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Khorasaurus

Transit Question

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I thought I'd make this its own topic since those are the most likely new forms of mass transit for GR and I don't think I'm the only one with these questions.

I was hoping our resident experts would be able to answer some of the following:

For BRT and Streetcars, how do they interact with traffic? Do they always have the right of way?

Do they have to stop at stoplights or are the stoplights timed to always let them through?

What happens when two streets with BRT or Streetcars on them intersect?

How would left turns onto a street with a BRT median be handled? Would they only be possible at traffic lights or intersections with stations? Wouldn't that divert a lot of traffic through nearby neighborhoods?

Sorry to sound like a pestering little kid...I'm really ignorant of all this and I'd like to learn more.

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I thought I'd make this its own topic since those are the most likely new forms of mass transit for GR and I don't think I'm the only one with these questions.

I was hoping our resident experts would be able to answer some of the following:

For BRT and Streetcars, how do they interact with traffic? Do they always have the right of way?

Do they have to stop at stoplights or are the stoplights timed to always let them through?

What happens when two streets with BRT or Streetcars on them intersect?

How would left turns onto a street with a BRT median be handled? Would they only be possible at traffic lights or intersections with stations? Wouldn't that divert a lot of traffic through nearby neighborhoods?

Sorry to sound like a pestering little kid...I'm really ignorant of all this and I'd like to learn more.

BRT/Streetcars have ROW over regular traffic.

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For median BRT/screetcar, I'd think that the left turns would need to be limited largely to traffic lights/stations as you postured. Otherwise you'd have delays and accidents.

Another possibility would be to go curbside, where more frequent left turns would be possible. I don't know whether you'd keep the dedicated left turn lane in the middle, or switch to something like 44th street (at least on the west side) where you have a median with short left turn lanes for each of the streets.

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Nice video. I hope The Rapid will create something simular to play on the networks around Grand Rapids to get more people involved with what they are trying to accomplish.

Here's a good video that discusses potential BRT in Detroit.

http://www.mac-web.org/Speedlink/SpeedLink.wmv

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I thought I'd make this its own topic since those are the most likely new forms of mass transit for GR and I don't think I'm the only one with these questions.

I was hoping our resident experts would be able to answer some of the following:

For BRT and Streetcars, how do they interact with traffic? Do they always have the right of way?

Do they have to stop at stoplights or are the stoplights timed to always let them through?

What happens when two streets with BRT or Streetcars on them intersect?

How would left turns onto a street with a BRT median be handled? Would they only be possible at traffic lights or intersections with stations? Wouldn't that divert a lot of traffic through nearby neighborhoods?

Sorry to sound like a pestering little kid...I'm really ignorant of all this and I'd like to learn more.

Thank you. Some one said it, someone else sees it, now I can rip it. IT IRKS ME THAT THE IMMEDIATE TRANSIT OPTION(S) REFUSE(S) TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT STREET TRAFFIC IS NOT GOING TO DISAPPEAR OR LESSEN FROM HERE FORWARD AS THE CENTRAL METRO AREA EXPANDS AND GETS MORE DENSE. On our collective behalves I have said it to our leaders and representatives, heard some well-grounded, thoughtful and logical excuses to not FIND the funding (or pay for it collectively as we always have here in GR - can we say GR-101: Public Private Partnerships) for doing it correctly from the start (READ: METRORAIL/DC; MARTA/Atlanta; BART/Bay Area; SKYTRAIN/Vancouver, CTA eLTRAN/Chicago). We seem to "just do" anything else we set our mind to and it somehow has consistently turned out alright.

I hear you, Khorasaurus, grade-separation needs to be a priority in what is only going to become a more car-clogged environment. Fixed guideway transit at the same level as street traffic may have right-of-way measures that repel traffic but that space will never be completely independent of any type of random traffic blockage that constantly happens in a car-dominated environment (picture Eastown during noon and the people are backed up on Lake Drive from Wealthy back to Pizza Hut. With people here being famous for being impatient and driving stupidly/recklessly <EXAMPLE: U.S.-131 S-Curve at 75 miles per hour in a blizzard - we've all seen that and said, "stupid a__" - don't play>, you can believe that any "dedicated lane" for the trolley or even at-grade light-rail will be entered constantly to bypass that line of left-turners up at Wealthy). Small blockages like that are only going to increase to large blockages and more often. But, we have to just smile, be grateful that the Republicans and Lady Democrat crafted a deal for our $14 million to engage the right-of-way planning and soil analysis that start these things and just trust that the elevated/grade-separated expansion will be planned and implemented as infered for support now :blush: .

