Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Oakland Press: Mass transit in metro Detroit deserves more consideration Previous Next
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 2889
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 2:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OC is finally starting to come around

http://www.theoaklandpress.com /stories/112907/opi_2007112916 7.shtml
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 2897
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

good MetroMode article on transit as well

http://www.metromodemedia.com/ features/InvestTransit0045.asp x
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1424
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 5:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dominoes are starting to fall for mass transit in Metro Detroit. We have the best chance of seeing some sort of legit rail option of transit in a generation. Waiting on Trainman's post in 5, 4, 3...
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 901
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 6:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The part that kills me is that Trainman never posts anything about transit on a transit thread.
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Detroit_stylin
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Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 5354
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 6:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unless it is ironically pertaining to smart which last time I checked...doesn't operates trains...


Go Figure...
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2066
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 7:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"And throw in the newly reported fact younger adults are desiring more "walkable urban settings," maybe its time has come or is at least near." FROM THE OAKLAND ARTICLE

I think that [metro] Detroit has already missed the boat on appealing to my generation. I really love the city, but the city headed in so many wrong directions so long ago, that it has such a long way to go to come back to appeal to any sort of large number of my peers (much less my parents generation). Let's hope it can do some more things right for the next generation.
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Tigers2005
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Username: Tigers2005

Post Number: 155
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 8:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The thing that doesn't get mentioned is that even if you started now, the young people wanting a "walkable urban setting" will not be young anymore by the time the system is functional. That is why we need action and not just talk. Lets get it done. We need it.
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 20
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 12:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heavy rail/subway systems take a really long time to build, but I don't think there is any reason building light rail up Woodward needs to take very long once it is decided to do it.

Better-informed people should correct me, but the existing right-of-way is so wide you shouldn't have to do any takings, it is very straight, extremely flat, and you shouldn't need to do much utility relocation. From a construction standpoint, it seems about as straightforward as a project of that size could be.

Of course, nothing is simple, and impact studies would be required, and the bid specs will be very complicated, etc,, etc. But once there was a decision to do it and a definite funding source, I think this could be done while young people remain young. But it is true that if you don't get started, you never finish. I'd like to see it before I qualify for the senior fare.
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Tigers2005
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Username: Tigers2005

Post Number: 159
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 7:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Woodward right-of-way is large enough to accomodate light rail, but in order to be a completely functional system it would need to be long enough to connect all of the key locations along the corridor. A light rail line from the CBD to the New Center area could be done relatively quickly (within 5 years). This line would do a lot for serving a lot of destinations, but doesn't serve a large number of residents.

However, I think that if a light rail line were completed from the CBD to Midtown you would see a drastic increase in both commercial and residential development along the corridor. But it needs to be planned as the first piece in a larger plan, not as an individual line only.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 6842
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 8:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To have more Mass transit in Metro-Detroit, it takes bureaucratic measures and more paperwork that take years to process. Then research areas that has high people traffic issues and after years and years more bureaucratic measures. Then mass transit would be a reality.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 225
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There really needs to be something going up Woodward. Extending the DPM would probably be the best option.

Me and a bunch of my family were going to the new DIA on Thanksgiving. We had to take 2 cars and therefore pay to park 2 times (since we ate at Chellis first). it would have been great to get on the DPM and take it up to the "cultural District Station".
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Lifeinmontage
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Username: Lifeinmontage

Post Number: 20
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 6:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the DPM was one of the worst ideas (with even worse planning) in Detroit history. i say we cut our losses with it and create a plan that doesn't involve expanding it. a light rail line up each main avenue to the burbs would be great, but would take decades to create and would be very costly.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 917
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Apparently, Detroiters aren't pro-bus riders.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 306
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DPM is a gimmick. I was thinking it's the kind of ride that Disney would build for it's "urban world" when I realized that Disney World has a much better run and planned mass transit system than Detroit. We're doomed.
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 161
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 9:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The displays at the series of DDOT mass transit community meetings showed that along the main spoke avenues, there is plenty of room for light rail. I specifically talked to one of the reps from the consultants about the chart they had for Grand River.
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 77
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

People always dismiss the DPM, but Vancouver seems to have done quite a bit with the same tech. Daily ridership: 220,000.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 2903
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^they built a two-way system though...can't really compare PM to that...
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 78
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It wouldn't be that hard to incorporate the existing loop with a two-way line that extends up through the Cultural District to New Center, would it?
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 927
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In the sense you're speaking of, no. However, it's not how hard improving the DPM will be, but how much will it cost to improve the DPM.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 2905
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^exactly...that train is crazy expensive for what little utility it provides...

a light rail up Woodward between downtown and new center is far and away the best thing to do at this point...it won't connect to either of the casinos but I'm not sure there's any great option available there...
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Tigers2005
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Username: Tigers2005

Post Number: 163
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 9:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you extend the DPM to create a two-way line up the Woodward corridor, how long would it take to get from the Broadway Station to the RenCen Station? Probably an hour or more.

