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Help me out here...

Michigan St. runs infront of the van andel institute, Fulton runs in front of the van andel arena.

Which one is it?

Sorry, Institute. There is a dedicated bus lane right in front of the VAI. I would assume my reference to Barklay would be a giveway. ;)

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All this talk about rail made me find these from the library

Fancy new Laker Line stop at the zoo!

Maybe they're going to be antiquated articulating buses....?  

Posted Images

I'm going to say this just because it's getting really annoying. Can we please refrain from mentioning any transit outside of Metro Grand Rapids?! It's been going on as of late and the thread title speaks for itself.

My objective in including viewpoints and updates from The Largest Metro Area In The Country That Lacks A Transit System is: if "they" can get it rolling, surely it'd be easier/faster/more realistic for "us."

Also, at the Busch building viewing, Raildudesdad expressed considerable doubts about the cited SMSA (edit: Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is what we called a metro area back in planning school in the 70's...) and its eventual tipping-towards-transit. (This was a live conversation. Rizzo, you weren't present.)

Personally, I am overjoyed to see editorials-opinions-commentary-facts-construction schedules on any new transit conversion. Having spent many years having to deal with its absence in the 313-248-810 et al, it's especially gratifying.

Another edit: more than you ever wanted to know about urban area census tract definitions: http://www.census.gov/population/www/estim...aboutmetro.html

Edited by Veloise
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367724179_74a8089398_o.jpg

That's probably more like it Rizzo. Although, that looks more like Standale. :lol:

RapidGrowthMedia update:

New busses, more busses, and possible streetcar for Metro GR

The backbone of the so-called Bus Rapid Transit system would be an approximately 9.8 mile route with 19 stops primarily along South Division from downtown to 60th Avenue. At peak hours, the route would also service Health Hill. The BRT system, which would initially require as many as 10 new busses, is projected to cost $33.6 million.

Finally, the Board also is expected to consider a proposal to accelerate the study and design of a streetcar system serving the central city. The initial phase of the streetcar project, a 2.4 mile route with six cars running at 5 minute intervals, could link the Monroe North Business District and the Van Andel Arena.

OK, I am really dismayed.

-They don't even provide bus service to Monroe North ("it doesn't currently fit our demographic targets" per the RAPID), so why would they run a streetcar through Monroe North and at a much greater cost than busses?

- Who goes to the Van Andel Arena for anything other than evening events? And how many of the people going to a Griffins game are going to take a streetcar that doesn't even run past their house?

- Are there really enough people in the Monroe North area to equal 2000 - 3000 riders/day heading toward downtown? There aren't even that many people living in Monroe North (and why there is no bus service). Even with ICON and Boardwalk built out, what's that 600 people?

I'm guessing they just offered that as a "for instance", since they haven't settled on a route yet.

And with the BRT, 19 stops is not "rapid" transit. Even at 1 minute per stop, that adds 20 minutes to your commute.

Sorry to be so negative, but this is puzzling.

Anyone going to the meeting today at 4:00 PM? Here's the agenda on this page (can't direct link):

http://www.ridetherapid.org/about/board/

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Hey I live in Walker. It would nice to have a BRT serving Lake Michigan Dr.

I know that is Standale, I just couldn't find a picture of Division. :lol:

Speaking of streetcars for DT. Does anybody have the feeling of 'scrapers and big developments spouting up along the street car path? Going by the response to Portland's new streetcar route, I do. :shades:

Finally, the Board also is expected to consider a proposal to accelerate the study and design of a streetcar system serving the central city. The initial phase of the streetcar project, a 2.4 mile route with six cars running at 5 minute intervals, could link the Monroe North Business District and the Van Andel Arena.
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Hey I live in Walker. It would nice to have a BRT serving Lake Michigan Dr.

Speaking of streetcars for DT. Does anybody have the feeling of 'scrapers and big developments spouting up along the street car path? Going by the response to Portland's new streetcar route, I do. :shades:

One of the first hits on a search for transit node development:

http://www.community-wealth.org/strategies.../tod/index.html

(the very first is a class on the topic at U-M)

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Speaking of streetcars for DT. Does anybody have the feeling of 'scrapers and big developments spouting up along the street car path? Going by the response to Portland's new streetcar route, I do.

That would depend on where the line went and what available land was near it. One scenario I worked up for a loop around downtown runs it past almost 15 available parcels for TOD's (Transit Oriented Development):

368276708_c2d2d6ce77_b.jpg

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I don't know how willing the owning parties of the DT surface lots would be at selling of the lots to developers. But I'd count the suface lots near your route too.

