Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

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I stand corrected. This is known as the Center City Streetcar Corridor and basically will travel Charlotte bus routes 7 & 9. It will not go as far as the Rosa Park Transit Center however.

It was the downtown Circle Line that got canceled in which I mixed up with this line.

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Here is the CATS page about the Rosa Parks Transit Center. I didn't see any links to it already, but if I missed one, sorry.

Also, check page 19 of this PDF from the May 4th, 2005 meeting about the Beatties Ford Road Streetcar.

It says that the first phase (tentatively scheduled for 2009) could run as far as Johnson C Smith University, while the second phase (tentatively scheduled for 2017) could go to somewhere in the vicinity of I-85, with the Rosa Parks Transit Center as one of the possibe termini. The streetcar may in fact never make it out that far, but I doubt if CATS has made the decision either way, 12 full years in advance.

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Did anybody catch the piece on WSOC-TV news last night regarding the inner-loop streetcar system ?It was pretty neat. It will be a street car that will run in a square inside of 277. It will circle the entire perimeter of center city with several stops.

A2

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I had no idea that it had even existed in the plan MB. But I guess I was wrong. There is a council meeting sometime next month (I believe). I am going to have to do some more digging, but it sounds like CATS really wants it, and can justify it since Gold Rush has done so well with their ridership. The news mentioned the streetcar uptown would be modeled after the one in Portland.

arrival2.jpg

I have to admit that Gold Rush was an excellent idea. I use it almost everyday. In the morning it is standing room only. My only concern is standing next to the guy/gal who forgot to put on some "persperation control". :P

A2

Edited by A219724

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lol at the bo....

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/R...r+City/Home.htm

the streetcar line that is in the works right now is just on trade street (which would replace one of the gold rush routes), phase I goes along Trade between JC Smith/Biddleville and Presby Hospital at Elizabeth/Hawthorne. Phase II would be extensions out Beatties Ford to 85 and out Central first to Plaza-Midwood and eventually to Eastland Mall.

The loop was changed to 4 spurs, but those projects are in the 2020-2025 timeframe:

- 1 from trade up n graham and then down 10th to church

- 1 from trade down s cedar to w morehead

- 1 from trade up n mcdowell, the down east 10th and then up siegel ave in belmont

- and 1 from trade down s mcdowell, then down stonewall to kenilworth to near east blvd

(I included them as yellow lines on the project rundown map)

It was probably in the news because there is a meeting at 6:30 on it to discuss:

- Curbside operations/median operations

- Track alignment

- Urban Design(stop locations/platforms)

- ADA requirements

- Center City Circulator (Center City Spoke)

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Is anyone going tonight? I was planning on attending.

One thing I've wondered is that if CATS does in fact run streetcar to the airport, would that not eliminate the need for the line down cedar since that is the preferred west alignment anyway? Right now, the line would be run as an extension from Central, but eventually is could be coordinated with the line that runs up Siegle.

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Is anyone going tonight? I was planning on attending.

One thing I've wondered is that if CATS does in fact run streetcar to the airport, would that not eliminate the need for the line down cedar since that is the preferred west alignment anyway? Right now, the line would be run as an extension from Central, but eventually is could be coordinated with the line that runs up Siegle.

I might. D is going. I really would like to hear what is up with the streetcars. I think this is an element that needs to be emphasized now that we are starting to see a great deal of in-fill development along these transit coridors.

A2

Edited by A219724

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Is anyone going tonight? I was planning on attending.

One thing I've wondered is that if CATS does in fact run streetcar to the airport, would that not eliminate the need for the line down cedar since that is the preferred west alignment anyway? Right now, the line would be run as an extension from Central, but eventually is could be coordinated with the line that runs up Siegle.

yeah, i'm going to go. Urban design guidelines and details on the center city spokes should be interesting.

my bet is that if street car is run to the airport via cedar, then the money that they would have spent on that half mile of track in the center city circulator "budget" would be shifted to adding a half mile of streetcar elsewhere (preferably to extend the k'worth line to the Park Rd intersection).

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my bet is that if street car is run to the airport via cedar, then the money that they would have spent on that half mile of track in the center city circulator "budget" would be shifted to adding a half mile of streetcar elsewhere (preferably to extend the k'worth line to the Park Rd intersection).
Or perhaps they could extend the N Graham line down S Graham to the stadium. The circulator would then be two self-contained north-south lines on Graham and McDowell.

