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glowrock Apr 14, 2011 8:53 PM

All hail Hizzoner Brent "The Benevolant Dictator"! :haha:

Aaron (Glowrock)

electricron Apr 14, 2011 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EngiNerd (Post 5241494)
The big difference is Downtown Denver developed as a result of the surrounding density, whereas the Tech Center was developed artificially, in the middle of a low density area, and did nothing to promote density. The areas developed in two fundamentally different ways. CHV and/or its low density had nothing to do with how the Tech Center came to be, so I don't see how "screwing them over" accomplishes anything. The area was low density and farmland before the Tech Center was built and remains so today.

If a city's administration creates roadblocks for developers, developers will build elsewhere. Businesses will also move to more friendly environments. Cities should look at their laws if they see developers building just outside their limits. At least talk to the developers and find out why their central business districts are unacceptable. There's usually a very valid reason why they are....

CharlesCO Apr 14, 2011 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5241753)
If a city's administration creates roadblocks for developers, developers will build elsewhere. Businesses will also move to more friendly environments. Cities should look at their laws if they see developers building just outside their limits. At least talk to the developers and find out why their central business districts are unacceptable. There's usually a very valid reason why they are....

That's because cities like Cherry Hills Village never even had "central business districts". The closest thing CHV has to a downtown is the police station and city hall next to CHV Elementary. That or the clubhouse in the Country Club. These are cities dominated by residential zoning and always have been. It's not like anyone was ever proposing to tear down Sunset Drive to build business parks.

The general mantra of this board is to support new urbanism and higher density land use. I am a supporter of what that entails (that's why I'm here), but there's a point where it becomes asinine to try to apply it to areas that never were urban, never will be, and don't need to be. Cherry Hills Village was never urbanized and never intended to be, and just because big corporations built artificially high density business parks nearby decades after Cherry Hills was established doesn't mean it should be. That's the DTC's problem. There are low density, high end residential neighborhoods in almost every city. Colorado Boulevard is disgustingly low density that needs to be urbanized. Cherry Hills does not.

bunt_q Apr 14, 2011 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5241753)
If a city's administration creates roadblocks for developers, developers will build elsewhere. Businesses will also move to more friendly environments. Cities should look at their laws if they see developers building just outside their limits. At least talk to the developers and find out why their central business districts are unacceptable. There's usually a very valid reason why they are....

That's a very simplistic way of looking at it. "Yes but..."

Greenfield development is inherently cheaper than building in the CBD, at least when its full costs are "externalized." Traffic, infrastructure, and all the other incidental costs are not unlike pollution in that regard. But that's why developers go outside the city - it's cheap, plain and simple. The classic "race to the bottom" certainly exists between competing cities, too. And it doesn't make for good planning. A situation in which one jurisdiction requires a development to, say, upgrade water/sewer infrastructure, or build its own roads, and another municipality doesn't, is not the same as a "city administration creating roadblocks." 'Not subsidizing' development is not a 'roadblock' - there is no inherent right to have somebody else pay for your growth.

Also, at the time a lot of these areas were built, there was no city administration, or they were a bunch of rural folks who didn't know what hit them, that happens too. County governments are more sophisticated now (in part, because they've gotten big), but they weren't always, and many still are not.

Don't oversimplify with government-is-the-enemy nonsense. I am sure you like running water just as much as the next guy. Developers aren't the enemy, but neither is the city - bad policy is the enemy.

Give me an example of a city-level policy that really drives business away. Most taxes that hit a business aren't done by cities. Unless you want to argue that "not providing incentives" is a policy, but that's a stretch.

SnyderBock Apr 15, 2011 12:54 AM

DUS April 4th, 2011 Construction Update
 
View Left:
The Light Rail Terminal is coming along nicely and you can see the 16th Street mall free bus shuttle station next to the LRT platforms in lower left corner, is also taking shape.
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...S4April11a.png


View Middle:
Backfilling is well underway. You can see where Chestnut Street will cross over the Bus Terminal.
You can really see some of the TOD potential, with this angle.
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...S4April11b.png


View Right:
To the far right, demolition of the old platforms continues. Once LRT service is switched to the new LRT Terminal, they will demolish the existing LRT platforms seen on bottom right. Then they will begin construction of the second half of the underground Bus Terminal.
The Bus Terminal will continue right up to the Historic Denver Union Station (DUS) building. Then the Commuter Rail and AmTrak train shed will be built over this second half of the Bus terminal, in front of Historic DUS.
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...S4April11c.png
The photos, I captured from Kiewit's live construction cam found here:
http://www.earthcam.com/client/kiewit/?cam=pano

