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December 11, 2019, 07:27:57 pm
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Author Topic: The future of mass transit in Tulsa  (Read 15421 times)
cmoreno
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2008, 10:14:28 pm »

quote:
 I'd like to see Tulsa get Amtrak service before light rail.


yea, who do we have to yell at for that?  state?  federal?  ...i think it's federal, no?
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2008, 10:24:50 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by cmoreno

quote:
 I'd like to see Tulsa get Amtrak service before light rail.


yea, who do we have to yell at for that?  state?  federal?  ...i think it's federal, no?



BTW, if this is something we asked for in the Comp Plan Update wouldn't it help us to get it? I just love how the Tulsa Now junta starts tells everybody what they can and can't do when it doesn't fit their agenda.

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cmoreno
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2008, 10:30:21 pm »

dunno about ponderInc., but what i was referring to was that i don't think the city gov. or leadership has anything to do w/ amtrak.

i'm thinking back to that, "what about rail?" INCOG meeting like in april or may.  i seem to remember that what they were saying was that if tulsa wanted amtrak, it was an issue of lobbying for federal money.  ...dunno i could be totally stupid and wrong about that.
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2008, 09:48:39 am »

I'm actually one of the most pro-rail people you'll find in Tulsa.  I just meant that Amtrak service itself is separate from the Comp Plan discussion.  And we already have a specific thread where everyone can discuss THAT topic.

However, discussion about rail infrastructure within the city of Tulsa is certainly a topic for consideration here.

In fact, it would be great if the PLANiTULSA process would help bring like-minded people together to form some sort of transit/rail alliance.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 09:52:21 am by PonderInc » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2008, 01:12:15 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Floyd

Go ahead and read the proposal to see that it's a viable, minimal system designed for commuters to downtown and the hospital districts of midtown.

Bet the folks complaining about the traffic yesterday would have been well served by a park and ride commuter system.

Unfortunately, our city planners are too busy drawing up "starter lines" from one nonexistent development to another.  (pardon my irksomeness but it's really getting old.)




I think the deal with the starter line is that its generally accepted that people dont want to pay for rail. That it would be political suicide to really confront the issue and try to pay for a rail line from BA into Downtown. Even if its just a part-time commuter rail. It would probably cost around 110mill (perhaps more as material costs keep rising) to do the line from BA to downtown. The other cost is the area IN downtown. You would probably have at least a couple of small stops and one main station. Perhaps a stop by the new baseball stadium, a main stop by the old depot, and perhaps one by the arena. You would also want to consider that you may in the future want to go to SS, Jenks and the Airport. Regardless that section IN downtown that will cost about 80 mill. So rather than ask for 190mill (which likely wouldnt fly) they have the idea of breaking it into smaller chunks to see if they can get things actually done. So the idea is, do the part downtown first and figure out how to finance that, cause your gonna have to do that first anyway in order for the BA line, or any other line, to connect into downtown. One way to get increased usage and to even help pay for it is to extend it to the city owned FinTube property and the West Bank, where we want to spur developments anyway. You can then lease, sell, tax,,,, there are several different possibilities that could be considered, the TOD that would go on that property. Not to mention those properties would make great locations for additional downtown parking versus building more parking garages. The city had planned on building more parking garages, BUT, if you took those funds and used them to fund the downtown segment first... your another step closer to getting the price tag down and ultimately getting that line to BA. Also there could be some small advertising revenue, perhaps some donors would step in to help, and there are other ideas to help get the thing paid for. It just doesnt seem likely that the voters will be willing to pay for the WHOLE link from BA to downtown and within downtown. So the idea is to break it up into smaller more digestible chunks lol, figure out creative ways to get the price down and get things going. Your gonna have to do that section in downtown anyway and if extending it a bit to the city owned property on either end would help pay for it, and open up development and parking potential to boot...

Saying it wont work... Denver did exactly the same thing. They did the expensive small chunk first in downtown, once they had that out of the way, they could then just branch out in several directions to the suburbs for commuter rail.

One of my big concerns with any discussion of mass transit or TOD developments, even if we just do BRT from BA to downtown, is to leverage city controlled property to have affordable housing in the mix. That is, imo a very important thing to put into any comprehensive plan. If we have city controlled property and allow developers to develop on it, we should ask that a percentage of that be affordable housing. I wish people would have considered that while these ballpark discussions were going on. That trust controlled, partially taxpayer funded, property around it should have some affordable housing mixed in. I know a lot of people, especially young people, who would love to live downtown, but cant afford it even when new stuff becomes available. If we create walkable, pedestrian friendly areas close to mass transit hubs, it cant just be for the wealthy. The poor and working class people are the ones who can benefit most from mass trasit and they cant be the ones left out of the development mix.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 01:15:16 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2008, 02:17:32 pm »

I understand the political calculations involved.  But one thing I've found is that this administration is horrendous at politics.

