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  #5281  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 1:24 AM
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So yes, for the red line's age* and original cheap construction, it's been amazingly successful.
*transit-supporting density at stations is only now really starting up. MLK station, Plaza Saltillo, Crestview, Highland.
It's a Hobson Choice scenario, bad if you build rail before there is density, and bad if you wait for density to build the rail. The developers have the opposite Hobson Choice, bad if you build the TOD before the rail, and bad to build the TOD years after the rail.

DART had many TOD projects announced during construction, but only a few were built prior to the opening of the stations. There.has been completed (work, live, play) TOd projects completed near DART stations, and there's more coming.

Here's a list of stations with completed TOD projects:
Downtown Carrolton, Farmers Branch, Inwood/Love Field, Medical District/Parkland, Deep Ellum, Baylor Medical Center, Cityplace/Uptown, Mockingbird, Lake Highlands, Downtown Garland, Downtown Rowlette, Park Lane, Spring Valley, Galatyn Park, CityLine/Bush, Downtown Plano, and Las Colinas Urban Center.

Other projects are being planned and will be built in the future. When you are discussing developments owned, financed, and built by private developers, each project is implemented at its own pace, not all will be implemented fast. This is near light rail. Lines with peak hours head ways every 10 minutes. Austin's Red Line peak hours head ways are every 20 to 30 minutes, twice the head ways of DART. With less rail traffic, developments near train stations will happen slower in Austin.

Last edited by electricron; Aug 3, 2016 at 1:44 AM.
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  #5282  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 11:10 AM
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So the only reason to bury I 35 is not to unify but to beautify.
YES! Exactly. Get it out of sight through downtown.
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  #5283  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 1:57 PM
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CAMPO begins process to halt planning of Lone Star Rail passenger line...

https://communityimpact.com/austin/c...n-san-antonio/

In the article, it seems that there are mixed opinions on this...keep working on it vs. quit now and look for something better in the future.
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  #5284  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 5:36 PM
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Originally Posted by drummer View Post
https://communityimpact.com/austin/c...n-san-antonio/

In the article, it seems that there are mixed opinions on this...keep working on it vs. quit now and look for something better in the future.

How difficult is it to wind this down?

It seems to me that for the amount of money that has gone into all of these studies, one could have easily hired the Japanese or Chinese to big and come in and build the line. They could build it in 2 years if 'allowed'.
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  #5285  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 7:18 PM
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How difficult is it to wind this down?

It seems to me that for the amount of money that has gone into all of these studies, one could have easily hired the Japanese or Chinese to big and come in and build the line. They could build it in 2 years if 'allowed'.
By "allowed" you mean that the 4,228 individual review boards, commissions, planning entities, public works depts, unions, safety agencies, etc., would STFU and let it happen? The horror.
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  #5286  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Speculator View Post
How difficult is it to wind this down?

It seems to me that for the amount of money that has gone into all of these studies, one could have easily hired the Japanese or Chinese to big and come in and build the line. They could build it in 2 years if 'allowed'.
That's a great question to which I have no answer. It seems pretty simple to me: pull the plug and start from scratch.
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  #5287  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 7:33 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is online now
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Maybe people and politicians like the "idea" of rail between Austin and San Antonio rather than the reality of it. There are very few realistic options that would perform well and be worth it.

To me its a lousy idea. Infrequent slow diesel trains that skirt the edges of suburbia, dropping off passengers in the middle of nowhere. It would be a failure and create more negative feelings about transit spending.

It would be very different if there was a way to obtain the UP line and have trains stopping right at the doorstep of many area destinations. But even then, low frequency suburban commuter lines in comparable US cities tend to get, what, maybe 10-20,000 daily riders on a good day? When you divide that number by the price tag of ANY option being presented, it just doesn't seem worth it.
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  #5288  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
Maybe people and politicians like the "idea" of rail between Austin and San Antonio rather than the reality of it. There are very few realistic options that would perform well and be worth it.

To me its a lousy idea. Infrequent slow diesel trains that skirt the edges of suburbia, dropping off passengers in the middle of nowhere. It would be a failure and create more negative feelings about transit spending.

It would be very different if there was a way to obtain the UP line and have trains stopping right at the doorstep of many area destinations. But even then, low frequency suburban commuter lines in comparable US cities tend to get, what, maybe 10-20,000 daily riders on a good day? When you divide that number by the price tag of ANY option being presented, it just doesn't seem worth it.
I'm generally in agreement with your points. While I understand why folks would want to repurpose freight lines, it would be so much better (as with metro rail also) to pick the ideal station locations and see about routing rail to them...which would mean brand new construction of everything, and therefore more money, but it would still be better.
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  #5289  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 8:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speculator View Post
How difficult is it to wind this down?

It seems to me that for the amount of money that has gone into all of these studies, one could have easily hired the Japanese or Chinese to big and come in and build the line. They could build it in 2 years if 'allowed'.
The amount of money that has gone into this would give you something like 200k /mile.

You couldn't even get a single lane of highway for that.


Or pay for the thousands of private homes and businesses you'd have to take (since there's no RoW, which is the whole problem).
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  #5290  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2016, 8:09 PM
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Originally Posted by drummer View Post
I'm generally in agreement with your points. While I understand why folks would want to repurpose freight lines, it would be so much better (as with metro rail also) to pick the ideal station locations and see about routing rail to them...which would mean brand new construction of everything, and therefore more money, but it would still be better.
The thing is that many of the existing freight lines (here in Texas and elsewhere) _do_ go to the ideal locations. Because they were there first, and the town grew up around them (often because of the railroad). Or because they were pretty close, and the city has grown 100x in the last century.