Cirrus Apr 15, 2011 3:49 PM

Hey, cool! I felt the need to stitch them together.

http://beyonddc.com/nonweb/Denver-stitched.jpg

bunt_q Apr 15, 2011 4:00 PM

God that's a cool webcam. Reminds me of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin in the mid-90s. Okay...not really. But maybe in a few years it will. :)

EDIT: It's funny, looking at the 20th Street viaduct there. It feels like such a barrier now, completely isolating Prospect from the Valley. But looking at it... it's not hard to imagine, when that's all built out, that that will feel like one continuous neighborhood, that just happens to have an elevate (and a depressed) roadway running through the middle of it. The development will so overwhelm the "barrier" that it'll stop being one, at least psychologically.

glowrock Apr 15, 2011 5:00 PM

No doubt, the Union Station development will fill an enormous hole in the Downtown area. Can't wait to finally see the CPV, Prospect, and LoDo truly connected!

Aaron (Glowrock)

EngiNerd Apr 15, 2011 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5242572)
God that's a cool webcam. Reminds me of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin in the mid-90s. Okay...not really. But maybe in a few years it will. :)

EDIT: It's funny, looking at the 20th Street viaduct there. It feels like such a barrier now, completely isolating Prospect from the Valley. But looking at it... it's not hard to imagine, when that's all built out, that that will feel like one continuous neighborhood, that just happens to have an elevate (and a depressed) roadway running through the middle of it. The development will so overwhelm the "barrier" that it'll stop being one, at least psychologically.

Technically not 20th street, the raised viaduct is actually the HOV lane. 20th street goes below grade (which I'm sure you know), so both together really split up Prospect from the US area. I bet you're right though, once the US area gets filled out, you won't even notice it and Prospect will finally feel like its part of downtown, which it doesn't currently.

bunt_q Apr 15, 2011 6:05 PM

Technicalities. :)

I can't remember off hand... does anybody know, is there a pedestrian connection (stairs) from Wewatta to 20th Street below? Will there be? Seems awfully inconvenient to have to backtrack to Chestnut to get to 20th.

wong21fr Apr 15, 2011 6:38 PM

^Nope, no stairs. You either have to backtrack to Chestnut or (well you used to and will be able to again) head on over to Union Station and through LoDo to get back on 20th.

Back to the other point, it will be awesome when the CPV is filled in and Prospect feels more connected. It really is amazing that such a large group of residents is so isolated from the rest of DT. Though that isolation will really benefit Nichols' CPV project as he's got a couple thousand people who are likely to flock to his grocery store and retail offerings literally across the street.

EngiNerd Apr 15, 2011 6:43 PM

I had complained about that on here before about the lack of connection between Wewatta and 20th st. below, it has never made any sense to me that there are no stairs.

bunt_q Apr 15, 2011 7:14 PM

ADA / elevator requirement possibly?

Rational Plan3 Apr 16, 2011 11:48 AM

It's clear in the current US political climate it will be difficult to expand public transport since it seems Republicans seem to regard it as a partisan thing now. Drinving a car is american and not, is unamerican etc.

it's amazing that Denver managed to build the consensus for it's current plan and if it completes it's current plan it will have done well. At the moment it seems wise to keep a low profile on new plans until the pendulam swings back and some sanity returns to the republican party. Once a couple of the new lines are open and hopefully bulging with riders, then maybe that will be the time to launch new plans as more people clamour for lines of their own.

In regards to funding US transit systems, it seems amazing to me at how highly subsidised they are are. In the UK fares are quite high for both trains and buses but that does fund quite extensive coverage of buses in Rural areas and rural trains.

It seems such a high level of subsidy in city systems, inherently means that it will be difficult to expand such a system into more marginal areas or expand frequency. On the other hand parking and driving in the US is so cheap and that maybe resistance to substantially higher fares. If people are willing to spend the money a lot can be done with buses. It certainly worked in London.

Prior to Ken Livingstone in 1997, London buses were considered good compared to most UK cities, and it used to run at a mild surplus. They decided on a big expansion not just in the centre but in the suburbs, along with much more extensive night bus service and electronic bus passes and bus top countdown services etc, plus fare concessions like free bus travel for under 16's and the unemployed. It has seen a massive increase passengers (an extra million a day) but saw the annual deficit on the buses increase to £500 million at one point. Some trimming is now occuring, via higher bus fares and the cut back in some central services, where bus jams have become a problem.

