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AlabamaGuy2007

Huntsville Metro Public Transit

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Here're some maps I created to bettwe see what a future intercity light rail system in the Tri City Region might look like.

Here's the Huntsville-Madison Area:

Huntsville-Madison.gif

Platforms:

>Airport

>Research Park

>Arsenal

>Madison

>Downtown

Here's the Decatur Area:

Decatur.gif

Platforms:

>Calhoun

>Mooresville

>Downtown Train Station

And the Athens Area:

Athens.gif

Platforms:

>Downtown Square

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A few months back, I decided to make a commuter rail map of my own using only existing rail lines (except the yellow line). Here's how it works:

Blue Line: first phase, commuter rail, would go from Decatur to Scottsboro.

Stations from West to East: Decatur, Greenbrier, West Madison, Madison, East Madison, CRP West/Bridge Street, CRP East, UAH, Jordan Lane, Holmes Avenue, Huntsville (Depot), Five Points, Oakwood Avenue, Chase, Ryland, Maysville/Brownsboro, Gurley, Paint Rock, Woodville, Scottsboro

Red Line: light rail, would go from downtown to Ditto Landing

Stations from North to South: Holmes Avenue, VBC/Marketsquare, Medical District, Bob Wallace, Drake, Airport Road, Martin Road, Byrd Spring, Lily Flagg, Weatherly, Mountain Gap, Hobbs, Ditto Landing

Yellow Line: light rail, goes to airport and parallels Martin Road through the Arsenal/MSFC

Stations from West to East: West Madison, Airport, Jetplex Park, Zierdt Road, MSFC, Arsenal, Martin Road

Green Line(s): future commuter rail expansions to Athens and Hartselle. The Blue Line from Gurley-Scottsboro could be put in this category as well.

hartmap2.jpg

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A few months back, I decided to make a commuter rail map of my own using only existing rail lines (except the yellow line). Here's how it works:

Blue Line: first phase, commuter rail, would go from Decatur to Scottsboro.

Stations from West to East: Decatur, Greenbrier, West Madison, Madison, East Madison, CRP West/Bridge Street, CRP East, UAH, Jordan Lane, Holmes Avenue, Huntsville (Depot), Five Points, Oakwood Avenue, Chase, Ryland, Maysville/Brownsboro, Gurley, Paint Rock, Woodville, Scottsboro

Red Line: light rail, would go from downtown to Ditto Landing

Stations from North to South: Holmes Avenue, VBC/Marketsquare, Medical District, Bob Wallace, Drake, Airport Road, Martin Road, Byrd Spring, Lily Flagg, Weatherly, Mountain Gap, Hobbs, Ditto Landing

Yellow Line: light rail, goes to airport and parallels Martin Road through the Arsenal/MSFC

Stations from West to East: West Madison, Airport, Jetplex Park, Zierdt Road, MSFC, Arsenal, Martin Road

Green Line(s): future commuter rail expansions to Athens and Hartselle. The Blue Line from Gurley-Scottsboro could be put in this category as well.

hartmap2.jpg

I thought about just utilizing existing rails, but, then I realized that rail traffic accross the river is extremely busy, and coordinating something like commuter rail at the bridge would just hold up river traffic and hurt business. But, it could work, but I'd rather build a new bridge over the Tennessee

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^Good point. But if this were to become reality, there would probably be some type of usage agreement between the commuter rail, CSX and NS. Some of Chicago's Metra trains use existing rail lines; those lines are probably much busier than the Decatur bridge.

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^Good point. But if this were to become reality, there would probably be some type of usage agreement between the commuter rail, CSX and NS. Some of Chicago's Metra trains use existing rail lines; those lines are probably much busier than the Decatur bridge.

That's true that their's are much busier. Though, the whole thought of a problem occuring on that bridge and the possibility of the bridge collapsing because two trains collided scares me. Decatur's the busiest port along the Tennessee, and all traffic coming from downstream of Decatur could be haulted, and the other way around because the bridge collapsed, cause that think is a HULK! Not to mention that the nearest railroad bridge is in Florence. So, traffic would not only stop on the river, but the rails.

So, a train collision could not only affect the Decatur Metro Area transitly, but economically.

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville received $3.89M from the US Department of Transportation (through Senator Shelby) towards their planned Intermodal Center. This three-story building will serve as a "park-n-ride" on either the city Shuttle bus system or the proposed UAH shuttle. The building will also house UAH police. Work is expected to start in Spring 2007.

