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November 18, 2017, 10:58:51 pm
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Author Topic: Tulsa light rail/trolley/streetcar discussion  (Read 6473 times)
TheArtist
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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2016, 12:52:13 pm »

I thought through this years ago and still come up with the same conclusion.

Most important thing is zoning to get lively pedestrian areas and pedestrian friendly density.

Once you get those you realize you don't really need rail transit at each "node" (downtown is small enough that it could be easily and enjoyably walkable from just about any one spot to another if its developed right and you could also easily/comfortably walk/bike to the Pearl and 15th street)

Once you can meet most of your needs in a decent sized "node" you don't need to travel to others that often and then the bus, or uber, could be good enough.



From another perspective...

Even if you put in rail, it too will only do well if the zoning and growth rate is there for it to eventually do well.

But there again, that means we would have to put in the right zoning (and once you got some good development going your growth rate would likely improve) just as we would even if we did not do rail like I mentioned in the first part of my post.

The right zoning is the key no matter how you go about it. Once you get good walkability, you also find that you really don't need the rail transit.  And if you did want to have good rail transit, you would have to have good zoning and walkability.  Keeps going in circles and keeps leading me to the conclusion "Lets focus on the zoning." if you don't your not going to get what you want no matter what you do.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:54:13 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2016, 01:38:15 pm »



(downtown is small enough that it could be easily and enjoyably walkable from just about any one spot to another if it's developed right and you could also easily/comfortably walk/bike to the Pearl and 15th street)


True.  I walk nearly a mile from home to downtown almost every weekday morning, then the same distance back home at night.  Each way takes me about 15 to 20 minutes.  In the winter, I often walk home for lunch or take a midday stroll around downtown.

John 3:16 Mission to Gunboat Park South at 13th and Elgin is a 1.8 mile walk, or about 36 minutes at 3 mph.

ONEOK Field to OSU Med Center is a 1.6 mile walk, or about 32 minutes at 3 mph.
 
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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2016, 01:46:19 pm »

It’s Kansas City.  Graft and insisting on union labor are very good probabilities.  Perhaps Little Rock’s facilities were not quite as ostentatious. 

The KC maintenance facility comes out at $550/ft.  Shocked



We have plenty of graft and corruption here, too...probably just slightly less than KC.


As for the facility, there is gonna be some specialized equipment in there - or should be - specifically related to handling moderate sized pieces of equipment.  Cranes, rolling stock handlers, lots of very special tools that probably won't be something the mechanic can be required to supply.

AAON is building a big new facility that on the surface would seem to be hundreds if not thousands of dollars per square foot, but when you look at what is in it - the box is the cheap part.  So would this be.



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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2016, 01:48:07 pm »

Does anyone know what kind of ridership the downtown circulator bus is getting?
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Conan71
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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2016, 03:01:31 pm »

I thought through this years ago and still come up with the same conclusion.

Most important thing is zoning to get lively pedestrian areas and pedestrian friendly density.

Once you get those you realize you don't really need rail transit at each "node" (downtown is small enough that it could be easily and enjoyably walkable from just about any one spot to another if its developed right and you could also easily/comfortably walk/bike to the Pearl and 15th street)

Once you can meet most of your needs in a decent sized "node" you don't need to travel to others that often and then the bus, or uber, could be good enough.



From another perspective...

Even if you put in rail, it too will only do well if the zoning and growth rate is there for it to eventually do well.

But there again, that means we would have to put in the right zoning (and once you got some good development going your growth rate would likely improve) just as we would even if we did not do rail like I mentioned in the first part of my post.

The right zoning is the key no matter how you go about it. Once you get good walkability, you also find that you really don't need the rail transit.  And if you did want to have good rail transit, you would have to have good zoning and walkability.  Keeps going in circles and keeps leading me to the conclusion "Lets focus on the zoning." if you don't your not going to get what you want no matter what you do.



