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  #11061  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 5:22 PM
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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Rapidly rising US construction costs, especially for transit, are a big problem. There's not a simple or easy solution. As far as I can tell it's a perfect storm of like a dozen different issues.
It's been a long time since we've experienced 'meaningful' inflation but it's possible that you "ain't seen nothing yet."

In recent years there were always global soft spots: Southern Europe, So America especially Brazil (nobody cares about Venuelaza) Russia etc. Now the whole globe is at least stable, doing Okay and Euro countries, especially Germany are saying that their manufacturing capacity is "constrained" meaning they have little ability to handle increased orders - beyond normal. In the U.S. it was the energy patch and farming that were soft.

Commodities have been in a slow crawl upward for an extended period now. Crude oil has been rising at a energetic pace of late. Copper and other (industrial) metals are at their highest in several years and rising.

Should voters give Nashville the go-ahead I see light rail costs of $250 million per mile. That means they would need 4X the ridership as RTD for the same ridership return on investment.

Bird in the hand, my friend, bird in the hand.
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  #11062  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 8:13 PM
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Props to Ashley Dean at Denverite

For the 1st time - at least for me - she does a fine job of explaining RTD's fares and pass programs and the changes being contemplated. She constructively adds context too. It's a good read.
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  #11063  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 8:52 PM
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Exciting news for Denver - LH DEN-MUC is switching partially to the A350-900 on March 26th. I am not sure if this is replacing the A340s on certain days or A330s on certain days, or if it's every day. But it will still bring a capacity increase. First scheduled A350 in DEN!
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  #11064  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 1:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jubguy3 View Post
Exciting news for Denver - LH DEN-MUC is switching partially to the A350-900 on March 26th. I am not sure if this is replacing the A340s on certain days or A330s on certain days, or if it's every day. But it will still bring a capacity increase. First scheduled A350 in DEN!
Wow. We need more DC-10s in Denver. @ChristopherHerndon and @StacieGilmore and their gradual phase-in of A-350 service to daily service by July are taking Denver in the wrong direction. Old planes need to be utilized!
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  #11065  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 8:42 PM
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Wow. We need more DC-10s in Denver. @ChristopherHerndon and @StacieGilmore and their gradual phase-in of A-350 service to daily service by July are taking Denver in the wrong direction. Old planes need to be utilized!
I agree too! Too bad that FEDEX, UPS and the Forest Service has bought up so many of em (here in Sac I see the Air Force's DC-10 refueling tanker do touch and goes at the Sacramento airport on occasions).
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  #11066  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 6:55 PM
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SB18-001:Transportation Infrastructure Funding


Quote:
Originally Posted by SB18-001
Concerning transportation infrastructure funding, and, in connection therewith, requiring the transportation commission to submit a ballot question to the voters of the state at the November 2018 general election, which, if approved, would authorize the state, with no increase in any taxes, to issue additional transportation revenue anticipation notes for the purpose of addressing critical priority transportation needs in the state by funding transportation projects; would exclude note proceeds and investment earnings on note proceeds from state fiscal year spending limits; would repeal an existing requirement that the state treasurer execute lease-purchase agreements for the purpose of funding transportation projects; and would require ten percent of state sales and use tax net revenue to be credited to the state highway fund for the purpose of repaying any notes issued and funding transportation projects.
All Republican sponsorship on the bill. So this probably dies or changes significantly once it hits the House, especially with House Democrats saying that the new tax windfall needs to cover education and other state expenses. The tax windfall can be up to $300 million a year, and the Republicans want to spend a large chunk of it, and possibly all of it, on road bonds.

CPR write-up

DBJ write-up

Denver Post write-up

Western Slope Now write-up
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Last edited by seventwenty; Jan 15, 2018 at 7:10 PM.
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  #11067  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2018, 8:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
- Some proverb


Of course, that's true for transit too. And zoning and pollution and schools and lots of other things.

Absolutely give Denver credit for starting when Denver did. Of course, starting 20 years earlier would've been better still. And 20 years from now, if Nashville's thing gets built, we'll be praising them for doing it in 2018 while dumb dumb Memphis dilly-dallied until 2038.

But that point's not super relevant to the quality of what gets built, except to the extent that cities are influenced by federal design guidelines. The various criticisms and praises are all still true. And if we don't talk about them, we don't learn to do things better over time.
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  #11068  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 2:28 AM
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Shitty ass RTD has cut service on the D line to once every half hour during none peak times and has eliminated service after 9pm entirely. This forces everyone to transfer to the C line and results in overcrowded D trains that rarely run. I always advocated in favor of increasing C line service but cutting the D line to improve C service is an idiotic decision.

I’m going to start driving downtown and paying the 6 bucks to park at my office. Fuck this nonsense
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  #11069  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 3:30 AM
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The best part is they haven’t updated the digital boards to reflect the new schedule. (They’ve put up new print schedules... sans L service... but who looks at those?). Anyways, so we had a whole conversation with a platform full of people downtown Sunday night who didn’t believe me the D train on the board wasn’t coming. And that they were actually on 1-hour headways. We waited to be proven right, and when the train came off the board having never arrived, I was ready to grab the cheap Uber before 40 other people scattered to do the same thing.
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  #11070  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 5:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventwenty View Post
This all about politics meaning the November elections and specifically about the governorship race. The business community including many of the Chambers likes what they hear but nobody really expects SB1 to pass. A few Chambers and AGC prefer asking the voters for tax increases to pay back any bonding which would also leave more room for maintenance needs. But Republicans have Dems in a bit of a box when they say no new taxes are needed and according to their plan they're right.

