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texcolo Apr 22, 2011 2:41 AM

By the way, Cdot's putting an overpass at Parker & Arapahoe. I did some concrete testing on it a month ago.

Wizened Variations Apr 22, 2011 3:07 AM

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

Thanks Bunt q

Imagine, for a moment that you were from Asia or Europe and were looking at Denver via Google Maps. In addition, imagine, on a 2nd screen looking at the route of the North Corridor.

Would'nt you wonder why there was to be no station at the intersection of the expressway and the rail line?

Another one of our political realities concerning not using a great resource! Put a sealed parking lot (open only to the Turnpike) like at those eastern turnpike rest stops. Run the rail line like a titanic, fast 120X bus. The time variable could be handled via photos entering and leaving the parking lot X coorelated to the transducer already on the car and an additional fee charged.

Or put buses on 470 and go between RTD stations of one type or another with only pedestrian interconnectivity...Hell, put a BRT on 470 (got plenty of right-of-way).

Oh, sorry, we must be realists.

Cheap solutions for challenging times.............

glowrock Apr 22, 2011 4:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texcolo (Post 5250997)
What happened to all the Schlotzky's in Denver????

The only ones I know of are at Parker & Arapahoe and the airport.

By the way, Cdot's putting an overpass at Parker & Arapahoe. I did some concrete testing on it a month ago.

One of the single most important projects in the region, quite frankly. Parker would back up regularly for at least a mile in each direction, and Arapahoe heading east would back up from Parker all the way back to around Peoria sometimes! :eek:

Sure, it may be perpetuating the auto-centric lifestyle, that's true. At the same time, Parker and Arapahoe are such major regional traffic arteries as to make them de-facto highways, meaning they need to have some full interchanges to keep them functional without essentially becoming gridlocked. This interchange will dramatically improve traffic flow in the entire SE Metro area!

Aaron (Glowrock)

Cirrus Apr 22, 2011 2:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texcolo (Post 5250997)
Cdot's putting an overpass at Parker & Arapahoe. I did some concrete testing on it a month ago.

At a cost of $32 million.

That's actually quite a bargain for a big interchange like that. I'd have expected it to be about twice that much.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 2:28 PM

It's because they have so dang much land to work with. One relatively short bridge span, the rest is just magic with grading.

I have to say, though, for driving I hate these. It's like the one in Monument. I get how spreading out the two signals so far helps. But to go northbound to westbound, you have to drive an extra half freakin mile or more.

taylor23 Apr 22, 2011 2:29 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).

I think Westminster gets a lot of credit for this project. It’s great to see a city embracing transit. This station is not part of Fastracks and yet they seem willing to fund it themselves. I think it’s great.

Since this project seems to be moving faster than anything else along the NW corridor I wonder if there is any chance of extending the electrified segment an extra mile to help get it started sooner. I can’t see them running DMU just for one extra station.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 2:38 PM

Would be tough because of the PPP.

I admire Westy's efforts too. At the same time, this is already the slowest train imaginable. We can't afford to add too many stations on this line if you want folks to get to/from Longmont and Denver on the same day.

taylor23 Apr 22, 2011 2:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5251459)
Would be tough because of the PPP.

I admire Westy's efforts too. At the same time, this is already the slowest train imaginable. We can't afford to add too many stations on this line if you want folks to get to/from Longmont and Denver on the same day.

True, especially if the proposed Arista and South Boulder stations are added. Sounds the same station blight might be occurring on the East line as well.

Having more destination options is probably worth a little extra travel time though.

BrennanW Apr 22, 2011 3:06 PM

What is the estimated frequency all the way to Longmont. For such a long run it may make sense to abandon the Denver "CRRT" (Commuter Rail Rapid Transit) model and go to a traditional scaled commuter service on that line and let the US 36 BRT line handle the would-be "rapid transit" customers to Boulder.

Structure the entire line like the BNSF line in Chicago. BNSF locos (or DMUs also lowering the cost by bringing in private operators), traincrews, signaling crews, everything and run the schedules peak heavy - trains every 30 minutes during peak times and every hour or two during off-peak.

That would really make sense for such a long corridor.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 3:10 PM

That was the plan, I think. 30 minute peak, traditional commuter rail-type operations. Appropriate for such a long corridor, but not conducive to TOD (or a lot of the other things Boulder imagines for its beloved rail line).

Cirrus Apr 22, 2011 4:06 PM

I suspect you gain more riders with more stations than you lose with a slower ride. That's usually how it works.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 4:19 PM

True, it's only 7 minutes if all four unfunded stations are added. But 68 minutes... that's a long bloody train ride, certainly for TOD.

Cirrus Apr 22, 2011 4:23 PM

How many people are really going to ride it the whole way from Longmont to Denver? And do we really care that much about giving people who choose to live so far away a fast commute?

More likely folks from Longmont (and everywhere else) will ride it to intermediate job centers along the route... Another reason it's such a big deal that the darn thing misses downtown Boulder.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 4:24 PM

Do you know of any good examples of TOD built around a traditional shared freight/commuter rail line with infrequent headways? Surely they're out there, I just can't think of any.