That would depend on where the line went and what available land was near it. One scenario I worked up for a loop around downtown runs it past almost 15 available parcels for TOD's (Transit Oriented Development):

368276708_c2d2d6ce77_b.jpg

Edited by tamias6
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And with the BRT, 19 stops is not "rapid" transit. Even at 1 minute per stop, that adds 20 minutes to your commute.

Anyone going to the meeting today at 4:00 PM? Here's the agenda on this page (can't direct link):

I went to the meeting this afternoon/evening. The 19 stops you are mentioning are for a round trip. Meaning 9 stops into downtown, 10th being Central Station and the same 9 going back to 60th St. The route they showed on the presentation leaves Central Station North along Monroe, East on Michigan, South on Lafayette(?), West on Wealthy, South on Division to 60th Street. Stops will be every mile (60th, 54th, 44th, 36th, 28th, Burton, Hall) and as you get closer to the core, stops will be ever half mile (Hall, Franklin, Wealthy) until Wealthy. Then the route stops at St. Mary's, GRCC and Pill Hill before going to Monroe and Central Station.

The motion passed to continue the process for BRT down Division Ave. The BRT plan has to be adopted into the Master Plan and approved by the GVMC. Then we continue to move forward and apply for Federal funding on July 1, 2007 under the Very Small Starts program. Once federal funding is approved, then we have to go to State funding for approval and than approval a local millage for the remaing funds needed.

The motion passed to give the go ahead to research a streetcar for downtown. No real location has been mentioned, just that it sounds like it will include Monroe's downtown section (Fulton-Michigan). The additional research will develope who will ride, where they want to go, where they are from. This information will help provide where the first segment in a multi segement should be placed/created.

The motion passed for the millage renewal and millage increase for phase II improvements. The proposal will be on the May 8th election. Lets all show our support and vote!

Over all it was a good meeting and there was a lot of people there to support all causes. I just wished the couple behind me didn't whisper the whole time the meeting was going on :wacko:

Edited by DwntwnGeo
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The one question that I have about BRT on a street like Division is that it would kill ANY parallel parking along the street. The businesses would then have to rely on more surface lots elsewhere. I would like to see BRT or LRT, but it does take up space and there will still be cars that need to be parked.

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A lot of the Board Members asked some very good questions to the GT2 study group. One question in particular was the differences between BRT and Streetcar? One of the major factors is price. The BRT system can be constructed around $3 million per mile, in contrast, Street car was priced out at between $21 - $24 Million per mile. After the cost per mile was explained, the same Board Member understood that BRT is cheaper to build than a streetcar but wondered what the difference was in the amount Developers would invest in the area after the line is completed. The GT2 group did reconize that Developers like to see fixed assets (rail, overhead power lines etc) and have normally invested more in an area where rail was placed rather than places where rail wasn't placed. They didn't have any specific numbers to give the Board. They went on to explain, to get Federal funding, the BRT system has to have more fixed assets than a regular bus line. They sited that the BRT will have marked bus lanes on the road and the BRT stops will have "fixed" stations and not just a bus stop sign off the sidewalk with a covered waiting area. Having these features the GT2 group mentioned, will give developers confidence in the stability of the area and spur added projects.

The one question that I have about BRT on a street like Division is that it would kill ANY parallel parking along the street. The businesses would then have to rely on more surface lots elsewhere. I would like to see BRT or LRT, but it does take up space and there will still be cars that need to be parked.

In theory, the parallel parking will still be there. In most areas along Division, there are two driving lanes in each direction. The BRT will take one of those driving lanes only during the peak rush hours. This leaves the parallel parking along the sidewalks intact for businesses.

Edited by DwntwnGeo
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Thanks for the updates Geo! I'm still perplexed as to why they would run the South corridor BRT all throughout downtown. Have they even gathered any data to see how many people who work downtown and on the hill live on the South side near Division? If they bring in a BRT line from the West, will they also run that all throughout downtown? And East, and North?

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Thanks for the updates Geo! I'm still perplexed as to why they would run the South corridor BRT all throughout downtown. Have they even gathered any data to see how many people who work downtown and on the hill live on the South side near Division? If they bring in a BRT line from the West, will they also run that all throughout downtown? And East, and North?

I wasn't in the study group so I don't know all the information that was collected. It was mentioned they wanted to hit the key employers of downtown with this route. The key employers they sited were, St. Mary's, GRCC, and Medical Hill. I don't know how many if any survey's they already conducted, but in this next phase, there will be more public input as they set the final route and locations for the fixed stations.