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...you can believe that any "dedicated lane" for the trolley or even at-grade light-rail will be entered constantly to bypass that line of left-turners up at Wealthy).

And if anyone doesn't believe that, please take a drive for awhile on 44th street between Division and the Beltline. Watch for the drivers that use the left turn lanes as passing lanes at red lights. I see this move at least once a week. Shared BRT/LRT on the roadways will simply turn into extra passing lanes for our famous impatient drivers.

Welcome to NASCAR Grand Rapids!

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Totally agree. Do it correctly from the start; the city's not going to get smaller and traffic is not going to lessen, and most importantly, we WILL need Light Rail sometime in the future and it will not be any cheaper to build than now. I also agree that if a driver can get into a lane, they will use that lane no matter if it is safe, legal, or whatever. :blink:

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Maybe putting a curb height divider between the general traffic lanes and the bus ones would be enough to reduce the transgressions to the craziest of the crazy drivers. And then you set the fines comparable to an HOV lane violation in LA. At $250+ per violation, it could become a nice source of revenue for the cities involved.

Of course, my preference would have been LRT following the railroad lines most of the way. I feel like alot of traffic and ROW issues could be avoided with this choice. And that Norfolk Southern railroad comes pretty darn close to what they're considering with BRT/streetcars.

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Sort of off topic but I really like the motorized trolley cars that you can occassionally ride around the city. I know they are pretty much same thing as a bus but I just love the look of them.

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Maybe putting a curb height divider between the general traffic lanes and the bus ones would be enough to reduce the transgressions to the craziest of the crazy drivers. And then you set the fines comparable to an HOV lane violation in LA. At $250+ per violation, it could become a nice source of revenue for the cities involved.

Of course, my preference would have been LRT following the railroad lines most of the way. I feel like alot of traffic and ROW issues could be avoided with this choice. And that Norfolk Southern railroad comes pretty darn close to what they're considering with BRT/streetcars.

At GT2 (ITP's Transit Fixed Guideway Planning Committee), those rail lines were rightfully nixed because transit lines need to drop right in the middle of where super-regional uses already exist (i.e. - airports/transit hubs, malls, colleges/universities, medical centers, convention centers, CBDs/high-density employment centers, tourist attractions, etc.). Those railroad lines, though already existing, do not go where high densities of people already go. That is why the U.S.-131 corridor to Rockford, the I-96 corridor to Muskegon and the I-196 corridor to Holland are being looked at for longer-distance COMMUTER RAIL instead of for metrorail/heavyrail or lightrail.

-Metrogrkid

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At GT2 (ITP's Transit Fixed Guideway Planning Committee), those rail lines were rightfully nixed because transit lines need to drop right in the middle of where super-regional uses already exist (i.e. - airports/transit hubs, malls, colleges/universities, medical centers, convention centers, CBDs/high-density employment centers, tourist attractions, etc.). Those railroad lines, though already existing, do not go where high densities of people already go. That is why the U.S.-131 corridor to Rockford, the I-96 corridor to Muskegon and the I-196 corridor to Holland are being looked at for longer-distance COMMUTER RAIL instead of for metrorail/heavyrail or lightrail.

-Metrogrkid

I disagree that transit lines have to go right up to the door of the types of locations you mention. The stops need to be within walking distance of them. The Norfolk Southern railroad goes right in between the two BRT routes they were considering along Clyde Park and Division. Once you get say, north of Franklin, then you can make a case for deviating from the railroad. But keep in mind that the railroad would also hit the "prized" riverfront/RiverGrand parcel if you follow it further north. So you could have a split around Franklin where a branch goes to St. Mary's, Spectrum, etc. and the other going to Amtrak station (and beyond).

And the GT2 study projected around the same ridership for all options. By your argument, the projections of going along the railroad should be significantly less. LRT along the street, with higher capital and significantly higher operating costs, does not look practical to me in comparison.

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This is 30 years down the road isn't it? I recently read a post somewhere on UP that stated there is something like a 45 year waiting list to recieve federal funds.

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