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If you guys go to the presentation I would be appreciative if you can find out any details on the vehicles they plan to use for these routes.

okay, i'll ask them, (although they usually just say 'that decision will be made during the tier II engineering stages bla bla bla')

what would we do if they answered 'we are saving money by using decommissioned yellow thomas school busses with shortened axels and steel wheels'? :lol:

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what would we do if they answered 'we are saving money by using decommissioned yellow thomas school busses with shortened axels and steel wheels'? :lol:

If they put an electric motor in it and placed it on some rails, I would be ok with that if it got some rail transit going. I'd even come down there to help them wire it up. It would be a community effort then.

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yeah, i'm going to go. Urban design guidelines and details on the center city spokes should be interesting.

my bet is that if street car is run to the airport via cedar, then the money that they would have spent on that half mile of track in the center city circulator "budget" would be shifted to adding a half mile of streetcar elsewhere (preferably to extend the k'worth line to the Park Rd intersection).

Is anyone meeting up for this? I may drag the GF along before going out to eat in uptown tonight.

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i just got back from the streetcar meeting. here are some updates:

- the new federal law will definitely impact funding for this project. for one, it requires the project to go in phases (as has been planned for a while) in order to remain within the funding threshold. I think he said the new law provides for $200m/yr for these smaller projects, for which they will fund a maximum of $75m per project. I'm not sure exactly what that means as far as how competitive things will be for that money, but my first impression is that it will be hard to get.

- burying utilities is not part of the budget for streetcar, however the existing streetscape project for elizabeth ave will likely cause the tracks and wires through that area to be built a few years before the rest of the project, and it is likely that the overhead catenary will be fixed onto the lightpoles.

- no decisions have been made on specific vehicles, poles, or stop furniture, but they are modeling it on the line in Portland and european trams, so i'm sure it will be similar vehicles.

- they would like to end phase I at the plaza, but are having an issue with the rail crossing. As reported earlier, they would like to turn east just beyond the hawthorne bridge, and run between independence and the party reflections site. The developer of that parcel, however, is not currently willing to sell the right of way for a price that CATS is able to swallow. There might be other options, but right now, it is a conflict between preferred route and potential land cost. If a deal is not able to be made, the line will end at presby.

- The simple closed-loop routing for the downtown streetcar circulator is definitely out. it is replaced with the spurs or spokes as described earlier in the thread. The only change is that there is possible alternative alignment that will route the 4th ward spoke through 5th or 6th street to connect to cedar from the other side of gateway. There is also an alternate alignment that would turn the kenilworth spur down morehead and then back up kings to baxter bridge.

- the first phase on trade would mosty run next to the median (allowing the catenaries to share a single pole), but would run next to the curb between church and college and east of kings. The extensions would most likely run along the curb.

- specific stop locations were selected... way too many to list, so i'll just do phase I:

JCSmith, 5 Pts, Montgomery Street, J&W, Gateway Station, Mint Street, Tryon St, Arena/Transport Ctr, Govt Center, McDowell St, CPCC, Travis St, Presby Hosp.

- Phase I is expected to be running by 2009, with the funding request being made next year. The eastern and western extensions (phase II) will be implemented by 2017. The center city spokes (phase III) will be implemented by 2025.

there are your notes, a2 :).

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And to add a few points.

They would like to make the spur to Carolinas Medical Center via Kings because of all the business and future growth in that area. One big problem with that is making the right turn from Kings onto Morehead. Its a sharp turn and they have not figured out an easy way to make it work.

Further down that line, I believe we thought it would go up Kenilworth, turn left onto Pierce and come back down Scott. But now they do have it extended up to Filmore Ave which is right behind Latta. I asked why they didn't go all the way to East, he said the angle that Scott hits East is too extreme to make it work. Also they didn't want to disrupt traffic on East Blvd. (which is a mess during morning, lunch and afternoon commutes).

The fare should be similar to the buses and will be on the honor system. Conductors will do spot checks for tickets, and fines will be handed out if people are caught. Although it sounded like those checks would be random and not as frequent as one might think. The hours of operation is certainly not set in stone but one gentleman said they would look at the amount of night life in uptown and possibly stay operating to serve that crowd. Not sure if thats good or bad, maybe both. Less drunks in cars but more drunks trashing/misbehaving in the streetcars.

Neither the fare or the hours of operation will be finalized though for quite some time.

Mo

Edited by Mobuchu

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the latenight hours would probably help some of the bars/nightlife in plaza-midwood. A night at the bars might include jumping on the streetcar and heading to thomas street or viceversa.

by the way, the honor system things works well enough. i was in the hague a number of years ago and i mooched on the tram (this system will be somewhat modeled after a european tram system), by not paying once or twice (i was just out of college, and doing the survive-on-a-dime thing ... except for my beer budget). But my very last trip, to the train station, and i had already spent my last guilder... i hopped on the tram for a free ride, and the conductors jumped on the train and checked everyone's tickets. The fine from being caught is high enough to pay for lots of moochers... and enough deterent to not do it.

