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  #8241  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2019, 6:48 PM
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Hatman Hatman is online now
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So we on this thread have been looking forward to a BRT revolution, with bus lanes running up and down the whole valley and replacing all of UTA's busiest routes. So far this isn't happening. There are AFAIK only three other BRT projects in various stages of development: 1) the mid-valley line which connects Murray to the TRAX green line and is going to start construction within the next year or so 2) The Ogden BRT between the Ogden FrontRunner station and Weber State University, which is going to start major design soon and will be ready for construction within the next couple of YEARS, and 3) the South Davis BRT, which is still going through environmental studies for the next few YEARS before another few YEARS of design work before another few YEARS of construction....

You can see where I'm going with this. The revolution is not a revolution but a long slow slog. If we insist on opening BRT lines as completed packages with fully dedicated lanes from day 1, it is going to take at least a century to cover all of Salt Lake Valley with all the BRT lines it really needs.

We've talked in the past about a sort of BRT-lite, where BRT buses run in normal traffic in the far left lane and stop at BRT stations in the median. I really like this idea, but I'm beginning to think that even this is asking too much. UTA and UDOT need a really really simple way to bring the benefits of BRT to all bus routes, and they need to be able to do it in a reasonable amount of time.

Here is what I propose:

BAT lane: Bus And Turn lane



This would apply only at intersections, where a right-turn pocket forms. Buses would pull into the Right turn lane and stop at a raised BRT station. Because the platform is on the right side of the road, UTA's entire current bus fleet could be used on these routes. The raised platforms would make the stops short, and the card readers/fare machines will boarding the buses fast.
Once a bus shows up in the right turn lane, the traffic light will immediately turn RED and allow cross-traffic to proceed. This will last long enough for boarding/exiting the bus to take place. Then, before the signal turns green, a Bus Priority Signal will allow the buses to go first. This priority will take 2-5 seconds, and will allow the buses to merge back into the travel lane without having to fight against traffic:

Video Link


Downsides, compared to BRT:
The potential to get caught in traffic, since there are no dedicated lanes
Right turns for private vehicles will take longer since they will not be able to turn right on red anymore
By running regular 40-foot buses, bikes will still need to be placed on a rack in the front

Benefits, compared to existing buses:

No need for the bus to fight its way into traffic after every stop.
Because of the platform, bus stops will be clearly marked and can feature BRT-style amenities (shelter, electronic sign board, etc.)
Priority at signals gives the bus a clear lane ahead to the next stop, which will be almost as good as a dedicated lane


Constructability:
UDOT is responsible for all new UTA infrasture after the last UTA overhaul. UDOT is also responsible for all the signals and sidewalks on their roads, such as State Street and Redwood Road, 700 East and other corridors where we all want BRT/better bus service.

UDOT could implement a program for improving signals one intersection at a time. Intersections could be chosen randomly, so many bus routes could get improved gradually instead of spending resources on just one line (politically a bad idea).

UDOT should have an interest in moving buses through the intersections faster than other vehicles, since buses carry more people than normal vehicles, increasing the people-per-hour throughput of state-owned roads.

One downside is that all bus stops must now be on the near-side of intersections, and bus stops cannot function without a stop light of some kind (even a hawk signal for pedestrian crossings can function as a transit priority light). This will reduce the number of bus stops on some routes. For example, I looked at the Route 200 from Murray Central to North Temple station via State Street. This bus route has 44 bus stops, most of them being mid-block. By moving to intersections (and by assuming that a signalized cross walk can be built at some new locations) I counted 35 bus stops for a new improved route. This reduces the number of stops by about 20% - which will make the route faster, but less accessible. Passengers will have to walk farther to reach their stops, but probably not by much.

