Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

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5 hours ago, kermit said:

and if cities and utility companies stopped transferring the cost of updating their infrastructure onto transit projects then it would be much cheaper to build. 

Bingo! If you remove the cost of all the storm water, sewer and utility replacement/relocation the cost goes down dramatically.

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Removing the infrastructure would make the tracks cheaper, but it exponentially more expensive and inconvenient to maintain/upgrade the underground utilities. Government needs to think about the big picture when spending taxpayer money, not just cost savings for one department.

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3 hours ago, Spartan said:

Removing the infrastructure would make the tracks cheaper, but it exponentially more expensive and inconvenient to maintain/upgrade the underground utilities. Government needs to think about the big picture when spending taxpayer money, not just cost savings for one department.

I do not mind the infra projects being done at the same time - I just do not like the costs of infra upgrades being rolled into a transit project.  Infrastructure projects need to have their own budgets and their own funding.

Also, from the CATS meeting on Phase 1 of Gold Line - they said that the utility upgrades will allow for future utility work (even emergency ones) to not shut down operation of the street car.

Time will tell if that is accurate or how well it was designed and built.

 

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I was under the assumption that the City is funding the infrastructure work separately... it's just tied to the streetcar construction due to the coordination that's needed. I could be wrong about that assumption, but it's a somewhat muddy process in terms of how the financing works.

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I am sure that there's a really simple answer, and it might have been addressed in this thread earlier, but I have not been able to find it.  I noticed yesterday that on Elizabeth Avenue, the center-most rail for both east and west bound is recessed an inch or two below street level.  It seems like the depression is not quite as wide as a car tire, which I think finally explains why I hate driving on Elizabeth.  It's really hard to drive and keep your left tire in that depression, so you end up driving left of it (uncomfortably close to the centerline), or right of it (bike lane).  Or worse, you end up weaving left and right as you go.  

Any idea why they built it that way?  From streetview, it looks like they only did that on Elizabeth between Kings and Hawthorne

5a292d996ab87_ElizabethAve.thumb.png.2b92ac2cc04bb24c681d1bb6bb850bc6.png

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I would think that maybe the  road slopes for drainage, but the rails have to be level.  It was probably a design flaw that they corrected for the following phase.

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3 minutes ago, archiham04 said:

I would think that maybe the  road slopes for drainage, but the rails have to be level.  It was probably a design flaw that they corrected for the following phase.

Thanks for that.  I forgot that it was built in phases.  The Elizabeth section was built before the Trade street part.  

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Once upon a time, construction plans for the Gold Line could be found on the CATS website. Does anyone know where those might still be? I was hoping to reference it for some specific station layout information. 

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15 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

Once upon a time, construction plans for the Gold Line could be found on the CATS website. Does anyone know where those might still be? I was hoping to reference it for some specific station layout information. 

I would try Kievmeck.org

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5 hours ago, teeg said:

I am sure that there's a really simple answer, and it might have been addressed in this thread earlier, but I have not been able to find it.  I noticed yesterday that on Elizabeth Avenue, the center-most rail for both east and west bound is recessed an inch or two below street level.  It seems like the depression is not quite as wide as a car tire, which I think finally explains why I hate driving on Elizabeth.  It's really hard to drive and keep your left tire in that depression, so you end up driving left of it (uncomfortably close to the centerline), or right of it (bike lane).  Or worse, you end up weaving left and right as you go.  

Any idea why they built it that way?  From streetview, it looks like they only did that on Elizabeth between Kings and Hawthorne

5a292d996ab87_ElizabethAve.thumb.png.2b92ac2cc04bb24c681d1bb6bb850bc6.png

The automotive term is "tramlining" when a driver finds a tire in the depression of a street rail and the tire tends to follow the rail rather than the input from the steering. Most well known in Prague where street rails are ubiquitous. Can also be when there is another kind of difference in street surface such as asphalt between cobbles or such variations that restrict the smooth progress of the tire and wheel despite driver input. Americans are unfamiliar with this feature, Europeans less so.

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32 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

The automotive term is "tramlining" when a driver finds a tire in the depression of a street rail and the tire tends to follow the rail rather than the input from the steering. Most well known in Prague where street rails are ubiquitous. Can also be when there is another kind of difference in street surface such as asphalt between cobbles or such variations that restrict the smooth progress of the tire and wheel despite driver input. Americans are unfamiliar with this feature, Europeans less so.

