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« Dumbed-down science | Main | Diversity in the QC »

Feb 26, 2010

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Jim Caserta

As to building on a foreign model, where was Eisenhower inspired for our interstate highway system?

Jim Caserta

I like the sign on the streetcar of your last link.

Tim

you know Winston-Salem is trying to develop a street car system connecting Baptist Hospital with PTRP in downtown Winston-Salem. The ballpark would also be on the trolley route. They are pretty forward thinking of there. Unfortuntly Our leaders dont have that kind of vision or the balls to take on an idea like that. But this is Greensboro ;)

glenwoodobserver

Anyone else but me that think some sort of dedicated mass transit (trolley, bus, whatever) on Lee/High Pt. Rd is perfect? Let's see...let's connect our new Gateway Research center and Gateway Gardens, and Barber Park with the Greenway with the southern entry to Downtown to Bennett College to Greensboro College to UNCG to the Coliseum to Convention Center. People can park at Four Seasons or at a new lot off I-40/Lee st. Parking problem at Coliseum solved.

Hey, how did I get this sand in my ears...

Kim

I used to wonder why Duke Power ran the bus system in GSO. "But I had the right of way..." is what my drivers ed teacher, Ronnie Ball, said they were going to put on my tombstone.

Jim Caserta

Any mention of a ballpark in comparing W-S & GSO should mention that the Hoppers have been in their park for 5+ years, while W-S is hoping that our park will be done by opening day.

Jim Caserta

This route:
http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/winston-salem-trolley.gif
shows the ballpark being 4 or 5 blocks from the streetcar.

The article that points to the image:
http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2009/06/17/winston-salem-proposes-modern-streetcar-line/
says, "this project suffers from underambition; it’s simply too short a line to attract many users."

justcorbly

When my dad was growing up in southwestern Ohio, you could use streetcars and such to travel from Cincinnati to Detroit. Made more sense to take a train, but you could do it. Now you do neither.

As for the Evuls of Furrin Models, especially Europeans, I recommend we also give up European influences like beer, wine and pizza. Evul is Evul, after all.

Tim

People who argue against streetcars say buses are a lot cheaper and they can go anywhere. Why invest money into putting tracks in the pavement?

If you look at the cities that have put trolleys back on thier streets, the streetcar lines have attracted new development. Even with Charlotte's light rail line development is popping up along the tracks. It may be a good way to help attract investment along the High Point Road corridor connecting the Koury Convention Center and Coliseum. The trolley line could then extend to Gateway University research park with a connection to UNCG and NC A&T. Some would say who would pay for it? Maybe all this federal stimulus money could foot the bill and if the downtown hotel doesnt get built, use that money. But we dont have leaders here that have big visions. Greensboro has a mediocre mindset and likes to follow instead of lead. Heck, the old streetcars rails are still under the asphalt so maybe some of those could be re-used. Greensboro is also making a huge mistake in its plan to rip up the abandonded rail line along Battleground Ave to downtown. Its part of the rail-to-trail plan. Why rip it up when it could be used for a trolley or future light rail line connect northwest Greensboro to downtown. It makes no sense to me and it shows that our leaders are not looking long term. The craziest think is no one will use the future walking path because there are no houses near that line, just retail and commercial establishments. It would be more valuable as a trolley or light rail line. People who live downtown could hop on the trolley and go to Target on Lawndale, the Movie theater at Battleground and Wendover or to thier jobs.

Tim

Intersting article. Winston-Salem is already on top of things. I suppose once this happens for Winston-Salem, Greensboro will quickly become envious and then show interest in it. Whatever Winston-Salem does, we do and vice-versa. ;)

http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/jun/15/money-needed-for-streetcar-project/business/

Jim Caserta

That article highlights the problems with Winston-Salem's proposal. If you are basing the future route on routes today that carry 37, 536 and 724 people per day, then you have a route issue.

The bus I rode in college, during peak hours, ran every 15 minutes, and was packed (SRO) with about 75 people per trip. Think 2 peak hours AM/PM, gives 1200 rides (I'm assuming W-S is counting per-trip, not dividing trips by 2), just at peak. Assume 50% more off-peak and that is nearly 2000 people on just one route. I checked the stats and it is closer to 1200/weekday on my old route, but my estimate was close.

There are probably 10 routes with similar ridership (actually 12 with higher riderships). Peak ridership route gets 105k rides/month!

W-S is investing in buses. My daughter claimed to see a green bus, and I thought she was having problems with her colors. But a green bus it was - a hybrid bus spitting out little diesel exhaust.

glenwoodobserver

And Greensboro has invested in buses...from a Dept.of Energy Fact Sheet dated 2004:

"The City of Greensboro has long had a rigorous maintenance program that focuses on scheduled preventive maintenance. This program helped the city implement a quick and seamless transition to B20, and it now runs its entire fleet of 751 diesel vehicles—transit and emergency vehicles—on B20."

B20 is biodiesel. Why the city doesn't paint this fact all over its buses is odd to me.

Jim Caserta

Can't you smell the difference?

glenwoodobserver

Well, yes, Jim you can, but the sides of our buses ought to more than show the ugly logo (IMO).

RBM

These may also be of use:

The Oil Drum; Light Rail

And

http://www.lightrailnow.org/

Roch101

"Why the city doesn't paint this fact all over its buses is odd to me." -- GO

The city suspended its use of bio-diesel in December of 2007 and it remained suspended as of May 2009. I do not know if it has resumed.

Jim Caserta

I was being facetious. I know the smell. Was behind an old Benz and felt like I was back at the fryer in a McDonald's. Pull up beside and he's got a biodiesel sticker on the car.

As for smart growth & development around light rail, you need to consider how much new growth there will be in an area. Since 1990 Charlotte has added 291k residents, while Greensboro has added 67k. Couple with the dramatically decreased residential & commercial construction that will happen the next 10 years, putting light rail down expecting it to change a city's development pattern is a bad bet.

It is very hard to project a mass-transit's success based on other cities. Subways are great for NYC, but would never work in GSO. Buses might not work very well in Ocala, FL, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't work in Gainesville, FL.

The $65M W-S wants needs to be weighed against other projects that might be better.

RecycleBill

Tim wrote: "Unfortuntly Our leaders dont have that kind of vision or the balls to take on an idea like that."

The only reason GSO leaders would want a trolley would be if it could be sold as real estate or a hotel. Bulldoze and build is all they know.

Go wrote: "B20 is biodiesel. Why the city doesn't paint this fact all over its buses is odd to me."

Ditto Roch. In other words the city is spreading lies about their use of biodiesel and lying is what GSO leaders do best.

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