If I were in charge of UDOT, I would begin an program to upgrade one intersection per month. Several intersections would have to be under construction at once, but teams of construction workers could move from site to site. The utilities/signals guys could arrive first, then the platform guys, then the shelter guys. In this way there would be a constant stream of transit improvements, and all of it could be done under a regular program if 'intersection improvements.'
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  #8242  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2019, 7:29 PM
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I have very little faith in UDOT's ability or will to implement proper bus infrastructure on the roads they own. Their philosophy is cars first, second, and third. I'm not convinced allowing UDOT funds to be used for transit will change that mindset.
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  #8243  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 1:32 AM
Always Sunny in SLC Always Sunny in SLC is offline
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I really like your proposal Hatman. The signal priority is a must and would be a nice alternative to my wish of full BRT. I would still like full BRT in some high capacity areas, but recognize this is probably the more politically feasible solution. If this is coupled with free fare and Copenhagen level bike infrastructure (silly dream, I know) our system would be stellar. Thanks for your really thoughtful posts, I look forward to them.
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  #8244  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 3:03 AM
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I agree Hatman. I would love for something like this to happen.

SLC is taking a survey for working towards further reducing fares for city residents if not removing them completely. The survey can be found here: https://slcgov.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe...8p&Q_CHL=email Hopefully the link will work.
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  #8245  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 5:17 PM
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Rumors are swirling around the Ogden BRT line and the specifics of how it will all shake out.

For those new to the project: http://www.rideuta.com/About-UTA/Act.../Ogden-WSU-BRT

TL;DR: The route is 5.3 miles long, or less than half the length of UVX. Like UVX, the dedicated lane portion is going to be as close to 51% as possible in order to keep costs down while still qualifying the route as BRT:



The dedicated lanes are all on the Weber State end of the line, while the downtown Ogden portion of the line will be all shared-lanes. So it looks like they are building exclusive lanes where they have the space for them rather than where they are actually needed, since the downtown portion of the route would benefit much more from exclusive lanes than the suburban part.
In other words, they are building this project backwards.

Service is expected to have a maximum headway of 10 minutes, with a maximum of 15 minutes. This is a surprisingly small improvement over the existing bus line, which runs at 15 minutes all day.

Here's some more pictures from the overview:




As you can see, these are side-stations, which will be used in the downtown area, but - and here is where we descend into the rumors - also in the exclusive lane portion of the project.

Rumors: There will be no center-stations like the UVX route has. They will all be side stations, and buses will only have doors on the right side, like normal buses. Also, the buses are going to be 40-foot long buses (regular length) and not articulated buses like UVX. This is because UTA is highly considering using battery-electric buses. The bus charger currently being installed at Salt Lake Central Station is going to provide a verification that the UTA organization can handle electric buses, but once this box is checked then the Ogden BRT line can officially be UTA's first all-electric bus line.

I love it. Fiat Electrus!

What this means for infrastructure, though, is that the stations must be on the right side of the road, since no batter-electric bus manufacturer has yet created a bus with boarding on both sides. Also, with boarding only on the right side, any bus can be used as a substitute in the case that the electric buses all get recalled or something.

Anyway, at stations where there are exclusive median lanes, the station layout will be similar to a MAX station, specifically the one at 35th south and 36th west:


https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6956.../data=!3m1!1e3

In fact, this line is going to be far more similar to MAX than it will be to UVX. A part of the project will involve building a new road through the middle of the WSU campus, which is just insane (in both good and bad ways). This new road will have to curve around buildings, sidewalks, pedestrian features, ect. and it isn't going to be a fast ride. 15 mph in some locations due to sharp turns. The stations will be in Super Ideal locations as a result, but the ride between them will not be very, well, rapid.
Also, because the new bus-only road will be so thin, in some locations it will need to be reduced to 1 lane, and buses will need to take turns. Just like our single-tracked FrontRunner, or S-Line, or... MAX. This single-lane portion is a main reason why 10 minutes is expected to be the maximum frequency possible. MAX also has a single bi-directional exclusive bus lane in the middle of 35th south, and one of the main reasons they aren't using it anymore is that schedule got changed to meet TRAX trains but this didn't jive with the timing of the single-lane portion. Which is frankly stupid.

(An aside for MAX: if lane timing is the problem, then there are easy fixes! Have eastbound buses use the lane in the morning and westbound buses use it in the PM! Don't just abandon it!)

Anyway, this Ogden BRT line is going to be a crazy-weird mixed up animal, and I already love it. I would have preferred more exclusive lanes in more congested areas, but I am told that signal priority for buses will make up for the lack of lanes in those areas. So perhaps we might see something like the video I posted above, which would be very useful for UDOT to experiment with so that other routes can get similar infrastructure too.

