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  #6981  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2020, 8:18 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
I don't believe they can build this for the amount they are claiming which means that $X/day in property tax increase will be higher by probably 50%.
It literally can't be. ATP has no power to raise taxes any further than this 8 cents.

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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Shoot by having parts of this underground this could turn into Austin's Big Dig.
.
Except Boston was digging through mud and shit, and in Austin we're digging through limestone (which is in a pretty sweet spot of being soft enough to cut but hard enough to be self supporting).



But devil's advocate, let's say digging the tunnel somehow is a completely different geology than the Waller Tunnel, or any skyscraper that has been built downtown.

Worst come to worst, they'll just not build the tunnel. The tunnel is to avoid capacity issues on the lines in the future. If the choice is capacity issues or not having the system whatsoever, that's an easy choice.
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  #6982  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2020, 9:12 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
It literally can't be. ATP has no power to raise taxes any further than this 8 cents.



Except Boston was digging through mud and shit, and in Austin we're digging through limestone (which is in a pretty sweet spot of being soft enough to cut but hard enough to be self supporting).



But devil's advocate, let's say digging the tunnel somehow is a completely different geology than the Waller Tunnel, or any skyscraper that has been built downtown.

Worst come to worst, they'll just not build the tunnel. The tunnel is to avoid capacity issues on the lines in the future. If the choice is capacity issues or not having the system whatsoever, that's an easy choice.

Hey Nova, make sure to advocate on nextdoor. It's more frustrating but you will actually reach a lot of normal people even if you spend a lot of time fact checking crazies.
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  #6983  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 1:57 AM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
It literally can't be. ATP has no power to raise taxes any further than this 8 cents.

Except Boston was digging through mud and shit, and in Austin we're digging through limestone (which is in a pretty sweet spot of being soft enough to cut but hard enough to be self supporting).

But devil's advocate, let's say digging the tunnel somehow is a completely different geology than the Waller Tunnel, or any skyscraper that has been built downtown.

Worst come to worst, they'll just not build the tunnel. The tunnel is to avoid capacity issues on the lines in the future. If the choice is capacity issues or not having the system whatsoever, that's an easy choice.
Which means they might not finish it if they go over budget?

I think going underground is never easy, and could be worse in some instances here, e.g. underground springs.

If they don't build the tunnels then they will have a more compromised system that'll compete with above ground traffic.
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  #6984  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 2:03 AM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
We always needed more work from home. We need that AND transit.

The ASMP 50/50 goal called for almost doubling the share of telework, which is closer to 4X given population increase.

any long term changes from COVID merely get us part way to where we needed to be anyway.
The big difference between transit and WFH is the ROI for the needed infrastructure, with a huge advantage towards the latter.

That 50/50 goal is pretty unrealistic and partly a marketing exercise by people who know they will no longer be in office by the projected date.

As for the federal dollars going towards Project Connect really I would rather have them spend in other places. NY MTA is having huge funding shortfalls projected to be $16B over the next four years. Hell I woud rather spend the money on Amtrak, at least they have decent fare box returns that slay CapMetro's.

2018 was a significant year in the U.S. as it was the first time WFH eclipsed transit so the trend was already there before COVID.
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  #6985  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 3:11 PM
slippi slippi is offline
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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
That 50/50 goal is pretty unrealistic and partly a marketing exercise by people who know they will no longer be in office by the projected date.
If the city actually had leadership committed to the 50/50 goal, I think it would be trivial to achieve.

Step 1) Pass Project Connect
Step 2) Legalize 5 story mixed-use apartments everywhere within the inner "loop"
Step 3) Heavily invest in sidewalks and bike lanes
Step 4) Probably need to pass Project Connect 2.0 somewhere down the line

Considering Project Connect represents a 4% tax increase, legalizing apartments is free, and step 3 (and much more) could be funded by the extra revenue from legalizing apartments, it's safe to say this is not "hard" for the city to do.

I know step 2 sounds like the end of the world to some people (hopefully not on this forum) but turning our city into Paris/Amsterdam instead of continuing to commit ourselves to lifeless car-centric development and infrastructure seems like a massive win for quality of life to me.
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  #6986  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 4:15 PM
slippi slippi is offline
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Oh and I should add that eliminating parking minimums is a crucial part of step 2.
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  #6987  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 4:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
100% false.
That claim doesn't even work even on the level of simple physics. At a given speed on the road, there's a maximum number of vehicles that can pass a given point in a given duration of time (even pretending for a moment that you can have them safely bunched with minimal following distance).

So now you want the cars to be spaced out _more_ than today? So you'll have even less capacity?
if you can keep the road flowing at 60 mph on a 4 lane hwy with even 1 person per car - I'll let you do the math, I don't need to. This is far more humans passing a certain point that any train can handle.

if you slow that down to 5mph, because of human error, human lost, human not cooperating, human on cell phone, then yes, you have less capacity.


one of the more interesting points from the study/paper/idea, what every you want to call it that offends you so much for presenting an alternative.

