.

Feel free to shoot this plan around to other people, UTA, State Legislature, SL County, SL City, WFRC, etc., and anywhere else that it can possibly get traction. I just think we need to start thinking outside the old transit boxes and start thinking about new ideas and ways to get more riders without having to break the bank with each new idea.
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  #7887  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:50 PM
Always Sunny in SLC Always Sunny in SLC is offline
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These are all great thoughts. Here are some of my own:

1) There is literally zero reason to extend a streetcar along 200 South all the way to the University. If you're trying to get to the university from Central Station, you would not want a system that is programmed to make many stops along the way for the sake of 'encouraging development.' No, you'd want an express bus that goes straight there with no or minimal stops, like the 2X does currently. The University is a big enough trip generator to warrant this type of service, so 'encouraging development' with a streetcar is not needed.

2) Without a firm eastern terminus, the streetcar's usefulness diminishes for each block it extends eastward. The area between Central Station and Main Street are pretty good for a streetcar, but that's less than a mile in distance and that is a service already offered by TRAX two blocks to the north.
Hatman, I love how detailed and well thought out your posts are! Don't ever stop posting! If a streetcar is built for local traffic, I would expect that non local commuters are not using it because you are right it would make little sense. I imagine residents of say 100 or 200 South walking to the streetcar to travel along 200 to get to a store, etc. Also, if I lived on 200 South it seems that riding the streetcar to the U. is still faster than walking, biking, etc. 4th South and then riding along a congested road on a train that only skits the South and East edges of the campus. If the streetcar when straight to President's Circle or even went below grade and terminated at the library it would be a better choice for locals along the route.

I can get behind the BRT line if the route is really made nice with beautiful stations because otherwise I don't see it spuring development. Maybe I am ignorant, but does anyone have an example of a BRT line nationally (I don't prefer international because I fill like those are different dynamics at play) being built and developers investing afterward? One thing I have been really impressed with is how much quality investment has happened along the Sugarhouse line.
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  #7888  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 11:51 PM
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Yes, good stations are so important! Developers don't want to build next to streetcar lines, they want to build next to streetcar stations - and it isn't hard to then accept that any transit service that has the same type of patronage can achieve a similar result. After all, it isn't that people like riding in trains (I do, but I'm strange ), people like riding in a form of transit that offers fast, simple, clean, convenient service. A bus can do that just as well as a streetcar.

The thing is, people think that streetcars need good stations in order to work (They don't, Toronto's streetcars stop in the street, the way they did historically), so they build their shiny new streetcar lines with nice stations. People see that buses don't need stations to work, so they don't build them. There needs to be a mental disconnect from the mode and the type of service offered. Good transit - not good trains - require well-marked stations with platforms and fast service. Bad transit - not bad buses - have no amenities and feature no more than a sign indicating where the thing stops.

Here is a picture of Cleveland's "Health Line," one of the best BRT in the USA today (until August, when our own UVX opens!):



A study done on the development impacts of this line claimed something totally redicoulus, like $114 dollars in economic development for ever $1 spent on the line's construction. This is in comparison to other studies which say that in general, transit returns $4 for every dollar invested.

So on the one hand, perhaps Cleveland is overestimating a bit, but on the other hand BRT is so much cheaper to construct than other rail modes that it should be no surprise that its economic returns are much higher.

All I'm saying is that this can be done cheaply and easily. We could even start with the 2X route getting buses with doors on both sides and incrementally improve the corridor, as Makid suggested for the N-S corridors. It's been done in other places. We won't be breaking new ground here. All there is to do is to convince the people who are planning the transit expansion that good transit doesn't need to be a streetcar.
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  #7889  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 3:51 PM
Makid Makid is online now
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I am not sure if anyone else saw this but I thought it was interesting:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...8&postcount=35

The link is to a post in the middle of a discussion regarding the dynamics of the vitality of the downtowns of Australian cities versus that of North American cities, primarily those of the US.

The post linked above is a percentage breakdown by metro areas of those who take transit to work from 2016.

Quote:
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro 6.4
Hobart 6.2
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 6.1
Pittsburgh 6.0
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 5.1
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 4.7
Salt Lake City 4.6
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 4.3
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 4.0
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 3.8
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise 3.7
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis 3.6
Cleveland-Elyria 3.1
I am always amazed at our numbers for ridership but knowing that for coverage and ridership to/from jobs we are doing better than many other larger cities is also equally impressive. This number should increase as density is added along the high frequency routes/lines. Especially if the Blue Line is extended to Lehi and FrontRunner is double tracked.
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  #7890  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:12 PM
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Dose anyone know why UTA doesn’t go to the zoo? there is a bus that goes to this is the place. how hard would it be for them to make an extra stop.

Also... the bus that goes to this is the place only goes there at weird times of the day. most of the day the bus stopes at research park witch leaves a good mile and a half walk. what drives me nuts is that when the bus doesn’t go to this is the place it parks at the last stop for 20 minutes with the bus running. it would only take 5 minutes for them to make the extra stop and even add an additional stop to the zoo.

Every time I have taken the bus to this is the place, almost everyone at the stop is for the zoo. The zoo for sure gets more visitors then this is the place... I don’t get it.

perhaps someone on here has some knowledge on this issue.
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  #7891  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 11:34 PM
Liberty Wellsian Liberty Wellsian is offline
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Originally Posted by ajiuO View Post
Dose anyone know why UTA doesn’t go to the zoo? there is a bus that goes to this is the place. how hard would it be for them to make an extra stop.

Also... the bus that goes to this is the place only goes there at weird times of the day. most of the day the bus stopes at research park witch leaves a good mile and a half walk. what drives me nuts is that when the bus doesn’t go to this is the place it parks at the last stop for 20 minutes with the bus running. it would only take 5 minutes for them to make the extra stop and even add an additional stop to the zoo.

Every time I have taken the bus to this is the place, almost everyone at the stop is for the zoo. The zoo for sure gets more visitors then this is the place... I don’t get it.

perhaps someone on here has some knowledge on this issue.
UTA proposed adding a stop at the zoo but it was blocked by the Utah Parking Lot Preservation Society. It was determined that the massive parking lot surrounding the zoo would no longer be viable if a transit stop was located any closer to the zoo. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski weighed in by saying "Bike lanes and bus stops while perhaps beneficial to the environment lead to a great number of pedestrians and cyclists within our city that really irritate me when I am driving. While I understand that many SLC residents would like to see more options than a SUV for transportation I think it is important that they realize that I don't care what they think. God damn I love my Tahoe."
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  #7892  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2018, 3:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Liberty Wellsian View Post
UTA proposed adding a stop at the zoo but it was blocked by the Utah Parking Lot Preservation Society. It was determined that the massive parking lot surrounding the zoo would no longer be viable if a transit stop was located any closer to the zoo. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski weighed in by saying "Bike lanes and bus stops while perhaps beneficial to the environment lead to a great number of pedestrians and cyclists within our city that really irritate me when I am driving. While I understand that many SLC residents would like to see more options than a SUV for transportation I think it is important that they realize that I don't care what they think. God damn I love my Tahoe."
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