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  #11621  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2018, 5:03 AM
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Denver Transit Partners, operator of troubled A-Line train, sues RTD for additional payment
September 20, 2018 By KIERAN NICHOLSON/The Denver Post
Quote:
A rocky relationship between Denver Transit Partners, which operates the University of Colorado A-Line between downtown and Denver International Airport, and the Regional Transportation District has landed in court.

In the lawsuit, DTP accuses RTD of breach of contract, violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and declaratory relief against the district’s refusal to accept change in law and unforeseeable circumstances that prevented DTP from fulfilling its contract during the design and building phase of the project.
Sounds like tons of fun.
Quote:
“DTP seeks declaratory relief, monetary damages, and extensions of time to which it is entitled” but which RTD has refused to give, the lawsuit claims..
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  #11622  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2018, 7:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive
There's a reason why metro Phoenix is rated 47th (worst) for congestion even though they are the 11th largest MSA.
Yeah. It's that Phoenix has a much much higher percentage of retired people than normal cities, and a vastly tinier office downtown. Phoenix, because of its nature as a city, doesn't face nearly the commute pressure that most other cities of comparable size face.
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  #11623  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 3:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Yeah. It's that Phoenix has a much much higher percentage of retired people than normal cities, and a vastly tinier office downtown. Phoenix, because of its nature as a city, doesn't face nearly the commute pressure that most other cities of comparable size face.
Eh, that's a common misperception. If we erased 75% of the retirees, Phoenix would still be the 14th or 15th largest MSA. The biggest retirement area is waay to the NW between the 101 and the new 303. The 'action' is east of I-17. A lot of people move to the Valley 'towards' retirement but bring their skills with them. For example I know one couple who sold their catering business in NJ for $4 million, sold their house and moved to Scottsdale and opened up an Italian restaurant.

Downtown Phoenix has life but office space is not the focus. They did however build 3 office towers (20-35 stories) prior to the recession. But now it's all about residential including 19- and 30-story towers under construction with a 29 story getting close. In addition ASU now has a downtown satellite campus of 12,000 including their new Law School named after Sandra Day O'Connor, the 1st female supreme court justice. It's right on the light rail line that runs right to ASU's main campus in Tempe. Additionally U of A has placed a satellite med school in downtown Phx.

But when it comes to urban office space Tempe has been the hot spot over the last decade including State Farm's 1.6 million S.F. mid-rise campus. Downtown Phx also shares office space with Mid-Town which is on the other side (north) of I-10. 15 minutes east along Camelback Rd, the Biltmore area mimics Cherry Creek and 15 more minutes east is Old Town Scottsdale where a lot of back-office tech has located. Drive north along Scottsdale Rd and you'll see beautiful, classy mid-rise office buildings. This area is filled with real estate, finance/trust, law and accounting firms.

Scottsdale Rd, Tempe and downtown/mid-town Phoenix form what I call an urban triangle.

EDIT: I almost forgot that I saw where Microsoft bought 332 acres in Loudoun Co. VA. That's your neck of the woods, right?
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Last edited by TakeFive; Sep 25, 2018 at 3:54 AM.
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  #11624  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 4:35 AM
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This TOD is no toad


Courtesy West Line Village/DIRC Homes

The West Line Village project in Lakewood near W. 10th Ave. and Depew St. is a block from the Sheridan Station on the W Line and is selling fast.

I recall when I rode the W Line how much TOD was springing up here and there. I think it was the Oak Street Station that was especially impressive for TOD action. The W Line was ofc the 1st to open and it takes time for development to follow. The other issue is that this outside-of-downtown development will require local builders as opposed to the national guys downtown - which is fine but again, it all takes time.
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  #11625  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 5:17 AM
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I didn't say downtown Phoenix doesn't have life. I said it has a small amount of offices, which means it doesn't have the commute pressure of peer cities. Residential buildings, schools, restaurants... those aren't contributing to the 9 am & 5 pm rush hours the way a gigantic office cluster would, because the trips they generate are more spread out at different times of day. Residential high-rises in particular generate amazingly few car trips if they're in a walkable area.

Same deal to your point about the person who semi-retired and opened a restaurant. OK fine, that person is not retired. But they are also not working a job that contributes to the 9 & 5 office rush responsible for rush hour.