One of the requirements for the Federal Very Small Starts Program is that you need a minium of 3K daily weekday riders. They sited that the Division route was the closet to this figure and wasn't expected to reach it until this year. I don't know why the GVSU route wasn't considered. The only thing I could think of was that during the summer, there wasn't the average 3K riders per day :dontknow:

The study didn't say this directly, but they mentioned that some transit systems (Portland included) have started out only with private/local funding. These systems did very well and as these cities went on to build phases II & III etc. They were able to get more and more funding from the Feds because they were able to show their growth and strength around the original phase. Similar to what they would like to do here, first is the BRT down Division as phase I. When it comes time to create phase II, maybe there will be enough ridership to prove in funding for street car or LRT. So to answer your question about BRT going through downtown, maybe it would be only temperary until we can create the downtown circular loop through multiple phases. Meaning later the BRT downtown section (between St. Mary's and Medical Hill) will be changed over to the downtown street car circular route.

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That's surprisingly pretty cost worthy and looks kinda cool - I don't care for the whole airplane-ish look, but I just can't see this thing flying down Division street :lol:

I showed everyone another concept on here sort of similar to that and everyone shot it down :( I thought it was a good idea :lol:

http://www.cprt.org/default.htm

and see, Minneapolis is even considering using it! If you look at the map you can see how this system is WAY more effective than BRT and can cover a broader range.

Also claims on the website that it can move freight....very interesting.

The best pro about this situation (given that there are enough cars to do so) is that you never have to wait for the train to come, you just get in, pick your selection, and start riding without frequent stops...the cars can merge into lanes like an expressway and they're programmed to not run into each other...I think it's the perfect solution...and I'm still sticking to it gosh darnit

Edited by blueradon
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and see, Minneapolis is even considering using it! If you look at the map you can see how this system is WAY more effective than BRT and can cover a broader range.

Minneapolis isn't considering it, one councilman for Minneapolis is pushing for it.

So to answer your question about BRT going through downtown, maybe it would be only temperary until we can create the downtown circular loop through multiple phases. Meaning later the BRT downtown section (between St. Mary's and Medical Hill) will be changed over to the downtown street car circular route.

That makes more sense Geo. Especially since this BRT route they are talking about is not totally built out with fixed guideways, it could easily be converted over.

At least they have St Mary's, GRCC and the hill in their vision.

Does anyone know if streetcars (buried rail, overhead lines) can go over bridges?

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Does anyone know if streetcars (buried rail, overhead lines) can go over bridges?

I don't see why they couldn't, but this isn't my area of expertise. The rails are buired in the decking of the road and the electrical wires are strung together by wire and the poles are sometime decorative like light poles are now. There may be a little more construction work (cost per mile) to go over a bridge incase they have to re-inforce the sub structure to support the extra weight or enlarge the decking to support the buried rail protion. Didn't the original GR streetcars go over Bridge and Pearl Streets?

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I'll just keep throwing my streetcar loop ideas up here and you guys can tell me which parts you like and don't like:

368973197_64ea6f239b_b.jpg

The one thing interesting about Portland's streetcar is that it brings residents from North and South of downtown into the core, on a very linear layout (about 1 - 2 streets apart from each other). I think it would be huge to eventually run this through Easttown and EGR.

portlandstreetcar.gif

Streetcar in Little Rock going over a bridge:

img_36100.jpg

title-littlerock.jpg

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I'll just keep throwing my streetcar loop ideas up here and you guys can tell me which parts you like and don't like:

368973197_64ea6f239b_b.jpg

The one thing interesting about Portland's streetcar is that it brings residents from North and South of downtown into the core, on a very linear layout (about 1 - 2 streets apart from each other). I think it would be huge to eventually run this through Easttown and EGR.

portlandstreetcar.gif

Everything I have read/heard about loops is that they should be only be 1-3 blocks inbetween eachother. The Portland route shows this very well. GRDad, on your GR map above, are you suggesting that your loop be in one direction (meaning only clockwise/counter clockwise) are you are suggesting a track system with cars going both ways. I don't think your loop will work with just one track in one circular direction because your loop is too many blocks apart. I dont know if the streets you highlight will support two tracks for bi-directions.

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I'm not sure if streetcars utilize this, but in railroading its as simple as adding siding track. If one meets, one can yield a right of way. The line in this case doesn't need to be very long. Since the streetcars work on a precise time schedule that shouldn't be too hard to do. Of course I'm not sure if modern lines do this.

Edited by Rizzo
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