You'd only need a broad consensus across city politics. At the end of the day most americans seem happy in their cars, if it wasn't for all these other people. I think you can only go so far under current circumstances. True bus priority could be done quite easily if you wanted, no need for fancy construction. Just slap some coloured asphalt down and call it a bus lane enforced by cameras in the front of buses. It works in the Uk and would be more extensive if our roads were wide enough. But it would not work. Look at the flck sadiq Khan has got for the proposed bus way on 34th street in Manhattan, where she's seen as some anti car facist, and this is in New York!

The best you can hope for at the moment is to get some key corridors up to high frequency, of a bus, at most every five minutes. Introduce, if you have not already, an electronic transit pass that can set a maximum spend per day to an all day pass. It will certainly speed up boarding. In London all you hear is rapid beeping as people get on, compared to the minutes that can be wasted in other cities waiting for people to pay cash.

In the future if high oil prices continue, then things will be different. I don't think you will see that big a decline in car use, just the disappearance big engined cars. I'm not sure if electric cars will break out of narrow niche. But even a 20% decline in car use will make a massive difference to congestion. Bus use would soar in such a scenario maybe even be profitable. With such a decline in traffic there would not be much need for bus lanes anyway.

Wizened Variations Apr 16, 2011 5:46 PM

We have measured hope
 
Quote:

Rational Plan3
In the future if high oil prices continue, then things will be different. I don't think you will see that big a decline in car use, just the disappearance big engined cars. I'm not sure if electric cars will break out of narrow niche. But even a 20% decline in car use will make a massive difference to congestion. Bus use would soar in such a scenario maybe even be profitable. With such a decline in traffic there would not be much need for bus lanes anyway.

In the US, since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, where the sum of domestic oil production barely met internal demand, politicians of both stripes have tended to act like raising an oil/diesel tax is political suicide. And, IMO, this trend has steadily worsened in proportion to the declining ratio of domestic production divided by total consumption.

I am not as confident as you appear to be that our auto centric culture can be preserved via smaller engined cars and electric power/hybrid vehicles. Perhaps if the 'real' median income of the car driver were to be maintained at 1995 levels and if we did not have our current debt at all levels we could work and borrow our way towards converting our 230 million + vehicle fleet efficiently. IMO we will not have the political and business will to forestall a collapse into 2nd world poverty over the next 10 to 20 years.

The ruling class in the US, at this point, has not decided en masse to support any serious course correction in transportation policy. I suspect that this is the result of their making too much money the way things 'are.' This applies to everything from international policy to big box stores, fast foods, the larger corporation side of the oil industry, the processed food industry, the gasohol industry, etc.

But, we never-the-less must keep talking about making the national infrastructure (highways, airports, public transportation, etc.) we have (or will soon have :)) work more efficiently.

Maybe we are like someone who wakes up at home, after a long and glorious party, and are still in denial about it being over. Maybe we are truly being manipulated by those who already have estates overseas to move to... Maybe we are just 'stupid' and refuse to see the handwriting on the wall...

I do not know.

But, regardless, more and more of us need to start thinking practically about moving both a larger number and a larger percentage of us with less auto centricity. Solutions have to be low dollar improvements, where all parties- from real estate developers to the average tax payer- sacrifice together.

Which we are not doing, yet...........

There are just going to be more of us who will need to get to work, to school, to entertainment, and, to buy food, etc. And investing $1 smartly today will save $100s down the line.

seventwenty Apr 17, 2011 5:11 PM

DIA, developers want more stations on RTD east rail line

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...7dia_train.jpg

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17...estid=10127619

Rational Plan3 Apr 17, 2011 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wizened Variations (Post 5243891)
In the US, since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, where the sum of domestic oil production barely met internal demand, politicians of both stripes have tended to act like raising an oil/diesel tax is political suicide. And, IMO, this trend has steadily worsened in proportion to the declining ratio of domestic production divided by total consumption.

I am not as confident as you appear to be that our auto centric culture can be preserved via smaller engined cars and electric power/hybrid vehicles. Perhaps if the 'real' median income of the car driver were to be maintained at 1995 levels and if we did not have our current debt at all levels we could work and borrow our way towards converting our 230 million + vehicle fleet efficiently. IMO we will not have the political and business will to forestall a collapse into 2nd world poverty over the next 10 to 20 years.

The ruling class in the US, at this point, has not decided en masse to support any serious course correction in transportation policy. I suspect that this is the result of their making too much money the way things 'are.' This applies to everything from international policy to big box stores, fast foods, the larger corporation side of the oil industry, the processed food industry, the gasohol industry, etc.

But, we never-the-less must keep talking about making the national infrastructure (highways, airports, public transportation, etc.) we have (or will soon have :)) work more efficiently.