Phoenix doesn't have as bad a rush hour as other peer cities because Phoenix's population and land uses aren't generating traffic that peaks at two times per day as much as other cities. Not to say that it doesn't peak at all, just that Phoenix's peaks are smaller enough to make a difference.
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  #11626  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Phoenix doesn't have as bad a rush hour as other peer cities because Phoenix's population and land uses aren't generating traffic that peaks at two times per day as much as other cities. Not to say that it doesn't peak at all, just that Phoenix's peaks are smaller enough to make a difference.
OK, you want to focus on commuting; you're still wrong.

Downtown Phoenix has 65,000 employees but if you add in Midtown it's closer to 100,000 and both are along Central Ave.

The number of employees in the urban triangle I described is at least double if not triple that number, I'd have to do some checking. While not in a concentrated area - true - we're still talking triple the number of employees commuting. There's also the Mayo Clinic/American Express site with thousands of employees for example. So there's plenty of commuters out there but yes, they're not all going to the same spot. The advantage of different nodes you say? So some sprawl is better better you say? You've convinced me.

In the 1980's being well behind the eight-ball a vision of freeways was created and approved by voters. In 2004, voters reupped for another 20 years. Freeways that started as 4 lanes, expanded to 6 then 8 and now 10/12 lanes in many areas; obviously they acquired the necessary ROW from the get-go. The last piece of the original plan, the 22-mile South Mountain bypass will open in 2020 as an 8-lane freeway. All freeways have the standard 2+ HOV lanes, 0 miles of toll lanes.
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  #11627  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:28 AM
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TakeFive, your numbers prove his point -- it's an extremely small downtown for a city of 5,000,000. And not big for 2,500,000 for that matter.
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  #11628  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
TakeFive, your numbers prove his point -- it's an extremely small downtown for a city of 5,000,000. And not big for 2,500,000 for that matter.
I wasn't making any claims about the size of downtown Phoenix; it is what it is. That was Cirrus obsession. Btw, Phoenix population is 1.6 million, yes the metro is approaching 5 million.

My OP was that 'metro' Phoenix was rated 47th (worst) for congestion and it's not because of retirees nor a lack of commuters; it's that employment centers while mostly in the same general area east of the I-17 are in different urban nodes. There is also a lot of jobs in SW Phoenix/metro where all the warehouses are FWIW.
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  #11629  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 2:18 PM
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If you don't think the size and concentration of office workers has an effect on rush hour travel, I don't see any reason to keep arguing about it. I'm tired of going in circles with you on basic facts.

Have a nice day.


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  #11630  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 5:07 PM
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Wait... are we being a little jealous?

You understand numbers very well and presumably spatial analysis better than I; yet you are being obtuse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
If you don't think the size and concentration of office workers has an effect on rush hour travel, I don't see any reason to keep arguing about it. I'm tired of going in circles with you on basic facts.
If office workers are all concentrated (primarily) in one downtown core it will have a yuge impact on congestion and the size of 'rush hour' in that area.

If you take the same number of office workers and spread them among 3/4 urban nodes, it doesn't change the size of rush hour, it just impacts where the congestion is and how it dissipates.

Perhaps a brief Backstory
Going back decades, gritty downtown Phoenix wasn't considered a desirable business address; a Scottsdale address was however. Consequently the larger share of Class A office space congregated along Scottsdale Rd. An alternative for Class A office space was the Biltmore area of Phoenix, about halfway between downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Tempe AZ
grew up around your typical drunken student ASU campus. Then Michael Crow happened in 2002. The new university president convinced the state legislature to invest $billions in STEM related degrees. ASU along with Ohio State are now the two largest universities. ASU has 55,000 students at the main Tempe campus. Over the last decade Tempe has been the hot spot for growth in urban density and office space development. When a State Farm adds 8,000 office employees it moves the needle.

Is Scottsdale Rd and Tempe along with downtown Phoenix congested at rush hour? You bet. Can the freeway system handle all that congestion? So far, so good.
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  #11631  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
You understand numbers very well and presumably spatial analysis better than I; yet you are being obtuse?
You keep on talking metro, isn't Cirrus talking city specific?
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  #11632  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
You keep on talking metro, isn't Cirrus talking city specific?
Fair question as those can easily be conflated. I'd assume that 'rush hour' and commuters involves the big picture of all those coming and going into downtown in the case of more prototypical cities.

