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Author Topic: Difference between rail and roadway expansion  (Read 1098 times)

Ocklawaha

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 11:52:10 AM »


45 second headways? It CAN be done! Witness Mumbai.

During rush hour, a train pulls into one of the city’s stations every 45 seconds, each loaded with 5000 passengers (three times its capacity), for a total of six million people in two hours. Fifty-two thousand taxis and 100,000 rickshaws roam the streets. Three thousand new cars arrive in Mumbai every day, as do 300 new families. Even Bollywood – which produces three movies a day, an output that would have given night sweats to Louis B. Mayer – is not exempt from frenzy.


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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 12:00:18 PM »
^example of what I meant by 'increase in ridership doesn't necessarily lead to increased satisfaction'  ;D

tufsu1

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 12:50:24 PM »
How old is the DC Metro system and how many riders does it move today?  Assuming it was never built, how would you visualize DC's built environment today and the roadway network's ability to move the amount of people using the Metro?  Something tells me, even retrofitting what they have would be much cheaper than forcing the roadway network within that city to also be able to move the amount of people using the Metro.

agreed...but even with Metro and its pretty amazing ridership, the DC region has one of the most congested road systems in the country.

thelakelander

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 01:13:45 PM »
So does NYC and Chicago.  You can't totally resolve roadway gridlock without modifying land use policy to reduce the tendency of new development soaking up added capacity.  Nevertheless, imagine DC's roads, economy, and quality-of-life without the Metro. 

JeffreyS

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 02:32:02 PM »
DC Metro is great but sometimes you get on a packed friggin train.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

spuwho

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 10:19:17 PM »
So does NYC and Chicago.  You can't totally resolve roadway gridlock without modifying land use policy to reduce the tendency of new development soaking up added capacity.  Nevertheless, imagine DC's roads, economy, and quality-of-life without the Metro.

Chicago deprioritized road capacity into the urban core in the late 70's and strictly maintained it and made safety improvements only. They focused on building up the RTA system.

Now, after some 50 years, I-90 (Eisenhower) has now reached 125% of capacity and they are starting to look at increasing it. The problem is, the land use decisions made in 1956, especially through Oak Park is making the planning an expensive affair. They plan on absorbing the space they left behind for the defunct interurban Chicago Aurora & Elgin, but the old B&O CT line to Forest Park still runs along the expressway along with the CTA. That and the Forest Park cemetery (which was partially moved in 1956 to make room once) makes any kind of expansion a tough, tough sell.

The Metra West - Union Pacific line (which acts as the heavy rail parallel) is getting great ridership (was expanded in 2007), but has run into problems with the UP Global Yards at Proviso. With UP building a new yard in Rochelle, IL, the hope is they can relieve the transfer traffic in and out of Proviso. Metra by contract gets preferred rights over freights, but freight interference can be a problem at times, especially if they get stalled going into Proviso and block the switch in Elmhurst.

All that to say is that rail/roadway expansions have cross impacts, freight, transit, driving, etc. Regional planning is key to making good land use when looking at all kinds of transportation expansions.


JFman00

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2013, 10:45:44 PM »
Talking about the attempted Hillside Strangler fix on I-*290*? As far as I was aware, the southern extension of 355 and the possible Illiana Expressway were meant to provide a route to circumnavigate the city. Also, the congestion on the Eisenhower, from my view as someone who grew up in the near western suburbs, has done a great deal to slow the westward sprawl of Chicago. Plus the choice to deprioritize roads means that on its own the BNSF line would have the 7th largest commuter rail ridership in the country. Dupage County as a whole has the transit infrastructure of a major city, and I'd argue the land-use has been significantly more TOD-friendly as a result when compared to other suburban areas.

I'd say that aside from the lack of an L connection to Union Station, Chicagoland has done a very fine job of integrating it's transportation systems.

thelakelander

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 11:03:52 PM »
All that to say is that rail/roadway expansions have cross impacts, freight, transit, driving, etc. Regional planning is key to making good land use when looking at all kinds of transportation expansions.

+100. I wish this kind of thinking was applied more throughout the Jacksonville region.

spuwho

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 11:15:27 PM »
Talking about the attempted Hillside Strangler fix on I-*290*? As far as I was aware, the southern extension of 355 and the possible Illiana Expressway were meant to provide a route to circumnavigate the city. Also, the congestion on the Eisenhower, from my view as someone who grew up in the near western suburbs, has done a great deal to slow the westward sprawl of Chicago. Plus the choice to deprioritize roads means that on its own the BNSF line would have the 7th largest commuter rail ridership in the country. Dupage County as a whole has the transit infrastructure of a major city, and I'd argue the land-use has been significantly more TOD-friendly as a result when compared to other suburban areas.

