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  #6021  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2018, 8:05 PM
_Matt _Matt is offline
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Very good points made. I think we can all agree that zoning needs to change, and then at least a decade needs to pass before investment in light rail makes sense (at least beyond spine corridors). We want a city that's navigable without requiring a vehicle. So what we really want is density, right?
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  #6022  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2018, 11:03 PM
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I'm too tired to respond much but I will say the two best ways to get people out of their cars come down to rail and density. Each increase in service appeal enough for drivers to ditch their vehicles with rail being near the top. Also, for the record, all public transportation is a net negative with good rail being the cheapest per boarding. I do like the platooning buses idea and think it will be best for some corridors. Rail will still provide better up zoning possibilities with their permanent stations. People's desires to live close to transportation hubs are not going away.
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  #6023  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2018, 2:49 PM
Sigaven Sigaven is online now
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I feel like we are *always* saying light rail is at least a decade away. Even one or two decades ago! Get it started now, it'll take at least a decade to complete.
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  #6024  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2018, 3:02 PM
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We'll have hoverboards before a comprehensive light rail system here in Austin.

As much as I'm a fan of rail and mass-transport, the reasonable solution probably relies more heavily on improving existing arteries of traffic and developing ROWs for buses. Doing both of these things could ironically develop the beginnings of light rail or street cars in Central, South, and East Austin - maybe not so much further commuter populations.


While I'm rarely talking on these forums I might as well throw out another unpopular opinion that I-35 needs to be tolled twice, in and out of the City Limits.
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  #6025  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2018, 3:03 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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Originally Posted by Sigaven View Post
I feel like we are *always* saying light rail is at least a decade away. Even one or two decades ago! Get it started now, it'll take at least a decade to complete.
The problem is you can't pass a bond to build a short "starter" line because people want rail by their house and you can't afford to pay for a city length system.

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I'm too tired to respond much but I will say the two best ways to get people out of their cars come down to rail and density.
White people do love trains.
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  #6026  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2018, 3:15 PM
Dcbrickley Dcbrickley is online now
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Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
People's desires to live close to transportation hubs are not going away.
Correct, the problem is those people don't control the ANC. The ANC is a cabal (the ZNA actively pushes for particular candidates) is hell bent on obstructing density. Till that changes, (it won't for the next 30 years or so), we will fill in where we can and maybe we will reach half of Seattle's density. I doubt it though.

Austin will continue to sprawl where the land is cheap, and the commuters (complain as they do) will continue to scoop up properties. It's their American dream, and that dream won't die anytime soon. As many new properties are going up in the urban core, there are multiple times that going up in the burbs, right now. Those burbs could densify but they won't.

In the end, rail (light rail too) only makes sense when it serves dense populations centers, not sprawling suburbs.
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  #6027  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2018, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
White people do love trains.
I once heard a quip about how bankers prefer to make commercial loans near train stops as opposed to bus stops.

White people historically ride the bus reluctantly, but they LOVE a train that would whisk them out to the their oasis.

My bus experiences in Austin; '87-92 (UT Shuttle) was ok; '91-'92 (capmetro) pretty miserable in the main; the Dillo was always great (bring that back asap). I've ridden the 803 a few times (its nice), but now I prefer to bike/scooter/Uber.
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  #6028  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 1:34 PM
papertowelroll papertowelroll is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
The problem is you can't pass a bond to build a short "starter" line because people want rail by their house and you can't afford to pay for a city length system.



White people do love trains.
While there is definitely some stigma attached, there is also a real difference between trains, which almost always have their own ROW, and buses, which almost always share the road with cars. If your employer provides free parking there is simply no incentive to commute via bus in Austin; it's too much slower than driving.

It's a shame the general public reacts so poorly to tolls and dedicated bus lanes. That's really the best short to mid term solution for Austin IMO. (I would like rail on the 803 path, though)
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  #6029  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 5:02 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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Originally Posted by papertowelroll View Post
While there is definitely some stigma attached, there is also a real difference between trains, which almost always have their own ROW, and buses, which almost always share the road with cars. If your employer provides free parking there is simply no incentive to commute via bus in Austin; it's too much slower than driving.

It's a shame the general public reacts so poorly to tolls and dedicated bus lanes. That's really the best short to mid term solution for Austin IMO. (I would like rail on the 803 path, though)
I will say, as a former New Yorker, trains are substantially different in very measurable ways and make them a better form of transportation.

