Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

DetroitMan

City pushes for earlier start of rail commute

22 posts in this topic


I think this is really great. It's at least a start, and I hope that it will go further soon.

Too bad I will never use it though. Because well, it goes to nowhere really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a big fan of mass and public transit, but I worry about two things:

1) The article says it would need to see 1,000 passengers a day, but the population of Whitmore Lk. is only 6,500. I realize there are commuters from other towns in Livingston Co., but I really wonder if there's enough density/demand up there to warrant this.

2) The artcle says the trip would take 20 minutes. That's really not any faster than driving. For people to use public transportation, they need very real incentives. I worry that there may not be enough in this equation.

Of course, I'm not a transportation planner (yet)... I'm sure they've done viability studies on this stuff already?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother talked to the Mayor of Ann Arbor about this, who said that the cost of subsidizing rail was less than the cost of putting in yet more parking lots downtown. He also says that US-23 is a parking lot in the morning -- those folks are driving somewhere.

Curious to see how it all works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but where in the heck is Whitmore Lake? It sounds like they may be setting this up to fail before it even starts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whitmore Lake is between Ann Arbor and Brighton along 23. You can see it HERE at the top, and I'm guessing the rail line that you see on the googlemap is the rail line they are looking at using. There are a ton of commuters on 23 in the morning and afternoon. How many of them are going downtown Ann Arbor, vs. taking 23/14 East to other destinations, is the real question. You could probably find out how many people get off at the downtown Ann Arbor exit (N. Main St?) to get an idea.

I think it's a good idea. You can find park-n-ride commuter rail systems all over the country (Nashville's is one recently added one).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah very true GRDad. I keep forgetting about the US-23 parking lot, which I have experienced many times sitting in traffic on my way back to college. I guess commuter rail is far more practical then adding lanes to US-23

From what I've heard US-23 outside of Ann Arbor may be shut down for sometime for reconstruction. It is one of the only northern roadways out of Ann Arbor due to geography. This will put a huge demand on the handfull of narrow country raods (most of them dirt) north of the city for those who choose to drive.

BTW, does anyone know of any way to get out of Ann Arbor (heading towards Flint) without taking US-23? There's Whitmore Lake Rd, and Dixboro, but they don't get you far at all, and even these have become jammed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are a ton of commuters on 23 in the morning and afternoon. How many of them are going downtown Ann Arbor, vs. taking 23/14 East to other destinations, is the real question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


BTW, does anyone know of any way to get out of Ann Arbor (heading towards Flint) without taking US-23? There's Whitmore Lake Rd, and Dixboro, but they don't get you far at all, and even these have become jammed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see the numbers on this one. I'd think a commuter line from Livingston County to Oakland or Wayne would be far more popular/successful. But, I guess it's about getting in where you fit in, if you know what I mean, and a start is better than not starting at all, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the S-curve (131) was shut down in 2000 for complete rebuilding in downtown GR, MDOT provided funding for an express bus service along the Southern 131 corridor to downtown. They also looked at a commuter rail option, but unfortunately a consultant's report shot down that idea. As a comparison, 131 carries over 100,000 vehicles a day travelling both directions. The ridership on the express bus service was over 1000 riders/day. They may be able to hit that number with construction on 23 starting this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the map, Zach.

On a side note, I'd wish they'd do an entire redesign of US-23 and I-96. It can be really dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That interchange is nothing short of ridiculous. Especially with the service ramps on the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this blurb in the Lansing State Journal, today. Since it is a newsblurb, I'll post the whole thing. I'm not so sure what I think of it.

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...00371/1001/news

Mini village may be built on rail line

BRIGHTON - If a proposed commuter rail line project goes through in Livingston and Washtenaw counties, several communities could be home to a mini village.

TODs, or transport-oriented developments, was the buzz word at a Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week.

Officials with Genoa and Hamburg townships say they are looking into the possibility of housing and/or recreation projects right on the line that would run from Ann Arbor to Howell.

Hamburg Township Supervisor Cindy Pine said several boards in her community have already met to discuss standards for the Village Center Area, which could include a possible depot and development off Hamburg Road. Genoa Township Supervisor Gary McCririe said there was a subdivision planned off Chilson Road along the rail line, but that it has since been pulled in hopes of looking at a more rail-friendly development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What are your reservations, LMich? TOD should be encouraged!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder what Livingston County's version of a TOD would be? hmmmmmm.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. But at least they're talking about TOD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, to have the potential to propagate more sprawl. While we would see what I hope to be more condensed growth close to stations, it's not like the existing mess is just going to dissapear. TOD's are excellent when the people who plan them know what they are doing, but apparently it is only a "buzz word" to area leaders. That's why I'm curious to see if there is any TODs in the future, what will they be like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're probably right, but I'd like to remain optimistic.

Then again, who am I kidding? This is SE Michigan we're talking about here...

EDIT: If they start talking about urban growth boundaries with that TOD I'll be more optimistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Wally" Howell to AA commuter operation is showing off their "commuter train" tomorrow at the Hamburg festival. You can ride the train at 10, 11:30, 1 and 2:30.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still waiting on that grant though. Oh well, I never believe starting dates anyway when they are conditioned on receiving government funds. As long as it actually starts I will be happy. Question for others, do you think the service will be hurt if it starts in winter because people will be less willing to stand out in the cold and transfer to buses.

Commuter rail waiting on grant, official says

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.