Getting back to Denver

Denver is NOT (especially now) the kind of sprawling city you find in the SW where land and labor costs have alway been cheap.

IMO the existing light rail corridors were an excellent alternative to ever wider freeways and will in time prove this out. There's lines to the east, the north, NW, west, SW and SE metro along I-25 but there's no urban line to the SE. That would be the value of a Speer Blvd - Leetsdale Dr corridor.

Is there also an issue with commuting within the core city? Absolutely and I am as confused as anyone as to what the best solutions are.
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  #11633  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:42 PM
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RTD will continue to do what RTD needs to do

NOT IN SERVICE: RTD bus driver shortage affecting certain routes
Sep 24, 2018 By Tomas Hoppough/The Denver Channel 7
Quote:
DENVER – The Regional Transportation District has been dealing with a bus driver shortage for a while, and it is affecting certain bus routes.

It’s a simple problem – with a lack of drivers there isn't any to help operate certain routes. According to RTD, at the end of August, RTD had 959 bus operators and was in need of 123 more.
Who's to lose?
Quote:
According to an article by the Longmont Times-Call, RTD will hold meetings in Longmont and Lafayette over two weeks for feedback on proposed cuts to the LD route that runs from Longmont to downtown Denver due (to) low ridership and driver shortages.
Will this add more fuel to the fire that Boulder County shouldn't be a part of RTD?
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  #11634  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:58 PM
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Revisiting the RTD fare increases

The Sentinel had a piece about the R Line and other things.

https://www.sentinelcolorado.com/new...rd-light-rail/
Quote:
In the short-term, Broom said, RTD’s new fare structure could exacerbate dips in ridership across the district. Claudia Folska, the RTD board director for the bulk of Aurora west of Interstate 225, said she was flummoxed by the convoluted new system.“I think this whole fare structure is so over complicated; it’s mind-boggling,” said Folska, who originally voted against the new fare proposal. “I’m bewildered by it.”
What's the history of previous fare changes?
Quote:
Broom said the chore of fare restructuring, which RTD usually takes on every three years, typically results in about a five-percent dip in use of public transportation.

“Then after about a six-month period, the ridership picks up to where it was and then you go on from there,” Broom said. “I would anticipate, just based on past history, there probably will be a drop-off in ridership when the fares go up.”
As to the R Line itself...
Quote:
Tom Tobiassen, former RTD board chairman, said Aurorans need to be patient for housing developments along the city’s infant rail line to come online. He said that as apartments and townhouses are built in the areas surrounding the line’s eight new stations, ridership will steadily swell.

Broom said the number of people riding R Line trains has steadily been increasing in recent months, but it will likely take “a couple” years before trains see the 12,000 daily riders that were expected to flock to the new line not long after it first opened.
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  #11635  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2018, 7:52 PM
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Come to think of it, Downtown Phoenix and Camelback might have pretty large numbers of cars coming in...small office totals but big drive-alone percentages.
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  #11636  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2018, 2:29 AM
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Oh Lordy

When Denverite came on the Denver scene it was a very refreshing source for news and insight into the city without bias. Andrew Kenney was the best; a consummate professional; a good communicator, clear and concise. He wrote some excellent pieces whether about East Colfax or South Sante Fe.

All good things must come to an end. Andrew moved onto the Denver Post. Now there's this:

David Sachs is coming to Denverite after years running Streetsblog Denver
Quote:
Yes, there’s another new face here at Denverite this fall. David Sachs is joining the Denverite team as our city government reporter. ... we’re excited for David to start in about two weeks.
The addition of Sach follows the hiring of Donna Bryson who will write about "housing and hunger" who also has an interesting resume.

Assuming Sachs retains his insufferable style what saddens me the most is the dramatic change in content and philosophy; Denverite seems to be morphing into more of a liberal advocacy forum from a source of quality news and insight. Oh well, I respect that Sachs has his fans since one man's garbage is another man's treasure.
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  #11637  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2018, 2:32 AM
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Wut... airport parking loyalty programs?