Maybe we are like someone who wakes up at home, after a long and glorious party, and are still in denial about it being over. Maybe we are truly being manipulated by those who already have estates overseas to move to... Maybe we are just 'stupid' and refuse to see the handwriting on the wall...

I do not know.

But, regardless, more and more of us need to start thinking practically about moving both a larger number and a larger percentage of us with less auto centricity. Solutions have to be low dollar improvements, where all parties- from real estate developers to the average tax payer- sacrifice together.

Which we are not doing, yet...........

There are just going to be more of us who will need to get to work, to school, to entertainment, and, to buy food, etc. And investing $1 smartly today will save $100s down the line.


Yes fight the good fight etc, but at the moment you will need all your strength to stop republicans defunding existing transit systems. It's already happened in some cities. At the end of the day high gas prices mean that people cut back on other areas of expenditure because they have to drive. If high prices are maintained then more economical vehicles will be built. But there is no political pressure to change the way people live and travel in the US. Currently you are a 'socialist' if you try. At the moment the consrvative in the US seems to be trying sell the lie that increasing domestic oil production will somehow lower the price of gas. That is their solution!

Other than that it's just sticking their fingers in their ears and going la la la. Prices will have to go even higher before politics moves. The last oil spike a year or two ago I remember reading media stories about people having to abandon their car due to the high gas price and making do with buses are walking miles because there was not one. But the spike did not last.

I'm not sure what the tipping point will be, but it will come. But I don't expect a massive increase in spending on fixed transit in the US. For the people that can afford it they will drive hybrids/electrics/natural gas vehicles or just smaller cars. Sure it will have an expensive change over period, but if people are convinced high prices are here to stay then they will.

At the margins the bus service will expand due to push from voters and pull from companies starting to sat they need their low paid employees some way of getting to work.

If prices continue to rise then the economy will be depressed and some new metro lines will be built in the big cities, but there is not enough money to carpet american cities with proper mass transit (certainly not that americans are willing to pay for). If there is a massive and sustained crunch money will be needed to massively expand bus service.

Sustained high prices will do it's own work as people move to apartments closer to work. Some suburbs will be able to densify and are are close enough to a city.
Some Edge cites may urbanise and sustain nearby suburbs. The really rich ones will remain, but other ordinary exurban sub divisions will end up the new ghettos of the poor served by infrequent bus shuttles to nearby industrial parks.

There won't be a grand plan, high prices will cause adjustment, mostly through consumer behaviour. This will have secondary effects through politics, Until politicians starting losing votes over lack of transit it won't change.

Wizened Variations Apr 17, 2011 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originallly posted by Rational Plan 3
here won't be a grand plan, high prices will cause adjustment, mostly through consumer behaviour. This will have secondary effects through politics, Until politicians starting losing votes over lack of transit it won't change.
I agree. And fighting the good fight is imperative, if not for 'victory' for being able to tell people in the future that you did not lay back in your easy chair and switch channels.

Wizened Variations Apr 17, 2011 8:48 PM

Fastracks continues to become more and more strange.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by seventwenty (Post 5244725)

Got to give the real estate powers their due...slow travel down the line even more. Every hotel needs access to a station, as does every rent-a-car and rent-a-space vendor. It is not the average speed the train travels but how many stops will it make that constitute smart development, gab dabbitt!

I think we should put more stops along Pena Blvd, and more along I-70. Let's get this baby to take a hour to get downtown. No, how about 90 minutes! Let's have all these stops that serve no one. Cool, smart and with it.

Build the thing out, dammit, and, make it fast. If YOU have to pay off your pals off with stations, make them express 4 track run throughs like is done in Japan, Germany, France, China, Italy, INDIA!, Spain, Korea, Taiwan, and WAS ROUTINELY done in the US prior to WWII. If YOU are too greedy for that, have each train stop at a subset of stations and run through those that it does not stop at. At least have both express trains and locals! At least one per hour on an express train should go to and from downtown with 1 stop max.* 35 minutes tops. Then YOU have something world class that will increase the value of your investment 10000% in 20-30 years....

If the planning was not doing with the utmost calculation, I'd call it stupid.

As an oil engineer who had worked in the Soviet Union told me about the Russians "How can so many brilliant people produce such mediocrity!

Makes one want to always use their car and say to "H**l with it."

('YOU' are the developers who want their cut at any price.)

*Where the 1-225 light rail extension meets the heavy rail to DIA.

wong21fr Apr 17, 2011 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventwenty (Post 5244725)
DIA, developers want more stations on RTD east rail line
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17...estid=10127619

There's a simple solution: let them pay for it. Cost escalations hit the DIA just as hard as anywhere and developer who are know dismayed by the cost cutting simply have to contribute more funding to get the stations that they want.


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