The DPM needs to continue to operate on its one-way loop. Any new system should be a separate system with a few common stations where someone could transfer from one to the other. A light rail line on Woodward could transfer at the GCP station.
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Supersport
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Username: Supersport

Post Number: 11724
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 10:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I fail to understand how people simply write off the DPM. It serves it's purpose well, to service all of downtown Detroit. It is the equivalent of Chicago's loop, minus the lines feeding into it. Downtown Detroit is a fraction of the size of what most consider downtown Detroit, the island cut off from the city by all the freeways meeting.

So, if Detroit does develop lines down Woodward, Michigan, Gratiot, Fort, and Jefferson, then the DPM will be more than sufficient, as well as meet it's originally intended purpose.

The DPM a failure? Hardly. It's simply a plan that has yet to be seen to completion.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 937
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Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 10:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasn't there a plan for s Subway System to be built in Detroit during the 70s? I believe the people mover was a small fraction of that plan.
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Tigers2005
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Username: Tigers2005

Post Number: 165
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Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with SS. I use the DPM regularly. Unless I need to get from Greektown to the RenCen (I would walk anyway), it works well. I just don't think it should be extended. A one-way system only works in a small loop, which it is.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 226
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought just make another loop that goes up to new Center. The two loops could connect at the grand Circus park station and you could get off the downtown loop and get on the other loop to go to new center.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com /2228/2078393510_238ce423ce.jp g?v=0
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 941
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 11:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We should call the People Mover The Ring if it's expanded to the New Center Area. Chicago has the loop, so we should call ours The Ring.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1605
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 11:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anybody ever hear anything about the study being paid for with private money (Henry Ford Hospital) about expanding the DPM up to New Center? They mentioned private companies might be interested in contributing to an expansion, and they figured out they could do it with existing equipment, they just needed to expand the track. Wonder if this plan fizzled out like the hundreds of other transit plans.
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Rbdetsport
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Username: Rbdetsport

Post Number: 418
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 12:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Parkguy, what about Grand River? What was said?
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2075
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 2:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Streetcars would be better option up Woodward then would be light rail. It's best to keep it as simple as possible, avoiding a bridge up and over at every main road crossing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s amuelspence/2053048267/
A better idea--keep it at grade (or otherwise you have to have an elevator at each stop as well): http://www.flickr.com/photos/r odto/1426000187/
Oh and P.S., no need for fancy art work; keep it functional.
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Lifeinmontage
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Username: Lifeinmontage

Post Number: 30
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 2:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The problem with Toronto Streetcars is that they share right of way with automobiles. I was up there in September. I started riding the streetcar for what was a five mile trip down Queen West (for anyone familiar with the area). Because of the Saturday evening traffic, I got out a half mile later, walked the remaining 4.5 miles, and passed several other streetcars (between 5 and 10) on the way.

If you want some Metro Detroiters to pick mass transit over their cars, give them more reasons to. Give the streetcar/light rail right of way.
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 79
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right of way is another good point in favor of using the People Mover for the downtown to New Center area where the roads get really congested during the various events. I'm sure being stuck in your car and watching one of the trains zip on by overhead would pique your interest in using it.

Also, I don't think the art in the stations would be a bad thing to continue in any expansion. Artists recently were complaining about the lack of public interest in local art in Metro Detroit. Why not provide more venues? It certainly is uniquely Detroit.

(Message edited by GreatLakes on December 01, 2007)
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Sg9018
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Username: Sg9018

Post Number: 91
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 5:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the People Mover gets a expansion with any federal dollars, station art is required/mandated.
I also agree with Kslice. The People Mover should have a other loop to new center and then connect to one of the current People mover stations. Build the new stations in mind for the future to connect to any type of lightrail/streetcar/subway/rail Detroit might build along the main corridors in the future.

(Message edited by sg9018 on December 01, 2007)
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 576
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2007 - 10:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The standard measure of performance for mass transit is the fare box to revenue ratio which is the amount of money paid by the customers compared to the operating budget.

The present problem is that SMART and DDOT both cost too much in relationship to the wages paid by Wal-Mart in Livonia.

