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dmintz May 18, 2011 1:33 AM

Mayor announces bicycle improvements and complete streets policy for denver
http://www.facebook.com/notes/denver...50172833692060

In celebration I'm giving away coupon codes to download my denver bike app for iphone for free which features denver's bike map, bike paths and bike share stations. PM me if you would like a code.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/denverbike/id411286130

seventwenty May 18, 2011 5:26 AM

Assuming the picture is Correct, 2-3 style seating
 

Quote:

Except for the demonstration car’s smaller-than-life size, everything else about the interior looks like the actual car, according to DTP and RTD.
RTD wants to get feedback on a range of things, including preferences for different types of handrails — painted yellow, brushed or polished steel; seating configuration; and accessibility for bicycles and wheelchairs, Flynn said.
The mockup will be placed in front of Denver Union Station on Saturday, May 21. Elected officials will get a briefing on the railcar Monday, May 23, and several meetings with interest groups are scheduled between May 23 and May 27.
The rail car will be open to the public May 31 through June 18; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Dirt May 18, 2011 6:15 AM

Not necessarily.

Quote:

RTD wants to get feedback on a range of things, including preferences for different types of handrails — painted yellow, brushed or polished steel; seating configuration; and accessibility for bicycles and wheelchairs, Flynn said.

They’ll fit 90 people sitting down, and 232 standing up. Each car will have two areas to park bicycles, with a minimum of 2 parking slots in each area, he said.
http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/ne...fastracks.html

Personally, I prefer a 2+2 configuration with more standing room to accommodate additional passengers. Here's an example of a 2+2 configuration on a BART rail car:
http://matt.peterson.org/photo/BART/...n_BART_car.jpg
http://matt.peterson.org/

Wizened Variations May 18, 2011 12:31 PM

Agreed for two reasons:

1st) the narrow aisle in the 2x3 seating would make one feel like one is riding in an express bus.

2nd) the nice width change around the door area provides better egress, a bicycle placement area, and, a collection location for melting snow and water from shoes during inclement area.

I would cast my vote for this.

Cirrus May 18, 2011 1:47 PM

The answer shouldn't necessarily be the same everywhere. On the airport line it might make more sense to go 2-2 in order to provide more aisle room for people with luggage, while on the other lines 2-3 might make more sense to get more seats.

Cirrus May 18, 2011 1:52 PM

Here's something you might want to ask for: A bike car at the front (or back) of each train.

This is from CalTrain in SF:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2619/...27be90d9_o.jpg

bunt_q May 18, 2011 3:26 PM

2-2 on the airport line makes more sense I think. Wider aisles still leaves standing capacity (not a big deal on a 29 minute max ride, compared to 50 on the southeast), and also makes the car navigable with luggage. Bike spots are a no brainer, and also double as luggage space for those big bags (assuming we won't have intercity-train-style luggage racks in the cars).

2-3 would be better to Boulder - more seats for the long ride. Plus, those friendly Boulder liberals are more likely to sit with strangers on the 3-seat side. ;)

trubador May 18, 2011 4:48 PM

absolutely agree on the 2x2 configuration. People might have some big luggage they are hauling to the airport and could use the extra aisle space to move around people. I would even be okay with 2x2 and a bench on the other side of the aisle.

dmintz May 18, 2011 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trubador (Post 5282132)
absolutely agree on the 2x2 configuration. People might have some big luggage they are hauling to the airport and could use the extra aisle space to move around people. I would even be okay with 2x2 and a bench on the other side of the aisle.

Is it too much to ask to have your luggage transferred directly from the airplane to the train so you don't have to haul it around?

Cirrus May 18, 2011 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmintz (Post 5282752)
Is it too much to ask to have your luggage transferred directly from the airplane to the train so you don't have to haul it around?

Yes, if you want trains to operate with anything approaching high frequencies. Trains are supposed to be every 15 minutes on this line, right? That leaves way too much chance you and your luggage end up on different trains. I wouldn't want to have to rush out of the airport to catch the right train with my luggage. What if you have to pee? Or what if you're meeting someone who's coming in on a different flight and you have to hang out at the airport for an hour before you're ready to go?

Those might be solvable problems if we were to throw enough money at them, but why bother?

dmintz May 18, 2011 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5282767)
Yes, if you want trains to operate with anything approaching high frequencies. Trains are supposed to be every 15 minutes on this line, right? That leaves way too much chance you and your luggage end up on different trains. I wouldn't want to have to rush out of the airport to catch the right train with my luggage. What if you have to pee? Or what if you're meeting someone who's coming in on a different flight and you have to hang out at the airport for an hour before you're ready to go?

Those might be solvable problems if we were to throw enough money at them, but why bother?

I'm not sure why this would be so difficult to solve. Instead of waiting 30 minutes at the airport baggage claim to get your luggage, you stroll over to the train, grab a coffee at union station and wait for your luggage to arrive there. The whole experience would be much more pleasant. I think "carrying heavy luggage" will be the #1 reason why people drive instead of taking the train. Having a system in place to deal with this could greatly increase ridership.

bunt_q May 18, 2011 11:13 PM

You going to run a dedicated baggage car? Or have the airlines pay somebody to ride with it on the train? Seems awfully complicated. Can you imagine DIA and RTD trying to work that out? And if you're going to do that, then you may as well do it the opposite direction too.