Obviously the subway not being stuck in traffic is a massive benefit, but the list of the trains and the way they move don't cause the kind of motion sickness that busses can. I would take the crosstown bus to LGA on occasion and it was just awful. Buses are narrower than trains or subway cars.
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  #6030  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 5:28 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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Originally Posted by StoOgE View Post
Buses are narrower than trains or subway cars.
But Austin isn't proposing any heavy rail routes (ignoring the Green Line Commuter service for now). It'll be Light Rail or bus rapid transit.

Light rail is narrower than heavy. Pretty much the same width as buses.

Portland's light rail vehicles are 2650 mm.

https://www.siemens.com/content/dam/...data-sheet.pdf

Bus data is harder to find, but seems to run about 2.59 m.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_(transit_bus)
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  #6031  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 5:36 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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Here is a Cap Metro slide comparing the modes.

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  #6032  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 9:23 AM
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We need another pedestrian bridge across the river on the east side of downtown! I had to give directions to a family that was walking the hike & bike trail. The woman was wanting to know if there was a pedestrian bridge across the river on that side. They were parked under I-35 and at that point, they were walking the trail on the south shore around the American-Statesman. I said, no, you either have to go back to I-35 and take the stairs and walk the sidewalk across the bridge or walk back up to Congress and take the bridge across there.

As to where to be built it, I would say the Rainey Street area, but that part of downtown is such a madhouse and the vibe/usage isn't the same as what people would be using a bridge for, which would be recreation/exercise. I felt funny riding down Rainey Street in my bike shorts while everyone else was out wandering around barhopping. I also think having the bridge cross at Rainey would miss its mark on the south shore, roughly landing where Joe's Crab Shack is. I think a better place for one would be between Trinity Street and the Mexican Cultural Museum. Then the bridge could land somewhere around the Statesman site and tie in with whatever redevelopment happens there. The bridge would also tie in with the Waller Creek flood control tunnel and the trail work they're planning around Waller Creek.
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  #6033  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
We need another pedestrian bridge across the river on the east side of downtown! I had to give directions to a family that was walking the hike & bike trail. The woman was wanting to know if there was a pedestrian bridge across the river on that side. They were parked under I-35 and at that point, they were walking the trail on the south shore around the American-Statesman. I said, no, you either have to go back to I-35 and take the stairs and walk the sidewalk across the bridge or walk back up to Congress and take the bridge across there.

As to where to be built it, I would say the Rainey Street area, but that part of downtown is such a madhouse and the vibe/usage isn't the same as what people would be using a bridge for, which would be recreation/exercise. I felt funny riding down Rainey Street in my bike shorts while everyone else was out wandering around barhopping. I also think having the bridge cross at Rainey would miss its mark on the south shore, roughly landing where Joe's Crab Shack is. I think a better place for one would be between Trinity Street and the Mexican Cultural Museum. Then the bridge could land somewhere around the Statesman site and tie in with whatever redevelopment happens there. The bridge would also tie in with the Waller Creek flood control tunnel and the trail work they're planning around Waller Creek.
I think a bridge at Trinity could be good, especially as it could tie into the eventual-maybe Waller Creek Park that is supposed to be so amazing.
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  #6034  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
We need another pedestrian bridge across the river on the east side of downtown! I had to give directions to a family that was walking the hike & bike trail. The woman was wanting to know if there was a pedestrian bridge across the river on that side. They were parked under I-35 and at that point, they were walking the trail on the south shore around the American-Statesman. I said, no, you either have to go back to I-35 and take the stairs and walk the sidewalk across the bridge or walk back up to Congress and take the bridge across there.

As to where to be built it, I would say the Rainey Street area, but that part of downtown is such a madhouse and the vibe/usage isn't the same as what people would be using a bridge for, which would be recreation/exercise. I felt funny riding down Rainey Street in my bike shorts while everyone else was out wandering around barhopping. I also think having the bridge cross at Rainey would miss its mark on the south shore, roughly landing where Joe's Crab Shack is. I think a better place for one would be between Trinity Street and the Mexican Cultural Museum. Then the bridge could land somewhere around the Statesman site and tie in with whatever redevelopment happens there. The bridge would also tie in with the Waller Creek flood control tunnel and the trail work they're planning around Waller Creek.
Needed bridges:

1. Western Edge: MoPac (built)
2. Lamar (built)
3. Statesman to Waller Creek alignment (unbuilt and semi-planned)
4. 35 (unbuilt and unplanned)
5. Eastern Edge: East of I-35 somewhere (unbuilt but planned)