That's why the freight relocation fund exists. Because you've got all this freight running through the middle of cities/metros, leading to increased congestion (from closed crossings) and air pollution.
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  #5291  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 1:07 AM
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That's why the freight relocation fund exists. Because you've got all this freight running through the middle of cities/metros, leading to increased congestion (from closed crossings) and air pollution.
But that's the major problem, its the inner city rail corridors where all the freight railroad support structures and customers exist as well.
The proposed rerouting of UP north-south trains onto the rail corridor used by all of its east-west trains, from San Antonio to Sequin, doesn't work. That line barely handles the existing UP east-west trains.
The proposed solution only moved the north-south trains east from a point just south of downtown San Antonio to a point near Taylor. While it removed north-south through trains from downtown Austin, it didn't from downtown San Antonio. You were still going to have local freight trains providing services to local freight customers. Freight customers that UP will still have to service.

And that's the problem that hit the fan, UP just got tired waiting for Lone Star Rail to assume maintenance on the existing corridor. Basically, the time was up and UP will have to reinvest money into the corridor for maintenance to keep local customers happy, So the deal is off. Lone Star failed to remove that burden from them. That was the incentive for UP to agree to the deal in the first place, not having to invest more money into the existing corridor, Lone Star was going to do that.
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  #5292  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 3:59 PM
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[URL="https://communityimpact.com/austin/news/2016/08/10/city-austin-implement-new-traffic-program-improve-flow/"]

Stories like this make me laugh. My solution to people texting at stoplights -- just honk your horn instead of sitting and waiting for people to look up. Works for me every time.
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  #5293  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 7:58 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Hyperloop idea which if allowed to move forward could negate much of the red tape. It either would be raised up or put underground and rather than buying land, they could essentially rent right of way. Property owners that have the line run through wouldn't be split from part of their property.

Now it's true that it's at least a decade out but just imagine traveling from DT SA to DT Austin or vice versa in just 15 min!

Since its been in the news recently I figured I'd bring it up and find out what you all think of it?

As far as LSTAR is concerned let it die IMO.
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  #5294  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 8:17 PM
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How many people actually commute from Austin to SA or vice versa? and would they really want to use a train to do so. Seems like a waist to me.
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  #5295  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 8:56 PM
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When I was working in Austin, I went down to SA once or twice per month for work. I would've loved to take the train downtown to downtown. I know that's not true for everyone, but I think the real advantage is the shorter trips...

Georgetown --> Round Rock
South Austin --> Round Rock
Georgetown --> Downtown Austin
San Marcos --> Downtown Austin
San Marcos --> San Antonio
New Braunfels --> San Antonio
San Antonio --> Downtown Austin

...etc.
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  #5296  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 9:34 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer View Post
When I was working in Austin, I went down to SA once or twice per month for work. I would've loved to take the train downtown to downtown. I know that's not true for everyone, but I think the real advantage is the shorter trips...

Georgetown --> Round Rock
South Austin --> Round Rock
Georgetown --> Downtown Austin
San Marcos --> Downtown Austin
San Marcos --> San Antonio
New Braunfels --> San Antonio
San Antonio --> Downtown Austin

...etc.

Right, what's most useful is

GT/RR <-> Austin <-> San Marcos

and

SA <-> NB

But once/if you build those two, building SM <-> NB is basically a no-brainer. It's essentially "free"*, and enables Austin to SA and all other combinations thereof.


*The whole idea _was_ predicated on using the UP line. Which meant the rail bypass. It wasn't going to bypass Austin, come back south of SM, then bypass NB separately. So once SA-NB is bypassed anyway, it would have been available for passenger service.
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  #5297  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 9:40 PM
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^ My thoughts exactly.

I talk to folks who move over to China from the U.S. and have access to the subway, HSR, bus systems, etc., for the first time and love it. They never realized how much they could enjoy and utilize a decent public transportation system. Granted, comparing Austin to Shanghai or Hong Kong isn't fair, but the point is, a lot of people don't realize how much they would utilize public transportation if it's not there to be used (emphasis on a quality system). What is also required is good locations of stations as well as intermodal transportation connections once you get to a station if something isn't walkable from the station.

I still think some sort of Austin & San Antonio connection is a must...LSR obviously isn't the fit, but that shouldn't mean that nothing happens moving forward.
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  #5298  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanwolf View Post
How many people actually commute from Austin to SA or vice versa? and would they really want to use a train to do so. Seems like a waist to me.
I'm sure someone here may be able to find the numbers because I don't really know myself. Given how heavy traffic is getting on 35 between the two cities, to the point that it's frequently bumper to bumper nearly the whole length during peak times, the consensus across the region is that something has to be done.

Now to be fair, not all the traffic is traveling between the two cities. Some are commuters between the suburbs. As far as people who actually work in one city and live in the other, I have known a couple of people over the years who have actually done it. The daily commute which on average took them an hour and a half each way. I wouldn't expect the numbers to be very high and it may be lower now than it was 10 years ago due to the increasing hassle. There are a lot of people who frequently travel between the cities either for business, family or recreation and I'm sure when you take into account those people, the numbers are higher.
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  #5299  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 10:03 PM
PartyLine PartyLine is offline
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Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Hyperloop idea which if allowed to move forward could negate much of the red tape. It either would be raised up or put underground and rather than buying land, they could essentially rent right of way. Property owners that have the line run through wouldn't be split from part of their property.

Now it's true that it's at least a decade out but just imagine traveling from DT SA to DT Austin or vice versa in just 15 min!

Since its been in the news recently I figured I'd bring it up and find out what you all think of it?

As far as LSTAR is concerned let it die IMO.
This is pretty interesting as well

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/rail-...homa/293283130
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  #5300  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2016, 12:17 AM
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Study for high-speed rail line between OK-TX open for review

Maybe there is another option yet...

http://kxan.com/2016/08/10/study-for...en-for-review/
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