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Snowguy716

Street Cars and other odds n' ends

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http://www.startribune.com/462/story/815949.html

Turning one ways back into two-way streets, reducing bus routes on the Nicollet Mall, and bringing back streetcars is what he sees.

I personally think street cars are a great addition to any city. LRT is fine for suburbs to city connections, but streetcars are cheaper and more effective at getting people around on shorter distances.

The city last had streetcars in 1953, but people have talked literally since then about bringing them back. It looks more and more like they will make a come back in the not-so-distant future.

Are there plans for streetcars (NOT LRT) in other cities?

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I also think that street cars are a great addition to most any city. In Tampa we recently got a 2 mile trolley line in the down town area, and it is great! One neat part about our system (and some other new Trolley lines) is that the whole system is made to support LR, all it needs is the trains; I think it is a great way to build the system, that way if we need a system that can handle more people it is ready other than the trains. It runs trolley cars right now, but has been designed to handle LR trains if the need is ever grown. I do not think that the line that is in place will ever trun to LR, in fact I hope it does not, I like the idea of a trolley circulator in our DT area.

I am so jealous of you guys in Minn.! Your city is so progressive with devekopment in the DT area. The buildings that are going up and the light rail line already in place area so great, I only hope Tampa can step up soon with our rail plans.

Steve

A couple of pics of the Tampa Trolley from the NYCsubway website courtesy of Peter Ehrlich

img_25915.jpg

title-teco.jpg

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Transit ridership in the Metro area (Twin Cities) is expected to reach a 22 year high this year with 73.8 million rides expected. This would be the highest since 1984.

That is still below a high seen in the late '70s of 90 million per year due to gas shortages.

It was also reported that ridership was even higher in the 1920s when transit peaked and streetcars criss-crossed the whole metro area. (I believe 500 miles of track were down at one point, but that may be wrong).

Considering that the metro area has increased by 1/3 since 1980, transit ridership should be much higher. With street cars, commuter rail, and LRT, it likely will.

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I believe Toronto has the largest streetcar network in North America at 306 km/190 miles in length

Red is streetcar, green and yellow is subway

800px-TTCstreetcarmap-2005.png

257728550_f6fa90f12e_b.jpg

36396838_68186755c6_b.jpg

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Detroit used to have a HUGE streetcar network. In 1929 it had over 500 miles of tracks and more than 1700 streetcars.

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We got streetcars.

New ones...

Portland_Streetcar_39_sm.JPG

portland%20_streetcar.jpg

And old ones...

Portland_VT_511_512_b_sm.JPG

*Photos were pasted from Yahoo images and originate at Railwaypreservation.com and mehva.org.

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Believe it or not, but Los Angeles used to have a gigantic streetcar system. Although rider ship diminished over time and many of the streetcar lines were replaced by buses, there are now a few light rail cars running around the city.

P05735.jpg

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A few streetcar scenes from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Now this is what I call winter! 1916/17 was actually a brutal winter.. one of the worst on record.

pf040868.jpg

A streetcar at Penn Ave. and 54th street in 1950.

pf028098.jpg

And finally, downtown in 1949:

pf022346.jpg

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^wow, that would be quite a sight! but man, i cant imagone shoveling all that, my snowblower would be useless with all that snow! the most i ever shovel was like 17", and even that took me like an hour and a half, lol.

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We have VTA light rail here in Santa Clara County, though I think it is not very good nor and effective means of transit for this area, and I'm not a light rail fan in general. Still, I do love street cars, especially historical ones. The San Jose Historical Museum operates a few, one of which I put in a few restoration hours as part of a civics project years ago, and here she is:

trolley_73.jpg

Sadly, I don't think they let them out onto the main lines (at least I've never seen them out....) and just keep them at the historical museum. VTA does maintain them though.

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Streetcars are my favorite type of mass transportation. I like that they are easily accessible, highly visible, less intimidating than light rail, and are cheaper. Some of my favorites are Dublin, Portland, Strabourg, Tampa (biased), and Prague.

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