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Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 5237412)
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...you're looking at the majority of people being families at these places. Got to approach things a little differently.

Oh sure, it only works if there's a back door. The main zoo entrance is way too far to expect families to walk.

But luckily, it would cost way less to build a back door to the zoo than to build build a streetcar spur around to the front door.

bunt_q Apr 11, 2011 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5237419)
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.

Colorado south of Alameda-ish, yes. Which is why I think whatever goes from downtown to Cherry Creek can and should be extended out to Colorado, and then south to I-25. With the exception of the now-vacant CU medical school campus, and some multi-family in the vicinity of Colfax, you've got single-family neighborhoods the whole way north of Alameda. (I'll add, not every multi-family cluster needs a streetcar line - you need depth of density and growth potential too. There's some density along there, but once/if/when the CU campus is redeveloped, there is not really any other redevelopment potential north of Alameda, except for what would already be served by a line on Colfax.)

The way I see it, if it's not red on here (areas of change), it has no business being talked about for major transit investments.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...ofChange_1.jpg


Also, I really think we (and all major U.S. cities) need to start taking BRT seriously. I do not believe we need to hold out for the gold plated infrastructure option. We treat and fund infrastructure as a poor country would (which arguably, we are quickly becoming). Time to start looking at the options a poorer country would look at.

Cirrus Apr 11, 2011 11:19 PM

At a minimum, every major trunk bus line should have limited stops, signal priority, and no-schedule headways.

Fritzdude Apr 12, 2011 6:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5237449)
Colorado south of Alameda-ish, yes. Which is why I think whatever goes from downtown to Cherry Creek can and should be extended out to Colorado, and then south to I-25. With the exception of the now-vacant CU medical school campus, and some multi-family in the vicinity of Colfax, you've got single-family neighborhoods the whole way north of Alameda. (I'll add, not every multi-family cluster needs a streetcar line - you need depth of density and growth potential too. There's some density along there, but once/if/when the CU campus is redeveloped, there is not really any other redevelopment potential north of Alameda, except for what would already be served by a line on Colfax.)

The way I see it, if it's not red on here (areas of change), it has no business being talked about for major transit investments.
at.

I guess I see more multiple-family clusters north of Alameda than you suggest. Of course, my first desire for streetcar service is obviously Colfax, followed by Broadway, and then Colorado, primarily because it's the most heavily travelled corridor running north/south through the city. According to the "change" map, the parts of Colorado that are considered stable reside between 6th and 26th, but these 20 blocks include the CU medical redevelopment site, a pivotal interchange with a Colfax line, plus access to Civic Park, museum, and zoo. Not to mention a link up to the east line. For people wanting to take Light Rail, they need a way to get there first, and a Colorado line would provide an excellent spoke to the wheel, one that is accessible to a large percentage of Denverites.

CharlesCO Apr 12, 2011 7:24 AM

What about a line down Speer? Would it be possible to have one start at either the already existing Auraria or DCPA stations down to Cherry Creek Mall? Or would a LRV be difficult to shoe into Speer, what with the two directions of traffic already being separated by the Cherry Creek?

Cirrus Apr 12, 2011 1:33 PM

Speer is 4 freaking lanes in each direction. There's plenty of room for a streetcar there. The problems with it are that:

1. Nothing is walkable from Speer.

2. Speer is largely redundant and less ideal than Broadway.

I think it we were talking about a subway, then Speer might be worth discussing, but not so much for a streetcar.

Cirrus Apr 12, 2011 1:35 PM

Quote:

The way I see it, if it's not red on here (areas of change), it has no business being talked about for major transit investments.
The only possible exception that pops in my mind is MLK. What's bus ridership there like?

bunt_q Apr 12, 2011 2:09 PM

Not terribly high, it's pretty low density (larger lot single family). Higher than those densities would normally produce. But Stapleton's not adding to bus ridership, not at all.

Besides, I view rail on MLK the same way the IOC views Olympics in Denver: they had their shot. They fought it tooth and nail. (Granted, if they hadn't, we might have Stapleton Airport still.). But that puts them down about Wilcox/Downtown Castle Rock on my list of streetcar corridors.