It's exciting to have another BRT line enter the final development phase!
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  #8246  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 11:42 AM
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Salt Lake City asking public to weigh in on 300 West revamp


By Deseret News Sep 21, 2019, 9:00pm MDT - https://www.deseret.com/utah/2019/9/...00-west-revamp

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2021 and 2022, city crews are set to reconstruct 300 West from 500 South to 2100 South.

The city is asking residents for their help in reimagining the roadway providing input in the form of a survey
that will be used to identify and select improvements that achieve the following goals:



__________________________________________________• A safer and more accessible roadway for bicycle, pedestrian and alternative modes of transportation.

_____________________________________________• Reduced barriers to access and promote accessibility and active transportation.

_____________________________________________• A welcoming and attractive corridor that provides infrastructure to support future growth and economic development.

_____________________________________________• Add improvements that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.





Improvements to the roadway will align with the city’s Complete Streets ordinance and Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan.
The project is in the early stages and is not anticipated to be under construction until 2021.

The survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, can be found online at https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/2019/04/25/300west.



Salt Lake City is asking the public for their help in reimagining 300 West between 500 South to 2100 South by providing input in the form of a survey.
The road is set to be reconstructed in 2021 and 2022. Adobe Stock


.
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  #8247  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 3:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
Rumors are swirling around the Ogden BRT line and the specifics of how it will all shake out.

For those new to the project: http://www.rideuta.com/About-UTA/Act.../Ogden-WSU-BRT

TL;DR: The route is 5.3 miles long, or less than half the length of UVX. Like UVX, the dedicated lane portion is going to be as close to 51% as possible in order to keep costs down while still qualifying the route as BRT:



The dedicated lanes are all on the Weber State end of the line, while the downtown Ogden portion of the line will be all shared-lanes. So it looks like they are building exclusive lanes where they have the space for them rather than where they are actually needed, since the downtown portion of the route would benefit much more from exclusive lanes than the suburban part.
In other words, they are building this project backwards.

Service is expected to have a maximum headway of 10 minutes, with a maximum of 15 minutes. This is a surprisingly small improvement over the existing bus line, which runs at 15 minutes all day.

Here's some more pictures from the overview:




As you can see, these are side-stations, which will be used in the downtown area, but - and here is where we descend into the rumors - also in the exclusive lane portion of the project.

Rumors: There will be no center-stations like the UVX route has. They will all be side stations, and buses will only have doors on the right side, like normal buses. Also, the buses are going to be 40-foot long buses (regular length) and not articulated buses like UVX. This is because UTA is highly considering using battery-electric buses. The bus charger currently being installed at Salt Lake Central Station is going to provide a verification that the UTA organization can handle electric buses, but once this box is checked then the Ogden BRT line can officially be UTA's first all-electric bus line.

I love it. Fiat Electrus!

What this means for infrastructure, though, is that the stations must be on the right side of the road, since no batter-electric bus manufacturer has yet created a bus with boarding on both sides. Also, with boarding only on the right side, any bus can be used as a substitute in the case that the electric buses all get recalled or something.

Anyway, at stations where there are exclusive median lanes, the station layout will be similar to a MAX station, specifically the one at 35th south and 36th west:


https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6956.../data=!3m1!1e3

In fact, this line is going to be far more similar to MAX than it will be to UVX. A part of the project will involve building a new road through the middle of the WSU campus, which is just insane (in both good and bad ways). This new road will have to curve around buildings, sidewalks, pedestrian features, ect. and it isn't going to be a fast ride. 15 mph in some locations due to sharp turns. The stations will be in Super Ideal locations as a result, but the ride between them will not be very, well, rapid.
Also, because the new bus-only road will be so thin, in some locations it will need to be reduced to 1 lane, and buses will need to take turns. Just like our single-tracked FrontRunner, or S-Line, or... MAX. This single-lane portion is a main reason why 10 minutes is expected to be the maximum frequency possible. MAX also has a single bi-directional exclusive bus lane in the middle of 35th south, and one of the main reasons they aren't using it anymore is that schedule got changed to meet TRAX trains but this didn't jive with the timing of the single-lane portion. Which is frankly stupid.

(An aside for MAX: if lane timing is the problem, then there are easy fixes! Have eastbound buses use the lane in the morning and westbound buses use it in the PM! Don't just abandon it!)

