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taylor23 Apr 21, 2011 6:59 PM

I have no idea if this is new or not but this flyover video of the North Metro line is really cool. Perhaps I just never noticed. It does a great job visualizing where the line goes and what obstacles it will have to cross.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/nm_146

EngiNerd Apr 21, 2011 7:29 PM

Thanks for posting!

Man, that is gonna be one ugly ass train ride, lol! Hope those rail cars will be pretty well sealed against the refinery stink.

Looks like most of the stations are located in empty fields prime for TOD development.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 7:35 PM

Prime, if the cities up there want it...

The Dirt Apr 21, 2011 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taylor23 (Post 5250410)
I have no idea if this is new or not but this flyover video of the North Metro line is really cool. Perhaps I just never noticed. It does a great job visualizing where the line goes and what obstacles it will have to cross.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/nm_146

Wow! Nice find! Although, I have to say that this made me completely rethink the necessity of this line. It has pockets of TOD potential, but currently, all I saw were warehouses, followed by a giant refinery, giant grass fields and reservoirs, suburban houses, more giant fields, and rural housing. Basically, this is going to be a suburban commuter line. The east line is not much better, but at least it has DIA at the other end.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5250479)
Wow! Nice find! Although, I have to say that this made me completely rethink the necessity of this line. It has pockets of TOD potential, but currently, all I saw were warehouses, followed by a giant refinery, giant grass fields and reservoirs, suburban houses, more giant fields, and rural housing. Basically, this is going to be a suburban commuter line. The east line is not much better, but at least it has DIA at the other end.

And the River North area, and Stapleton, both of which have a high probability of someday producing some TOD-ish development.

The Gold Line, on the other had... that one's pretty bad. Like this one. I'm not convinced most of these cities have any interest in TOD. Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, and many of the southern burbs, yes. Boulder, sure. The rest of the metro, I am not so sure.

Incidentally, I catch a lot of flak on here when I start to question Fastracks, alignments, and ridership projections... sometimes I wonder how many of the folks arguing with me have ever gone out and actually driven (or better, walked) these corridors.

Cirrus Apr 21, 2011 8:34 PM

At least the Gold line hits downtown Arvada. There's some density there already, and when that throw-away movie theater redevelops (inevitable) there will be massive pressure by developers for a good TOD, whether the city wants it or not.

Also, the Gold line is a lot shorter.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 8:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5250572)
At least the Gold line hits downtown Arvada. There's some density there already, and when that throw-away movie theater redevelops (inevitable) there will be massive pressure by developers for a good TOD, whether the city wants it or not.

Also, the Gold line is a lot shorter.

True, one good station, maybe two. I have a hard time seeing TOD really getting a foothold at Sheridan/Federal/Pecos. It's fine and all to have plenty of land and a transit line. But location still matters... between interstates, gravel pits, and other industrial nastiness, without even regular suburbia nearby... why would anybody want to live (or work) there? There's nothing walkable at those stations for even the most ambitious would-be pedestrian.

Cirrus Apr 21, 2011 9:02 PM

Pecos is the really useless one. I can't think of a single reason why you wouldn't eliminate that stop. Totally redundant to Federal, which is closer to residential and I'm sure is a much more important bus corridor.

41st is a good station, and I could see TOD potential at Kipling if the city gets behind the idea.

jerry@skytran.us Apr 21, 2011 9:26 PM

SkyTran at www.skytran.net
 
Hi again, Folks, SkyTran's CEO here.

I think you may be arguing over very little. We do not pretend to be all things to all people. What we can assure you is that we will transform what today is a 45 or 60 minute ride to a 5 or 10 minute ride. And by so doing we will alleviate traffic congestion for those who prefer to not leave their cars (and stay in traffic). We can assure you that it will be the coolest ride you've had. We can assure you that the system is the lowest cost system clocking in at 1/10 the cost of light rail. We can assure you that you need not fear winds, cold weathers. mice or moose.

SkyTran is real and ready to go. It has taken us a long time to get to this point but sometimes great ideas have to wait for the great technology to catch up. That was the SkyTran case.