EDIT: Speer also has political opposition from the DCC. The densities are so much better up around 6th-ish, you can serve Governors Park etc, and still get to Cherry Creek no problem.


Again - we've got to get past the pretty lines on a map transit planning mentality. I'm guilty of it too - on dozens of bar napkins, but that doesn't mean it's correct.

Cirrus Apr 12, 2011 3:04 PM

Oh, I don't know. Make no small plans, right. Get people excited or watch your program slowly die.

Obviously at some point "be practical and efficient" has to enter the equation too, or you never get past the dreaming stage, but I don't think it's quite correct to imply that pretty lines on a map don't have value. I think they have real value. They're just not all you need.

bunt_q Apr 12, 2011 3:24 PM

I suppose. But circle lines are hard, so when our dreaming is limited to connecting two points on other lines, I just scratch my head. Everybody thinks they'll take a 1 (or 2) transfer rail trip... but then nobody does, not in a city like Denver. And not streetcar to light rail, I just don't see it... Similarly, I think the vast vast majority of ridership on the 225 line will be downtown commuters who are just parking closer to home and riding the loop, or going to the tech center, not transferring. We're all urban-minded on the forum, so nobody ever throws out the really wacky ideas on here. But DRCOG still has Wadsworth on its regional plan maps as a transit corridor, all the more justified now because it connects Belmar, the west corridor light rail, the gold line, and US36. Wadsworth. Looks great, four dots to connect. But does anybody really think it'd do well? I don't think that Wadsworth is all that different from Colorado, or Federal, or a lot of the other less-obvious corridors we talk about on here. But I am undoubtedly in the minority, because that's not Denver, and a person living on a 7,500sf single family lot in Congress Park "in the city" is obviously more likely to ride a train than somebody living on a 7,500sf single family lot in Lakewood.

Cirrus Apr 12, 2011 3:47 PM

Oh I see. I didn't get what you were saying. You're not arguing against visioning as a process, you're arguing against highly prioritizing cross-town routes without a ridership anchor.

Well yeah. Wadsworth is about the 10th post-FasTracks corridor anybody should be thinking about. It's not ready and won't be until long after FasTracks is finished. It would be a terrible mistake to build that line before any of a half dozen vastly superior corridors.

But as long as we're clear that it's 10th in a line that doesn't even start until FasTracks is done, I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about it. There's clearly a lot of redevelopment potential along Wadsworth. In 30 years when that potential is more mature and ready to be realized, then it's exactly the sort of place where building a streetcar would induce urban redevelopment.

If talking about 10 years out, then no, Wads has no business being a priority. If we're talking 30, then it belongs on the list.

Cirrus Apr 12, 2011 3:56 PM

What we ought to be talking about for Wadsworth (and all the other marginal corridors) today is something like LA's MetroRapid.

It's a little bit of a stretch to call MetroRapid "BRT", but the idea is that for very little money you can build a better bus line with a few key enhancements that make buses faster and easier to use. Maybe a bus lane here or there, but mostly just stuff like level boarding, pre pay, unique branding, and (most importantly) limited stops.

We should be putting MetroRapid style service on Colfax, Broadway, Colorado, Federal, Sheridan, Wadsworth, Monaco, Alameda, Evans, Hampden, everywhere. And we should be doing it tomorrow.

bunt_q Apr 12, 2011 3:59 PM

Wadsworth is actually not a bad one, you're right, for redevelopment potential. I mean, there's nothing we can do about it, and it's not really bad per se, but what the Blueprint Denver areas of change/areas of stability dichotomy has done is really put a damper on any densification of many central Denver neighborhoods. I'm not sure we need to densify them, although I wouldn't be as opposed to 4-unit buildings as many neighborhoods are. But it has, in effect, limited the areas we can expect much redevelopment, so I think it also limits the utility of better transit, except in our commercial corridors.

Take City Park, for example. If we could seriously consider adding more high rises along the park, a'la the Pinnacle project, then I think the Zoo/Museum become more attractive rail destinations. But if you subtract out every single family neighborhood and view them as development black holes, which the "areas of stability" dichotomy seems to do, then we have a different picture, I think. The Zoo/Museum become an island...and frankly, not strong enough ridership engines to justify rail investment (which I think you said, too).