Project Connect/Capital Metro likes to compare Austin to Seattle, a highly unique city, yet they disregard the most relevant comparison – San Antonio. Why? Perhaps they want to avoid this question: How does VIA provide more public transit, at far less cost than Capital Metro? This fundamental question must be answered before trusting Capital Metro with billions in additional funding and responsibility.

https://ourmobilityourfuture.com/202...osition-paper/
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  #6988  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 9:48 PM
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if you can keep the road flowing at 60 mph on a 4 lane hwy with even 1 person per car - I'll let you do the math, I don't need to. This is far more humans passing a certain point that any train can handle.
You've described a highway. Except for some reason those keep getting clogged...

The funny thing about commuting by car is that it generally requires that people exit their vehicles at some point. You have then entered the realm of off ramps, stop lights, surface streets, intersections, garage entrances, and pedestrians.

There is no situation you can imagine in which cars can shuttle more people along a certain point than trains as long as you provide them the same parameters. If you take an infinite line of cars and make them touch bumper to bumper, pack people in like clowns, and shoot them down a highway lane forever, you still haven't actually beaten a similarly infinitely long train. The design that approaches the theoretical maximum capacity of a line of cars is a train (specially designed cars, linked together).

Last edited by atxsnail; Oct 17, 2020 at 10:16 PM.
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  #6989  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2020, 3:07 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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I have friends who work in self-driving car technology, its not anywhere near as close to happening as popular articles would lead you to believe at the capacity you want. The current tech is severely limited and the dream of network vehicles talking to each other is not close to happening. Right now the systems are just imitating human drivers and not even that well. We have an autopilot on one of our cars and the number of times weird striping on the highway causes the car to freak the fuck out and try and be in two lanes at once is much higher than you would want.

We will one day have a connected network of smart vehicles that will make more efficient use of roads, but its not gonna happen by 2030 and the city has to do something.

Oh, and also. Poor people take mass transit, so hot takes about how pearl clutchers from the burbs won't take it or rich people in the 04 will take a Lyft downtown are largely irrelevant. That said, if you live on South Congress and your staring a 40 minute drive into downtown or a 10 minute train ride, you may start to get people who vote for the train ride. I could get from the UWS to FiDi in about 20-25 minutes. A car ride down the FDR would take at least 35-40 minutes and I didn't have to worry about parking the car. There are a lot of people who spend 20 minutes trying to get out of a garage at 5 PM that might start looking at that jaunt over to the rail line as a bit nicer. It won't happen overnight, but ridership will improve.

When I lived in NYC no one with money took the subway at night unless it was a short trip. You would take it to work because traffic was shit otherwise, but if it was 10 PM and you were facing a 45 minute subway ride with lucky connections or a 20 minute car ride home, you took the car. But people who couldn't afford a 50 dollar taxi ride could get home for 2.75 in the same situation.
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  #6990  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2020, 3:09 PM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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Originally Posted by slippi View Post
If the city actually had leadership committed to the 50/50 goal, I think it would be trivial to achieve.

Step 1) Pass Project Connect
Step 2) Legalize 5 story mixed-use apartments everywhere within the inner "loop"
Step 3) Heavily invest in sidewalks and bike lanes
Step 4) Probably need to pass Project Connect 2.0 somewhere down the line

Considering Project Connect represents a 4% tax increase, legalizing apartments is free, and step 3 (and much more) could be funded by the extra revenue from legalizing apartments, it's safe to say this is not "hard" for the city to do.

I know step 2 sounds like the end of the world to some people (hopefully not on this forum) but turning our city into Paris/Amsterdam instead of continuing to commit ourselves to lifeless car-centric development and infrastructure seems like a massive win for quality of life to me.
Not trivial at all. You would have to go from 74% SOV to 50% which is huge.

I'm sure bike/walk will go up but will still be in the "rounding error" category:

Analysis of Results
Although there was an overall increase from 2008 to 2011, the percentage of citywide bicycle trips has decreased year to year since 2012. This decrease is potentially correlated with an increase in the number of annual vehicle trips, which has been influenced by population growth, annexations, and lower gas prices. Since 2007, citywide bicycle mode share saw its peak in 2011 at approximately 2%.
The percentage of citywide walked trips has neither increased or decreased consistently year to year since 2008, though it dropped overall by .5% since 2012. Citywide walking mode share saw its peak in 2010 at approximately 3%.


So that leaves transit which is currently at 4% citywide. So if carpool, bike/walk, and WFH remain constant then transit will have to provide 6 times its current ridership. Does project connect even have the capacity to go from 120,000 daily trips to 720,000? So even if they have the capacity will people want to use that versus SOV?