Cirrus Apr 22, 2011 4:36 PM

How infrequent are the headways going to be on this line? Really 30 minutes? I thought it was 15, and all day service?

Anyway, I can think of a few, mostly around areas like Old Town Arvada that had some good bones to begin with and are filling in. Downtown Gaithersburg, MD is one such, and CalTrain south of San Francisco is lined with them.

Watkins Mill Town Center is a medium-sized TOD going up in Gaithersburg at a MARC station on land that's currently open, but it's also expected to get a new BRT or LRT line soon, so the TOD is partly for the commuter line and partly speculative for that.

glowrock Apr 22, 2011 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5251554)
True, it's only 7 minutes if all four unfunded stations are added. But 68 minutes... that's a long bloody train ride, certainly for TOD.

It's long, but certainly not unheard-of. Some of the Metrolink commuter train corridors in the L.A. area are actually longer than that! Of course, a lot of people definitely enter and exit them at intermediate stops, so it's not just people taking it for the entire length of the line.

Aaron (Glowrock)

The Dirt Apr 22, 2011 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5251560)
More likely folks from Longmont (and everywhere else) will ride it to intermediate job centers along the route... Another reason it's such a big deal that the darn thing misses downtown Boulder.

Yep, a lot of people in Longmont commute to Boulder for work, and vice versa. I don't think that it's a big deal that the line misses downtown Boulder. The station sits on Pearl Parkway, not far from the employment center along Foothills Parkway, Pearl Parkway east of Foothills, and 55th. Having worked in that area, this is essentially Boulder's Tech Center area and employs a lot of people. It's fairly suburban in layout, but has very good bus service and access to bike paths. West of the station, you have the long stretch of retail along Pearl St. and the 29th Street mall, before you hit any kind of employment area in downtown.

The station would do well to anchor this corridor and provide a good argument for running a street car one day. Nevertheless, Boulder's bus service is excellent, so the Boulder Junction station will be well served and still get people where they need to be. The plot of land is very underutilized, and in my opinion, if you're going to be pick a TOD site in Boulder, this would top the list (even if we had the choice of moving the ROW). But, the ROW is where it is, and any kind of realignment would be expensive and politically unfeasible. I can't think of a single corridor that could have been created to downtown without destroying a bunch of neighborhoods to do it. So, we're stuck with it, but I don't think that it's as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a great development opportunity for Boulder.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 6:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5251572)
How infrequent are the headways going to be on this line? Really 30 minutes? I thought it was 15, and all day service?

Was supposed to be 30 peak/60 off peak. As far as I know, that has not changed.

EDIT: Checked the Final EE. 30/60 to start. Hoping to go to 15/30 by 2035.

Cirrus Apr 22, 2011 6:21 PM

Quote:

I can't think of a single corridor that could have been created to downtown without destroying a bunch of neighborhoods to do it.
I don't think that's true. You could pull a new track off the existing rail line anywhere between Boulder Creek and 75th Street and then run a new single track down Arapahoe Road like on Mason Street in Fort Collins. Take it in to 14th Street and either build a new station right there on Arapahoe or go two blocks up 14th to the downtown Boulder bus station.

The big problem with that is that it would be a stub station rather than a through station. That would probably mean you'd send 1/2 the trains into downtown Boulder and the other half up to Longmont, with a suburban station serving both routes probably around 55th.

Not exactly ideal, but certainly not impossible, and no more expensive than the duplicate plan to build both rail and BRT.

bunt_q Apr 22, 2011 6:26 PM

More from the Final EE (I am sure somebody is going to tell me these have tripled since this report was put out last May, but this is still what's out there.)

Average weekday rail ridership for the Preferred Alternative in 2035 is projected to be 8,400 riders per day with the FasTracks-only stations and 12,100 with all stations. [Note: lower initially, because they proposed to double opening day headways by 2035, agreement with BNSF and money permitting, of course.]

[...]

System-wide linked transit trips generated by each alternative can provide a comparison of the overall transit ridership impact on the entire system. System-wide linked transit trips forecast for the alternatives on an average weekday for the No Action Alternative are 429,700 linked transit trips, while the Preferred Alternative is expected to have 433,300 to 433,600 linked transit trips (depending on the number of stations provided).

System-wide transit ridership comparisons show that the Preferred Alternatives generates [sic] approximately 4,000 more transit-linked trips than the No Action Alternative. This difference in the number of average weekday transit trips system-wide between the No Action Alternative and the Preferred Alternative equates to the number of trips by new daily transit riders. New transit riders would not normally use transit for their trip
without the transit improvements associated with an alternative.


So we are adding 4,000 transit trips per day in the corridor. Everything else is pulled from existing bus riders, presumably. At the bargain price of $707m. No wonder folks are skeptical.

Interesting also, while adding those 4 extra stations boosts ridership for the line by 3,700 riders, it only increases linked transit trips by 300. Does that mean it's just pulling people off the bus? I am not sure we need to spend $700 million to pull 3,000 or so people off the B bus and onto a train.

http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/nw_1


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