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November 20, 2017, 06:02:09 am
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Author Topic: Tulsa light rail/trolley/streetcar discussion  (Read 6506 times)
AquaMan
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« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2016, 11:11:12 am »

Yes. You could see people inside having fun. No one wants to go to a restaurant and be one of only a few patrons. Same with a bus. One of the drivers told me they were just as rowdy as any party bus he ever drove.
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2016, 07:24:32 am »

Agreed.  The Trolley was goofy as hell but fun.  I don't know how much it costs to run the Loop, but it is good advertising.

The main thing is that the whole Brady to Blue Dome route is like 4-5 blocks and you can walk it in 5 minutes.  Unless you have a mobility problem like a broken leg there's no reason to wait for the bus if you are an able bodied bar hopper. 

Isn't all of downtown like 1.5 square miles, including the 50% on the southern and eastern half that are just surface parking lots?
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erfalf
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« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2016, 07:32:41 am »

So I recently made a trip to Kansas City. We stayed at the President downtown which is within a block of a streetcar stop. I know it has been said that these are vanity projects and huge wastes of money. But as a visitor, they were an incredible breath of fresh air. We went one afternoon to the City Market, ate and shopped and even purchased a large antique (wife wanted, I carried) that we transported back on the streetcar. All without getting the car out of the garage, which in all reality, we were probably already at the city market area for 10 minutes before I likely would have gotten my car out, driven up there and found a parking spot and walked form there too. We never waited more than 10 minutes for a train, which is on par with other major transportation systems I have ridden. It was just amazing to be honest. We also could have gone down to the Crossroads area or all the way to Crown Center if we desired.

They also put the stations on the regular sidewalk instead of the middle of the street. I have always hated that idea (middle of the street). Dallas and Houston do it. It's just dumb in my opinion.

I understand this is obviously there first step, and it is rather short. There are obviously  plans for expansion. I'm sure they would like to make it to Westport and the Plaza. But this starting point hits several major points of interest, of note it makes it to another major transportation hub, Union Station.

All in all, I think KC is an excellent example of what Tulsa should be considering at the very least. A line up Cincinnati or Detroit would be idea in my opinion. Could easily have expansions to the east to TU/Cherry Street and to the south to Brookside. Considering all the parking lots along Detroit and Cincinnati, this could be a real boon for development.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2016, 08:46:42 am »

I agree with you, they are very cool.  When in a town that has access to an actually trolley line I always find an excuse.  A few are very useful (San Francisco, New Orleans), but you're also right that most are just vanity projects. The stops being too close together make them slow. The length makes them impractical.  But - they still can draw people.  Kansas City put in a great route going by a ton of awesome attractions and connecting districts that otherwise never really worked together (think Cherry Street and the Blue Dome, not really that far apart... but totally separated). The cars, live route information, integration with Google, and price point are all awesome.   Ridership is strong at 6800 a day and development along the line is booming ($1.5 Billion proposed or constructed, with about half of that saying the street car was a major factor).  KC did it right.

Voters declined to expand the line in 2014 by a 60-40 margin.  Private industry funded a study to expand the line down Main past the City Center, WWI Museum, through Westport and on to the Plaza.  Making their starter line into a respectable transportation line!  Elections are set for 2017.
http://kcstreetcar.org/about-streetcar/streetcar-expansion/

But to illustrate the issue using your KC example, the trolley ride from the President Hotel to the Market takes 10-20 minutes, depending on if you catch the trolley or have to wait on it.   If you were to just walk the 12 blocks it would take ~18 minutes. Your hotel is at the mid-point of the route, so going to the WWI Museum on foot takes ~30 minutes or 20-30 by trolley (you still have to walk through Union Station and up to the museum).  
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/''/City+Market,+KCMO,+MO/@39.103016,-94.5863923,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x0:0x285f54100d1868fe!2m2!1d-94.5841292!2d39.0975267!1m5!1m1!1s0x87c0f08ae74d9b29:0xabf79f6e3b419841!2m2!1d-94.5818625!2d39.1084649!3e3

Arguably its a break even on time... but the cost of $102,000,000 plus up to $4,000,000 a year to operate it really adds up (bond maintenance is $4.4 million, funded with a sales tax in within a certain distance of the line).  So the total subsidy is $4 per rider, so you and your wife riding the trolley to the market instead of walking cost taxpayers $16.
http://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/investigations/a-streetcar-desired-doing-the-math-on-how-the-taxpayer-funded-kansas-city-project-adds-up

You did add economic activity, but probably not $16 of profit to the overall economy. Some conferences might decide on KC in part because of the line.  Some projects, business and some residents might locate near the line. But it is hard to calculate if it is a solid investment just relying on return of investment.  Now, you can add to that the ability to increase density in an area, the savings in infrastructure on expanding roads or sprawling the city out, and the increased revenue possible from a given section.  Also, you have to add in quality of life benefits.  Would the expanded line allow some to become single car families, help kids get to piano lessons, school, or a job?  Finally, the overall synergy that can come from a well done municipal project - it seems doubtful that the Convention Center actually pays for itself, or the large arena, or the freeways for that matter.  But they are a vital part of an integrated system that helps drive the economy.

I think if they expand the line as they hope to, it will pay off handsomely.  As it stands, the short line is a vanity/tourist project - one that is more useful than many... but not much more than that.

But all that said, I still want to see it in Tulsa.  Wink
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 08:50:39 am by cannon_fodder » Logged

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erfalf
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« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2016, 09:21:52 am »

I equate it to building stadiums and arenas. In nearly every case you can't justify the financial aspect of it, but does it really ever stop those things from happening. And I think this one really could spur development in a lot more spread out fashion, not just for whomever happens to be lucky enough to own the property immediately surrounding the new stadium. A bit more democratic don't you think?
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« Reply #65 on: February 10, 2017, 02:51:37 pm »

Meanwhile down the turnpike...

http://m.newsok.com/article/5537265?scrolling_list=article
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2017, 04:42:57 pm »

It is pretty awesome, but for the same $110m price tag Tulsa could literally restreetscape almost every downtown street.  Like install that same great Brady District streetscape all over downtown. 

Or if we're looking for straight urban revitalization, a $110m loan fund to help finance downtown development would be super awesome.  Or redo the bridges over the tracks into downtown to make them something cool and walkable and fun rather than a five lane highway with scarily small sidewalk.

Plus self driving cars might explode public transportation (and personal car ownership) as we know it in 20-30 years.  The marginal cost per mile of a self-driving Uber might be extremely, extremely low. 
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