Mode Percentage -
Drive Alone: 74%
Transit: 4%
Telework: 8%
Walk: 2%
Bicycle: 1%
Carpool/Taxi: 11%

I do agree that upzoning will help with this but that takes decades to make a real city-wide impact. Of course any upzoning in Austin can be more than nullified by low density development in Austin's burbs, something the city has zero control over. In that time technology will be advancing rapidly possibly to the point of having Level 5 autonomous EVs. Taking the stress out of commuting by SOV while preserving the privacy and safety of that mode will be very hard to compete with. (From above) Bad highway striping also confuses human drivers! The difference is AVs will have redundant sensors that humans don't possess. As of today there are at least 5 companies testing self-driving vehicles in CA including GM, Apple, Honda, Ford and Mercedes-Benz so expectations are very high.

So again bike/walking will increase slightly from a very low level.
Transit will increase slightly with Project Connect (assuming it passes) from a low level.
Carpool/Taxi will probably stay the same (Its peak was back in the 80s).
WFH will increase significantly from a low level.
SOV will go down slightly.

So from what I read Portland is a 58% SOV which probably means that a realistic 20 year goal for Austin would be along the lines of 60% to 65%.

Last edited by verybadgnome; Oct 18, 2020 at 3:37 PM.
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  #6991  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2020, 10:01 PM
slippi slippi is offline
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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Not trivial at all. You would have to go from 74% SOV to 50% which is huge.

I'm sure bike/walk will go up but will still be in the "rounding error" category:

Analysis of Results
Although there was an overall increase from 2008 to 2011, the percentage of citywide bicycle trips has decreased year to year since 2012. This decrease is potentially correlated with an increase in the number of annual vehicle trips, which has been influenced by population growth, annexations, and lower gas prices. Since 2007, citywide bicycle mode share saw its peak in 2011 at approximately 2%.
The percentage of citywide walked trips has neither increased or decreased consistently year to year since 2008, though it dropped overall by .5% since 2012. Citywide walking mode share saw its peak in 2010 at approximately 3%.


So that leaves transit which is currently at 4% citywide. So if carpool, bike/walk, and WFH remain constant then transit will have to provide 6 times its current ridership. Does project connect even have the capacity to go from 120,000 daily trips to 720,000? So even if they have the capacity will people want to use that versus SOV?

Mode Percentage -
Drive Alone: 74%
Transit: 4%
Telework: 8%
Walk: 2%
Bicycle: 1%
Carpool/Taxi: 11%

I do agree that upzoning will help with this but that takes decades to make a real city-wide impact. Of course any upzoning in Austin can be more than nullified by low density development in Austin's burbs, something the city has zero control over. In that time technology will be advancing rapidly possibly to the point of having Level 5 autonomous EVs. Taking the stress out of commuting by SOV while preserving the privacy and safety of that mode will be very hard to compete with. (From above) Bad highway striping also confuses human drivers! The difference is AVs will have redundant sensors that humans don't possess. As of today there are at least 5 companies testing self-driving vehicles in CA including GM, Apple, Honda, Ford and Mercedes-Benz so expectations are very high.

So again bike/walking will increase slightly from a very low level.
Transit will increase slightly with Project Connect (assuming it passes) from a low level.
Carpool/Taxi will probably stay the same (Its peak was back in the 80s).
WFH will increase significantly from a low level.
SOV will go down slightly.

So from what I read Portland is a 58% SOV which probably means that a realistic 20 year goal for Austin would be along the lines of 60% to 65%.
I think you're drastically underestimating how quickly legalizing mid-rise apartments without parking requirements would transform the city. People want to live near where they work, we simply just have to let them. Also the ASMP calls for biking/walking to go from 3% to 9%. Totally doable if you put people closer together, build comfortable infrastructure, and maybe throw in a decent ebike discount.

Also with all due respect, that autonomous SOV dystopian future you described seems absolutely horrid. Cars suck the life out of cities, regardless of how good their driver is or how clean their fuel is. Let's focus on making Austin a vibrant place to live instead of place that's easy for cars to get around in.
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  #6992  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 1:05 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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Originally Posted by JAM View Post
if you can keep the road flowing at 60 mph on a 4 lane hwy with even 1 person per car - I'll let you do the math, I don't need to. This is far more humans passing a certain point that any train can handle.
This is for anyone reading with an open mind, as I seriously doubt you do.

Okay, I'll do the math, since you seem incapable of doing so.



at a safe 3 second following distance, that's 1200 vehicles per hour per lane. So 4800 people per hour for 4 lanes.

So let's look at light rail, at ~200 passengers per car, with a 3 car set, each train is 600 passengers. So to equal the capacity of those 4 lanes, you only need a train every 7.5 minutes (not very high frequency).

