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  #701  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 8:29 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Yep, just a terrible fad to market the city as urban and modern without actually helping anything and spending a lot more money. The streetcar/light rail boom will be taught similarly to the freeway boom in future transportation classes.
light rail≠streetcar

Most recently constructed light rail systems (e.g. Phoenix and Seattle) have outperformed ridership expectations and continue to experience growing usage. These lines operate over longer distances than streetcars, have their own rights of way, and link cities with suburbs.

The results are less promising with streetcars operating over short distances in mixed traffic. Detroit's Q Line is one of those. If Detroit had been able to muster enough regional cooperation and funding to build a true light rail line -- perhaps an L-shaped route from Oakland County down Woodward into Downtown Detroit and then heading west through Dearborn to the airport in Romulus -- that would be a whole different scenario. The Q Line, however, seems like rail for the sake of rail, more linked to economic development dreams than actual mobility.
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  #702  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
light rail≠streetcar

Most recently constructed light rail systems (e.g. Phoenix and Seattle) have outperformed ridership expectations and continue to experience growing usage. These lines operate over longer distances than streetcars, have their own rights of way, and link cities with suburbs.

The results are less promising with streetcars operating over short distances in mixed traffic. Detroit's Q Line is one of those. If Detroit had been able to muster enough regional cooperation and funding to build a true light rail line -- perhaps an L-shaped route from Oakland County down Woodward into Downtown Detroit and then heading west through Dearborn to the airport in Romulus -- that would be a whole different scenario. The Q Line, however, seems like rail for the sake of rail, more linked to economic development dreams than actual mobility.
To be fair to Detroit’s transportation planners, they proposed a 10+ miles long publically financed light rail corridor on Woodward, not the significantly shorter privately financed Q-Line using streetcars.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a shorter rail line, no matter which type, is not going to attract as many commuters if it restricts the number of residents capable of using it. A short streetcar line that only connects immediately adjacent neighborhoods is not going to attract commuters traveling further. I have no doubt that if the Q-Line was extended further out to 10, 11, or 12 Mile Road as originally planned,or even further, its ridership would increase exponentially.

Detroit is well laid out for at grade rail lines within wide city streets, whether the rails share lanes or run in dedicated lanes, along several boulevards radiating out from the city central business district. But it will take public funding for it to occur, private enterprise will not be able to accomplish that full rail network. Private enterprise will only be able to achieve Q-Line length rail lines, better for businesses participating but not necessary good for commuters. I look at the Q-line as a seedling of what could be.
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  #703  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 9:08 PM
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animatedmartian animatedmartian is online now
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
These articles seem inherently anti-streetcar.

As far as financials, the QLine is something like 75% privately funded. Even if no one uses it, the costs of construction and operations have been paid for for the next 5 years. Obviously, it'll be an issue if ridership stayed low during that time, but it isn't expected to with the influx of new residents moving into downtown Detroit.

As far as actual mobility problems, those issues are far bigger than the QLine could ever be, and even if it reached X number of miles into whatever suburbs, Detroit would still have those same mobility issues. The QLine might be a better success, but it wouldn't solve the issues that overhang the region as a whole.

The QLine was never meant to solve any transit issues, but start as the foundation for a system to grow from.
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  #704  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
light rail≠streetcar

Most recently constructed light rail systems (e.g. Phoenix and Seattle) have outperformed ridership expectations and continue to experience growing usage. These lines operate over longer distances than streetcars, have their own rights of way, and link cities with suburbs.

The results are less promising with streetcars operating over short distances in mixed traffic. Detroit's Q Line is one of those. If Detroit had been able to muster enough regional cooperation and funding to build a true light rail line -- perhaps an L-shaped route from Oakland County down Woodward into Downtown Detroit and then heading west through Dearborn to the airport in Romulus -- that would be a whole different scenario. The Q Line, however, seems like rail for the sake of rail, more linked to economic development dreams than actual mobility.
I know light rail is different from streetcars, doesn't change my feelings that both suck. I've gone on that rant on this thread before, so I won't bother you guys with it again, I just couldn't help myself in replying to that one topic specifically.
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  #705  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2017, 9:25 PM
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3k daily riders on a 3 mile streetcar in Detroit seems like a huge success to me. What am I missing? Transit usage there is quite minimal and the line is very short. It just needs to be extended!
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  #706  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2017, 9:29 PM
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3k daily riders on a 3 mile streetcar in Detroit seems like a huge success to me. What am I missing? Transit usage there is quite minimal and the line is very short. It just needs to be extended!
Yeah, half a billion dollars to serve 3,000 riders/day is a great successful investment. How many of those people already took the bus one wonders too - previous case studies show it's most of them.
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  #707  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2017, 9:36 PM
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500 million was for the whole 10 miles. FOH... this portion cost 137 million which includes facilities etc which are a one-off expense. Every system must start somewhere and this is an encouraging start.
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  #708  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2017, 9:49 PM
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Okay fine, I still think $137 million would have gone much farther in terms of ridership (and actual mobility, which seems to be the most forgotten part of transit infrastructure) improvements if invested in the bus system.
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  #709  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:15 PM
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City and Potawatomi strike 12-year, $10 million streetcar presenting sponsorship agreement, includes free rides for the first 12 months

Read More: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelea...rst-12-months/

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Mayor Tom Barrett and Rodney Ferguson, CEO of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, today announced that the City of Milwaukee and the Forest County Potawatomi Community have come to an agreement whereby Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will be the presenting sponsor of the city’s streetcar system. The name will be “The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.”