And one of my thoughts after reading KC’s page on their streetcars:  They stop every two blocks.  Unless it was pouring or the weather was otherwise pure crap, I’d likely just walk unless I had an appointment at the other end of the line and needed to be there in 1/2 the time.
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« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2016, 03:35:14 pm »

And one of my thoughts after reading KC’s page on their streetcars:  They stop every two blocks.  Unless it was pouring or the weather was otherwise pure crap, I’d likely just walk unless I had an appointment at the other end of the line and needed to be there in 1/2 the time.

Don’t think of these light rail systems as people movers, instead think of them as more like OKC’s canal.  They are markers that are intended to project an image, look cute, attract tourists, and hopefully lead to some development along their path.
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« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2016, 04:15:28 pm »

I went to the BRT meeting at the Central Center a couple nights ago.  I sat down at a table that had the Pine and Peoria set of stops.  Other tables were more packed for they had the "sexier" locations like 6th and Peoria etc. but I thought this was a location that really could use some help and creative thinking whereas the other areas could pretty much take care of themselves and would be good to go so to speak.

I ended up getting frustrated and angry and just got up and left.

I usually never do that and usually fight on, but could see that nothing I was going to say would be worth anything.  The city people already seemed to have their own ideas of what needed to be done (and I disagreed with much of it) and the other people around the table, well, were on the bottom end of a long learning curve, though of course each one of them had one or two good viewpoints and good intentions,,, but.... overall you could tell they hadn't thought things through.

One thing that was really frustrating was that the city person seemed to have on the one hand "very low expectations" per some things, but on the other, very unrealistic expectations on the other.  I can imagine they thought the same of me lol.  And none of the group seemed to have very much business/development sense and "how people would actually use this area if this or that happened" sense, with which to base their recommendations and ideas.

I just looked around and thought, "This is hopeless, I am gone." Color me a quitter but I just couldn't do it that night lol.  I actually thought of some creative ideas after I left that would have resolved some of the differences, but even now I don't think the city people would be responsive for again they seem to already be heading in one direction "here is what we are going to do and the toolkit we will use for this location" and don't want to veer from it.

 
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« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2016, 04:47:22 pm »

I have to agree with the sentiment that many street car projects are just amusement rides. Loops that cover small areas. Look at Tulsa's old network...that went places. They were made to transport people, so everyone didn't need to have a car, or a buggy, or whatever to get anywhere at all.

In 1925 Tulsa's population was ~100k people.  It had nearly 25 miles of street car lines in the roads and commuter rail to the major suburbs of Sand Springs and Sapulpa.

You could go from Sand Springs to downtown Tulsa, on to Cherry Street, the University of Tulsa, Expo Square, Woodard park, or north up to MLK and Pine. That's the major commercial hub, the major shopping district, the university, and the major entertainment areas. You could get places, particularly if you walk a couple miles in any direction from the line.

I think a project like that could catch on and would be used. As a touristy thing at first. But over time people would become one car families. Young people might try to be a no-car family with the addition of Uber/Lyft and buses. Add in commuter lines from BA, Jenks, and Owasso that connect to the light rail network and it could really work. Worth the cost? Probably, if it cut into our road budgets.

But a tourist loop? Just so hard to rationalize.
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« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2016, 05:27:52 pm »

This is an article from 2013 about the Portland Streetcars and how it is not generating the revenues originally projected.

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Initially, the Portland Bureau of Transportation had projected the streetcar fares would bring in about $1 million annually -- or 11 percent of the $8.9 million operating budget. However, since mid-September, "the fare box revenue are taking in about 55 percent of what had been expected by this time," according to the analysis.

The report suggests that the Transportation Bureau will need to figure out a way to increase the revenue. Otherwise, the operating funds will have to come from general transportation revenues, meaning another program area could face cuts.
It's unclear whether the revenues are lower than projected because ridership is down or because users aren't paying the fare.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/03/portland_streetcar_takes_anoth.html

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« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2016, 05:28:51 pm »

This is an article from 2013 about the Portland Streetcars and how it is not generating the revenues originally projected.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/03/portland_streetcar_takes_anoth.html



Yeah, but Portland gets the “cool” factor from it!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2016, 05:34:20 pm »



And one of my thoughts after reading KC’s page on their streetcars:  They stop every two blocks.  Unless it was pouring or the weather was otherwise pure crap, I’d likely just walk unless I had an appointment at the other end of the line and needed to be there in 1/2 the time.