This is the first of two park and ride facilities proposed in Huntsville. The other is at Bridge Street.

UAH Article

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That sounds pretty cool. Seems like Transit is really starting to work, Beltline's gettin widened, now this. I hope this doesn't suddenly stop.

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Tramway from Space and Rocket Center to Garden

http://www.al.com/huntsvilletimes/breaking..._03.html#244325

This seems like a very good idea. The new home for the Saturn V, plus the connection to the Botanical Garden could really increase the tourist draw to the Space and Rocket Center and Huntsville. I wonder how much it will cost ($227,000 is just the beginning) and what the timeline will be?

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I think this is a stupid idea. If they really want to relieve traffic congestion in this area, invest in a commuter rail line between Huntsville and Decatur and bus service to the suburbs. This is a tramway to nowhere; very few people will ride it and it will be a waste of time and money. And I don't think it will increase tourism either- no one's going to come to Huntsville just to ride our new tram.

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I think this is a stupid idea. If they really want to relieve traffic congestion in this area, invest in a commuter rail line between Huntsville and Decatur and bus service to the suburbs. This is a tramway to nowhere; very few people will ride it and it will be a waste of time and money. And I don't think it will increase tourism either- no one's going to come to Huntsville just to ride our new tram.

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You are correct RNC this is to make the Botanical Gardens and the Space and Rocket Center one large tourist attraction. The plans that I saw are like the elevated monorail that is similar to the one in Las Vegas.

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You are correct RNC this is to make the Botanical Gardens and the Space and Rocket Center one large tourist attraction.

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I can say this isn't exactly the most exciting development to come to Huntsville.

I'm afraid I don't get it either. I've been going to the (Alabama!) Space & Rocket Center since a child and even so, I wouldn't willingly divide the limited time with the gardens. Got nothing against trams, or museums, or botanical gardens, but in my opinion there are more useful projects.

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I can say this isn't exactly the most exciting development to come to Huntsville.

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I would rather them refurbish the rocket test stands on the south side of the arsenal and have the tram go down there (like they used to do with the buses)

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Sorry, but what exactly did that add to the discussion? What would you consider the most exciting development to occur in Huntsville, a Wal-Mart at the corner of 72E and Shields?

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I would rather them refurbish the rocket test stands on the south side of the arsenal and have the tram go down there (like they used to do with the buses)

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Sounds like it will be the bus like creatures..

"By KENNETH KESNER

Times Staff Writer [email protected]

The steel skeleton of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's new visitors complex, which includes an "intermodal" transport terminal and the exhibition hall for the restored Saturn V rocket, can be seen rising next to the museum.

Invisible, for now, is a system of trams that will carry visitors from the new building to parking lots, the museum and other areas of the center. The U.S. Department of Transportation last week provided $226,710 for the project as the second installment of $1 million for the trams to be awarded over four years, said Space Center CEO Larry Capps.

The Space Center plans to buy two trams initially and have them running when the visitors center opens in November or December, Capps said. Manufacturers are still submitting proposals for the project, but it is expected each tram will have a van-like front car pulling open-sided cars, carrying 50 or 60 passengers when fully loaded."

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

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A new topic to discuss all things related to mass transit separate from the road/highway topic.

A few things reported elsewhere maybe.

Bridge Street will have an Intermodal Center as part of the parking deck under construction for Shuttle busses.

UAH will have a similar setup that will tie in with the city Shuttle.

The time is now for a light rail linking Bridge Street with Huntsville International and Decatur, eastbound to UAH, Downtown, Intermodal Center/ with a spur south linking Von Braun Center/Constellation, Parkway Place to Ditto Landing on the Tennessee River.

Would this work? It sure seems like it would.

I guess money could be an obstacle :dontknow:

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A new topic to discuss all things related to mass transit separate from the road/highway topic.

A few things reported elsewhere maybe.

Bridge Street will have an Intermodal Center as part of the parking deck under construction for Shuttle busses.

UAH will have a similar setup that will tie in with the city Shuttle.

The time is now for a light rail linking Bridge Street with Huntsville International and Decatur, eastbound to UAH, Downtown, Intermodal Center/ with a spur south linking Von Braun Center/Constellation, Parkway Place to Ditto Landing on the Tennessee River.

Would this work? It sure seems like it would.