I saw that TSA is going to have space at Union Station (or at least it was shown in one of the proposals for the historic building reuse). What's that for, any idea?

Pizzuti May 18, 2011 11:20 PM

If you want someone to move your luggage for you, shuttles are still available for those who can pay; a private company or a taxi company can set it up and they can deal with the liabilities. Most travelers who are eager to use transit will have just a bag + a backpack or something like that. Most of the places I've been had you hop on the train or subway carrying your own stuff, so not having that service is not prohibitive for travelers.

I generally think resources should be put towards moving larger numbers of people and making it cheaper, before they are put towards additional convenience services.

Brainpathology May 18, 2011 11:21 PM

You can already check bags through and check in to your flight at certain hotels can't you? I haven't seen this in Denver but I could swear I saw it at a couple meetings I've been to. Would it be that much different? Especially if you were coming in to a hotel. i can see that working... not necessarily for residents wanting to go home though.

dmintz May 18, 2011 11:42 PM

OK, too complicated for the city to work out. keep aiming high guys. i don't understand why you would not want to make it as easy and hassle free as possible for people to take the train. Anyone using a private luggage service will also probably just pay for a cab. For the other 90%, carrying heavy luggage aboard may be prohibitively difficult. Why do the vast majority of people prefer to battle traffic instead of taking the subway to JFK or logan? My guess would be their baggage. Accommodate this problem and you could see lots more taking the train.

When checked baggage is taken off the plane, some is taken to the terminal and some is transferred to other connecting flights. Why would it be any more difficult to divert some of this directly to the train and have people retrieve it at union station? Having a dedicated baggage car would allow for more seats in the passenger cars and make for a much more comfortable ride. I would gladly pay an extra $5 for this service. It could probably pay for itself.

Brainpathology May 18, 2011 11:47 PM

You know what would be great? If they could somehow find a way to get all the bags to where they need to be without people having to handle them so much. Maybe scan barcodes that are put on the tags and then rush the ones going to the train in some sorth of tub which runs along a system of conveyor belts!

:-P

I really don't see why this (not the automated baggage system joke - the checking bags through to your final hotel or USish) couldn't work out for people going to area hotels. I think it would have to be sponsored by the airlines and hotels in combination with the city though and not just the city. We can barely get trains built in the first place. Especially going to a hotel the bag doesn't necessarily have to go with you on the same train... they could be picked up by hotel staff paid through the extra charge for the service...If that works maybe it could be expanded to local travelers. I really wouldn't see the difference between getting to USish 15-20 minutes ahead of my bag and waiting at baggage claim for 15-20 minutes for my bag. I'd likely pay for the convenience of getting to hang out in such a lavish, well designed and friendly station too - or at least close by at INK or Tattered cover while my bags follow me.

Brainpathology May 18, 2011 11:55 PM

This:
http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/po...anson/143844/1

Maybe I remember reading something along these lines and not seeing them. Can't seem to find any other examples of the idea... I must just be thinking of airline check in kiosks I am CERTAIN I've seen in some hotels.

Cirrus May 19, 2011 12:16 AM

Quote:

I think "carrying heavy luggage" will be the #1 reason why people drive instead of taking the train. carrying heavy luggage aboard may be prohibitively difficult.
Wait a second, the rail station isn't going to be any further away from the terminal than the hourly parking lots, and it'll be a lot closer than the satellite lots. The rail line isn't at any disadvantage when it comes to lugging bags - at least not any disadvantage that would be cured by a direct delivery system.

bunt_q May 19, 2011 12:24 AM

Presumably they'll have to lug bags to somewhere on the Union Station end as well. But that also wouldn't be solved with a luggage service.

Not to say you aren't right - I agree that luggage will be a major reason some people won't ride. But I'm not sure there's anything we can do to fix that, change that perception, alter those habits, whatever.

Pizzuti May 19, 2011 1:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmintz (Post 5282866)
OK, too complicated for the city to work out. keep aiming high guys. i don't understand why you would not want to make it as easy and hassle free as possible for people to take the train. Anyone using a private luggage service will also probably just pay for a cab. For the other 90%, carrying heavy luggage aboard may be prohibitively difficult. Why do the vast majority of people prefer to battle traffic instead of taking the subway to JFK or logan? My guess would be their baggage. Accommodate this problem and you could see lots more taking the train.

When checked baggage is taken off the plane, some is taken to the terminal and some is transferred to other connecting flights. Why would it be any more difficult to divert some of this directly to the train and have people retrieve it at union station? Having a dedicated baggage car would allow for more seats in the passenger cars and make for a much more comfortable ride. I would gladly pay an extra $5 for this service. It could probably pay for itself.

It's not about how high you want to shoot, it's about priorities for where you want to direct limited resources. Maybe a private company can try to set up the service but I don't see this as something RTD should be spending time trying to arrange. I see too many liabilities in the way like the risk of losing baggage or not being able to maintain the service regularly and well enough, then a whole "RTD lost my baggage" meme could start.


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