I'd say that aside from the lack of an L connection to Union Station, Chicagoland has done a very fine job of integrating it's transportation systems.

The local urban myth is that the Hillside Strangler existed because the original Mayor Daley didn't want to make it any easier than possible for people to leave the city to the western burbs. Did it limit western suburban growth? Probably not. The Hillside arrangement was more of a compromise with IDOT and the Tollway to get the Eisenhower Extension and the East-West Tollway to come together. Even the E-W Tollway "split" in Oak Brook was a political deal as then Oakbrook Mayor Butler didn't want an expressway splitting his village in two. So the Tollway moved it farther north to connect with the IDOT plan. Most people didn't know it, but IDOT's original plan in 1946 was to make IL-56 (Butterfield Road) the major east-west corridor starting at Roosevelt & Manheim. When the Tollway came along, the plans were scrapped. Fortunately IDOT still owns the ROW today.


The one thing that has impressed me with the Chicago western burbs is how they have really embraced TOD along both the UP West and the BNSF Aurora lines. Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Lombard, Wheaton and Naperville have all pushed higher densities along the heavy rail lines in and around the Metra stations. Intentional or not, this has led to significant revivals in the city cores as well. Many of these cities date back to the 1830-1845 era and all had slumping business districts by 1976. Wheaton alone was down to some 2 maybe 3 places to eat in the downtown. Today it is teeming with multiple choices, movies, theatre, fine dining, etc. IMHO all driven by their embracing TOD because it brought more people together in the city core.

JFman00

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 12:01:32 AM »
When all my friends and I are home for the holidays, going to downtown Downers or downtown Naperville (can you imagine going to downtown Orange Park?) are very much options, along with taking the train into the city for the day. None of us realized just how lucky we were to grow up where we did until we left.

spuwho

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 11:06:19 PM »
Most people didn't know it, but IDOT's original plan in 1946 was to make IL-56 (Butterfield Road) the major east-west corridor starting at Roosevelt & Manheim. When the Tollway came along, the plans were scrapped. Fortunately IDOT still owns the ROW today.

Remnant of that 1946 freeway plan. The EJ&E (Canadian National) bridge over Route 56.


urbanlibertarian

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2013, 12:45:44 PM »
Here's the latest from Robert Poole, the passenger rail critic that MJ's choo choo buffs love to hate:

How to Reform and Get More Value From Federal Transportation Programs

Robert Poole
January 9, 2013, 1:00pm

As Congress grapples with impending budget cuts, we need to do a fundamental rethink of how the federal government assists with much-needed transportation infrastructure. The reality going forward is that there will be no such thing as “general revenue” funding for much of anything beyond entitlements, defense, and interest on the national debt. As long as the federal budget remains grossly unbalanced, general-fund investments in infrastructure are essentially borrowed from China—an unsustainable situation.

Three key principles are necessary for a sustainable federal role in infrastructure:

Users should pay for the infrastructure they use;
Large capital projects should be financed, via revenue bonds and other mechanisms; and,
The federal role should be narrowed to do only things that are truly interstate in nature, which means shifting more responsibility to the states, metro areas, and the private sector.
Reason Foundation’s new policy brief, “Funding Transportation Infrastructure in a Fiscally Constrained Environment,” explains why the model used for federal transportation programs—user taxes feeding centralized trust funds that make annual grants for cash-based investments, increasingly subsidized by general-fund money—needs replacing:

Because these user taxes are seen as taxes, Congress seldom increases them, even when their real value declines due to inflation and other factors.
Each transportation program involves large cross-subsidies, in which some users pay for other users’ projects, often for projects of low real value.
Federal money comes with costly strings attached, such as Davis-Bacon and Buy America requirements, needlessly raising the cost of federally aided projects.
Federal programs over-emphasize new capacity, leading to large amounts of deferred maintenance on existing infrastructure.
Most federal programs encourage state and local governments to fund large capital projects out of annual cash flow, rather than financing them over time, as businesses (and home-buyers) do.
The report sets out a comprehensive set of organizational, tax policy, and regulatory changes that would implement the above principles, thereby ensuring needed, cost-effective investment in airports, air traffic control, highways and bridges, ports and waterways, transit, and passenger rail.

