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Rizzo

Elevated Light Rail Discussion

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Let's discuss it! Earlier this morning I was looking on the web for mass-transit info in Grand Rapids and found this older yet interesting read: http://www.wmeac.org/about/pubs/rail.asp the paper doesn't mention the concept of an "L" train specifically, but I think it could be a viable answer to questions of ROWs, space, and other concerns. Coming from a family background in engineering and operation of rail yards and lines, it excites me when I read citizens of the area citing this being a very feasible option for a growing transit system, I just love trains! :)

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Let's discuss it! Earlier this morning I was looking on the web for mass-transit info in Grand Rapids and found this older yet interesting read: http://www.wmeac.org/about/pubs/rail.asp the paper doesn't mention the concept of an "L" train specifically, but I think it could be a viable answer to questions of ROWs, space, and other concerns. Coming from a family background in engineering and operation of rail yards and lines, it excites me when I read citizens of the area citing this being a very feasible option for a growing transit system, I just love trains! :)

This document is what MBEI (www.mbei.org) submitted to the former GRATA (Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority) in 2000: "Metro Grand Rapids: Comprehensive Mass Transit Overview and Recommendations," Michigan Black Expo, Inc., January 28, 1998, and Addendum of March 10, 2000. It was also included in the aforementioned WMEAC document (if you check the roster of the document, you'll find MBEI's President, R. Treece, on it).

It details MBEI's recommendations for an 18-station elevated heavy-rail system (like Atlanta's MARTA, like D.C.'s Metrorail, like the Bay Area's BART, like the CTA EL system in Chicago) centered in downtown GR at what would become the current Central Station transit hub and radiating outward east and west to endpoints at Ford Airport and GVSU-Allendale. This proprosal also included critical stations at the combined GRCC/Spectrum Butterworth/VanAndel Institute area (one of three underground stations), DeVos Place, Woodland Mall, Eastown, Calvin College, Davenport College and Aquinas College among others. The fact that ITP cut a heavy-rail option like this one from the outset of what has become today's fixed-guideway plan before the public ever got to debate on the huge development and ongoing income opportunities that heavy-rail brings vs. the large one-time construction cost of heavy rail continues to burn my gut. I could spit every time I think of GR eventually only getting a trolley system as opposed to "an expensive system" that would have linked 100,000 tourist/conventioneer-, collegiate- and employment commuter-users daily to the most popular super-regional destinations between Ford Airport and GVSU-Allendale. :wacko::angry:

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Is the option of light rail off the table? If it has I guess GR still has it's old mindset...

LRT is a stretch now. They are working to get funding to do more studies to start with BRT :wacko: There was just a meeting about it the other day at the ITP.

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LRT is a stretch now. They are working to get funding to do more studies to start with BRT :wacko: There was just a meeting about it the other day at the ITP.

Yes there was. Those 7am GT2 Meetings kill me.

ITP is not necessarily starting with either BRT ( :sick: ) or the trolley ( :sick: ). We are in the process of deciding which of the two corridors will have the most impact first and then which of the two modes will best serve the final phase one corridor (either the downtown to Ford Airport corridor or the downtown to 68th Street via Division corridor). The corridor that loses out on being Phase One will become Phase Two.

Ideally, the Airport corridor is better suited for some type of rail while the Division corridor may be better suited for BRT.

IF MBEI HAD $2 BILLION RIGHT NOW, I'D CONVINCE OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO UNDERWRITE THE $1 BILLION PRICE TAG FOR THE CORRIDOR WE SPELLED OUT IN OUR ORIGINAL 1998 TRANSIT REPORT AND MOVE ON. sigh.

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I'm impressed with the numbers on the GVSU route. A lot of GVSU students are leaving the cars at home and taking the bus instead because it's reasonably convenient and timely. With demand comes a better system. We all need to follow their lead and use the bus system even if we'd prefer a train. I for one really like trains and hope someday we can build such a system. For now though I need to use the bus when I can to do my part to keep a demand on the system.

MetroGRKid's mention of the heavy rail from allendale to the airport would be a fantastic route. Too bad the plan died so early. Keep pushing for mass transit!

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^Usage of the rail along side of 131 would be kick.

Unfortunately, 1) it would look great but US-131 has no people-oriented destinations immediately adjacent to it like the Dan Ryan X-Way in Chicago does and 2) CSX, which has a history of not being cooperative with transit authorities in negotiating dual use of their right of way, would be an additional impediment to anything that is even remotely "kick".

-Metrogrkid

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Unfortunately, 1) it would look great but US-131 has no people-oriented destinations immediately adjacent to it like the Dan Ryan X-Way in Chicago does and 2) CSX, which has a history of not being cooperative with transit authorities in negotiating dual use of their right of way, would be an additional impediment to anything that is even remotely "kick".

-Metrogrkid

The idea set forth in the plans is to use the conrail right-of-way. Is this the same as CSX?

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I had the oppurtunity to ask Mayor Heartwell and he said that for whichever option is finally choosen, we're still 8 years, at best, from hopping on a train.

He also mentioned the prospect of have daily buses on "The Triangle" between GR, Holland, and Muskegon.

Your thoughts, Metrogrkid?

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I had the oppurtunity to ask Mayor Heartwell and he said that for whichever option is finally choosen, we're still 8 years, at best, from hopping on a train.

He also mentioned the prospect of have daily buses on "The Triangle" between GR, Holland, and Muskegon.

Your thoughts, Metrogrkid?

Hey GR Centro, were you at the same meeting I was at yesterday morning? That question sounds familiar.

Nitro

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Hey GR Centro, were you at the same meeting I was at yesterday morning? That question sounds familiar.

Nitro

The Legislative Forum, yes?

I was the only one younger than 35 in that room...

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The Legislative Forum, yes?

I was the only one younger than 35 in that room...

I take offense to that. I'm only 29. :D

Nitro

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I had the oppurtunity to ask Mayor Heartwell and he said that for whichever option is finally choosen, we're still 8 years, at best, from hopping on a train.

He also mentioned the prospect of have daily buses on "The Triangle" between GR, Holland, and Muskegon.

Your thoughts, Metrogrkid?

As Mayor Heartwell is one of MBEI's advisors, I will defer to his take on the timeline for train hopping. His talk of commuter buses along the metropolitan I-196 / I-96 / US-31 triangle between GR, Muskegon and Holland is good to hear as it indicates that one of the primary elected officials of the metro area sees value in something that can evolve into Metro GR's own version of Chicago's Metra Commuter Trains.

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