But humans are shitty drivers, and frequently don't follow safely. Say a bunch of them are only following 1.5 seconds, so that the 4 lanes is up to 9600 passengers /hour (until those bad drivers cause an accident). Note that this is one reason why introduction of autonomous vehicles may actually reduce highway capacity .
The light rail can equal that by doubling it's frequency. *


Of course, the light rail can be depositing those 18k passengers /hour (coming from both directions) at a single spot downtown, while all those people on the highway are driving by downtown at 60 mph, with no hope of more than a small fraction of them being able to slow down and exit to downtown.



*The capacity of a heavy rail metro system, with say 8 car sets coming at 2 minute frequencies is left as an exercise for the reader.

Last edited by Novacek; Oct 19, 2020 at 2:20 PM.
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  #6993  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 2:07 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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I have really underestimated how dumb or how much smarter Austin voters think they are than trained professionals. We aren't going to be able to pass mass transit until we have auto gridlock on every street.
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  #6994  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 2:46 PM
chinchaaa chinchaaa is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
I have really underestimated how dumb or how much smarter Austin voters think they are than trained professionals. We aren't going to be able to pass mass transit until we have auto gridlock on every street.
I fully agree with you. It's really insane. Same with Code Next.
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  #6995  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 3:33 PM
drummer drummer is offline
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The way I see it, most people who complain about these plans have absolutely no alternative solution to the issues that Austin faces. They complain about people coming here as if that will magically stop and then will look at CAMPO, CapMetro, and TxDOT, etc., as imperfect as they may be, and just complain some more. I am a firm believer that if you want to be a part of the solution, get involved from day 1 with community engagement. If you don't, don't just gripe and moan. It's frustrating and counterproductive.
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  #6996  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 3:37 PM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
I have really underestimated how dumb or how much smarter Austin voters think they are than trained professionals. We aren't going to be able to pass mass transit until we have auto gridlock on every street.
So you mean like the "trained professionals" that predicted 5,500 daily riders on the red line when it is half that? Be wary of "trained professionals" that use the most ideal scenario for their projections.
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  #6997  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 4:00 PM
We vs us We vs us is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
I have really underestimated how dumb or how much smarter Austin voters think they are than trained professionals. We aren't going to be able to pass mass transit until we have auto gridlock on every street.
It's not just an Austin problem. It's a USA problem. Misinformation, mistrust of every institution, and conspiracy theories galore. No matter the issue, this is what the real crux of the problem will be.
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  #6998  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 4:20 PM
Novacek Novacek is online now
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So you mean like the "trained professionals" that predicted 5,500 daily riders on the red line when it is half that? Be wary of "trained professionals" that use the most ideal scenario for their projections.
After expansions (that we're finally getting to the first of) sure. In fact, that probably was a conservative estimate.
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  #6999  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 4:26 PM
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Originally Posted by atxsnail View Post
You've described a highway. Except for some reason those keep getting clogged...

The funny thing about commuting by car is that it generally requires that people exit their vehicles at some point. You have then entered the realm of off ramps, stop lights, surface streets, intersections, garage entrances, and pedestrians.
most surface streets are fine outside of downtown or central austin. if you read the vision of the paper, there are solutions for this. for example, roundabouts don't require cars to ever stop, except for driver error.
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  #7000  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2020, 4:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
This is for anyone reading with an open mind, as I seriously doubt you do.

Okay, I'll do the math, since you seem incapable of doing so.



at a safe 3 second following distance, that's 1200 vehicles per hour per lane. So 4800 people per hour for 4 lanes.

So let's look at light rail, at ~200 passengers per car, with a 3 car set, each train is 600 passengers. So to equal the capacity of those 4 lanes, you only need a train every 7.5 minutes (not very high frequency).

But humans are shitty drivers, and frequently don't follow safely. Say a bunch of them are only following 1.5 seconds, so that the 4 lanes is up to 9600 passengers /hour (until those bad drivers cause an accident). Note that this is one reason why introduction of autonomous vehicles may actually reduce highway capacity .
The light rail can equal that by doubling it's frequency. *


Of course, the light rail can be depositing those 18k passengers /hour (coming from both directions) at a single spot downtown, while all those people on the highway are driving by downtown at 60 mph, with no hope of more than a small fraction of them being able to slow down and exit to downtown.


*The capacity of a heavy rail metro system, with say 8 car sets coming at 2 minute frequencies is left as an exercise for the reader.
enough already with the insults, this board is here for open discussion and freedom of ideas, not a shit throwing contest or suppression of ideas.

as I said, 5G and technology will eliminate driver error by taking the driver out of the loop in heavily congested areas. Cars will communicate destination and computer will put car into a slower on/off lane at the correct time, while other lanes continue to flow. those lanes could be flowing faster than 60 mph.
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