Remember that there's a potential pedestrian crossing as part of the Waller Creek projects. A pedestrian crossing of some sort in this area has been included as part of multiple past projects, including the rail bridge.
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  #6035  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 2:01 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
We need another pedestrian bridge across the river on the east side of downtown! I had to give directions to a family that was walking the hike & bike trail. The woman was wanting to know if there was a pedestrian bridge across the river on that side. They were parked under I-35 and at that point, they were walking the trail on the south shore around the American-Statesman. I said, no, you either have to go back to I-35 and take the stairs and walk the sidewalk across the bridge or walk back up to Congress and take the bridge across there.

As to where to be built it, I would say the Rainey Street area, but that part of downtown is such a madhouse and the vibe/usage isn't the same as what people would be using a bridge for, which would be recreation/exercise. I felt funny riding down Rainey Street in my bike shorts while everyone else was out wandering around barhopping. I also think having the bridge cross at Rainey would miss its mark on the south shore, roughly landing where Joe's Crab Shack is. I think a better place for one would be between Trinity Street and the Mexican Cultural Museum. Then the bridge could land somewhere around the Statesman site and tie in with whatever redevelopment happens there. The bridge would also tie in with the Waller Creek flood control tunnel and the trail work they're planning around Waller Creek.
The 2014 light rail plan included a new bridge, with pedestrian components, connecting through to (I believe) trinity.

The new Project Connect has kept that on the list of potential long term projects (like page 3 here https://www.capmetro.org/uploadedFil...ook_032818.pdf )
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  #6036  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 5:03 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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I think the biggest priority should be a pedestrian bridge next to Longhorn Dam. That's such a terrible crossing for pedestrians. The last plan I saw would go from the southern peninsula to the Holly power plant redevelopment.
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  #6037  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 5:15 PM
smith_atx smith_atx is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
I think the biggest priority should be a pedestrian bridge next to Longhorn Dam. That's such a terrible crossing for pedestrians. The last plan I saw would go from the southern peninsula to the Holly power plant redevelopment.
Agree. A new bridge there would get so much use, I don't understand why it's not being built now.
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  #6038  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 6:42 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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Agree. A new bridge there would get so much use, I don't understand why it's not being built now.
Money and also I think the Holly neighborhood was worried it would lead to increased gentrification. You can make things nicer but not too nice.

I'm not sure they ever did the engineering on that bridge to make sure it could withstand the currents going in the dam.
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  #6039  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 7:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
The 2014 light rail plan included a new bridge, with pedestrian components, connecting through to (I believe) trinity.

The new Project Connect has kept that on the list of potential long term projects (like page 3 here https://www.capmetro.org/uploadedFil...ook_032818.pdf )
The reason I didn't say put it at Trinity (I have in the past) is that now the canoe/kayak house is there and also the Waller Creek flood control tunnel outlet kind of blocks the place where one would land. A bridge there could have eliminated that wooden pedestrian bridge across Waller Creek by having the new bridge do a Y branch the way the Pfluger bridge does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeover
I think the biggest priority should be a pedestrian bridge next to Longhorn Dam. That's such a terrible crossing for pedestrians. The last plan I saw would go from the southern peninsula to the Holly power plant redevelopment.
I wouldn't mind that. The only thing is the trail on the peninsula would need revamping. It's not very wide and it can be a little washed out sometimes. Also, there are a bunch of mesquite trees along the trail on the peninsula, and I always cringe whenever I ride through there because they have thorns inch long thorns that can give you a flat if you're on a bike. They were all over the place on our property in Bastrop, and almost every time I'd take my bike there I'd end up with a flat the next day. I agree that a pedestrian bridge is needed there. The view is awesome from the dam, but it's a PITA to cross.
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  #6040  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 8:00 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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The reason I didn't say put it at Trinity (I have in the past) is that now the canoe/kayak house is there and also the Waller Creek flood control tunnel outlet kind of blocks the place where one would land. A bridge there could have eliminated that wooden pedestrian bridge across Waller Creek by having the new bridge do a Y branch the way the Pfluger bridge does.
The boat house was there even in 2014. In fact, it was basically brand new, and the proposal was to tear it down/relocate it.

If that's the crossing that makes sense (which seems to be the case based on the layout of downtown and the south shore), they'll put it there. Since it's now on a much longer timeline (with the boathouse getting older all the while), it shouldn't be nearly as big a deal.
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