I get what you are saying, but I think I experience the opposite effect on Elizabeth.  Because of that recessed bit on the left being narrower than my tire, the vehicle does not want to follow the track.  The tire wants to steer me out of it, and because that's a really unstable feeling, I tend to avoid that track entirely.  

I found some old photos from when the tracks were installed on Elizabeth, and they definitely did it that way on purpose.  The new sections at on Hawthorne and Traded did not include that recess.  Some sort of drainage feature would make sense, and I could not be sure that they were not building in some sort of flexibility that would allow them to run different types of trains in the future.  

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Also I think they tried something  new by putting drainage under the track as part of the storm water system.

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Is it possible JCSU stop has capacity for multiple bus lines? As in it’s where the bus would start and stop and get rid of some uptown CTC routes?

Have buses go north, south and west from the JCSU stop. Anyone who needs to go east can take the gold line to CTC/Light Rail to wherever East   Or further north/South 

The gold and blue lines don’t technically use your transfer so it wouldn’t cost extra for riders.

 

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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^Gold Line doesn't quite replace bus service Uptown as well as Blue Line.  For one, the Blue Line connects you across 20 miles of Charlotte, not barely 4 miles on Gold Line.

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22 minutes ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

So will the streetcars look like the blue line designs with gold instead of blue? 

Nope! They will look exactly the same except with the CityLYNX logo :/ 

Stupid decision IMO

Edited by CLT704

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Rather than demolish the Hawthorne bridge and build a new one, why didn’t they build a new bridge on a parallel street (Louise for example) since they were building a new one anyways?

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16 hours ago, lit said:

Rather than demolish the Hawthorne bridge and build a new one, why didn’t they build a new bridge on a parallel street (Louise for example) since they were building a new one anyways?

100% agreed.  I think it is how it evolved, but to me, they made a strategic error when they chose the Hawthorne path that still gets them stuck behind the railroad.   I remember having a conversation really early with the PM on the project in the early planning stages, trying to suggest they consider extending down 5th or 7th to Pecan.  The bridge over the railroad seemed doable considering the shorter span and the topography and would have removed a railroad crossing from the neighborhoods. Then they would be on the ground level to go under Independence.   

The answer was, of course, that their studies had shown the Hawthorne bridge was  strong enough for the streetcar and that was that.   

 

But I think if they had known all along that they'd have to bear the huge cost of rebuilding that bridge, the streetcar team would have either considered other paths like Pecan or a train-only bridge either following Louise.   

 

But I think the real reason they needed to replace that bridge was more of a combination of factors mainly that the projects under the bridge also needed the bridge rebuilt.  So while the cause for the rebuild was not purely the streetcar, they had the mechanism to pay for it within the streetcar project, so that was what they did.    

 

I liked the 5th > Caswell > Pecan, but honestly the way that density is forming at Hawthorne and Central, and the issues with redevelopment at 7th and Pecan, it was probably a better path for the transit line to follow.  

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Anyone know if the Phase 2 streetcar vehicles (modern Siemens trains) will be limited by snow also?  Saw the vehicles operating in yesterday's snow, was surprised they are not in operation today.  

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Nerd data: Chart shows the change in schedule reliability of the King St streetcar in Toronto after cars were banned from the route (you can tell where the partial car ban went into effect even without the legend). Vertical axis is travel time between the start and end of the new section of exclusive ROW. 

Moral of the story: Streetcars don't have to be unreliable. (and it was incredibly cheap to make this change)

image.thumb.png.276f9d4c2154dd9df6a064459378ace5.png

https://stevemunro.ca/2018/02/06/king-street-update-january-2018-data/

Edited by kermit
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Three of my favorite things in this photo from Kansas City's streetcar:  A modern vehicle, adaptive reuse of a historic building, and a giant mural. We need more of all three in Charlotte. Goodness, I really wish we had opened the Gold Line with modern vehicles, I think they add so much to the public's perception that the streetcar is for transit and not a gimmick.  

DVbn4R8W4AAF6DV.jpg-large.thumb.jpeg.1631d09d200a9dd590877f73b362ac7c.jpeg

Edited by JoshuaDrown
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