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glowrock Apr 11, 2011 1:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange Meat (Post 5236417)
I've driven that road cut in Maryland probably 50 times or so.

I like road cuts, to be honest. But, I'm also a geologist...

A geologist... IN TRAINING! :haha:

Aaron (Glowrock)

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 1:46 PM

Neat thanks.

I've always seen the advantage of a streetcar on, say, Colfax being that is could be done relatively quickly, cheaply, and painlessly. Even beyond just cost alone, which is going to be tough enough for the city alone to muster, I think if we start talking full size LRVs we start asking for more problems. More intensive construction (which underground power systems would make even worse) means longer construction periods, means more opposition from businesses, neighborhoods, and all sorts of other folks.

Besides...where are the sensitive viewplanes and visually pristine urban environments we need to protect on Colfax or South Broadway? They may be as good of "urban" corridors as Denver has, but they're anything but pretty!

EDIT: If the public turned out to be vehemently opposed to wires (I can't see that happening, but for the sake of argument), my instinct would not be to engineer our way out of that at a cost of millions... no, it'd be to start talking about BRT instead. A perfectly workable option for that corridor.

wong21fr Apr 11, 2011 2:41 PM

It seems that there's only one spot that people would really complain about overhead wires and that would be on Lincoln in front of the Capitol. But, if we were talking streetcars instead of LRT, I wonder if people would be more accepting of overhead wires?

I'm really hoping that the next Mayor of Denver pushes for a couple of streetcar lines in the next five years. Colfax of course and I would also like to see Broadway as well. The center neighborhoods keep on getting ignored in regards to transit improvements and we've got to start somewhere in rectifying the situation.

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 3:55 PM

Going wireless for a 1/4 mile in front of the Civic Center really wouldn't be a big problem. It's a short enough length that you could do it with the technology out there today. It would probably add 5% to the cost of each vehicle, but that isn't a deal breaker.

Not that I would volunteer to do it unless people threw a fit about wires. There doesn't seem to be widespread opposition to wires in Denver right now, so I wouldn't want to do anything to turn what's currently a non-issue into an issue.

trubador Apr 11, 2011 3:59 PM

how do you guys see the street car in relation to the 15, 15L and 20? Do you think they cut the service of some of those lines to run less frequently?

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 4:11 PM

I would see it as replacing the 15L. You'd still want local bus service.

I don't know enough about the frequency of the existing buses to say if you'd cut them or if you'd run the streetcar more/less often.

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 4:23 PM

Depends on the ultimate design of the streetcar. Frequency, station spacing, vehicles used, shared/dedicated ROW, how far it goes (Colorado, Quebec, into Aurora?), etc. etc. But probably something would be reduced, sure.

glowrock Apr 11, 2011 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wong21fr (Post 5236681)
It seems that there's only one spot that people would really complain about overhead wires and that would be on Lincoln in front of the Capitol. But, if we were talking streetcars instead of LRT, I wonder if people would be more accepting of overhead wires?

I'm really hoping that the next Mayor of Denver pushes for a couple of streetcar lines in the next five years. Colfax of course and I would also like to see Broadway as well. The center neighborhoods keep on getting ignored in regards to transit improvements and we've got to start somewhere in rectifying the situation.

Broadway/Lincoln, Alameda, Federal, Colfax (or damn near it!) are the obvious immediate streetcar needs for Central Denver, no doubt about it. At some point, I think something along Colorado from I-25 to City Park needs to come into play, especially if it can join up and form a loop with the Colfax (or close to it!) corridor! ;)

Aaron (Glowrock)

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 6:28 PM

Nah, Federal and Alameda aren't short term priorities. No density there, and no prospect of density, not yet at least. Although there's a new building at Alameda/Federal (southeast corner) that's 4-stories... but still. Remember, Alameda is the street where our fights are between Walmart (bad) and Lowes (apparently, good). Those streets aren't ready yet. Better buses, fine. But they still run non-articulated buses on those routes, and limited routes are sparse. That's not what you're looking for for a good streetcar corridor I don't think.

Colfax. Broadway. And Cherry Creek, which I think could be extended south/east to Colorado/I-25.

City Park is unnecessary. Sure, the museums are destinations and parking is a nightmare... but that is not the kind of destination that's going to generate real ridership. It's one of those that sounds good to everybody and looks good on a map, but doesn't really work. Like airports on dedicated airport-only lines - as Cirrus has said, everybody goes there once a year, so everybody likes the idea...but it never works out transit-wise (airports on "regular lines" are different). Besides, Colfax isn't all that far from the museum at 1900-north-ish (and the zoo will still be far, even if you run a train up Colorado).