Anyway, this Ogden BRT line is going to be a crazy-weird mixed up animal, and I already love it. I would have preferred more exclusive lanes in more congested areas, but I am told that signal priority for buses will make up for the lack of lanes in those areas. So perhaps we might see something like the video I posted above, which would be very useful for UDOT to experiment with so that other routes can get similar infrastructure too.

It's exciting to have another BRT line enter the final development phase!
Very exciting. Thank you for sharing this. I'm anxious to see the project completed.
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  #8248  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 3:38 PM
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New Provo-Orem rapid bus now rivals the ridership of TRAX Green Line

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics...rem-bus-rapid/

Quote:
One Utah Transit Authority bus route now is carrying about as many people — or more on some days — as the Green Line TRAX trains.

The Utah Valley Express (UVX), a bus rapid transit line in Orem and Provo that serves both Utah Valley and Brigham Young universities, now averages about 14,600 boardings daily. On some days, like the football game between BYU and the University of Utah, it had more than 16,000.

In comparison, ridership on the Green Line TRAX averaged about 15,400 boardings a day in August. Its lowest monthly average so far this year was in May, with 13,284, according to UTA data.

Light-rail lines such as TRAX — which offer service every 15 minutes on trains with many long cars — usually carry far more passengers than bus routes. UTA funnels most of its bus lines to trains because of their capacity for more people and swifter travel.

But the UVX is not a typical bus line. Officials have called it a sort of TRAX on rubber wheels.

It offers service every six minutes at peak times, and every 10 minutes off-peak. About half its 10.5-mile route is in exclusive travel lanes for buses not shared with other vehicles. Buses have extra doors and limited stops. Buses are longer than normal — 60 feet instead of 40.

But Mary De La Mare-Schaefer, regional manager for UTA, sees an even bigger reason for high ridership on UVX.

“It’s the free fares,” she says.

UTA received a federal grant to allow free ridership on UVX for three years, and two years are left.

The agency also struck a deal with BYU and UVU to provide transit passes for unlimited transit on buses and trains to their students, faculty and staff — and, in some cases, their family members. The agreement costs each school $1 million a year for 10 years and is expected to provide up to 100,000 passes annually.

With all that, UTA bus ridership has increased nearly eightfold from the 1,863 boardings on average before UVX launched to its current daily average.

De La Mare-Schaefer said UTA also has seen an increase in FrontRunner train ridership as more students are deciding to commute via mass transit from as far away as Salt Lake County and even Davis and Weber counties, and transfer to UVX. She said the Orem station is the busiest on the FrontRunner line, and Provo is No. 2, because of UVX.

Utah Valley University is reporting that it sold 1,200-plus fewer parking passes to students this year than before UVX started operating, De La Mare-Schaefer said, reducing congestion and potentially giving the school more room for facilities besides parking.

“More students are not parking on campus,” she said. “They didn’t want to add another parking lot or parking structure, so that’s one of the indicators we like to look at.”

She noted that this is also the first year that BYU sent notices to its students and their parents that they need not bring a car because of service from UVX — which is also helping to drive up ridership. Such notice was not sent when the service first opened in August 2018 because it was still under partial construction, used some temporary stations and lacked some bus-only lanes.

UVX ridership does fall off dramatically during the summer, when fewer students are attending BYU and UVU. In August, before fall semesters at the universities began, ridership averaged only 5,866 daily, De La Mare-Schaefer said, before rising to about 14,600 when the schools were in full swing.

Still, she’s pleased that “about 40% of our ridership this summer was with community members. We believe the free fare encourages them to ride,” saying transit is new to many of them. Free fare helps them overcome “a fear barrier," and learn how to use mass transit, she said. And she hopes UVX can retain most of these riders when free fares eventually disappear.

UTA has more than 200 miles of additional bus-rapid transit lines in its future plans, including from downtown Ogden to Weber State University, from West Valley City through Taylorsville to Murray, and through Davis County to Salt Lake City.

While UTA has high hopes for similar success with them, De La Mare-Schaefer says that UVX may be “a little bit of a unicorn because we have these two large university populations, so our numbers are going to be high from those centers.”

