Author Topic: Washington DC goes Streetcar  (Read 6287 times)

JeffreyS

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2009, 09:22:33 AM »
The funny thing is as soon as we have fixed rail solutions you can rely on and go where you want buses will become a popular mode of transit for everyone as well. 
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Johnny

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2009, 12:19:21 PM »
or hovercrafts

Ocklawaha

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2009, 01:26:21 PM »
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Posted on: Today at 12:19:21 PMPosted by: Johnny 
or hovercrafts


Believe it or not, hovercrafts, hydroplaning boats as well as standard water craft have all been subject to JTA study. In theory it sounds good, but there are too many questions on ridership, environmental issues and operating costs (which are quite high). Imagine the damage to the city one dead manatee would cause... hell Faye would have a cut-and-paste article, 20 times a day, for months. hee hee...

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Posted on: Today at 09:22:33 AMPosted by: JeffreyS 
The funny thing is as soon as we have fixed rail solutions you can rely on and go where you want buses will become a popular mode of transit for everyone as well.


This is true, as a rule Jeffery, but I could see us becoming a pioneer in failure in this area as well. The formula for bus ridership failure is streetcars and Skyways on 8 minute headways, commuter rail on 30 minute headways and the bus - FOREVER STUCK in once every hour. Just check the schedule of the new Arlington neighborhood circulator. CREDIT? Sure! JTA gets high marks for creative thinking on community bus service, but another Atypical hourly schedule, without clustering with connections, will result in another false start. An old Navy guy summed up my opinion, long, long ago.

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" In the first six to twelve months (of the new community bus operations, JTA) will run wild and win (credit) upon (credit). But then, if the (service) continues after that, I have no expectation of success. "     
 
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Posted on: Yesterday at 10:52:52 PMPosted by: Johnny 
Hey, a trolley boat would be better than BRT... sorry, I just don't ride buses. I'd just bring a fishing poll and troll to the connection points

 
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Posted on: Yesterday at 06:06:13 AMPosted by: CS Foltz 
Trolley Boat? I hope to god your pulling my leg Ock...........but having seen JTA in action......anything is possible! I would have thought they had a "Submarine Line" in the works. But you can't advertise on that system so maybe not.....I got one.....how about a moving tethered Ballon system, that way the advertising can be seen for miles and miles?


Yeah, this one was a joke, but there is probably some merit in the balloon system, providing we wouldn't use hydrogen as the lift gas. I can just imagine someone from the COJ trying to cut on those propane tanks! Ya know, after posing the "trolley boat," question to the planners at TPO, I heard some are still trying to work out how to keep the trolley wire on top of those rocking buoys!

OCKLAWAHA
 

Johnny

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2009, 02:54:57 PM »
I remember the story on the hovercrafts. I believe it was something to do with getting from Green Cove to Mandarin and downtown to OP. The cost was insane and the hovercrafts were the size of a small cruise ship, if I remember correctly. I thought it was ridiculous then... I still do. Of course, it would have at least been unique, which is a plus.

AaroniusLives

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2009, 12:11:44 PM »
Regarding the DC streetcars:

This was not a well-planned operation. Those DC streetcars have been running in Europe for a couple of years now, due to delays and infighting amongst local politicians. That we're finally getting a meager 2.5 mile line, late...indicates that not everything is coming up roses in The District.

I will say one thing regarding the placement, it involves DC doing one thing right with the streetcar project. In general, the city is pretty egalitarian regarding benefits for all classes. That cracktown is getting the line first warms my liberal heart, even though I'll probably never ride it in that location!

Looking at the plan, it's almost absurd for them to even consider the wire debate through the monumental core. It's going to be very expensive to have the streetcars switch to another system of power (batteries, below-ground stuff, etc) in that area of town. Moreover, three Metro stops already serve the monumental core area, with one (Smithsonian,) right in the middle of the Mall itself. I'd eliminate the streetcars there entirely for the time being, and instead, focus on the areas of town that need streetcar transit desperately. Anacostia needs it, as part of the neighborhoods continued gentrification. Georgetown needs it, as three different buses shuttle people around the area.

Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)

finehoe

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2009, 12:21:28 PM »
D.C. streetcars coming home
Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 5:52pm EST  |  Modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 6:07pm
 
The three 66-foot streetcars that D.C. purchased in 2005 are finally coming to the city.

The D.C. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday afternoon that it is shipping the cars in from the Czech Republic, where it has been storing them since their construction. The agency provided photos showing the cars being loaded aboard trucks in the Czech Republic and then transferred to a cargo vessel in Hamburg.

D.C. purchased the cars -- modeled after cars in Portland, Ore. and painted to resemble the D.C. Circulator -- during the mayorship of Anthony Williams but left them in Europe as track construction stalled. The transit agency has restarted streetcar plans under Mayor Adrian Fenty and says the cars will arrive in the U.S. in about a month, by mid-December.

According to agency spokesman John Lisle, the city will store the vehicles at a yard at the Greenbelt Metro station, to be maintained by Metro on D.C.'s dime. "Having them local will also allow us to familiarize ourselves with the cars," Lisle said.

http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/breaking_ground/2009/11/dc_trolleys_coming_home.html

thelakelander

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2009, 12:40:21 PM »
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Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)

Not really. They bring the same benefits regardless of community density.  So talking streetcars coming to DC or Jax is no different from talking about them coming and bringing sustainable development to Tampa, Dallas, Little Rock, Kenosa, Tucson, New Orleans, Memphis or Portland.
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AaroniusLives

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2009, 01:40:56 PM »
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Not really. They bring the same benefits regardless of community density.  So talking streetcars coming to DC or Jax is no different from talking about them coming and bringing sustainable development to Tampa, Dallas, Little Rock, Kenosa, Tucson, New Orleans, Memphis or Portland.

I politely disagree. I think that in SunBelt cities, you need to create walkable places first, from revitalized downtowns to mixed-use developments to lifestyle centers and the rest. You then link those places together via the transit system. A great deal of this has to do with the capital cost of building the streetcars/transit lines in and of themselves: density matters. Regarding the politics of transportation, demonstrating that a lot of people are using the transit built is essential (or the highways win!) The key here is density.

I often reflect on South Florida with regards to transit, as I was born, raised and educated there. In Miami, the MetroFail was built outside of downtown, away from density, removed from downtown Coral Gables, Coconut Grove...and never even went to Miami Beach (still doesn't. Idiots.) This meant that, unless you were going downtown, you had no reason to use the MetroFail. You wouldn't use the train to go to a nightclub in Coconut Grove...because it's too far to walk there.

It was only 20 years later that the Metrofail stations got the density they need to be effective, with the development of "Downtown Kendall," and a few lifestyle centers/mixed-use places along the line (and indeed: the system is still not effective because it hasn't been maintained. It's a fourth-class transit option, behind the car, the bike, hitching a ride with a serial killer, and walking.)

Contrast this with Broward and Palm Beach Counties, vastly more pragmatic and steady in their governance. Both of these counties are quite auto-dependent, and realize that, for the time being, they aren't going to get people out of their cars anytime soon...

...but they've taken a measured, long-term approach to the future via what I call the "fake downtown" syndrome. Mizner Park in Boca, The Walk in Coral Springs, RiverWalk in Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Abacoa in Jupiter, CityPlace in West Palm Beach and the rest (and there are now slews of them, ranging from malls in town drag to full-on mixed-use development,) not only remind the car-buying public what a great and wonderful pastime an urban walk is, they are a step in the plan. Create "something" from "nothing." Take those "somethings" and string them together with transit. This way of development contrasts with Tampa's as well, whose success with the heritage streetcar is mixed, at best (although, to be fair, they really have given it their all, and it's a well-defined, intelligent plan.)