Jerry Sanders, CEO

The Dirt Apr 21, 2011 9:27 PM

I know that the NW line gets a lot flak here due to the BRT redundancy, but Westminster has a really nice TOD plan to redevelop the Westminster mall area (http://www.westminstercenter.us/; http://www.westminstercenter.us/Docu...ssingstudy.pdf). If any suburban station has TOD potential, it's that one. Also, to much lower degrees, the Broomfield and Louisville stops had TOD in the plans as well. I don't see as much potential for TODs along the North line. Okay, maybe, Elyria Swansea would be ripe for this kind of development, so stop the line there. Everything after that is pointless and expensive. Did you guys see the Ron Jeremy sized elevated portion stretching from York, passed the refinery, and all the way to Miller Reservoir? It looks like it could be 1 1/2 miles long and easily the most expensive section (other than the stations themselves).

jerry@skytran.us Apr 21, 2011 9:33 PM

SkyTran clarifications
 
Please let me address some of the good questions and comments:

SkyTran is different than any other PRT. Traditional, old PRT, indeed has problems: Expensive, big foot print, lots of concrete and big footprint, mechanical parts, high maintenance costs, moves on wheel limited to 40MPH...

SkyTran is not mechanical. We ride on an air cushion, not on wheels. We use a small guideway and we take up virtually no real estate, no footprint (we ride on lampposts on sidewalks!). We withstand the weather and our guideway can take the cold and the heat. We use very little electricity. We are clean energy and actually add power to the smart grid.

So it should be no surprise that old, 20th Century PRT has not gained a foot-holdd. It offers very little if anything over traditional rail. SkyTran is quite different than that.

If you go to the Detroit Free Press article about SkyTran from last Sunday, you can link to a TV segment about SkyTran.

We ask only that you keep an open mind before turning your back on this important technology. Traffic congestion is killing America's productivity.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 9:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jerry@skytran.us (Post 5250649)
Please let me address some of the good questions and comments:

SkyTran is different than any other PRT. Traditional, old PRT, indeed has problems: Expensive, big foot print, lots of concrete and big footprint, mechanical parts, high maintenance costs, moves on wheel limited to 40MPH...

SkyTran is not mechanical. We ride on an air cushion, not on wheels. We use a small guideway and we take up virtually no real estate, no footprint (we ride on lampposts on sidewalks!). We withstand the weather and our guideway can take the cold and the heat. We use very little electricity. We are clean energy and actually add power to the smart grid.

So it should be no surprise that old, 20th Century PRT has not gained a foot-holdd. It offers very little if anything over traditional rail. SkyTran is quite different than that.

If you go to the Detroit Free Press article about SkyTran from last Sunday, you can link to a TV segment about SkyTran.

We ask only that you keep an open mind before turning your back on this important technology. Traffic congestion is killing America's productivity.


Then give us some details about the technology. Don't tell us what it can do, tell us how it does it.

- Passive maglev: technical details? We're all engineers here, I'd like to see the details. At a minimum, operating characteristics.
- Pod weight and capacity. Don't tell me it's light, tell me how light. Show me a structural detail for a pole that you'd find adequate, and tell me support spacing.
- Utility poles, really? Back to pod weight.
- You claim on-demand travel. Well, let's go with a unidirectional peak hour travel capacity of 4,500 people/hr for light rail with 3-car consists (similar to 3-lanes of highway, which you claim to be able to match). If it's on-demand travel, how many pods do you estimate needing to operate a line. Where's your modeling, I'd like to see it.
- Continuing, 4,500 people, that's over 2,000 pods. So back to how light these are, and the structures needed.
- I'd like to see your flow model too. Headways, accel/decel times, station dwell times, and how much passing track is needed at stations. That'll depend on velocity, but at the speeds you're touting, I don't see how that wouldn't require 4 guideways with station spacing <1 mile.
- Back to the technology. You claim to be able to move 4,500 people/hour each direction, and generate electricity. How? Show me the technology. At least a brief write up on where the energy generation comes from, and how much energy is used to power the thing under different operating conditions.
- Emergency access/egress?

I'm sure there's more. That's a 2-minute wag at asking questions.

To please the skeptics, you'll need to tell us things we don't already know. "Traffic congestion is killing America." That's news. Details. That's where the devil hides.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5250642)
I know that the NW line gets a lot flak here due to the BRT redundancy, but Westminster has a really nice TOD plan to redevelop the Westminster mall area (http://www.westminstercenter.us/; http://www.westminstercenter.us/Docu...ssingstudy.pdf). If any suburban station has TOD potential, it's that one. Also, to much lower degrees, the Broomfield and Louisville stops had TOD in the plans as well. I don't see as much potential for TODs along the North line. Okay, maybe, Elyria Swansea would be ripe for this kind of development, so stop the line there. Everything after that is pointless and expensive. Did you guys see the Ron Jeremy sized elevated portion stretching from York, passed the refinery, and all the way to Miller Reservoir? It looks like it could be 1 1/2 miles long and easily the most expensive section (other than the stations themselves).