Airports use parking lot loyalty programs and discounts to compete against Uber and Lyft
23 Sept 2018 By Leslie Josephs/CNBC
Quote:
Loyalty programs, half-off sales and even free coffee. These are some of the measures airport executives are considering to encourage travelers to park in their lots and garages, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have surged in popularity.
Why is this a bad thing?
Quote:
Parking is an important source of revenue for airports, sometimes second only to the fees airports collect from airlines, such as for terminal rent and landing fees.

Some airports are already seeing an impact. Denver International Airport reported that parking revenue fell more than 1 percent to $1.76 billion in 2017, while ground transportation revenue, which includes fees collected from Uber, Lyft and from ride-hailing apps, rose 29 percent to $12.4 million in the same period.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Sep 26, 2018 at 2:44 AM.
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  #11638  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2018, 3:49 PM
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Mother fuckin' cyclists.....

Worries about cyclist safety prompted two-plus years of snags on RTD’s A-Line and G-Line, lawsuit says

Quote:
Can the prolonged delays and ongoing difficulties in opening and operating the metro area’s commuter rail system — not to mention the millions of dollars assessed in penalties and spent on flaggers over the last two-plus years — be traced to the issue of bicycle safety?

That’s what the private sector consortium that was hired to build and run the University of Colorado A-Line, G-Line and B-Line is asserting in a lawsuit filed last week in Denver District Court against the Regional Transportation District.

Denver Transit Partners claims that in the summer of 2015 — nearly a year before the A-Line opened passenger service — a staff member with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission expressed concern that cyclists might find the safety-equipped crossings “confusing” to traverse.

That led to RTD, over the consortium’s objections, requiring “exit gate delay” technology at crossings that would have the ability to detect bicycles, even though no such technology existed or had been approved by federal railroad regulators, the lawsuit maintains.
Seems like a huge stretch on DTP's part, but if this is a case of cycling advocates (either directly or indirectly) causing inexcusable delays to our commuter rail system than I advocate a public tarring and feather of their most public advocate- David Sachs.
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  #11639  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2018, 4:06 PM
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Roof Roof Roof - does the biggest bark get the treats?

https://coloradopolitics.com/rtd-grants/
Quote:
The Regional Transportation District has been awarded a total of $11 million in federal grants for new buses and to replace roofs on its maintenance facilities, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
  • $3,503,000 — “To replace roofs on existing maintenance facilities. This project will help reduce operating and maintenance costs while enhancing transit service in the growing Denver region.”
  • $7,497,000 — “To purchase replacement buses. The new buses will improve the agency’s bus fleet, reduce maintenance costs and improve service reliability.”
It's the 2nd item that interests me. Unfortunately RTD hasn't sought out my consulting services, but if they did...

I'd recommend RTD follow the lead of our good friends to the north. They know what they're drilling up there.

Edmonton Transit Service Orders 25 Proterra Catalyst® E2 max Electric Buses
Quote:
BURLINGAME, Calif., Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announced that Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) has ordered 25 new 40-foot Proterra Catalyst® E2 max vehicles, which will replace 25 of the agency's existing diesel buses. The purchase marks an agency milestone and supports Edmonton's long-term vision of green public transportation and emissions reduction.

"We're excited to work with Proterra and be at the forefront of integrating electric buses and emerging technology into our existing fleet," said Eddie Robar, Branch Manager of ETS. "Proterra's clean-running and quiet electric buses are winter compatible, have a range of up to 400 kilometres and contribute to our shift toward more sustainable transportation, a low carbon city and high-quality transit service for Edmontonians."
This One

Video Link


Daimler chief announces Proterra investment
September 20, 2018 By Jeff Crissey/CCJ digital
Quote:
Daimler/Mercedes-Benz also announced another major development for its electric drivetrain development, investing $155 million in Proterra, a California-based manufacturer of zero-emissions local transport buses. The company’s configurable Catalyst platform is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs for most transit routes on a single charge.
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  #11640  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2018, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Mother fuckin' cyclists.....

Seems like a huge stretch on DTP's part, but if this is a case of cycling advocates (either directly or indirectly) causing inexcusable delays to our commuter rail system than I advocate a public tarring and feather of their most public advocate- David Sachs.
I'll keep the tar warm.

Sounds like this could be enough of a stretch to make RTD at least equally responsible for the 'pain and suffering' that DTP has endured.
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