It was the fault of both top Wal-Mart executives and lame state leaders who supported large freeway expansions as opposed to competently removing cars from crowded freeways that helped cause the loss of the large buses in Livonia in November 2006.
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Baltgar
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Username: Baltgar

Post Number: 90
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 1:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I came across this map today on the Wayne State Univ. Urban Studies website.

http://www.cus.wayne.edu/conte nt/maps/2007_vacancy.pdf

I think it is interesting how many of the vacant properties are among major transit corridors, such as Woodward, Grand River and Gratiot. I am surprised at this fact. I would think these would be the last to go. As many of us know, development and density follow transit options and mostly mass transit corridors. Just look at M-5 north and the development around transit stops in metro DC. Know think how different this map might look in 25 years if we had mass transit.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 2249
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 3:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fare box revenue is never a measure of transit success. Ridership is always the measure and always has been.

I don't recall Wal-Mart executives supporting a freeway expansion in the Detroit area.

Go back to smoking whatever you were toking Trainman.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2449
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 6:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A People Mover loop from the CBD to Midtown? Why? Why spend millions of dollars to put an elevated train along a stretch of street that you can WALK to and from? Like someone said, just catch the freakin' bus if you're too lazy to walk.

Mass transit in Detroit will only work if light-rail trains or subway trains have express routes in and out of the CBD to the suburbs. Speed and convenience will attract ridership. If people have to stop every two minutes to let passengers on and off it's not going to work. This ain't NYC.

A light-rail line from Macomb Mall to the CBD would work along Gratiot Avenue if the train made one or two stops before Eight Mile, a stop at Eight Mile, and then continued non-stop to Downtown Detroit. The same would apply to a light-rail line along Woodward Avenue to Pontiac.

Similar express lines along Grand River Avenue to Farmington, Michigan Avenue to Dearborn(or further west), and Jefferson Avenue through the Grosse Pointes to St. Clair Shores(Jefferson at Ten Mile) would work. Non-express travel would be handled by D-Dot/Smart busses.

How about putting a light-rail system on the freeways like in Chicago? What would it take to close off the left lanes of the following freeways: I-75 (between the CBD and Pontiac), I-696 (between I-94 and Farmington), and I-96/75 from Mexicantown to I-275) and put a transit train along those lanes and have passenger platforms in the middle. With fewer lanes and more congestion, drivers along these freeways might decide to catch the light-rail trains since it's going in the same direction that they would be driving to and from work anyway.

Again, mass transit in Metro Detroit has to have an express component and it has to appeal to suburbanites or it's just a waste of money, period.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 9:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Speak it Royce.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3807
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 9:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Again, mass transit in Metro Detroit has to have an express component and it has to appeal to suburbanites or it's just a waste of money, period.



Which is why God invented commuter trains.
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Jdkeepsmiling
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Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 313
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 10:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I do not fathom why there is not more discussion of a high speed rail express line out 94. It could have only 4 stops:

1. CBD
2. Downtown Dearborn
3. Metro Airport
4. Downtown Ann Arbor

Think of the ridership potential on the route alone. We do not need an El -Style system here, we do not have the density to support it. We do have the need to move large amounts of people to major destinations in a fast manner. Use park and ride decks and get people to where they NEED to go.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2119
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"If the People Mover gets a expansion with any federal dollars, station art is required/mandated."

DAMN IT! Talk about a waste of money that could otherwise be spent on building better transit. Just give some neighborhood kids some finger paint and let them have at a blank wall.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 949
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 11:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where did that statement come from? I mean this: "...station art is required..."

What federal regulation is that? Or is somebody just making stuff up? Have you been to other transit systems and seen what they have? I have ridden light rail transit all over the US and I can tell you for a fact that light rail stations very rarely have any art work.

By the way, I have spent many hours on the Gratiot bus, and it does not work the way some think it works. Very few, and I mean very few, use it to get downtown. Almost everybody on that bus is making a local trip from somewhere on Gratiot to somewhere else on Gratiot, or using it to transfer to another bus, the most popular two being the DDOT Seven Mile bus and the SMART Nine Mile bus, as far as I can tell.

If you want to improve service along Gratiot, you need something that can make at least the transfer stops, which are just about one a mile in the inner suburbs and more often than that in Detroit.
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 94
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 12:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just to see how others have done it: a sped up video of the Expo Line of the Vancouver SkyTrain (this line used the same tech as the DPM).
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 196
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 1:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A streetcar system would work I think if they had dedicated lanes and streetlight control.

During the morning and evening rush hours, a few of the cars should be limited stop two or three car trains both into and out of downtown.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 231
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 9:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the best thing about the DPM is it's elevated. It never has to worry about cars or other things on the street. I would love to see a 2 way skytrain type of system added here connecting to the downtown loop.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2454
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Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 3:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That Vancouver elevated system looks great. Looks like they built it behind their major streets or along streets that would have a median if the system wasn't there.