Airports already make use of much of the proposed approach, and the report recommends that airports be liberated from federal grant funding by being allowed to self-fund their runway and terminal expansion projects. The only thing Congress would have to do is to remove the federal cap on individual airports’ passenger facility charges, which would enable airports to expand their revenue bonding abilities for such projects. Eliminating airport grants for passenger airports would save $2 billion a year.

The air traffic control system could easily be self-supporting from fees and charges, as are the air traffic control systems in Western Europe, Australia, Canada, and even South Africa. A decade ago Congress reorganized the Federal Aviation Administration, creating the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) within it. The ATO should be separated from FAA as a government or nonprofit corporation, funded and governed by its users and regulated for safety by the FAA.

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) should be refocused on interstate commerce, rather than trying to do surface transportation at all levels of government, from sidewalks and bike paths to urban transit to recreational trails. Its revised focus should be the Interstates and others that make up just the National Highway System. Thus refocused, the HTF would no longer need the large general fund subsidies provided since 2007. To help states accommodate their enlarged responsibilities, the remaining federal barriers to states use of tolling should be abolished, and a larger share of federal aid should be in the form of loans via the TIFIA program, rather than grants.

The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is broken, but not only because Congress spends only half the money generated by the Harbor Maintenance Tax each year. It is also broken because it takes money from ports that don’t need significant dredging and spends it on ports that do. But since all ports are in competition with one another, that policy makes no sense. Each port should self-fund whatever dredging it needs, with the cost being borne by that port’s users.

Federal waterways policy is even less sustainable, since the diesel tax paid by commercial carriers covers only eight percent of federal spending on channel dredging and lock-and-dam capital and operating costs. Waterways interests are calling for large increases in federal general fund support, but even the research arm of the Army Corps of Engineers has suggested the alternative of self-funded waterways, with larger user fees making possible revenue bond financing of needed improvements.

Passenger rail is problematic, because airlines and bus lines provide basically unsubsidized service to the vast majority of inter-city passengers. Where niche markets for passenger rail exist (e.g., the Northeast corridor), passenger fares and related real-estate value-added should become the means of support. The private sector may have a role to play in such service, especially if Congress deregulates post-Amtrak rail labor.

Urban transit, while playing an important role, is quintessentially the responsibility of specific urban regions, which derive all the benefits from such service. Federal funding has biased many transit investment decisions away from cost-effective bus and bus rapid transit projects to very costly and not very effective rail projects. Subways and commuter rail have a key role to play in very dense urban areas with large traditional central business districts, but that description applies to only a handful of America’s largest urban areas.

In short, federal transportation infrastructure programs are in dire need of major reform. This is not simply because the federal government is running out of discretionary funding. It is also because all of these programs misallocate resources. What this country cannot afford is to continue putting tens of billions of dollars into programs that waste resources by favoring low-value projects over high-value projects. A large-scale shift to users-pay/users-benefit, revenue bond financing, and devolving some federal responsibilities to state, metro-area, and private-sector parties will revitalize U.S. transportation infrastructure, allocating investment dollars where they will be most productive.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (‘Who watches the watchmen?’)

tufsu1

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2013, 01:54:23 PM »
actually Robert Poole isn't that bad....far better than Cox and O'Toole....and his colleague Sam Staley is quite smart

urbanlibertarian

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2013, 02:10:19 PM »
actually Robert Poole isn't that bad....far better than Cox and O'Toole....and his colleague Sam Staley is quite smart

Oh, yeah.  I confused Poole with O'Toole.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (‘Who watches the watchmen?’)

thelakelander

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Re: Difference between rail and roadway expansion
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2013, 02:13:38 PM »
I actually agree with a lot of what he states.  There's some validity to urban transit and roadway construction being funding locally. Passenger rail should also be tied with real estate, if you want to see it worthwhile for the private sector to operate. I'm also not against the idea of the user having to pay for the desired infrastructure.  With that said, I'd like to see some examples of cities he believes should have invested in BRT than other forms of transit (particularly rail).  It seems like his position has little to do with economic development and quality-of-life.  If those were weighted as higher priorities than simply moving people from point A to B, he could be off.  Other than that, I don't think the HTF brings in enough to fund continued roadway maintenance and expansion of the National Highway System without somehow tying that to adding higher densities along specific corridors.