By riding a KC streetcar, you might be able to get from one end of their line to the other in half the time it would take to walk, depending on exactly when you arrived at a station stop.  By using Google Earth, I calculated 18-30 minutes by streetcar, 40 minutes walking.

The system in Little Rock and North Little Rock is smaller than KC's system, but the trolley headways to North Little Rock are longer (about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the time of day).  After tracking LR/NLR trolleys online today, it seems as though they move at about the same average speed as KC's streetcars, 6 to 7 mph or so.  The farthest extents of the LR/NLR system are about 1.62 mile apart, or about 30 to 35 minutes via walking.  Depending on how long you might have to wait to catch a ride, the same trip by trolley could take about 15 to 40 minutes.

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« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2016, 05:46:30 pm »

Yeah, but Portland gets the “cool” factor from it!  Roll Eyes

They also get credit for $19.5million fro American Made Streetcar Company "United Streetcar" to go from inception to closed in record time. You know the routine, "over promise, over budget, under deliver"

http://blog.oregonlive.com/portlandcityhall/2013/01/portland_receives_first_street.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/03/before_shutdown_how_many_jobs.html
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« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2016, 06:24:23 pm »



I have to agree with the sentiment that many street car projects are just amusement rides. Loops that cover small areas. Look at Tulsa's old network...that went places. They were made to transport people, so everyone didn't need to have a car, or a buggy, or whatever to get anywhere at all.

In 1925 Tulsa's population was ~100k people.  It had nearly 25 miles of street car lines in the roads and commuter rail to the major suburbs of Sand Springs and Sapulpa.

You could go from Sand Springs to downtown Tulsa, on to Cherry Street, the University of Tulsa, Expo Square, Woodard park, or north up to MLK and Pine. That's the major commercial hub, the major shopping district, the university, and the major entertainment areas. You could get places, particularly if you walk a couple miles in any direction from the line.

I think a project like that could catch on and would be used. As a touristy thing at first. But over time people would become one car families. Young people might try to be a no-car family with the addition of Uber/Lyft and buses. Add in commuter lines from BA, Jenks, and Owasso that connect to the light rail network and it could really work. Worth the cost? Probably, if it cut into our road budgets.

But a tourist loop? Just so hard to rationalize.
 

I think both types of systems (metro-wide and small downtown loop) are hard to rationalize.

However, a simple "starter" line in downtown Tulsa could be on Boulder Avenue, over the BNSF train tracks.  In my opinion, the bridges over the tracks are among the biggest barriers downtown, along with the super-blocks.  Having a streetcar line or a loop running over a bridge or two could help to connect the north and south areas of downtown, but so could frequent bus or shuttle service. 
   
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« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2016, 11:03:12 pm »

I think both types of systems (metro-wide and small downtown loop) are hard to rationalize.

However, a simple "starter" line in downtown Tulsa could be on Boulder Avenue, over the BNSF train tracks.  In my opinion, the bridges over the tracks are among the biggest barriers downtown, along with the super-blocks.  Having a streetcar line or a loop running over a bridge or two could help to connect the north and south areas of downtown, but so could frequent bus or shuttle service. 
   

So could walking a couple blocks.
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« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2016, 02:39:05 pm »

I like the idea of a Boulder streetcar since it is one of the few seamless corridors through downtown that is also centrally located.  But Boulder is just not a very interesting street.  And maybe that is fine but the successful streetcars I've seen run down streets with retail, restaurants, etc.  Maybe this is the catalyst Boulder needs but it will be a long and arduous process.  Who would be your target audience for this route and why are they going north to south or south to north?

Would you have small loops at either end with a Boulder route.  For example at the south end east on 18th to Boston, north on Boston and back west on 17th?  And on the north end east on Archer to Boston (or all the way to Elgin) and west on Brady? 
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