It would have made more sense to me to put a bare-bones commuter line into the streets package going before voters this fall.  The reasoning would be that it takes some wear off of the streets and provides commuters with alternative transport as gas prices rise.  The streets package would still pass--$50 million for commuter rail is about what 3 miles of arterial resurfacing costs, and isn't enough of a poison pill to kill the proposal.  Once the ridership built up--which it always does when you put in commuter rail--then you could build support for expanding the system.

In this poster's opinion, what Crowley and the current planners want to do will never fly until a commuter line demonstrates the viability of rail in Tulsa.  I understand that the "starter line" is a vital link in a larger system, but I don't understand why they want to build it first before there's anything to link.  (Don't bother typing pages and pages to convince me otherwise--I understand what they're doing, I just think they're tone deaf and mistaken in doing so.)
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2008, 06:05:24 pm »

I have also wondered why at least some amount was not set aside for possible rail of some sort in that package. (however, I think there is some for a bridge or interchange in or near downtown that if done would actually help implementing any future rail) If your going to do a road plan that costs so much, a small amount to like you say, take some wear and tear off the roads and begin the process towards more mass transit, would seem reasonable. You just never heard hide nor hair about it at all.

I keep getting the sense that some of the "powers that be" are leaning towards BRT as a more likely alternative for mass transit than rail. I think some studies will be done to look at the cost effectiveness of both in our situation and see which comes out best, and for what area. I would like to see some sort of rail, somewhere in Tulsa. But if BRT is better at the moment, it could set the stage for rail in the future.

I really liked the BRT line they showed during the presentation having its own dedicated lanes and rail like stations. But the problem with that is where would you get the lane, in ANY part of the city, and how much would that cost?

One way or another Mass Transit and where we are going to have future stations, either Rail or BRT, HAS to be a fundamental part of the comprehensive plan. We are going to have to figure this out. You cant know where to put TOD if you dont know where the "T" is going to be. And deciding where in the city to put more pedestrian friendly and urban nodes can depend greatly on where access immediately on the mass transit lines are, or efficient lines of access to the transit nodes.

You dont want to focus your efforts on building up an area and then in the future decide a mass transit station can only go in a different area and you then your stuck saying..."Dang, we should have been putting all that development over here instead of there."

At this point we HAVE to know where the transit nodes are going to go first.

At our table and from what I could tell of others, we decided that we had to decide where the mass transit lines were going to be, whether BRT or Rail, in order to have some rhyme or reason for where we put future development. Especially more urban and pedestrian friendly development. Mass transit works best by having dense, pedestrian friendly areas to connect to. Unless we only want inefficient mass transit, we need to have dense nodes. Or just have downtown be the dense area and let everyone else fend for themselves. Thats a sure recipe to keep the poor and working class folk from being able to take advantage of mass transit, and they are the ones that it could benefit the most.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 06:10:00 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2008, 11:02:23 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by TheArtist

I keep getting the sense that some of the "powers that be" are leaning towards BRT as a more likely alternative for mass transit than rail. I think some studies will be done to look at the cost effectiveness of both in our situation and see which comes out best, and for what area. I would like to see some sort of rail, somewhere in Tulsa. But if BRT is better at the moment, it could set the stage for rail in the future.

I really liked the BRT line they showed during the presentation having its own dedicated lanes and rail like stations. But the problem with that is where would you get the lane, in ANY part of the city, and how much would that cost?




In order to get the "R" in "BRT", it really needs its own lane or Right of Way.  When the dedicated RoW is considered, the initial cost of BRT approaches that of Light Rail. When operating costs and equipment life are considered, Light Rail usually is less expensive. I am skeptical about the viability in Tulsa winters of movable barriers as proposed for BRT on the Broken Arrow expressway west of Memorial. I believe there are areas of the Tulsa Metro area that could be effectively served by Light Rail.

The claim of "just like rail but cheaper" is examined by Light Rail Now in a study of the Los Angeles "Orange Line".  LRN agrees that for the route covered that BRT is superior to previous bus service and also that due to local constraints that Light Rail was not feasible. They do offer several examples with photos of why "just like rail but cheaper" does not apply. See: http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-10a.htm

The studies and literature I have seen indicate that Rail is preferred over BRT by riders. Given the large expense of either Light Rail or a true BRT (not just a fancy bus on regular roads), I believe that rail would be a better choice for Tulsa transit solutions.
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2008, 06:06:58 am »

My team suggested taking already wide roads and carving out the middle for BRT. Memorial, 71st, etc. The BRT would then terminate at a light rail station.
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2008, 06:49:52 am »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

My team suggested taking already wide roads and carving out the middle for BRT. Memorial, 71st, etc. The BRT would then terminate at a light rail station.



Good location, try light rail right from the start.

If you are going to make exclusive right of way, two way rail will take less space. It will also not be tempting for autos to use the space illegally. If you want to share the space with autos, electric powered vehicles are generally able to keep pace with other traffic when a bus will not.