Such success helped lead mayors in northern Utah County to kick off a study to look at whether a similar bus rapid transit system there may help solve some traffic problems and provide better access to the high-tech Silicon Slopes area.

Before its completion, UVX was controversial. Resident groups sued unsuccessfully to stop it, arguing, among other things, that it would have low ridership and would complicate traffic flow for other vehicles. It also had an $11 million cost overrun beyond its initial $190 million price tag because of higher-than-expected bids and land costs.

Still, the UVX was much cheaper than building a TRAX line. In 2011, the mid-Jordan TRAX extension covering an equal distance cost $535 million — 2.8 times the cost of UVX.

Stops on the UVX include the Orem FrontRunner Station, UVU, University Mall, BYU, the Latter-day Saint Missionary Training Center, downtown Provo, the Provo Town Centre Mall and the Provo FrontRunner station.
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  #8249  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 7:49 PM
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Thank you for posting that article! I love everything about it. UVX undoubtedly proves that free transit will attract more riders, but I think it also shows that 'good transit' is more important than the mode. It shouldn't have to be that we describe our bus routes as 'TRAX on rubber wheels.' TRAX was built with good transit standards, and we need to apply that same standard to our bus routes as well. I've been seeing new sleek-looking bus shelders and signs popping up around SLC, such as on 9th south and along the 2 route on 2nd South. These are a good start, but it goes to show how our buses have a long way to go before they are an equally good experience compared to UTA's rail system.
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  #8250  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 12:54 AM
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Hatman, I was surprised that you hadn't already posted the article below (or maybe I missed it). What do you make of the mention below about double tracking. Do you think this involves double tracking the full length between American Fork and Orem or something less substantial?

"It also identifies $10 million next year to double-track part of the FrontRunner train line in Utah County, in part to allow a new station in the fast-growing city of Vineyard."

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics...ta-oks-m-plus/
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  #8251  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 6:59 AM
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If I remember correctly, this 'double track' is going to extend the current Vineyard sideing 3 miles to the north. There will still be 3 miles of single track between the north end of that siding and the American Fork station. Basically, this isn't a 'double track' project at all, it is a siding lengthening. Even after this project is completed, only one train at a time will be able to travel between American Fork and Vineyard. The whole impetus for this project was that the Vineyard station will finally be completed, and this is going to make travel times on the south end even longer - so much longer that trains will no longer meet up at the passing sidings anymore.

This whole thing bugs me in the extreme. This is UTA being given an opportunity to add some real fluidity to the Utah Valley segment of FrontRunner, and an opportunity to construct infrastructure that will be needed in the future at a far cheaper cost (costs always go up - building it now is always cheaper than waiting to do it later). Instead, UTA is being as absolutely cheap as it can get, and extending a siding instead of adding a true second track between Vineyard and American Fork.

Specifically, my complaints are as follows:
1)There is no segment along the entire FrontRunner line that would be easier to double-track. UTA owns the ROW, it is perfectly flat, and the foundations for the one bridge that would be needed (crossing the American Fork river) are already built and waiting for the future second track.

2) By adding a switch into the main line between Vineyard and American Fork, UTA will have to shut down the line south of American Fork for about a week. They would not need to do this if they were adding a switch into the American Fork siding. Then, when the real double-track project comes along in the future, UTA will have to close the line for another week while this switch and all the communication and mechanical systems are torn out, since no crossover will be needed so far from a station. Why spend so much money on something that is going to get ripped out later? I say spend money on things we know will be permanent, so that taxpayer money is not wasted!

3) By having a switch halfway between American Fork and Vineyard, UTA is permanently slowing the travel time between these two stations. A switch limits train speeds to 40 mph, and with Positive Train Control, 40 mph must be observed many thousands of feet in advance. And because the track speed used to be 80 mph, UTA is halving their top speed between these stations.

4) The cost of the project is $10 million. To double its length and achieve a true double track would cost about $20 million. Apparently this is too expensive. At the same time, though, UDOT is reconstructing the 'Technology Corridor' on I-15 for over $400 million. This sort of funding disparity for two projects that are trying to achieve the same goal (moving people north-south in northern Utah County) makes me seriously depressed.