Lucky for us, up to Westminster is part of the Eagle P3 project. So whether the rest happens or not, that TOD will get its opportunity.

There was an awful lot elevated on the North line too. The only station left there now is at the Stock Show, not Elyria Swansea. Unless the Stock Show moves, there won't be space there for any TOD.

The Dirt Apr 21, 2011 10:01 PM

Here's a cool graphic that shows the relative size of the Westminster TOD:
http://www.westminstercenter.us/Imag...l-lodo-map.jpg
http://www.westminstercenter.us/News_92.htm

The Dirt Apr 21, 2011 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5250698)
Lucky for us, up to Westminster is part of the Eagle P3 project. So whether the rest happens or not, that TOD will get its opportunity.

The Eagle P3 project does go to Westminster, but not quite as far as this stop. It's a little over a mile shy of the last stop at 71st Ave and Lowell. A shame.

Quote:

There was an awful lot elevated on the North line too. The only station left there now is at the Stock Show, not Elyria Swansea. Unless the Stock Show moves, there won't be space there for any TOD.
The stop is a decent way northeast of the complex, which puts it closer to Elyria Park. There's a ton of adjacent open/light industrial lots surrounding the park, which would make for a great TOD development.

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5250720)
The Eagle P3 project does go to Westminster, but not quite as far as this stop. It's a little over a mile shy of the last stop at 71st Ave and Lowell. A shame.

Transit oriented development without the transit. Iguess the 72nd-ish station is a bit far. Wonder if the bus is enough. Why don't they just call this a good infill redevelopment? Does it need the TOD moniker? Or is "TOD" becoming code word for anything somewhat urban in metro Denver... sort of like all condos are "lofts" and all our trains are forever going to be called "light rail."

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5250720)
The stop is a decent way northeast of the complex, which puts it closer to Elyria Park. There's a ton of adjacent open/light industrial lots surrounding the park, which would make for a great TOD development.

You sure? Did it move again? I think you're thinking of the old UP alignment to the east. Didn't the FEIS preferred alternative choose the BNSF alignment to the west? This location map shows it right at the Stock Show.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/u...2_7_10_800.pdf

The FEIS executive summary shows it west too. Maybe I missed a late change?

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/u...ve_Summary.pdf

The Dirt Apr 21, 2011 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5250751)
Transit oriented development without the transit. Iguess the 72nd-ish station is a bit far. Wonder if the bus is enough. Why don't they just call this a good infill redevelopment? Does it need the TOD moniker? Or is "TOD" becoming code word for anything somewhat urban in metro Denver... sort of like all condos are "lofts" and all our trains are forever going to be called "light rail."

Heh. Well, it seems that they're planning it regardless, but the "light rail" wouldn't hurt.

Quote:

You sure? Did it move again? I think you're thinking of the old UP alignment to the east. Didn't the FEIS preferred alternative choose the BNSF alignment to the west? This location map shows it right at the Stock Show.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/u...2_7_10_800.pdf

The FEIS executive summary shows it west too. Maybe I missed a late change?

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/u...ve_Summary.pdf
1:19 in the video matches your first link, which puts it here:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Denver,+Colorado&t=h&ll=39.783608,-104.966737&spn=0.006489,0.013937&z=17

bunt_q Apr 21, 2011 11:01 PM

Right that's the western alignment, an old alignment had it much closer to the park. This is a pretty hefty hike to anything redevelopable. I suppose farther up Brighton. But otherwise, you're two blocks plus the station to the park. The industrial beyond that is too far. Across the tracks is not good. Generally, it's not a great TOD site, most of that is stock show land.

Besides, the stuff in RiNo along the East Corridor will take off long before this does. South of I-70 Has so much redevelopment capacity already. I'd be shocked to see anything happen here as long as the stock show is there.

trubador Apr 22, 2011 12:38 AM

I think the whole Westminster Center is a bit strange. You have the bus station right at 36 and Sheridan, but the train station will be on opposite corners of the development. It would be much worse than market street/union station is today. I think part of the benefit of the system is the availability to transfer between transport systems.

SnyderBock Apr 22, 2011 1:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by taylor23 (Post 5250410)
I have no idea if this is new or not but this flyover video of the North Metro line is really cool. Perhaps I just never noticed. It does a great job visualizing where the line goes and what obstacles it will have to cross.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/nm_146

I noticed it has an elevated section which runs from York street, all the way to Miller Reservoir. That's a very long stretch. There are also a couple shorter viaducts between Union Station and this long one. Then farther north at Colorado Blvd & 104th, is another significant elevated stretch which includes an elevated station.


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