If we were to draw a map of Denver that left all areas blank except areas of significant density (with real numbers), major destinations (with good numbers), and areas of change... that's where I think we should start with planning our transit investments (and our dream maps!). Most of the in-between neighborhoods are inconsequential to me. Sort of a future-Stockholm approach to transit dreaming.

bunt_q Apr 12, 2011 4:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5238341)
We should be putting MetroRapid style service on Colfax, Broadway, Colorado, Federal, Sheridan, Wadsworth, Monaco, Alameda, Evans, Hampden, everywhere. And we should be doing it tomorrow.

That's sort of what I thought the "FastConnects" part of Fastracks was meant to move us towards. But the bus aspects of the project are so low-profile, that whatever those suburban hubs and improvements were supposed to be, I think now they're just envisioned as better scheduling for better transfer timing.

trubador Apr 12, 2011 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritzdude (Post 5237307)
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.


this would be great for a subway :haha: it could meet up with the colfax subway line too. I'll show myself the door now guys.

SnyderBock Apr 12, 2011 9:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 5238341)
What we ought to be talking about for Wadsworth (and all the other marginal corridors) today is something like LA's MetroRapid.

It's a little bit of a stretch to call MetroRapid "BRT", but the idea is that for very little money you can build a better bus line with a few key enhancements that make buses faster and easier to use. Maybe a bus lane here or there, but mostly just stuff like level boarding, pre pay, unique branding, and (most importantly) limited stops.

We should be putting MetroRapid style service on Colfax, Broadway, Colorado, Federal, Sheridan, Wadsworth, Monaco, Alameda, Evans, Hampden, everywhere. And we should be doing it tomorrow.

I wonder if a couple starter MetroRapid style bus lines could be introduced as an addition to FasTracks, to help pass the 0.4% sales tax proposal in 2012? It would give some metro areas reason to vote for the tax increase, even if they already have their rail line under construction.

These are possible routes:
-Colfax from I-225 all the way to Golden
-South Broadway all the way to Highlands Ranch
-Wadsworth from US-36 all the way to Bowles Ave
-Hampton from Kipling to I-225/Nine Mile LRT Station
-Federal from US-36 to Littleton LRT Station
-Belleview from Federal to I-25 LRT Station & on to DTC Blvd
-Arapahoe Road from S. Broadway to I-25 LRT Station

glowrock Apr 12, 2011 9:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SnyderBock (Post 5238812)
I wonder if a couple starter MetroRapid style bus lines could be introduced as an addition to FasTracks, to help pass the 0.4% sales tax proposal in 2012? It would give some metro areas reason to vote for the tax increase, even if they already have their rail line under construction.

These are possible routes:
-Colfax from I-225 all the way to Golden
-South Broadway all the way to Highlands Ranch
-Wadsworth from US-36 all the way to Bowles Ave
-Hampden from Kipling to I-225/Nine Mile LRT Station
-Federal from US-36 to Littleton LRT Station
-Belleview from Federal to I-25 LRT Station & on to DTC Blvd
-Arapahoe Road from S. Broadway to I-25 LRT Station
-Colorado Blvd. from I-25 to the East Corridor Station

There, fixed that for ya'! ;)

Aaron (Glowrock)

SnyderBock Apr 12, 2011 9:43 PM

^ Thanks! :yes:

bunt_q Apr 12, 2011 9:57 PM

I could go for that, all except Belleview, that'd be one empty bus.

But dear god, add something in the north metro so we don't have to listen to their complaining anymore. ;) Maybe 104th across? Or 120th? (Interlocken/Flatirons, via Broomfield to DIA...not horrible for a bus route). North-south is probably pretty well covered between I-25 and the rail.

glowrock Apr 12, 2011 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5238842)
I could go for that, all except Belleview, that'd be one empty bus.

But dear god, add something in the north metro so we don't have to listen to their complaining anymore. ;) Maybe 104th across? Or 120th? (Interlocken/Flatirons, via Broomfield to DIA...not horrible for a bus route). North-south is probably pretty well covered between I-25 and the rail.

Actually, both 104th and 120th make a lot of sense. Fine, add those onto the list as well! :)

Aaron (Glowrock)


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