The legislature will settle on increased transportation funding through the next fiscal year and then... "it's see you in November."
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  #11071  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 6:31 AM
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LOL, somehow I double-posted so this one is a nvm.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Jan 17, 2018 at 7:05 AM.
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  #11072  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 6:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
But that point's not super relevant to the quality of what gets built, except to the extent that cities are influenced by federal design guidelines. The various criticisms and praises are all still true. And if we don't talk about them, we don't learn to do things better over time.
Fair enough and while I do respect your professional background and experience (srsly), the advantage I've got over number crunchers who draw short-term conclusions, is that even after a decade of absence I still know Denver like the back of my hand. Hint: number crunchers use static historical facts including the NBA for example but they're not very good with dynamics nor predicting the future and they are too easily manipulated and cherry-picked.

Let's summarize in the order of project construction.

The SE Corridor T-REX project (aided by Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transp...ansion_Project)
Quote:
It's considered by some to be one of the most successful transportation upgrade projects in the United States.[2][3][4][5] It also received a National Design-Build Award from the Design-Build Institute of America.[6] The T-REX project finished 3.2% under its $1.67B budget and 22 months ahead of schedule in 2006[7] and is considered to be an example of inter-governmental agency cooperation for transportation projects for North America and Worldwide. Stakeholders have been recognized nationally and internationally for its success, including quality management.[8]
Voters approved of both light rail and road projects in 1999. Running light rail in this corridor seemed like a no-brainer decision for the future. Light rail cost about a $billion more than the road expansion (about $42 million per mile IIRC). It has its design weaknesses but the idea of adding another 20-25% to the project costs was not viable at that time. Denver is hardly the only place where the ideal is constrained by financial realities.

SE Denver had always been the favored part of the city as it developed and was well-planned with a mix of starter-home neighborhoods, middle-income neighborhoods as well as areas of high density including both apartments and condos. This development occurred especially east of I-25 according to Denver city boundaries. Running light rail through SE Denver and the heart of DTC only made sense as did extending it out to Douglas Co. A lot of power and influence (and votes) lives within DougCo.

Ridership continues to climb but there remains first and last-mile issues that need and can be mitigated.

The West or W Line
While taking advantage of existing (abandoned freight) ROW the W Line follows a non-freeway path generally along 13th Ave which is only 2 blocks south of West Colfax Ave until it gets to the Federal Center. The Federal Center got a whole new masterplan with the Feds deciding to sell off significant land to the private sector for redevelopment. The fact that much of that is still 5 years off from groundbreaking is just the way things go but it's still very much alive. They could have stopped the line at the Federal Center but Golden has the Colorado School of Mines, Coors Brewing and the Taj Mahal. Considering the time value of money, the fact that they single-tracked it out to Golden to save money plus the ever-present politics made building that section now the only sensible decision. Denver is hardly the only place to save costs by utilizing existing ROW

The A Line Train to the Planes
No explanation or justification is needed.

Next up the A, G and N Lines.
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  #11073  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 3:31 PM
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OK but you're debating points that I've consistently agreed with. Every criticism we ever make of Denver's light rail is prefaced on the caveat that the political reality was the political reality. How many times do I have to say this before you stop repeating it to me as though I disagree?
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  #11074  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottk View Post
I’m going to start driving downtown and paying the 6 bucks to park at my office. Fuck this nonsense
If your office offers $6 all-day parking you should jump all over that shit. That's a phenomenal rate as the most of the satellite lots are now at $8/day.

I must say that the L Line has been nice so far as it actually keeps to a schedule versus the old shitty D Line to 30th & Downing that was always off.
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  #11075  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2018, 9:00 PM
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Outstanding Achievement Awards for Best Transit Investments - over the last decade are now being tabulated and determined.

So far, one city has been designated as a Platinum level winner and one city has attained Gold level status. Whether there will be any Silver winners is still being analyzed. There will also be a number of 'attaboys' handed out. (Oh boy)

The Rules:
  • The original Big Six transit cities did not qualify for this competition.
  • Only cities that needed voter approval qualified (Sorry Portland; you may still receive an attaboy though)
  • Size matters but an emphasis was put on Return on Investment

Could be highly entertaining (or not).
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  #11076  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2018, 10:14 PM
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You got a link to that?
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  #11077  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2018, 1:08 AM
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You got a link to that?
Ofc I do... but hurry back.
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  #11078  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2018, 9:02 PM
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Not sure if this was posted already, but its a good read.

https://www.citylab.com/transportati...-pains/544472/
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  #11079  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2018, 9:59 PM
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One of the most serious challenges to the I-70 project is nearly dead

From the sounds of it, Zeppelin is not going to appeal and will try to litigate through the ballot box.
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  #11080  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2018, 11:30 PM
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One of the most serious challenges to the I-70 project is nearly dead

From the sounds of it, Zeppelin is not going to appeal and will try to litigate through the ballot box.
What is Kyle Zeppelin's end game? Does he even know anymore? I mean are they trying to dismantle I-70 altogether? Keep the viaduct and let it rot? Force a move to some other route that would itself require years of planning and have other impacts that he doesn't care about because they won't personally affect him?

Maybe I'm just mad because I know a ballot initiative would probably be successful because there are a lot of Denver Sentimentalists and Boulderish Pseudo-environmentalists here - Both will happily vote for anything that prevents new development or investment, one because they misunderstand the effects of newcomers and lack of housing supply on costs and the others because they (like 70s Boulderites) believe that not letting people move to the city will magically prevent those people from building anywhere, thereby preserving their pristine backpacking and glamping grounds. Sabotaging transit projects attracts both of these groups like hot trash draws raccoons. They are the ones that voted for a green roof initiative that was all idea and no planning because it promised to make large development less likely AND it promoted eco-friendly construction. At this point you could probably pass an ordinance that brought back DURA-style destruction downtown if you promised to turn the empty lots into open fields full of native plants and animals.
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