As much as I hated the S-Line 'double track' project completed earlier this year for being both too little and also unnecessary, at least that project really is a true 'double track.' There are stations at both ends, and trains can travel independently between stations. So far on the FrontRunner there are only two sections of 'double track,' and those are between North Temple and Salt Lake Central Station (less than a mile in length) and between Provo and Orem (I count this despite the small section of single-track in downtown Provo because it would not affect train operations).
This new 'double track' project will not change that.

PS: I'm sorry if this post is especially grumpy. I really am optimistic on transit's potential in the long-term, but these sort of near-sighted projects make me doubt that UTA is really interested in improving itself at any level. It is especially disheartening when I felt like I had a chance to influence the project in the right direction, but was ignored. Eventually FrontRunner will be double-tracked, but until funding for it is found we will have to fight harder.
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  #8252  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 1:51 PM
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Hatman,

No grumpiness detected, just honest facts.

I do think 1 reason for the lack of a true double track upgrade in the area is because it is happening in Utah County. By this I mean that UTA can only build as much as funds allow and Utah County doesn't seem to like to provide funds to UTA. They would rather the funds be used for roads.

My understanding is that most of the funds are coming from Vineyard and grants. Utah County however has fought transit at nearly every level as they don't want to think of themselves as urban as they are becoming.

I know that UTA wishes it had the funds to do a full double track, they are just locked into constraints on funding. This is where the State will come into the picture in the next few years. It may be sped up once new schedules and speeds are out because of this 1/2 done job.

The State needs to provide better transit to the Prison redevelopment area as well as to areas in northern Utah County. They have obligations for promises made to Adobe and to receive a better ROI for the prison land. The only question will be how the State decides to fund the transit expansions, be it with the State adding the next .25% sales tax (Counties have until 2025 I think to add it themselves) or via another method.

UTA itself wants to work on improving bus service, they recently decided to do more of a focus towards Ridership and less to Coverage in all UTA areas with the largest shifts happening in SL and Utah Counties. This will increase the number of 15 minute or better frequency routes while removing or limiting the routes that go further out into lower ridership areas.

The main problem with this idea in Utah County is that nearly all routes will lead to FrontRunner. This is where any real ridership increase will be diminished due to lower transit times and capacity issues. Time will tell how big of an impact this may be and if it will be the trigger point for the State step in and help with FrontRunner.
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  #8253  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2019, 5:31 AM
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As an Ogden native, I can't say I like the proposed Ogden BRT route going through the WSU campus as shown in the maps. It slices through really nice parts of the campus and could disrupt events like the annual 24th celebration. I don't really like the way it cuts through the neighborhood between the Dee and the campus either.
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  #8254  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2019, 3:23 PM
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I was really surprised by the Weber State Campus too. It is going to be hugely disruptive, but since that portion of the alignment was developed by Weber State itself, I guess that is what they want. It is nearly the polar opposite of what BYU did with UVX - Weber State decides it needs a bus-only road plowing through what used to be pedestrian plazas, whereas BYU tears out its main on-campus road just to prevent UVX from using it.

The connection between what they are calling the 'two halves of campus' is a major component of the project, and is probably the main reason any of this is going forward anyway. Tearing out houses is not fun for anyone, but it seems like this bus-pedestrian corridor is key to some expansion Weber State has in their long-term plans.
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  #8255  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 5:13 PM
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MAG has released the 2050 Transportation plan for Utah County.

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJourn...1ed67fbc762db9

Here is just the transit portion:

https://www.mountainland.org/img/tra...50_transit.pdf

Overall, I am happy to see that transit is being embraced by Utah County. I am however not sure about a Trax line from SLC to Spanish Fork. I think this may rank near the top for longest LRT line.
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Old Posted Today, 5:20 AM
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I feel like the MAG projections are zeroing in on the plausible with each iteration. For example, this time there is no commuter rail spur going down the west side of Utah Lake, and there is a much greater emphasis on better bus service, such as BRT or Bus+.

Which is why their planning for TRAX is so weird. I like that they want to extend to American Fork right away. I like that they want to extend further. I DON'T like that they plan to take it for a zig-zag over to the Vineyard station. Even if the freight railroad tracks are removed from Geneva Road (which it appears they will be), TRAX can run in the street just like it does on North Temple. From there it can go south to the Orem station along the old railroad ROW (assuming they have the foresight to preserve that).