With that observation in mind, it would appear that Woodward, north of McNichols to Pontiac, would be the only street where you could put an elevated train. South of McNichols, the train would have to go under ground to get to the CBD. Eight Mile would have been the other candidate for an elevated train, but the electric power towers in the median get in the way. Therefore, there aren't a lot of options for a Vancouver-type elevated rapid transit system here in Detroit.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 965
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 1:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce, the biggest problem with those systems is they are very expensive, which is why almost every city does something on the surface: commuter rail, or light rail, or streetcars, or some mix or combination of these, plus the bus system(s) without which none of the rapid transit would work nearly as well.

If elevated systems were really that great, more cities would build them. They work great when they're well designed, but they're expensive.

All just IMHO.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 5905
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce, how is a light rail line from the suburbs to downtown but without any other stops in Detroit proper before downtown... how is that going to benefit Detroiters? What you are suggesting is a SMART light rail line to downtown that doesn't have any other stops within the city. Great for suburbanites, but it sucks for city residents.

Also, Professorscott you are correct... public transportation artwork is not a federal mandate. The PM artwork was a locally sponsored and funded project to spruce up the otherwise bland PM station.
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 174
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 4:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We need fixed mass transit for two reasons:
1) fixed means (allegedly) permanent. It is an investment that tells people, "We're here for the long haul." That fixed system could be light rail, streetcars, or trolly busses. Even just seeing cables over the street says "permanent."

2) We need to re-centralize our infrastructure. On a personal level, I long for a more dense, vibrant city, but on a practical level, I'm weary of paying for an extra car, for the miles I have to drive to get to BFE to do business, for expressways at millions of dollars per mile to get people to their new mecca on the fringes of civilization, just so a developer can make money building on a cornfield instead of re-developing an already urbanized area.

Specifically, streetcars won't work as rapid transit. They are no faster than busses, and don't have any more capacity than an articulated bus. Trolly busses are cheaper, and are just as quiet. There is a big difference between electric engines and the belching, loud diesels that blow down Fenkell every 15 minutes. Trust me. There's a big argument in Seattle right now about their new streetcar line, the S.L.U.T. (that was the name: South Lake Union Trolly; they changed it from "trolly" to "streetcar" when T-shirts started appearing; ). It was pushed by a developer who is redeveloping the area to residential and retail, but even though it is stylish, it has drawbacks. One advantage: some people who ride the streetcar say they have never and will never ride a bus. Here's an article link: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ transportation/343274_streetca r13.html
I'm absolutely certain that the same attitude prevails here. Advantage to trolly busses: they can move into and out of the parking lane at stops as needed.

Light rail does not have to run down the middle of the street. With limited stops, it can travel mainly in a rail right-of-way and return to the street for stations. That would do away with street traffic issues, as existed in Detroit years ago, with much too narrow DSR islands in the middle of the streets. Elevated light rail would help in this regard, too, but it is expensive.

I think a good target for this region would be a system that includes commuter rail from Pontiac, Birmingham, Royal Oak to downtown, Ann Arbor to Metro, Dearborn, and downtown; light rail on the spoke corridors reaching out to the regional shopping centers with free circulator busses at those hubs (including downtown); and a GOOD bus system for local transit based around electric trolly busses. Commuter rail trains should be at least every hour, light rail trains at least every half-hour, and busses at least every 15 minutes. The bus system should be convenient and comfortable, with shelters whenever possible and should be user-friendly.

If you build a good, reliable, convenient, and clean system, people will EVENTUALLY use it. Expect it to take several years before it is heavily used by people who can afford a car.

And, by the way, I think they should return to the red and cream-colored coaches and cars used by the DSR. That green and gold DDOT logo is left over from disco. It makes me want to break out the polyester bellbottoms.
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Fmstack
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Username: Fmstack

Post Number: 26
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With so much of the inner-ring development alongside the arterial roads, Metro Detroit has the potential to easily have dense corridors, if not a dense center -- all it needs is transit that people actually use, so that town centers can become /town centers/, instead of isolated outposts in an infinite field of parking lots. The mayor/coalition of mayors that finally does the right thing and slams light rail down the middle of Woodward and/or Michigan (even if they have to take out lanes of traffic to do parts of it) will be the folks who are remembered for fixing this weird-ass region. And big bonus points to the mayors who build branches off to Troy and Southfield.

The Detroit Metro area is never going to turn back into something dense and compact like New York. However, it would be so easy for a farsighted mayor to build in the infrastructure for it to consist of a thriving, walkable, middle-density weblike network along the arterials, with quiet auto-centric low-density development away from them. There's enough space here for people to have a really wonderful range of lifestyle choices, it's just that opening that up requires building a genuine civic culture, instead of the every-man-for-himself I-got-mine-so-screw-you culture we've got now.

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