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 6:39 PM

Besides, if you built a back entrance to the zoo somewhere around Ferril Lake people could walk there from Colfax.

Put a stop at Colfax and Milwaukee Street and call it "Milwaukee - Zoo Station". Lots of people will walk. For those that don't want to, you can run a little shuttle bus (free of course) with a cute paint scheme like this or this or this. Everyone will love it.

We can serve the zoo from Colfax with just a little creativity.

Even better, the zoo can open a satellite gift shop on Colfax in front of the streetcar stop, where visitors can buy tickets and wait for the shuttle. Now in addition to serving the zoo with good transit, we've also helped revitalize Colfax. Yay!

glowrock Apr 11, 2011 7:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5237042)
Nah, Federal and Alameda aren't short term priorities. No density there, and no prospect of density, not yet at least. Although there's a new building at Alameda/Federal (southeast corner) that's 4-stories... but still. Remember, Alameda is the street where our fights are between Walmart (bad) and Lowes (apparently, good). Those streets aren't ready yet. Better buses, fine. But they still run non-articulated buses on those routes, and limited routes are sparse. That's not what you're looking for for a good streetcar corridor I don't think.

Colfax. Broadway. And Cherry Creek, which I think could be extended south/east to Colorado/I-25.

City Park is unnecessary. Sure, the museums are destinations and parking is a nightmare... but that is not the kind of destination that's going to generate real ridership. It's one of those that sounds good to everybody and looks good on a map, but doesn't really work. Like airports on dedicated airport-only lines - as Cirrus has said, everybody goes there once a year, so everybody likes the idea...but it never works out transit-wise (airports on "regular lines" are different). Besides, Colfax isn't all that far from the museum at 1900-north-ish (and the zoo will still be far, even if you run a train up Colorado).

Oh yeah, I forgot to add Speer as well, Brent. Of course there needs to be a direct connection between Downtown and Cherry Creek. Either along Cherry Creek itself, or at least east from downtown to York/Josephine and south, something like that.

As for the zoo and natural history museum, I think it would probably get a lot more people than you think, given the high attendance numbers for both the zoo and the museum, along with people who just generally want to spend time at City Park. Not exactly sure how to approach it, but I think that area should have some reasonable transit options.

Didn't there used to be a "tour bus" kind of thing connecting many of central Denver's major attractions? Couldn't that be brought back in some fashion?

Aaron (Glowrock)

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 5237110)
As for the zoo and natural history museum, I think it would probably get a lot more people than you think, given the high attendance numbers for both the zoo and the museum

High is relative... DIA got 52.2 million passengers in 2010 (and the East Corridor has just under 38,000 projected riders per day).

The Museum of Nature and Science got 1.42 million visitors, and the Zoo drew 1.97 million. Proportionately, that gets us 2,400 riders per day. :) (yes, I know that doesn't work). But still, they're not that big of draws...

I think Dan has the right idea. And a little tour bus is something we should have anyways... Denver Duck Tours, or some such nonsense.

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 7:47 PM

It is 2700 feet walking from the corner of Colfax / Milwaukee to the back of the zoo, in the little isthmus between Duck Lake and Ferril Lake.

Let's compare that distance to some others:

It's 2500 feet to walk through Cherry Creek Mall from the entrance near the Apple store all the way to Elway's.

It's 2100 feet to walk from the existing Union Station light rail station to the Wynkoop entrance of Coors Field. When the new light rail station opens it will be almost exactly 2700 feet, which happens to be exactly as far as the zoo walk. Getting from Union Station to Coors Field is a little bit of a walk, but not so far that thousands of people don't do it for every Rockies game. Getting to a back entrance of the zoo from Colfax is exactly the same distance.

I agree that it would be nice to serve the zoo with rail transit. I don't think we need a spur or a special line to do that. We can do it from Colfax for much much less money if we invest a little in a back door to the zoo.

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 7:51 PM

PS: That Colfax to zoo-back-door trip is the perfect length for bike-sharing. I know B-Cycle isn't a solution for everybody, but it's another inexpensive thing you could throw out there to help make the connection.

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 7:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5237215)
PS: That Colfax to zoo-back-door trip is the perfect length for bike-sharing. I know B-Cycle isn't a solution for everybody, but it's another inexpensive thing you could throw out there to help make the connection.

Can you imagine a 30-something couple and their two children getting off the trolley, all loading up on their big red bicycles to go to the zoo for the day? Picture perfect, the zoo promotion prints itself! (until they get bike-jacked at knife point... then the evening news leader writes itself too.)