From Orem I want to see TRAX go parallel to the either the FrontRunner tracks, the Union Pacific Tracks, or I-15 until reaching Center Street. Here TRAX would turn east and travel to University Parkway in the median of Center Street. it would terminate at that intersection. I dislike the idea of replacing UVX with TRAX. $150 million was spent on UVX, and it already carries as many people as the TRAX Green Line. Double the frequencies and it can carry as many passengers as a 4-car TRAX train, since each bus has about the same capacity as a single TRAX car. Since that route is entirely within city streets, the bus is the obvious best vehicle to use on that route. Let trains be trains and let buses be buses.
By this same mantra, I don't see the need for a light rail line down to Spanish Fork. FrontRunner is going to take the best rail corridor, and once that line is electrified and running at super-convenient frequencies (every 10 minutes or less) I don't see the need for further rail transit.

As for the road plans... boy, are there a lot more road projects than there are transit projects! And I hope I never live to see the day when Utah Lake gets a bridge thrown across it.
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Old Posted Today, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
I feel like the MAG projections are zeroing in on the plausible with each iteration. For example, this time there is no commuter rail spur going down the west side of Utah Lake, and there is a much greater emphasis on better bus service, such as BRT or Bus+.

Which is why their planning for TRAX is so weird. I like that they want to extend to American Fork right away. I like that they want to extend further. I DON'T like that they plan to take it for a zig-zag over to the Vineyard station. Even if the freight railroad tracks are removed from Geneva Road (which it appears they will be), TRAX can run in the street just like it does on North Temple. From there it can go south to the Orem station along the old railroad ROW (assuming they have the foresight to preserve that).

From Orem I want to see TRAX go parallel to the either the FrontRunner tracks, the Union Pacific Tracks, or I-15 until reaching Center Street. Here TRAX would turn east and travel to University Parkway in the median of Center Street. it would terminate at that intersection. I dislike the idea of replacing UVX with TRAX. $150 million was spent on UVX, and it already carries as many people as the TRAX Green Line. Double the frequencies and it can carry as many passengers as a 4-car TRAX train, since each bus has about the same capacity as a single TRAX car. Since that route is entirely within city streets, the bus is the obvious best vehicle to use on that route. Let trains be trains and let buses be buses.
By this same mantra, I don't see the need for a light rail line down to Spanish Fork. FrontRunner is going to take the best rail corridor, and once that line is electrified and running at super-convenient frequencies (every 10 minutes or less) I don't see the need for further rail transit.

As for the road plans... boy, are there a lot more road projects than there are transit projects! And I hope I never live to see the day when Utah Lake gets a bridge thrown across it.

I totally agree with everything you just said.

I thought I read somewhere that the removal of the spur line in Vineyard was approved this past February. Has that project even begun yet? Also, how does that work in neighboring cities, like Lindon? That rail line rolls into businesses that utilize it. Will it be removed in Lindon as well, and other places?

And does anyone have any idea when the Vineyard Frontrunner Station is going to be built/finished?
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Old Posted Today, 4:58 PM
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^^^
Engineering work for the Vineyard station is going on right now. The Station platform itself was designed a long time ago and the foundations are already there - but the parking lot and access roads need to be designed.

As far as the removal of the freight spur, relocating is probably a better word. The north half of the freight line will remain as is, and local freight trains will continue to run up to American Fork every other day. What got approved is a realignment, so that from 600S in Orem (1600 N in Vineyard) the freight tracks will turn west and connect into the spur from the pipe manufacturing company. The tracks that parallel Geneva Road will be torn out, under the pretense that more businesses and housing will be built along the road if there are no train tracks and better access.

What is silly is that transit planners have proposed that TRAX will do the same thing - it will leave Geneva Road and all the businesses that will supposedly be built there, and instead run over to the Vineyard FrontRunner station for a transfer station. I love transfer stations, but the next station down the line Orem, will also be a transfer station between TRAX and FrontRunner. It is too much. I say just let TRAX run down Geneva Road even after the freight tracks are gone - it is only 1.5 miles. Then another 1.5 miles of separated ROW (former freight rail) to reach Orem.

I made a mistake in my last post. There is no intersection between Center Street and University Parkway. I meant University Avenue. That intersection should be the terminus for TRAX from Salt Lake City.
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