Does this mean that South Florida is still basically car-dependent? Absolutely. But they've already put down brushstrokes on their canvas to go from that place to the next. Removing the toxic stew that is transportation politics in the South, I'd place both density and transit on the same level: you should encourage and develop both simultaneously. Placing back in that stew most foul, I'd seriously follow the Broward/Palm Beach approach. Broward is expanding their bus system, creating a downtown streetcar (I think,) and actually is mulling over the idea of light rail. That's an astonishing accomplishment from a region known for its huge highways, its 8-lane "local" roads. Part of the reason for this conversation about transit is the success of their attempts to densify. They can now make the valid point that we have the cart. Now, we need the horse. 

 

JeffreyS

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2009, 01:49:38 PM »
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we have the cart. Now, we need the horse. 

I think you just put the cart before the horse and not just in the joking manner. Transit can be the catalyst for infill you don't have to have infill to take advantage of transit. Jacksonville's core neighborhoods and downtown were built around streetcar transit the infrastructure is already there anyway. Transit could just be a good way to get people to take advantage of it.
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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2009, 01:55:04 PM »
Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)

It is important to note that streetcar envisioned for Jacksonville would run through the very walkable communities of Downtown, Riverside, Springfield, and San Marco.

thelakelander

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2009, 02:08:32 PM »
The South Florida experience has more to do with bad route planning and perhaps mode selection than density.  Bad route planning will sink you every time.  The flip side of that is Houston.  A poster child sunbelt sprawler with a starter 7.5-mile light rail line that averages around 40,000 passengers a day.  Its successful, because it directly links dense employment centers with residential areas, a college and professional sports facilities.  Charlotte is another one to consider.  Its actually less dense than Jacksonville, yet the ridership on their new 9.6-starter line continues to break original ridership estimates.  Despite being a sprawler, the line directly connects the CBD with entertainment/sports venues, a convention center and denser residential areas outside the core, while paralleling I-77, making it a viable alternative commuting option between DT and the southern suburbs.  Again, its all in the planning.

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I politely disagree. I think that in SunBelt cities, you need to create walkable places first, from revitalized downtowns to mixed-use developments to lifestyle centers and the rest. You then link those places together via the transit system. A great deal of this has to do with the capital cost of building the streetcars/transit lines in and of themselves: density matters. Regarding the politics of transportation, demonstrating that a lot of people are using the transit built is essential (or the highways win!) The key here is density.

To apply this to Jax, the first step is to take Jax for what it really is.  That is a small 31-square mile city that is also consolidated with its +800 mile core county.  We are a city that contains pockets of density (the old preconsolidated city) and suburban sprawl.  With that said, you focus on connecting those pockets of density with existing destinations, while also revising land development codes to encourage transit oriented development to grow around that public investment.

Examples of this in play, come in the form of starter sunbelt rail lines in Memphis, Charlotte, Norfolk, Austin, Houston, and Phoenix.  In Jax, it can be as simple as getting started with a small streetcar line running from Riverside, through DT to Springfield, which adds up to five miles or so.  As the concept increases in popularity, expand as needed instead of worrying about getting mass transit to immediately cover the entire county.  San Deigo, Dallas and Salt Lake City are great sunbelt examples to follow.




« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 02:10:48 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2010, 03:52:48 AM »
The thing to keep in mind is that rail builds density just like a highway in virgin land helps spread sprawl.  Here is a link to another article where you can find before and after shots along rail lines throughout the country to prove my point:

Before & After Example: Downtown Dadeland - Kendall, Florida


Before & After Example: Kenosha, Wi


more here: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-jun-before-after-rail-spurs-economic-development

It really boils down to what you want your community to be.  If you want it to be more walkable, using a fixed transit spine to connect a chain of existing destinations is a pretty good way to get started, regardless of if you're the size of San Francisco or Memphis.
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CS Foltz

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2010, 07:01:23 AM »
lake .....I assume you passed this on to JTA right? If not, will be more than happy to help you out?

JeffreyS

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Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2010, 02:16:25 PM »
Ock I couldn't find the construction but I can confirm this is a sketchy area . I Am heading back to chinatown.
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