There is plenty of documentation to show that the real cost of BRT is not a whole lot cheaper. I'd rather pay a little more for something people would willingly use.
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2008, 07:16:28 am »

Our plan was based on the video fregonese showed of a bus lane running down center medians. The cost of buying a train is very high, plus I imagine installing rail vs concrete has to be a bit of a difference too. I can see where rail might have benefits over distance but over a 10mile run down an arterial road, I have trouble buying it.
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« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2008, 07:42:33 am »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

Our plan was based on the video fregonese showed of a bus lane running down center medians. The cost of buying a train is very high, plus I imagine installing rail vs concrete has to be a bit of a difference too. I can see where rail might have benefits over distance but over a 10mile run down an arterial road, I have trouble buying it.

\

Except for copyright issues, I could show you pictures of light rail doing the same.  I'll dig up some links for you also some regarding costs. Some of the cost reports are kind of boring but have info for someone really interested in the issue. There are, of course, experts on both sides using the same raw data to make their case.  Most of my references are available on www.lightrailnow.org  While they are pro-rail as their name inplies, they are primarily pro-tranist.
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« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2008, 10:10:22 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Red Arrow

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

Our plan was based on the video fregonese showed of a bus lane running down center medians. The cost of buying a train is very high, plus I imagine installing rail vs concrete has to be a bit of a difference too. I can see where rail might have benefits over distance but over a 10mile run down an arterial road, I have trouble buying it.

\

Except for copyright issues, I could show you pictures of light rail doing the same.  I'll dig up some links for you also some regarding costs. Some of the cost reports are kind of boring but have info for someone really interested in the issue. There are, of course, experts on both sides using the same raw data to make their case.  Most of my references are available on www.lightrailnow.org  While they are pro-rail as their name inplies, they are primarily pro-tranist.



I found some pictures but couldn't make a direct link to one showing the trolley in the median of the road.  Both of the picture links have lots of pictures of trolleys.

There are several good articles on BRT cost v.s. LRT on Light Rail Now.  The link gets you to the section with the discussions on BRT.  I am still looking for an article I found last spring by E.L. Tennyson but my slow computer makes it take a while. It also had some links to US gov't reports. I'll keep looking for it.

BRT Analyses:
http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt.htm

Trolley Pictures:
http://www.joelance.com

More trolley stuff:
http://www.phillytrolley.org/


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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2008, 06:23:44 pm »

Of the list of public works stimulus projects Governor Brad Henry took to the National Governors Association meeting, about $40 million was for transit.

According to ODOT this was all for bus and van replacement.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors also submitted a list.  Norman requested $2.7 million for bus service expansion.

Here is Tulsa's request:

Tulsa OK Transit Transit Coaches-Purchase and replacement of up to sixteen (16) transit coaches. 5,300,000  30
Tulsa OK Transit Lift Vans-Purchase up to forty (40) lift vans/buses. 3,000,000  18
Tulsa OK Transit Sidewalk Infrastructure Improvements-Construct 5 sidewalk projects that improve pedestrian access to transit connections. 940,000  6
Tulsa OK Transit Paratransit buses-Replace 10 paratransit program transit buses. 900,000  4
Tulsa OK Transit Structural renovations-Roof and other structural work at facilities. 180,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Passanger Shelters-Purchse and placement of up to fifty (50) passenger shelters throughout the metropolitan Tulsa Area. 250,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Maintenance shop floor-Resurface maintenance shop concrete floor. 150,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Fixed route fleet radios-Replace fixed route fleet radio system. 125,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Downtown Trailhead Facility (Brady Village Infill Plan & Downtown Master Plan Update; current C.I.P. funding list). 2,000,000  12

Comment:  Would have liked to have seen the Jack Crowley light rail plan in there or maybe Tulsa Union Depot intermodal prep.
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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2008, 07:11:30 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Transport_Oklahoma

Of the list of public works stimulus projects Governor Brad Henry took to the National Governors Association meeting, about $40 million was for transit.

According to ODOT this was all for bus and van replacement.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors also submitted a list.  Norman requested $2.7 million for bus service expansion.

Here is Tulsa's request:

Tulsa OK Transit Transit Coaches-Purchase and replacement of up to sixteen (16) transit coaches. 5,300,000  30
Tulsa OK Transit Lift Vans-Purchase up to forty (40) lift vans/buses. 3,000,000  18
Tulsa OK Transit Sidewalk Infrastructure Improvements-Construct 5 sidewalk projects that improve pedestrian access to transit connections. 940,000  6
Tulsa OK Transit Paratransit buses-Replace 10 paratransit program transit buses. 900,000  4
Tulsa OK Transit Structural renovations-Roof and other structural work at facilities. 180,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Passanger Shelters-Purchse and placement of up to fifty (50) passenger shelters throughout the metropolitan Tulsa Area. 250,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Maintenance shop floor-Resurface maintenance shop concrete floor. 150,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Fixed route fleet radios-Replace fixed route fleet radio system. 125,000  1
Tulsa OK Transit Downtown Trailhead Facility (Brady Village Infill Plan & Downtown Master Plan Update; current C.I.P. funding list). 2,000,000  12

Comment:  Would have liked to have seen the Jack Crowley light rail plan in there or maybe Tulsa Union Depot intermodal prep.


Or some money for trails, or just about anything related to actually expanding non-auto transportation. I don't think 5 sidewalks will be of great help in that area.
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