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Light Rail in Central Ohio

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Light Rail in Central Ohio

Viewing 15 posts - 616 through 630 (of 634 total)
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  • #1115576

    Lu
    Participant

    NPR had a story yesterday about the problems cities have faced rolling out modern streetcars, particularly those that share the road with traffic. It sounds like the problems have been due to slow speeds from not being able to maneuver around traffic, low ridership, and cost overruns.

    It sounds like light rail lines separated from traffic have fared better. BRT has the advantage of being able to maneuver around traffic. Hopefully Columbus will take into account the recent experiences of these other cities.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/02/23/467813006/revived-streetcars-may-be-on-track-for-disappointment

    #1115597

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    NPR had a story yesterday about the problems cities have faced rolling out modern streetcars, particularly those that share the road with traffic. It sounds like the problems have been due to slow speeds from not being able to maneuver around traffic, low ridership, and cost overruns.

    It sounds like light rail lines separated from traffic have fared better. BRT has the advantage of being able to maneuver around traffic. Hopefully Columbus will take into account the recent experiences of these other cities.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/02/23/467813006/revived-streetcars-may-be-on-track-for-disappointment

    BRT can maneuver around traffic, but a function of BRT is lost in the process without dedicated lanes just like it is for rail. Being in the middle of traffic inevitably increases travel times. The CMAX will be a standard bus without the lanes.

    #1115620
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    Its all about dedicated Right of Way. Streetcar systems or trams that have dedicated ROW tend to function well, much more like LTR but cheaper.

    #1115673

    zp945
    Participant

    Clearly the biggest hurdle is cost and no amount of studies are going to make that go away. As a city we’ve invested so very heavily in our road infrastructure and it’s so good that’s it’s hard to make the argument for another sizeable investment in mass transit. When you can basically a can get anywhere in the gigantic geographic area that is Columbus in 20 min it’s hard to sell mass transit. “so you’re telling me you want me to pay higher taxes to go walk to a station to pay for a ticket to get to a place in twice the amount of time and then have to walk from that station to where I actually want to go?”

    I think the idea of driverless cars helps to make that argument even tougher. If I can sleep/read emails/do whatever on my way to work in a personal space and get picked up and dropped off exactly where I want to be without higher taxes that whole train thing seems even worse.

    I think the argument that you can get anywhere in 20 minutes is a bit outdated. We don’t have the worst traffic of a city our size but trying to go from downtown to anywhere beyond a central city neighborhood at rush hour certainly takes more than 20 minutes. I drive between downtown, the north side and the northeast side pretty frequently. It can take well over an hour to do that. Which isn’t unreasonable in a city this size.

    I would also really like to see another option, which I would use if it were available and would eliminate a lot of cars.

    #1115674

    zp945
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>jbcmh81 wrote:</div>
    Wasn’t there some organization that was going to release a list of potential priority mass transit routes this spring?

    Some organization? Yes there is, we call it COTA.

    In my experience, developers don’t carry the cost of a TIF. It’s passed on to the business owners. I’m not saying that TIF’s are bad. I’m saying that the cost rolls downhill to the people with a lower margin.

    #1115675

    zp945
    Participant

    We need to ask everyone in the community: Are you ready to open your pocket…

    I’m a big fan of mass transit, and would love to see light rail here. But the problem for Columbus is that our taxes are already sky high (among the highest of any city in America). Wallets are already way, way open, and taxpayers have been showing recently that they’re at their limits (e.g., recent rejections of CCS and zoo levies).

    I don’t think asking everyone in the community to open their wallets even further is the answer. Elected leaders should look at creative funding options like a TIF on commercial property owners adjacent to the rail line (i.e., the landlords and developers who would benefit financially).

    In my experience a TIF is not carried by the developers. It’s passed on to the tenants. I’m not saying that’s a bad option but the people that end up paying for it aren’t always the ones that have the greatest gain.

    #1116670

    taxguy17
    Participant
    #1116673

    UrbanPlanner2112
    Participant

    At this early stage most streetcars are “attractions” not transit. They are designed to attract specific kinds of development and demographics to an area. They don’t necessarily have to have high ridership nor do the fares have to pay for the operation of the infrastructure. The payoff is expected to come 20 years down the road with a reshaped neighborhood and more income-earning population in the urban cores.

    #1116716

    JMan
    Participant

    We need light rail in central Ohio, or some other form of non- bus transit. Maybe if COTA was a multi county organization, maybe when we build the new airport terminal. At some point it will happen and be a good thing for us.

    #1116918
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    Traffic or not, It’s pretty clear that a streetcar is needed between OSU and downtown. A a single street car can replace 3 of the buses that pile up one on top of the other in the middle of the day.

    #1116922

    OwnTerms
    Participant

    I’m no engineer or expert of any kind, but I strongly believe we can save the taxpayers of Columbus an enormous amount of money by overhauling the bus system for around 10% of the cost of a light rail project. Buses are not cool and they won’t make Columbus more like NYC or San Fran, etc., but I’m sick of people writing off buses just because the current COTA system is awful. Curitiba’s bus system transports more people per day than the Rio de Janiero subway system and cost 50X LESS! FIFTY-TIMES-LESS $$$

    “Instead, Lerner saw an opportunity in the one form of transport that many considered a lost cause: the bus. His idea was to devise a system that gave buses as many of the functional advantages of urban train systems as possible. He proposed to integrate dedicated bus lanes along the city’s main arteries, with stations placed on medians along the routes. This would allow buses to run at speeds comparable to light rail, while dramatically reducing the cost.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/26/curitiba-brazil-brt-transport-revolution-history-cities-50-buildings

    #1116925
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    Buses don’t drive development. Rail isn’t purely a people moving method, this is about transit oriented development.

    #1116929
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I’m no engineer or expert of any kind, but I strongly believe we can save the taxpayers of Columbus an enormous amount of money by overhauling the bus system…

    Already in the works…

    https://www.columbusunderground.com/interview-cotas-curtis-stitt-on-the-next-generation-of-transit-in-columbus-bw1

    #1116972
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    Buses don’t drive development. Rail isn’t purely a people moving method, this is about transit oriented development.

    In some places yes. In the Short North the development is there. A street car is actually needed for mobility there, now.

    #1117022

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Coremodels wrote:</div>
    Buses don’t drive development. Rail isn’t purely a people moving method, this is about transit oriented development.

    In some places yes. In the Short North the development is there. A street car is actually needed for mobility there, now.

    If it is in mixed traffic, what would prevent it from being stuck in traffic and people just being able to walk, bike or drive faster? I want rail, but it needs to be done right.

Viewing 15 posts - 616 through 630 (of 634 total)

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