I guess money could be an obstacle :dontknow:

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As Shawn said, light rail won't work without higher density. Higher density won't happen with the current situation IMO. I really think a consolidated county-city government is the only way to curb sprawl and I don't see that happening. The cities and communities here seem to allow developers to build whatever they want because they are afraid they will take their development to another community and lose out on the tax base. What do you think developers want to build? Cookie cutter construction on undeveloped land (aka "sprawl") because it is the cheapest, easiest way. Until the metro is on the same page as far as the direction of the community, I think sprawl will continue indefinitely.

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Huntsville's bus system is probably the most underused of any city its size in the nation- only 1500 riders a day. Why? One, people like having their own cars to drive wherever they need to go. Two, it doesn't go where people need to go. There are no routes to the Airport, the Arsenal, or Research Park West (which should change by the end of the year hopefully), three of the largest employment centers in the metro. Three, it is run by the City of Huntsville; therefore, it will not go out to unincorporated Madison County, Madison, or surrounding cities like Athens or Decatur. Finally, its hours of operation are from 6AM to 6PM. That's enough to get people to work, but not to get them back home.

I think the city/county should begin to look at LRT along the HMCRA line, but it should not stop there. If they do, it will fail just like the current bus system. There should also be plans for commuter rail from Decatur to Scottsboro using the current Norfolk Southern line, which is being upgraded for increased capacity. From each (urban) station, there would be local bus routes to places (i.e. at the CRP station, have bus routes to University Drive/Madison Square and to Redstone/MSFC). And for places like Athens, Fayetteville, Ardmore, Arab and Guntersville which do not have a rail connection to Huntsville, there should be express buses originating from Park and Ride lots in each of those cities. This would all be run under a Regional Transit Authority, with reps from Madison, Jackson, Marshall, Morgan, Limestone, and Lincoln counties and their largest cities.

Like I've said before with this, this plan doesn't seem economical now with a metro of 530,000, but within the next 30 years, the Huntsville region will grow to nearly 1 million, and without a regional transit plan like this, you can say "goodbye" to your 15 minute commute.

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Huntsville's bus system is probably the most underused of any city its size in the nation- only 1500 riders a day. Why? One, people like having their own cars to drive wherever they need to go. Two, it doesn't go where people need to go. There are no routes to the Airport, the Arsenal, or Research Park West (which should change by the end of the year hopefully), three of the largest employment centers in the metro. Three, it is run by the City of Huntsville; therefore, it will not go out to unincorporated Madison County, Madison, or surrounding cities like Athens or Decatur. Finally, its hours of operation are from 6AM to 6PM. That's enough to get people to work, but not to get them back home.

I think the city/county should begin to look at LRT along the HMCRA line, but it should not stop there. If they do, it will fail just like the current bus system. There should also be plans for commuter rail from Decatur to Scottsboro using the current Norfolk Southern line, which is being upgraded for increased capacity. From each (urban) station, there would be local bus routes to places (i.e. at the CRP station, have bus routes to University Drive/Madison Square and to Redstone/MSFC). And for places like Athens, Fayetteville, Ardmore, Arab and Guntersville which do not have a rail connection to Huntsville, there should be express buses originating from Park and Ride lots in each of those cities. This would all be run under a Regional Transit Authority, with reps from Madison, Jackson, Marshall, Morgan, Limestone, and Lincoln counties and their largest cities.

Like I've said before with this, this plan doesn't seem economical now with a metro of 530,000, but within the next 30 years, the Huntsville region will grow to nearly 1 million, and without a regional transit plan like this, you can say "goodbye" to your 15 minute commute.

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Huntsville could take the lead in this, with a cutting edge well designed light rail line that initially runs from Bridge Street to Constellation

and to Parkway Place. Frequency would be key so a worker in Research Park could take the short train ride downtown to say Cheesecake Factory at Constellation for lunch and then return. Visitors to the Embassy Suite /Constellation/VBC could hop the train for shopping at Bridge Street or Parkway Place. Guests at the Westin could take the train downtown to attend a convention at the VBC. For people to use it in Huntsville it will have to be high tech(expensive probably) efficient, and cheap to ride ($1 a segment one way). It would have a feeder system of Shuttle routes . The actual cost and startup are probably the biggest obstacles. This is where Huntsville should have an advantage, there are plenty of

high tech deep pockets in the city that could make a private/corporate venture work.

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