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Ramcharger

Highway bill brings millions to the area.

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Hopefully this $100 million means more than more studies. They've studied the heck out of the route. It's time to actually build something!

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Hopefully this $100 million means more than more studies.  They've studied the heck out of the route.  It's time to actually build something!

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Amen!

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I was under the impression that they were looking into another form of mass transit and not just using existing rail lines. 100 million for them to see if rail lines would be viable? Sounds like a lot of dough to me.

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Wow. With a rough estimation of costs based on the range of cost per square mile in the report, it could cost between $1.5 and $3B for light rail. Commuter rail would be in the $150 to $650M range.

So I assume without heavy federal funding, light rail is out of the question?

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You'd assume right, unless something miraculous happens such as Oakland, Macomb, and beyound footing large chunks of the system, or if Detroit falls on a pile of unexpected cash from somewhere like GM, Chrysler and Ford.

Boy, oh boy, wouldn't that show their committment to the region if the Big Three out of nowhere announced they'd foot most of the bill for a transit system. Alas, that is only a dream, and a foolish one at that. lol

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$150 million for commuter rail? We'd only have to come up with another $50 for that and instead we're going to continue "studying" it!! Bollocks. I suppose if they decide to build it, some data from the engineering study would be needed anyways but... I'd like to see a few million go to upgrading a few miles of rail to do some tangible testing on, for people to see rail in action and believe their eyes and get excited. My way would be to start doing this in Ann Arbor. :)

I wish some highway money would go towards converting highway/road lanes into HOV lanes... let's see some DC-style slugging along some of these roads.

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The more I look at the maps of the possible routes, the more I am starting to like commuter rail the most. If the route is built there will be trains going down Woodward and Michigan Ave. to the CBD. It will act just as if it were light rail. In the same route part of the line goes around Downtown and Midtown.

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Whatever it is it would have to be elevated. Would light rail be easier to elevate over commuter rail or is the word light in light rail messing with my thought process?

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Zissou: light vs heavy means that it need not be grade-separated, that it can mix with auto and other traffic, as opposed to train cars powered by the tracks themselves which therefore have to be separate (otherwise people find themselves electrocuting). So if the train powers itself, it could go straight down Woodward at street level. I think I've read on this board that there's no longer any rail tracks going downtown? Bummer.

Man, last year Transit Riders United had a conference and studied and backed light rail down Woodward from downtown to Pontiac. This would be an awesome start. OTOH, SEMCOG and/or others have proposed BRT (SpeedLink) down Woodward and other corridors.

Maybe off topic, but I'd love to see rapid transit connecting the downtowns of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dearborn, and Detroit. Perhaps this could do that. Light rail down the two major urban districts of Dearborn on Michigan Ave...

tomo

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I hope BRT is out of the question. It'll flop badly because of how buses are viewed in this state (especially SE Michigan). I honestly don't think most people would get over the "bus" part long enough to take a second look at it.

Now, rail might actually generate interest in mass transit - eventually even in some people who would vote against funding it. It's just more attractive and uh....trendy. Sad, but being viewed as trendy might be the most effective way to get most of these people to support something.

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Dnast, I truly hope BRT is out of the question for this A2-D corridor.

But I hope it's not out of the question for the rest of the metro's corridors. I'd rather see BRT than nothing at all. Once the BRT in Cleveland is operational people from Detroit would be able to see it in action, if they ever had any reason to go to Cleveland.

Being viewed as trendy is going to be the way to get the less poor people living in the suburbs on board with any sort of mass transit. A slight time savings wouldn't hurt either.

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Bus Rapid Transit will not help with ridership in my opinion, it will end up being another boondoggle. But commuter rail, Light Rail Transit, or something similar would certainly be a big plus, and would help bring Detroit closer to the level of other cities that are similar in size.

MrCoffee

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the words "bus" and "rapid" just don't go together

Bus Rapid Transit will not help with ridership in my opinion, it will end up being another boondoggle.  But commuter rail, Light Rail Transit, or something similar would certainly be a big plus, and would help bring Detroit closer to the level of other cities that are similar in size. 

MrCoffee

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the words "bus" and "rapid" just don't go together

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Unless your talking about Grand Rapids, where the bus system is known as "The Rapid" sorry, I just had to go there... :rofl:

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MrCoffee, that is probably true for that corridor where it's mostly along 94, I think because even normal trains could go faster than a bus that was confined to a busway. At least a bullet train could. :) And that may be the perception, that a bus won't drive much faster than a car even without traffic. On congested city grids I think it's easier to convince people of the benefits of a busway that is not just an HOV-lane, which the region could also use an introduction to. Whatever they choose, I hope they spend the money to civilize all the stations -- build a shopping plaza around each one.

It's too bad all the old streetcar tracks in the roads in the city have been removed. How funny would it be if they set up BRT on top of those roads, covered the tires of the actual busses which would be made to look like trains a la Cleveland. People waiting at the station for the first time wouldn't be able to tell the difference. If they did notice that the tires were rubber just tell them they are like the high-tech rubber-tired subway cars in Montreal. Anyways, I have seen rapid busses and it isn't the actual bus that makes them slow, it's the traffic they get stuck in. Same applies to light rail or streetcars in city streets that have to share the road.

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Oakland county is at it again .....

From the Detroit Free Press - August 19, 2005

$533-million plan for I-75 in Oakland wins support

http://www.freep.com/news/locoak/freeway19e_20050819.htm

Granted, I don't drive that stretch of highway everyday, but when I do, the only time traffic is ever gridlocked is when there is an accident. Even in rush hour, the traffic moves fairly well, and much better than 696 at the same time of day, and much better than any other big city at rush hour.

It's comforting to know the this can't happen right away and take away from the current highway bill funds. Also, I really hope the next governor keeps the same stance on fixing existing highways before building new or widening highways.

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My problem with the highway widening is that it doesn't help the flow of traffic. Another lane just encourages more traffic and more outward growth. So while everyone cries that this will eleviate traffic, the likey result will be just the opposite.

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I'm sick of listening to people complain about the traffic. Detroit does not have congested roads. Detroit's idea of congestion is speeding by orange construction barrels at 70mph. Want to see real traffic jams? Go to Chicago or LA....

I can think of a lot better uses for $533 million than adding another lane to I-75.

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Your absolutely right Allan. The only time of the year I complain about traffic is Dream Cruise weekend. Living near Woodward is an pain in rear for that weekend.

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Figuring if there is 5,000,000, people more or less in Metro Detroit, if everyone paid an extra 100 dollars in taxes exclusively for a mass transit system there would be 500,000,000 dollars to spend leaving enough money for many of the corridors proposed by SEMCOG including Woodward, Jefferson, 8 Mile, 16 Mile, Fort Street, Grand River, Gratiot, Greenfield, M-59, Michigan, Telegraph, Van Dyke, a stop a Metro Airport. Regional Links to Port Huron, Lansing/Ann Arbor, Monroe/Toledo, and Flint. I think many people would be willing to pay another 100-250 dollars in the taxes for a mass transit system. Sorry for being a little off topic, but this has to do with a new transportation system.

http://www.semcog.org/Products/pdfs/speedlinkfinalreport.pdf

http://www.semcog.org/Products/pdfs/transitplan10-01.pdf

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