The deal is for $10 million payable over 12 years. The parties intend to sign a letter of intent in the coming weeks with a full contract to follow. The funds will be used to offset operating costs and will include free rides for all for the first 12 months of the streetcar’s operation. The streetcar system is currently under construction. The Phase 1 line is expected to begin service in fall 2018 and the Lakefront Line will follow in coordination with the construction of The Couture development. “This is yet another important and exciting step for the City of Milwaukee and the streetcar. The momentum keeps building,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “We’re thrilled to have Potawatomi Hotel & Casino as our partner in moving Milwaukee forward.”

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  #710  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2018, 11:06 PM
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What's Behind Today's Urban Streetcar Revival?

Read More: https://www.forbes.com/sites/petesau.../#7862ea4c3f07

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The revival of American cities over the last 20-25 years has also coincided with the revival of a relic of the earlier urban heyday -- the streetcar. But don't mistake the streetcar revival for a newfound affinity for mass transit. Today's streetcars -- indeed, streetcars throughout American history -- are about stimulating development and rising property values, and not about improving job or neighborhood access.

By one account from early last year, as many as ten streetcar lines have opened or have been proposed over the last few years. Portland got things started with the opening of a next generation streetcar line in 2001, and soon other cities followed suit. Portland was followed by Seattle, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit, with new lines also proposed for Charlotte, St. Louis, Fort Lauderdale, Milwaukee, Tempe, Oklahoma City and even Brooklyn. With discussions underway for even more streetcar lines in other cities across the country, we're definitely in the middle of a new era in streetcar development.

But there are clues that indicate that today's streetcars are more about development and less about access. Some of the new streetcar lines are downtown loops, intended to move passengers around and across growing downtown areas. That's the case in Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. Other new systems are being developed or proposed as connectors that supplement existing systems. Seattle's City Center Connector would connect two existing lines there; Tempe's proposed streetcar would establish a link to light rail in Phoenix and Mesa. The Brooklyn-Queens Connector along the East River would link various neighborhoods between the two boroughs. A few cities are using new systems as the first phase of a potentially much broader, city-wide or metro-wide streetcar system -- Detroit, Charlotte and Kansas City fit this profile.

Curiously, this is happening just as transit ridership seems to be on the decline nationally. From Planetizen's Michael Lewyn back in January: --- Between 1995 and 2015, American transit ridership rose from 7.8 billion trips to 10.6 billion. But over the past couple of years, transit ridership in most cities has began to dip. Between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017, U.S.ridership declined by 3 percent. (Ridership also declined slightly in 2015.) Lewyn examined the data for the four most transit dominant metros (Boston, New York, San Francisco and Washington), where more than half of commuters travel to work on public transit, as well as the next group of transit dominant metros (Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle), where more than a third of utilize public transit, and he found that the decline was consistent there as in metros that were far less dependent on transit.

Lewyn attributes the ridership decline in part to a strengthening economy; that may well be true, but I'd add the impact of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. As for streetcar development in the time of ridership decline, much of that may have to do with the lag between development and construction. Most new systems were likely proposed as ridership was inching upward during the decades preceding the recent slide. But new streetcar systems were never intended to usher in a new transit-oriented urban future. It's been done before. Streetcars were initially developed in the late 19th century to open up new areas for urban -- and suburban -- development. Streetcars enabled the development of areas beyond the edges of old, crowded cities, and led to a new, more dispersed development pattern.

"Concentrated along radial streetcar lines, streetcar suburbs extended outward from the city, sometimes giving the growing metropolitan area a star shape. Unlike railroad suburbs which grew in nodes around rail stations, streetcar suburbs formed continuous corridors. Because the streetcar made numerous stops spaced at short intervals, developers platted rectilinear subdivisions where homes, generally on small lots, were built within a five- or 10-minute walk of the streetcar line. Often the streets were extensions of the gridiron that characterized the plan of the older city." As a tool for expanding the metropolitan area and increasing housing opportunities, streetcar suburbs were a success. They were able to accommodate new residents across the economic spectrum, welcoming working-class newcomers as well as upper-middle class professionals.

Streetcars fostered a new era of city-building at a time when cities were actively looking for something new, and many former streetcar suburbs are recognized as pleasing, comfortable, walkable and accessible historic districts around the country. Even I've weighed in on their benefits. As for today's iteration of streetcar development, however, I'm ambivalent. Streetcar development is happening now for two reasons: 1) there is a new and growing demand for city living, and 2) the demand for city living currently outpaces the supply. Streetcars systems are being built as a recognition of those factors, and an attempt to spark similar development in areas where it hasn't yet taken off. Just as parks and highways have been used as economic development tools in the past, streetcar systems are being utilized in the same manner.

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  #711  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2018, 4:17 PM
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Ramsey County backs modern streetcar along West 7th. Construction could start by 2028.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/06/1...long-west-7th/

Quote:
.....

- The Ramsey County Board became the fifth and final local government to endorse the proposed Riverview transit corridor — a modern streetcar connecting the downtown St. Paul Union Depot to the Mall of America in Bloomington, primarily along West Seventh Street. --- The next stage will involve environmental review, design and engineering of the $1.4 billion – $2 billion line, which could begin construction as soon as 2028. Daily ridership is projected to reach 20,400 by the year 2040. The streetcar line, which can operate in regular traffic or roll onto light rail track, would use existing Green Line light-rail infrastructure at the Union Depot and in downtown St. Paul, and use existing Blue Line infrastructure south of the Mississippi River beginning at Fort Snelling.

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