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there are your notes, a2 :).

Wow. I am very impressed. Thanks again D. I am sorry I was unable to attend last night as work has been piling up. I think my procrastination with certain projects at the office has been directly related to my UP activity. ha-ha :P

A2

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Any updated pictures on station construction?

Not really. I was also at the streetcar meeting yesterday and the street car stops will basically look like our bus stops do today with the shelters. The only difference is that the stops are slightly elevated with a ramp to allow ADA compliance.

However they did have a SWEET animation of both the Arena and Gateway stops. The Arena stop animation showed the street cars coming up to a stop right in front of the main entrace to the Arena on Trade St. It simultaniously showed the South LRT moving along the bridge over Trade St. The animations were a good crowd pleaser and showed just how URBAN that section of downtown will look in 3-4 years. It was very dramatic.

In the breakout sessions they also had a nice 4ft blow up graphic of the Gateway Train station. The renderings they had showed the main train station, the large rail bridge, and the retail parcel buildouts. It looked really sweet. Of course it also showed the streetcar stops on Trade St.

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okay, i think i've solved the problem that is currently likely to keep phase I of the streetcar out of Plaza-Midwood.

Current route between Elizabeth and Plaza-Midwood:

- east on Elizabeth Ave

- north on Hawthorne

- cross Hawthorne Bridge

- east just beyond hawthorne bridge using a new Commonwealth Avenue extension just next to Independence Blvd.

- cross the railroad tracks using a new bridge just next to the independence blvd bridge over the tracks

- [loop around commonwealth, plaza, central, and pecan to serve Plaza Midwood]

- then return back west via the commonwealth road extension.

The highcost elements of the current plan:

- adding tracks to the existing hawthorne bridge will be expensive and an engineering challeng

- Independence Boulevard right of way will need to be taken over for the new Commonwealth Ave Extension, which will require an expensive retaining wall on Independence and the loss of expansion room for the freeway.

- New right of way will need to be purchased from the developer of the party reflections site, which will be very expensive, as the developer is almost ready to break ground on a high density development that will use all of the land.

- New street commonwealth avenue extension will need to be engineered and built with a new signalized intersection with hawthorne.

- New bridge will need to be built for commonwealth ave and the streetcar to cross the tracks and connect to Pecan and the existing commonwealth ave. (a new bridge would not be possible for crossing the tracks on Central Ave because of grade and adjacent development)

Here is my proposed solution/route:

- east on Elizabeth Ave

- north on Hawthorne

- east on 5th

- north on caswell

- north on pecan

- cross railroad tracks with a new Pecan Ave bridge

- cross under independence with the pecan avenue underpass

- [loop around commonwealth, plaza, central, and pecan to serve Plaza Midwood]

- then return back south via pecan.

(- optionally go west on 7th and south on hawthorne to get back to Presby Hospital area)

Savings:

- no need to make expensive revision to Hawthorne Ave bridge over independence

- no need to purchase Party Reflections right of way, which is very expense

- no need to extend commonwealth ave (which saves a new signalized intersection, a long retaining wall on independence and a new bridge over the railroad tracks)

Other Benefits:

- Building a new Pecan Avenue bridge over the railroad tracks will actually eliminate an existing railroad crossing, which will improve safety, connectivity, and reduce noise in Elizabeth neighborhood.

- there is enough land around the railroad tracks by the Pecan crossing to build the bridge without need for major street closings or building removal.

- The streetcar line will better serve Elizabeth institional (King's University, Presbyterian Hospital, Mercy Hospital) and retail business on 7th. There are also many underdeveloped parcels in this area.

post-670-1128022719_thumb.jpg

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i heard back from the lead project engineer on my suggestion. He basically said they will look into that alternative, but that it would require city and MTC approval, as it is a significant departure from the routes approved in 2002.

he also wanted to clarify that it isn't necessarily "likely" that Plaza-Midwood would be cut from phase I, only that there are significant challenges that they are working to overcome.

Just an update.

Personally, i still like the idea of using Pecan. As much as it would be good connectivity to have an extended Commonwealth Ave, i think it will end up being very expensive with the changes needed to Independence Blvd.

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dubone, i like your proposal. i really like the idea of this thing going down 7th turning on pecan...which won't happen because of the sharp turn. that also leads me to wonder if the intersection of caswell, pecan, and 7th is just too tight. i am interested in seeing if this leg will be included in phase I. as i had posted on another thread, i heard pat mccrory was part of a group that purchased morningside apts. if that rumour is true - best believe every effort to make phase I will happen for plaza/midwood.

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