The Dirt Apr 11, 2011 8:06 PM

I'm going to parrot what Ken said at the last Denver meet, and suggest that routes like downtown to Cherry Creek need to be served with good, reliable, and direct bus service before we start throwing tons of streetcar money into them. It's streets like Colfax and Broadway, that are already served at capacity by decent bus service that need our full attention, and are dense enough to make streetcars economically viable. The last thing I want is a streetcar line that is a cash loosing, subsidized novelty. Federal and Alameda are great streets to consider 30 years from now, given that they show dense, multi-use growth. Right now, they are only a couple of notches above being suburban strip mall stretches, and this is only because they have significant Asian and Mexican presence (which, I should add was recently decimated along Alameda by that idiotic Lowe's redevelopment).

Fritzdude Apr 11, 2011 8:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5237203)
High is relative... DIA got 52.2 million passengers in 2010 (and the East Corridor has just under 38,000 projected riders per day).

The Museum of Nature and Science got 1.42 million visitors, and the Zoo drew 1.97 million. Proportionately, that gets us 2,400 riders per day. :) (yes, I know that doesn't work). But still, they're not that big of draws...

I think Dan has the right idea. And a little tour bus is something we should have anyways... Denver Duck Tours, or some such nonsense.

In my humble opinion - I think that East Line is going to draw more riders than they've anticipated.

As for serviing the zoo/museum with rail lines - I think a great alternative would be for a perpendicular line to Colfax, which runs north/south on Colorado that starts at I-25 (joining up with light rail and the Dave&Busters movie complex) and running north on Colorado - either stopping at the museum - or heading all the way to the east corridor light rail. That way anyone within the Park Hill / Congress Park / Glendale area can quickly jump on rails to get most places in the city, including the airport.

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 9:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dirt (Post 5237242)
which, I should add was recently decimated along Alameda by that idiotic Lowe's redevelopment).

I think if people had known that was what we'd ultimately end up with, there would have been a lot less opposition to the Walmart idea. A lot of concessions couldn't been gotten out of Walmart if they'd been allowed to move forward, and what we ended up with might not have been so bad (from an urban design standpoint, labor and other corporate ethics issues aside).


As for Colorado...there's another corridor that has underperforming bus ridership compared to what would be needed to justify a streetcar. Connecting lines on a map is not enough to justify that sort of investment. Without a Cherry Creek and Downtown connection, I can't see how anything on Colorado would be sustainable (suburb to suburb lines rarely are...and say what you will, but Park Hill and Congress Park aren't much denser than a good burb).

glowrock Apr 11, 2011 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5237207)
It is 2700 feet walking from the corner of Colfax / Milwaukee to the back of the zoo, in the little isthmus between Duck Lake and Ferril Lake.

Let's compare that distance to some others:

It's 2500 feet to walk through Cherry Creek Mall from the entrance near the Apple store all the way to Elway's.

It's 2100 feet to walk from the existing Union Station light rail station to the Wynkoop entrance of Coors Field. When the new light rail station opens it will be almost exactly 2700 feet, which happens to be exactly as far as the zoo walk. Getting from Union Station to Coors Field is a little bit of a walk, but not so far that thousands of people don't do it for every Rockies game. Getting to a back entrance of the zoo from Colfax is exactly the same distance.

I agree that it would be nice to serve the zoo with rail transit. I don't think we need a spur or a special line to do that. We can do it from Colfax for much much less money if we invest a little in a back door to the zoo.

If a "back door entrance" is put in at the zoo, then I can see this working. But let's face it, it's substantially further to get to the main entrance of the zoo. As for the natural history museum, it's probably okay with the 1/2 mile or so walk up Colorado to it, but again, with kids in tow it might be difficult. Remember, unlike trips downtown, or even a lot of airport trips (tons of business trips, singles, couples, etc... Nowhere near as many families), you're looking at the majority of people being families at these places. Got to approach things a little differently.

Aaron (Glowrock)

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 10:06 PM

Colorado isn't the same as Federal or Alameda. Colorado is getting to the point where it's ripe for more urban redevelopment. You could definitely make a case for a streetcar (or for a separated light rail line given the extreme width of the road) on Colorado for the specific purpose of aiding redevelopment.

Colfax has to be the first streetcar priority. After that, I'd clump Broadway, Cherry Creek, and Colorado (from Cherry Creek to I-25) as the obvious number 2.

Federal, Alameda, MLK, Wadsworth, 38th... whatever else you want after that.


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